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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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GREAT NEWS FOR DEMS!!! Digby: We all need a little hit of Hopium


Digby cuts and pastes an excellent perspective from veteran Dem strategist Simon Rosenberg.

Too much to summarize, and lots of supporting links to click on at link; I encourage everyone to click and read this entire spirit boosting article (and the supporting links, if you’re not familiar with the data Rosenberg’s assertions are based on), and paste the paragraph that made you smile the most.

Here’s mine:

Another change since 2020 is the broad public backlash, especially in Democratic-leaning and swing states, against the 2022 Supreme Court decision ending the constitutional right to abortion, which Trump has directly claimed credit for engineering through his nominations to the court. Finally, compared to 2020, the electorate in 2024 will likely include significantly more young people in Generation Z, a group that is preponderantly supporting Democrats, and fewer Whites without a college degree, now the GOP’s best group.

P.S. Rosenberg suggests that Dems could get up to 55% of the popular vote in 2024 (average for Dems in past 4 elections is 51%). The odds of losing the electoral college with 55% of the popular vote is something like less than 5%, maybe even lower.

UPDATE: it is lower. If, as Rosenberg projects, Biden hits 55%, and Trump maxes out at 45%, the odds of Biden losing the electoral college drop to less than 1%.

Are you smiling yet? 😁
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Thu Sep 28, 2023, 08:43 PM (4 replies)

Semafor: You need to calm down, Democratic pollsters argue

You’ve probably heard pundits tell you to ignore polls this far out from an election. This is not advice people are taking this week as surveys keep showing President Biden and Donald Trump tied after 91 felony charges and a string of positive headlines on jobs and inflation. Voters seem more judgmental than ever about Biden’s age, while polarized along familiar lines on the charges against Trump, and even a little nostalgic for his economic record.
But there are reasons campaign professionals tend to wave off early surveys, which have notoriously overstated threats to incumbents. Here’s why pollsters and strategists we spoke to say they’re not panicking yet.
There is no campaign. Every time you see a poll showing Biden’s approval in the 30s, mentally add an asterisk that says “before Democrats spend $1 billion.”
This isn’t so much about a prohibitive spending advantage (Republicans will have money too), but about what that money goes towards. In this case, it’s a message that so far has worked for Democrats in real-life conditions.
In the midterms, postmortems found that Democrats performed poorly in noncompetitive contests, but they won big in highly contested, swing state races where they could devote millions to ads on issues like abortion, drug prices, and entitlements while painting their opponents as “MAGA extremists.” The same formula has held up well in off-year elections since then, including a blowout judicial race in Wisconsin centered on abortion rights and gerrymandering.

Much more at link:

Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Thu Sep 7, 2023, 02:34 PM (0 replies)

Emptywheel- Where the Trump investigations stand: Georgia


Excellent update and summary:

In a bid to keep the Special Grand Jury’s recommendations secret in January, Fani Willis said the charging decisions were “imminent.” Since then, however, the regular Fulton County grand juries that would have to charge Trump and others have been churning out indictments for more ordinary crimes. According to Andrew Fleischman, there are 18,000 pending felony cases in Fulton County, many of them being held pre-indictment. Like some of the delays in the January 6 investigation, this backlog stems in part from COVID restrictions.

But it wasn’t just that backlog that has delayed charges against Trump. In March, Willis asked Christina Bobb for an interview (who refused). It may be that, after reading Bobb’s January 6 Committee testimony (transcripts of which were only released after the Fulton Special Grand Jury expired), Willis discovered that, while Bobb claimed to have been uninvolved in the crimes in Georgia, she testified that she and, “at least two dozen others,” over at least two rooms, sat in on Trump’s call to Brad Raffensperger, and “we all thought … it was totally fine.” On top of discovering that there were up to 24 witnesses who might be willing to misrepresent the call at trial, this may have caught Rudy Giuliani in a lie. After it became public, Rudy amended his interrogatories in Ruby Freeman’s lawsuit to reflect some involvement in the call as well. Someone recently claimed to me that Willis’ case is “open and shut.” But it’s not “open and shut” if there were 24 unknown witnesses involved.

