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Fiendish Thingy

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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 12:00 PM
Number of posts: 9,488

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It's MY uterus now!

Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Wed May 11, 2022, 03:56 PM (3 replies)

WaPo confirms Grand Jury has been convened to subpoena "officials in Trump's orbit"

Don’t know how I missed this story yesterday:


In the past two months, a federal grand jury in Washington has issued subpoena requests to some officials in former president Donald Trump’s orbit who assisted in planning, funding and executing the Jan. 6 rally, said the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
The development shows the degree to which the Justice Department investigation — which already involves more defendants than any other criminal prosecution in the nation’s history — has moved further beyond the storming of the Capitol to examine events preceding the attack.

Edit to add:

NYT is also on this story:
One subpoena cited by the Times reportedly sought information on those “classified as VIP attendees” of the rally. It also reportedly inquired about any figures in the Executive or Legislative Branches who took part in “planning or execution of any rally or any attempt to obstruct, influence, impede or delay” the certification of election results.

More from the NYT (via MSNBC):

The Times specifically pointed to a grand jury sitting in Washington, D.C., which has issued subpoenas seeking information “about the effort by Trump supporters to put forward alternate slates of electors as Mr. Trump and his allies were seeking to challenge the certification of the Electoral College outcome by Congress on Jan. 6.”

Time for all the recreational complainers to pause and take a breath, and pay attention instead of ranting- you’ve been shown to be utterly, completely and absolutely wrong.

P.S. unlike a Congressional subpoena, one cannot ignore a grand jury subpoena without Swift consequences. Just ask Susan Macdougal.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Thu Mar 31, 2022, 11:25 AM (114 replies)

How should the West respond to Ukraine? One rule: We cannot be afraid (of Putin/nukes)

From Anne Applebaum (who knows way more about Eastern European politics than you or I do) writing in the Atlantic:


Zelensky’s words resonated further because the Russians have also given this conflict enormous significance. The Russian foreign minister has just declared that this war will change global politics: “This is not about Ukraine at all, but the world order. The current crisis is a fateful, epoch-making moment in modern history. It reflects the battle over what the world order will look like.” Much as Stalin once declared that, when the Second World War ended, “everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach,” President Vladimir Putin had planned for the Russian army to impose Russia’s autocratic, kleptocratic political system on all of Ukraine. Already, the Russian occupation of some eastern-Ukrainian towns resembles the Soviet occupation of Central Europe at the end of World War II. Public officials and civic leaders—mayors and police but also members of parliament, journalists, museum curators—have been arrested and not seen since. Civilians have been terrorized at random. In Mariupol, authorities report that citizens are being forcibly deported to Russia, just as Soviet secret police deported Balts, Poles, and others to Russia after the invasions of 1939 and 1945. In the case of a Russian victory, these tactics would be applied all over Ukraine, creating mass terror, mass violence, and instability for years to come. And, yes, if we accept that outcome, autocrats from Minsk to Caracas to Beijing will take note: Genocide is now allowed.


How should the West respond? There is only one rule: We cannot be afraid. Russia wants us to be afraid—so afraid that we are crippled by fear, that we cannot make decisions, that we withdraw altogether, leaving the way open for a Russian conquest of Ukraine, and eventually of Poland or even further into Europe. Putin remembers very well an era when Soviet troops controlled the eastern half of Germany. But the threat to those countries will not decrease if Russia carries out massacres in Ukraine. It will grow.

Instead of fear, we should focus on a Ukrainian victory. Once we understand that this is the goal, then we can think about how to achieve it, whether through temporary boycotts of Russian gas, oil, and coal; military exercises elsewhere in the world that will distract Russian troops; humanitarian airlifts on the scale of 1948 Berlin; or more and better weapons.

The specific tactics will be determined by those who best understand diplomacy and military strategy. But the strategy has to be clear. A month ago, nobody believed this war would matter so much, and I’m sure many people wish it did not. But it does. That’s why every move we make must have a single goal: How does it help Ukraine win?

“ It’s not our war” was something we might have been able to say three weeks ago. Not now.

More at link, expanding on Applebaum’s compelling argument.

Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Tue Mar 22, 2022, 04:06 PM (29 replies)

NATO must go to war against Putin now, with the US and Biden...

…or they will surely have to go to war with Putin later, likely without the US if Trump is reinstalled as president.

Rather than hesitating out of fear that Putin will use nukes, NATO must vigorously defend Ukraine, in Ukraine, and force the question to Putin’s inner circle: “am I willing to sacrifice my life and the lives of my loved ones for Vladimir Putin?”

