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December 23, 2020 6:34 PM   Subscribe

While President Trump takes a break from getting as many people off Federal Death Row as possible (not in the good way) he is busy fueling the corruption train pardoning or commuting the sentences of many close associates, family members and hangers on. Yesterday he issued pardons for such deserving persons as former campaign aide George Papadopoulos; former US congressmen Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins; and four Blackwater/Xe employees convicted of participation in a civilian massacre in Iraq. Today he added another 26 pardons, including for longtime ally Roger Stone, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner's father, Charles.
posted by Mitheral (206 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
 
his friends that get arrested after he is out of office are going to feel like they were ripped off.
posted by th3ph17 at 6:40 PM on December 23, 2020 [18 favorites]


As a friend of mine tweeted
If a president can pay a network of people to commit crimes to get him into office, and then pardon them for those crimes, then we have a king, not a president.
It'd be difficult what with it in the Constitution and all but I'd be all for having the pardon power removed from the presidency entirely. Or maybe require Senate approval or something. Trump is abusing the pardon more than most, particularly for personal gain. But he's not the only one. Clinton's pardon record is hard to be proud of, too.
posted by Nelson at 6:51 PM on December 23, 2020 [43 favorites]


Wait, this from the guy who tweeted out "LAW AND ORDER!!"?

It's like it was all a giant pile of lies. Surely not, no. There were no clues of misdeeds in the past!

Oh, wait, my sarcasm sequencer is completely broken. This is disgusting and I assume half the reason he did it was to engender those feelings. Filth.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 6:51 PM on December 23, 2020 [12 favorites]


The only thing surprising about this is that no one has leaked that he's charging money for pardons.

The Framers of the Constitution really didn't think this one through too well did they?
posted by Liquidwolf at 6:52 PM on December 23, 2020 [12 favorites]


The only thing surprising about this is that no one has leaked that he's charging money for pardons.

someone allegedly offered money for a pardon
posted by BungaDunga at 6:58 PM on December 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


I bet someone is taking money for ‘’recommending’ pardons to him. That way he can say he didn’t do and knew nothing about it when it gets revealed.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:04 PM on December 23, 2020 [3 favorites]


This asshole is going to pardon Julian Assange next isn't he.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:21 PM on December 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


Can someone explain, is it possible to pardon someone who hasn't even been charged? Does the pardon have to specific? Does the pardon prevent you from being charged for an adjacent crime?
posted by Pembquist at 7:36 PM on December 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


Yes. Ford's pardon of Nixon set the precedent. It reads in part:

...grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.

Nixon was never charged with a crime, before or after the pardon was issued.
posted by Frayed Knot at 7:39 PM on December 23, 2020 [7 favorites]


> a full, free, and absolute pardon

At least with that precedent Trump will have to list the prices.
To Sebastian Gorka I grant a full, $250000, and absolute pardon...
etc
posted by glonous keming at 7:43 PM on December 23, 2020 [8 favorites]


Why was this possible.

Because Mitch McConnel wanted to fill the judiciary with Federalist Society approved judges, and because Bill Barr wanted to prove to the world that he was right about the Unitary Executive.

Thanks to Barr, the Mueller report didn't touch Trump, and Trump is now pardoning most of the people Mueller indicted. Thanks to McConnell the Senate didn't take the Articles of Impeachment seriously.

If neither the Legislative nor Judicial branch provide any checks or balances, you get a President free to act like a King.
posted by Frayed Knot at 7:46 PM on December 23, 2020 [61 favorites]


thanks to the actions of the trump administration we've seen a 400% increase in the generation of of renewable energy from handwringing

truly the best of all possible worlds
posted by lalochezia at 7:47 PM on December 23, 2020


Yep, the pardon power is absurdly broad. If trump wanted to, he could in theory, issue a pardon to everyone everywhere, for any and all federal offenses even theoretically committed. It would completely screw up the justice system, but it's a power available to him. He just can't pardon state crimes, or future crimes.
posted by mrgoat at 7:50 PM on December 23, 2020 [3 favorites]


Additionally to that, Jimmy Carter pardoned draft dodgers by the tens of thousands- he didn't have to even name them individually.

It's not like it doesn't have a use, it's that this use is corrupt.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:04 PM on December 23, 2020 [30 favorites]


> It'd be difficult what with it in the Constitution and all but I'd be all for having the pardon power removed from the presidency entirely

I'd be down with that, or limiting it to the first three years of one's presidency.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:13 PM on December 23, 2020 [9 favorites]


Surely Manafort is liable for tax fraud in the state of Virginia. If he cheated on his federal tax, he also cheated on his state tax.
posted by JackFlash at 8:21 PM on December 23, 2020 [5 favorites]


The Framers of the Constitution really didn't think this one through too well did they?

There were hefty debates about the pardon power during the framing of the Constitution. [Atlantic link]
posted by hippybear at 8:23 PM on December 23, 2020 [7 favorites]


A Trump pardon basically means guilty AF, though.
posted by scruss at 8:25 PM on December 23, 2020 [10 favorites]


And it forfeits their fifth amendment rights for those state prosecutions - he may have actually screwed those people more.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 8:49 PM on December 23, 2020 [6 favorites]


OR maybe he has screwed himself, since now all these crooks can't plead their Fifth Amendment rights when called to testify about their dealings with Trump.
posted by PhineasGage at 9:00 PM on December 23, 2020 [8 favorites]


I hear that fifth amendment thing a lot, but has that actually been tested? Is there some supreme court precedent on the matter?
posted by Riki tiki at 9:23 PM on December 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


And it forfeits their fifth amendment rights for those state prosecutions - he may have actually screwed those people more.

In theory, it would allow them to be compelled to testify in federal court. In a state court where they have no immunity they would (and should) still have a 5th amendment right to shut the hell up.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:24 PM on December 23, 2020 [5 favorites]


If each sovereign gets a bite at the apple, the defendant should at least have two sets of 5th amendment rights.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:25 PM on December 23, 2020 [2 favorites]


Something I haven't seen commented upon: Trump seems to be granting favours now because he knows he'll shortly need them in return. Manafort and Stone could have been pardoned a long time ago, as could Kushner (the father of Discount Slenderman). Trump seems to have let them rot until the last minute just to make the point that he did something for them that he didn't need to.

I feel like this is a piece of evidence the same way that Trump telling reporters that he shits on them to discredit them is evidence that he knows exactly what he's doing and how corrupt it is. All narratives about him being old, decrepit, and declining are bullshit.
posted by fatbird at 10:51 PM on December 23, 2020 [20 favorites]


Draining that swamp... to put up a country club.
posted by Panjandrum at 12:36 AM on December 24, 2020


Trump pardons war criminals, not the heroes that expose them.

Trump is pardoning people who have done some of the same stuff he's done, so in that sense, him pardoning a Russian-funded rapist makes sense.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:38 AM on December 24, 2020 [11 favorites]


Papal indulgences. That’s what it’s turned into.
posted by allium cepa at 1:37 AM on December 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding Executive Grants of Clemency (come for the Kentucky and Florida shout-outs, stay for stunning array of fraudsters). From Paul Manafort's entry: As a result of blatant prosecutorial overreach, Mr. Manafort has endured years of unfair treatment and is one of the most prominent victims of what has been revealed to be perhaps the greatest witch hunt in American history. As Mr. Manafort’s trial judge observed, prior to the Special Counsel investigation, Mr. Manafort had led an “otherwise blameless life.” Since May, Mr. Manafort has been released to home confinement as a result of COVID-19 concerns.

Willliam Barr's resignation was effective Dec. 23. "In his last press conference as attorney general, Barr took the rare step of publicly contradicting Trump on a number of hot-button issues. He told reporters he sees no reason to name a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, there is no basis for the federal government to seize voting machines, and that he agrees with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's assessment that Russia was behind the massive recent hack of federal agencies." (Axios).

Worth noting: "The purpose of the press conference was to announce new charges related to the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland in 1988, which killed 270 people. Barr first announced charges in the case as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush in 1991."
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:56 AM on December 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


I am indulging in not caring about these pardons. I'm not really going to look into them very deeply. I just want to see Trump gone. If he breaks a few more things on his way out, so be it. I'm just glad he'll be out of my life in a month.
posted by zardoz at 3:04 AM on December 24, 2020 [10 favorites]


European here. Is this pardon thing, like the right to bear arms, not a relic of the 1770s and now used for purposes for which it was never intended?
posted by GallonOfAlan at 3:14 AM on December 24, 2020


Is this pardon thing, like the right to bear arms, not a relic of the 1770s

Or of the 1470s.
posted by verstegan at 3:24 AM on December 24, 2020 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Trump Warns Iran of Retaliation After Attacks on U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:31 AM on December 24, 2020


He also pardoned a former cop who sicced a dog on a homeless person.
posted by mattamatic at 3:42 AM on December 24, 2020 [1 favorite]


This brought up memories of this Lawfare podcast episode.
posted by rjs at 5:00 AM on December 24, 2020


What does a pardon mean in the context of double jeopardy? If someone is convicted of a crime, then pardoned, can the same person be tried for the same crime by a different (i.e. state) court?
posted by runcifex at 5:03 AM on December 24, 2020


The state court would have to have jurisdiction and be the right venue. It seems unlikely this would be true for federal and state courts for the same crime. That said, the same act (or aspects of the same act) can constitute different prosecutable crimes at the state and federal levels. To give a famous example, the police officers who were acquitted in state court of criminal charges brought in connection with the Rodney King beating were later convicted in federal court for violating King’s civil rights. The extent to which something like this could happen to those pardoned by Trump is unknown, but we certainly do know that Trump himself very likely may face serious criminal charges in the state courts after leaving office and that a “self-pardon” would not shield him (although it could make certain aspects of prosecuting him more difficult).
posted by slkinsey at 6:00 AM on December 24, 2020 [6 favorites]


By contrast: If you're poor and especially if you're nonwhite it's a really bad time to be on the fed's death row. Trump has killed more prisoners sentenced to capital punishment than any president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and only one of two presidents to commit executions since Gregg (the other being George W. Bush). And has set a record of sorts by doing them all within five months; his predecessors rarely performed more than three in a year.
posted by at by at 6:01 AM on December 24, 2020 [9 favorites]


The execution thing is really weird, and gross, to my European ears and eyes.
Why would anyone do that? I suppose it's because he enjoys cruelty, which we already knew. But this is so extreme.
posted by mumimor at 6:16 AM on December 24, 2020 [19 favorites]


Why would anyone do that?

