Friday Talking Points -- A Cinder Block On The Scales Of Justice

[ Posted Friday, March 1st, 2024 – 19:37 UTC ]

This week, the Supreme Court didn't just stick a thumb on the scales of justice for Donald Trump, it tossed on a cinder block instead. By delaying any decision -- for months and months -- on Trump's ludicrous claim to total immunity from everything and anything he's ever done, the court will allow Trump to win even if he loses his appeal. Because Trump's main objective in the January 6th insurrection case against him is to delay, delay, delay. The Supreme Court is aiding and abetting this scheme in rather blatant fashion.

By doing so, they proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Supreme Court should now be seen as just another partisan actor in Washington. They are not "calling balls and strikes," instead they are postponing the entire game for months, when it isn't even raining. The phrase "justice delayed is justice denied" sums it up nicely, in fact.

As others have already pointed out, Trump's lawyers actually argued during his appeal that he could have ordered Seal Team Six to assassinate a political rival and then could never have been criminally charged for doing so if he hadn't been first impeached and convicted by Congress. Since Mitch McConnell took the ridiculous position that anyone not currently in office could not be convicted in an impeachment trial (even though an impeachment trial can bar people from ever holding office again), this means any president could do so in the waning days of their term and get away with it. Or order such an assassination and then step down before a Senate trial happens. In either case, they could never be legally charged with a crime for using the power of the federal government to assassinate a political rival. Which, of course, sets up an interesting thought experiment. If the court rules for Trump, that would mean that Joe Biden could then order Seal Team Six to assassinate Trump (or even assassinate a few Supreme Court justices, just for the sake of argument) without worrying that he'd ever face any legal jeopardy for doing so. File this under "be careful what you wish for," we suppose, because it is indeed the logical end of the argument Trump's lawyers have been making.

If the justice system followed any sort of logic, however, the order of Trump's trials would be different than whatever it is going to turn out to be. The easiest case to prove -- the simplest one -- is the national security documents case. That one's really a slam-dunk for the prosecutors, since Trump is so obviously guilty of what he's been accused of. It's also a very serious case with very serious charges. Plenty of people have served many years in jail for far less egregious violations of the same laws.

Next up would be the federal charges surrounding January 6th. This would be a longer case and a more complex one, but it should definitely be tried before the American people vote on whether to return Donald Trump to the presidency. Following this case would logically be the Georgia case stemming from the same basic crime: trying to overturn an American presidential election by any means necessary. This is the most complex of the cases and the trial is going to take many months, but it also may be the one with the most jail time at stake for Trump.

At the very end of the schedule should be the New York case stemming from the hush-money payments made to a porn star. This is the least serious case when it comes to the laws Trump is accused of breaking, and it also will involve tricky legal positions which a jury might not be convinced apply to Trump.

That's all if the judicial calendar were arranged by logic, of course. Since it is not, the porn-star case is going to go first. At this point, nobody's sure when any of the other three cases will be heard -- or even if they'll be heard. The Supreme Court, as mentioned, threw a cinder block on the scales of justice for the January 6th federal case, the Georgia case is mired in accusations of self-dealing made against the prosecutor (a hearing is underway today which may decide this matter), and the documents case is also up in the air (another hearing on this case is also underway today, which may set a new trial date). At this point, it looks like the documents case may be the only other one that has enough time to be tried in court before the presidential election happens, although that could change. And there's always the possibility that the Supreme Court might intervene in any of the other cases as well, as Trump's legal team has been filing appeals like there is no tomorrow. Or, more accurately, "like none of these trials is going to be heard tomorrow, or the next day, or the next month, or even this year."

As we wrote yesterday, the lion's share of the blame for this sorry state of affairs falls squarely on Attorney General Merrick Garland, for twiddling his thumbs for almost two full years before appointing a special counsel to investigate Donald Trump. Those two years are lost forever. If this massive delay hadn't happened, Donald Trump might already be sitting in a jail cell somewhere.

