Boiling Frog Journalism: The Collective Yawn as Trump’s Pardoned Foreign Agent Plots a Coup

I sometimes beat up Maggie Haberman for her sloppier feats of access journalism, but I recognize that, particularly for a White House as dysfunctional as this one, it is critically important to have her there, particularly to publicly reveal conflicts like the one that happened Friday. An increasingly desperate Trump fought to hire Sidney Powell to sow her conspiracy theories from the White House and entertained Mike Flynn’s idea of deploying the military to stage a revote that Trump might win this time.

But the NYT, having invested to have Maggie there to report out the rising levels of insanity in the Oval Office, decided to bury the news that the President and the General he just recently pardoned for lying about undermining US sanctions on Russia and his secret work for a foreign country were entertaining a military coup, however feckless. The dead tree NYT doesn’t have the story anywhere on the front page.

And the online version I accessed (admittedly from a foreign IP address) buried the news and focused on Sidney Powell’s batshittery rather than Flynn’s.

It doesn’t matter that Mike Flynn’s calls for sedition won’t prevent President Elect Biden from taking office in a month. The fact that the President is giving quarter to such talk, just weeks after signaling that he thinks it was unfair for Mike Flynn to pay a price for his secret dealings with foreign countries, is still an assault on our democracy, one that won’t go away after January 20.

This is not just about Trump’s insanity and that of the only advisors he trusts in the wake of his loss. It’s that he and Flynn are openly discussing ways to continue to betray this country even after he is removed.

175 replies
  1. Vinnie Gambone says:

    Ask the “patriots” how they feel about Russia ramming their superiority
    up our ass? How many gazillions we spend on cyber security? Seriously, frothers want so desperately to own the title patriot , as though anyone not for Trump is a traitor. Like the guy early on who wore a tee shirt saying ” I’d rather be a Russian than a Democrat.” Actually that does sum up our current self proclaimed patriots, and 159 members of congress. Well if the guy with the Tee shirt was Russian at least he would have a job, at a troll farm.

  2. BroD says:

    I note there’s hardly a whiff of this in WaPo. They’re all “Biden, Biden, Biden”. Trump’s difficulties in facing reality are beneath mention as far as they’re concerned.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The WaPo and national media would rather emphasize the Dems’ Disarray ™: They’re Mean to AOC! Thank the Lord, Biden’s Cabinet is Centrist! We don’t need no stinkin’ progressives! Democrats Refuse to Budge in Covid Relief Talks!

      Meanwhile, the press misses the F5 level of destruction caused by Trump and Mitch McConnell or attributes it to Dems’ Disarray! There’s enough tension and angst already, thanks. No need for the press to invent more of it, while wrongly labeling the cause.

      • Chris.EL says:

        Just reading Wikipedia on events leading up to WW2 derived from Anschluss (didn’t know what that was).

        One can’t deny Trump’s admiration for the authoritarian model of government. Trump has selected wives with heritage in the reich’s region of interest.

        Trump’s first pardon went to Flynn (General Misha).

        Combative, authoritarian minds are attracted to the military. Now Trump has General Misha ready to call up those “bad apples” who have been standing by.

        Their goal of a coup is within reach. Trump’s thought process is just mucked up enough to think he can pull it off!

          • Chris.EL says:

            you are correct, ’tis true; very first went to Arpaio (just looovve that — make sure everyone is put on notice it’s OKAY TO IGNORE COURT ORDERS as long as you have a big friend to pardon you!!)

            My statement should have been more precise; I meant Flynn’s as the first pardon of Trump’s series of “final curtain-call” pardons. :-)

        • Rugger9 says:

          The Anschluss (unification of Germany and Austria) was rather late in the process, just before the Munich accord over the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia followed by the invasion of Poland. Personally, I’d start with the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch and it really got rolling with the Enabling Act after Hitler became Chancellor.

          • Chris.EL says:

            Thank you for the input! It’s important to pay attention to past events, especially with Trump because (at least to my perception) Trump seems to be inspired, awed and trying to emulate authoritarian leaders.
            From Twitter today ~11:30 am:
            “The Hoarse Whisperer
            This is a crazy story. Russian dissident, Alexey Navalny, catfished his would be assassin into telling him all about the assassination attempt while thinking he was talking to a senior member of Putin’s security force.”…
            CNN has a story: evidently toxin was introduced into Navalny’s underdrawers… don’t know why the image of Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) masquerading as a laundrywoman just popped into *my* view of this amazing scenario.

  3. PeterS says:

    It’s not just insanity it’s dangerous insanity. In any respectable country – as in able to be respected – whomever is in charge of justice and law enforcement would hold a major press conference and say Trump lost in a legitimate election, and that the incitements to violence and the threats of violence have to stop. I won’t hold my breath.

  4. BroD says:

    “whomever is in charge of justice and law enforcement”
    Who happens to be an appointee of the potential threat, of course.

  5. H Candace Gorman says:

    I read this on axios yesterday.
    But it is pretty buried with other stories today. I quickly went to see who else was reporting but no surprises there.
    They also had this on axios about Giuliani testing out seizing voting machines:
    just another day in trumpworld — trying to undermine our democracy.
    (sorry if I am not posting the link correctly)

  6. Scorpio Jones, III says:

    Excuse me folks, but the NYT and WaPo and Politico all reported heavily on this boiling of frogs this morning and yesterday. I dont know what you guys are reading, but the stories are there. At some point the MSM has to stop giving Trump earned media for every flake of dandruff that falls out of his wig. Yes, the meeting is a fascinating look into an oval office rapidly descending into howling at the moon, but the story now has to be recovering from Trump, not a continuation of the madness.

    • P J Evans says:

      And if you actually read this post, you’d know that NYT buried the lede about 9 paragraphs down.
      It was all over Twitter, including legal twitter, and the political blogs I read. Not favorably viewed, by many people.

      • Scorpio Jones, III says:

        Not sure what your point is, the meeting was covered widely. Im sure the NYT would love your input on their editing process.

          • Scorpio Jones, III says:

            and fuck both of you and your idea of how news should or should not be covered, the premise of Marcy’s post is bullshit and so are your attitudes. I dont support or not support the NYT news judgement. Your knee jerk bullshit reaction is absurd, typically narrow focused ignorance.

            • bmaz says:

              You are full of it with this particular argument and can get right out of here with it.

              By the way, did you ever watch Rush? I saw your question from back in May. Yes, I thought it was very good, and the cast of young actors quite good as well. It certainly took some liberties with the relationship between Niki and James, which was far more complicated, but overall a good movie very much worth watching.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          If that were true, the NYT would still have an ombudsperson – a senior employee acting as the public’s representative, empowered to question reporters and management and publicly comment on their work.

          The NYT no longer allows itself to be subject to such insider’s criticism. It regards itself as alone on Olympus. Mortals exist to read it, not to question it.

