Something Stinks about Kentucky but It’s a Complex Stink

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

There are a bunch of people running around hair on fire right now bitching loudly and often about Biden fail.

Unfortunately much of this is a bunch of reflexive self sabotage by people who aren’t slowing down to take a fucking breath and think things through.

Take a moment and inhale deeply, then exhale. Take a second to relax before the questions after this jump.

~ ~ ~

What would you trade for 30-40 federal judgeships nominated by Biden and approved by the Senate before the end of this congressional term?

Would you trade one judgeship?

Now imagine if all of the 30-40 vacancies are filled with judges who have solid cred with Democratic Party values (read: pro-choice, pro-voters rights, pro-human rights).

Would you trade one future judgeship nominating an anti-abortion judge in a state which leans GOP for these vacancies?

That’s the deal Biden is reported to have made with Mitch McConnell over a single federal judgeship picked by the Federalist Society earmarked for the next (not currently open) seat in Kentucky.

~ ~ ~

Here’s where it gets all fucked up:

There’s no obvious open pre-emptive communications from the White House about this deal and what’s on the table. I imagine Biden didn’t want to piss off McConnell or the rest of the GOP in order to pull off this deal so the White House went mum. There’s no open seat so why get people rattled about this one seat while everyone is still extremely anxious over SCOTUS’ bullshit Dobbs decision overturning Roe.

The media is doing is usual bullshit; Gannett-owned Courier-Journal in Kentucky is the originating source for this story, and it’s solidly locked behind a paywall as most local Gannett papers tend to do. I can’t tell exactly what the sourcing was for this reporting because I can’t read it. For all I know the source was The Federalist Society itself, intent on fucking with Biden’s approval rating. Or McConnell who so far has done plenty to trash Biden’s approval with wall-to-wall obstruction holding all 50 GOP senators by the short hairs. Or perhaps even Rand Paul being his usual prickish self. Nobody running around yelling right now can offer any more details about sourcing.

Now G/O Media outlet Jezebel is running around trashing Biden based on Courier-Journal’s reporting:

Biden’s latest, deeply hypocritical move comes after he claimed to be fiercely defending women’s right to abortion now that states have been given the green light to ban it outright.

It’s as if they didn’t read the sourcing of their own fucking reporting, like this bit right here:

The federal courts are extremely important right now. The Republican Party’s (read: Mitch McConnell’s) entire strategy for the past few years has been to pack them with conservatives who will shut down any lawsuit attempting to defend abortion rights. Biden is under a lot of pressure to fill the current court vacancies he has with judges who are friendly to reproductive rights. And instead, he is making deals with McConnell to allow more anti-abortion judges into the fray.

The link is to a piece in Bloomberg Law, which reports,

Progressives want the White House and Senate Democrats to move faster. The usual summer congressional slowdown and November midterm campaigning leaves limited time for committee and floor action before a lame-duck session to end the year.

Senate Democrats, who have confirmed 16 circuit nominees in the first year and a half of Joe Biden’s presidency, are aiming to nearly double the tally in the next six months.

But filling all available vacancies is unlikely without changes to how the majority manages vetting, said John Collins, a George Washington University professor who tracks judicial nominations. “I just don’t think there’s enough time,” Collins said.

The hazard for Biden is that a Republican-controlled Senate would confirm few, if any, of his appellate nominees during the final two years of his first term. The 13 circuit courts are the last word on virtually all federal appeals.

Progressives wanted more federal judgeships faster.

Senate Dems want to confirm 32 before the end of the year.

If the Democrats can streamline vetting, there are at least 40 vacancies to be filled — not a one of them in Kentucky.

McConnell wants one future judgeship vacancy in his state in order to facilitate rapid approval.

But that’s not what Jezebel wanted to tell you. Oh no — it’s easier to fall back on the tried-and-true the “Biden’s Busted” variant of “Dems in Disarray” crap because the media in general has conditioned its audience not to question this. You the reader are meant to be braindead and go with it because you’ll have to pay to validate the reporting of one story to get to the bottom of this and you the audience may not know where and how to look for the number of federal judgeship vacancies.

Like here.

Just look at all the pretty red state vacancies!

~ ~ ~

Now the caveat: because the White House hasn’t issued formal communications about this alleged deal, it’s just that, an allegation — pure vaporware. We do not know with a degree of certainty who agreed to what in order to accomplish their aims.

Until we see something formal directly from a party to the agreement, this should be treated as speculation.

And it’s speculation Jezebel fell for, hook, line, and sinker.

(Side note: Probably doesn’t hurt to recall G/O Media is the successor to Gawker. Gawker’s Gizmodo outlet  fell for bullshit about Facebook being biased against conservatives just in time to get played before the 2016 election really heated up and Gawker went bankrupt thanks to Peter Thiel.)