But he's not, obviously. Instead, he is skating towards picking up his third Republican presidential nomination in a row. Two primaries happened this week, and Trump handily won both of them. In South Carolina -- Nikki Haley's home state -- Trump beat her by roughly 60 percent to 40 percent. In Michigan, it was even more lopsided as Trump beat Haley by a whopping 40 points.

Still, Haley did pull in 39.5 percent in one state and 26.6 percent in the other, which is pretty good, running against what is essentially an incumbent president. This shows Trump's weakness within his own Republican base, but it's an open question how much this will mean in November. How many Haley voters will wind up voting for Trump and how many will either vote for someone else or stay home? Nobody knows. Haley's still got enough campaign cash to keep going past even Super Tuesday, so we'll get a whole lot more data points on this question very soon (as a whole raft of other states hold their primaries).

President Joe Biden had his own difficulties in Michigan, even though he won the primary with over 80 percent of the vote. Coming in second place was "Uncommitted," which accounted for 13.2 percent of Democrats voting (over 100,000 votes). This was organized as a protest against the war in Gaza and Biden's support for Israel, and it could be very worrisome for Biden in November. Michigan is a swing state, after all. In an amusing footnote from Michigan, the one Democrat still challenging Biden (Dean Phillips) actually lost to Marianne Williamson -- even though she had already ended her campaign. How embarrassing!

Biden and Trump just got back from holding duelling photo-ops on the southern border yesterday, where they each made the case the problem is the other one's fault. Since Trump tanked the bipartisan border/immigration reform bill (even though it was largely written by and tilted towards the Republicans), Biden has been trying to hang the whole problem around Trump's neck. Meanwhile, Trump is out there ranting and raving -- here is just part of what he had to say yesterday:

Nobody can explain to me how allowing millions of people from places unknown, from countries unknown, who don't speak languages. We have languages coming into our country. We have nobody that even speaks those languages. They're truly foreign languages. Nobody speaks them, and they're pouring into our country, and they're bringing with them tremendous problems, including medical problems, as you know.

Um... what? Immigrants "who don't speak languages" are coming in to the country? Or maybe it's just the languages themselves "coming into our country"? Languages "nobody speaks"? What about the people coming in who are speaking them? Any language which is not English is a foreign language (by definition) so it's hard to even understand what "truly foreign languages" would even be.

Not to put too fine a point on it but even Sarah Palin made more sense than this word-salad garbage, but somehow the media isn't making a huge deal over Trump's obvious idiocy (or dementia) here. Or the fact that Trump is promising in his second term to enlist all police forces down to the local cop on the corner to just round up everyone they think could possibly be an immigrant, ship them to camps out in the desert, and then send them to other countries. That's a pretty alarming notion, but it never seems to be a story on the evening news.

Joe Biden will lead the news next week on at least one night, as the annual (and very late-scheduled) "State Of The Union" speech will be given to Congress and the American people. This will be the biggest megaphone he'll have all year, so it will be closely watched. Will he lay out his agenda for a second term? Will he take Congress to task for accomplishing virtually nothing for the past year? Will he rip into Trump in subtle ways (or possibly overt ways)? We'll be tuning in to find out, that's for sure.

One thing that seems certain is that Biden is going to address the border problem and unveil some new policies (while taking Republicans to task for tanking their own measure, which would have improved the situation by now). These are not likely to be greeted with applause from progressive Democrats, to put it mildly. Biden knows the issue hurts him politically, one poll just put it at the top of voters' concerns, and he's got to counter the drumbeat from Trump and the Republicans on it. So he's going to somehow toughen up his own immigration policies, in an effort to at least partially defuse the issue for the rest of the campaign. We expect some howls from the left when Biden does so, so we'll be tuning in to see that as well.

Congress did manage to punt the government shutdown deadline once again, but this was a very short punt indeed. Instead of money running out at midnight tonight, it will instead run out one week from tonight. That's one day after the State Of The Union, so either Congress will have actually passed a portion of the federal budget by then, be on the brink of passing a budget deal, or once again be frantically trying to punt the issue further down the road. One way or another, it'll definitely get a mention in Biden's speech, that much seems certain.

