Devout Catholic Bill Barr Stakes the Credibility of His Institution on Shielding an Accused Rapist

Yesterday, Billy Barr had his DOJ intervene in E Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against Donald Trump.

In a filing submitted under the name of Director of DOJ’s Torts Branch, James Touhey, Jr., DOJ claimed that when President Trump accused Carroll last year of making up the rape to sell books and help Democrats, accused other men of rape, and called Carroll unattractive, he was acting in his official capacity as President of the United States.

6. James G. Touhey, Jr., the Director of the Torts Branch within the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, certified that the defendant employee,President Trump, was acting within the scope of his office or employment at the time of the incident out of which the claim arose. The claim asserts defamation based on a written statement issued to the press and two statements the President made in interviews in June 2019 in which the President vehemently denied accusations made in Plaintiff’s then-forthcoming book. The President explained that these accusations were false and that the incident she alleged never happened. Acting pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 15.4(a),the Attorney General’s delegate certified that President Trump was acting within the scope of his office as President of the United States when he publicly denied as false the allegations made by Plaintiff.

As with other corrupt interventions by Barr’s DOJ, no SDNY attorney signed the filing.

If the move to replace Donald Trump with the US government as defendant succeeds, the entire suit will be dismissed, because the US government cannot be sued for defamation.

The move comes one month after the judge in the case, Verna Saunders, ruled Trump could not delay a deposition and DNA test in the lawsuit.

As I contemplated Barr’s decision to claim that accusing a credible alleged rape victim was all part of Trump’s job as President, I thought briefly about what it says of Bill Barr’s faith, that he would make it official DOJ policy to condone attacks on claimed rape victims like this.

But then I remembered that Bill Barr is of the generation of Catholics where that is the job of the official bureaucracy, to throw all the institutional weight of the Church into protecting alleged rapists and suppressing credible accusations, even to the point of attacking the victims.

And so Bill Barr will further degrade an institution that’s supposed to guard the interests of the less powerful in society, and instead use the power of the institution to corruptly hide how depraved those leading the institution really are.

164 replies
  1. BayStateLibrul says:

    Fuck me.
    Do they teach a course in law school on how to research obscure laws (The Federal Torts Claim Act) and make it germane to current situations?
    Barr needs to be impeached. He is a master of deceit.
    The entire DOJ staff should resign.
    Wait until he unloads on Biden….
    It will never end.

    • bmaz says:

      Well, yes, it is taught in law school, but not any big featured subject or anything. But you really learn it in a hurry once in practice and want to sue the government for something. This is a particularly craven attempt to use it though, and one that should fail. Civil defamation of a private, and prior, rape victim is NOT part and parcel of Presidential duties. Marcy actually went light on Barr here, this is outrageous. But see 28 USC § 2679 and you see how Barr may get away with this.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        It’s not as obscure as it seems; it can come up in many areas.

        For purposes of this pleading, the DoJ assumes – and asserts that the USAG has so certified – that the president was acting in the scope of his employment merely by issuing a denial concerning a private plaintiff’s assertions – made while Trump was president – about events that happened decades before Trump became president. In fact, the connection to the presidency is whimsical.

        If accepted by the courts, Barr’s outrageous argument would apply to virtually every private action against a sitting president – relieving him of the cost and consequences of private suits. It’s a general counsel’s wet dream, because it either relieves his principal of liability or defers it for years, allowing other events and the loss of will to frustrate plaintiffs. It’s the bookend to the OLC opinion that a sitting president cannot be prosecuted by the USG during his term of office. Like a litany of popes, unaccountable authority is Bill Barr’s aim.

        • bmaz says:

          It has nothing to do with the OLC opinion, it is statute based. It will be accepted initially, and removal will be effected. After that is the only issue.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            As I said, “it’s the bookend” to the OLC opinion, which dealt with other matters than the current suit. Two different strands converge to hold up the proposition that the president is exempt from most liability.

        • civil says:

          As I’m trying to learn about this, I saw that SCOTUS ruled in Gutierrez de Martinez v. Lamagno (1995) that the AG’s certification that a federal employee acted within the scope of employment is reviewable. I was also discussing this with a conservative elsewhere, and he noted that Sen. Warren and Rep. Haaland had been sued by several Covington students for comments they’d made, and they were removed as defendants by U.S. District Court Judge Bertelsman based on the FTCA, so I looked up the ruling.

          Among other things, Bertelsman wrote “it is abundantly clear that Warren’s statement posted via her official Twitter account on a matter of national interest — an incident on the National Mall with perceived political ramifications — was meant to communicate her position on the event as an elected representative. … the crux of the issue for the applicability of the FTCA is whether the party was acting within the scope of her office or employment. For purposes of the Westfall Act, a ‘determination of whether an employee was acting within the scope of employment is a question of law, not fact, made in accordance with the law of the state where the conduct occurred.’ … The Court concludes that the challenged statements by defendants Warren and Haaland — whether one agrees with them or finds them objectionable — are communications intended to convey the politicians’ views on matters of public interest to their constituents.”

          He was using KY law, as that was where the Covington suit was filed, and I’m wondering whether NY law is any different.

          I’m disgusted but unsurprised that Barr intervened in this way to protect Trump. Also just feeling frustrated at how slowly legal issues are resolved. Summer Zervos filed her suit in Jan. 2017, and he still hasn’t been deposed.

    • Marji Campbell says:

      outrageous and despicable! I’m sure it will be thrown out, but it will serve the purpose of delaying the deposition. I cannot understand how barr, or any human being, can be so depraved! Is there kompromat on Billy Barr?

        • bmaz says:

          Yes. Though it should be thrown out, I am not sure it will be, see the controlling statute 28 USC §2679. The case “will” get removed to federal court. That is a given. The question is what happens to it once there. And there is little to no chance that a challenge can be briefed and argued fully before the election.

        • penalty box says:

          As outrageous as it seems, I don’t see a mechanism (based on about 5 minutes of research) to undo this. According to the statute, Barr’s deputy’s determination that Trump was acting in the scope of his duties is “conclusive” which sounds to me like not subject to judicial review. I don’t see a remedy available to Ms. Carroll. Other than impeachment. If other legal scholars see it differently I’d love to hear about it.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Nice of Barr to delegate that certification to a newly promoted flunky, who will soon be back in the private sector. As EW pointed out, little wonder that no one at SDNY would sign this pleading. They’ll have to find someone: courts prefer having someone locally qualified to conduct actual litigation.

            I suspect it will take parsing relevant case law and legislative history on the ability to challenge that designation. As usual, Barr has found a gap in the statute – reached through an obvious abuse – that no one imagined would need fixing. That’s not creative lawyering; it is abusive of power and abuse of office. Senate Republicans – conservative, traditionalist law and order types – will get right on it.