~ ~ ~

There are a LOT of “Biden/Dem Fail” stories out there right now kicking around social media. Do NOT take them at face value. Dig in, looking for sourcing and attribution, business model if any involved; always ask, “Cui bono?

For crying out loud we all know the right-wing continues to follow Bannon’s playbook, “flooding the zone with shit”; they’re desperate to push both the House January 6 Committee hearings and the anger of childbearing people off the front page and out of social media.

That’s not to say the Democrats at various levels of the party ecosphere aren’t screwing up. Communications are a massive problem; they’re not bringing their A-game even though they know the right-wing ecosphere is well organized, well funded, and willing to be extremely nasty. Yet Dems top to bottom, elected to grassroots are still bringing butter knives to AR-15 gunfights instead of embracing the Chicago Way.

(As much as I respect Michelle Obama and her ethic, “We go high,” it doesn’t work with Nazis and Nazi enablers. Punch Nazis literally and figuratively. Concede no ground.)

Most — not all, thank you Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, for example — are making huge mistakes with fundraising right now off the back of the Dobbs decision. Stop it. Just stop.

Make instead an ask for action, tell Democratic voters what they can do first in order to beat back the fascist GOP’s attacks. Make money an ask at the end, not first.

And for dogs’ sake, get the fundamentals right, like copy editing and proofreading. Nothing makes any ask look more like a phishing attempt than half-assed communications.

But elected and appointed Dems, and Democratic Party officials with the DNC or state parties aren’t the only ones fucking up.

We are when we swallow bullshit without questioning it first, without pushing back whether there’s any merit to the bullshit or not, when we share the bullshit like stenographers without making a truth sandwich first a la George Lakoff, and when we don’t do our bit to be the left-wing media ecosphere we don’t otherwise have because we don’t buy big corporate media machines like the right-wing does. Share good, accurate news, rinse, repeat. Focus on driving constructive action.

Stop letting the right-wing kick our asses. Pull up your big people panties and fight back like you mean it. Make sure you’re aiming at your opposition not your own team.

109 replies
    • Desider says:

      Emailed a copy earlier via Marcy
      Try Opera and put yourself in Europe for some odd reason may work (normally it’s the other way)

      • Rayne says:

        Thanks, Desider! Although I once used Opera, I won’t use it now because its founders sold it; it’s now a Chinese-owned corporation. Please, PLEASE don’t use Opera VPN.

      • Chuck M. says:

        Not even. Just use a reputable VPN (Nord for us). 24 yrs. of IT have taught me the Netherlands connection’s usually solid. I’m reading it with no login.

        Andrew Wolfson: 502 -582 -7189
        awolfson @ courier-journal .com
        Twitter: @adwolfson

        [FYI, phone number and email address ‘broken’ with blank spaces to prevent scraping by trolls/bots/spiders. /~Rayne]

    • Legonaut says:

      Thanks, mvario!

      Rayne is spot-on with the post title.

      Assuming the deal is real, the question cuts both ways — why would McConnell do it? Why is Meredith so important? Is this a tee-up of the football so Lucy McConnell can pull it away from Charlie Biden?

      (I feel for Yarmuth in this. Not a good look for D’s in Louisville, gonna be harder to keep his seat. No wonder he’s upset.)

      I guess they call it “Kentucky horse trading” for a reason. “Faustian bargain” also comes to mind…

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks much for that, very helpful.

      In a nutshell, Jezebel really didn’t do much original reporting because they never followed up with retiring Rep. John Yarmuth or the Democratic candidate for his seat. Why did Yarmuth go off on this without look at the issue of other judgeships? Where’s the candidate on this, or is Yarmuth trying to give him cover?

      And it’s not just about judgeships but U.S. Attorneys held up by McConnell. Which USAs? Are they ones which might be responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes from the Trump administration?

      Ugh. I need to write all this in an update. Thanks again.

      • bmaz says:

        Don’t forget about ambassadors, agency heads and subheads. They have choked all of them off, and it is rarely even mentioned.

        • Rayne says:

          Thanks much for the update. If I were Biden I wouldn’t make the appointment until I saw 32 judgeships and 2 USAs approved by the Senate since the retiree and McConnell gamed this situation to announce her taking senior status after the news was published about the deal.

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            And Mitch used to date her too! I was allowed access to the same article mvario linked above; salient points included McConnell pressuring GOP-appointed judges (like his ex-girlfriend) to retire so he could replace them with Fed Soc choices, and Chad Meredith (the potential appointee now) seeming like a typical, very young apparatchik.

            I understand Gov. Beshear and Rep. Yarmuth expressing anger. But Biden is doing a thing called politics, which necessarily involves compromising with opponents and making deals, especially when your supposed allies in the Senate refuse to stand up to their donors in order to further your party’s agenda.