    • Yargelsnogger says:

      WaPo has covered it, and they didn’t bury these details the way NYT did, but their headline was complete vanilla considering the President of our country was searching for ways to violently overturn our democracy.

      It sounded like same-old-same-old legal challenges such that I didn’t even bother to read it this morning. How they can look at reporting that describes this type of planning/theorizing and not blaze that across the front page headlines is outrageous and should be called out.

      Sure, the odds of him getting away with it are slim, but I would have thought the odds of a presidential nominee courting and welcoming Russian interference in our elections was unthinkable. Or abusing his office to extort a bribe in the form of illegal campaign assistance from a foreign state couldn’t go unpunished.

      It’s easy to pretend that Trump never had a chance to overturn our democratic elections, but how close did he really come? 126 (last I heard) congressional republicans and 18 state AG’s seemed willing to back any extra-legal subversion of our democracy (or pretend what he was doing was legitimate and legal? IANAL so forgive my lack of precision here). He got one of the Michigan folks to pull back from certifying the election results, and he has gone full court press to destroy Gov Kemp in Georgia for simply abiding by our elections and upholding democracy.

      He has been wielding his base like a cudgel to get all the Republicans on board with ending American democracy. He has ben full throated in his attempts and holding nothing back – the fact that they were resisted should not mitigate in the least any assessment of his efforts to subvert our country. I have little doubt that if he had 20 Mike Flynn’s in all the senior positions of the DoD he would have gotten them to order military interventions. If Bill Barr had been just a little more corrupt and willing to go down in history as complicit in ending American democracy, he might have gotten some legal argle-bargle to justify those moves. Then what would those lower down in the chain of command have done?

      A media that doesn’t call out these facts for what they are is a big part of how he has been able to get away with this crap. It’s also why he needs to be called to the mat for it once he is forced from office. If it is only a crime if your coup succeeds, it really isn’t a crime to attempt to stage a coup, is it.

      • John Paul Jones says:

        I saw this covered on Rachel Maddow, but when I searched for the NYT story, all I got was something about appointing a special counsel, and for a minute I thought – maybe I misheard. So yeah, calling out bullshit coverage that buries the lede is absolutely necessary. The stories I’ve read so far have all been pretty much the same, and I can only speculate that the editorial guys are saying – This clown will soon be gone, let’s not inflame the readers. In other words, nanny coverage, aka, a sort of censorship. It’s weird. For fear of seeming to be sensationalist, they bury the reporting on a sensational event.

  7. John Langston says:

    Just another reason to make the pardoned Flynn to spill his guts about Russia and explain whatever business that the he and Trump were involved.

        • Montana Voter says:

          What do you base this statement on? As I understand it, Flynn’s pardon was related to anything that was or might have been related to the Mueller report and the related investigations. In this case, Flynn’s actions would seem to be the predicate to an albeit ham-handed description of an on-going conspiracy to commit sedition. Flynn seems to be under the impression that his pardon is a “get out of jail free” card for the rest of his life. I don’t think anyone else believes that is true. If anyone needs to have continued scrutiny it is Flynn. The erratic behavior and positions being taken by him harken back to when he was relieved of his responsibilities in the Obama administration. His friends and family should consider intervention for mental health reasons.

  8. BobCon says:

    Ken Vogel has gotten at least a couple of front page spots for highly speculative “raises questions” articles about the possibility that conflicts of interest might arise at some point in the future if Biden/Harris don’t follow vague assertions of random quoted people about how they might establish trust in the wake of vaguely referenced Trump administration “questionable” behavior.

    Obviously much more important.

    • Raven Eye says:

      Highly speculative is stating it mildly.

      I read one piece that seemed to say that if Biden attempted to appoint a close relative who was a counterfeiter, used the Biden household checking account as the cash pool for a Ponzi scheme, and had been video taped kicking puppies — all while holding a high-pay/no-work position on Biden’s senatorial staff — there might be a problem.

  9. Rugger9 says:

    On top of that, we have Pence proclaiming the members of the Space Force would be called “Guardians” which of course makes us think of the movie series. Who will be playing the various critters’ roles? I see mockery in future JCS meetings if the Space Farce head turns up along with hard feelings from the Air Force who already handled this area (i.e. the former Blue Cube in Sunnyvale). How are the “guardians” going into harm’s way?

    It’s clear that DJT and his WH minions want to talk about anything other than the Russian hacks and COVID. Flynn for his part is daring the Army to find a way to hammer him even if his retired status would otherwise protect him as Allen West is also doing.

    This lack of response to Russia (interesting that DJT blamed China, Ivanka’s going to lose her trademarks and won’t like it) only forces the 800 pound gorilla to demand answers to its question about what Vlad has on DJT.

    • P J Evans says:

      Aren’t a lot of Trmp’s branded products, like his fundraising red caps, made in the same China he’s attacking (to keep us from looking at Russia)?

    • subtropolis says:

      When I saw that this morning I assumed that Pence is imagining big-eyed “Precious Moments” astronauts watching over us.

      • P J Evans says:

        I’d have thought that was Mother’s thing. (I can’t stand that kind of cute. It’s up there with Hummel figurines and geese with bows.)

    • cavenewt says:

      Apparently the administration elites think they’re participating in a superhero movie.

      Pence as…Groot?

    • jv says:

      In response to Rugger9 at 11:46: It’s OT, but your question how are the Space Force Guardians going into harm’s way? Well, their current and first deployment is the Al Udaid Air Force Base in Qatar. Trump’s DOD head, Miller, along with State’s Pompeo foaming at the mouth to start Netanyahoo’s war, is ramping up the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf “to send a message to Iran.” Israel just sent a nuclear sub through the Suez where it will join our Navy, Army, Marines, Air Force and now the Guardians. We are engaged in serious gunboat diplomacy with fingers just itching to drop gigantic bunker busters on Iranian nuclear and military facilities, if not more. Iran is prepared to fight back hard with its non-air force capabilities, which are not to spit at, and has made its intentions to defend itself and to retaliate massively against any of the Persian Gulf accomplices and Israel. The Space Force Guardians and every other type of U.S. military personnel are definitely in harm’s way if the idiot in the White House goes ahead with a plan to attack Iran.

      (If others who follow this blog also follow most famous insider Saudi tweeter, Mujtahidd, he’s recently offered up the Kushner/Bonesaw/Trump’s plan to stay in office due to national emergency, war against Iran, the whole ball of wax.)

  10. Anomalous Cowherd says:

    If ex-president Trump continues to get PDBs next year and he impulsively tweets out state secrets as he has in the past, shouldn’t the AG bring charges? Wouldn’t it be reasonable for the court to request neurological and psychiatric evaluations of the defendant? If the assessments demonstrated that he was a risk to himself and others it would be necessary to institutionalize him for his own safety. I am aware this has been abused in the past (at least in other countries, not sure about US but probably here as well) and smells like banana republican tactics, but – seriously – Trump displays obvious, overt symptoms of a neurological disorder along the AD-impulsively-Tourette’s axis and should not be entrusted with US state secrets. Just asking for a friend….

