Three Things: Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About

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

Before I go any further, I’m going to point to one of Marcy’s past posts:

What DOJ Was Doing While You Were Wasting Time Whinging on Twitter July 16, 2022

Whinger Verbs: To Investigate … To Prosecute … To Indict March 26, 2022

The Eight Trump Associates Whom DOJ Is Investigating February 8, 2022

While TV Lawyers Wailed Impotently, DOJ Was Acquiring the Communications of Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and (Probably) Mark Meadows February 2, 2022

Merrick Garland Points Out that Misdemeanors Are Easy January 5, 2022

Ten Things TV Lawyers Can Do Rather than Whinging about Merrick Garland December 3, 2021

Oops, that’s more than one post. Yeah. All that for the last eight months at least, with receipts along the way.

~ 3 ~

On Monday July 25, the Murdochian Wall Street Journal dumped:


DOJ has been one degree of separation and less from Trump in its investigation, but unsurprisingly so to those paying attention.

What may be more interesting is that it was the Wall Street Journal. Are the Murdochs and News Corp finally throwing in the towel on Trump?

~ 2 ~

Just before 7:00 pm ET last evening, the Washington Post published this piece confirming the DOJ was investigating Trump:

Shocking, SHOCKING, I tell you. Not.

~ 1 ~

In a bid for relevancy, the New York Times dropped this We, Too piece last night after WaPo’s piece above:

Unsurprising that communications of those close to Trump are under scrutiny. Especially since DOJ has had so many messages in their possession for months, like Giuliani’s.

~ 0 ~

I’m sure you’ll hear more from Marcy she’s got time, stable internet access, and something dramatically new and important arises.

This is an open thread. Have at it.

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302 replies
    • J R in WV says:

      Love me some Bonnie Raitt. Also Joni performed at the Newport Folk Festival. Of the songs I’ve heard, her best performance is “Summertime” — an amazing performance for anyone, let alone a 78 y o woman recovering from a brain aneurysm.

      I was at the Newport festival in 1968 when the headliner was Janis Joplin — it was a blues oriented festival, all new and different to me, I was 17. The things I heard !!

      • DrFunguy says:

        Joni’s still got it. Agree that Summertime was the best (of what I’ve seen) of this performance, though I quite enjoyed the guitar instrumental and Circle Game. I don’t think Joni’s guitar gets the recognition it deserves.
        Also love me some Bonnie Raitt so thanks for the YouTube.
        More on topic, it is so frustrating to see so many people who should know better complaining about the DOJ’s investigation.

        • Scott Church says:

          Because her hands were weakened by polio, Joni had to use alternate tunings and chords.
          A lesser artist would have just given up, but Joni persisted, and triumphed.

      • Obansgirl says:

        I saw Bonnie Raitt at Passim ( with mr. Bones) , and at Paul’s Mall I believe, where my roommate worked. Little did we know what was coming.

    • Rayne says:

      You could try sharing more than that, you know, like a link or commentary. Some of us don’t spend our time on current pop culture events.

    • David B Pittard says:

      Judy Collins album, ” Both Sides Now” came out in 1967 and that song led me to Joni Mitchell’s first album and to learn in my amateur way to play and sing three of the songs on that album. In a note inside the liner, she wrote a short dedication to her teacher who had taught her to love words. That totally impressed me and she proved it with her amazing lyrics, and they were matched by her voice, personality, looks, instrumental skills and seeming fragility. Nothing in my musical library has greater value to me than her first four ablums and some other songs from later albums. I was sad to see her leave that niche for jazz, not because I thought she couldn’t handle it but because I don’t think anyone was better than her for what she did then. And that includes a list of superb singer-songwriter-musicians including Paul Simon, for example. I am grateful for living in the era in which she produced such stunning music, which I think could be a category of its own. I am grateful for her.

      • David F. Snyder says:

        Joni’s first album was pure genius. Nothing like it anywhere. And she could really set the mood. ❤️

    • Rayne says:

      That’s tasty, klynn, isn’t? Sure smells like obstruction in at least a couple different flavors.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      His Wikipedia entry makes him seem like the embodiment of the Peter Principle, promoted until he reached his level of incompetence. My question would be: how did he come to the attention of the Trump administration, because he seems to have been a “perfect” fit for them.

      • Krisy Gosney says:

        I’ve started this little research exercise. When I hear of a new person associated with Trump’s cabinet, inner circle, appointees, etc I Google their name and the word Catholic or their name and the word Christian. Since I started doing this (not that long) there’s always a hit. Googling Joseph Cuffari and the word Catholic brings up mentions that Joseph is married to Lynn Cuffari. Googling Lynn Cuffari and the word Catholic shows that Lynn is a Catholic educator, currently a principal at a Catholic HS in Tucson Az and on a Leadership Team at Uni of Norte Dame’s Alliance For Catholic Education (I stopped looking there.).

        So it’s possible Trump was hooked up with Joseph Cuffari by way of the Ginni Thomas No 1 Catholic Ladies’ Employment Agency.

        • Rayne says:

          Need to stress here this is the US Catholic fascism, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Not to be confused with Catholics (including Pope Francis) aligned with liberation theology. The difference is not unlike Russian Orthodox Church versus the Ukraine Orthodox Church.

          • Alan Charbonneau says:

            I started Catholic school in 1959. The nuns ruled by fear and so did the entire educational/religious indoctrination system and that’s how totalitarian regimes survive. Even so, if not for the experiences of the last seven years, I’d still find it hard to believe the US Catholics would go full fascist. After Trump, nothing surprises me.

            Mary Trump said Donald gave everyone permission to be their worst self. The US Church, with a history of sex scandals didn’t seem to me to be able to get worse, but it’s intrusions into the political realm make it worse than ever.

            • Rayne says:

              I attended both cathechism and Catholic school; there was a marked change in the church during the mid/late 1960s, when many of the newly ordained were anti-war and bent toward liberation theology. But the repurposing of the anti-abortion movement by right-wing politicians for political leverage and a coincident shift toward conservativism inside the church — likely negotiated between pols and church leadership — set the US church toward fascism.

              It’s a key reason why I left the church. Only Francis and his Jesuit bent toward liberationism ever gave me pause about leaving.

              • ccinmfd says:

                Nailed it. I was a freshman in the fall of 1970 at Catholic Fairfield Prep (CT) high school. The Jesus Christ Superstar album had just been released that year. It was featured in my religious class at Prep. However, having attended church, catechism class and been an altar boy for years – the whole nine yards of Catholic upbringing throughout my youth in the 60s – I found Superstar’s message, as I perceived it, confusing. Even more confusing to me was my religious class instructor’s embrace of it, which is a far cry – as Rayne notes – from the ultra-right wing political shift of the church of today. (P.S. I was later excommunicated out of the church when I married my childhood sweetie who lived across the street – a Protestant.)

                • Rayne says:

                  Godspell preceded Jesus Christ Superstar by a year. Both musicals coincided with a period of heightened community within the church, flatter local organizations rather than hierarchical organizations, with intensified charitable outreach. The old school institutionalists in the church detested this, of course, because it threatened their power, as did both musicals since they placed more emphasis on Christ’s humanity and less on sin, redemption, and resurrection.

          • skua says:

            Thanks for making that distinction clear.
            A conversation with a US Catholic featured them being certain, after repeated dialogs with US Catholic priests, that Vatican II didn’t mean what it meant, clearly, to the rest of the world. I’d wondered if they just had an unfortunate selection of priests.

          • Coffae says:

            Thank you for pointing this out. I am Catholic and many in my parish are liberal Democrats. Everything the Democrats stand for… what I stand for, as do most Catholics. We believe in causes; combating climate change, crucial health care, helping the homeless find showers, visiting the sick and those in prison, sharing wealth, being kind and tolerant, and in our parish we even had a Rainbow Club where many LGBTQ congregated within church walls. The one thing the church stands firm in is abortion, and this is something that hits right in the soft spot of politics. The GOP has been leveraging this for years, and the issue leaves many who align with Democratic values standing with the Republicans. I am hoping that now that abortion leverage hurts The GOP, I hope to see not just a huge group of anti-abortionists take off their blinders, but realize that one issue should not hold sway over political alignment, but all issues should be considered. If Joe Biden who is still a practicing Catholic can adapt to abortion’s politically deadly quagmire, then we can too.

        • SophiaB says:

          I looked up Lin Wood and experienced profound dizziness at all the nonsense he’s been up to his whole life. That dude is CRAZY.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          It’s important not to blame rot like this on Catholicism writ large. For the past half-century an increasingly well-funded and hence powerful group of Catholic extremists have benefited from the WASP elite–who wanted to maintain their own vice-grip on this country’s economy and social structure–finally perceiving how useful such retrograde Opus Dei and People of Praise types could be. When the Moral Majority started recruiting conservative Catholics to their culture wars in the late 1970s, they were conferring status at the time. This marriage of political convenience gave us our current SCOTUS. The “conservative” (actually activist) Catholics leading this movement now barely tolerate Pope Francis, and certainly don’t see him as one of their own.

    • ollie says:

      omg. I just posted it too. I cried all the way thru that song and all I can say is…….it soothed me. I struggle w/both mental and physical issues…and I get SO crabby……
      nurtured.
      loved
      joy
      dreamy
      comforted
      after watching this performance. we’re so old, lol.

    • Tracy Lynn says:

      O-my-goodness! I just heard an angel sing IRL and her name is Celisse. I’ve never heard her perform before. A-MAZing!

        • Fran of the North says:

          Near as I can tell, she’s only got 3 strings (low) on her guitar, and while she played the syncopated muted notes, another guitarist was playing the melodic bits. Can’t quite see who it is from the camera angle, but it looks to be a Telecaster from the headstock.

        • M Smith says:

          I must correct Fran. Celisse’s guitar has 6 strings, (It’s just hard to see the top three.) She plays the whole song unaccompanied, mostly playing rhythm on the two lowest strings, but occasionally playing some melody on the higher ones.

        • Tracy Lynn says:

          Really nifty fretwork as well. I miss going to live performances. Still concerned about COVID.

    • Anthony Kotoun says:

      I was there as well watching from the water. Paul Simon on Saturday was a bonus as well.