            • Rayne says:

              Oh gross!!! This is a late payback for an old flame? Does Elaine Chao know??

              ADDER: If you have links to any reporting about McConnell’s relationship with this ex-girlfriend, I would love it ~in Donnie Jr. email voice~

            • bmaz says:

              Oh, fuck that shit. Biden is complete garbage here. He is not “doing politics” he is just a dishonest horse’s ass. Come on.

                • bmaz says:

                  For what, exactly? You think Biden’s asinine deal for a couple of years of an unnecessary US Atty or two is a good bargain? Or what then? What is your issue?

                  • goatrodeo says:

                    Just paying a compliment to the normal decorum y’all maintain on this erudite site and nodding back to the byline for this topic. There’s a lot more to this than meets the eye, and throwing slurs back at the complexity does nothing to advance this, normally pristinely moderated, discussion?

                    • bmaz says:

                      Well, good, am so sorry. I maintain Biden’s apparent position on this is such horseshit that it is beyond belief. (And have been proven correct in that regard). So “slur” that.

                      If you think this can be apologized for, I do not. Jeebus. Go “page” that. You are a three time commenter, all today, that apparently only wants to shit on me. Go to your own “goat rodeo” and GTFO of here.

  1. d4v1d says:

    Read the byline? I’m here because of the byline. : )

    As to fighting back, Charlie Pierce on the Esquire politics blog has a piece about IL’s guv Pritzker giving dems a lesson on how it’s done.

  2. bmaz says:

    Eh, Biden has gotten a lot of judges through, which they relentlessly brag about. But there are LOT of vacancies in red states that sit empty and do not even have nominees because the Biden WH and Durbin have their heads up their asses. Schumer and Durbin have been asked to speed it up, but they refuse and Biden is not making nominees fast enough anyway. If the Senate is lost in November, they will all be SOL. And Durbin has cravenly refused to quit honoring blue slip holds. And, yes, Biden could lay down the law and tell them to quit honoring them but he won’t do that either. It really is seriously pathetic.

    And, by the way it may not matter currently, because yet another octogenarian Dem fossil, Pat Leahy, fell and broke his hip last night and is going in for emergency hip replacement surgery this morning. So, until he can return, the Dems do not even have 50 votes. So, there is that too.

    Now, back to why McConnell would make the deal as described. Because it is a sham. Mitch might not stop further nominees, but he is but one Senator, even though he is Leader. That would not stop Rand Paul, or Tom Cotton, or Ted Cruz etc from doing it on their own, especially while Durbin maintains honoring the archaic and asinine blue slips.

    The Dems really are the Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight. And, yes, after having no meaningful plan to deal with the Roe repeal. accepting Mitch’s pet piece of hard core FedSoc anti-abortion crap really does feel like a betrayal to Dem activists. And don’t worry about a seat not being available at the instant moment, one is coming or we are not even having this discussion.

    • Eichhörnchen says:

      It’s not clear to me, if this deal was made, when the deal was made. But I suspect that its value for Mitch lies as much in the Dem infighting and the hobbling of any electoral gain dems might make because of Dobbs as it does in the promise of a single judgeship.

      • bmaz says:

        “Infighting” huh? Or maybe a lot of people are just fed up with how feckless and worthless the Dems are being. They deserve 100% of the backlash they are getting, and then some. Biden and Pelosi’s response to Dobbs has basically been “Go vote harder for more Dems!”. Why would anybody be excited by that, especially young people and minorities who are unduly burdened by much of what is happening?

        As to judges, I have been carping about judicial policy and the scourge that is blue slip holds since we started this here blog. And idiot fossilized Dems like Leahy, DiFi and Durbin have just blithely maintained the out of touch archaic practice, and Biden and Schumer refuse to push them. Fifteen years later, Dems are still shooting themselves in the foot; it never changes. The Republicans play to win, the Dems are afraid of their own shadow. So, no, I am not moved too much by the “Dem infighting” garbage.

        • Eichhörnchen says:

          I didn’t mean to suggest I was lamenting the Dem infighting. If anything, I lament the idiocy that is often at the base of it. I meant only that it is another benefit of any such deal for Mitch and the Rs. Surely he won’t be unhappy to see this story break into more mainstream media.

          • bmaz says:

            That is the problem though, Mitch cannot, and does not, bind the other GOP Senators, and as long as Durbin adheres to the blue slip nonsense, nominations in red states can be stopped dead in their tracks. Ron Johnson proved this on the Pocan nomination last February. And here is a bonus sweet factoid, Johnson had been one of the ones suggesting Pocan originally, and he still killed it with a blue slip withholding. To the extent there is a “deal” here, it is a complete sham.