That's something I've been wondering about too. Is there some contingent or bloc for whom making there be more executions has been a priority? Is this just about Trump's deep psychological issues about power, or is he playing to any specific audience here?
posted by trig at 6:26 AM on December 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


That said, the same act (or aspects of the same act) can constitute different prosecutable crimes at the state and federal levels.

This can vary by state, though. New York has a law that is supposed to prevent state prosecutions over the same acts that were already charged federally. There may be no Constitutional bar to prosecution but state law can foreclose it. Cy Vance (Manhattan DA) got smacked pretty hard by the state courts for charging Manafort. I don't think a pardon changes the situation, but I guess we'll see.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:28 AM on December 24, 2020


The execution thing seems like it's being driven by Barr. He's been very strongly pro-death for his whole career. It's ideological for him.

At a guess, he probably hates the idea of the state choosing not to execute someone who was sentenced to death. Forbearance is weakness, etc.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:33 AM on December 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


The cruelty has always been the point
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:36 AM on December 24, 2020 [19 favorites]


Is this pardon thing, like the right to bear arms, not a relic of the 1770s

Or of the 1470s.


It's ancient European divine right stuff. The King is the state. If he says you're forgiven, you are.

The founders were deciding which powers of the king to divvy up between the various branches and they decided to give the king's pardon power to the President. Congress got the power to declare war, impeach, etc, but they left the pardon in the hands of the executive.

The British monarch still has that power, but she uses it on the advice of the Prime Minister, and apparently its use has really fallen out of fashion. But it's still there!
posted by BungaDunga at 6:42 AM on December 24, 2020 [6 favorites]


Pardon me for not getting links for these but off the top of my head Trump has pardoned; border patrol officers who shot a man as he fled, blackwater guards that massacred civilians, a police woman who instructed her dog to attack a burglary suspect, etc. Here's the thread that connects the pardons and the executions. It's not enough that authorities can use violence to enforce the law. They must be able to unleash violence without justification or consequence. It's an effort to inspire terror in citizens. The random nature of the violence adds to it's effectiveness as terrorism. The arbitrariness of death penalty executions is part of the show.
posted by rdr at 6:43 AM on December 24, 2020 [41 favorites]


New York has a law that is supposed to prevent state prosecutions over the same acts that were already charged federally.

Last year, NY State passed a law rescinding that double-jeopardy protection for those with presidential pardons who had not yet been tried and convicted nor had a plea entered in federal court before their pardon.
posted by nobody at 7:03 AM on December 24, 2020 [15 favorites]


What is to stop him from granting a free and full pardon for every Jan 19th, 2021 coup participant?
posted by srboisvert at 7:12 AM on December 24, 2020 [2 favorites]


Is this pardon thing, like the right to bear arms, not a relic of the 1770s and now used for purposes for which it was never intended?

In theory pardons can be used for good or at least non-nefarious purposes. Aside from Trump most presidential pardons are of that sort though almost all presidents who excersized the pardon power did so at least occasionally for personal/political reasons (Bush the younger pardoned Scooter Libby, Obama commuted Chelsea Manning's sentence, Clinton pardoned his brother, Bush the Elder pardoned a bunch of Iran-Contra participants).

On the arguably good side Carter for example pardoned draft dodgers and a reasonable president might pardon all possession only marijuana offenses if weed ever becomes legal in the US. Roosevelt pardoned some people convicted of violating prohibition and Obama pardoned some people convicted of low level drug offenses.

In Canada pardons are a process where after 10 years of good behaviour post serving your sentence you can get pardoned for most offenses which then allows you to do things like travel to the US if you have a DUI on your record. It can also be used to mitigate wrongs.

The problem here is the checks aren't working. The Senate has given apparent Russia asset and crime lord Trump a golden ticket to crime. And because he is an evil shallow compromised crime lord he is using it to protect and buff his criminal enterprises.

I don't think the pardon power should be eliminated but I do think pardons should be required to be specific and issued only post conviction. None of the "all crime that may have been committed during a period of time" malarky. You want a pardon for something you have to plead/be found guilty of it first.

However nothing Trump has done pardon wise is particularly ground breaking. EG: Bush the Elder pardoned Armand Hammer – CEO of the Occidental Petroleum Company, contributed $110,000 to the Republican National Committee just before his pardon. Pardoned for illegally contributing $54,000 to Richard Nixon's presidential campaign in 1972. Bush the Younger commuted the sentences of José Compeán and Ignacio Ramos – Two US Border Patrol agents who wounded drug smuggler Osvaldo Aldrete Dávila on February 17, 2005, and tried to cover up the incident. Ford pardoned Nixon. It's a little more obviously on target for protecting him from prosecution of hte crimes he was impeached for than has historically been the case but IMO that's just because Trump is historically more corrupt than average.

Interestingly there is precedent for revoking a pardon. Bush the Younger pardoned Isaac Robert Toussie, a Brooklyn, New York real estate developer. The pardon was revoked the next day when it was revealed that Toussie's father, Robert Toussie, had given $28,500 to the Republican Party and $2,300 to the presidential campaign of U.S. Senator John McCain.

The execution thing seems like it's being driven by Barr. He's been very strongly pro-death for his whole career. It's ideological for him.

It's not just Barr. Trump has the Fascist love for harsh punishment for the masses (especially POCs) while of course protecting his own. Trump is incredibly corrupt and death penalties/pardons are a way of flexing that. Remember he took out full page ads in the NY Times calling for the death penalty to be administered to the Central Park Five and as recently as 2019 issued statements that the Central Park Five were guilty despite their later exonerations.
Lawyers for the five defendants repeated their assessment that Trump's advertisements in 1989 had inflamed public opinion about the case. After Reyes confessed to the crime and said he acted alone, defense counselor Michael W. Warren said, "I think Donald Trump at the very least owes a real apology to this community and to the young men and their families." Protests were held outside Trump Tower in October 2002 with protestors chanting, "Trump is a chump!" Trump did not apologize.
In 2019 he took to Twitter to remind people that the Central Park Five were guilty of something and should have been punished essentially for having the temerity to be in Central Park while Black.
In a tweet posted in 2013, Trump alluded to the wave of crime Central Park was experiencing back in 1989 to suggest that even if the teens weren’t guilty of rape, they were still guilty of something — just for being there.

posted by Mitheral at 7:13 AM on December 24, 2020 [10 favorites]


> What is to stop him from granting a free and full pardon for every Jan 19th, 2021 coup participant?

January 20.
posted by at by at 7:23 AM on December 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


Welp, I guess there'll probably be a new exhibit at the North Korean Museum of American War Atrocities, or at least a new footnote at a Nisour Square massacre exhibit.

Colonel Gary Solis, West Point law professor and former military judge on PBS Newshour last night, on the pardoning of the Blackwater/Xe/Academi/Education Secretary Betsy DeVos's brother Erik Prince's employee war criminals: (at about 3:40 here)
Throughout the Middle East—al Qaeda, Taliban, ISIS, we have provided them now with a hammer with which they can beat us every time we utter the words—we, the United States, utter the words—“justice” or “fairness”.
It is pretty stupefyingly amazing how Osama bin Laden, Putin, the Kim dynasty, and every other global bad guy have successfully goaded us like matadors into fulfilling their most daring dreams for matching the stereotype of the evil and morally bankrupt “Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places” and the “Decaying West”, all pretty much just because we couldn't bother to have the discipline to not also be the bad guys like, half the time or a quarter of the time or whatever.
posted by XMLicious at 7:24 AM on December 24, 2020 [15 favorites]


Why would anyone do that? I suppose it's because he enjoys cruelty, which we already knew. But this is so extreme.

Conservative Christianity in the US is all about punishment. (Which is one of the roots of "the cruelty is the point", IMO.)

