Wednesday Open Thread

“Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of weak ones.”

–Edmund Burke

20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ParkHill says:

    Roger Stone was the "cutout" between Trump and the Proud Boys & Oath Keepers. From Heather Cox-Richardson. (Sorry to quote so extensively; you are probably on her newsletter, anyway).

    HC-R and Liz Cheney are doing an excellent job of explaining in a clear, narrative form, exactly how the Trump and the Republican Party attempted to over-turn the election.

    On December 18, 2020, four days after the electors met, Trump’s outside advisors, including lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, former national security advisor Michael Flynn, and Patrick Byrne, former chief executive officer of Overstock, got access to the White House through a junior staffer and met with Trump. They brought an executive order that had been drafted on December 15, the day after the electors had certified the votes for Biden. It called for Trump to order the Defense Department to seize state voting machines, and it appointed Powell as special counsel to investigate voter fraud, giving her broad powers. They wanted Trump to implement it.

    Cipollone got wind of the meeting and crashed it about 15 minutes in. Over the next six hours, White House officials and the Trump team members who insisted the election was stolen faced off, exchanging personal insults, accusations of disloyalty to the president, even challenges to fight physically. Cipollone, White House lawyer Eric Herschmann, and their team demanded evidence to support the theories Trump’s outside team insisted were true. In turn, the outside team repeated conspiracy theories and accused the others of being wimps: Powell told the committee the White House team all should have been fired, and Giuliani told the committee he told them all they were “a bunch of p*ssies.”

    In the end, Trump was convinced not to follow the direction of the outside advisors. But he didn't take the advice of those officials telling him to concede, either. Instead, shortly after the meeting broke up, Meadows walked Giuliani out of the White House to make sure he didn’t sneak back into Trump’s company. Then, at 1:42 on the morning of December 19, Trump reiterated to followers that the election had been stolen and that there was no statistical way that he could have lost.

    Then he typed the words: “Big protest in D.C. on January 6. Be there, will be wild!” 

    Immediately, his most loyal supporters recognized this tweet as a call for armed resistance. “Trump just told us all to come armed,” one tweeted. “F*cking A, this is happening.” 

    Far-right media, including Alex Jones of InfoWars, amplified Trump's tweet with calls to violence. The committee introduced testimony from a former Twitter moderator who said: “We had not seen that sort of direct communication before” in which Trump was speaking directly to supporters and inciting them to fight. After the December 19 tweet, it was clear, the person said, “not only were these individuals ready and willing, but the leader of their cause was asking them to join him in this cause and in fighting for this cause in DC on January 6 as well.”

    Supporters wrote comments like: “Why don’t we just kill them? Every last democrat, down to the last man, woman, and child?” and, making the link between Trump’s determination to stay in office and white supremacy: “It’s time for the DAY OF THE ROPE! WHITE REVOLUTION IS THE ONLY SOLUTION!”

    As Trump continued to post about January 6 on Twitter and continued to insist he had won the election, militias, white supremacists, and conspiracy theorists began to work together to coordinate an attack on the Capitol. The Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, along with other extremists groups, worked with Trump allies to plan the attack. Those allies included Michael Flynn and Patrick Byrne.

    Another ally was Trump confidant Roger Stone

    • spaceman2021 says:

      It's time for DOJ to ask a grand jury for indictments.  The case is there, the probable cause is established, and the clock is ticking.

      • JohnInDenver says:

        Statutes of Limitation vary.  I'm not an attorney and too lazy to go look it up right now, but my recollection is

         * the general federal limit is 5 years and there are exceptions. I seem to recall reading that Sedition was one exception.

         * Conspiracy charges don't start ticking until the last event of the conspiracy is known.  So, cover-ups and witness tampering as part of the conspiracy might be the last acts of the conspiracy.

        Even without the loud ticking of an approaching deadline, I agree that "Time's A Wastin"

        Now I've got blues
        And you've got blues
        Let's get acquainted and lose those blues
        Let's go
        Time's a wastin'

  2. ParkHill says:

    MidWestern Good News for Democrats. Mike Lux.

    Factory towns and more:

    • In Pennsylvania, Republicans are fleeing their far-right extremist gubernatorial nominee as fast as they can, while Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman is running a great populist campaign, and currently sports a 9-point lead in the public polling.