            • Eichhörnchen says:

              Exactly. A deal like this holds no risk, no real downside for Mitch. And the upsides are considerable.

      • Rayne says:

        Which is why all the hair-on-fire morons running around need to check themselves because they’re doing McConnell’s work for him.

        For free. For fucking free. McConnell didn’t have to cough up one cent for the bullshit being spewed trashing Biden and Democrats.

        The least these morons could do is bill the soft-assed turtlehead for the propaganda but they’re not smart enough to grasp this.

        • bmaz says:

          I’ll do it for free, as I have been on this subject forever! Long ago and far away when we started, it was basically me, Dahlia Lithwick and a couple of others bitching about it. It is still here.

          • Rayne says:

            The average American and goddamned POS Jezebel don’t know what the blue slip is. They need a primer on what it is, what it was intended to do.

            And then the reasons it’s fail in this environment.

            California’s judicial vacancies were a paper all by themselves during Trump’s last year in office.

    • Rayne says:

      Boy oh boy, it sure would be nice to have an attorney write a post about the blue slip process and how it has failed US democracy.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        We could ask Dick Durbin to do it, he doesn’t seem very busy.

        The 1:32 framing is much better framing, if it were true. As you say, we don’t know. We do know Moscow Mitch would never honor any promise to a Democrat.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Agree that Biden needs to get his Senate approvals before he appoints Chad. No one expects him to renege on a deal.

          • bmaz says:

            Lol. Uh huh. There is absolutely NO “framing” here in which Biden is not complete shit. It was so hard to see coming….

    • Rugger9 says:

      I’m not usually one to question Biden’s deal-making and his policies, but this was a remarkably tone-deaf unforced error.

      Post-Roe, there should be this policy regarding lifetime appointees, especially until SCOTUS is fixed by expansion, originally from Stalin:

      Ни шагу назад!, Ni shagu nazad!

      Not. One. Step. Back.

      The other thing to note as others have is whether McConnell is telling the truth here. That Jezebel was the ‘useful idiot du jour’ shouldn’t surprise anyone, only that Politico didn’t post this first. Then again, maybe Politico wouldn’t touch this. How much play is this reporting getting in the RWNM, and how is it being described? Otherwise, this is precisely the kind of maskirovka the Soviets would use to drive wedges in their adversaries.

      Biden’s WH should issue a flat denial and remind McConnell that all deals are off the table because of his backstabbing.

    • Adams says:

      Yes, exactly. Thank you. Blue slips. A little too conveniently, Rayne left out the blue slips. Although he did mention bringing a knife to a gun fight (Tm Dems) and the main message: Vote more, vote harder, and send money. Pathetic. Again.

      • Rayne says:

        First, you can fuck all the way off about the blue slips. They weren’t mentioned in the Courier-Journal’s original article which meant they weren’t the issue.

        Second, you can just fuck all the way off. You’ve only cemented your nature and your intent with your comment today. You will find something obnoxious to say to either breach the site’s policies and guidelines or piss off the moderators — not a good practice.

        Consider yourself liberated this Fourth of July.

  3. Eichhörnchen says:

    Stop HELPING the right-wing kick our asses.

    (Sorry. My phone won’t let me italicize or strike through.)

  4. Ddub says:

    Leahy fell and broke his hip. That is so on brand. These people that hang on past their sell by date because they are so selfish and entitled that they can’t see that they are the problem.
    When Pelosi started trading insults with TFG that was the writing on the wall. She won’t, but she should make a deal to step down if Dems win. That would help in November, a lot.

    • Rayne says:

      Have you ever run for office? Have you ever helped a candidate run for office – actually worked alongside them to recruit volunteers, raise funds, develop a campaign? Let me guess your answer is no because you don’t understand the drivers behind an older incumbent remaining in office.

      Vermont’s Democrats could have primaried Leahy — oh yeah, there actually was a primary opponent in 2016. Opponent Cris Ericson could only muster a little over 10% of Democrats’ votes. Ericson also ran against Leahy as an independent in 2010 and got less than 2% of the vote. What does that tell you?

      Vermonters chose Leahy; the Vermont Democratic Party hasn’t had another strong primary candidate in the pipeline for whatever reason (i.e., lack of interest, inability to raise funds, disqualifying factors, so on). This is how democracy works. If you don’t like it, hot foot your way to Vermont, become a resident, earn the faith of Vermont Democrats, build a campaign and support team, and start campaigning.

      You might have a chance in 2028 to primary the soon-to-be-new incumbent if you get off your butt now. Leahy announced his retirement earlier this year and one of these Democrats Isaac Evans-Frantz, Niki Thran, or Peter Welch is likely to win.