  1. ollie says:

    1/6. It’s been grueling. I don’t do a lot w/others…my choice and so I spend some time on twitter. I’d come here and get informed, NO DRAMA cause we deal w/facts here and that’s #1 for me. On twitter? we’ve got newly democratic voters scaring the living bejesus out of me….come back here….ground out……..go back out there and IT’S INSANITY. I do not get down on myself over this Information Age struggle: it’s a major workout to stay grounded and focused. did I also mention: functioning?

  2. bmaz says:

    Lol, I have been saying this all along. Conspiracies are investigated from the ground up. And it takes time. DOJ has been plugging along admirably. The hysterical people screaming “they are not doing anything!” and “we have to indict now!” are just ridiculous, including Schiff and Weissmann.

    I am still not sure there will be an indictment of Trump because I still don’t think they have causation and intent down cold enough to convict him, not to mention his obvious First Amendment defenses. We shall see. But, yes, of course they are investigating Trump, and have been for a long time. Nobody listens.

    • Randy Baker says:

      And what is the non-criminal expressive intent a reasonable juror might have imputed to Trump, having urged a group of his supporters he knew to be unlawfully armed, to march to the capitol to fight to stop Congress from certifying the election he knew he had lost, refused to request they leave the Capitol after he observed them engaging in violent crimes, and concluding his assessment by expressing his love for them?

      • bmaz says:

        Uh, the First Amendment. At this point, without more, I would expect any competent defense attorney to get Trump acquitted. Am not sure how that has not been made clear here.

        • Randy Baker says:

          Well an acquittal presupposes it was reasonably possible Trump sent the aforementioned crowd to the capitol under the aforementioned circumstances for a lawful purpose. I don’t see that lawful purpose and never have heard it uttered. If you can argue that one with a straight face, I think Trump should get your telephone number.

            • bmaz says:

              Lol. Yes, I don’t work for uncontrollable idiots and fee pikers. But do I think Trump could be defended on the currently extant “evidence”? Yes, I very much do.

              • punaise says:

                In my line of work we can kind of sort out the tire-kickers and cheapskates early on, but not always.

                • bmaz says:

                  Yes, but one of the dirty little secrets about criminal law is that, once you are an attorney of record on the docket, it is not so easy to get off, as it might be in civil cases.

                  • Barristerial immunity. says:

                    This is a universal truth.

                    (Long time lurker, actual barrister, proud wig and robe owner)

                    • bmaz says:

                      Hey there Barristerial, welcome and join in more often!

                      I kind of always wanted to don the wig and robe. Though it would be really hot in Arizona.

        • Fraud Guy says:

          Of course, Trump hasn’t had the greatest track record on getting competent attorneys to work for him.

          • bmaz says:

            He sure has not. But give a criminal lawyer enough money up front and he or she will probably represent you. But that would be a really big upfront.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            The good news is that Trump rarely pays much up front – or the entire bill. But that’s only one reason he’ll have a hard time finding lawyers competent to handle the legal work he needs doing.

            For starters, Trump thinks he’s so special, lawyers – like campaign managers – should represent him for free. He is also the worst of clients: he constantly triangulates and changes position; he never listens, never does what he agrees to do, and never shuts up. And he can’t be relied on not to perjure himself and blame his lawyer for it.

            • MB says:

              Is he then the “self-convicting” man ?

              He does have an extremely low-viscosity relationship with The Law up through now, though.

              I look forward to his “luck” finally running out.

        • Krisy Gosney says:

          I have always stayed out of the lawyer’s discussions and have found them very interesting and helpful. And I always understand bmaz’s take. This popped up in my mind reading this short discussion- I’ve always heard the expression “you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater.” So for example, can someone yell “fire” or “gun” or “shooter” and if there was a stampede for the door a person/people get trampled and injured or killed, does the person who yelled the thing that set off the stampede legally be held to some responsibility? Is the ‘yelling fire in a crowded theater’ expression not true?

    • Lemoco says:

      Inciting an insurrection is only one of the multiple felonies Trump engaged in after the election. Even if intent can’t be established for inciting a riot – I would find him guilty of that – there is no good intent that can be ascribed to the fake elector scheme, because the only purpose it could serve would be corrupt.

        • obsessed says:

          Okay, so the “three things”:

          1. Whinging is stupid because DOJ is doing everything they can, as well and as quickly as it can be done.
          2. It’s nevertheless very unlikely that Trump will be held accountable.
          3. Trump and his movement are appallingly corrupt and horrifically dangerous.

          If those three statements are correct, are there any outcomes to root for that could result in a better world with genuine justice? Or is all of this an intriguing and entertaining tragedy like The Wire that’s doomed to reinforce an angry, cynical world view?

          • Nick Caraway says:

            bmaz said that it would be hard to convict Trump based on the “extant evidence.” Which does not exclude the possibility that yet more evidence *might* be developed in the future.

            Hence EW’s exhortation for us to take action rather than whinge or wait for investigators to save us. . Therefore the thing to do now is to support candidates in key races in swing states, with volunteer time, money, or both. Not only to protect the ongoing Congressional and DoJ investigations, but to prevent the Republicans from installing their Presidential candidate in 2024 even if he/ she loses the electoral vote.

          • timbo says:

            Are they doing everything they can though? It seems to me that when Trump was in power that they “did everything they can” to keep Trump isolated from any actions for potential civil or criminal liability…up to filing amicus briefs in private civil cases covering possible crimes and other malfeasances from a period before Trump was President. Many of those filings did no good but they certainly delayed and confused matters, cost the US tax payers tons of money on frivilous filings, tied up the Federal courts with more nonsense and nonsensical legal theories, etc, etc…

        • lemoco says:

          I’m not a lawyer, or a felon, so maybe not. But the U.S. has a huge population of incarcerated people, so apparently it’s not particularly rare to convict people at a criminal trial.

          • bmaz says:

            No, it is not always that easy. There are a lot of incarcerated people, so it is dirt simple to convict every defendant seems like a bad argument.

            • lemoco says:

              I said it’s not rare to obtain a criminal conviction, not that is dirt simple. Of course I’m not factoring in the political calculus, which is a different animal all together.

          • timbo says:

            Yep. It’s apparently easy enough to keep all these people locked up but hard to put them in prison in the first place? Doesn’t seem to make logical sense on its face… not that my statement and rhetoric here proposes an answer, just that it’s not as hard to end up in prison in the US as some people like to pretend. Imagine what it would be like here if you weren’t supposedly presumed innocent by the law-of-the-land…

  3. rosalind says:

    dunno whether to laugh or cry that 12 days after Marcy’s “What DOJ Was Doing While You Were Wasting Time Whinging on Twitter” post, there are still people showing up in her comments to “correct” her spelling of “whining”. *sigh*

    • Rayne says:

      On the other hand you know they’re paying attention to her posts because they’re complaining. LOL

      • Civil Discourse says:

        They’re whinging.
        https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/whinging

        [Welcome back to emptywheel. SECOND REQUEST: Before you arrived as “Civil Discourse” we had a community member here named “civil.” You’d dropped “Discourse” and adopted “Civil” only as a username and have been told already to revert to “Civil Discourse” because it was your original username and doesn’t confuse community members. I have had to repeatedly fix your user name to prevent this confusion and I should not have to do this. You will NOT have a third warning; use “Civil Discourse” or your comments will remain in moderation. /~Rayne]

  4. Rugger9 says:

    WRT Murdoch’s apparent distancing, I think it is real because Murdoch does not do stuff like this off-the-cuff, especially in an op-ed. It’s not too hard to see why, because the publicity of the J6SC hearings (despite Faux News’ diligent efforts to ignore them) has scared them. Faux didn’t even run Individual-1’s DC rally live from this week, instead running a fluff piece on DeSantis so it’s clear who’s yesterday’s news. Individual-1 isn’t going to like that at all.

    • MB says:

      Interesting that Fox didn’t run the DC rally live. You know who did? The Guardian. Can’t believe they found it newsworthy enough to do that. Shades of CNN in 2016.

      • Rugger9 says:

        It’s never good when the word “schtick” is used to describe parts of what was billed as a serious policy speech. It’s almost as if Individual-1 can’t talk about anything else, and FWIW it’s sounding like he’s daring AG Garland to go after him.

        However, I agree with bmaz that if one goes after this former president they’d better not miss.

    • gmoke says:

      So Murdoch’s newspapers are beginning to abandon Trmp. Wake me when Murdoch’s TV channels do the same. That’s much more important.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The Murdochs are just as arch-conservative and destructive, but they seem to want a standard-bearer who is easier to deal with and has a longer shelf-life.

        • Ewan says:

          They already had tried once to kill him off in 2016. They then went with him because he prevailed. I don’t think they like him that much, so they are trying to pull the rug again. If it works soon, they’ll finish him off. If it doesn’t they’ll be besties again. But don’t hope for a Murdoch taking a stand against Trump if he stays popular. They don’t do that.

          Their problem is the Dominion lawsuit.

        • Rayne says:

          And/or the Murdochs via News Corp are about to lose their asses to the tune of ~$5 billion to Dominion and Smartmatic for defamation, and they need to prove they weren’t part of the conspiracy to obstruct government proceedings if they’re found liable for defamation since the defamation of voting systems was part and parcel of the conspiracy.

    • Stuart Cantor says:

      Seems like there’s a nice little civil war potentially brewing in the GOP. Especially as TFG will definitely run, and with his loyal base, probably win the GOP nomination. Will Liz Cheney run as an independent against him? How hard will DeSantis push for it? But, believing Murdoch has dumped TFG will be much easier when Fox News starts hammering him daily with lies, not seeing an editorial opinion in a couple of his newspapers. The MAGAs don’t read much besides online conspiracy theories, but they do pay attention to the liars on Fox.

  5. ernesto1581 says:

    …and I see by the society columns
    Miss Cassidy is Able to Lunch Today (DOJ springing for takeout.)