    • In Ohio, where Republicans presided over what the Columbus Dispatch called the biggest scandal in the country, the Republican governor is sitting at only 45% in the polls in spite of having universal name ID after a 46-year political career in the state. Meanwhile, the latest public poll has Tim Ryan leading by 44-41 for the open Senate seat, and Democrats had a great year in mayoral races there last year.

    • In Iowa, Democratic primary voters surprised the DC Democratic establishment by rejecting former Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer, who had much higher name recognition and a big fundraising start, and picking former Navy Admiral Mike Franken 55-40. Franken’s background and strong presence on the stump is making a big impression on Iowa voters. Given that only 27% of voters wanted 88-year-old Chuck Grassley to run again in an earlier poll, this could be a sleeper race.

    • In Missouri, Republicans look likely to nominate Eric Greitens, the former governor forced to resign by the Republican legislature over multiple scandals. Democratic candidate Lucas Kunce, a 13-year Marine veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and has a powerfully populist message, is leading in the Democratic primary. There is polling showing him essentially tied with Greitens right now. In the meantime, an added twist to the race is that a heavyweight Republican lawyer who was a clerk for Clarence Thomas, is entering the race as an Independent, saying he can’t stand the idea of Greitens becoming a senator. So Republicans will be splitting their votes.

    • kwtree says:

      I was curious about what the big Ohio scandal was ( it was behind a pay wall) so found it here. Dewine has a lot to answer for.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      Yeah, here's hoping enough voters see the existential threat to our democracy and vote Democratic even though they are conservative.

    • Lauren Boebert is a Worthless POS says:

      Pay no attention to that 9.1% inflation rate.

      Poll Shows Tight Race for Control of Congress as Class Divide Widens – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

      Besides, people who live in places like Park Hill do not have to worry about the cost of food or gasoline or rent.

      The Dems are up by one percentage point (41% to 40%) among registered voters (hurray) and down by one point (44% to 43%) among likely voters (boo).

      BTW, as someone who believes that numerous serious felonies were committed by many, many people on 1/6/21, I am tired of turning on the news and watching the same sound bites coming out of Jamie Raskin and Stephanie Murphy and Liz Cheney's mouths.

      I understand that Dems want this as an issue – as opposed to a criminal prosecution – and want to milk it for all they can. Like guns and reproductive choice … although the GOP was smart in temporarily removing the gun safety issue by signing on to the recently passed legislation.

      But prosecutorial actions speak louder than empty political words. Why the hell hasn't the DOJ obtained indictments against the ring leaders of 1/6, including Trump, by now?

      Are their investigators not as competent or aggressive as the investigators for the 1/6 committee? Of course not. The FBI and DOJ should have been able to get all their shit in one sock by now.

      Nero fiddled while Rome burned. The Dems investigate while the cost of living escalates.

      • JohnInDenver says:

        WAPO has a few comments that mitigate that higher than expected inflation report

        Driving the stunning jump was the energy index, which rose 7.5 percent, compared with May, and contributed nearly half of the overall increase in inflation. The energy index includes prices for fuel, oil, gasoline and electricity, and it’s up 41.6 percent for the year, the largest 12-month increase since April 1980.

        Gasoline was up 11.2 percent in June, underscoring the economic toll Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had on global energy markets. There’s hope that upcoming inflation data will ease down a bit, as energy and gas prices have fallen consistently in the past month. The national average for a gallon of gas ticked down to $4.63 on Wednesday, according to AAA.

        • Lauren Boebert is a Worthless POS says:

          And amongst those of us who are white, well-educated, urban or suburban professionals who read the WAPO, inflation is not the most important issue. I make enough money so that if the price of a gallon of milk goes up a dime or a gallon of gasoline goes up 15 cents, I'm not going to freak out and vote for Lauren Boebert. 

          We have the luxury of being able to vote on other stuff like reproductive choice, same sex marriage, gun control, a rational and humane immigration policy, teaching US History accurately even if it hurts the feelings of some folk, etc.

          But most of the real world is not like most of us on this site.