          • Paul Sugas says:

            I’ve often read that OLC rulings could be tested in Federal Court. Is it possible that this is the case to do it? I would think a private citizen would have standing to try. First time commenter without any understanding if this is possible.

            • bmaz says:

              Other than this is about an actual statute in the US Code as opposed to anything to do with the OLC? Is that what you mean? Please stop buying off on junk.

              • Kim Hanson says:

                Just a question, if this claim was accepted is there a reason why it would not apply to other executive branch employees and perhaps also for CongressCritters?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Yes, convenient that discovery will be postponed until after the election, when it should be happening now. The ghosts Bill Barr buried, along with accountability for Iran-Contra, are awake now and seething. They won’t be shunted aside by salt and a few incantations.

        Bill Barr is a New York princeling. His hometown has been the epicenter for hiding institutional truths. The many crimes of Cardinal Francis Spellman, ably aided, as it happens, by Roy Cohn, come to mind. So, Cardinal Billy is apt.

    • Keith Chrysler says:

      My concern is that Trump & Co. will play by Putin’s playbook. A really significant “October Surprise” would be to take all the crap they’ve thrown together from rooting around Europe, publicize pieces of it, then go to arrest Biden for treason. Unless they can get their hands on Novichok first. I would not put either of these options past the traitor Barr.

  2. taluslope says:

    The. power of the government has but one purpose and that is the high privilege of serving Donald J Trump.

    As an aside, Michael Cohen told Rachel Maddow (perhaps it is also in his book) that he thinks there is a possibility of Trump resigning after losing the election, gets SDNY to indict him and then has Pence pardon him of all his sins (Pence being of the religious type after all may even go for that). Don’t understand the SDNY bit because I don’t think that Nixon was indicted yet got a free pass to heaven.

    What do the lawyers here think of all this (other that seeing all of the lawsuits coming forth from the darkness as a gold mine)?

    • Raven Eye says:

      It wouldn’t surprise me in the least that if he lost, Trump would resign some time before January 20 — for a number of reasons. But he doesn’t need to be indicted to receive a pardon.

      Also, if he is defeated, I would expect that on or about January 21 he would announce his candidacy for 2024. Then he could continue his rampaging while — in the truest Trump tradition (TTT) — using other peoples’ money. And in that case he’d be even less fettered by conflicts of interest and worries about campaign funded self-enrichment.

    • BobCon says:

      I can’t rule that out. But I don’t know if Trump has the nerve to try, if he trusts Pence, or if Pence wants to have to have that on his record. He may also feel more comfortable with the feds taking the lead rather than having everything move to the states.

      I agree the SDNY part doesn’t make sense.

    • vvv says:

      I have read this being discussed in a few places for some time now, with Cohen offering a perhaps slightly more specific scenario than others.

      But for all of that, it won’t prevent state charges, and conceivably, civil suits.

      And let me add as an aside, Barr embodies the principle of impropriety well beyond the mere appearance thereof.

  3. Sambucus says:

    Not that it makes any difference, but I am beyond outraged on this. So, as bmaz says above, a delaying tactic. Is he still protected by the “Justice” Department if he loses?

    • bmaz says:

      That depends on what happens in the federal court, presumably SDNY and there are a lot of not yet seen moving parts on that, including what judge it gets assigned to off the wheel. But, theoretically, if a challenge to it by Carrol was successful, it would get remanded to state court to be played out as on track before, and there would be no DOJ involved.

  4. Rugger9 says:

    Would this intervention also serve as a test case for the odious OLC opinion that sitting presidents are immune from everything since it would distract from the duties of the office? Also, as precedent we have Bill Clinton and Paula Jones, who succeeded in getting Silly Billy into a deposition while he was President for crimes alleged to have occurred prior to his term. Whitewater also applies, but the Clinton v. Jones case is almost an exact parallel and the President was forced to deal with the suit which led to suspension of his law license and other sanctions. The SCOTUS decision was unanimous.

    Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681 (1997)

    • bmaz says:

      No. As you note Clinton v. Jones did that. The difference is that all the acts in that occurred before his presidency and no craven attempt to remove it because Jones sued from the outset in federal court. This is different.

      • Rugger9 says:

        However, would the NY judge be able to point out that because of Clinton v. Jones the DOJ effort is a dead letter once it hits the federal court? One of the tests for applying CA’s anti-SLAPP law is that the litigant has little or no hope of prevailing on the merits, is there a federal equivalent?

          • Rugger9 says:

            I’m surprised DJT hasn’t tried the Article I Speech and Debate clause as a defense since he has all of those powers anyway in his mind (as “unitary executive”). Maybe that’s the next motion.

            Thanks for filling me in here.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Perhaps not until Trump actually becomes a member of Congress. But he’ll never do that: it’s too down-market.

      • Theodora30 says:

        True. This is a defamation suit and the defamation occurred while Trump was President. However claiming that defending yourself about an accusation about a personal act that occurred long before you started even running for office makes the defense that you did this as part of your job as President a ridiculous claim. I bet Barr knows that but is just doing this as a way to delay until after the election.

  5. Bobby Gladd says:

    Do we all see what’s probably fixin’ to happen here in 55 days?

    I posted this last week:


    By about midnight of November 3rd, Donald Trump will summarily declare himself the winner of the 2020 presidential election, irrespective of the by-then accrued vote count, irrespective of proper ensuing Constitutional Electoral College process.

    He has no choice. The alternative is to become a headed-for-bankruptcy full-time defendant in numerous serious criminal and civil actions. His personal cowardice will rule. The GOP will yet again roll over for him. SCOTUS could well do likewise. The Thief in Chief is planning his biggest heist ever. He sees no choice.

    I would love to be wrong—but, I wouldn’t bet on it at this point. If you‘re thinking “he’d NEVER try something that brazen,” you might want to think it through again. How more more evidence of his “there-IS-no-bottom” ethos do you need?

  6. harpie says:

    On twitter, Marcy writes:

    […] Thanks to those who’ve alerted me that Billy Barr–who last night threw his institution’s weight into suppressing a credible allegation of rape–is being honored by the Catholic prayer breakfast. [on 9/23] [link]

    Thinking of calling Billy Barr “Cardinal Barr” from now on…

    … might I suggest “Cardinal Billy”?

    • Andre says:

      I was about to ask how we really know how good a Catholic Barr is. I’ve heard but wondered about how good a Catholic he is, in light of his recent stand ‘if there supposed to be dead, let’s kill them’ in federal death row sentences. I mean, if the Catholic Church is pro-life, they should be against the death penalty and I believe Francis made that total recently. So he’s an old fashioned Catholic for sure, as Marcie states.

      • BobCon says:

        He is as good a Catholic as the Bishops he consorts with. As MW points out, there is still a lot of Bishops in the US with a lot of complicity in child rape and abuse.