  6. TimB says:

    Thanks Rayne!
    Narrowly, on the Wall Street Journal: front page stories don’t tell you what the Murdochs are thinking, the Opinion pages do. (The front of section 1 is in this universe, the opinion pages are not.) The opinion pages have been throwing trump under the bus for a while. See, e.g. their oped of 7/23 rightly banging on him for the narrow events of 1/6: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-president-who-stood-still-donald-trump-jan-6-committee-mike-pence-capitol-riot-11658528548
    But, like the “respectable” GOP generally, they are dumping trump to keep trumpism. Today’s opeds? Trumpy candidates are only getting nominated or getting attention because of democrats (2x). Hunter Biden’s laptop. Lowering pharmaceutical prices will cost Americans more. etc.
    This positions them, and their audience, to further attack the legitimacy of the US Court system should Trump be indicted.

    • Rayne says:

      front page stories don’t tell you what the Murdochs are thinking

      I’ll disagree. Had not the news editors been encouraged by management, they might have waited to publish this piece like in a Friday afternoon news dump. Instead they went for Monday which leads and sets the tone for the week.

  7. Cosmo Le Cat says:

    An interesting article posits that it is the DOJ’s duty to prosecute a former president when predicate circumstances exist, because to do otherwise would usurp the constitutional authority of the current president, who has the sole power to grant a pardon. If a crime is indictable, the authors wrote, “DOJ has no jurisdiction to do anything other than indict.” Only the president has the power “to make a political decision” regarding indictment, a power which the courts have said is not delegatable.

    https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2022/07/22/the-attorney-generals-choice

    • bmaz says:

      Yes, and I know Ian, but not the co-author. Ian is a great voice. But here is the key phrase “And if the department determines there is sufficient evidence to convict Trump of criminal acts and the principles of federal prosecution counsel in favor of an indictment…”.

      That is a HUGE “if”. And I do not think they are there yet.

      • Cosmo Le Cat says:

        bmaz, when I saw the eloquent Ian Bassin on TV last week, I recall he emphasized the huge “if” – he did not claim the predicate circumstances exist.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh, I know, he is a pretty measured chap. The “if” is critical though, because I don’t think they are there yet.

        • bmaz says:

          Solid admissible evidence of causation and intent. Same as it has always been. The cute little one sided J6 infomercials will not cut it in a real court.

          • MEDPHYS says:

            I’ve been reading Emptywheel for awhile now but have never commented. Now’s the time.

            bmaz… you consistently state that in your view, it’s impossible to convict Trump with any of the evidence that people claim would be enough to convict him. I, and probably a lot of the other readers here would really like to hear your opinion on how a successful prosecution would go down. How about writing a piece that would walk us through a scenario that would end in his conviction including a description of the evidence that is presented? That way, maybe a lot of us could learn to gauge the things we see more accurately and not just assume that because WE find it damning, it can’t be easily be countered by a good lawyer.

              • timbo says:

                Can you give us three examples of specifically what that evidence might entail to get your nod to take Trump to trial?

                All we hear is that the preponderance of evidence isn’t there yet…what specifically would get us to “there”? Not generally, but specifically. What would Trump have had to said or done past what we’ve already seen testified to publicly by J6 witnesses?

                Do we need notes written in the President’s own handwriting? Do we need a confession? Do we need two or more of Trump’s (so-called) legal team to admit that Trump was aware that this was all a scam to start with? What is it that we need beyond what is already present in the record? I mean, we have Barr saying that he made Trump aware it was all crap. We have the one or more counsels in the White House and DOJ saying that they had made it clear that there was certainly a lot of shopping for “legal opinions” that Trump wanted to hear to make it seem like what he was doing was legal. What else is needed?

                  • timbo says:

                    Okay, I’ve read it. Looks to me that if the fix is in judicially then Twitler can get away with just about anything…if mens rea can be applied willy-nilly.

                    • bmaz says:

                      There is no “fix in judicially”, that is complete bullshit. There is, however, an apparent lack of evidence on a couple of key elements. It is really tiring when people relentlessly spew this bunk.

  8. Critter7 says:

    It seems that J6 committee may be adopting a drip-drip-drip strategy to keep the election hijack probe in the news during their time off. On Monday, Elaine Luria posted the video with more detail about Trump’s reluctance to criticize the rioters on Jan 7, https://www.politico.com/news/2022/07/25/jan-6-trump-insurrection-speech-00047785. Then yesterday, somebody – not sure who but J6 committee would be prime suspect – leaked the batch of Trump ally e-mails about fake electors https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/26/us/politics/trump-fake-electors-emails.html

    • Bruce Olsen says:

      Of course they are. It’s a basic Content Marketing strategy: provide a constant stream of valuable little tidbits to the prospect. Using different voices and not having it 100% polished (different fonts, etc) is part of it, too. For folks who don’t live on EW it’s been highly effective.

      I do take strong exception to the DoJ bashing. Even if it’s a tactic to fill the space until DoJ is good and ready to act–and not a bunch of self-aggrandizing bullshit–it’s a crappy tactic that undercuts faith in the government. Problem is… if someone asks them why DoJ is “slow” there’s no good response, and this may actually be the best from among some poor choices.

  9. Derek says:

    It is true that a bunch of pundits have criticized the DoJ for lack of action with respect to Trump it is also true that Marcy Wheeler has pointed out steps that have been taken to investigate the former president and her voice in the wilderness has been somewhat vindicated by recent “shocking” revelations. However, Donald Trump remains free and unconstrained to pursue his insurrection, he retains the support of millions of Americans who routinely boast of their willingness to embark on a civil war for which they have been arming and preparing for years. Meanwhile, a radical Supreme court appears prepared to endorse a doctrine that will make it far easier to actually pull off the end of democracy, never mind the rule of law in America. All this being so it is perhaps premature to do the victory boogie with respect to the critics of the DoJ. After all, running out the clock has been one of Trumps go to tactics as it is for all wealthy bad actors in America who enjoy a much more friendly rule of law than everyone else. The mid terms are a scant four months away and they bring the prospect of developments that will render the issue of what or how fast DoJ is doing something to defend the principle that no one is above the law moot. Call me when the cell door slams shut.

    • P J Evans says:

      The wheels of justice aren’t as fast as the wheels of public opinion – but they’re a lot less likely to change direction.

    • bmaz says:

      Hi there. I have been saying that from the start. When you say:

      However, Donald Trump remains free and unconstrained to pursue his insurrection, he retains the support of millions of Americans who routinely boast of their willingness to embark on a civil war for which they have been arming and preparing for years.

      Exactly what are you advocating? Detention of political people because your fee fees are insulted? Do you advocate that in all cases, or just ones that offend “your” sensibility? Do you believe in fair investigations and due process? Or naw?

      Also, too, learn how to use paragraph breaks. And please find a more differentiated name than just “Derek”.

      • giorgino says:

        I didn’t think this blog was a AP style-guide, but you prove me wrong. Both-side-ism, eh bmaz?

          • giorgino says:

            “Do you advocate that in all cases, or just ones that offend “your” sensibility? ”

            … and, bmaz, is that why you don’t publish replies to your comments, which were posted to your WTF?

            Ya, you control this site, and I’m grateful for Ms Marcy’s insights, your’s too. God willing, we’ll get to the end of this discussion — orange man in an orange suit! Or not?

            [I’m letting this comment out of moderation only to tell you to knock the fuck off policing how this site is run. Next comment which focuses on a moderator or site operations will be binned. /~Rayne]

            • bmaz says:

              I have no idea who you are. To my knowledge, I have never bounced anything substantive from you. You have an entire three comments here, and whine like a baby. Give it a rest.

              [2:08 pm ET — They’re not catching a clue. I just binned their whiny 1:52 pm ET comment. If they keep it up, banning looms. /~Rayne]

      • Derek says:

        “Political people”; Is that your term for the caste of Americans who enjoy impunity from the “rule of law”. Donald Trump enjoys absolute impunity from the rule of law in America. Can you prove otherwise? In the meantime you guys are doing an end zone dance because there are some signs of life from the department of justice which you have insisted has been there all along in the face of scant evidence on the strength of Marcy Wheeler’s admirable forensic reading of the legal entrails. OK the DoJ is not actually dead. Whoop de do. You can talk all day about due process. The fact is that Donald Trump has openly attempted to stage a coup and the citizens of the Republic are embarked on a desperate quest to see if they can keep it that turns on the question of whether or not a legal system that was corrupt and tilted wildly in favour of rich folks before Trump can actually deliver the goods in the face of such a brazen challenge. I tell you what. I’ll bone up on my paragraph breaks if you lose some of your smugness and try to develop just a tad more passion for defending the actual principles you claim to espouse as opposed to the mere appearance.

        [Welcome back to emptywheel. I should have noted this in the previous 3 comments you’ve left here since March, but here forward please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named “Derek.” Please also use paragraph breaks as long unbroken block of text are difficult to read on the internet, especially on smaller mobile device displays. Thanks. /~Rayne]

        • Rayne says:

          First, bmaz isn’t being smug. He’s insisting an effective case which successfully indicts and prosecutes Trump must meet federal evidentiary standards, and to his mind the evidence he’s seen so far does not assure a conviction by a jury of peers.

          Second, you’re Canadian. Your country’s evidentiary standards may be different.

          Thirdly, lose the attitude about moderation here. bmaz isn’t the only annoyed by your unbroken blocks of text.

          • Rugger9 says:

            While the cases are very different in terms of actual evidence, etc., let’s remember the (very) high-level example of the Sussmann case where Durham’s team considered it a slam dunk for conviction until the evidence ripped their story to shreds.

            If the defense can provide a plausible explanation for what has been revealed (and ‘plausible’ can cover a lot of ground), then there is a good chance that reasonable doubt can be created. That’s even before accounting for the makeup of the jury (only one needs to hold out) and any evidentiary rulings (which affected the outcomes in both Sussmann and Bannon’s trials). We’re only going to get one shot here, and that structural advantage to the defense has to be crushed.

            I did see that more WH minions are testifying to the J6SC investigators including some fairly high-level names. While the veracity of the testimony is potentially debatable, they’re still under oath and it’s still a crime to lie to Congress. This is where I think the hearings were quite valuable indeed since I doubt any of them would have come in unless they felt they had to get in first.

            • Rayne says:

              I won’t compare Durham’s bullshit to the DOJ’s J6 investigations. Durham’s agenda was not to investigate and prosecute a crime but pour encourager les autres (ou en vérité, pour décourager les autres). Durham relied on the public’s weak understanding of technology — like the mythological “single server” in the Russian hacking of DNC — to fuzz the aims of the investigation.