More famously, according to a letter seeking to disqualify an attorney representing most of the fake electors, Willis has been spending recent weeks interviewing fake electors and telling them, allegedly for the first time, that they could get immunity deals if they testified against other Republicans. Friday, one of the fake electors who also accessed voting machine data on January 7, joined Trump’s effort to undercut Willis’ authority, represented by a new attorney. All of which suggests that Willis is spending time not just making charging decisions, but making sure she can win the case.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Sun Apr 30, 2023, 11:27 AM (3 replies)

Emptywheel- Where the Trump investigations stand: Stolen Documents


Excellent update and summary:

I’m saying that Smith is likely at the same point Willis is: trying to secure key witnesses for an eventual prosecution. Witnesses in a federal investigation might bank on Trump’s ability to beat Biden in 2024 and start pardoning people before they do serious prison time. If not, they might start seeking a deal. The single most useful thing about putting both Trump investigations under Smith is that he can leverage someone’s legal exposure in one part of the investigation to coerce their cooperation in another part where they’re crucial witnesses.


But there’s another question that may be just as important as the evidence to support the charges, and may elicit quite a debate within DOJ: venue. The easiest way to overcome all the difficulties with charging a former President with 793 would be to charge his retention of documents after the time when:

The Archives had explained that retaining them was unlawful under the Presidential Records Act

Both the Archives and DOJ had asked for them back

Jay Bratt had informed him (through Evan Corcoran) that they were being stored improperly

That is, if he were to charge 793, Smith would likely charge for actions trump took between May and August of last year, at Mar-a-Lago. So (while some smart lawyers disagree) there would be at least a fair argument that it would have to be charged in SDFL.


Whereas, if Smith were to charge only obstruction, venue in DC is not a stretch at all.

Much more, with receipts, at link.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Sun Apr 30, 2023, 11:22 AM (7 replies)

Emptywheel- Where the Trump investigations stand: January 6 conspiracies


Excellent update and summary of the current status of Smith’s investigation of the January 6 conspiracies, including pieces Smith’s prosecutors still seem to be working on:

The most important of those may be continued appellate uncertainty regarding the law that Smith is likely to use to charge Trump and others in conjunction with January 6, obstruction of the vote certification, 18 USC 1512(c)(2), a charge successfully used against dozens of other January 6 defendants already. The DC Circuit will have a hearing on that, in an appeal former Virginia cop Thomas Robertson made of his obstruction conviction, on May 11.

To understand its import, let me explain how I think the various things Smith is investigating fit together. I think it likely that, in addition to some charges relating to the obstruction of this or the January 6 Committee’s investigation, Smith’s team is pursuing:

Conspiracy to defraud the United States for submitting fake elector certificates to the Archives (18 USC 371)

Obstruction of the vote certification and conspiracy to obstruct (18 USC 1512(c)(2) and (k))

Conspiracy to commit wire fraud (18 USC 1343; 1349)

Aiding and abetting assault (18 USC 111(b) and 2)

This differs from the January 6 Committee’s referrals in that I’ve included wire fraud, for which they provided abundant evidence, in an appendix, but did not include in their referrals. Also, I believe Smith would charge conspiracy tied to January 6 under 1512(k) rather than 371, as DOJ has been doing for over a year, not least because it provides stiffer sentences and more flexibility at sentencing. And I’ve suggested DOJ might use aiding and abetting of Michael Fanone’s assault based off Amit Mehta’s ruling addressing it and the evidence DOJ used in the Ed Badalian trial. I think that’s more likely than a charge for incitement of insurrection (18 USC 2383) unless DOJ built upwards off of still-hypothetical guilty verdicts in the Proud Boys case, but it might take time. I frankly think adding seditious conspiracy charges would be more likely than incitement of insurrection, if one spent the time to build up the intervening case, but that’s highly unlikely for constitutional reasons.