        I’ve occasionally checked on the reaction of the US bishops to the coronavirus. They were heavily involved in the ridiculous uproar over the non-existent “death panels” in Obamacare, but they have been muted in response to the GOP’s eagerness to let COVID kill hundreds of thousands in the name of the economy.

        They’re a bunch of Barrs, Scalias and Thomases.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I think Bill Barr is an old-school, McCarthy-era power Catholic. Pre-Vatican II. God can do no wrong, his vicar on earth can do no wrong, the Holy Mother Church can do no wrong. Therefore, her priests can do no wrong – at least, none anyone will admit to. In fact, the church will rotate its bad seeds, planting them in fresh parish ground until the weeds come up, then rotate them into new pastures. Wash, rinse, repeat.

        Bill Barr is more True Confessions meets The Black Dahlia than The Song of Bernadette. He would have made a superb Spanish cardinal or courtier to Belgium’s Leopold II.

      • Mooser says:

        Is Barr a good Catholic? Would he be starring in the National Catholic On-Line Prayer breakfast if he isn’t?

        “AG to be honored at virtual Catholic prayer breakfast
        The 2020 National Catholic Prayer Breakfast (NCPB) will be streamed online on Sept. 23 the organization announced on Wednesday. The event will honor Attorney General William Barr…/…Attorney General Barr is still scheduled to speak on Sept. 23 and receive the Christifideles Laici award, named for Pope St. John Paul II’s 1988 exhortation and reserved to honor the laity who promote the New Evangelization and the Church’s mission in their life and work.”

        • TominAZ says:

          He is a ‘good’ Catholic in the sense of that particular org. has been on the authoritarian side throughout history. Barr would have been just the man for riding along with Columbus, killing all the natives for not bowing down to Jesus when they couldn’t understand a lying word he was saying.

      • blueedredcounty says:

        This is from the point of view of a person who was raised Catholic.
        – I went to 12 years of private Catholic school (grades 1-8, and 4 years at an all-male high school).
        – I was born 12 days after the start of Vatican II, and that conclave didn’t end until after my 3rd birthday.
        – The conservative bishops have never gotten over Vatican II and their bitterness persists to this day.
        – The conservative bishops in America are aligned with the Evangelicals and match their hypocrisy.
        – Mostly, they push doctrine and dogma when it is convenient, and ignore the greatest commandment: to love (God, and your neighbor).

        The latest published statement about the resumptions of federal executions I could find was from August 27, 2020:
        “The Church’s opposition to the death penalty is clear, and we have made many requests that the federal government should not resume these executions. Yet, not only has the government done so, they have scheduled even more executions. After the first three in July, there are two this week, and two more at the end of September.”

        You are correct, the last thing that should be happening is Bill Barr being honored at a Catholic Prayer Breakfast. I was about to speculate they were going to pray for his soul, but lack of one is one of the few things he has in common with Trump.

        I remember the bullshit John Kerry received over having communion withheld because he was pro-choice.

        Bernard Law pretty much fled the country after the Boston Abuse scandal, but his arrogance was undiminished for the rest of his life. Instead of being demoted or forced to retire early and in obscurity, he was given a plum position: “A statement released in the Vatican’s daily bulletin announced that Cardinal Law, who resigned in 2002, would become the archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica, a church in a downtown neighborhood of Rome that is under direct Vatican jurisdiction.”
        He also was a prime instigator and pusher of a crackdown on US nuns for not being sufficiently doctrinaire and obedient.

        Newt Gingrich and his adulteress were allowed to marry in the Church. Her devoutness was supposed to be a driver behind his conversion. I don’t get it.
        – It didn’t stop her from having an affair with the married man who employed her.
        – I’ve never seen an article or interviewer calling her out directly for this.
        Ordinarily, I wouldn’t care…their personal life is none of my business. The problem is they are not private about it. They publicly flaunt it, and then sit in judgement on other people and want to legally restrict their rights (to an abortion, to same-sex marriage). The closest thing I saw to criticism over it? Sandra Day O’Connor’s wisecrack during the 2012 Republican primary: “one is a practicing polygamist, and he’s not even the Mormon”

    • BobCon says:

      He really reminds me of the Grand Inquisitor from The Brothers Karamazov.

      He has the same unapologetic hypocrisy, dead souled contempt for the everyday people he controls, and complete certainty about the rightness of his authority.

  7. harpie says:

    …this line from the Bloomberg Law article…:

    The move comes as the Trump campaign has reportedly been facing a cash crunch due in part to its spending on legal fees defending suits against the president. According to the New York Times, Kasowitz has been paid more than $820,000 from campaign funds, though it’s not clear if that money was related to his work on Carroll’s suit. […]

    Now they’re trying to ADD the cost of
    attempting to defend this INDEFENSIBLE cretin for his private crimes
    to US American taxpayers [of which he IS NOT ONE! IF he is, then let him PROVE it!].

    Even JUST in terms of money,
    this LYING CHEATING STEALING president
    has already COST US SO MUCH.

  8. harpie says:

    …and, SORRY, Bloomberg Law!
    This sentence should have been written with the SUBJECT FIRST:

    Because Trump was acting officially when he called Carroll a liar, the U.S. should be substituted for the president as the defendant in the case, [A] Justice Department team led by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark said in the Tuesday filing, [that] because Trump was acting officially when he called Carroll a liar, the U.S. should be substituted for the president as the defendant in the case, which argued the suit fell under the Federal Tort Claims Act. If approved by a judge, the responsibility for defending the case and paying any judgment would fall on the U.S. government.

  9. DrFunguy says:

    Its a regular Gish gallop of corruption and malfeasance.
    I am by nature a very upbeat person, but right now I fear for America.

  10. P J Evans says:

    I saw a comment elseweb that if they get away with arguing he’s a federal employee for this, then he should be considered a federal employee for other legal purposes, like that lease of the Old Post Office (and the Hatch Act, though that wasn’t stated).

    • Rugger9 says:

      That’s one of the dangers of this slippery slope, because we already have had witnesses in Congressional hearings say that because the topic might touch on something possibly tied to the president, it was their obligation to preserve the option of citing executive privilege for DJT. That meant claiming privilege without formal declaration which is required to claim it, and the Congress let them get away with it. So, it’s clear that to protect DJT the rules will be broken and any possible excuse no matter how flimsy will be used in the hope that something sticks or they get a DJT judge.

      As an example, the PDX thugs from CBP or contractors kidnapping protestors off the streets would say DJT authorized it and so they can’t be touched. Or, “Acting DHS Secretary” Chad Wolf will claim he’s legit because DJT said so. There’s no boundary for WH conduct if this flies through.

  11. OldTulsaDude says:

    With apologies to Tom Lehrer: The Billy Barr Rag

    First you get down on your knees
    fiddle with your rosaries
    bow your head in great respect
    then pray like hell he’s not erect!