              This is not the case with the DOJ’s J6 investigations. There can be no fuzzing if the aim is prosecution of the highest-level conspirators.

              • Rugger9 says:

                True about the relative value of the respective cases, but my point was that Durham didn’t have (and never really had) the goods needed to convict Sussmann so his case immolated at trial. That’s why the ducks must be in a row.

      • timbo says:

        Gotta agree that the “victory boogie” thing is pretty obnoxious on a few sites… other than here.

    • Rayne says:

      it is perhaps premature to do the victory boogie with respect to the critics of the DoJ

      Seriously? a “victory boogie”? There’s no partying here until after the perps at the top of the conspiracies have all done their walk. You need to reset your perspective because we are a very long way from being done with the investigations, prosecutions, let alone saving democracy.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Keep waiting by your phone for that return call. It will be coming any time now.

    • timbo says:

      Gotta agree that the “victory boogie” thing on a few other sites is pretty obnoxious. At least here there’s some sort of decorum relatively.

  10. Terrence says:

    With all the nefarious characters at the Willard Hotel on the 5th/6th, I haven’t heard much about investigation into their coordination with the administration. I know the DOJ would remain silent, but with so many stories floating around it would seem that these Willard residents would be prime subjects. Heard a brief comment that authorities may have Meadows phone or meta data, but that’s all.

    • Rayne says:

      Clearly you haven’t been paying attention.

      [Photo: Giuliani, Eastman, Bobb and Philip Luelsdorff, Director of Business Development for 1st Amendment Praetorian militia group in the Willard Hotel on January 5. (Instagram via Proof; source: wsws.org)]

    • timbo says:

      Hutchinson’s testimony touched on this enough to know that there’s a lot of interest in what happened at that room vis-a-vis the fake electors scheme, etc. Basically, the DOJ and J6 Committee want to know about who, how, and what was going on in that meeting. They’ve no doubt got some of the comms already. The big question is how far along they are in getting to the nitty-gritty of the shitty at the Willard, both on J6 and on J5. It’s hard to argue that Congress doesn’t have a legislative interest in any of this, given where the evidence has taken us so far in the public testimony.

  11. Cosmo Le Cat says:

    Acting Defense Sec Christopher Miller was appointed by Trump a week after the 2020 election, presumably because Sec. Esper had publicly opposed deploying troops when Trump wanted to invoke the Insurrection Act against BLM protestors. Apparently, Trump believed Miller would be a loyal pawn to his coup plot.

    Late in January 2021, Daily Beast had an article regarding a memo Miller issued on January 4 (originally tweeted by Luke Broadbent of the New York Times, which miserably never again mentioned it). That memo essentially disarmed and misdirected a small force of National Guard on Jan 6, without weapons, batons, helmets or any protective gear, and who were expressly barred from acting against protestors, while imposing unprecedented barriers to dispensing any additional troops. Also reported was a January 3 discussion where Trump allegedly directed Miller to issue the directive.

    Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, was the first to unfurl a fairy tale, when she issued a statement at 3:36 pm on Jan. 6th that at “Trump’s direction, the National Guard is on the way along with other federal protective services.” In a video message the next day, Trump claimed he “immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement.” In Feb 2021 Mark Meadows claimed Trump gave a direct order to have 10,000 National Guard troops “at the ready” on Jan. 6th, but that request was somehow rejected by Nancy Pelosi.

    Yesterday, the J6SC released a video of Miller saying (under oath) he had not been told by Trump to have 10,000 troops standing by on January 6. However, Miller previously said the opposite when he appeared on Hannity’s anti-news show last month (along with Miller’s deputy Kash Patel, about whom Marcy has never minced words).

    During Miller’s and Patel’s joint appearance, Hannity asserted President Trump “approved,” “authorized,” and “signed off on” the use of “up to 20,000 National Guard” on January 4, 2021, and Patel said “Mr. Trump unequivocally authorized up to 20,000 National Guardsmen.” Hannity: “Let me be very clear. Both of you said this under oath, under the threat of—the penalty of perjury to the committee?” Miller: “Absolutely, Sean.”

    • P J Evans says:

      It’s like they think everything they said under oath disappears from all records when they leave the room afterward.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      On January 5, 2021, there actually was a conversation between Chris Miller and Trump about having 10,000 National Guard available on J6. Here is a reminder for those of us who have forgotten:

      “ “The President Threw Us Under the Bus”: Embedding With Pentagon Leadership in Trump’s Chaotic Last Week” – Adam Ciralsky, 1/22/21
      …..
      ”On the evening of January 5—the night before a white supremacist mob stormed Capitol Hill in a siege that would leave five dead—the acting secretary of defense, Christopher Miller, was at the White House with his chief of staff, Kash Patel. They were meeting with President Trump on “an Iran issue,” Miller told me. But then the conversation switched gears. The president, Miller recalled, asked how many troops the Pentagon planned to turn out the following day. “We’re like, ‘We’re going to provide any National Guard support that the District requests,’” Miller responded. “And [Trump] goes, ‘You’re going to need 10,000 people.’ No, I’m not talking bullshit. He said that. And we’re like, ‘Maybe. But you know, someone’s going to have to ask for it.’” At that point Miller remembered the president telling him, “‘You do what you need to do. You do what you need to do.’ He said, ‘You’re going to need 10,000.’ That’s what he said. Swear to God.”

      “I could not recall the last time a contingent that large had been called up to supplement law enforcement at all, much less at a demonstration—the Women’s March and the Million Man March sprang to mind—and so I asked the acting SECDEF why Trump threw out such a big number. “The president’s sometimes hyperbolic, as you’ve noticed. There were gonna be a million people in the street, I think was his expectation.” Miller maintained that initial reports on the anticipated crowd size were all over the map—anywhere from 5,000 to 40,000. “Park Police—everybody’s so hesitant to give numbers. So I think that was what was driving the president.”

      https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/01/embedding-with-pentagon-leadership-in-trumps-chaotic-last-week

    • earthworm says:

      about 10,000 NG:
      maybe this was the number Trump would’ve called out, not to prevent storming the Capitol, but if he’d imposed martial law?

      • Rugger9 says:

        I’d say that was much more likely the true intent. But, Individual-1 still didn’t call them in (or anyone else that could help) for 187 minutes.

      • Troutwaxer says:

        Probably the number he expected would be necessary in the event that BLM and Antifa showed up.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The Fed wants to drive us into recession, presumably to protect capital, while making everyone else pay the price of doing so.

    Its 0.75% rise in interest rate will not do squat to lower inflation, whereas resurrecting an aggressive anti-trust policy would go a long way, as would restricting corporate stock buybacks and renewed regulation of business.

    https://twitter.com/AFP/status/1552353607529496578

    [Check your email field when submitting a comment; your last two comments were held up in auto-moderation by typos. /~Rayne]

    • Rayne says:

      Baloney. The Fed is trying to get the investor class to stop driving up the cost of housing and energy by providing improved outlets for investment cash. So long as the money which was pumped into the economy to boost it back in 2020-2021 has no safer alternative than REITs and oil/gas speculation, real estate prices will go up as will demand for more profits from oil/gas.

      What’s really need badly — and I said this already a couple years ago — is a ban on investment accumulating single-family dwellings which aren’t owner occupied.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        That’s because the service provider changed its moniker.

        And we’ll have to disagree over the utility of using anti-trust and business regulation to bring down prices. But I agree that private equity is buying up residential real estate like there’s no tomorrow, including trailer parks, and driving up prices as if rent were the price of a pharmaceutical.

        [Dude. Check your email field for typos. I’ve corrected THREE now from *.me to *mail.com in order to free them from moderation. Next one stays in the bin. /~Rayne]

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          ….Please read the first sentence of the last comment. I also mentioned this in an earlier thread. The service provider has changed its format, which I am now using.

          [Your email provider won’t stop forwarding email to the old domain. That would be just plain stupid — business suicide for an email provider. /~Rayne]

          • Ewan says:

            i suppose Rayne is saying that your email earl @ huntingdonmail . com is the key used in the database for moderation. It doesn’t have to be an actual usable email address, but it has to stay as it links to you uniquely. If you now switch to earl @ huntingdon . me, well, you are someone else messing up correspondences.

            None of this is my business, I agree, but it is an open thread.

            [Example email addresses modified with blank spaces to prevent spiderbots from scraping the potentially real addresses from the site. Please do NOT use active email addresses in comment text fields. Also not elaborating any further on how the site’s algorithm checks identity but email address is one check. Now let’s drop this subject and leave it to earlofhuntingdon and moderators. /~Rayne]

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            You’ve forgotten more about protocols than I’ll ever know, so, for you, I’ll use the original address.

      • Sonso says:

        Gotta ‘gree with EoH here (though not to dispute your correct observation). The US economy is in dire need of a total restructuring, and the Fed is just acting as another regulatory-captured institution in servitude to the status quo.

    • wetzel says:

      What you have written doesn’t make sense to me. I’m not expert, so I might be off base. You wrote “It’s 0.75% rise in interest rate will not do squat to lower inflation, whereas resurrecting an aggressive anti-trust policy would go a long way, as would restricting corporate stock buybacks and renewed regulation of business.”

      I don’t believe that monopoly pricing is driving prices up 9% this year. Our economy did not suddenly become more corrupt and rent-extracting than it was last year. Higher interest rates make it difficult for corporations to borrow. They don’t protect ‘capital’. Higher interest rates protect bankers and bondholders.

      They protect bankers and bond-holders from inflation which threatens to destroy the value of loan portfolios. If inflation really was 9% this past year, so also did the real value of everybody’s debts decrease by 9%. If 9% goes on for three or four years, all of our mortgages will be twice as easy to pay off, assuming we can get a good old fashioned wage-price spiral going.

      • Tom Marney says:

        “I don’t believe that monopoly pricing is driving prices up 9% this year.”

        I don’t think anybody’s saying that. However, if you start with the normal, healthy 2% rate of inflation that the Fed’s been trying to goose the economy into for what seems like a generation, add to it price hikes caused by various real-life disruptions, add to that what seemed at the time to be reasonable measures to keep consumer demand from cratering during covid– including essentially the hottest job market ever– then the contribution from corporate profiteering needn’t be that great to push the pain over a politically significant threshold.