The big news out of Congress this week is that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is going to step down from his leadership position at the end of this year. He's still planning on finishing his term in office (he won't be up for re-election until 2026), but he'll spend the final two years of it as a back-bencher. As with Nancy Pelosi stepping down in the House, this should pass the torch of leadership to a younger generation. The best commentary we read this week on Mitch's legacy came from a reporter at Salon who first interviewed McConnell as a reporter for his high school newspaper, back when McConnell was a mere local county executive. Here's what this reporter had to say about Mitch -- which we find we cannot disagree with one bit (emphasis in original):

McConnell stumbles from a stage he largely built. His was the only seat Ronald Reagan picked up in the 1984 general election, and McConnell did it by pandering, lying and through self-serving abandonment of any pretense of mortality, scruples or professional behavior. He paved the highway of disingenuous and destructive behavior that rules the Republican Party to this day, and while he believes he's falling on his sword honorably, I've never seen anything honorable, professional or redeeming about the man, privately or professionally.

McConnell's legacy is packing the Supreme Court with partisan ideological hacks, please always remember this. He shirked his duty to the Constitution to increase conservative power, plain and simple. Other folks online had plenty of other things to say about McConnell and his legacy, if anyone's interested.

And because we've got lots of other stuff to cover, we're going to end here with the news that a third state -- Illinois -- just also decided that Donald Trump is ineligible to appear on their ballot for president, due to him engaging in the January 6th insurrection. This is another matter before the Supreme Court where they have been dragging their feet, even though everyone already knows which way they're going to rule on it (hint: it won't be "against Trump"). We're all living with Mitch McConnell's Supreme Court now, folks, and it just gets uglier and uglier with each passing day.


Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

Joe Biden deserves at least an Honorable Mention for his appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers, where he was relaxed and at ease bantering with Seth. It might seem a strange choice for Biden (there are other late-night shows with larger audiences), but it was obviously a favor to Meyers, since it was his tenth anniversary show. Seth's first guests, way back when, were Amy Poehler and then-Vice President Joe Biden. So he got them both back to celebrate. Hopefully this won't be the last such appearance Biden makes, because as we said it went really well.

This week we're torn between two candidates, so we decided to just hand out two Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week awards. The first goes to Senator Tammy Duckworth, for moving quickly to box in the Republicans on their new pet issue.

Duckworth is the perfect person to champion in-vitro fertilization, since she had both her daughters via I.V.F. In fact, she was the first sitting U.S. Senator to give birth while in office. So the entire matter is personal, for her.

Duckworth introduced a bill which would federally protect the right of women to utilize I.V.F. services, no matter how antediluvian their states' judges or legislature happen to be. She moved to pass the bill by "unanimous consent" and one Republican immediately took the bait and stepped into the trap. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi objected to the bill, claiming it would legalize human cloning and "the creation of human-animal chimeras." So the bill died.

This highlighted the impossible position Republicans now find themselves in. A full 125 House GOP members have signed onto a bill called the "Life at Conception Act" which would create a federal law that matches what the Alabama supreme court ruled recently -- all embryos would have full constitutional rights and destroying any of them would be tantamount to murder. This would effectively end I.V.F., where embryos are routinely discarded for various reasons. But due to the public backlash, Republicans are falling all over themselves trying to appear supportive of I.V.F., somehow squaring the circle that they have created. But none of that means anything if you don't vote for it when you have the chance.

Duckworth can always bring her bill back up in the normal fashion (where a single senator can't derail it), which would force every single Republican senator into voting either to support I.V.F. rights or with their theocratic buddies. We certainly hope Duckworth does so at the earliest available opportunity, because now is precisely the time to get them all on record, heading into campaign season.

Our second MIDOTW award goes to Hunter Biden, for his command performance in front of the House committee desperately trying to impeach his father for something (anything!). From various points in his opening statement, Hunter lit into the Republicans and did not mince his words at all:

Rather than follow the facts as they have been laid out before you in bank records, financial statements, correspondence, and other witness testimony, you continue your frantic search to prove the lies you, and those you rely on, keep peddling. Yes, they are lies.