The way these three main charges — conspiracy to defraud tied to the fake elector certificates, conspiracy to obstruct the vote certification, and wire fraud — intersect likely provide some prosecutorial tools for the same reason that some Georgia Republicans are now turning on other ones.

Lots more, with receipts, at the link.

P.S. just a reminder, every time someone says “Slam Dunk!” an angel gets its wings…ripped out by the roots.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Sun Apr 30, 2023, 11:07 AM (1 replies)

The Testimony Jack Smith gets this week builds on work from over a year ago


Starting on Tuesday, Jack Smith’s prosecutors started getting return grand jury appearances for a set of key Trump aides who had invoked Executive Privilege in earlier appearances. In the days ahead, that same January 6 grand jury will get the testimony of Dan Scavino, Stephen Miller, Mark Meadows and — unless Trump succeeds with some kind of last minute challenge — Mike Pence.

Starting tomorrow, Secret Service agents will testify in the stolen documents case. That comes after (according to CNN), witnesses who gave voluntary testimony last summer have made subsequent appearances before the grand jury and Evan Corcoran provided crime-fraud excepted documents and testimony to the same grand jury. Multiple other lawyers already testified before the grand jury.

While there are a few outstanding items, such as the exploitation of Scott Perry’s phone, the DC Circuit decision on the application of 18 USC 1512(c)(2) to January 6, finding a way to obtain any remaining classified documents Trump has been hoarding, a verdict in the Proud Boys trial (which may dictate charging decisions for others) — all of which efforts have been pending for over six months, before Smith was appointed — the twin investigations headed by Jack Smith appear to be headed to imminent resolutions.

In recent weeks, the same TV lawyers who were wailing last summer about the January 6 investigation into Trump (the stolen documents investigation, while already laying the groundwork for charging a former President under the Espionage Act, still remained entirely unknown), have suggested that Alvin Bragg’s indictment of Trump might, “might light a fire under other prosecutors and advance the proposition that even ex-presidents must follow the law.”

It’s an obscene suggestion, that Jack Smith or his AUSAs or Merrick Garland needed some push to pursue the investigation into Donald Trump, when instead the TV lawyers simply needed a push to review what steps the investigation was actually pursuing. That’s because all of the recent developments in the Jack Smith case — the crime-fraud ruling, the Executive Privilege waiver, the testimony of Mike Pence — very obviously build on work done last year, well before Garland appointed Jack Smith. Some of those steps were even public at the time last summer when the very same TV lawyers were wailing. All of the climactic steps occurring in recent weeks were easily foreseeable by August.

Prosecutors have been building to this moment for a long time.

Much, much more at link, with receipts and a detailed timeline. Highly recommended read for those who prefer evidence based analysis versus clickbait speculation.

Every time someone says “slam dunk”, an angel gets its wings…ripped out by the roots.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Thu Apr 6, 2023, 02:15 PM (4 replies)

2018: 50 Dem reps, 17 Dem senators vote to weaken Dodd-Frank banking regulations

Along with all the republicans, Which was then signed by Trump and led to the SVB melt down.

They overcame a filibuster to weaken regulations for this particular bank, whose CEO lobbied hard for relaxing regulations regarding capital liquidity.

Just sayin’, to keep the record straight.

No SVB depositor should be bailed out for more than the FDIC max of $250k. SVB was not like George Bailey’s savings & loan…
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Sat Mar 11, 2023, 04:39 PM (1 replies)

M&M's clap back at Tucker Carlson in Super Bowl commercials

Maybe someone posted this yesterday and I missed it?

What’s even funnier, is that tons of people, including some DU’ers, actually believed that the Mars Company had “caved” to Carlson’s whining outburst, and that Rudolph was complicit…folks were organizing liberal boycotts of M&M’s…

Well played, Mars co.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Mon Feb 13, 2023, 12:28 PM (9 replies)
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