        “Our economy did not suddenly become more corrupt and rent-extracting than it was last year.”

        Are you sure? It’s pretty well beyond dispute that the oil companies are failing to invest their profits in ways that could address the current crises. After getting burned so badly by overinvestment in the pre-covid years, it’s easier and safer to just sit back and let the money roll in.

        Not to mention that virtually everyone with a hand in setting gas prices wants Biden and his party to fail. Hey, I’m just sayin.’

        According to free-market economic theory, that shouldn’t be happening, at least not in the economy at large. There ought to be opportunities to keep prices low and steal market share from overpriced competitors. But what if nobody’s interested in doing that? Then we get what we’re getting now.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The US economy is now driven by financial capital, not industrial capital. Higher interest rates protect financial investments, and make them more attractive. It’s the real economy that suffers.

        As you say, manufacturing companies that still make goods have to pay higher prices for their loans. But a hundred million Americans will pay more for their student loans, car loans, mortgages, rent, etc. That’s the inflation that needs to be tackled, both fundamentally and politically.

        A great many products and services are subject to oligopoly or monopoly pricing. Drugs, food (eggs, milk, chicken, pork, beef, grains), and energy come most immediately to mind. The prices that have skyrocketed the most. And look at consumer telecoms. How many choices for phone and internet service do you have? When your provider can’t restore service for over a week, where do you go for an alternative?

        As Tom Marney asks, are you sure rapacious business practices have not worsened since Covid and the war in Ukraine? I’m not. Whose minding the store to rein in business excess, to curtail stock buybacks and price gouging, for example.

        On a separate note, Congress today seemed to promise $50 billion support for Silicon Valley, in hopes of bringing back manufacturing and know-how to the US – resources the US threw at Japan and then China in order to lower costs and appease finance capital. For that kind of money, the USG should get a lot of rights. The money should be subject to a plethora of conditions, and be subject to clawback and penalty provisions when recipients fail to meet their promises. When was the last time the USG insisted on those?

        • Sonso says:

          The US hasn’t had a functioning anti-trust effort in my entire life, and I am Medicare eligible next year!

        • wetzel says:

          I don’t see the Standard Oil Progressive Era picture of monopoly happening, although maybe there are layers of tacit agreements not to ‘spoil’ the fun by undercutting each other as prices rise in concert to keep accustomed margins. I’m just not willing to attribute the overall inflation, such as you mention at the grocery store in agricultural products, to the monopoly power of global corporations, when there is the plain fact a major war is occurring between Ukraine and Russia, which together produce twice the wheat of the United States. On the margins I suppose there’s a kind of tacit coordination among corporations not to ruin the party, but I think these price spikes aren’t ‘good for business’.

          Slow and steady is how a parasite operates. It’s like how a tick needs its saliva to be anesthetic. To my mind, since Reagan, the United States economy has evolved to become a kind of general ‘unconscious’ monopoly, like a kind of post-modern totalitarianism where the economy is insulated from democracy. For my part, I think this produce a kind of general ‘anxiety of conspiracy’ but there’s no smoke filled room behind the curtain. Corporate legal departments would not permit it, and it’s not really necessary. Just my three cents (inflation!).

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            The American economy can walk and chew gum at the same time. More than one issue at a time affects it. And you might consider looking again at how local, regional, national, and industry specific monopolies and oligopolies affect what’s available to you and its pricig.

            • wetzel says:

              It could be just as bad as you describe without being conscious, programmatic or illegal. A profitable enterprise enterprise is a dynamic steady state with many feedbacks maximizing the flow of cash. I don’t doubt at what you say. Food for thought if I can afford it!

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                “Without being conscious, programmatic or illegal.”

                We’ll have to disagree about the probability of that, now that Enron’s business model has become the international standard.

        • bmaz says:

          “When your provider can’t restore service for over a week, where do you go for an alternative?”

          Well now, this is a subject I know something about. Currently. I can change to the only other provider here, but they can’t come until the first week of August. Current provider won’t respond whatsoever. The only recourse is the FCC. Ever tried dealing with the FCC? Not quite a brick wall, but close to it. It is all pretty much a black hole.

    • PieIsDamnGood says:

      In my opinion, we don’t really know what the relationship between the fed funds rate these days. Covid was the single largest exogenous shock to both supply and demand for a very long time, maybe since WWII. I also think the pandemic fundamentally changed peoples preferences.

      All that to say, we shouldn’t be surprised that shit is getting weird. I’d be more surprised if it didn’t.

      • timbo says:

        More aptly, the Great Depression is the place to look for comparison. The US entered the early 1940s with a growing war economy during peacetime, and the US economy was less disrupted at the onset of the war than we saw in early-mid 2020. It’s truly amazing that the US financial and political institutions were able to hold things together as well as they did in 2020-21, given the strains placed in all market and labor sectors.

  13. mospeck says:

    Granted, DOJ has a real tough go. But in the meantime nobody knows anything about Navalny, The NYT reports from Poland: “shift was long over, but she wasn’t ready to leave. Not until the Ukrainian refugee family she had been helping was safely on a train. Donning a pink vest and switching seamlessly between Ukrainian, Russian and Czech languages, she is one of the Iniciativa Hlavák (Main Station Initiative) volunteers assisting refugees at the main rail station in Prague. She gives people directions, helps with train tickets and passes on crucial information about where to get help. Volunteering is her way of “doing something,” she told CNN. “I am not Ukrainian,” she said quietly. “I am Russian.” “We need to do something about this,” she added. “Nobody [in Russia] is listening when we speak up, but at least here I can do something.” The volunteer asked for her last name not to be published because of concerns over her safety. “I don’t know what kind of law is coming next in Russia. I could be called a foreign agent for helping Ukrainians, and if I want to go back to Russia to visit my parents’ grave, it may be a problem,” she said. A fellow volunteer Maksym Bobrov has similar motivations for helping at the train station. The 23-year-old is originally from Kryvyi Rih in Ukraine, but has been living and studying in Prague for the past six years. “I need to do something. I read the news every day, and every day I hope my hometown will not be struck,” he said, recounting a recent journey by a family member through the site of a deadly attack in Vinnytsia. “They left the square where it happened just minutes before the hit,” he said. During one three-hour-long shift last week, Bobrov helped countless people. When a humanitarian train heading to the Polish town of Przemysl pulled in, he was on hand to help dozens of people — mostly women with children — with bags, standing next to the train and lifting a suitcase after suitcase. He is not going home anytime soon, having been recently reunited with his mom, who joined him in Prague.
    “When she hears a plane, she gets up and starts panicking. I have to assure her it’s just a normal plane, not a fighter jet”
    taking flight and you could be
    here tomorrow
    taking flight, well, you could get
    here tonight

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TfqbuTBqX8

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      Betting against Abbott is probably a loser’s bet, but I do think Beto has a chance. Roe is the main reason, though Uvalde may be motivating some. I can’t imagine not being able to register lots of voters, even with Texas voter ID rules. If Roe isn’t enough, what would be?

  14. Scott Johnson says:

    It’s a good thing all those critics of Merrick Garland held his feet so firmly to the fire; clearly he wouldn’t have done nothing had The News Media not shamed him into it.

    (That’s sarcasm, just to be clear… not sure this site supports use of a monospaced font to indicate sarcasm, either culturally or technically).

    • bmaz says:

      This is a complete load of worthless shit. They have been doing their job all along, and only idiots like you still spew this garbage. You are little more than a whiny irritant here blowing shit out of your ass. We may need to rethink how we deal with you.

      • PieIsDamnGood says:

        IT’s a gOOD ThINg alL tHOSE cRItICs oF MErrIcK GARLaND HeLD HiS FEeT so fIRMLy tO THe fIRE; clEArly HE WOUldn’t havE dOne NotHiNg hAd thE NeWS MEdIa NOt sHamEd hIm inTO it.

        Spongebob text is the new standard.

        • timbo says:

          Unlike the old Unibomber and Zodiac standard? Ugh! Every time I see text written like it’s cut out of magazines like that it brings back all those lovely memories of being terrorized decades ago…

  15. punaise says:

    What kind of skulduggery does Joe Manchin have up his sleeve? (NYT)

    In a reversal, Senator Joe Manchin said he had struck a deal with Democrats on a climate and tax package, arguing that it would reduce inflation.

    • rip says:

      It’s obvious that he didn’t change his mind because he reevaluated that facts of the matter. My guess is that someone gave him an offer (or a threat) that he couldn’t refuse. For a filthy rich asshole, it’s gotta be a good one.

    • skua says:

      No info on why Manchin took that course.

      There can be value in demonstrating unreliability, irrationality, fickleness, mutability. It would benefit Joe, given his political niche, to be seen as unpredictable. And bias any future bribes towards being larger.

      • Peterr says:

        Buried deep in the NYT piece on the deal, it says this:

        One possible clue to Mr. Manchin’s change of heart came in a line of his joint announcement with Mr. Schumer that they had secured a commitment from both Mr. Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California that Congress would approve a separate measure to address the permitting of energy infrastructure, potentially including natural gas pipelines, before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

        That could ease the way for a project in which Mr. Manchin has taken a personal interest, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would transport Appalachian shale gas from West Virginia to Virginia.

        By “personal interest” I don’t know if they mean that Manchin is personally financially invested in it, or if he is pushing it as a project to benefit his state.

  16. Tom Marney says:

    I have a very stupid question. Feel free to ridicule me for asking: What ever happened to the real Trump electors in Georgia, Arizona, et al? Did any of them participate in the fake electors scheme? Were any of them asked to? Given the current state of the Republican Party, it’s hard to believe that every last one of them would’ve said no. Had it actually somehow gotten to the point where electors from, say, Georgia were needed to cast their votes for Trump, wouldn’t it have been better to use, you know, the duly chosen ones?

    • Rayne says:

      Good question. I haven’t looked at the other states’ fake elector slates, but Michigan’s fake electors were not the same as the official electors, and for a key reason: this is a winner-takes-all state wrt electoral college votes. When a candidate wins the popular vote, their party’s elector slate is also elected. Because Trump didn’t win Michigan’s popular vote, his electors could not be seated to certify the election.