Biden strongly defended both his and his father's innocence:

I am here today to provide the Committees with the one uncontestable fact that should end the false premise of this inquiry: I did not involve my father in my business," he said, according to a copy of the statement obtained by The Washington Post. "Not while I was a practicing lawyer, not in my investments or transactions domestic or international, not as a board member, and not as an artist. Never.

. . .

For more than a year, your Committees have hunted me in your partisan political pursuit of my dad. You have trafficked in innuendo, distortion and sensationalism -- all the while ignoring the clear and convincing evidence staring you in the face. You do not have evidence to support the baseless and MAGA-motivated conspiracies about my father because there isn't any.

Once the transcript of the entire hearing was available, it became obvious that Hunter remained this resolute throughout all the questioning, ripping into Republican innuendo piece by piece.

Democrats in the hearing had a wide array of metaphors to describe it afterwards, to the press:

"This has been a comedy of errors from the beginning," Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said ahead of the hearing. He urged Republicans to "fold up the circus tent" and end the impeachment inquiry.

. . .

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said the hearing was a "deep sea fishing exploration," while Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said that for Republicans, it amounted to "fourth and 20 on their own 10, and they don't have Patrick Mahomes."

Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) agreed. "That first hour of this much-anticipated testimony was the nail in the coffin to what is a bogus and sham impeachment inquiry," he said.

But the best moment (and why Republicans didn't want this to be a televised public hearing, obviously) came during Representative Eric Swalwell questioning Hunter Biden (for which Swalwell deserves his own Honorable Mention):

[REPRESENTATIVE ERIC SWALWELL:] Any time your father was in government, prior to the Presidency or before, did he ever operate a hotel?

[HUNTER BIDEN:] No, he has never operated a hotel.

[SWALWELL:] So he's never operated a hotel where foreign nationals spent millions at that hotel while he was in office?

[BIDEN:] No, he has not.

[SWALWELL:] Did your father ever employ in the Oval Office any direct family member to also work in the Oval Office?

[BIDEN:] My father has never employed any direct family members, to my knowledge.

[SWALWELL:] While your father was President, did anyone in the family receive 41 trademarks from China?

[BIDEN:] No.

[SWALWELL:] As President and the leader of the party, has your father ever tried to install as the chairperson of the party a daughter-in-law or anyone else in the family?

[BIDEN:] No. And I don't think that anyone in my family would be crazy enough to want to be the chairperson of the D.N.C.

[SWALWELL:] Has your father ever in his time as an adult been fined $355 million by any State that he worked in?

[BIDEN:] No, he has not, thank God.

[SWALWELL:] Anyone in your family ever strike a multibillion dollar deal with the Saudi government while your father was in office?

[BIDEN:] No.

[SWALWELL:] That's all I've got.

This is precisely the way to handle all this faux Republican outrage over (gasp!) the very idea that a family member would cash in on a famous politician relative -- just ask pointedly: "What about Jared? Or Ivanka? Or any of the other Trump family members? When's the investigation into them going to be?"

The Republican chair of the committee left promising that there would be a public hearing later with Hunter, but this is highly doubtful since it would only allow him to show the American people the true extend of the clown show that is the Republican impeachment attempt. For putting up with it and for defending his family's honor, Hunter Biden also gets his own Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week.

[Congratulate Senator Tammy Duckworth on her Senate contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts. Hunter Biden is a private citizen and it is our longstanding policy not to provide contact information for such persons, sorry.]


Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

We were inclined to just give a retroactive Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week to Attorney General Merrick Garland, for the massive and unnecessary delay in bringing Donald Trump to justice, but it almost seems superfluous at this point (sigh).

Instead we decided to give the MDDOTW to a hitherto-unknown Democratic political operative. Here's the story in a nutshell:

A political operative says that he was behind a robocall imitating President Joe Biden that went out to thousands of voters urging them not to vote.