    • Rugger9 says:

      It’s not a requirement to give PDBs to DJT, it’s a courtesy when warranted. So, as soon as they can the PDB briefings for DJT will stop.

      One other thing about the hack is to consider the modern supply chain for boards and other electronics, routinely going through the PRC. I would not be surprised in the least to find out those boards have all sorts of back doors and malware to interfere with our communications and warfighting. That’s what the DoD contractors did to cut costs and make more money for themselves.

      Biden needs to impose a US-source (or NATO-source) only for all DoD contracts including all subcontracts.

      • BobCon says:

        My guess is Trump will dodge any kind of sharing of classified information that requires him to sign off on understanding the legal implications of unauthorized sharing. The last thing he wants is a paper trail documenting that he was told about the penalties for disclosing information without permission.

        And given the risks to someone sharing information with him that they’ll get caught up in a long investigation, I doubt that many will take that chance. Even things like curtesy sitdowns with an US abassador during a visit overseas that might usually happen with an ex-president are going to turn into highly scripted and documented affairs out of fear of handing off some nugget that turns out to be part of an investigation.

        But as far as a psychiatric review, that’s not happening short of a major, major breakdown.

        • bmaz says:

          Heh, Trump will be getting nothing after January 20. Access to classified, much less the full PDBs, is completely discretionary, and Trump will be getting nothing.

          • BobCon says:

            Considering how much overclassification there is, I wouldn’t be surprised if the guest list at Trump Towers turns out to be classified.

            But I’m also curious if down the line in the context of any legal defense efforts he gets some too.

          • Hika says:

            Trump could well be fed a diet of “special” classified information created just for him. It would be interesting to see where it turns up.

                • John Paul Jones says:

                  I dunno, I liked the remake. Yeah, CGI up the wazzoo, but I thought it was kind of nice to see representations of the carriers as they were, rather than existing carriers masquerading as older ones. Is it really a remake if it takes a slightly different take on historical events?

      • Wayne says:

        The president determines if and who received the PDB. My guess, as I have no say, is that former POTUS Trump will not be on the list.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Of course two can play the useful idiot card. There might be some benefit to giving Trump his very own ‘special’ PDB just to see whom he is speaking with. He could muddy the enemy waters with all sorts of disinformation.

      • Rugger9 says:

        That would be my guess if one is given to DJT for the reason you note. Of course, it would have to be in crayon or Sharpie.

        • ducktree says:

          Okay, but the frothy right will just lather up again regarding any investigation of their patron saint (eat your heart out, Ronnie).

          The question is, would it be meringue* or the same old spittle?

          *in light of the holidays

      • Frank Anon says:

        Trump can’t get himself to squirm for a PDB now, why does anyone think he will want them when they aren’t necessary? No, its the reprobates around him that get the data he doesn’t care about that worry me

        • Fran of the North says:

          That pond scum has access to eyes only information and then uses it to line their pockets is enough to want to make me puke.

          One can only hope that as soon as 45 exits stage left that the lenders of last resort call the loans.

  11. Leading Edge Boomer says:

    I hope the military dumps Flynn out of his honorable retirement and into a dishonorable discharge for his sedition. That includes any pension he may be drawing from my taxes.

    • Raven Eye says:

      I read a lot of sputtering about this, but the retirement pay train (probably a little north of $165K/year) has already left the station. To claw anything out of that the Secretary of the Army would have to determine that something was amiss during his three years time-in-grade as an O-9. There are specific steps (in law) that must take place to reach that conclusion and then make any monetary adjustments — which include informing Congress. Probably far less the 1% likelihood of that happening.

      But you’ll be happy to know that he’s eligible for Tricare up to when Medicare takes over. He will have to pay for Part B (probably at a monthly rate higher than his current annual fees for Tricare), but the equivalent to Part D, with small co-pays) will be covered.

      • bmaz says:

        Less than 1% is right. Probably is zero chance after the late November D.C. district court decision that court-martial UCMJ jurisdiction over retired servicemembers is *unconstitutional* as applied to such defendants. Frankly, the pardon may prohibit it anyway.

        • Raven Eye says:

          I’m not sure how the decision regarding UCMJ applies to the separate administrative processes regarding retirement pay/status under 10 USC 1370:

          “…an officer who is serving in or has served in the grade of general or admiral or lieutenant general or vice admiral may be retired in that grade under subsection (a) only after the Secretary of Defense certifies in writing to the President and Congress that the officer served on active duty satisfactorily in that grade”…followed by a lot of administrative requirements.

          • bmaz says:

            He is either retired or he is not. He is retired though. There is simply no chance anything is going to happen to him from any part of the military. None. That is a pipe dream. And certainly not based on conduct after he was retired and for conduct he has been specially pardoned for.

            • Peterr says:

              He was pardoned on November 25th, so statements since then, like advocating illegal military action against multiple states and their election authorities, would not be covered by that pardon.

              Not saying this will change the likelihood of Flynn losing his pension and rank, but just stressing that any pardon covers only actions in the past and not the future.

            • Raven Eye says:

              Of course it is a pipe dream — which is the reason for my “train…left the station” comment. And I only used less than “1%” because adding a bunch of zeros between a “.” and the “1” would imply false precision — and would look silly.

              Realistically, nothing is going to happen with Flynn’s retirement grade or pay because whatever would have prevented “satisfactory” service needed to happen between his O-9 date of rank and his actual retirement date. SECDEF had already made the determination and notifications. Flynn made it out the front gate and I suspect that the senior leaders were glad to be rid of him. It would take discovery of an incredibly extraordinary incident during those three years to change his retirement grade — though there are administrative (non-UCMJ) procedures, should that occur.

              • bmaz says:

                And, frankly, that is a battle they don’t want to engage in even if it were theoretically possible. Would be a mess publicly and would set and arguably bad precedent even they should want no part of. Heck, even I think it would be a bad look, and I can’t stand Flynn.

                Adding, Flynn is highly likely to commit another crime, so his “time in the barrel” is likely not over. We shall see.

          • Rugger9 says:

            Much as I want to string Flynn off of the nearest yardarm, bmaz is right (we covered this some time ago during the Flynn machinations for mandamus) unless we have direct evidence of stuff before Flynn retired. I haven’t seen anything yet from his active duty time (and even that may be wiped by a statute of limitation claim), and since Flynn didn’t make five stars (and therefore never retired) that angle is closed. I would suspect soldiers like sailors are highly creative when they want something done. I also think deep down the Army brass wants to make an example of Flynn even as Flynn gives the brass more reasons to do so. Perhaps they will come up with something, but it is not clearly apparent now what they can do.