It’s an awful dilemma, and a risky bet, wagering that the Moscow elite will remove Putin rather than risk Armageddon, but if the west doesn’t take the bet now, they will be forced to take it later, on Putin’s terms.

NATO could enter Ukraine on Humanitarian terms, or because the risk to the nuclear power plants endangers all of Europe. Even if Putin launched a single strategic nuclear strike at Ukraine, the tide would turn against him quickly both in Russia and around the world.

The Window of opportunity is narrowing; the sanctions are gradually taking effect (SWIFT ban didn’t fully kick in until today), but Putin’s shifting tactics of scorched earth could mean that Kyiv, and the Zelenskyy government, don’t have much time left.

Clarifying note: I am not proposing NATO join the war to defend Ukraine immediately, today. I am suggesting that the window to do so is narrowing rapidly with Putin’s shift in tactics from seizing control of the country to reducing it to rubble. While it would be nice to wait and let the sanctions have their impact, I’m not sure sanctions will trigger an overthrow of Putin (the only way this war ends) before Ukraine is completely destroyed by missiles and bombs.

A much more articulate, detailed argument for this position can be found here:


Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Fri Mar 11, 2022, 04:45 PM (161 replies)

Trudeau govt. brought to its knees by gang of ex-RCMP and military

Looks like Canada has its own version of the Oathkeepers/III%er’s:


The group Police on Guard, formed during the pandemic, has endorsed the truck convoy. On its website it publicly identifies more than 150 mostly retired police officers who are against government imposed emergency measures such as vaccine mandates. More than 50 former Canadian Forces soldiers are also named on its site.


Furthermore, the leadership team for the protesters calling themselves the Freedom Convoy includes:  
Daniel Bulford, a former RCMP officer who was on the prime minister's security detail. He quit last year after refusing to get the vaccine and is the convoy's head of security.
Tom Quiggin, a former military intelligence officer who also worked with the RCMP and was considered one the country's top counter-terrorism experts.
Tom Marazzo, an ex-military officer who, according to his LinkedIn profile, served in the Canadian Forces for 25 years and now works as a freelance software developer. 


"I would say the opposition at this point doesn't actually have a strategy. They have a sort of weak goal and that they want the streets cleared, but they have no real idea how they want to get there," he said.


"I think what we're going to see is people start going to the government and saying 'Get this fixed.' And if you don't, we're realizing that we have the power to shut things down," said Quiggin

Much, much more at link, including details about how the this insurrection is being run like a military operation, with supply lines providing fuel, food and other necessities, including saunas.

This report raises numerous questions:

Why has it taken two weeks for this information to be reported?

Was this insurrection an actual failure of Canada’s intelligence agencies, or did they deliberately turn a blind eye?

Are the police truly “under resourced” to handle this crisis, or are they unwilling to enforce the law against their former colleagues?

If Trudeau ends up calling in the military to resolve this crisis, will they obey his orders?

Has this insurrection been funded by anyone connected to the January 6 insurrection?

Is this insurrection by former police and military actually a slow motion coup?
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Thu Feb 10, 2022, 11:37 AM (71 replies)

Is Canada's democracy on the brink of collapse?

Hyperbole? Perhaps, perhaps not.

When a small (a few hundred) well organized, well funded (*cough* ElonMusk *cough*) mob of anti-democracy thugs with heavy trucks can occupy and terrorize Canada’s capital for two weeks, and cripple cross-border commerce, without consequences (oh sure, there’s an injunction against horn honking, and a lawsuit, yet, the chaos continues), what does that say about the strength and stability of Canada’s democracy?

Local officials state they cannot direct the police response (who does control law enforcement?)

The police say they don’t have the resources to handle the crisis.

Doug Ford twiddles his thumbs.

Justin Trudeau expresses Susan-Collins-level of concern in a speech scolding the “protestors”.

Canadian media give polite bothsiderism coverage to the occupation (“residents can’t sleep, shop, or work, but the small minority of unvaccinated truckers do have a valid point to make”).

Maxim Bernier’s ultra-right People’s Party of Canada (PPC) got around 5% of the vote nationwide in last fall’s election, and didn’t win a single seat in Parliament, yet they are the loudest voice in this debate right now. The tyranny of the minority is alive and well in Canada.

What would the response be if ISIS, the Proud Boys, or Putin decided they wanted to cripple Canada’s economy and block law abiding truckers from cross border commerce? This disruptive chaos is Steve Brannon’s wet dream, and I’m sure he and his gang are learning well how to astroturf the next insurrection.