      See this Detroit Free Press article for the full list of electors from both major parties: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2020/11/04/who-michigans-electors/6047750002/

      Not certain how the other targeted states choose their electors.

    • bg says:

      Four of the five fake electors in NM were the original electors who would have cast their votes for TFG IF he had won NM. He did not. The fifth voter, Harvey Yates, one of the originally designated electoral voters and among the wealthiest in NM from his Yates Petroleum business, refused. He was replaced by a die hard money raiser for TFG. NM AG, Hector Balderas, immediately sent a referral for investigation to the DOJ. That is what I know. Also, apparently Eastman was the ringleader as a NM resident and voter.

    • Peterr says:

      I seem to recall reading that in at least a couple of cases, the pre-election designated Trump electors were approached afterwards to be part of the fake elector scheme, and were replaced at the last minute because they wouldn’t go along and sign on the dotted line. Don’t recall which state(s) this involved.

      • pdaly says:

        Perhaps William Ockham collected the names in preparing his prior post on this topic?

        In the meantime, this article from the Washington Post reports 15 Trump electors were replaced on the fraudulent state certifications and names 1 name:

        “The Post attempted to interview the 15 Trump electors in those key states who were replaced ahead of the electoral vote. Several of them said they were recovering from covid-19 at the time or had other obligations. All the names are listed in documents the watchdog group American Oversight obtained through a public records request to the National Archives and Records Administration.

        Among the electors who declined to participate was Pennsylvania GOP Chairman Lawrence Tabas, an election-law expert who had defended Trump in 2016 against a recount push by Green Party candidate Jill Stein.”

        (sorry, didn’t grab the link as I clicked on to the American Oversight link within the above quote and lost my place in the Washington Post archive.)

        Here’s Link to American Oversight website with the list of names on the 7 fake certifications
        https://www.americanoversight.org/american-oversight-obtains-seven-phony-certificates-of-pro-trump-electors

    • grennan says:

      That’s not a stupid question at all. While the Wash. Post’s Aaron Blake touched on this yesterday, the NYT story today supposedly explaining everything about fake electors did not.

      The Times story also didn’t mention:

      a) each state has slightly different elector rules and laws
      b) how any federal laws/charges would intersect or affect any state laws/charges
      c) how any were submitted to the National Archives and thus further federal issues
      d) how this differs from the 1960 Nixon contingent electors in Hawaii.

      A few weeks ago there was a great picture of the phony ceremony staged by one of the fake elector sets, don’t remember what state..

      • pseudo42 says:

        > picture of the phony ceremony

        When I search Twitter using the following string
        electoral (from:NVGOP)
        The top result is a tweet dated Dec 14, 2020, with a pic of 6 charlatans in front of the capitol building in Carson City, standing at a table w/documents. Next search result, same date, “History made today…” (so, apparently photographed the same day). Also, WSJ Dec 28 had a different photo, apparently of the same event, showing some of them signing documents at the same location, I think the headline was “Republican Electors Cast Unofficial Ballots, Setting Up Congressional Clash”. You don’t say. Search for that exact string, in quotes, at images.google.com and look for the red-striped tablecloth.

  17. Cool Xenu says:

    As a Canadian observer, I just can not understand how obvious repubilican malfeasance is tolerated.

    I have no words for the feeling of relief I have by not living in America.

    I feel sorry for sane Americans.

    • punaise says:

      You have our sympathies: What’s the classic joke:

      “Canada must feel like they live in an apartment above a meth lab.”

    • Doug Fir says:

      Xenu I know what you mean, but

      1. Everything Rayne said;

      2. We (Canadians) will likely have Pierre Poilievre to deal with on the national stage. That should make us nervous!

      • Tom says:

        Have you seen P.P.’s most recent campaign video, the one released today? At about the two minute point he’s talking about immigration and the need to bring in “the best workers”, but he slips up and says “the breast workers” instead. The close captioning picked it up as well. That was my thrill for the day.

      • Rayne says:

        Oh gods, I forgot Poilievre. That one needs to be nipped in the bud and fast because he’s far, FAR worse than the Ford brothers have been — an outright fascist compared to neoliberals with fascist tendencies.

      • punaise says:

        a propos of nothing, Poilièvre translates roughly as a porte-manteau of hair-hare.

        (poil + lièvre)

        …whereas “poilevre” would be akin to “hair-lip”

      • Lawnboy says:

        Hiat wrote “thing called love” !!!! And Ms Rait did a great job of it, very smoothed out. Listen to the original with the JH and the Gonners, its funky, especially the start.

        I was lucky enough to see JH with BB King and Buddy Guy in a blues festival. Jeff Healy was there too but would not come to to play sadly.
        It was the most amazing night.

        Something was written by Sheri Elrich (sp) from BC ,Canada.
        ,

      • oldoilfieldhand says:

        Bonnie Rait, Irma Thomas and Van Morrison were headliners at the NOLA Jazz Fest in April, 2019. Wife gifted me with tickets for my birthday.. and the Big Easy is a great place to celebrate one’s dob…or anything.

        • Mary McCurnin says:

          The first time I saw Irma Thomas I was 15. It was on my first date ever. She is amazing. I read somewhere years ago that she was ranked in the top 100 female voices on the planet.

    • Fran of the North says:

      As a supervisor long ago at the restaurant and watering hole across the street from the University once observed: Bonnie Raitt is Great!

  18. grennan says:

    Meanwhile, Michael Carvajal, the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons testified to a senate subcommittee earlier this week, about horrific conditions in the system’s Atlanta facility. He is apparently a Trump appointee (Feb 2020) still on the job.

    But the worst story about our incarceral system is beyond terrible. Details have just started to emerge about the terrible events one night last year at a Clark County, IN women’s jail, and only because several of the victims just filed suit. It’s chilling and revolting on so many levels.

    Law and Crime has the story, with a link to the filing.

    https://lawandcrime.com/lawsuit/dozens-of-inmates-raped-assaulted-and-harassed-after-jailer-sold-male-prisoner-a-key-to-womens-wing-federal-lawsuit-claims/

  19. Hopeful says:

    I’m watching Liz Cheney.

    How do you neutralize Trump?

    Can you make him so toxic that maybe 10 or 15 million of his previous supporters are worried about a second term?

    If he is somehow prevented from term 2, mission accomplished.

    If there are indictments and ongoing negative publicity, that would be a plus, but not necessary.

    A thousand small cuts………

  20. Hopeful says:

    OT, better for Trash Talk probably…….

    Sacramento Republic FC advances on penalty kicks to U.S. Open Cup finals!!!!

    Gotta enjoy when life gives you the chance.

    • Hopeful says:

      Sorry, Thursday mini Trash Talk……

      U.S. Open Cup, oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the US; finals set for Charleston Saturday, 4:30 PDT; Sacramento Republic FC vs Charleston Battery.

      MLS teams often win; but the lower leagues have a chance. Winner goes to CONCACAF Champions League.

      Born/raised in Sacramento, so I’ll be rooting…..

  21. Bob says:

    To put any faith in the DOJ is FOLLY !!

    This is the same agency whom along with their trusted side kick the FBI has a very checkered history –

    These are the same agencies that had a hand in the murder of Fred Hampton, Malcom X, and others notably in recent times Michael Reinoeh. These agencies almost certainly, coordinated that disruption / destruction of BLM protests. These are the same agencies that carefully released the 911 report implicating the Saudis on a slow news Friday and gained the nonreporting agreement with the 4th estate.
    These are the same guys who allowed a congressman to pull strings to get a dubious lawyer inserted into the DOJ where he single handledly held up an environmental case against Monsanto’s Roundup.

    These guys act as a political / secret police who routinely ignore crime when it suits their purposes.

    Expect nothing from the DOJ/ FBI. These folks have their own agenda which has little of no relation to facts, settled law, or criminal law.

    Here’s what to expect.

    First the DOJ will delay indictments as long as possible.
    The delays will include a focus on the bit players who are easy meat for DOJ that is persons of color, persons of limited means, and simple misdemeanors that create easily provable cases.
    Then the ever-present fig leaf of “We never comment on ongoing investigations.” This is of course a lie.
    The common excuses by the DOJ will be lack of funding, tough white shoe lawyers, the Mark Meadows excuses i.e. “he’s a good guy and sort of cooperated”
    Then the DOJ will say it is too close to the election.
    Then there will be a series of conflicting, contradictory leaks designed to muddy the waters.
    And in the end no real action will be taken.

    • bmaz says:

      What are you smoking this morning “Bob”?

      Also, if you ever want to comment here again, you will have to differentiate your screen nam. “Bob” is far too common, and will not work.

      • Bob says:

        So wait a minute

        An accusation of dope smoking of which there is no evidence ?

        Let’s focus on the evidence.

        Has the DOJ / FBI acted poorly in the past ?

        If the past is prologue can a different outcome be expected ?

        [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named “Bob,” “Rob,” or “Robert.” Thanks. /~Rayne]

  22. Randy Baker says:

    Emptywheel has been doing an outstanding tracing of DOJ’s work, which includes consistently showing reason to believe DOJ had not excluded Trump from potential indictment. Lawfare, however, quite convincingly shows that it remains an open question whether DOJ is doing all that it reasonably should be doing in light of the evidence Trump committed serious crimes against the republic, and/or that it was unjustifiably late to fully engage in this endeavor.

    Department of Justice
    How to Evaluate Progress in the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 Investigation
    https://www.lawfareblog.com/how-evaluate-progress-justice-departments-jan-6-investigation

    • bmaz says:

      Then Lawfare is full of shit. This is so tiring it is borderline stupid. Is that your position, or you just want to bay at the moon? You understand that a LOT of folks out there want to argue they, and not us here, were right. They were not, and we were. Please spare me.

  23. Ddub says:

    NAL it sure seems like it would take someone in the inner circle to turn on Trump. Look at that circle and ask who would make a good witness. In that timeline, which could turn into just another stall, relying again on that sweet pardon, they can play deep into ’24

    In what would be the biggest case (circus) in US criminal history, a circumstantial case won’t come close to cutting it, especially with the high chance of jury nullification.

    • cmarlowe says:

      >> …especially with the high chance of jury nullification.