            However, sedition and conspiracy to commit sedition is still a crime and Flynn has already been pardoned which did not include this one since he’s doing it after he was pardoned. Joe will handle this 1/21/21. Also the Gulen kidnap attempt is a state crime, I do not recall which state is Gulen’s residence to apply the appropriate statute of limitation.

            Lastly, the pardon means Flynn can be hauled in to the House to explain himself and paint himself into a corner. I would expect Biden’s DOJ will prosecute a contempt charge.

      • P J Evans says:

        Medicare Part B premium will be a little under $149 per month next year. Deductible will be something like $203 per month.

  12. Max404 says:

    I get the idea that not alot of people have time in the US for important things like a takeover of the democracy by authoritarian wing-nuts or figuring out how a country can survive a pandemic in a just and equitable way. It is such a hustle just to get by; who has time for anything else.

    And I don’t mean a hustle to get by for poor people. Also for people with “good” jobs and professions. People I know who are lawyers and professionals making well more than 150 K per year (a sum we very never see over here in social democracy land, and what I hear is peanuts over there) are nevertheless stressed all the time: their health care costs a fortune, sending their kids to private university comes in at 250 K per child ( it cost 3 K per year at the Ivy League I attended, back in the day, and I got a scholarship ). They are so worried about somehow something going wrong and wrecking everything that they have worked for that they have no more fun anymore. And then when they have fun they drop lots of thousands on a trip to nowhere. Cannot seem to just enjoy simple things. And see things for what they are.

    Only the ones who had careers in high-tech and managed to get options at winners are cruising through their old age. Or the few that were born rich. The rest are giving themselves heart attacks.

    So who has time for reflecting on the theft of the country ?

    And the Hustler-in-Chief just resonates with some people who are trying to be the best hustle on the block.

    • Epicurus says:

      Way back when Colman McCarthy wrote a column for The WaPo. Two of them stuck with me. First was his encounter at a bank of tvs at a Sears (Sears!), I believe, after he had given up television watching for six months or so. The salesperson thought there was something wrong with him as McCarthy was so enraptured by the tvs. The column went on to reflect on the power of pure data, not information, input on an individual IIRC. (The medium is the message!) In some strange way we are all staring at Trump, as McCarthy was with the tvs, because the medium is the message and Trump knows it better than Marshall McLuhan. Now it doesn’t matter whether the NYT has anything on the front page or buried in the middle of the classifieds. The digital world will have it and, just like a digital magnet, it will draw/attract/find anyone of symbiotic polarity. This is all Trump’s way of staying digitally relevant, i.e. the medium itself. In the same way the analog world has left us. There are few simple joys that we enjoy individually or collectively or communally or familially anymore, few rhythms of analog life that haven’t been overtaken by the digital world. It is something like a Phillip Dick story.

      The second column reminds me of the discussion above about General* (as Charles Pierce might designate) Flynn. It used a quote from Sean O’Casey IIRC . “The generals love their guns like the children love their candy.” This was just another chance for Flynn to use his “guns”.

        • ducktree says:

          Long ago (during an acid trip in the early 70’s), I learned the actual denotation of the phrase “the eyes are the windows to the soul.”

          Despite what W burbled about looking into Putin’s soulless eyes, it’s more about what we choose to view from inside our noggin and allow into our own heads.

          IOW ~ don’t waste your psychic energy on ugliness happening in front of your portals; shut the window, draw the blinds.

          Turn away from that spectacle and turn your energy to correcting it.

  13. Badger Robert says:

    Most of these issues have not led to deaths and hospitalizations, yet. But calling inaction and incompetence a policy has led to unnecessary deaths and huge medical costs.

  14. RMD says:

    Dear Dr. Wheeler and empytwheel site contributors; I just want to add a thank you for your commitment to excellence in examining / analyzing critical events that often get no or scant coverage.
    You are a national treasure and I appreciate all you do.
    Thank you.
    Wishing you all the best for a warm, friendly, and fun holiday and New Year!

    • Hika says:

      I know, for the most part, this will be preaching to the converted around here, but …
      In many countries, medicine has traditionally been a 6 year undergraduate program leading to an award of the joint degree, MBBS – Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery – or MBBCh. – Medicinae Baccalaureus Baccalaureus Chirurgiae – depending on how ‘ye olde worlde’ the institution. I’m also aware of some places that have undergraduate courses of 5 years where the award is only a Bachelor of Medicine. In places where medicine is primarily studied through undergraduate programs, and certainly amongst those familiar with universities and how their degree systems work, it was always understood that the term ‘doctor’ is an academic one and only ever applied to medical practitioners as a courtesy title since their studies were broadly similar in length and rigor to those taking doctoral degrees {typically a 3 year bachelors degree, 1 year postgraduate honors program followed by a 3 year doctoral program}.
      As a side note, in Australia there has been a shift in recent decades towards the US model of a 4 year postgraduate degree with the award of an MD – Doctor of Medicine. When this transition occurred, some of the recent graduates thought themselves superior for holding doctorates rather than the old system’s bachelors degrees. [In truth, the transition was made to reduce the drop-out rate from the undergraduate programs by selecting slightly older, more mature entrants, rather than 17 to 18 year old school leavers.] What became apparent rather quickly was that they were in fact inferior in knowledge as the shift from 6 years to 4 years had led to some corner cutting on medical science in their programs, particularly in anatomy, and they required remedial lessons in some areas if they hoped to proceed into some specialist fields.
      As a further aside, there has always been some grumbling backwards and forwards amongst medicos, dentists and veterinarians about the use of the honorific ‘doctor’ title.
      So, people authorized to practice medicine or surgery, or dentistry or whatever it is that vets do, may well be called doctors, but some of them may only hold that title as a courtesy.
      The bottom line is that those who have gone through the mill of earning a doctorate are literally entitled to be called ‘doctor’.
      And if you need a physician or a surgeon, ask for a physician or a surgeon.

  15. madwand says:

    Zeynep Tufecki over at the Atlantic has written “call it what it is” a slow motion coup. It doesn’t matter if it is inept, incoherent, or amateurish. If they don’t get it right this time its a rehearsal for the next time. Stretch the limits, see how far they can go before pushback forecloses it, sort of like the Russians do when hacking us, for which there is no pushback or penalty.

    We still have another hurdle to cross where electors can be objected to in the House and Senate on January 6. New congresspersons like Majorie Taylor Greene, the Qanon conspiracy theorist, have already signaled they will object to electors. All they need is a Senator and of course Kelly Loeffler, should she be reelected, could be the vehicle. Right now its unclear what would happen if they lose.

    Should Democrats prevail January 6, that will leave Trump with no vehicle except seize the government by declaring martial law. Over at defense they have cancelled any more transition meetings for Xmas New Years. People have wondered what they are destroying, but more important might be what they are concealing. There is no telling what Trump might do, but if all of a sudden he releases a bunch of pardons, that will signal he’s planning to leave, either voluntarily or by an offer he can’t refuse from the Secret Service.