    His Roy Cohn you want to be
    while you still have the OLC
    this rape thing’s only materialism
    doin’ the Billy Barr rag

  12. Vicks says:

    I don’t know much about Ms. Carroll, but she appears unwilling to back down.
    Can someone confirm whether or not there is the ability to test the DNA on Ms. Carroll’s dress to the point where her team could be sitting on genetic description of DJT that is good enough to justify pushing in all their chips in expectation of a match?
    If this is the case, would they have been required to share that data with Trump’s team?

      • ThoughtMail says:

        If Mary Trump and Maryanne Trump Barry are who they purport to be (in more ways than one), they’ll do nicely for samples. (Hat tip to Prospero, who said that he was Miranda’s father, and her mother was an honorable woman.)

        But that’s a big ask: that a Trump not act like a Trump. So, who knows?

    • subtropolis says:

      They are not obligated to provide just the DNA sampled from the dress alone. If the DNA matches his then all of that together would be submitted as evidence. But they’ve been trying all year to force him to appear to provide a sample of his DNA. I doubt that it will happen while he is still in office. Not with Cardinal Billy looking after him.

    • Oxcart says:

      Its very possible that the dress itself yielded enough information to make them confident. It’s also possible that other rich sources of DNA were left behind, such as hairs. Wouldn’t surprise me if they had gathered other samples to reference, like, say, one of the daily streams of empty soda cans he produces. For an accused rapist, he’s a remarkably reckless secretor.

      • Mooser says:

        If they could only get hold of one of Trump’s discarded surgical masks, it’s a perfect place to catch saliva…

  13. Roberta says:

    I can easily see the Trump resigns and Pence pardons, if he looses. But that would leave Pence in office holding the bag, waiting for the Biden AG and DOJ to act.

    So, I’m thinking election-losing Trump needs to issue a TON of pardons to Pence, family members and co-conspirators before he resigns. The newly-pardoned Pence, would pardon the last man standing. The Dickwad.

    Could they be overturned? More to the point, would Biden seek to overturn them.

      • joel fisher says:

        This always brings to my mind “Pardon Me Ray” Blanton who issued a bunch of 11th hour pardons, all perfectly legal. The State of Tennessee law enforcement folks had to swear in new Governor Lamar Alexander early to get Blanton to stop issuing the crooked pardons. Turns out he wasn’t charged for it, but a pardon you pay for with money or memory loss could result in the pardoner being charged with obstruction and it also results in a potentially troublesome loss of 5th Amendment privilege for the subject of the pardon.

  14. Mooser says:

    Hard for me to picture a brazen attempt to subjugate America to the Vatican without some Protestant and/or Evangelical push-back.
    At any rate, this sure confirms Trump is broke.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      You mean the Evangelicals who are all-in for atheist libertine, serial adulterer, and congenital liar and cheat, Donald Trump, who has less remorse than hair?

      • Mitch Neher says:

        No true atheist would be a charlatan like Trump, or like the Evangelicals, for that matter.

        Wait . . . No true charlatan would be an atheist like Trump and the Evangelicals.

  15. harpie says:

    Zoe Tillman tweets:
    10:50 AM · Sep 9, 2020

    Remember last night’s big news that DOJ was stepping in to rep Trump against E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit? Some action on the docket this a.m. —
    1] DOJ had removed the case to fed court as “Carroll v. USA,” but

    2] the court changed it back to “v. Trump” since that’s the original case name [screenshots] [I added the numbers]

    Then, Marcy retweets:
    11:00 AM · Sep 9, 2020

    Replying to @ZoeTillman and @emptywheel
    Come on, DOJ still has not updated their website in regard to Jeffrey Bossert Clark’s elevation at the Acting AG Civil Division, from ENRD
    … He signed DOJ’s filing ON HIS FIRST DAY ON THE JOB in this capacity. Could this story pick up traction please?

    • harpie says:

      According to Marcy at 11:12 am et, DOJ still had not updated their website:
      11:12 AM · Sep 9, 2020

      The DOJ website officially still shows AAG Jeffrey Bossert Clark, the former BP lawyer who signed the docs helping to cover up Trump’s alleged rape, is still AAG over at Energy and National Resources. Looks like Barr moved him over to Civil to do this. [link]

  16. Rugger9 says:

    OT but exactly why Phase III trials are necessary: AstraZeneca has paused its Oxford trial when one of the volunteers came down with an “unexplained” illness. This vaccine is an engineered common cold adenovirus that triggers the response to COVID-19 spike protein with the idea that cell invasion would be stopped. No indication yet from AstraZeneca about the disease details or the patient involved from Tuesday’s announcement.

    The timeline for a safe and effective vaccine before Election Day was already very tight, and this one is probably now out of the running between the review and the restart. It also makes the various states already dubious of CDC happy talk look like geniuses and justifies caution.

  17. harpie says:

    Did you know that YESTERDAY, WE SOLD the
    Chief of Mission Residence in Herzliya [Israel] to SHELDON ADELSON?

    The press release does NOT mention the BUYER or the PRICE:

    U.S. Embassy Statement on the Sale of the Chief of Mission Residence in Herzliya

    By U.S. Mission Israel | 8 September, 2020 | Topics: News, Press Releases

    The Department of State has recently selected the buyer for the sale of the former Chief of Mission Residence in Herzliya, Israel. The buyer was selected solely on the basis of having submitted the highest and best offer. [BWAHAHAHA] The selected buyer and the unsuccessful bidders have been notified. The Embassy will vacate the Chief of Mission Residence in Spring of 2021. There are no plans or agreements to continue leasing or renting the property for the use of Ambassador Friedman or for other government use once possession is delivered to the purchaser in the Spring of 2021. The short-term lease of the property between the closing date and the Spring of 2021 allows for an orderly transition period to remove and safeguard government property.

    Following the announcement of the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the Department undertook a review of both existing and available diplomatic property in Israel to determine the best alignment to support the U.S. Mission. In response to that review, planning for the sale of the former U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Tel Aviv began in 2019 with marketing of the property beginning in January of 2020.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Not the sort of thing that happens very often. Given that this involves the sale of a multi-million dollar USG property, one would think the process, identity of the buyer, and the price paid would and should be public information. Not in TrumpWorld, it seems. I wonder if there has been or will be a large campaign donation made by an Adelson entity to a Trump entity in relation to that real estate sale.

    • harpie says:

      So, TRUMP/CRONIES get access to the [approx] $87 million and WE have to lease it back from ADELSON [at least] until “the spring”. [ie: after 2021 inauguration date.]