This was a complete failure on the part of Canada’s intelligence agencies to anticipate the potential impact of this convoy, which was planned for months.

Two provinces have already acquiesced to the terrorists’ demands and lifted all COVID restrictions; more are sure to follow. Will Trudeau cave and lift the vaccine requirements for cross border truckers?

Supposedly, Parliament is set to “debate” proposed responses to the crisis…too little, too late.

If Trudeau won’t take immediate steps to end this tyranny of the minority, including calling up the military through the Emergencies Act, then IMO NDP leader Jagmeet Singh should call a vote of No Confidence and force a new election.

Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Wed Feb 9, 2022, 10:38 AM (35 replies)

Emptywheel: Why to delay Meadows indictment: Bannon using indictment to monitor J6 investigation


Marcy makes a great case why DOJ isn’t indicting Meadows now, brings the receipts, and some cases, the receipts for those receipts.

In this post, I described that DOJ would be smarter to charge Mark Meadows with obstruction for his destruction of records relevant to an ongoing investigation than to charge him for misdemeanor criminal contempt of Congress. That’s because obstruction, a felony, would pose the risk of real jail time, which would be more likely to convince Meadows to cooperate with investigators and explain what he did as part of an attempt to steal the election.


When I’ve pointed this explanation out to those wondering why DOJ has yet to (visibly) act on the Meadows contempt referral the January 6 Select Committee the House sent over on December 14, they ask why DOJ can’t just charge Meadows with contempt now and then follow up with obstruction charges later.

The answer is clear. Doing so will make any ongoing investigation far more difficult.

We can see why that’s true from the Bannon case. Bannon has already used his contempt prosecution as a means to obtain evidence about an ongoing obstruction investigation implicating Trump.


Given what Meadows has already done, DOJ surely views the potential of Meadows’ cooperation as more useful than a time-consuming and restrictive contempt prosecution.

And that’s true, first and foremost, because charging Meadows with contempt now would further limit their ability to shield parts of their investigation from the suspected co-conspirators.

Much, much more at link.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Mon Feb 7, 2022, 01:38 PM (4 replies)

Emptywheel: While TV lawyers wailed, DOJ obtained communications from Rudy, Powell, Meadows


Because TV lawyers continue to wail that DOJ isn’t doing enough to investigate Donald Trump, I want to dumb down this post.

While TV lawyers have been wailing impotently that DOJ has been doing nothing to investigate Donald Trump, DOJ and the National Archives have been acquiring the communications behind some of the most damning events leading up to January 6. DOJ has been doing so even as the TV lawyers guaranteed us they would know if DOJ were doing such things, yet insisting that DOJ was not.

Consider just the events leading up to the December 18, 2020 series of meetings at the White House, involving Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and Mark Meadows, which some of the same reporters that reported it in real time are reporting as if it were new news.


So whether or not DOJ has these documents in their possession right now, they have the means to get them very easily.

In other words, while TV lawyers have been wailing that DOJ has been doing nothing, DOJ has been acquiring the communications from at least two of the key participants in that December 18 meeting, and the Archives have been acquiring the communications of a third.

Much, much more at link, including breakdowns on each of Powell, Rudy and Meadows legal issues and the evidence that has, or will be obtained.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Wed Feb 2, 2022, 01:32 PM (91 replies)

Does anyone believe Meadows, Flynn, Powell, and Waldron will all take the fall for Trump?

Because if all the reporting on the WH meetings re: seizing voting machines is true (and it appears there are multiple documents and testimony corroborating the reports), they are all going to prison.


Meadows, Flynn, Powell and Waldron (who authored the draft EO) can stonewall the committee, yet it appears there is enough documentary evidence and testimony from other witnesses to put them all away.

Some have been screaming for over a year that Trump and the coup architects should have been locked up immediately, but it’s just been a little over a week since SCOTUS forced the release of Trump’s records. In addition, high ranking Pence staffers have just testified today and in recent days.

Trump’s unhinged rally meltdown over the weekend should serve as proof that things are on the right track.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Tue Feb 1, 2022, 10:12 PM (9 replies)

Does anyone know if Manchin shorted the market on Friday?

We can assume Manchin knew his remarks yesterday would cause turmoil in the markets today (perhaps he even anticipated that Goldman would downgrade projected 2022 US GDP as well).

Anyone who knew on Friday what Manchin was going to say on Sunday could have made a nice windfall today…

It’s a fair question.
Posted by Fiendish Thingy | Mon Dec 20, 2021, 05:47 PM (15 replies)
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