      • Peterr says:

        Mitch McConnell will be twisting the arm of any senator contemplating taking part in a fruitless objection like this. To sustain an objection, both the House and Senate would need to vote to do so, and there is no way it will pass in either body. At best, this is a Lost Cause PR move, forcing every GOP senator to put their name to a vote. They will have to declare that they back this nonsense of Trump’s, or they will have to declare that Trump is a loon. These senators may not be afraid of Trump, but they are clearly afraid of Trump voters, and do not want to have to vote in favor of idiotic election charges that have been slapped down repeatedly in the courts and are unsupported by fact.

        McConnell can make Tuberville’s life as a senator very very lonely if he objects.

        • MB says:

          All true, and I hope you’re right.

          However, as Timothy Snyder frequently points out, authoritarian rule depends on the constant creation and display of spectacle, as opposed to actually debating facts and policy. So they are obviously going to create a spectacle of some proportion in Congress on January 6, even if it is only “a lost cause PR move”, which is unfortunate in and of itself.

        • Rugger9 says:

          McConnell has 22 seats to defend in 2022, and votes like this ought to be kryptonite for any GOP type wanting to keep their seat.

          That depends upon the press calling them out for it.

      • P J Evans says:

        I think Loeffler, like Perdue, will be out on Jan 3, and only comes back if she wins the runoff – which wouldn’t be certified before Jan 7, at the earliest.

        • P J Evans says:

          (I’ve seen a claim that her term runs to 2022, but that makes no sense, when she was running this year.)

          • Peterr says:

            Johnny Isakson resigned his seat last December, and Loeffler was appointed to fill it until the next general election. She’s running now to fill out the last two years of the unexpired term.

  16. Thomasa says:

    One of my retirement hustles is repairing antique motorcycles. The arcana of Ducati valve timing and such is a great escape from the current insanity of the would-be forever President — until last Wednesday. My current customer called to check on my progress and had the courtesy to warn me of impending martial law. Did I have enough food in the freezer? Enough gasoline for the generator? Ammunition? In our rural area none of these precautions is unusual. In winter there is snow, sometimes deep. In summer there are fires. “The grid’s going down over the weekend!”he warned.

    This is nonsense I told him. There are nowhere near enough Proud Boys to pull that off. Besides, BPA’s grid hasn’t been connected to the internet for decades.

    If you want a tour of the current conspiracy theories, just listen for half an hour.

    So Friday my Twitter feed starts reporting the latest Trump-fueled conspiracy to stage a coup. Nonsense! Was my first reaction. There’s just no way. That apparently is the NYT editors’ reaction. WAPO too. Then I see Dr. Wheeler’s Twitter posting. OMG! After breakfast maybe I ‘ll go stick the level of gasoline in the reserve drum.

    • Montana Voter says:

      So what in this posting make you think that all of a sudden the Proud Boys and any other self-styled “militia” group could overcome the US military? Flynn’s understanding of martial law is sorely wanting. Seizing voting machines?? By the military ?? Nuts.
      The real problem is people giving this a level of credence it doesn’t deserve. It should be treated as the conspiracy against government function it is. Flynn and Powell should be monitored to detect any act toward implementing their conspiracy and then prosecuted if they do so. Flynn’s pardon is not an invisible shield he seems to think it is.

      • bmaz says:

        They wanted DHS to seize machines, but the martial law/military to then conduct a new election in key swing states. Rudy promised that one place machines were to be seized and “forensically examined” was here in AZ. Can pretty much state that will never happen here. Never. Even kooky Cuccinelli knows they can’t do it.

        • ThomasH says:

          I assume that Rudy and Powell mean inserting malicious code into any voting machine they, or folks working for them, can get their mitts on when they talk about “forensic” examination of said machines.

          • bmaz says:

            Probably. But that is all run by the Secretary of State, and county election officials, and there is no way they are going to allow that crew anywhere near their machines and computers. I know a couple of said gatekeepers, and they already laughed and said hell no. And they mean it.

          • bmaz says:

            We use all paper ballots, although they are tabulated by optical scanners. The only exception is for the severely disabled, which is a completely negligible amount. There is simply nothing to see here.

            • P J Evans says:

              CA used paper ballots, because mail-in due to the virus. (I’d signed up for permanent vote-by-mail before the primary, having read about the machines and the voting centers. Noped right out on that.) If it isn’t on paper, I’m not trusting it. Used a machine twice, before all the problems became apparent.

              • bmaz says:

                Whether in person, or vote by mail (wife and I are on permanent vote by mail), AZ has been using the optical scan machines for quite a while. It all works fine.

                • P J Evans says:

                  We had been using “Ink-A-Dot”, where you ink circles on a card (ballot boxes had a stamp for that). I guess it was too low-tech, or the machines were wearing out and couldn’t be replaced, or something.

  17. laMissy says:

    Re: Maggie Haberman, via Sarah Kendzior’s Gaslit Nation podcast of December 16:

    “These are sadistic people on top of it. And speaking of reputational rehab (which we see coming for Bill Barr from institutionalists, corrupt institutionalists), the same moves will be made to try to rehabilitate Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. They have deep roots in New York media, in PR. Maggie Haberman of The New York Times is somebody who writes these little puff piece princess profiles on Ivanka and Jared, and her mother was the Kushner family and the Trump family publicist, or worked for the publicist empire of Howard Rubenstein. I discuss all of this in my book, Hiding in Plain Sight.

    Rubenstein also represented Jeffrey Epstein, Rupert Murdoch, Adnan Khashoggi. I mean, seriously, when I say it’s the same people over and over again, I’m not kidding. It’s very important that these people are not in a position of power, because all they will do with power is wield it to brutalize American people and to try to destroy our country.”

    Worth keeping in mind.

  18. joel fisher says:

    It’s really hard to criticize EW for having too harsh a judgement on the NYT when the 1st sentence of the criticism includes this:
    “I recognize that, particularly for a White House as dysfunctional as this one, it is critically
    important to have her there, particularly to publicly reveal conflicts like the one that happened
    And, to be sure, a good case is made that Flynn’s treason is the big story and should have been at the top.
    At the risk of Bmaz’ wrath, however, I think a case can also be made that the biggest story was the concern shown by the ring of filth that surrounds Trump.
    Consider the headline: “White House Visitor Suggests Treason.” Given the Trump White House, it seems a little dog bites manish when compared to:
    “Astonishingly Evil Inner Circle of Trump Advisors Concerned That Trump Has Lost It”. Perhaps, one might argue, a little closer to man biting the canine.
    And this debate ignores the other amazing turd in the news punchbowl: how is the contemplation of Sidney Powell as the “stolen election” special counsel not the top story? Oh, right, the other stuff is crazier. Lordy, it’ll be nice when the NYT can put some crimes and fires on the front page. But right now, to paraphrase The Killer, there’s a whole lot of crazy goin’ on.