      • bmaz says:

        Maybe the old fossilized dead wood ought to have the grace to leave a little sooner rather than just hanging on because they can. Was bound to happen to either Leahy or DiFi. Feinstein did not take a tumble, she is merely losing her mental faculties. But, hey, as I said earlier, maybe they can wheel Leahy in on a gurney or something for important votes. What a joke. Sanders is yet another octogenarian, and he wants to run for President again. Angus King very close. New blood, dump the codgers.

        • Rayne says:

          And what if they want to leave as in Leahy’s case but the pipeline has no one in it to take their place?

          In California I blame the California Democratic Party. They have a much bigger pipeline. They could have done one heckuva lot more for Kevin de Leon as just one example. I don’t see the same conditions in Vermont.

          I don’t like the gerontocratic system which allows unelected staffers to govern by puppetry over oldsters, but fucking Democratic Party voters need to do more than vote. That’s the bare goddamned minimum to maintain a democracy and it’s not enough. They have to show up and do the fucking work of organizing, building, fundraising, recruiting, training, and campaigning in order to have a viable political party and they simply prefer to bitch and whine.

          Been there, seen it up close, was able to take over a local county party inside 6 months by doing all that. Have even written about what I learned here in a series. Good goddamned thing I didn’t hold my fucking breath for change to happen.

          • bmaz says:

            There have been people in Vermont, just none that could take out Leahy if he is running. Barbara Boxer did the right thing, DiFi will not.

            • Rayne says:

              Yeah, that’s why they didn’t bother running whatsoever. ~eye roll~ I don’t buy that framing for a second.

              If Vermont’s voters don’t want you, then you don’t fuck up the Senate for a vanity run.

              • bmaz says:

                No, it is entirely on Leahy and DiFi. Could have gone out with dignity, but we get this geriatric shit. And the other octogenarians need to go away too, especially Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn. I am completely sick of them, they can rot.

                • Rayne says:

                  I live in a House district where we can’t successfully field a candidate (let alone win) every election. There’s no goddamned pipeline because no one wants to either commit to the necessary two attempts for name cred, do adequate fundraising, or do the work.

                  More than half the last 6 terms we didn’t have a viable candidate. I’m in one of the more populated counties in my state; it’s like this in a number of other counties across Michigan. Not buying the refusal to step down because I’m living in the why they don’t.

                  Christ, I’ll point to Dale Kildee in the next House district over, who was so doddering in his last run he shook his primary opponent’s hand and asked for his vote. The district still voted for Kildee because the primary opponent was too new and had no name cred in the district. Dale retired, died, but that Democratic opponent disappeared after their first run.

                  It’s like that in many places across the country.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Vermont Dems might check their succession and temporary appointment plans. Broken hips at Leahy’s age are bad news; recovery is not assured.

              Good reminder for every other state, ’cause Leahy is not the only post-retirement age Democratic congresscritter.

              • Rayne says:

                I need to point this out one more time: Leahy announced his retirement. He’s not running. His ultimate succession is already running for his open seat.

                There’s a primary election on August 9. VT’s governor could appoint an interim Senator until a special election which could be as soon as August 9 if Leahy becomes incapacitated. VT’s governor is also up for reelection right now meaning pressure will be on him not to fuck up his own race with an extremely short-term appointment.

                • bmaz says:

                  And, golly, only one last six year term too late!!

                  And how in the hell are you going to get anything done in the Senate if Leahy is incapacitated? Live with a bunch of feckless zombie fossils, die with them. The Dems are sclerotic and pathetic.

                    • earlofhuntingdon says:

                      Recommended brands? I need to restock, and I need alternatives to Scotch and Irish whisky.

                    • Rayne says:

                      I’m probably the worst person to ask. I buy a range of them, most recently cheap Giro Gold by Sauza which I mix one-for-one with my homemade limoncello for the next best thing to a margarita (probably better, because my limoncello is made with organic lemons and Everclear). It’s the Giro I need to replenish since it’s summer — limeade/lemonade and melons beg for tequila.

                      I also have 1800 Añejo (a Jose Cuervo label), Tres Generaciones Añejo (another Sauza label), and an assortment of reposados and añejos from private small batch places friends have brought back from Mexico. Can’t tell you what those are, all unlabeled.

                      One thing I won’t drink: any Hornitos tequila. This is weird because this is another Sauza label, but all Hornitos taste grassy. Blecch.

                    • Molly Pitcher says:

                      Our daughter just gave my husband a Don Julio 1942 for his birthday ! Holy Moly is that amazing. IT has supplanted the Trader Joe’s for the moment.

                    • Eureka says:

                      Oh I know what those small batches are labeled: Tekillya.

                      # Moderation required (they are not fucking around with the ETOH fraction)

                    • Eureka says:

                      LOL, fair enough — was using the ‘local’ term-of-art.

                      As the last one standing ‘that one time’, I’m just saying it’s not the ideal bev for a shot contest. Not the reeel Mexican stuff, anyway.