"The evening of Sunday, January 20th, 2 days before the New Hampshire primary, I sent out an automated call to 5,000 most-likely-to-vote Democrats. Using easy-to-use online technology, an automated version of President Joe Biden's voice was created," Steve Kramer told NBC News.

. . .

The robocall encouraged New Hampshire voters to skip out on the primary election in January.

"Voting this Tuesday only enables the Republicans in their quest to elect Donald Trump again. Your vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday," the voice automated to sound like Biden said.

It gets worse. Kramer "worked on getting Democratic candidate Dean Phillips on the ballot in New York and Pennsylvania," admitted the Phillips campaign, while swearing that "the candidate had no involvement" with the nefarious scheme.

This is some awfully dirty pool, folks. And it may get more and more common as time goes on, seeing as how the technology is now easily accessible. Kramer even admitted it would only take "a mere $500 investment" for anyone else to do what he had done.

There's a term for this sort of thing, from the days of Richard Nixon. It's known as "ratfucking," and it's about as disgusting as it sounds. No Democrat should have anything to do with such anti-democratic skullduggery, period. Because he did, Steve Kramer is easily our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week.

[Steve Kramer is also a private citizen, so once again our blanket policy is not to provide his contact information, sorry.]


Friday Talking Points

Volume 742 (3/1/24)

Another mixed bag this week for our talking points. Enjoy and as always, use responsibly!


   The Republican Court

They're not even trying to pretend anymore, so call them what they deserve to be called.

"This Supreme Court is no longer the 'Roberts Court.' From this point forward, we should just call it what it has become -- the 'Republican Court.' The laws are different if you're a Republican, according to them. If you're a Republican, many if not all laws simply do not apply. If the Constitution clearly says a Republican should be held accountable for his or her actions, it can be ignored. If the Constitution doesn't give a free pass to Republicans, then we'll just make one up out of whole cloth. Laws are for non-Republicans to follow. Republicans can never do any wrong. This is no longer an apolitical branch of the American government, it has become another partisan arm of the Republican Party and John Roberts has lost all control of his court. So let's call it what is now is: the Republican Supreme Court."


   A religious question

At heart, it is a theological distinction, not a medical one. Point this out as much as possible.

"The question of when to bestow personhood is one that is purely a matter of religion, not medicine. The state supreme court in Alabama made this clear, quoting the Christian Bible in its decision that a collection of six cells in a Petri dish is a 'child' worthy of full constitutional rights. If you accidentally drop that Petri dish, that's morally the same as murdering an actual full-grown human being, according to them. Republicans won't be happy until they control women's reproductive systems completely, and dictate what is and is not allowable based solely on their own religious beliefs. One can picture them sitting around some monastery somewhere debating how many embryos can dance on the head of a pin, in fact. They do not care if anyone else shares their particular religious beliefs, they won't be satisfied until the law is twisted to their own interpretation. This is downright scary, but it is indeed the road Republicans want to take us all down."


   Squaring the circle

They can't have it both ways. Point it out!

"Republicans have long tried to curry favor with the most extreme of the forced-birth activists by sanctimoniously proclaiming 'life begins at conception.' Up until now, we've never actually been forced to understand exactly what they mean by this. But now the cat's out of the bag. They mean no more I.V.F. for desperate women. They mean to ban any birth control system they deem to interfere with an embryo -- so no more I.U.D.s either, and probably no more birth control pills. Sorry, ladies! Any miscarriage will be investigated by the Uterus Police for possible murder or manslaughter charges. This is the frightening world that Republicans who support 'life begins at conception' want the rest of us to live in. And over 100 House Republicans are co-sponsors of a bill that would impose this Draconian existence on the entire country. They can pretend to be for I.V.F. rights all they want, but their own bill's text makes no allowances at all for I.V.F. They can't have it both ways -- they're either for women's rights or not, and it's pretty plain to see they are not."


   This week in GOP racism

This is all just from one week, mind you.