Trump himself is no kind of Christian at all, of course, but he knows damn well right wing evangelicals are a big and loud part of his base - he's buttressing his support among that crowd for whatever he does post-presidency.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:28 AM on December 24, 2020 [7 favorites]


As much as Trump gets off on state violence, he hasn't exactly been messaging on the executions, has he? The grim efficiency of the DoJ's initiative really smells like Barr- it started with him, not Jeff Sessions. Trump might get interested if they start doing hangings, but he hasn't really expressed much glee over the executions that I can remember. I'm not saying he's not on board, just that I don't think he's driving it.

he knows damn well right wing evangelicals

The weird thing is that Barr is a right-wing Catholic, which adds a whole other layer of intra-Catholic politics, since the current Pope is very much not on board with capital punishment.
posted by BungaDunga at 7:37 AM on December 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


Yes I'm excited about an actual, practicing left-wing Catholic sitting at the Resolute Desk again.
posted by Rash at 9:11 AM on December 24, 2020 [8 favorites]


This morning Pelosi brought out the CASH Act which would bump the direct payments from $600 in the current bill to $2000 per person. This was calling Trump's bluff complaining that the payment was too small. On short notice the act required unanimous consent but of course the Republicans refused. So Pelosi is promising to bring it up again for a roll call vote when congress returns on Monday.
posted by JackFlash at 9:25 AM on December 24, 2020 [11 favorites]


The good news is that tRumps actions during these last few months in office are the perfect outage of a petty, venal, vandal of a leader(?) for historians and followers to mull over.
posted by shnarg at 10:52 AM on December 24, 2020


The executions make me feel ill. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Dustin Higgs, Lisa Montgomery, and Cory Johnson.

A perversion of justice and assault on the country, on all of us. I feel sick.
posted by ichomp at 10:55 AM on December 24, 2020 [5 favorites]


while faux jockeying for $2000 stimulus checks

This one is honestly a great opportunity for the Democrats, though, if they dare take it.
posted by atoxyl at 11:43 AM on December 24, 2020


This one is honestly a great opportunity for the Democrats, though, if they dare take it.

They did. The House GOP said no.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 11:50 AM on December 24, 2020 [19 favorites]


Today's try needed unanimous consent (didn't look up why), but they're supposably trying again Monday with a roll-call.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:17 PM on December 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


They did. The House GOP said no.

Well, yeah, that’s the point. Stick them with this as hard as you possibly can.
posted by atoxyl at 1:51 PM on December 24, 2020 [6 favorites]


The rules for the House (and the Senate for the matter) call for a specific amount of time between when legislation is entered and when it is voted upon. There is lots of procedural steps in between. The rules state that these steps can be waved if there is unanimous consent of the body i.e. everyone agrees to skip all the administrative procedural steps and just move to the final vote. All it takes is one objection to this and you are back on the regular schedule for legislation. You will recall a similar thing last Spring when Congressman Thomas Massie made everyone come back to vote.
posted by mmascolino at 2:04 PM on December 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


Well according to the latest NPR report, Steny Hoyer is calling for Trump to sign the current bill, so I guess they've given up on the $2000 bit.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 2:06 PM on December 24, 2020


Speaker Pelosi: "This Christmas Eve morning, House Republicans cruelly deprived the American people of the $2,000 checks Trump agreed to support. On Monday, the House will hold a vote on our stand-alone bill to increase economic impact payments to $2,000."

So technically they haven't "given up", although I doubt much will come of this besides forcing House Republicans to deny $2000 checks again.
posted by soundguy99 at 2:58 PM on December 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


Well according to the latest NPR report, Steny Hoyer is calling for Trump to sign the current bill, so I guess they've given up on the $2000 bit.

The two bills are complementary. The current bill is mandatory because it has lots of other critical covid relief like unemployment benefits. It also includes consolidated appropriations for ordinary operation of the government without which government goes into shutdown and government employees go on furlough on January 28.

The CASH Act with its $2,000 is just an enhancement, not a replacement, for the current bill which must be signed first.
posted by JackFlash at 3:11 PM on December 24, 2020 [3 favorites]


What's going on with the photo at the top of this NYTimes article ("For a Defeated President, Pardons as an Expression of Grievance")? It's like his face paint is fluorescing, except for the nose. It almost looks like a clown's whiteface, with the red nose removed after the show.
posted by nobody at 9:48 PM on December 24, 2020


So technically they haven't "given up", although I doubt much will come of this besides forcing House Republicans to deny $2000 checks again.

Except that Pelosi does have the votes to pass the amendment via roll call. The reason she tried to use unanimous consent is because the nature of a UC passage means that you don't need to have the full House in session (which is good, because most Representatives are at home with their families), just to not have an asshole decide to make a name for themselves by throwing a wrench in the works. But now that's happened, it means that all those Republicans, instead of being able to hide behind the House, get to put their name on the vote.

Of course, rose Twitter being rose Twitter, they've found ways to blame Pelosi for the Republicans fucking up the UC call, mainly by arguing that she should have forced a roll call vote on Christmas Eve. While she does technically have the authority to do so, given that the vast majority of the chamber is back home for the holiday doing so would have been a very good way to piss off the entire House.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:47 PM on December 24, 2020 [15 favorites]


Sorry... just making sure, does 'rose Twitter' refer to democratic/socialist Twitter?
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:02 AM on December 25, 2020


More or less, yeah. In theory, it's signaling support for/membership in The Democratic Socialists of America. You put a rose emoji in your profile/header/displayed name.

IMO, the rose emoji has sort of been generally taken up by US leftist Twitter - and, frankly, often by the most . . . problematic elements of same.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:58 AM on December 25, 2020 [5 favorites]


nobody > What's going on with the photo at the top of this NYTimes article ("For a Defeated President, Pardons as an Expression of Grievance")? It's like his face paint is fluorescing, except for the nose. It almost looks like a clown's whiteface, with the red nose removed after the show.

Alternate link to the 12/24/2020 NYT article. If you zoom in on the photo, I think there’s a high contrast effect of harsh, left side lighting reflecting off Trump’s face (against the dark background), combined with a lot of grain/noise in this otherwise low-light scene. High UV makeup flashback usually occurs with relatively close on-camera flash shots.
posted by cenoxo at 6:09 AM on December 25, 2020 [2 favorites]


Can Trump Pre-emptively Pardon Allies or Himself? Clemency Power, Explained — The president has discussed potential pardons that could test the boundaries of his constitutional power to nullify criminal liability., New York Times, Charlie Savage, 12/24/2020 [alternate link]. Topics include:
  • What is a pardon?
  • It is an executive power that acts as a check and balance on the federal criminal justice system, enabling a president to bestow mercy upon offenders. The Constitution gives the president clemency powers “to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” This could be either a commutation, which reduces or eliminates a sentence imposed after a conviction for a crime, or a pardon — a broader nullification of all legal consequences for an offense.
  • May a president issue prospective pardons before any charges or conviction?
  • Yes....
  • Does a pardon eliminate all risk?
  • No....
  • May a president pardon his relatives and close allies?
  • Yes....
  • May a president issue a general pardon?
  • This is unclear....
  • May a president pardon himself?
  • This is unclear...
  • Is there a way Trump might try to engineer a more clearly legal pardon for himself?
  • Yes....
  • Would a corruption-tainted pardon count?
  • Probably....
...details and examples in the article.
posted by cenoxo at 7:53 AM on December 25, 2020


Of course, rose Twitter being rose Twitter, they've found ways to blame Pelosi for the Republicans fucking up the UC call, mainly by arguing that she should have forced a roll call vote on Christmas Eve.
Reply “Mitch thanks you for your help”, block them, and move on. Life is way too short to spend trying to tease out whether someone is trolling, trying bad faith politics, or simply naive and the only thing taking them seriously will lead to is burnout.

Republicans can get traction with obvious bad-faith arguments because they have billions of dollars annually plowed into propaganda networks and an electorate decades into intense ideological purges. This is the opposite of how to strengthen the loose opposing coalition.
posted by adamsc at 9:43 AM on December 25, 2020 [5 favorites]


This morning Pelosi brought out the CASH Act which would bump the direct payments from $600 in the current bill to $2000 per person.

She should have named it the “President Donald J Trump $2000 For Everyone MAGA Act” and dared McCarthy to block that.
posted by nicwolff at 6:23 AM on December 26, 2020 [14 favorites]




“I suspect Ms. Vrablic timed her resignation in a way that maximizes the return on her investment in Donald J. Trump in true wealth management fashion,”
“By tendering her resignation now, Vrablic likely goes to the top of the Federal pardon list but she still gets out of Deutsche Bank in the nick of time before ‘the Donald’ requests another loan from Deutsche Bank for her to approve.”
posted by adamvasco at 6:10 AM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


It will be interesting to see if Trump pardons his bankers, and especially interesting to see whether and which purchasers of apartments in Trump Towers receive pardons. IIRC correctly it's very likely that some of the purchases were basically money laundering.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:45 PM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


Well Trump has signed the Stimulus/Omnibus spending bill, but is also teasing some sort of action on the 6th.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:57 PM on December 27, 2020


Thanks to Trump dithering around on the golf course, he missed the Saturday deadline to allow the first of 11 weeks of unemployment benefits. So the unemployed will only get 10 weeks instead of 11 and nothing at all the first week. This is the same guy who was griping that the $600 one-time payments were too low. The unemployed get screwed -- what does he care. Instead he's whining that Melania didn't get onto the cover of any fashion magazines.