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  My concern was about control of the Senate now, through next January. If Leahy is incapacitated or gone, it’s trouble, at best a delay in governance. Even assuming, for example, a push to fill all conceivable political appointments requiring Senate confirmation were made before November, where does it go?

                  Given the dangers of broken hips at his age, if the interim appointment process is reliable, he should consider resigning now.

                  • earlofhuntingdon says:

                    For starters, it’s a question for Leahy. Then it’s a question for the people advising him, the governor, and the candidate(s) who might replace him. The good people of Vermont would seem to be relegated to the role of ratifying whatever the former decide.

                • Molly Pitcher says:

                  There are limited candidates lining up to run for the very reason Jackie Speier is retiring. Jan 6.

                  The amount of ruthless op research that candidates and their families are subjected to was enough before TFG to dissuade people’s participation. Now that the inmates are running the GOP asylum, the smart people don’t want to subject themselves to that abuse when they can make money in the business sector and influence society thru non-profits and charities.

                  I have spoken to plenty of people, trying to convince them to run, and they almost universally have stated they won’t for these reasons.

                  They don’t want goofballs with weapons camped out on their doorsteps, screaming about eating babies and grooming children to be bisexual.

                  I don’t know what the answer to this is. The people who are willing to put up with this in Northern California, tend to be on the messianic side of the spectrum, or have an unnerving desire for power.

                    • Molly Pitcher says:

                      Why haven’t YOU run ? I would vote for you in a heartbeat. Smart, tough, thoughtful, passionate. You would get elected in your district, sign-up !!

  5. wetzel says:

    The country is lucky to have a great President in Joe Biden. That’s my opinion. His management of United States and NATO support for Ukraine has been magnificent. He fell on his sword to get us out of Afghanistan, and every supposed ‘gaffe’ regarding Ukraine has been a purposeful deflection and de-escalation. But where is the Democratic party hagiography of Joe Biden? People should know he is keeping us safe. He is saving the free world from chaos and war, and the point should be made constantly that inflation is global. The global inflation. The world-wide inflation. After COVID and through this Ukraine war, Joe Biden will keep this country safe! Where is the drum-beat? Where are our bots? Democrats are fundamentally lacking in team spirit.

    • bmaz says:

      Aw jeez, “Please Clap!” I’ll tell you what, you get Biden to get off his old ass and do his job on judicial nominations, the single most enduring legacy a President can have, and maybe I will give a damn about how “great” he is. Because in red states, the places where his lifetime nominees could have the greatest impact, Biden and his WH are all but derelict in their duty. It is embarrassing and pathetic.

      • Willis Warren says:

        They don’t have shadowy donors to do all the vetting for them. Where’s that Soros money when you need it?

      • Eureka says:

        & not just the reds as you know. Saw you rt’d Bonin the other day on a bunch in MDPA & WDPA — beyond all the other important business, aka venues for much of the 2020 post-election BS. Would be of great concern for 2024 for what happens in the interim if Biden doesn’t deal w/those ASAP (if the leg. in states like PA doesn’t take care of all that couping themselves).

        • bmaz says:

          Yes, exactly. Adam is one of the better election lawyers around, and especially so in PA. And a very long time friend to us here. Adam is never alarmist, if he is talking, the concern is real.

          • Eureka says:

            Definitely am concerned, esp. when the plotters have given you their roadmap and you’ve not done what you can to divert or speed-bump their next circuit through.

            While they are fun-smart reads in general, I really appreciated all of those Philadelphia lawyers (Bonin, Stiegler, Kennerly, et al. — and the national ones like Hasen, Elias, and of course you, bmaz) in 2020. [FTR, it’s still “2020” viz. 2020ness unresolved and all around us. Unless we want to class it “2016”. So many decisions with these eras and phases…]

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Since you mentioned it, I shared this a few posts back but it may be worth repeating. It features aluminum in another setting related to Manafort and Deripaska. But it also ties in Serbia. All in all, it feels like it was a dry run for Trump’s own coup attempt:

      “Indictment tells murky Montenegrin coup tale” – Valerie Hopkins, May 23, 2017
      Katnić said that according to the plan he uncovered, after the voting closed on October 16 the alleged plotters planned to take the parliament by force while a second group would impersonate police officers and fire on a crowd that had gathered outside the building.
      After declaring independence in 2006 following a narrowly won referendum, Montenegro initially courted Russian investment and tourism and sold off its main aluminum plant to Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of Vladimir Putin. Moscow reportedly also hoped to have a military foothold in the Balkans by purchasing the port in the southern town of Bar. But Montenegro slowly turned its back on Russia and when it was invited to join NATO in 2015, a furious Russia promised “retaliatory actions.”
      …Aleksandar “Saša” Sinđelić, a Serbian…says he was groomed by Russian intelligence agents…and that in April 2016 he received the first indications from his handler of a plot to overthrow Đukanović.
      The indictment also cites a statement attributed to Brian Scott, the CEO of
      Patriot Defense Group, a defense contractor based in Orlando, Florida.
      It says he recounted being approached through a chain of individuals, on behalf of a “Canadian-Israeli political adviser”…

      • AndTheSlithyToves says:

        Bless you and thank you, Savage. There’s just too much crimin’ goin’ on to keep up with it all!