      U.S. Ambassador’s Israeli Home Sold to Adelson. Will the Yard Be Returned to the Public?
      Reserve was given to the embassy when the residence was built in the early 1960s, but what will happen to it now that the house is passing into private hands? [Today]

      […] The U.S. Embassy said Tuesday that the sale has been finalized, and as Haaretz has previously reported, the buyer is thought to be Jewish-American billionaire Sheldon Adelson. The sale price is thought to be in the neighborhood of $100 million.

      Adelson pushed for the sale to be finalized before the U.S. presidential election in November, for fear that if Democratic candidate Joe Biden is elected, the U.S. government might decide not to sell the house after all. […] But Adelson, who pushed hard for the embassy move, feared that a new ambassador under a Democratic administration might decide instead to continue living in Herzliya and work from the former embassy building in nearby Tel Aviv, which is now a consulate. […]

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Any responsible president would move the American embassy back to Tel Aviv. So, Adelson’s concerns are correct, but he’s trying to preclude – or make prohibitively expensive – the US from doing that. His interest is adverse to American interests. i suppose that’s why Trump considered his offer the most “advantageous.” Nobody imagines this was a standard administrative sale, or that Pompeo wasn’t behind it, and then only with full buy-in from Donald Trump. Amirite? I guess I should be surprised the sale wasn’t to a Putin vehicle.

  18. What Constitution? says:

    As insidious as this despicable effort by Barr to characterize Donald Trump’s slanders as “official acts of the United States Government” is, it’s the blatant “dilatoriness” of the procedural chutzpah here that is the most immediate harm: by filing this now, Barr’s endgame is reliance on the time that will be eaten up by the processes set in motion. Not unlike the repetitive “subpoena challenges/appeals/rechallenges” and the endless stream of outright ignoring of clearly applicable laws and rules (Hatch Act, anyone?), the game being played (and it’s not a game, it’s a conspiracy) is to blatantly deny applicability of the Rule of Law by simply denying the Rule of Law and daring anyone to even suggest trying to enforce it in any conceivably useful timeframe. And we’re all watching this play out while the Republicans uncomfortably but uniformly presume that their failure to convict Trump in impeachment proceedings will be, and is, resignedly invoked to justify multiple instances of inaction in the face of mere assertions that Trump doesn’t really need to obey any of these silly laws, after all he’d only pardon himself……

    This sucks. Where is the application for a mandatory temporary restraining order and following preliminary injunction hearing to put the Postal Service back together after the looting of its equipment? Where are the motions to expedite the disposition of the forty-second reiteration of the same specious arguments being advanced about enforceability of subpoenas or Congressional authority to engage in checks and balances under the Constitution?

    And by the way, maybe the North Carolina Attorney General could, oh, maybe enforce the provisions of North Carolina [state] law which statutorily provide that it is a felony not only to try to vote twice in an election, it’s also specifically a felony to “induce” another to try to vote twice in an election? That is EXACTLY what Trump openly has done and, so long as nobody actually gets him to withdraw that specifically felonious criminal advocacy, the potential for that instruction to be followed by North Carolina Republican voters (or just thugs, btw) is standing both unopposed and actually supported by the guy who hopes to benefit by creating this kind of criminal confusion. The State of North Carolina should indict Donald Trump post haste and issue a warrant for his arrest. What happens next? At a minimum, maybe somebody would actually get Trump to withdraw his criminal misdirection — which would the country prefer, a “non-prosecution agreement” predicated upon a public withdrawal by Trump of any statement or inference that he intends, advises or requests that North Carolina citizens commit a felonious breach of North Carolina law by seeking to cast more than one ballot in the upcoming election, or nothing? As things stand right now, felonious double-voting is what this man is advocating to his followers in North Carolina and throughout the United States. I have a problem with that. Indeed, if Mr. Barr truly thinks “logic” alone is a reason to try to avoid the casting of multiple ballots, he should have a “problem” with that, too (see “conspiracy”, above).

    I’m getting pretty tired of watching not just the New York Times but also the administrative, legislative and judicial officers of this land quietly avert their eyes and shake their heads about how unfortunate it is that Mr. Trump and Mr. Barr “seemingly cannot be required to obey the law” in America today.

    • ThoughtMail says:

      It’s difficult to see that, even if Trump repudiated/withdrew his multiple statements on the double voting issue, that bell can’t be unrung, regardless of what he says.

      • ThoughtMail says:

        I’m not sure how this would scan in NC law, but there is still the doctrine of the liability following the bullet. “Intent” (Trump’s or voters’) may not be in play. I don’t know how that might work.

  19. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump, McConnell and the FedSoc’s relentless attack on the federal judiciary continues. Today’s example: they want to put a lawyer with eight years experience on the federal bench. The usual minimum is twelve years experience. That’s the equivalent of the Yankees putting their bat girl in their starting line-up. She’s an associate at Jones, Day, who clerked for, surprise, Clarence Thomas. Four of her eight years she spent clerking in the federal courts. Only one of those was for a trial court. She has not tried a case as lead or co-counsel. She’s up for the middle district of Florida.

    Next, they’ll be raiding the kindergartens, which is pretty much what BushCheney did in selecting its US Attorneys.

  20. Jenny says:

    Thank you Marcy. Spot on regarding the Catholic Church. Obviously, no separation of church and state with Cardinal Billy.

    It is appalling Barr is helping Trump with his private abuses. Certainly, validates DOJ has become Trump’s personal legal firm. Abuse of power from Abuser in Chief.

  21. Flatulus says:

    I must re-post.
    As a non-lawyer it appears to me that Bill Barr has successfully defeated the entire “legal establishment” and left all of us holding our dicks in our hands.
    The Rule of Law seems to be limp.

  22. earlofhuntingdon says:

    If Bob Woodward’s most recent claims about Donald Trump are true, and he heard them in February, WTF is the American public only hearing them now? The meme that had Donald Trump acted sooner, lives would have been saved, applies equally to Bob Woodward. No press pass excuses that.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The thing about Trump – which does not apply to Woodward – is that facts are not facts to him. He’s a psychopath. Facts have no special weight, they do not orient his world. They are weapons to use or vulnerabilities to hide.

      That he knew facts about Covid-19’s dangerousness and transmissibility are not relevant to him. What’s relevant is that lying about them to the public might give him a temporary advantage, whereas admitting them would require him to orchestrate a federal response. He would refuse to do that, as a general proposition, because he could not imagine how to do it, and because it might help a political opponent. Talking apparently openly to Woodward was also a temporary advantage, made more so by knowing he was working on a book, not on a story that come out later in the week.

      Trump does not care who suffers or dies because of him, any more than he cares who made his cheeseburgers that day. Those are facts. Their only purpose is to be manipulated in Trump’s favor whenever necessary. That’s what’s president – for another four months.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Trump didn’t want to panic the stock market. Plus, in those early months, he and Kushner saw that it was mostly Democrats dying. So why break a sweat?