  19. SVFranklinS says:

    In spite of being “buried”, I’ve had no end of hearing about this story in the past couple days, so it’s certainly getting out there.
    When I mentioned these percolating stories to my wife, and read her Dr. EW’s post, she said “The NYT got it right – he doesn’t belong on the front page anymore, he’s just desperate to stay the center of attention. The less people talk about him the better”

    Can’t say I disagree – especially if this has no likelihood of success. But I found David Frum’s piece this morning in the Atlantic to be on point – the bigger story is the silence of the Republicans, and how that means the party is sinking even deeper into an overtly anti-democratic posture. He points out that that will be there long after Jan. 20, and that is the real concern.

    • bmaz says:

      There are 30 days to go, I think it is still critical to know what these lunkheads are considering, even if it won’t work. And, yes, an Oval Office contemplation of imposing martial law, with Flynn, Rudy and Powell leading the charge, ought to be front page top of the story material. Dean Baquet is just freaking horrible. He is a disgrace as an editor.

      • BobCon says:

        Also, their chief politics editor is Patrick Healy, whose longest tenure at the paper was a six year stint as the theater critic.

        His resume was thin as hell before taking over, and it has shown.

        But the background story to Healy is why the Times thought he should be in charge. Their management largely discount experience and have no grip on what it takes to understand a story. Everything is superficial to them.

    • PeterS says:

      Isn’t this the biggest short term national security threat the country is facing? There seems to me to be a real risk of widespread violence. Though hopefully I’m overreacting…

  20. N.E. Brigand says:

    What would have happened if Barack Obama had lost his re-election bid to Mitt Romney in 2012, and six weeks later he had an Oval Office discussion in which he entertained the possibility of imposing martial law to keep himself in power? I feel like Joe Biden would have spoken with the Cabinet and they would have invoked the fourth part of the 25th Amendment (on the grounds that Obama was mentally incompetent) before the day was out, and then Biden would have asked John Boehner to start impeachment proceedings, with the result that Obama would be out of office before Romney’s inauguration.

    But in a world where Obama was the kind of person who would do such a thing, then either Biden wouldn’t be his v.p. or Biden would be similarly corrupt.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        No, which is to say I had to look it up, and I have an excellent memory for this kind of thing. All of which is to say that it was, unlike present circumstances, indeed nonsense–and fairly rapidly abandoned for the next shiny object. What Flynn et. al. are fomenting on rightwing media now presents a very profound danger, mainly in the way the GOP “leadership” abets it and the powerful megaphone it commands.

  21. greengiant says:

    DHS already did a dry run in Portland with BORTAC, ICE and Federal protective services showing their oath breakers are willing to maim unarmed protesters for life. The Federal judge pointed out the 10th amendment violations but later stepped back in his ruling.
    Make it clear that if they start contracting Prince’s mercs for FPS, use the national guard, or try to use JSOC then the law hammer will be dropping faster than it did on their fake no evidence election lawsuits.

    • Raven Eye says:

      With regard to DHS’s theater performance in Portland, OR…Irony is lost on the dim-witted and frothy…

      This is from the Oath Keepers’ “Declaration of Orders We Will Not Obey”:

      “4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state, or to enter with force into a state, without the express consent and invitation of that state’s legislature and governor.”

      This remains posted on their web site. Truly these people have no shame.

      • P J Evans says:

        I wonder who invited them to Portland. One of those “constitutional sheriffs” that claims to be the supreme power in state government?

        • greengiant says:

          No government invited them. Trump invited DHS his self. And maybe the head of the police union. Election year politics.

            • greengiant says:

              What I said. No one in authority asked for the Feds to run through the streets of Portland enforcing local laws and detaining people and then handing them over to the police to be held overnight for a “local” charge. Nor did anyone in authority ask them to use sometimes lethal weapons and cause permanent traumatic brain injury. When they did do that the protest numbers went from about 100 to 2,000.

  22. John Lehman says:

    To mix the metaphor up a bit….
    …when will the boiling frog be frog marched out?
    Hope there’s a plan.

    • Chris.EL says:

      Marcy posted a nice Irish landscape photo on Dr. emptywheel Twitter.
      It’s missing a JB photo bomb.
      I’ve been thinking Ireland needs more trees planted. I wonder if the summers are good for fruit trees, i.e. apples…

    • Hika says:

      For those needing a hint, copy the link and put a ‘?’ between ‘watch’ and ‘v’ (i.e. watch?v) in the middle.

      • Hika says:

        Or take the [BREAK] out of this:

  23. pablo says:

    I was watching to see how The NYT handled it’s own reporting and was not surprised that the WAPO gave it more prominence. After the Cotton Op-Ed I canceled my 40 year subscription and now just cruise the headlines. WAPO gets my $$.

  24. Zinsky says:

    It is surreal and stomach-churning that we have a raging viral pandemic, while the President is AWOL, busy plotting how to overthrow American democracy, with a lunatic hack attorney who regurgitates unsubstantiated right-wing fairy tales from the Web and a 76 year old alcoholic deviant whose hair dye runs down his cheeks! Just incredible! If Mike Pence had one ounce of courage he would invoke the 25th Amendment and take the necessary steps to remove this mentally unfit man from office.

    • skua says:

      “President is AWOL, busy plotting how to overthrow American democracy, with a lunatic hack attorney who regurgitates unsubstantiated right-wing fairy tales from the Web and a 78 year old alcoholic deviant whose hair dye runs down his cheeks”

      This trio’s time would be better spent creating a Rocky Horror nativity pantomine for them to perform for the WH staff and local nursing homes.

  25. Fraud Guy says:


    Is the real reason that Trump hasn’t pulled the trigger on his sycophants’ cookoo coup because of his fear of failure? We know he’s afraid of the legal and financial ruin awaiting him, but if he tries it and no one comes to his pity party, the outcome will be worse for him and it will be his biggest failure; better to claim he could have done it, after the crazies tell him he could have done it, and still have that piece of fantasy to sustain his ego.

  26. jaango says:

    I love this tread.

    And yes, Marcy is correct in her behavior for truth-telling.

    Many years ago, Chicanos endorsed and began the advocacy for the establishment of the municipal-owned the Internet News Network that would encompass the top 40 to 50 urban-oriented municipal governments.

    Of course, Truth-telling will become non-existent should the Biden administration fail to establish a President’s Weekly Saturday Morning Internet Conference of which Bloggers would question and challenge the President’s Cabinet Secretaries for the ever-present inelastic obfuscations and if so, the past four years of Trumpudo’s behavior, would be rendered, a substantive failure for the general public’s continuing nonsense in support for the congestion in the midst of the Republican-side of the political aisle. And 71 million votes in this past presidential election, confirms my angst that Biden will not expand the this Truth-telling for achieving Decency Personified. And that’s how Chicanos will “measure” the incoming administration over the next four years.