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        And let’s not forget the way Trump briefly and bizarrely parroted Putin’s Montenegro talking points, as if he could only see them as analogous to his own Mexican “invasion” enemies (that is, racistly).

  6. ApacheTrout says:

    Durbin (and any other Democrat) honoring the blue slips is part of the Democrat’s problem of continuing to pay by the rules of a gentile Sentate when Republicans long ago lit them on fire.

    I’ve said this elsewhere, but it’s truly repulsive to the Democratic voter that the Biden Admin and the establishment Dems actively step on their base for fear of alienating 48% of the voting public who will NEVER EVER be convinced to vote for Democratic candidates.

  7. Rugger9 says:

    Any thoughts on the LGM article to get two more retirements for SCOTUS? Much as I admire RBG’s legal acumen (as well as Kagan and Sotomayor), her delay led to Barrett. I don’t know if it can be done before the midterms. It should be done if the Ds hold their chambers and the SCOTUS is expanded. I can dream….

    • skua says:

      Anti-fas supreme court judges would be fulfilling their duty to the future if they regularly get actuarial advice based on a complete physical – and retire while anti-fas judge appointments are being made, a long time before the health odds get troubling.Maybe if you haven’t got 12 years at 95% chance then plan an exit.

      If you’ve been mentoring and succession planning effectively then, with good fortune, there’ll be someone to pass the torch to.

  8. Bobster33 says:

    It’s called working the refs. Every time the right wing comes up with a complaint, the Democrats jump to address it.

    The left needs to be equally if not more vocal to pull Biden to the left. Like FDR said, You’ve convinced me, now go out and make me do it. With enough noise from the left, we just might convince Biden to act on the progressive things he can do.

    • Rayne says:

      That was the mistake the left made when Obama took office. After all the work they did from 2004 on to realize a blue wave in 2006 and get Obama elected in 2008, they just rolled over and played dead. That’s when they should have pushed the Overton window even further to the left to give Obama cover.

      But I know I’ve said all this before here.

  9. Duke says:

    Had this dream last night. SCOTUS

    Zero distance between SCROTUS and grab ‘em by my PREJUDICE.
    Eventually, any medicine which impacts women specifically will no longer be developed and investigated. These fascists plan on interference in every medical decision from a non-medical perspective. It is all going towards a fascist version of Catholicism. LGBTBQ+ People will be outlawed and Capital punishment will be instituted and it will come from an uncontrolled SCRUTUS if not from an usurped version of democracy.

    Theocracy is where this is headed and there is a a competition between christo fascists on who gets to institute the maximum punishment of the individual.

    All those website/apps which people have placed their trust in are already have sold your shit before you give it to them.

    Watch it as it unfolds upon us.

    • Rayne says:

      I want as many Democratic women elected to Congress as possible so that they can eventually ban erectile dysfunction medications and aids.

      Let’s see if the medical decision sauce is as good for the gander as the goose.

      • Duke says:

        A better result would be to make every paternal donor to be completely responsible legally and socially.

        Knock her up – here’s your prize. Hear it as here is your sign.

        Make men own their reproductive contributions to societal complaints. Men who plant their seed and abandon the life they created are absolutely common. More common than single mothers. In fact, I betcha there are more men who have left lives for someone else to care for and develop than women who have multiple baby daddies.

  10. Shawn K. Younkin says:

    “Most — not all, thank you Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, for example — are making huge mistakes with fundraising right now off the back of the Dobbs decision. Stop it. Just stop.”

    Are you serious w/ that? How about the dem leadership who can’t stop sending emails asking for cash? It’s NOT just AOC and Warren fund raising off a horrid supreme court decision. At lease Warren and AOC aren’t massive hypocrites like Pelosi who asked for cash to “defend Roe” after campaigning in Texas for forced birther cueller.

  11. Matthew Harris says:

    On Election Day 2016, Seanbaby (the man who invented being funny on the internet) tweeted, in strong but direct terms:

    “Lifehack: Write on your hand to remember which candidate is a racist thief who mocks the disabled & rapes children and which one uses email!”

    So I hope voters continue to remember which party makes tactical mistakes, bad decisions, and procedural errors, and which party has pretty much lined up with kleptocracy and religious fascism. Its good that Democratic voters want to push the party to be better, but their skepticism has been weaponized against them.