    • posaune says:

      Agreed. Woodward not much better than the NYT as for truth-telling. Why wait? Then, hundreds of thousands lost. My cousin in Denver caught the virus (pre-Sturgis, sore throat on a Thursday morning, sedated on a vent by the next evening. 6 weeks on the vent; now on a tracheotomy; can’t swallow, eat or drink. Looking at 12 months+ rehab. Family struggling. Relatives sending food and funds.

    • Rugger9 says:

      I see that DJT tweeted this AM that Woodward should have come forward if he thought things were so dangerous. However, Woodward is smart enough to read the tea leaves in the various dismissals from the WH (i.e. Sessions and Comey) and the torrent of lies that routinely followed. So, Woodward timed the release for maximum damage.

      It’s not like many others in government and in the media weren’t already pointing out what Woodward found, and I would ask anyone to show how publishing Woodward’s interviews would have changed anything in real time, because the WH would lie and clam up, the courtier press like Chuck Todd would still bothsides the discussion, the “base” would still be in denial and I do not think DJT (or DeSantis, or Noem, or Kemp, or Abbott, or the “pastors”, etc.) would have changed a single action they took. But, with the tapes (Lordy!) and extensive positions set out by DJT himself in his own voice less than two months before Election Day, Woodward did us a service to remind everyone who DJT is. It just might peel off a few more MAGA types, maybe not voting for Biden but maybe just abstaining. DJT cannot afford to lose anyone from the 2016 coalition and he has. Woodward’s book makes it less likely the disaffected will come back.

    • harpie says:

      Whistleblower alleges top Trump appointees abused authority by telling officials to alter intelligence to match Trump claims
      Zachary Cohen, CNN. Updated 1:56 PM ET, Wed September 9, 2020

      […] according to documents reviewed by CNN and a source familiar with the situation.

      Specifically, acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf and Acting Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Ken Cuccinelli, both Trump appointees, directed officials to change intelligence assessments based on Trump’s political rhetoric, an order the whistleblower says amounted to an abuse of authority, according to the documents.

      Both Wolf and Cuccinelli also tried to alter a report to downplay the threat posed by White supremacists and instead emphasize the role of leftist groups due to concerns about how the initial language would reflect on the President, according to a source familiar with the claims raised by the whistleblower. […]

      …interesting implied connection there.

      • harpie says:

        Article [numbers added]:

        […] The Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee has requested Murphy testify about the claims detailed in his complaint, which alleges
        “1] repeated violations of laws and regulations,
        2] abuses of authority,
        3] attempted censorship of intelligence analysis and
        4] improper administration of an intelligence program related to Russian efforts to influence the US elections” […]

      • P J Evans says:

        White supremacists, both of them, amirite? And deeply indebted to the president for keeping them employed.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Considering that the GOP is the beneficiary of Russian hacking and also has consistently refused to investigate anything don’t expect any real action, except from the House. One can hope the press will step up and make this another key issue. Maybe the Lincoln Project can help as well.

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      When Rayne asked for contributions re:October Surprise, I mentioned Barr would pull some crap about Biden, but I expected many more about Trump along the lines of the Russian Bounties story (i.e. leaks that will not be commented upon) or whistleblowers stepping forward.

      Everything has been surreal since Trump became President and I sometimes wonder if I think like a conspiracy theorist. However, in this case I know Trump has pissed off a lot of people in the government, including the IC, and violates the rule of law almost constantly, so there’s plenty of material. As a rule of thumb, attacking the FBI, insulting the Intelligence community, and disparaging the military are bad ideas — they have so many ways to get back at you.

      I wasn’t expecting something like the Woodward tapes, but I have been expecting leaks from govt agencies and intelligence officials plus some whistleblowers. I expect several more before the election as the “Deep State” retaliates.

  23. gmoke says:

    Donald Barr, William Barr’s father, converted from Judaism to Catholicism so there is probably some aspect of conversion fervor remaining in the family. I’d also suspect some apostate anti-Semitism too but haven’t seen any evidence of it.

    Incidentally, William Barr’s history teacher at Horace Mann School, Alfred Briggs, “lavished praise on Horace Mann’s most notorious graduate, Roy Cohn. ‘We need more Roy Cohns in the world,’ Briggs frequently said. ‘Roy was my best student of all time.’” (Source:

    Again, incidentally, while Barr and his brothers attended Horace Mann, there seem to have been active pedophiles on staff there. I have a request in to my library for Great is the truth : secrecy, scandal, and the quest for justice at the Horace Mann School by Amos Kamil with Sean Elder to see if William Barr’s name comes up in the text.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Roy Cohn was reportedly brilliant. He graduated with both his undergraduate and law degrees from Columbia University at the age of 20. But if being a good student were all it took to be a good citizen or public servant, we would be singing Cohn’s praises, and those of Kris Kobach, Tom Cotton, and scores of other creatures from the FedSoc Lagoon.

    • Mooser says:

      “Donald Barr, William Barr’s father, converted from Judaism to Catholicism.”

      Hey, that’s just the way the matzoh crumbles, sometimes, into a half-baked cracker.

  24. Yargelsnogger says:

    So I’m curious what this means in the context of elections. It sounds like the DoJ is basically saying the President is immune to any consequence for slander (assuming they are compliant and corrupt enough.)

    So, in an election (like now) does this mean that the incumbent could literally sling slanders and defamation all day long with no consequence, while the challenger would be constrained by law in how free they were to lie?

    I realize that public figures would have a tougher time suing anyway, so these wouldn’t be direct attacks on candidates, but it sure seems like it sets up a double-standard for lies between the incumbent vs the challenger.

    Am I way off base here? Anyone care to help a non-lawyer understand if this seeming double-standard is a thing now?

  25. graham firchlis says:

    If the case is tossed by Federal court, what happens wrt statute of limitations?

    Can Carroll refile in state court next February, with a new USAG choosing to (ahem) respect states sovereignty rights?

  26. bokeh9 says:

    Re P J Evens above at 12:12pm:
    My daughter is a thirty-something, gym-rat runner, and a CRNA. She contracted transverse myelitis and over a 4-hour period, went from cooking a cake for her niece to paralyzed from the waist down. It took her six months of pro-athlete level rehab to walk again, and four years later she no longer runs and still has a slight hitch in her step.
    This is apropos nothing specifically, but TM is no minor side effect.

    • P J Evans says:

      No claim about it being “minor”. (Even known and expected side-effects can be nasty. I have neuropathy from chemo. It isn’t bad – not painful, fortunately – but it is *annoying*.)

    • bmaz says:

      No, Boheh9, it certainly is no small matter. It is completely alarming. That is why this “vaccine savior” thing needs to be slowed way down. Maybe one will work. In the next sixty days? No, that is beyond nuts.

  27. Jenny says:

    FYI – EW Staff.
    I noticed on the home page it says 0 comments under the title.
    On this page it says 93 comments.