  27. Rugger9 says:

    OT, but this is why we cannot let the guard down even with the vaccine:

    Bugs, germs and viruses have a way of defeating our best-laid plans in the long run, so this fight will have yet another phase. I am surprised that the UK seems to be the source, I would have expected something tropical. FWIW, BoJo did take things much more seriously after his own bout with COVID-19, so it’s not due to a policy failing in the UK as far as I know.

    Of course, the DJT WH is not doing anything about it.

  28. Savage Librarian says:

    New Year

    For unsung heroes everywhere,
    And all others who might care,
    With worries that we won’t go there,
    Let’s issue this big double dare.

    Since our limits are now laid bare,
    And we search for what we share,
    As we surface for some air,
    We ask for justice to be fair.

    Blinking from a constant glare,
    Receding from forged helmet hair,
    Charred by yet another flare,
    Here’s a message we can blare.

    Dispense monsters to their lair,
    Time for us to begin repair,
    Liberty we know is rare,
    Let’s take a moment in awe to stare.

    It’s worth the effort to mend a tear,
    In the fabric we all wear,
    Time is nearing to try to square
    Democracy beyond doctrinaire.

    Boot the bigot from his wingnut chair,
    Be gone thugs we do declare,
    We’re glad to end the long nightmare,
    Even short of a big fanfare.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Savage Librarian, I doff my hood to thee! Five stanzas of a-a-a-a rhyme without breaking a sweat-aire? That’s some craft!

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Ha, ha, I saw what you did there ;-)
        I don’t really have a craft so much as a circumstantial result. Once upon a time I used to have a different ability that I have since completely lost.

        A psychology graduate student, who was a neighbor in college, administered IQ tests to my roommates and me for a project she was doing. She told me I was off the charts in being able to remember a lengthy list of numbers backwards. (My driving instructor also told me I drove better backwards than forward. But that didn’t stop me from driving across the USA four times, ha!)

        On the test I also totally bombed the “complete the missing lines in the pen and ink drawing.” Not because I didn’t know what was missing, but because I couldn’t commit to it not being infinite in possibilities. But these days I’m more practical and flexible. It’s not so much “old dog new tricks” as meandering down a path of survival.

        But, more succinctly, once during childhood I had a terrible nightmare about the evil cruelty some humans commit against others. It stayed with me and has compelled me to use creative means to try to prevent the nightmare from becoming real. So there’s that.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          And I saw what you did *there*, SL! I will now fight today’s migraine with mental movies of you driving across the country 4 times . . . backwards. And possibly in high heels–Sorry, that would be me. I shouldn’t use my platform(s) to put you in my shoes! (Apologies and gratitude to the fabulous Ginger Rogers.)

  29. drouse says:

    Well, we now know what that sudden rash of appointees to the Pentagon have been up to.

    One really has to wonder why they would want to pursue a course that would certainly cause disruptions at a minimum as well as likely bureaucratic turf wars at a time we can least afford it. Plus the timing just stinks to high heaven.

    If I screwed up the link, just go to the home page. It’s the top story.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Acting SecDef Miller will likely sign off on it. Which puts it in General Milley’s court, I understand. The questions are Why? and Why now? No good answers I’ve seen.

      • drouse says:

        General Milley didn’t seem especially enamored of the idea, so I think he’ll balk. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to hold out for long. I can’t help thinking these appointees were put in place to do a job with a narrow window of opportunity and events forced their hand.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          By events, I’m guessing you mean the hack. And yes, I read that Gen. Milley isn’t eager to sign off. What I’ve been wondering since these zombie appointments is their true (hidden, if they can pull that off) intention: shred incriminating docs? Destroy civilian infrastructure? It terrifies me to think of Kash Patel let loose inside the Pentagon.

  30. Molly Pitcher says:

    Happy Winter Solstice Everyone !!

    Savage Librarian, I’m going to encroach on your territory for once. This is spoken at The Revels every year:


    By Susan Cooper
    Copyright Susan Cooper 1974

    So the shortest day came, and the year died,
    And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
    Came people singing, dancing,
    To drive the dark away.
    They lighted candles in the winter trees;
    They hung their homes with evergreen,
    They burned beseeching fires all night long
    To keep the year alive.
    And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
    They shouted, revelling.
    Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
    Echoing, behind us — listen!
    All the long echoes sing the same delight
    This shortest day
    As promise wakens in the sleeping land.
    They carol, feast, give thanks,
    And dearly love their friends, and hope for peace.
    And so do we, here, now,
    This year, and every year.
    Welcome Yule!

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Thanks to all on EW for helping me get through this year. Winter Solstice is a bittersweet day now; my beloved calico cat Santa Lucia, who graciously allowed me to rescue her on this date 16 years ago, died in my arms in 2019. I lost her almost exactly between when my parents died. Today I am feeling all of it, and cherishing this refuge. John Donne’s “Upon St. Lucie’s Day, being the shortest day of the year” is my favorite solstice poem. I recommend even for those not grieving. And I always tell myself that January sucks, but before it’s over you can see the light returning.

        • mass interest says:

          GdB, sending warm thoughts and peace your way.

          I always look forward to your insightful comments (wish there were more!).

          May next year be more kind to you.

        • Chris.EL says:

          I too have a cat named Lucy; she is 2+ cats in one: a true “meatloaf” (referencing Kliban cats from way back).

          Love that the name Lucia, Lucie, Lucy means “Light” on this shortest day of the year!
          An interesting Twitter account is:
          “Smoosh Face
          I call out people on their BS and speak truth to power. #resistance”

          This long thread was re-tweeted by smooshface1:

          **Veerry interesting!!**:

          “… Alison Greene
          “On my continuing quest to understand how Mitch McConnell, who had an approval rating of 18%, managed to win reelection by 57%, I dug even deeper

          The deeper I dig, the more I find the numbers out of Kentucky hard to swallow

          Here’s a follow up on Kentucky’s election results
          8:45 AM · Dec 9, 2020″…

          [~~~please go to Twitter to see the full exchange…]

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            Chris El, I named the first cat I got on my own Lucy. Each one is sacred and while I would never repeat names, when Santa Lucia gave me permission to get her off the mean streets on 21 December 2004, I had to name her for St. Lucy’s day, the celebration of light. When I wrangled her twin sister indoors a few months earlier, she had already endured more than anyone should, so she became Basta (Italian for “enough”). Hence the Italian version of St. Lucy. She went by Santalu. Basta remains my constant companion, yoga instructor and mindfulness coach.

        • Valley girl says:

          Ginevra diBenci, I send you warm wishes. This is always a very dark time of year for me emotionally, but even more so this year 2020. I say “more so”. not because of any personal events, but because of the flat-out awfulness of what we have been subjected to via Trump and co.

          Cats- they can be heart-breakers when it’s time for them to go. I know.