      • ParkHill says:

        The inflation report is at TRAILING indicator. Food and energy are volatile, and we'll see a big drop in the July and August reports. I paid $4.16 at the Longmont exit two days ago! Remove food & energy, and inflation was at 6%, not 9%. The bond market expectations are for inflation to return to 3% within a couple of years.

        The problem with aggressively fighting inflation is that the Fed would try to cause a recession which would increase unemployment, which is exactly the opposite of what the lower middle class needs. The lower middle class needs higher taxes on the wealthy, higher wages, directed tax credits, and lower-price health care. 

        Painting with a broad brush? I think maybe you don't know Park Hill. Because the Denver economy is doing so well, you would also say: "people who live in places like Denver do not have to worry about the cost of food or gasoline or rent".

    • ParkHill says:

      Is he pandering or trolling?

    • DavidThi808 says:

      I find that ad to be a mooving experience.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      But what if I get a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell? 

      THIS is the hill Republicans want to die on?  Colorado would export, to the four corners of the globe, EVERY single pound of beef it produces even if the entire population of Coloradan were vegans. 

      Personally I'm a MeatIn kind of guy a couple of days a week, MeatOut the rest of the days.  Has anyone paid any attention to the infrastructure it takes to keep the livestock industry in eastern Colorado alive?  Water.  LOTS of water. It's time we get *ucking serious about assessing the lifespan of our limited, natural resources and making a long-term plan for the region. 

      One of my favorite new companies is one that wanted to locate in Colorado but ended up in Washington state.  This system produces 5,000x the acre yield of soy with just 2% of the water use.  

      We don't lack solutions – we lack political will.  

    • coloradosane says:

      Another excuse for trumpian GOP to pander to " wanting "CO  rural vote that feels all you city dwellers/fellers are leaving us to die on the vine and dampen our vote in CO.  

  3. ParkHill says:

    Beating the Un-dead Horse: How to Deal with a Renegade Court. WOT-Year from Josh Marshall at TPM

    What TL was talking about is that government lawyers and lawyers involved in regulatory or governmental work generally are trained to see judges as something like referees. They’re imperfect like all referees. They have biases, political orientations, ideologies. But fundamentally they’re trying to call balls and strikes as they see them. In that context, you don’t want to force or risk decisions that might have bad impacts down the road or create bad law deriving from weird facts. You also don’t want to give the referees the sense that you’re reckless or playing fast and loose. Because then they’ll doubt your good faith in other contexts, apply greater levels of scrutiny then they otherwise might. There’s also a general professional reflex in which lawyers think it looks bad if you’re constantly getting overruled in the courts. Either you’re not a very good lawyer or you’re indifferent to the rules.

    All of these rules and tendencies make sense if judges are broadly operating in the balls-and-strikes model or operating in a consistent interpretive framework. But what if instead of calling balls and strikes they’re trying to make sure you lose? And by “you” I specifically mean you, your boss or your party. Suddenly that framework of caution and avoiding decisions or actions you think judges might strike down stops making sense. Indeed, if you shape your actions by anticipating judicial interventions you take the burden of the judges’ or courts’ corrupt behavior on yourself rather than placing it on them. To a great extent this is what we see playing out today. By avoiding taking actions that justices are likely to strike down, the White House is channeling the mix of fear, outrage and anger toward itself rather than the Court where it actually should go. If judges want to abuse their power and block legitimate executive or legislative action, it becomes critical to make them do it in the full light of day and make their abuses public rather than obscure them by doing the justices’ dirty work for them.

    This is part of the reason it’s so important to pass a Roe law in January 2023. Might the Court strike it down? Sure. But if the justices are going to abuse their power, actually force them to do it. That’s how you illustrate the Court’s corruption and illegitimacy for the public and lay the groundwork for reform.

    • ParkHill says:

      Continuing…

      If you just say, “Well, what’s the point? The Court will just strike it down,” then you condemn yourself to an inaction that directs the obloquy and outrage the Court has earned on yourself. That’s bad politics and bad substance in every direction. And it’s a big part of the mess the White House has gotten itself into. Toughness is important. But what we’re talking about here isn’t toughness. It’s approaching political and legal questions with an accurate understanding of how the judiciary generally and the Supreme Court specifically currently operates.

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