He's a psychopath. He is falling apart mentally. He is a monster. The sooner he is gone, the better.
posted by JackFlash at 6:32 PM on December 27, 2020 [9 favorites]


A tax lawyer who dealt with Trump two decades ago predicted Trump's tantrum-and-fold days ago.
posted by PhineasGage at 6:54 PM on December 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


In a shocking deviation from what normally happens when life and death decisions and procedures are executed in a rush:
Officials gave public explanations for their choice of which prisoners should die that misstated key facts from the cases. They moved ahead with executions in the middle of the night. They left one prisoner strapped to the gurney while lawyers worked to remove a court order. They executed a second prisoner while an appeal was still pending, leaving the court to then dismiss the appeal as “moot” because the man was already dead. They bought drugs from a secret pharmacy that failed a quality test. They hired private executioners and paid them in cash.
The article from ProPublica goes on to explain all the claims with case details.
posted by Mitheral at 10:00 PM on December 27, 2020 [8 favorites]


So the unemployed will only get 10 weeks instead of 11 and nothing at all the first week.

Some unemployed workers lapsed in their respective systems because of the delay and have to pursue brand new claims.
posted by Mitheral at 10:06 PM on December 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


Trump tweeted "Good news on Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow!" 15 hours ago, just before it was reported that he signed the bill. Then that's it. No information has followed. For some reason this lapse seems more disturbing to me than most of the other crazy Trump tweets.
posted by Nelson at 6:59 AM on December 28, 2020


I think Sunday nights is when he gets scared about the stock market opening lower on Monday.
posted by nobody at 7:10 AM on December 28, 2020


Good news on Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow!"

He is referring to the attempt to subvert the Electoral Collage proceedings on Jan 6. He also said:

See you in Washington, DC, on January 6th. Don’t miss it. Information to follow!
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:19 AM on December 28, 2020


This will brighten up your day: a statement from Dominion re: Mellissa Carone and her “whistleblower” testimony. [my bf]
“We write to you now because you have positioned yourself as a prominent leader of the ongoing misinformation campaign by pretending to have some sort of ‘insider’s knowledge’ regarding Dominion’s business activities, when in reality you were hired through a staffing agency for one day to clean glass on machines and complete other menial tasks,” the letter stated.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:59 PM on December 28, 2020 [15 favorites]


Congressman, other Republicans sue Vice President Pence in last-ditch effort to overturn Biden win (CNBC, Dec. 28, 2020) Rep. Louie Gohmert and other Republicans filed a lawsuit against Vice President Mike Pence, attempting to reverse President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Trump. The suit asks Texas federal judge appointed by Trump to declare that Pence has the “exclusive authority and sole discretion” to decide which electoral votes from a given state should be counted. The last-ditch legal effort, filed Sunday, came from Gohmert, an eight-term congressman from Texas, along with 11 Arizona residents who had been nominated by that state’s Republican Party to serve as electors.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:23 PM on December 28, 2020 [1 favorite]


That's hilarious. Now Mike Pence has to file a response to being sued by Republicans and in opposition to Donald Trump. It couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.
posted by JackFlash at 3:34 PM on December 28, 2020 [4 favorites]


I get the sense that Pence wants this to all end more than anyone else in the world. So not all that sure forcing him to....count something that can't actually be counted is the best idea. Then again they only have one other thing to keep Trump in office, so who knows.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 4:00 PM on December 28, 2020


Yeah giving the partisan VP of an outgoing administration exclusive authority to determine who the next president will be seems... not like what the constitution says. At all. Yawn, just another doomed-to-fail abuse of the court's time. They've made clear they will keep this up until someone applies a penalty for it they can't absorb.
posted by ctmf at 4:29 PM on December 28, 2020


per Iris Gambol's linked article, the suit, filed in district court for the eastern district of texas, seeks to overturn provisions of the electoral count act as violating the 12th amendment insofar as sec. 5 prescribes timing for state determination of dispute or controversy concerning appointment of electors and sec. 15 prescribes the procedures for counting and objection in the legislature.

doesn't appear to this tea-sipping, popcorn-eating viewer/voter that the 12th amendment provides any discretion at all to the vice president: the electors having voted and named and listed "all persons voted for as President, and...as Vice President, and of the number of votes for each," and signed, certified and transmitted to the President of the Senate,
the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted....
(my emphasis). note that, while the vice president is commanded to open "all the certificates," the counting -- passively voiced -- is not assigned to the vice president; section 15 of the ECA directs that "two tellers" from each house will receive and count those votes opened by the vice president, whereupon objections may arise.

nor does it appear that those provisions of the act clearly infringe on the no-discretion-at-all the amendment assigns to the vice president's duty in this regard. now gonna read the suit, although i hope that it is not worth that quantum of my -- or anybody else's -- attention.

question: i recall some groups of alternative electors purporting to have done their alternate thing, elector-wise. did any of them seek or attain any kind of certification, purported or otherwise, from their respective state governments?
posted by 20 year lurk at 4:49 PM on December 28, 2020 [2 favorites]


Same certification as those Giuliani-run "hearings" in motels. Some small number of Republican legislators, in an unofficial, unauthorized capacity, unofficially approved of them. Which is now being exaggerated to the point of willful perjury that they are real state elector slates.
posted by ctmf at 5:03 PM on December 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


Was discussing this tonight, it's as if somebody or bodies thinks that only they've read the 'secret' parts of the Constitution and that no one has access to books, the Internet or anything. And if Trump says $x, it must be true since it's in that one weird part of the Constitution decades of scholars somehow missed.

So glad March is no longer the swearing in, but dear lord can we change it to January 2?
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:40 PM on December 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


Anyone checked whether there are gold fringed flags in the room where the House formally counts the vote?
posted by Nelson at 6:13 PM on December 28, 2020 [5 favorites]


why stop at January 2

why not transfer power the day after the elections like developed countries do
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:41 AM on December 29, 2020 [12 favorites]


Donald Trump tops Gallup list of most-admired men. He won with 18% over Obama's 15%.

Gallup has a lot of analytical tidbits, but this is the one that struck me most: Forty-eight percent of Republicans name Trump this year, with no other public figure receiving more than 2% of Republicans' votes.
posted by box at 7:29 AM on December 29, 2020


And, in deranged tweet news:
Weak and tired Republican “leadership” will allow the bad Defense Bill to pass. Say goodbye to VITAL Section 230 termination, your National Monuments, Forts (names!) and Treasures (inserted by Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren), 5G, and our great soldiers....

....being removed and brought home from foreign lands who do NOTHING for us. A disgraceful act of cowardice and total submission by weak people to Big Tech. Negotiate a better Bill, or get better leaders, NOW! Senate should not approve NDAA until fixed!!!

$2000 for our great people, not $600! They have suffered enough from the China Virus!!!

“A group of Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania say 200,000 more votes were counted in the 2020 Election than voters (100% went to Biden). State Representative Frank Ryan said they found troubling discrepancies after an analysis of Election Day data.”
@FoxNews
This is far....

...more votes than is needed by me to win Pennsylvania, not to mention hundreds of thousands of votes in other categories which increase my already big lead into a landslide. All other Swing States show likewise. WE NEED NEW & ENERGETIC REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP. This can not stand..

....Can you imagine if the Republicans stole a Presidential Election from the Democrats - All hell would break out. Republican leadership only wants the path of least resistance. Our leaders (not me, of course!) are pathetic. They only know how to lose! P.S. I got MANY Senators..

....and Congressmen/Congresswomen Elected. I do believe they forgot!
This was all in the last hour or so.
posted by box at 7:35 AM on December 29, 2020 [2 favorites]


Donald Trump tops Gallup list of most-admired men. He won with 18%.

This is how the "jungle primary" works in California. The Democrats have lots of good candidates which splits their vote. The Republicans have just one candidate. The Republican wins with a tiny minority of votes.
posted by JackFlash at 7:40 AM on December 29, 2020 [2 favorites]


Regarding the Gohmert lawsuit, attorney and lawblogger Akiva Cohen dissects it here (threadreader unroll).

And by 'dissect', I mean 'feeds into a woodchopper and pours burning napalm on the remains'.
posted by Major Clanger at 7:55 AM on December 29, 2020 [4 favorites]


"neoconfederate treasonweasels" is a nice turn of phrase.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:07 AM on December 29, 2020 [5 favorites]


This is how the "jungle primary" works in California. The Democrats have lots of good candidates which splits their vote. The Republicans have just one candidate. The Republican wins with a tiny minority of votes.

Which is why the jungle "primary" (which, let's remember, is not an actual primary election - its a general election with mandatory runoff) is a horrible "good governance" idea pushed by the sort of person who sees political parties as The Root Of All Political Evil without understanding why social dynamics pretty much guarantee that parties will form.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:56 AM on December 29, 2020 [2 favorites]


What? A jungle primary takes the top two, unless somebody wins an outright majority. Usually in California the top two are both Democrats. If you won an outright majority, by definition it doesn’t matter how split your opponents were, you’d have beat them anyway.

The election scenario described is a nonpartisan election without runoffs, which does lend itself to electing candidates with strong (electoral) minority support. Examples include the post-recall gubernatorial election in Cali a while back, and how Memphis does its mayoral race.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 10:03 AM on December 29, 2020


What? A jungle primary takes the top two, unless somebody wins an outright majority.