      Not sure what math you are using to compute a “high chance.” A hung jury is always possible in any case, but this did not help Bannon nor Guy Reffitt nor Thomas Webster. Other J6 defendants (like Couy Griffin) opted for bench trials, not seeing jury nullification in DC as a likely outcome. I believe Fed prosecutors are good at jury selection.

  24. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Tom Klingenstein – “That’s Klingensteeen,” to paraphrase Gene Wilder – is chair of the Claremont Institute, the rightwing think tank, not the college. He is expressing his Edwardian view of muscular Christianity, when he says,

    “In war, you must take a stand. For that, we need strong men…Trump is a manly man. When manhood is being stripped of its masculinity, traditional manhood, even when flawed, is absolutely essential.”

    Unpacking that logorrhea is messy. We’re not at war, but he insists our cultural differences must be resolved as if we were. His flawed analogy gives permission to those who follow him to discard the rules in order to save their gated village, no matter how much they have to destroy it in the process.

    Most people born since Vietnam might say we need strong “people,” but for Klingenstein, only white men merit the definition of strong. He has obviously never witnessed childbirth or making ends meet while single parenting, working two or three jobs, and taking crappy city buses to each one.

    His claim that Trump is a “manly man” requires accepting Trump’s self-caricature and his abusive notions of marriage and fatherhood. It requires believing that the roles the Rock, Vin Diesel, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Keanu Reeves, and Ryan Gosling play depict real people. Or it means that Klingenstein is cynically riffing on his false warfare anaology, because he thinks that only through brazeness, criminal deceit, paranoia, and gargantuan selfishness can his cultural and political ends be met.

    Klingenstein fleetingly acknowledges that traditional notions of manhood might be flawed, a grudging observation from someone who lives in Southern California, but has never seen a motion picture. But it’s better than any alternative he can imagine. What I can’t imagine is who would handsomely pay this man to run a “think” tank.

    https://twitter.com/RonFilipkowski/status/1552445646829154304

    • Rwood says:

      All con men require minions to regularly prop their Conman/Leader up. When the base of your con is a lie a constant stream of fears and boogeymen to feed the Marks is part of the formula.

      Klingensteins income is tied to the con, so I’m not surprised that this is what he delivers.

    • Tom says:

      That whole 18 minute talk from Der Klingmeister is so breathtakingly bizarre! So Trump is “the most towering political figure in living memory” is he? Well, I don’t know about that. I’m old enough to remember a guy named Sir Winston Churchill who had a few modest accomplishments under his belt when he passed away in January 1965. And he’s talking about Trump “standing up for America” at the same time as TFG is under investigation for trying to destroy the very democratic foundations of the country. As weird as guys like Mr. Tommy may sound, what’s he’s saying is more understandable now that I’ve started reading Kathleen Belew’s book, “Bring the War Home”.

      • Tom says:

        Upon further reflection, I can see why Klingenthinger would want to ignore the example of Churchill. It’s because Churchill tried to STOP Hitler and his Nazzzis.

        • Tom says:

          I’ll bet if ol’ Thomas the Think Tank Nazi tried to give this same speech of his in front of a typical MAGA crowd, the produce would be flying in a matter of minutes. Boooooring!

          • John Lehman says:

            MAGA crowd: Boooooring!… Boooooring!…. we want our kristallnacht….. we want our kristallnacht….we want to loot and pillage…

            ….oh my Trumpland ….oh my Trumpland, Trumpland, Trumpland, over it all

  25. Rwood says:

    From what I’ve managed to read it seems trump is in more danger from the Georgia investigation than he is the J6.

    I have to wonder, which case will result in an indictment first? Or will Georgia wait on the DOJ before moving forward, or v/v? I understand they are related, but which one feeds the other more?

    • bmaz says:

      Fani Willis and GA is an embarrassing persecution. If you are putting your hopes on that two bit new political climber, you are in the wrong place. And, no, they should not be connected with DOJ.

      • Rwood says:

        Agree with your assessment of her, but I also wonder if she needs to be competent at all with the case she’s been given.

        IANAL, but if I were I think I would much rather have her case than the DOJ’s.

      • Rugger9 says:

        IIRC Willis was also interested in moving on up the political ladder before reading the teat leaves about the time not being right yet for that. I forget if it was polling or a primary, but bmaz might be right in that this is a publicity stunt.

        That’s a shame, since the topic and known case evidence does scream out for investigation. Gift-wrapping plausible reasons to discount its outcomes is stupid and Willis should have outsourced the job.

        • Rwood says:

          Have to agree with this as well.

          My thoughts were exploring the question of trump being found guilty in Georgia first and how that verdict would impact the outcome of the DOJ’s case against him.

          • bmaz says:

            The Georgia prosecution by Fani Willis is a sham. Should it ever really be charged, and Trump convicted, it will be on appeal to the next of never.

  26. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    Since this is an open thread…

    We have a golden eagle in the neighborhood of late… maybe a pair…

    And considering where I live, this is a bit unusual… I’m currently living in the east bay hills, above Mills College (Oakland)… this is a pretty frickin’ urban area and definitely not the kind of terrain I’d associate w/ golden eagles.

    Golden eagles are land predators and need long, grassy valleys for hunting… way too big to go thru trees hunting small birds, like a sharped-shin or cooper’s hawk does…

    I’ve seen it thru binos and heard it calling multiple times now… definitely a golden… there are reportedly nesting bald eagles out by Lake Chabot, SE of here, and it’s substantially more rural-ish out there… bald eagles are fish hawks so that makes sense but a golden eagle, or eagles, in Oakland?

    But then, for the first time in probably a century and a half, there have been otters and beavers spotted around here too… also very cool…

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        Very, very cool…

        I saw the golden again about 45 min ago, thru good binos… (Nikon 10×42)… got a really good look at it…

        It was sitting in the top of the tallest redwood in sight, calling over and over again… a high pitched, whistling call, always in threes… and when it’s in flight, it has the characteristic white spots on the undersides of its wings…

        I’m guessing it might be a juvie, trying to figure out where it wants to settle down… out towards Livermore, in the San Antonio Valley region (30 to 40 miles SE of here), would probably be a better place for it… far more rural… beautiful golden hills dotted w/ ancient black oaks…

        Unique looking country…

        BIG f’in bird…

        • bmaz says:

          Several years ago, we were in Stanley Park in Vancouver, on a birthday trip for our daughter, and there was a giant, and protected, eagle’s nest. Insanely beautiful, even if could not get too close because it spooked them (can’t blame them for that!)

          • TooLoose LeTruck says:

            The person I’m currently living w/ works for the one of the major water departments in the area and one of her co-workers, since retired, owns a ranch in the east bay that’s been in his family for over a 100 years… I went out there once on a tour, and damn, he had his own nesting golden eagles out in the hills on the backside of his land…

            Massive nest, way up in an equally massive black oak… if you’ve never seen a 1,000 yr old black oak up close, it’s hard to imagine how big that tree is…

            Eagles are truly impressive birds…

        • P J Evans says:

          There are some big ranches around there, plus the regional parks.

          Friend has a story about driving through UT, on his way back to L.A. with his new wife, and having one sail past the windshield – it was her car – seeing nothing but Large Brown Bird for a bit.

    • Fran of the North says:

      Great sighting and good story.

      Way back in the day I was driving btw Denver and the ski town where I was living and as I drove through a hill cut in two for the road grade, there was a Golden on the peak of each hillock. We get LOTS of Baldies here in the Upper Midwest, but no Goldens.

      • bg says:

        I saw one on the side of the road by Salida, CO some years ago. It had caught a rabbit, and a couple of vultures were interested in horning in on the catch. The bird was enormous. I think upright it was about 4 feet tall. I turned the car around to go back and get a better look. I’ve seen a few since then on other road trips, but I don’t think any were as large as that one. I’m a dedicated raptor watcher. Don’t really enjoy watching them eat. Hawks have taken out a few cats around here in broad daylight. It is a horror. But it is nature. .

        • Tom says:

          I feed the local birds during the winter and put out bowls of water on the ground in the shade during the summer, but I’ve found that when you attract songbirds you also attract birds of prey. One winter’s afternoon I watched a harrier (at least I think that’s what it was) devour a blue jay on my front porch until all that was left was a greasy spot and a few fluffs of down. And in the summertime the same small hawks will suddenly zoom in out of nowhere to make a grab for the robins or goldfinches frolicking around the water bowls.

          I’ve found that I no longer need to put scraps of gristle and fat into the garbage when I’ve finished cooking some meat. Instead I just throw the scraps out onto my back yard and the local crows soon take care of them. Ditto for the mice I trap in my basement from time to time. Once I pitched a mouse carcass off my back deck and a blue jay swooped down to grab it in its beak and fly off with it as soon as it hit the ground.

          That sort of behaviour is a reminder that birds really are feathered dinosaurs. It seems especially true when you get up with the sun and see a flock of wild turkeys strutting and pecking around the backyard looking like so many ornithomimus or other small theropods in the early morning mist.

          • P J Evans says:

            Corvids are omnivores.
            We learned when the neighborhood scrub jays started extorting burger meat from us: it was feed them or they’d steal it from our turtles. (The turtles ate it, the jays mostly stashed it under the shingles on the house next door.) But they did appreciate the caterpillars in the garden. They ate (messily) the tomato worms that were too small for us to notice, and the caterpillars that were on the bush-beans, though for those the bird would sit on my mother’s shoulder waiting for her to hand them up. They also appreciated sunflower seeds, and would even take them from our hands.

          • John Lehman says:

            …” until all that was left was a greasy spot and a few fluffs of down.”

            Walking on the Portland esplanades under the bridges, it’s not uncommon to see evidence of a peregrine falcon’s squab meal remains under a bridge where the falcons nest.

            Great to see the peregrines they just came off the endangered list 22 years ago.