    I mean yes, Biden nominated someone to be Ambassador to Belize who, 25 years ago, did insensitive things around the execution of a political prisoner, but we have to put things like that in perspective.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Rosa has represented the district where I live now since I arrived in Connecticut 35 years ago. This is as safe a Democratic hold as anywhere is the country, and although Rosa has gotten a lot done in Congress, there are many young politicians ready to move up with nowhere much to go (our state senator has also been in office for decades).

      For eleven years I lived outside New Haven, in an area that saw redistricting and active competition for congressional seats. While I’ve done some campaigning in New Haven on the alderperson level, I miss the energy of working on those campaigns outside “the city,” and all the insights that work gave me into how politics really works–holding up signs in grocery store parking lots, leaning on the cart corral and pretending not to see hostile stares (these towns were and are reddish purple); jostling close enough to the candidate I could smell him.

      I know people who’ve worked on DeLauro’s campaigns–proudly, but in part because in this town hers is the only game. Those messy, smelly contested elections are the ones that get young people involved. They’re fun, and you feel like you might really make a difference.

      Because you can: my mom and sister lived in Barack Obama’s South Side district when he was an Illinois state senator, and after leafleting for him in 2004 they felt proud to play a part in his becoming US Senator. Rayne is so right. We have to stop smothering such feelings in the crib.

  12. Eureka says:

    OT, dystopia leg.: Two PA state senators propose a bill worse than (as ACLU describes it) FL’s “Don’t say gay” bill. Such bills are a nationwide problem; I note this here because the senators are from bucolic Lancaster county, site of protracted Russian active measures (more recently via Charles Bausman, who fled to Russia after 1/6). This bill would be vetoed by the for-now-Dem. gov.; this is a purely ideological wag.

    On the bill itself, details from ACLU of Pennsylvania:

      • Tom says:

        I hope they’ll do something about the math curriculum. When I was a student, I always felt badly for prime numbers. They can only be divided by themselves and the number 1. Poor lonely prime numbers. So sad.

        But seriously, you can’t read a novel without feeling some response to what happens to the characters because of the emotions you invest in them, even though you know the people you’re reading about are fictional. When studying history, the emotional response should be even greater because you’re reading about the lives of people who really existed.

        When I was a kid in school learning about the fur trade (the teacher’s description of the difference between the “castor sec”–dry beaver–and “castor gras”–greasy beaver–always provoked lots of laughs), I always felt badly for the Indians because I thought they were getting ripped off trading valuable furs for a few cheap trinkets and geegaws. The teacher’s explanation that the Indians were getting items that they valued highly didn’t really satisfy me and I still felt badly for the Indians, but I wasn’t emotionally scarred as a result.

        The only way students will learn where the world is today and how we got here is to teach the events of the past warts and all.

  13. Eureka says:

    A good thread from Jonathan Lai about the impending independent state legislatures doctrine disaster, with particular attention to Lai’s notes from 2020 from Justin Levitt @_justinlevitt_ (currently the White House Senior Policy Advisor for Democracy & Voting Rights) about the *abject chaos* that would ensue (one question of many: would governors’ prior vetoes of voting-related legislation simply vanish)?

    ^also re the ‘dystopia leg’ entries above (in mod): really not OT I suppose, as they very much fall under “vote harder”

  14. Just Some Guy says:

    Forgive me if it’s been covered in other comments, but this particular would-be nominee was one of the attorneys in the administration of former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin who worked on pardons at the end of Bevin’s one term. Pardons which are now being investigated by the FBI. One of the felons Bevin pardoned, Patrick Baker, was recently re-tried and found guilty on federal charges. His family “donated” something like $20k to Bevin’s failed re-election campaign against Andy Beshear. And in the CJ article about the Meredith nomination “deal,” Meredith’s lawyer posits a not-convincing denial that Meredith worked on the pardon (the CJ has documentation indicating otherwise, presumably the Feds do too).

    His odious views aside, I can imagine some exposure issues regarding these pardons for Meredith if the FBI investigation goes further. IANAL, but would a federal judgeship make any prior criminal activity more, uh, difficult to charge? Seems like a dumb question but to me it’s important, and yet not getting as much traction as his odious views (for good reason).

    BTW as a Kentucky resident, CJ subscriber, and Emptywheel reader, I can assure y’all that many Kentuckians think, in the words of our Democratic Senate candidate Charles Booker, “this is some bullshit!”

      • Just Some Guy says:

        Right, though one of the documents the CJ has is a spreadsheet of pardon activities with “Chad working” in one of the cells!

        Meredith had to turn over those documents to the state, then the CJ received them via FOIA. But the CJ never reported on the judicial order to Meredith!

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