Yes, that's what "general election with a mandatory runoff" means. The point is that a jungle "primary" isn't an actual primary election where a party selects who will be its standard-bearer for the general, and because of that you get some perverse incentives - for example, Republicans won a statewide election in WA solely because the Democrats split the vote three ways where the GOP only split theirs two ways, resulting in the two GOP candidates going to the runoff while receiving less votes collectively than the three Democratic candidates.

And again, the other point is that the name of the jungle "primary" is an outright lie. It's not a primary election, and I'd be willing to bet that if the public knew that, the concept would be harder to sell.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:07 AM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]


Also, there's no such thing as a "non-partisan election". There's just elections where candidates have to state their partisanship, and ones where they're allowed to conceal it out of a misguided idea that if we pretend partisanship doesn't exist, it will go away.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:10 AM on December 29, 2020 [3 favorites]


FWIW, I’m not here to defend jungle primaries; we don’t have them here, and they seem to mostly be the province of weird states like Louisiana and California.

Just pointing out that it’s different from the kind you can win outright with 18%. That kind is worse.

And again, the other point is that the name of the jungle "primary" is an outright lie. It's not a primary election, and I'd be willing to bet that if the public knew that, the concept would be harder to sell.

Not sure what else you want to call the first election of the cycle, which happens 8 months before November for the purposes of narrowing the field down to 2.

Regular primaries tend to polarize the candidates, but I think I still prefer them so that Democratic voters get to pick the Democratic candidate, and so forth.

There’s also IRV, ranking, etc. which...we’ll just have to see. We were supposed to get IRV for city council elections here but the state and local governments keep not doing it.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:31 AM on December 29, 2020


Not sure what else you want to call the first election of the cycle, which happens 8 months before November for the purposes of narrowing the field down to 2.

I'm calling it what it is - a general election, where the actual officeholder is selected from the candidates standing. If, as you pointed out, no one candidate wins an outright majority, the top two candidates move on to a mandatory runoff election. This is in comparison to a primary election, where a political party selects who will be their candidate in the general election.

The names have nothing to do with when the election is held - it's about how they function. Which is why the name of "jungle primary" is an outright lie - when you look at how it functions, it's clearly a general election with a mandatory runoff if no majority is reached.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:11 PM on December 29, 2020


Not sure what else you want to call the first election of the cycle, which happens 8 months before November for the purposes of narrowing the field down to 2.

At least in Massachusetts, where all city elections are officially non-partisan and run this way, the first election is called "the preliminary" and the second "the final" (but the preliminary is held just two months before the final, and only if there are n+1 or more candidates for a given seat or seats; we have places where several at-large council seats come up at the same time).
posted by adamg at 12:16 PM on December 29, 2020


OK so it turns out that California and Washington pick the top 2 without the possibility of an outright winner in the first round, which is different from Louisiana, and I’m done arguing about this because God forbid any of these states should be consistent about anything so why should I defend them.

We are using different definitions of “primary election”, but since “jungle primary” isn’t an official term anyway (“top two primary” or “nonpartisan blanket primary” are most common, I guess) I won’t press the issue.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:51 PM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]


It does tend to prevent the thing, though, where you act as crazy as possible (lie to your base) in the primary to get the nomination, then act as centrist as possible (lie to the general population) to win the general. The "primary" is the primary election. If you lose too bad, you're out.

The splitting-the-vote thing, yeah well no system is perfect. It takes some discipline in the party to decide who's going to run and who isn't. And some guesswork whether it would be better to field two candidates to appeal to more people and see who sticks, or one. Any third usually gets blown out anyway.

I'm not sure how that benefits either party over the other, they're both playing by the same rules. Republicans seem to have more discipline when it counts, but that's not turning Washington red any time soon.
posted by ctmf at 1:03 PM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]


Billionaires with more money than sense can F it all up, just like everything.
posted by ctmf at 1:05 PM on December 29, 2020


Republicans seem to have more discipline when it counts, but that's not turning Washington red any time soon.

Republicans won a major statewide seat (SecState, IIRC) in Washington simply by splitting their vote less, sending both their candidates to the runoff even though they collectively netted fewer votes in the election than the Democratic candidates did. So you'll pardon me if I'm a bit more sanguine on the matter than you.

But beyond the perverse incentives of the system is the dishonesty of the "jungle primary" name. Again, it's not a primary election where a party selects a candidate for the general election - it's an actual general election where the actual officeholder is selected, with the top two candidates sent to a runoff if no one secures a majority. And yet it was framed as the former by its advocates.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:31 PM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]


I'm calling it what it is - a general election, where the actual officeholder is selected from the candidates standing. If, as you pointed out, no one candidate wins an outright majority, the top two candidates move on to a mandatory runoff election.

You are talking about something else. The jungle primary, as practiced in California and Washington, is a primary in which the top two candidates go to the general election. Even if the top two candidates are 90% to 10% in the primary, both go to the general election.

And the winner of the general election does not require a majority. If the top two split 49/48 with 3% going to a write-in candidate, the 49% wins.
posted by JackFlash at 2:08 PM on December 29, 2020


You are talking about something else. The jungle primary, as practiced in California and Washington, is a primary in which the top two candidates go to the general election.

No, I'm pointing out that words mean things. A primary election is an election where the party determines who will be their candidate in the general election, which is where the actual officeholder will be elected and there can be a rule that if no one candidate in the general has a majority, then a runoff election is held between the highest two vote getters. A jungle "primary" isn't about parties selecting their candidates - it's about actually determining who will be the officeholder, and it has a runoff election. Calling the initial general election a "primary" and the runoff the "general" doesn't change what they actually are - all it does is to serve to confuse and deceive people about what is actually happening.
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:42 PM on December 29, 2020 [2 favorites]


I'm pointing out that words mean things ... Calling the initial general election a "primary" and the runoff the "general" doesn't change what they actually are.

Yes, words do have meanings and in this case legal meanings. The state laws refer to the two elections as the primary and general elections, not general election and runoff. I guess you will have to take it up with the constitutional lawyers.

And a runoff election is an optional election. The state general elections following the jungle primary are not optional. They are mandatory, which is why they are called general elections, not runoffs.
posted by JackFlash at 3:05 PM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]


It was state treasurer in 2016.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:31 PM on December 29, 2020


Well, fuck. McConnell has attached 230 repeal to the $2k stimulus as a poison pill.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:17 PM on December 29, 2020


Trump Falsely Suggests He’s Won the Nobel Peace Prize Lindsey Ellefson, TheWrap.com

...and bases the fake prize on the wrong image—using the face of the non-Peace prizes for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology / Medicine, or Literature.
posted by XMLicious at 7:32 PM on December 29, 2020


Well, fuck. McConnell has attached 230 repeal to the $2k stimulus as a poison pill.

Call his bluff. All the right wings' favorite services collapse if they have to be responsible for their user content.

(And yes it screws over everyone including Metafilter but wow Trump losing Twitter and Parler closing down out of fear of lawsuits because the right wing doesn't understand the rules that allow them to operate would kind of be the perfect end to 2020)
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:46 PM on December 29, 2020 [8 favorites]


Call his bluff.

Yes. It's time to shoot the hostage. And I'm not being ironic. The possibility of effective control of any of the FAANGs through regulatory means is a mirage; but repealing 230 will have vastly magnified effects on them than on smaller sites like Metafilter. In lieu of actively regulating them, Mitch has perhaps unknowingly handed the Democrats a deathblow for which Mitch will be responsible.
posted by fatbird at 8:12 PM on December 29, 2020 [5 favorites]


It's a great deal and Democrats should take it. $2000 and repeal of Section 230 -- two great tastes that go together.

The election fraud commission part of the deal is more problematic but much less so than an independent counsel. A toothless commission (blue ribbon, no doubt) isn't going to find much except the occasional Republican voting for their dead mother.

Time for Democrats to stop carrying water for silicon valley social media assholes.
posted by JackFlash at 8:33 PM on December 29, 2020 [4 favorites]


Exempt Gopher servers and it’ll be the Decade of Metafilter.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:40 PM on December 29, 2020 [7 favorites]


The Democrats should absolutely call this bluff. What is he going to say when all social media starts shutting down because of a law insisted upon by McConnel?
posted by zixyer at 9:05 PM on December 29, 2020 [2 favorites]


Social media wouldn't shut down, but it would get a lot smaller which would be great. Zuckerberg might have to struggle to get by living on just a billion or so instead of 100 billion. He would have to hire lots and lots of moderators who would be getting those billions instead of Zuckerberg. And Democrats wouldn't have to go begging to Zuckerberg to stop pushing libelous conspiracy stories on users so he can make a buck.
posted by JackFlash at 9:13 PM on December 29, 2020 [7 favorites]


Also in the "call his bluff" camp. Trump's done for in 2024 or ever again without Google, Facebook, and Twitter, both as tools and as big donor/enablers.
posted by ctmf at 12:23 AM on December 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


There's no bluff. McConnell knows what he's doing. I really doubt if there are enough votes in the Senate for the combination of both $2k and repealing Section 230 even if every Democrat is onboard (they won't be). The §230 in itself is enough of a chameleon issue for a member of any party to hide behind and plausibly deny however they vote on it. It's all about saving the reelection of those who will predictably vote down the $2k.
posted by runcifex at 1:15 AM on December 30, 2020 [5 favorites]


What is successfully happening is that the message to the American people, with increasing clarity, is 'everyone in Washington but Mitch McConnell wants you to have a $2,000 payment,' which is helping the Georgia races, at least. Sanders is blocking vote on the Defense bill, so is trying to force McConnell's hand in a substantial way, we'll see how that plays out today.