"The Republican Party is embracing its inner racist more blatantly and overtly than ever, folks. Donald Trump gave a speech to some Black conservatives this week where he told them, quote, 'Black people like me' because he has now been indicted four times. He also claimed that Blacks now loved him because he has a mugshot. Meanwhile, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas just hired a new law clerk who, while previously working for a group allied with his wife, wrote texts to a fellow employee where she said, and again I quote: 'I HATE BLACK PEOPLE... Like, fuck them all... I hate blacks. End of story.' Charming, eh? In Missouri, a Republican is running for governor who was previously pictured standing next to a fully-robed member of the Ku Klux Klan while both of them give Nazi salutes -- in front of a burning cross. These are the depths the so-called 'party of Lincoln' has now sunk to, folks. They're not even trying to hide it much anymore."


   Maybe she'll get to use her whole name again?

She probably won't, though....

"Ronna McDaniel will be stepping down from leading the Republican National Committee next week, after Donald Trump forced her ouster. This is a woman who has been so in the tank for Trump that she actually changed the name she uses publicly -- she used to proudly call herself Ronna Romney McDaniel, but that was before her uncle Mitt got on Trump's wrong side. So she jettisoned her maiden name to please her Dear Leader. Now he's soured on her so she's dutifully falling on her sword. But hey, at least she'll be able to use whatever name she wants to from now on, right?"


   Fortunate Son

Trump seems to be searching the couch cushions for spare change, these days.

"In a court deposition last year, Donald Trump bragged about how much cash he had on hand, characterizing it as 'substantially in excess of $400 million in cash.' He even bragged it was '400-plus and going up very substantially ever month.' That was then, this is now -- and now he's on the hook for over $450 million that he's got to put up before he can appeal the New York fraud case decision against him. Now he's pleading to judges that he's actually broke, and could barely scrape together $100 million. The judge refused to bargain in such a fashion, meaning he'll have to at least arrange a bond for the full amount before he can file any actual appeal. This reminds me of a verse from the Creedence Clearwater Revival song 'Fortunate Son,' which was written about nepo babies and other wealthy children. Their verse seems almost prophetic, after hearing Trump whine to the judge:"

Some folks are born, silver spoon in hand

Lord, don't they help themselves, y'all

But when the taxman comes to the door

Lord, the house lookin' like a rummage sale, yeah

"Seems about right. Oh, that reminds me -- for those that want to keep track at home, there's now a handy website with a running counter to keep up with the mounting interest charges, so you can see exactly how much Donald Trump now owes to the state of New York. Enjoy!"


   Maybe look in the mirror?

This one proves there is some justice still left in the Universe.

"Representative Lauren Boebert recently tweeted out her take on (as she put it) the 'Biden Crime Family,' who was in her opinion 'the most corrupt political family in America.' Mere hours later her own 18-year-old son was arrested on 22 criminal charges, including felony counts of possessing false IDs, as well as other assorted crimes. This is also the woman who showed the world her 'family values' by groping her date at a theater performance, and whose now-divorced husband -- when Lauren was only 17 years old -- was arrested for exposing a tattoo on his penis to two underage women in a bowling alley and spent four days in jail for the crime. So it seems like Representative Boebert doesn't have to look very far to find a 'crime family' in politics -- she can start by looking in her own mirror."

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground


12 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- A Cinder Block On The Scales Of Justice”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i read somewhere that the april date was a compromise; some justices wanted to drag the case out indefinitely, while others wanted to refuse to hear it at all.

  2. [2] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    I applaud the press for jumping to report on the 'impossible position' the Alabama court's ruling on IVF embryos puts GOP politicians.

    However, it's very disappointing that, to my knowledge, no Democratic politician has publicized the very real danger that this ruling presents to poor Americans.
    IVF costs thousands of dollars. I doubt that even 1% of Americans really care about IVF, as most will never need it - if they can even afford it.
    Meanwhile, if an embryo is a human, how long until a county sheriff breaks down the door of a poor, probably Black or brown woman, who has miscarried? She can be charged with murder, with accusations either of self-inducing an abortion, failing to nourish her fetus, or because she consumed drugs or alcohol.