          • TooLoose LeTruck says:

            One of my favorite bits of bird trivia…

            Back in 2003, scientists in Montana were amazingly able to collect some unfossilized material from inside a 65 million year old T Rex femur they had dug up, and when they analyzed the material (a collagen protein) and compared it to living animals the closest match they made was with the… chicken… and ostriches, too…

            That’s right… the common, barnyard chicken is the great-great-great-great-to-the-nth-degree-great grandchild of the Tyrannosaurus Rex…

            Kind of makes sense, when you look at the bodies of the two… big legs… tiny little arms/upper body appendages…

            And if you look closely at a chicken’s beak, that’s not a seed eater’s beak… that’s a raptor’s beak… just sayin’…

              • TooLoose LeTruck says:

                Good question…

                Seems like a likely match, too…

                The reputedly dangerous one is the cassowary… hell, a cassowary even looks like a dangerous dinosaur…

                • blueedredcounty says:

                  Cassowaries are the most dangerous. They can disembowel a person with a kick of their claws.

                  • TooLoose LeTruck says:

                    I looked up ‘cassowary’ online after making that comment and found a picture of a cassowary claw and good lord, it was impressive… I see why they have such a fearsome reputation…

            • Bob says:

              Of course you’ve heard of the New Jersey teen who back crossed his backyard flock of chickens to be dinosaurs. Small of course but very dangerous

              [SECOND REQUEST: Please use a more differentiated username. This site already has several community members named “Bob,” “Rob,” or “Robert” as explained in your third comment. /~Rayne]

    • John Lehman says:

      Good omen…we get to see bald eagles soaring up and down the Willamette River here in Portland Oregon. A thrill each time we see one.

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      When I worked in downtown L.A. (80’s/90’s), there was a falcon’s nest in one of the high rises, Union Bank bldg., I think. We could see them stooping – dive bombing pigeons. Feathers flew even if it wasn’t a kill! It was awesome.

      • P J Evans says:

        They also like the MTA tower, on the east side of Union Station. There’s a big ledge up near the top, on two sides, that’s good for eating pigeons/nesting. I’ve seen two or three up there at once.

  27. Cosmo Le Cat says:

    The chairman of the J6SC announced it now has a formal path to share information with the DOJ.

    • bmaz says:

      Which has proven to be a complete lie ever since the formation of the J6 Committee. Seriously, people are still peddling this garbage?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      A little like the Apollo engineers announcing after the lunar landing that they had finally figured out how to close the hatch on the lander. The J6 Committee doesn’t seem to be taking this sort of thing seriously. But seriously, do they think the DoJ under Garland is out to steal their electoral thunder?

  28. yves capdeboscq says:

    Very distantly related to the current discussion, but possibly the right group to ask (there are from time to time book reviews published, and you are a very learned group). There is a book called “La trahison des clercs” by Julien Benda, written almost a hundred years ago, which is often cited but rarely read in France (you need a good grasp of French politics in the 20s to understand the many side comments). It is famous because it turn out to be prophetic of what happened next, but it stayed relevant because the betrayal of the clerks (= the academics, the intellectuals etc) he denounced was that higher imperatives were let go for momentary considerations (what bmaz rails against regarding what people expect of the judicial system). My question is : what is the equivalent book in the US? Is it more accessible than Benda’s ?

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      You won’t find an exact analogue, M. Capdeboscq, because there isn’t one. Our intellectuals, mostly writers, occupied their own turf in the 1920s, when editors like Maxwell Perkins and Malcolm Crowley maintained the gates at magazines supremely powerful then. The writers who succeeded, like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker and Edna St. Vincent Millay, did not rely on academic appointments until after WWII, when others (arguably) introduced the New Critical method as a means to ensure relevance; this had the effect of garnering respect for the professoriat comparable to that accorded your “clercs” of the previous generation.

      Americans thus had no tradition of clercs to betray. And once we seemed to evolve one, the anti-intellectual backlash movement was already training its sights on academia–while simultaneously, paradoxically, seeking access to it. The past century of intellectual history, and specifically academic intellectual history, in this country has roiled with our politics.

  29. Cosmo Le Cat says:

    As a 1st generation Hungarian-American of Jewish descent, I am not shocked that Hungarian PM Viktor Orban embraces replacement theory. What I do find shocking is corporate support for Tucker, CPAC, the Repub party and their Dear Leader.

    • TooLoose LeTruck says:

      Oh, I dunno…

      More than one major industrialist in Germany threw in w/ the Nazis when the time came… Krupp… IG Farben…

      Why would some American corporations be any different when it comes to making money?

      If you had asked me 30 years ago, and I’m not exaggerating, if I thought there would ever be a 4th reich in this world I would have said yes… and if you had asked me where it would most likely rise up, I would have said, why, right here, in the US!

      • rip says:

        Sounds like the same recipe for the Kochs, Fords.
        A search on your favorite web site for “libertarian AND fascism” may bring up some fun reading.

      • grennan says:

        ….re German industrialists throwing in with Nazis

        Several US industrialists got very close.

        • Geoguy says:

          A “fun” read by Charles Higham: “Trading With The Enemy : An Expose Of The Nazi American Money Plot” (1983) now available at archive.org.

          • TooLoose LeTruck says:

            I’ll have to look that up…

            Does Prescott Bush’s name happen to somehow come up in the conversation?

            Or maybe Joseph Kennedy?

            • grennan says:

              There are several gradations.

              Kennedy was an isolationist but had made most of his money before serving as SEC head and ambassador. He may have shaded into ‘defeatist’ before his sons joined the military.

              Several U.S. manufacturers (‘industrialists’) did much worse before the war and after it started. Not just funding America First efforts but continuing their contacts and trade arrangements. These were mostly manufacturers and purveyors of raw materials and fuel.

              Your comment “more than one German industrialist” should read “almost all of them”. Aside from “The Arms of Krupp” several other works have focused on Porsche/VW, Bayer, and various individual firms. Several on Dora/Penemunde and German aerospace works, as well as the German scientists/engineers who populated our early space programs (most notably Werner von Braun).

              Some economic historians published work in the 90s showing that unlike the U.S. and Britain (or for that matter, Japan), Germany never actually started a “war economy”, despite popular misimpression.

              I could go on about VW, Bosch, and Leitz but will just observe that Volkswagen literature — at least pre-reunification — really showed the difficulty of separating some German national traits from the 1932-45 regime. My ’86 Cabriolet owners manual actually used diagonal stripes around WARNING boxes. One ordered you not to sit on the top while the car was running. Another advised owners not to travel without their (car’s) paperwork. One was “Warning! Heed all WARNINGS!” My fave was “it is in your own best interests to keep us informed of your whereabouts!”.

  30. Rugger9 says:

    Pompeo, Mnuchin, Mulvaney are visiting J6SC staffers for chats, among others which might answer the question about how seriously the 25th Amendment solution was being considered. Epshteyn was implicated deeper in the latest email drop, and to the surprise of no one here, Cooch and Chad’s communications in and around J6 were caught up in the same resetting evolution as the USSS. USSS is under DHS, so I was kind of expecting that but I’d be pretty sure NSA has the missing communications. Of course, to divert attention Tucker and the gang went off on HRC’s emails (again…). It wasn’t clear whether Epshteyn will testify but he’s on tape saying he was a key player in the fake elector scheme.

  31. Ewan says:

    Very distantly related to the current discussion, but possibly the right group to ask (there are from time to time book reviews published, and you are a very learned group). There is a book called “La trahison des clercs” by Julien Benda, written almost a hundred years ago, which is often cited but rarely read in France (you need a good grasp of French politics in the 20s to understand the many side comments). It is famous because it turned out to be prophetic of what happened next, but it stayed relevant because the betrayal of the clerics (= the academics, the intellectuals etc) he denounced was that higher imperatives were let go for momentary considerations (what bmaz rails against regarding what people expect of the judicial system). My question is : what is the equivalent book in the US? Is it more accessible than Benda’s ? Or is this debate of the role of the intelligencia in society non existent?

  32. Epicurus says:

    There is a slew of books about intelligentsia standing in America. If you search for “current books about intelligentsia in America” you will find what you are seeking.

    If French politics is an interest Art Goldhammer has a terrific blog on-line.

  33. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    On another matter…

    Per CNN, Russia has informally asked that Vadim Kasnikov, a former Russian colonel convicted of murder in Germany, be included with Viktor Bout in the exchange for Brittany Griner and Paul Whelan…

    A modest proposal… perhaps if the US was to sweeten the deal by throwing in Trump too, that would be enough to get Griner and Whelan back…

  34. nord dakota says:

    Re: Trump’s first amendment rights, I thought of looking up cases where someone HAS been convicted of incitement. Although police did not drag Trump off the stage Jan 6, there’s Feiner v. New York, in which SCOTUS opined:
    (a) Petitioner was neither arrested nor convicted for the making or the content of his speech, but for the reaction which it actually engendered. Pp. 340 U. S. 319-320.

    He did direct them to go to the Capitol and he tried to go to the Capitol himself.
    Although he did not tell them to break windows or bring the weapons we now know he knew they had (and when he wanted the magnetometers removed he did not say they would never hurt anyone, he said they wouldn’t hurt HIM), his responses to the actual reaction show he liked the result. And when he told them to go home, he didn’t say it was because of what they’d done, it was sort of more like they had done enough to earn his love.
    I realize this evidence comes from the hearings, that the DOJ has to develop its own evidence, and that privilege is still a barrier, or being used as a barrier–but isn’t this creeping close to incitement?

    • bmaz says:

      “Privilege” is not going to be a barrier. Causation and intent will be. Don’t get ahead of what actual evidence is.

    • Randy Baker says:

      One might add that Trump’s tweeting to the mob– while they were sacking the capitol trying to hang Mike Pence– that Pence was weak and had let them down might not be cited by his defense lawyers as evidencing reasonable doubt that Trump had non-felonious intent in launching them towards the capitol in the first place.

  35. grennan says:

    The long and loathsome lode of Trump-orbit regrifting as authors goes on.

    Vox reported yesterday that it had gotten a copy of Paul Manafort’s “Political Prisoner: Persecuted, Prosecuted but Not Silenced”:

    ” mostly a self-aggrandizing diatribe that is often repetitive and occasionally prone to basic factual errors”.

    “Instead of a memoir, it seems designed to make Manafort a martyr in the eyes of Fox News viewers—a Nathan Hale in Brioni suits who only regretted that he had one life to give on behalf of Donald Trump. ”

    Vox didn’t include what should be an obligatory note that the Trump campaign was too ignorant/inexperienced to understand there was a reason that Manifort would work for nothing.

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