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Fiendish Thingy

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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 12:00 PM
Number of posts: 13,777

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Emptywheel: the pluses/minuses of a Special Counsel

Marcy has mixed feelings, but as usual, provides a balanced analysis.


To my mind, the best part of appointing war crimes and public corruption prosecutor Jack Smith as Special Counsel to oversee the twin investigations into Donald Trump is that it will be a cinch, now, to subpoena Ginni Thomas.

Otherwise I have mixed feelings about the decision. I think the letter of DOJ guidelines requires it. But I don’t think it will change how much of a clusterfuck Trump makes of it.

It does have certain other advantages, other than making it easier to subpoena Ginni. It might even make it easy to subpoena Mike Pence.

First, this will make it very easy to refuse Jim Jordan’s demands for information about the investigation.

It will ensure the continuity of any prosecution after 2025, no matter who is elected (neither hypothetical Trump prosecution — the stolen documents or the coup attempt — would be done by then, even if it were indicted on December 15, the earliest possible day for either).

I don’t think this will create much of a delay. The stolen documents case, which is the first that could be prosecuted (assuming the 11th Circuit overturns Judge Aileen Cannon’s special master order) is fairly self-contained, so would only take a day to be briefed into. The coup attempt is far, far more complex, but I think there was no way Trump himself would be indicted before February or March anyway, probably longer.
Mostly, I think this is an “Eh” decision. It doesn’t change Garland’s role in the process. I don’t think it delays things. I think it carries certain ad advantages, two of those named Ginni and Jim.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Fri Nov 18, 2022, 04:35 PM (7 replies)

Looks like Manchin and Sinema are joining the economic terrorists to hold debt ceiling hostage

And kill SS and Medicare:


I can hardly believe this. I guess Joe Manchin really has decided that he wants to work with Republicans to cut social security and Medicare — and god knows what else. Sinema and some others as well. So this is where we are:


The White House has largely given up hope of Congress raising the nation’s debt limit during the lame-duck session that runs through late December, increasing the risk of a highly partisan, market-rattling fiscal confrontation next year.

Senior administration officials see little chance of attracting any Republican votes for a bipartisan debt limit hike during the short session. And they don’t believe they have the 50 Democratic Senate votes needed to slam through a hike using the budget reconciliation process that would allow them to avoid a Republican filibuster.

Already, Manchin has expressed reluctance to act on the debt limit with only Democratic votes, though he’s declined to rule it out completely.

“I don’t think it should go to reconciliation,” he said Tuesday. “My goodness, it’s something we’ve always worked together on.”


P.S. Joe Manchin is a fine American statesman (because that’s all his fan club will allow me to say)
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Wed Nov 16, 2022, 09:25 PM (12 replies)

Merrick Garland hasn't done the specific thing you want because...

DOJ is busy doing the things they have to do first.


The passage of the election has set off the Merrick Garland whingers again, people who like displaying their ignorance by claiming there has been no sign of progress on the investigations into Trump when (often as not) there were signs of progress that the whingers are ignoring in the last few days.

Yes. It has been almost a week since the close of polls last Tuesday. No. Merrick Garland has not carted Trump away in a paddy wagon yet (nor would the FBI, if and when they ever did arrest him).

Yes. We actually know why Garland hasn’t done so — and it’s not for want of actions that might lead there.

There are still known steps that have to or probably will happen before Trump would be indicted in any of the known criminal investigations into him. For those demanding proof of life from the DOJ investigations into Trump, you need look no further than the public record to find that proof of life. The public record easily explains both what DOJ has been doing in the Trump investigations, and why there is likely to be at least a several month delay before any charges can be brought.

The reason is that DOJ is still pursuing the evidence they would need before charging a former President.

Much, much more at link, with supporting links and evidence.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Mon Nov 14, 2022, 01:25 PM (56 replies)

Nate Silver puts 538's reputation on the line with last minute hedging and a shrug.

Here’s Nate’s long-winded apologia from yesterday where he essentially says they’ve been manipulated by the flood of recent shitty R polls, but since they’re in the prediction business, they’re going to predict any way:


And here’s today’s article, where he continues to hedge, basically saying “anything could happen, but whatever happens, we were right”:


I know he’s obligated to ABC to provide clear, numerical predictions to drive the dumbed down horse race narrative, but with all the anomalies this year, not just in polling, but in so many other factors, it would have been more honest to use 538’s reputation to say an accurate prediction was impossible to make this cycle.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Tue Nov 8, 2022, 05:15 PM (35 replies)
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