I don't think there's more detailed or subtle political calculus or strategy here: McConnell knows that if the American people experience any facet of what a supportive, humanist government can actually do to take care of people's basic needs and welfare in a substantial and individual way, that we will never, ever go back to the unnecessary oppression and artificial deprivation of rapacious, unregulated capitalism we are currently suffering through. He knows that we cannot experience any effective version of direct financial support, universal health care, fair living wages, and so on, because then we will all know, by our direct experience, that things don't have to be this way, that people simply do not have to be struggling in the United States in the ways that we are: there actually is enough to go around.

Once we see that, experience that, in any numbers significant enough to create a critical mass of awareness, it's all over for McConnell, for the entire Republican party, and for this whole off-the-rails experiment in human cruelty masked as unregulated capitalism. My sense is that McConnell has always understood that big picture, and is fighting hard to defend our disgusting status quo; but it's not about politics or party, it's about money and power and preserving the unjust and unfair ways by which the U.S. has always operated, to enrich the few. He knows we can't get even a taste of that, so this fight is existential in his mind, but not merely for party.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:10 AM on December 30, 2020 [7 favorites]


repealing 230 will have vastly magnified effects on them than on smaller sites like Metafilter

If Section 230 is repealed, "Mefi's Own" Scott Adams will be able to sue Metafilter for all the mean things anyone has said about him here. How much money does Metafilter have for lawyers?
posted by BungaDunga at 8:13 AM on December 30, 2020


If Section 230 is repealed, "Mefi's Own" Scott Adams will be able to sue Metafilter for all the mean things anyone has said about him here.

That is just silly fear-mongering. There are thousands of bloggers out there who say mean things about Scott Adams. They don't have Section 230 protection and they aren't being sued.
posted by JackFlash at 8:19 AM on December 30, 2020 [3 favorites]


A tale of our times in two tweets
@LukeLetlow: President Trump and Vice President Pence have shown tremendous leadership and a remarkable ability to get things done quickly during this national emergency. America is defeating COVID-19, and our nation will come out stronger because of it.

@nytimes: Luke Letlow, a Republican congressman-elect from Louisiana, has died of complications from Covid-19. He had been set to take office on Sunday.
@MaxKennerly: It's a shame. He had a long career ahead of him of attacking women's access to healthcare while making it impossible to control gun violence. Alas, he threw it all away to selfishly benefit from anti-scientific political pandering.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:23 AM on December 30, 2020 [10 favorites]


> That is just silly fear-mongering. There are thousands of bloggers out there who say mean things about Scott Adams. They don't have Section 230 protection and they aren't being sued.
I believe the point was that without safe-harbour provision like §230, someone like plannedchaos can have standing against Metafilter itself, in addition to any blogger who "have said mean things" against him. The additional liability to community website such as Metafilter will be a consequence of repealing §230.

Of course, the players who are moving the debate in this issue (notably Trump) make other kinds of use out of it. Despite the fact that social media reform is necessary, the debate surrounding this issue is so far rife with layers and layers of bad faith (notably from Trump). In today's political context it is a massively toxic thing to touch.

It's fundamentally unjust to tie a COVID relief measure to this very political and very poisonous issue. Which is of course why McConell is doing it.
posted by runcifex at 8:42 AM on December 30, 2020 [1 favorite]


We should probably spin off a MetaTalk thread where we ask cortex directly what he thinks the effects of section 230 repeal would be. I vaguely remember one of the mods commenting on it before, but I don’t remember where or what they said.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:54 AM on December 30, 2020 [3 favorites]


Missouri senator Josh Hawley is confirming that he will officially object to the electoral vote count on January 6. It only takes one objection. Together with Republicans in the House who have also promise to object, it forces a formal two-hour debate and roll call for each state's electors that they are objecting to.

It should be interesting to see Republicans squirm as they are forced to make a public recorded choice between Trump and democracy. Those siding with Trump should be forever branded as cowards willing to sell out their country in fear of a mean tweet from Trump. McConnell really doesn't want this.
posted by JackFlash at 9:13 AM on December 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


Hawley is a clever and ambitious villain who wants very much to be a Trump who knows what he's doing. I'd bet there is more to this move than allegiance to 45 and his fans. The Senator's on the make and if there's a sense that he "owns" this silly maneuver, this roll call could help identify and demonstrate who's on his side. Keep an eye on how Cotton plays along...
posted by Chef Flamboyardee at 9:45 AM on December 30, 2020 [1 favorite]


That is just silly fear-mongering. There are thousands of bloggers out there who say mean things about Scott Adams. They don't have Section 230 protection and they aren't being sued.

Metafilter has already been smacked around by a celebrity's legal team resulting in comments and entire threads being deleted. I have zero doubt that a 230 repeal will make the threat of that worse and have a chilling effect on moderation and participation at a minimum.
posted by Mitheral at 10:11 AM on December 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


Metafilter has already been smacked around by a celebrity's legal team resulting in comments and entire threads being deleted.

Do you care to elaborate? If true, then why do you need Section 230 if it doesn't work they way you want?
posted by JackFlash at 10:20 AM on December 30, 2020


Well, fuck. McConnell has attached 230 repeal to the $2k stimulus as a poison pill.

As Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) points out, McConnell can’t actually do this. Even if the Senate votes on McConnell’s bill, it can’t become legislation. It’s just grandstanding to please Trump:
A money bill like this has to originate in the House. (Yes that’s probably a dumb rule.) This bill does not. Why does that matter? It proves McConnell is definitely not trying to make a law here. The way to make a law is to put the House bill up for a vote. Everything else is BS.
posted by mbrubeck at 10:30 AM on December 30, 2020 [5 favorites]


The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has retained forensic accounting specialists to aid its criminal investigation of President Trump and his business operations, as prosecutors ramp up their scrutiny of his company's real estate transactions, according to people familiar with the matter. (WaPo, Dec. 30, 2020). FTI Consulting. The firm was involved in the Lehman Brothers and General Motors bankruptcies, the investigation into the Bernard Madoff fraud, Bush v. Gore, and the Major League Baseball steroid investigation (Wikipedia). SEC.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announced Wednesday that he would object next week when Congress convenes to certify the electoral college vote, a move that will force a contentious floor debate that top Senate Republicans had hoped to avoid before President-elect Joe Biden’s victory is cemented. (WaPo, Dec. 30, 2020; USA Today) In a statement, Hawley said he feels compelled to highlight purported election irregularities.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:00 AM on December 30, 2020 [1 favorite]


Do you care to elaborate?

I don't want to derail this thread; anyone who wants some details can mefimail me.
posted by Mitheral at 11:25 AM on December 30, 2020 [1 favorite]


It'd be difficult what with it in the Constitution and all but I'd be all for having the pardon power removed from the presidency entirely.

I think a lot of presidential powers should be curbed in general, but I think it's reasonable that there be constraints at least during a president's lame-duck interval, like "no pardons or executive orders."
posted by rhizome at 1:24 PM on December 30, 2020




Trump pardon of Blackwater Iraq contractors mercenaries violates international law - UN
“Pardoning the Blackwater contractors is an affront to justice and to the victims of the Nisour Square massacre and their families,” said Jelena Aparac, chair of the U.N. working group on the use of mercenaries, said in a statement.

The Geneva Conventions oblige states to hold war criminals accountable for their crimes, even when they act as private security contractors, the U.N. experts said.

“These pardons violate U.S. obligations under international law and more broadly undermine humanitarian law and human rights at a global level.”

posted by Mitheral at 3:46 PM on December 30, 2020 [7 favorites]


Sooo, could Biden reverse them, based on that?
posted by triggerfinger at 4:12 PM on December 30, 2020


even better, could Trump be held accountable for violating international law?
posted by rifflesby at 4:42 PM on December 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


even better, could Trump be held accountable for violating international law?

Not a chance. We don't even let the International Criminal Court touch US soldiers. They're not getting a friggin' president, no matter how odious.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 4:55 PM on December 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


Pence seeks dismissal of Gohmert lawsuit (Washington Post). He's obviously showing his deep state cards! He must have been bought out by Hillary! butteremails!

I can't continue with that joke in good faith. But I can be in good cheer this NYE with that particular bit of news!

Happy new years all my fellow MeFites! Thanks for keeping me sane through these last 4 years.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 4:05 PM on December 31, 2020 [4 favorites]


The Senate voted 80-12 to override the defense bill veto.

Nay votes included both Trump loyalists Mike Braun, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, John Kennedy, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul and left-leaning senators like Ed Markey, Jeff Merkley, Bernie Sanders, Chris Van Hollen, Elizabeth Warren, and Ron Wyden.

Eight senators declined to vote, generally because they would like to have things both ways: on the R side, that included Marsha Blackburn, Corey Gardner, once and/or future presidential candidates Tom Cotton, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio, and the two Georgia Senators currently running for reelection, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.