  28. Ed Walker says:

    Don’t worry about Barr’s soul, if he has one. He plans to self-flagellate for an extra 12 minutes every night for a week.

    • BayStateLibrul says:


      That was precious.
      After many years, I have discarded my Roman Catholic religion.
      The only Catholics I believe in is Thomas Merton, the Trappists, and Anthony de Mello, the author of “The Way to Love”. He was the director of the Sadhana Institute of Pastoral Counseling in Poona India.
      I think Tony killed every “sacred cow” that existed. To wit, the judiciary remains a sacred cow, despite Cardinal Billy’s “back of the napkin” approach to the law

      • Peacerme says:

        “How does one cope with evil? Not by fighting it but by understanding it. In understanding, it disappears. How does one cope with darkness? Not with one’s fist. You don’t chase darkness out of the room with a broom, you turn on a light. The more you fight darkness, the more real it becomes to you, and the more you exhaust yourself. But when you turn on the light of awareness, it melts.” Anthony De Mello

        (Not your average catholic for sure.)

        Which is why reading here is spiritual for me.

        • BayStateLibrul says:

          Yeah. I bought De Mello’s book on 8/31/98 at the Cowley and Cathedral Book Store on Temple Street in Boston. For some reason, I still have the receipt.
          Paid $6.95 and the dividends have been everlasting.

  29. chris.el says:

    well now, just tucking this little thought in the weeds here; level of light has been consistent with the hour before sunrise and hour before sunset all day long in California — it’s disorienting…

    It has probably been reported, (and I just didn’t pay attention) or it didn’t sink in after the steamroller of Trump’s installation as president, but it sounds like Trump IMMEDIATELY opened the re-election coffers.

    Consequently, he has been collecting money since 2016 or 2017.


    COME ON!!!!!

    Am I alone in thinking this doesn’t pass the smell test?

    Sounds like the money has been siphoned off, no?

    Now Trump says he is going to pay to fix the lawn at the White House?

    Yeah sure! Show us the money!

    What B. S.

    • Rugger9 says:

      It was something that has been mentioned before, and includes dropping ad buys in states DJT needs for re-election. As POTUS* he does have a bully pulpit and his daily briefings as well as the weekly or so campaign rallies. He doesn’t have to buy ads for name recognition.

      Much of the money went to legal fees for prior stuff, but a large part of it appears to be set aside for election litigation. Good old grifting could be there as well, but fundamentally the GOP fat cats will have to decide whether DJT is worth the expense to keep him there. Include Zuckerberg and his pals in this as well.

      Another source of cash are the PACs and “non-profits” that are supporting the campaign such as paying Jason Miller 20 k$ per month, or even knowing who is paying Bill Stepien (DJT Campaign Manager and former bridge traffic vandal) since we know the campaign is not, and DJT bragged about Stepien taking a pay cut. That would seem to indicate coordination with the campaign, which is illegal for PACs and probably non-profits.

  30. Chetnolian says:

    OT From Politico just now “$2,933 for ‘Girl’s Night’: Medicaid chief’s consulting expenses revealed”, (sorry , too old to master links!). Bmaz, is what Seema Verma did criminal as well as beyond disgusting? If not, why not?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Based on Politico’s description of the congressional investigations into Verma – who was widely derided before she joined the administration – it looks like she might have committed a variety of frauds: accounting, contracting, honest services. She might have committed a form of embezzlement, in that she appears to have appropriated her employer’s money, over which she had control, for her personal use. Now, that might pay for half the lobbyists in DC. But Verma – like Mike Pompeo and Ben Carson – seems to have been particularly greedy in how she did it.

      A couple of things stand out. Like Trump, Verma was obsessed with self-promotion and misspent department funds on a rotating staff of fifteen to do it. In the process, those consultant-lobbyists obtained considerable knowledge of and influence over her department and its decisions. In effect, they ran it, with the priority of making Verma look good – while she cried poverty and cut programs. In that, she conforms to the standard set by Trump and his Cabinet (she was below that rank).

      One more thing. Verma laundered her PR. She used taxpayer money to pay her consultants, who placed PR pieces for her with reporters, including Faux Noise. That suggests Verma couldn’t sell water in a wildfire. Or, she knew she was breaking the rules and had to hide it. When all you have to sell is dried bits of crushed grain that taste like cardboard, you paint a baritoned tiger on the box, charge a premium, and hope your customers believe it when he pretends to shout that they taste great.

      • BobCon says:

        Scott Pruitt is probably the best parallel case. I don’t think any criminal charges have ever been filed, and the EPA IG shut down its investigation after he resigned.

        Short term political appointees to leadership jobs tend to dodge serious charges that tend to ensnare lower level career types.

        One interesting wrinkle is that Veerma’s taxpayer funded party literally called a “Girls Night” on the expense form was at the home of reporter Susan Page, who is slated to moderate the Harris-Pence debate. The DC press is just amazingly inbred and gross.

        • AndTheSlithyToves says:

          “Millionaires being paid by billionaires.”
          — Extrapolated from Dutch Historian Rutger Bregman’s chastisement of Tucker Carlson

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Like their concerns about the federal deficit, congressional Republicans will be particularly interested in this sort of corruption – during the next Democratic administration.

        Policing this sort of thing is normally down to IGs and occasionally the DoJ. Trump has gutted one and has his pet bear running the other, so all’s good for this sort of thing to continue or go unpunished. I suspect Biden’s AG will have too many other fish to fry.

  31. BayStateLibrul says:

    So, Barr thinks his legal move is a “Tempest in a Teacup”
    “Excitabat fluctus in simpulo” – According to Cicero.
    Translation: It will be overturned by the courts — but my blow job will excite the Con Man with the delay and potency he richly deserves.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Rigg was hard to miss. She was often, “the most beautiful woman in the room,” and one of the best actors. She won a Golden Globe and multiple Emmy, Tony, Olivier, and BAFTA awards.

      She played a wide variety of roles in theater, television, and film: Shakespeare, Shaw, Dickens, Chekhov, Chayefsky. She played the only Bond girl 007 married; a memorable Lady Macbeth; Olenna Tyrell, Queen of Thorns, on Game of Thrones; and was, for fourteen years, host of PBS’s Mystery!