          It was my birthday a few days ago, and birthdays have hardly ever been a big deal for me. But, my sister, also a December birthday, and my longest time friend from college do phone. But neither had. And as I sat there, unexpectedly and uncharacteristically feeling sorrier and sorrier for myself, I almost posted a comment here at EW asking for someone, any one. to please wish me a Happy Birthday. But pride prevented me. The idea of feeling sorry for myself was too much. But I feel a kinship with people here.

          Then at 9pm I saw an email from my college friend wishing me HB, along with a gift subscription to WaPo* (*mixed feelings about that, Bezos considered). I phoned to thank her, and while on the phone, my sister phoned. She’d just realized the date. Said she can’t keep track of which day it is anymore. I think that is not uncommon these days.

          And, back to cats- feeling so sorry for myself and wanting a good cry, I was about to go to flickr and look at the photos I’d posted of my beloved rescue cat Tootsie, the polydactyl Maine Coon that nobody wanted. (She’d been on Petfinder for 3 months when I found her, just before Christmas that year. ) Smartest and most wonderful cat I’ve ever known.

          Aside: I did have one memorable birthday- flew to Paris to stay three weeks, arrived to see the Lockerbie news on my hotel room TV. And many years after, to the day I think, Department of Justice Charges Alleged Bombmaker Behind 1988 Terror Attack on Pan Am Flight 103

          • mass interest says:

            Happy belated birthday, Valley Girl, from a fellow cat person and (somewhat reluctant to admit) WaPo subscriber.

            The steady doses of truth and good information here have been a blessing for me during the past few years of insanity all around.

            Thanks to you and everyone here, hosts and contributors alike.

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            Oh, Valley Girl, my heart is pouring out to you in the tears you brought from my eyes. I hope you embrace the idea of a birthday-week; the older we get, the harder it is for others to remember that on the inside of each of us there’s a kid staring out the window waiting for someone, anyone to say Happy Birthday. That’s what birthday-week allows: space for the forgetful to catch up, and for you to feel your feelings. I have wanted to cry for months. Years, actually, since my mom died in January of 2018. For reasons medical and psychological, crying comes hard for me. I crave the release, and you blessed me with it. In doing that you practiced what I’ve made my own birthday ritual over the past couple decades: you gave me a gift on your birthday. (I call them my-birthday presents. Lest I sound too saintly, my birthday is in January so it’s also a way to catch up on late Christmas presents.) Maybe you already do this. Either way, thank you.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Oh, that’s beautiful, Molly Pitcher! Just so you know, I don’t have or claim any territory. The more the merrier (that’s spelled “democracy.”) Wishing you and the entire Dr. emptywheel community a safe holiday season and a welcoming new year.

  31. rattle mullet says:

    When does the actions of the president and his cohorts filing absolutely frivolous election lawsuits too over throw the election and the meetings in the Oval Office with a convicted felon and coconspirators cross the line to sedition? Who files the charges and who would prosecute?

    • Chris.EL says:

      This Twitter poster shared a plan for Flynn:
      … “Helen Kennedy
      Col. Lawrence Wilkerson says on MSNBC that the Pentagon should recall Michael Flynn to active duty and immediately court martial him for incitement to insurrection. “He needs to be reprimanded and he needs to be done so officially.” [end Twitter quote]

  32. Kenster says:

    Marcy, thank you for this. I continue to be astonished that more people have not taken these brazen acts of sedition more seriously. We have an about to be deposed President actively taking both legal and extralegal measures to deny the incoming President-elect their certified, legal right to assume the office. That’s the textbook definition of sedition. No, that’s not hyperbole. This is really happening. The fact that the current occupant of the WH is either incompetently or pretending to incompetently achieve this goal is irrelevant.

    The crazy thing is that my Republican friends are either completely dismissive of it (don’t worry, it’s Trmp being Trmp, he’ll leave when he has to), or, worse, being total RWNJ’s about it and really believe there was “foul play”. And these are smart people, people who should effing know better.

    The even crazier thing is that most of my liberal friends have thrown up their hands and don’t even want to acknowledge that Trmp and his crew are active seditionists.

    Ultimately, I think this is because Trmp has been brilliant at deliberately creating this RWNJ version of himself that puts him in a great position should he be hauled in front of a judge and have to go under oath. Because, as we know, Trmp (and Rudy, and most of his minions) are very different people under oath – that’s the giveaway. It’s fraud on the courtroom steps, but most definitely not fraud in the courtroom. Does he believe this stuff? Probably, at least some of it. But he understands that if he goes way over the top, if he’s ever called on the carpet for it his attorneys will play the hyperbole card early and often. And they’ll get away with it. It’s already worked. Defamation is already difficult enough to prove, but it is made so much more difficult when you’re a clownish buffoon that has a habit of lying and exaggerating like breathing (but only in the public realm, never in the courtroom).

    Regardless, whether or not the sitting President believes the seditious lies coming out of his own mouth, the press should be calling it out for what it is, and it’s deeply disappointing that they are not.

  33. Vinnie Gambone says:

    “It’s like we were getting daily updates from a two-month long Watergate burglary, and it was being conducted by a bunch of people who had to succeed to earn their pardon.”

    That’s the funniest truest thing I read all year. Clipped and taped to fridge. Laugh every time I open the door. Thank You.

  34. Rugger9 says:

    I find it interesting that the feds want Rudy’s electronic devices for examination. I’m not sure how that can fly given attorney-client privilege to DJT, but I see another pardon to add to the list.

    I saw elsewhere on the web that Jenna Ellis was fired by bright-red Weld County for forging a defendant’s signature on a plea deal, and Ken Buck (a true RWNJ) covered her tuchus because a nice dominionist like her shouldn’t be hammered for a mistake that should have gotten her disbarred plus jail time.

    Lastly, I find it interesting that Faux and Newsmax both are backpedaling furiously when threatened with viable defamation lawsuits from well-funded companies. It was to the point where Seb Gorka (of all people) shut down Mike Lindell (MyPillow Guy) when he veered into voting machine conspiracy theories on Newsmax. Follow the money is a fundamental rule when dealing with RW types.

    Speaking of money, we still do not know who paid Stepien and Jason Miller, among others.

    • bmaz says:

      For starters, I think it is a VERY dicey proposition that Rudy has been acting as an attorney all this time, as opposed to as a PR stooge. That may be why he went to court finally for that one disastrously incompetent performance. All that aside, don’t sleep on the crime fraud exception. Rudy has a real problem.

      • P J Evans says:

        Giuliani is claiming that Biden’s “hit squad” is after him. I guess in his universe, Biden has all kinds of power as he’s president-elect.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Michael Cohen had been Trump’s attorney; didn’t a filter team go over his files to protect privileged material?

  35. timbo says:

    Indeed. Where are the editorials from those “men of principle” who reputedly run the editorial sections of the nation’s once great rags?

Comments are closed.