    The Democratic Party still pays lip service to social justice, instead of actively defending the lives of what most is their 'base voters'.

  3. [3] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Rep Matt Gaetz deserves at least an honorable mention as MIDOW if we take him at his word. He's doing OUR work for us!
    '“We’ve now 86’d: McCarthy, McDaniel, McConnell,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) wrote online this week. “Better days are ahead for the Republican Party.”'

  4. [4] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Re: MDDOW

    If we're going to retroactively 'honor' Democrats for past inaction, President Obama definitely deserves this honor for failing to confront Sen. McConnell in 2016. McConnell refused to allow the Senate to perform its constitutionally-required hearings and vote on would-be Supreme Court justice Garland.
    Obama took no action when it became clear that McConnell would not do so before the November election. I can think of many ways that Obama could have reacted; I don't recall any action he DID take.
    And we are living with the results of Obama's inaction.

  5. [5] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    agree completely on obama's inaction on would-be justice garland. maybe he was overconfident in hillary, or maybe he was uncomfortable allowing the constitutional crisis to escalate. either way, that is one of many major ways obama severely disappointed by failing to fight for justice when he could have.

  6. [6] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    nypoet22 [5]:

    I know it's a fool's errand to wonder "what if", but IMO Obama's refusal to engage McConnell forcefully and with "righteous" indignation was an unforced error.
    I've read articles speculating that, during his entire term, Obama was cautioned and/or feared to be the "angry Black man". I have no idea whether that played a role in his "tempered and reasoned" public persona or not.

  7. [7] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    nypoet22 [5]:

    Let's hope that Biden lays into the Republicans in his (possibly final) state of the Union address. Possible opportunities to express "righteous indignation":
    * Abandoning Ukraine to the Russians
    * Walking away from a 'border' deal
    * Failure to pass a 2024 budget
    * Shredding the 'safety net' programs that helped lift millions of Americans out of poverty during and after the COVID-19 pandemic
    * Blocking the 'inflation act' and then rushing to photo opportunities celebrating the cascade of funds into their states and districts.

  8. [8] 
    Kick wrote:

    This is the least serious case when it comes to the laws Trump is accused of breaking, and it also will involve tricky legal positions which a jury might not be convinced apply to Trump.

    Why do people keep claiming this case involves tricky legal positions? Read my lips: There is nothing novel or tricky or weak about this case.

    It's yet another case of business fraud for Trump wherein he is specifically charged with creating false financial records: 11 counts of false invoices, 11 counts of false checks and check stubs, and 12 counts of false general ledger entries... wherein the receipts are all in the hands of Alvin Bragg. New York is the financial capital of the world, and these type charges are routinely brought by Bragg as well as other DAs... nothing new.

    During the 2016 election, Defendant Donald along with others (Cohen, Pecker, Weisselberg, et alia) devised a scheme to catch-and-kill negative information about Trump and also to create false stories about his opponent (Clinton). Trump and others went to great lengths to cover up the scheme including fraudulently creating false entries in business records in violation of laws of the State of New York (election and tax laws)

  9. [9] 
    Kick wrote:

    There's a term for this sort of thing, from the days of Richard Nixon. It's known as "ratfucking," and it's about as disgusting as it sounds.

    This reminds me of something somebody said regarding a National Enquirer (Pecker) article designed to smear him during the 2016 election.


    Trump may be a rat, but I have no desire to copulate with him.

    ~ Who said it?

    I will provide some tiny hints:

    * Did some "ratfucking" with Trump.
    * Name rhymes with "lead coups."

  10. [10] 
    Kick wrote:

    ^^^^^ OH, WAIT ^^^^^

    I actually just followed the "ratfucker" link after posting the above, and the quote is actually included there. Heh... go figure.

  11. [11] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    well, it's unanimous. barring death or severe incapacitation, donald's going to be on the ballot in all fifty states.

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Shocking. Positively shocking.

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