  32. tinao says:

    Okay, I’m not want to do this, but we need to face REALITY NOW. I called it a while back, the man (if you can call him that) is unfit and compromised. And if lying Billy Barr is to upset the apple cart once again, to have the DOJ defend this mother fucker in an unprecedented way in a civil defamation suit…Well let me tell you all that as a rape survivor this is absolutely CORRUPT! Disbar him. Ladies and gentlemen your daughter’s lives depend on this. WTF??? His client is a murderer and Billy will to try to sweep this under the rug so his idea of an all-powerful unaccountable president is fulfilled. Even the pope has disclaimed this type of abuse.
    Barr ain’t no catholic. He’s a corrupt freak believing the power of our Presidency is malleable enough to be bent to an old paradigm that is dying and trying to take the whole world down with it. Now, I don’t really know you personally, but as an American I can tell you this is a bridge too far.
    Folks, this is the 21st century. Let’s build a much better, balanced world. We actually do have everything we need. But if these fuckers have their way, we won’t for long. Now, get out there and register people to vote, we have a couple of weeks left. Make sure everyone you know votes this time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And remember, I’m a mental health nurse. I take care of the sick so you are safe.

    • bmaz says:

      Barr will NOT get disbarred. This has been explained multiple times, over years, as to DOJ officials. This is pie in the sky Lucy with diamonds nonsense.

    • Doc says:

      “And remember, I’m a mental health nurse. I take care of the sick so you are safe.”

      Please don’t suggest that people with mental illness are inherently dangerous. As someone who works in MH, you should know better.

  33. Epicurus says:

    The US is a republic, not a true democracy. We would have to change the Constitution to become a true democracy. The issue is not DJT or WB and their inherent corruption. The issue is the people that vote. 64MM people voted for DJT in 2016. Something around that number will vote for him again. They accept the corruption of DJT and WB because they don’t see it as corruption. For those voters Biden is not a legitimate choice in 2020 and Trump is. Pretty much can be said for Biden voters re: Trump. It is a truly fractured country. No one trusts the other and, more importantly, each disdains the other’s choices about governance. Factions in general and political parties in particular are toxic to governance in this time and place. Their efforts only make the toxicity worse.

    There is discussion about the meaning of being Catholic and WB. Christ had a couple significant proverbs and sayings. Both DJT and WB, along with most members of the hierarchy in the American Catholic Church ignore Christ’s teachings. This teaching, however, is the key to good governance and completely ignored by all in government, including WB. “My father’s mansion has many rooms. I go to prepare one for you.” Current governance is just the opposite, completely Proscrustean. Everyone has to fit in the Republican bed or the Democratic bed depending upon who currently holds the mace. The DOI – Governments are instituted among men to secure these (unalienable) rights. Ain’t happening here in 2020. I don’t have an answer. I don’t know who does. But we are on our way to a bilateral country. No one wins and everyone loses.

    • P J Evans says:

      It was 62 million in 2016 – Clinton got 65 million.
      The US is a federal republic with representative democracy – no one has had a true democracy of any size over a few thousand, because it isn’t physically possible: too many people.
      We need to find a form that works on the scale we currently are working at. Old ideas have to be rethought.

  34. Epicurus says:

    Wikipedia, if it is to be believed, has 62,984,828 for DJT, 65,853,514 for HRC. We can split the difference. The country is just about evenly split. The form of governance matters only in how easy it is to get around the form. See Mitch McConnell quash Merrick’s Garland’s nomination. See Obamacare and “reconciliation”. Even some popes are corrupt. The concern of those that govern for the governed and the governed’s unalienable rights is the key element. It should be I go to prepare a room for you, not for myself and/or my party. It was only luck we had Washington as the first and precedent setting President, in effect preparing a “room” for everyone.

  35. harpie says:

    2:47 AM · Sep 11, 2020

    Billy Barr’s flack admits he’s covering up rape.

    There you have it–the full Catholic rapist immunity play. [link]

    Links to:
    2] https://twitter [link broken here] .com/KerriKupecDOJ/status/1304231841998811136
    9:34 PM · Sep 10, 2020

    Myth: By DOJ removing the case from state to fed court, taxpayers are now on the hook for funding the Carroll defamation lawsuit.

    Fact: Once the case shifts to fed court, it becomes an issue of sovereign immunity. Meaning, case over. No case, no cost. [VIDEO – BARR explains Westfall Act]

    10:23 PM · Sep 10, 2020

    Myth: Shifting the case to federal court immediately ends it, with no expense borne by the federal government.

    Fact: We’re now in for significant litigation over whether the Westfall Act *applies* here—both in the district court and on appeal—for which taxpayers are on the hook.

  36. Rugger9 says:

    On the subject of credibility, it seems our WH has been busy cutting back on the 9/11 responder medical payments (something like 4 million dollars, quietly of course) with no indication about where the money went according to the NY Daily News. We also have CNN today highlighting DJT’s lies about 9/11 (he was there at the rubble, he donated 10 k$ to the Twin Towers fund, etc.) which only amplifies the message from last Thursday’s bombshells as well as Woodward’s and Cohen’s book excerpts.

    DJT doesn’t care and claims he’s helping when he does nothing. I really do not see how that helps win voters in the election.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      There was just a story about Trump withholding $4 million from FDNY. No explanation. Straight-up retaliation against those he doesn’t think will vote for him. GW Bush used to say, if you’re not with us, you’re agin us. Like much else, Trump is a more extreme version of that thinking.

      • Chris.EL says:

        if Trump can be shielded by “sovereign immunity” while he is president does it follow the immunity ends concurrently with his term?
        Perhaps Carroll could drop her case for the moment and refile after Trump makes another meaningless “not my type” remark?

        […aka … i only assault hot babes…]

        Carroll’s self-told story recounts a life of attention from men (granted some of it may have been unwanted) so it seems men, on the whole, found her appealing.

        Carroll’s story relates how the encounter with Trump robbed her of feeling any joy from that as well, seemingly for all time.

    • P J Evans says:

      He’s said nothing about the western fires in the last two or three weeks. I guess he still thinks blue states can print their own money and draft their own military.

  37. Leo Walter says:

    I thought sure I would be seeing a lot more of the Mnuchin/Treasury Dept cracking on Andrii Derkach and the Russian interference in the ‘20 campaign. Wouldn’t this put a dent in the Rudy planned October surprise ? Or the Durham “investigation” ?

    • Rugger9 says:

      Add Sen Ron Johnson to that list, and I would suspect the crack sleuths here will have a post on that topic shortly. But, to answer the question it would blunt the effect of any October Surprise, and FWIW it may be somehow related to the Nora Dannehy resignation reported by the Hartford Courant today. She’s a top aide to Durham.

      • P J Evans says:

        He *was* one of the “Moscow Seven”. Some of them are out of Congress now.
        Richard Shelby
        Ron Johnson
        Steve Daines
        John Thune
        John Kennedy
        Jerry Moran
        John Hoeven
        Rep Kay Granger

  38. Zinsky says:

    I’m glad someone broached the topic of Barr’s incredibly hypocritical and morally preposterous presumption that he and the serial rapist in the White House represent some sort of “moral majority” in America. I wouldn’t let either of these creepy geriatric perverts in my house! Anyone who thinks William Barr or Donald J. Trump are upstanding, moral people simply are poor judges of human character and should not be taken seriously by other adults.

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