On the Democratic side, the only person who didn't vote was Doug Jones, who missed the vote because he's quarantining himself.
posted by box at 12:13 PM on January 1, 2021 [2 favorites]


I. Trump vetoed because this year's National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes a measure, the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), meant to kneecap shell companies and money laundering. The CTA per Heather Cox Richardson, Dec. 27:

"The act requires the owners of any company that is not otherwise overseen by the federal government (by filing taxes, for example, or through close regulation) to file a report that identifies each person associated with the company who either owns 25% or more of it or exercises substantial control over it. That report, including name, birthdate, address, and an identifying number, goes to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The measure also increases penalties for money laundering and streamlines cooperation between banks and foreign law enforcement authorities.

"America is currently the easiest place in the world for criminals to form an anonymous shell company which enables them to launder money, evade taxes, and engage in illegal payoff schemes. The measure will pull the rug out from both domestic and international criminals that take advantage of shell companies to hide from investigators. When the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists dug into leaked documents from FinCEN this fall, they discovered shell companies moving money for criminals operating out of Russia, China, Iran, and Syria. [...] The new requirements in the NDAA apply not just to future entities, but also to existing ones." (emphasis mine)
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:44 PM on January 1, 2021 [17 favorites]


Both ways, for sure. Those abstaining senators showed some real cowardice. They were afraid to vote for the defense bill because they are afraid of Trump and at the same time they were afraid to vote against the defense bill because they are afraid of the voters.

Ossoff and Warnock should really blast some ads attacking Loeffler and Perdue for their being doubly cowards.
posted by JackFlash at 12:45 PM on January 1, 2021 [2 favorites]


II. Sampling of the Trump Crime Syndicate's shell company activity:

Jared Kushner helped create a Trump campaign shell company that secretly paid the president's family members and spent $617 million in reelection cash (Business Insider, Dec. 18, 2020) (Yahoo, Dec. 20, 2020) American Made Media Consultants was created in April 2018.

Trump's Lawyer Created an Entire Shell Company to Pay Off Stormy Daniels (Vanity Fair, Jan. 29, 2018) Essential Consultants LLC was formed in October 2016.

Since President Trump won the Republican nomination, the majority of his companies’ real estate sales are to secretive shell companies that obscure the buyers’ identities (USA Today, June 13, 2017)

The Trump 2020 campaign funneled money to a shell company tied to ad buyers at the center of an alleged illegal coordination scheme with the National Rifle Association (NRA) as recently as May 2019, according to new government records analyzed by OpenSecrets. (June 13, 2019)

Trump inauguration took money from shell companies tied to foreigners (The Guardian, March 8, 2019) US election law prohibits non-resident foreigners from contributing to political campaigns, including inaugurations. Donors or campaigns who “knowingly and willfully” breach this rule may be fined or prosecuted.

Beginning in 1992, Fred Trump’s real estate business began purchasing boilers, refrigerators, cleaning supplies, and other equipment from a company called All County Building Supply & Maintenance instead of a wholesaler. All County, which was owned by Donald Trump and his siblings and charged much higher rates than other suppliers, seems to have been a shell company that existed only to siphon Fred Trump’s money to his children under the guise of business transactions. (Vox, Oct. 3, 2018)
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:45 PM on January 1, 2021 [11 favorites]


And Elizabeth Warren managed to get in her amendment that renames military named after Confederates. So there's that.
posted by JackFlash at 12:48 PM on January 1, 2021


Iris Gambol, those are just a couple that we know about. Altogether Trump owns over 500 different shell Limited Liability Companies (LLC). This is not a normal way of doing business. This is a guy who never wants to pay his bills. Each of these LLCs is a grift that he can walk away from without paying his debts.
posted by JackFlash at 12:54 PM on January 1, 2021 [1 favorite]


And Elizabeth Warren managed to get in her amendment that renames military named after Confederates. So there's that.

The Navy has been doing well lately on the naming front -- the newest carrier is named for Doris Miller (the African-American mess hand who manned a .50 during the attack on Pearl Harbor) a new class of frigates will be at least mostly named after the original frigates (bar Constitution of course), and several new subs have been announced with traditional fish names.

But it would be really nice to see NAT TURNER or JOHN BROWN on the ass-end of a CVN.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:01 PM on January 1, 2021 [5 favorites]


Yes, JackFlash. The comment is a "sampling" of shell company activity (including shady business conducted with non-Trump-owned entities).
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:19 PM on January 1, 2021 [1 favorite]


Altogether Trump owns over 500 different shell Limited Liability Companies (LLC).

Counterpoint: When you're in real-estate, it's very common to spin up a LLC for each property.

Each of these LLCs is a grift that he can walk away from without paying his debts.

That is a consequence of structuring businesses this way. When one building has a magical insurance fire, it doesn't affect any other properties. It all really depends on if you're a good witch or a bad witch...
posted by mikelieman at 1:59 PM on January 1, 2021 [1 favorite]


CNN headline via atrios: With Trump a no-show, Mar-a-Lago guests left to party maskless with Rudy Giuliani and Vanilla Ice

Give that editor a cigar. No doubt showing up half-drunk after New Year's Eve and having a laugh. That headline about sums up the Trump finale.
posted by JackFlash at 2:42 PM on January 1, 2021 [5 favorites]


Well, insignificant in importance compared to everything else, but I seem to have gotten a couple of the little things I wanted.

Sec. 1111. Temporary increase in limitation on accumulation of annual leave for Executive branch employees.

Sec. 1113. Extension of rate of overtime pay authority for Department of the Navy employees performing work aboard or dockside in support of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier forward deployed in Japan.
posted by ctmf at 4:33 PM on January 1, 2021 [3 favorites]


in the matter of gohmert v. pence lately pending in the u.s. district court for the eastern district of texas, "It is ORDERED that Plaintiff's case is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. All pending motions are DENIED as MOOT." oh wait: there is some explanation.
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:19 PM on January 1, 2021 [7 favorites]


I'm still on the edge of my seat about WISCONSIN VOTER ALLIANCE v. PENCE, in which they named "electoral college" as a defendant.

Last order in the case so far:
MINUTE ORDER: The Court ORDERS that, as soon as Plaintiffs file proofs of service on all Defendants, a briefing schedule and hearing shall be set. So ORDERED by Judge James E. Boasberg on 12/23/2020. (lcjeb3)

Is there some kind of hotline or something I can call in a tip about where they might find the electoral college to serve the complaint? I might have some ideas for them.
posted by ctmf at 9:18 PM on January 1, 2021


Gohmert files an appeal (which legal commentators deem as hopeless as the original lawsuit) but explains that his Plan B is, er, insurrection.

"Bottom line is, the court is saying, ‘we’re not going to touch this, you have no remedy,’" Gohmert said. "Basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you’ve got to go to the streets and be as violent as antifa and BLM."

Is there any sanction for a Member of the House of Representatives advocating violent uprising against lawful government? Or is this just the new normal?
posted by Major Clanger at 2:52 AM on January 2, 2021 [6 favorites]


Altogether Trump owns over 500 different shell Limited Liability Companies (LLC).

See President Trump’s 2018 personal financial disclosure, Washington Post; May 16, 2019. If you can’t open this document in your browser, download the pdf (the list of 532 LLCs begins on page 43 of 88).

Here’s a follow-up analysis of Trump’s complex web of business interests, visualized; Washington Post, Philip Bump; May 21, 2019. If you hit the WaPo paywall, clear your browser’s history (or open this article in another web browser) to see the article’s diagrams. Google’s cached article displays its text without diagrams.
posted by cenoxo at 3:27 AM on January 2, 2021 [5 favorites]


Trump Offers New Details On 'Wild' Rally To Protest Election Results, And D.C. Authorities Are Gearing Up For It, Forbes, Jonathan Ponciano, 1/1/2021:
As the clock ticks down on Republicans' last-ditch effort to overturn the presidential election results during a congressional meeting on January 6, President Donald Trump offered up new details about a same-day rally for supporters that has D.C. authorities prepping with measures similar to those ahead of pro-Trump protests in December that led to four stabbings and 33 arrests....
More details in 'Wild' protests: Police brace for pro-Trump rallies when Congress meets Jan. 6 to certify Biden's win, USA TODAY, David Jackson & Matthew Brown, 1/1/2021, including:
...On the social media app Parler and far-right message boards, members of the group "Proud Boys" have discussed organizing in Washington D.C. and a leader of the group, Enrique Tarrio, suggested they will be incognito.

"The Proud Boys will turn out in record numbers on Jan 6th but this time with a twist," Tarrio said on Parler. "We will not be wearing our traditional Black and Yellow. We will be incognito and we will spread across downtown DC in smaller teams," he wrote.

Tarrio also posited that the group may dress in all-black gear at night, a style similar to the black bloc clothing tactic used by Antifa groups who often combat the Proud Boys....
Will the Revolutionary Donald lead the Right crowd mob to the barricades, or just tweet from the bunker?
posted by cenoxo at 4:27 AM on January 2, 2021 [3 favorites]


Trump Plans to Fight the Election Even After ‘Stop the Steal’ Rally Ends — The president has told advisers he isn’t deterred by the setbacks in the courts and won’t be deterred by Congress certifying Joe Biden’s win., Daily Beast, Will Sommer & Asawin Suebsaeng, 1/2/2021:
Many of Donald Trump’s most dogmatic supporters see a mass protest in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6—just two weeks shy of Inauguration Day 2021—as their last chance to disrupt President-elect Joe Biden’s win. But for the president himself, it’s just another day to complain.

Two people familiar with the matter say that in recent days, Trump has told advisers and close associates that he wants to keep fighting in court past Jan. 6 if members of Congress, as expected, end up certifying the electoral college results.

“The way he sees it is: Why should I ever let this go?… How would that benefit me?” said one of the sources, who’s spoken to Trump at length about the post-election activities to nullify his Democratic opponent’s decisive victory....
The poor loser Donald, always and forevermore the Victim-in-Chief.
posted by cenoxo at 11:48 AM on January 2, 2021 [2 favorites]


"Basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you’ve got to go to the streets and be as violent as antifa and BLM."

Is there any sanction for a Member of the House of Representatives advocating violent uprising against lawful government? Or is this just the new normal?


Suddenly I had a nice, if unlikely, vision of him arguing in defense that BLM and antifa aren't actually violent after all.
posted by trig at 11:59 AM on January 2, 2021 [1 favorite]


advocating violent uprising against lawful government

It's a security clearance disqualifier if Biden wanted to go that route. Where I work we have a union AND a property right in our job and can't be fired without due process. But if my security clearance gets pulled, it's non-reviewable and itself becomes a valid reason to be fired (unqualified for the job). It's possible a US Representative could continue being one without a clearance, they would just be a really limited, uninformed representative, kicked out of any classified meetings.

Other than that, impeachment and removal by congress.
posted by ctmf at 12:29 PM on January 2, 2021 [3 favorites]




The Week: The Constitution has an answer for seditious members of Congress.

The Constitution, as goofy and jerry-rigged as it is, stipulates that insurrectionists who violate their oath are not allowed to serve in Congress...

...Democrats would have every right, both under the Constitution and under the principle of popular sovereignty outlined in the Declaration of Independence, to convene a traitor-free Congress (also including similar acts committed by Republican senators like Lindsey Graham, David Perdue, Kelly Loeffler, and others), and pass such laws as would be necessary to preserve the American republic. That might include a national popular vote to decide the presidency, ironclad voting rights protections, a ban on gerrymandering either national or state district boundaries, full representation for the citizens of D.C. and Puerto Rico, regulations on internet platforms that are inflaming violent political extremism, a clear legal framework for the transfer of power that ends the lame duck period, and so on. States would be forced to agree to these measures before they can replace their traitorous representatives and senators. If the Supreme Court objects, more pro-democracy justices can be added.

This wouldn't be the first time such a thing has happened, either. Immediately after the Civil War, the Radical Republican Congress refused to seat delegations from the former rebellious states until they were satisfied with the progress of Reconstruction.

posted by triggerfinger at 12:44 PM on January 2, 2021 [4 favorites]


Sure it's impossible to see into the future. But as I have recommended here before, historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat has been terrifyingly spot-on in her predictions and analysis of everything Trump and his minions are trying, based on the scholarship in her book Strongmen.
posted by PhineasGage at 1:24 PM on January 2, 2021 [2 favorites]


I was saying in another thread yesterday, we're kind of past the “disagreement on fundamental facts” point and pretty much at the Pope / anti-Pope stage of the game.

As far as nationalists are concerned, Trump pulled the sword from the stone, whether he fulfills the legal or constitutional criteria for succession or not. He's not just the true President for Life to them (hyuk hyuk hyuk, chortle the Mar-a-Lago millionaires and billionaires, the commoners and their enthusiasms!), he's President for Life as ordained by fate.

This isn't a constitutional law presidential succession issue, it's America's twenty-first-century version of divine right of kings, and it's not going to be written down plainly anywhere either, just implied. No really, we really are not smarter than or fundamentally different than humans of any other place or time, just because we feel like we're on the summit looking down... we aren't.
posted by XMLicious at 2:56 PM on January 2, 2021 [5 favorites]


H/T @ruthbenghiat:

Fintan O’Toole: Trump has unfinished business. A republic he wants to destroy still stands — 2020 in review: Donald Trump will continue to unleash racism, nativism and a fear of government, The Irish Times, 12/26/2020:
...It is not just that Trump really was not interested in governing [after his 2016 election]. It is that he was deeply interested in misgovernment.

He left important leadership positions in government departments unfilled on a permanent basis, or filled them with scandalously unqualified cronies. He appointed people to head agencies to which they had been publicly hostile.

Beneath the psychodrama of Trump’s hourly outbursts, there was a duller but often more meaningful agenda: taking a blowtorch to regulation, especially, but by no means exclusively, in relation to the environment.

This right-wing anarchism extended, of course, to global governance: the trashing of international agreements, withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, sucking up to the leaders of mafia states, and open contempt for female leaders like Angela Merkel and Theresa May.

With this discrediting of democratic governance, it is not just that we cannot disentangle the personal motives from the political ones. It is that the replacement of political institutions by personal rule was precisely the point. Trump’s aim, in the presidency as in his previous life, was always simple: to be able to do whatever the hell he wanted. That required the transformation of elective office into the relationship of a capricious ruler to his sycophantic courtiers....
Trump can only survive in an environment of chaos, confusion, and corruption, and he will continue to build his nest at every opportunity. No one beats him unless they cheat, but no one cheats better than him.
posted by cenoxo at 2:59 PM on January 2, 2021 [5 favorites]


Democrats would have every right, both under the Constitution and under the principle of popular sovereignty outlined in the Declaration of Independence, to convene a traitor-free Congress (also including similar acts committed by Republican senators like Lindsey Graham, David Perdue, Kelly Loeffler, and others), and pass such laws as would be necessary to preserve the American republic.

This is political fan fiction. I have no idea who Ryan Cooper is, but reading his article just made me stupider.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:29 PM on January 2, 2021 [3 favorites]


5th circuit court of appeals dismisses gohmert's appeal:
We have the benefit of the the ... district court['s] ... Order of Dismissal ... finding that the district court lacks jurisdiction because no plaintiff has the standing demanded by Article III. We need say no more, and we affirm the judgment essentially for the reasons stated by the district court. We express no view on the underlying merits or on what putative party, if any, might have standing.
i think gohmert's "go to the streets and be as violent as antifa and BLM," reported above, and dating from before this dismissal, is some pretty top-notch rhetoric, well beyond my estimation of that guy's intellectual capacity, insofar as one class of listener, such as myself, understands the latter group to be essentially nonviolent and the former loose collection of disorganized persons who elect to stand between fascists and the targets of their threats as willing to reflect that quantum of violence brought to bear against them, while another class of listener is evidently willing to believe, against most credible evidence, that both groups are committed to violent mayhem. and, for those former listeners to interpret gohmert's statement as incitement virtually requires that they concede the alleged violent character we would otherwise dispute.

i am interested, with some trepidation, to hear what he may say following this terse, rapid dismissal of his appeal.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:58 PM on January 2, 2021 [2 favorites]


For those like me wondering exactly how the Joint Session on 6th January will work, the Congressional Research Service has a recently-updated memorandum.

Counting Electoral Votes: An Overview of Procedures at the Joint Session, Including Objections by Members of Congress
posted by Major Clanger at 4:43 AM on January 3, 2021 [3 favorites]


From the foreword, p. 1:
...Much of what follows in this report is based on the United States Constitution (particularly
Article II, Section 1, and Amendment 12) and on the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which was originally enacted in 1887 and, in 1948, was both amended and codified in Title 3 of the United States Code2. This report also references congressional precedent and practice. Early congressional precedents on the counting of electoral votes, which may be found in Hinds’ and Cannon’s Precedents of the House of Representatives, are sometimes inconsistent with each other and with more recent practice. This record, coupled with disputes over the electoral count in 1877, provided the impetus for codifying procedure in the 1887 law. Precedents that pre-date the 1887 act may be primarily of historical significance, particularly to the extent that they are inconsistent with express provisions of the 1887 act, as amended.

Due to the absence of specific and persuasive authority on some issues, and in the interest of brevity, this report attempts to at least identify and present some of the possible issues and questions that have been raised, even when not necessarily resolving them by reference to authoritative source material or decisions....
Danger — norms ahead!
posted by cenoxo at 10:15 AM on January 3, 2021 [1 favorite]


I know we've all said this a gazillion times but trump really is like a cheap shopping mall mobster, and he is also dangerous. (WaPo: ‘I just want to find 11,780 votes’: In extraordinary hour-long call, Trump pressures Georgia secretary of state to recalculate the vote in his favor)
“You have a big election coming up and because of what you’ve done to the president -- you know, the people of Georgia know that this was a scam,” Trump said. “Because of what you’ve done to the president, a lot of people aren’t going out to vote, and a lot of Republicans are going to vote negative, because they hate what you did to the president. Okay? They hate it. And they’re going to vote. And you would be respected, really respected, if this can be straightened out before the election.”
posted by mumimor at 10:56 AM on January 3, 2021 [8 favorites]


You can hear the audio yourself where Trump openly calls for the Secretary of State of Georgia to fix the election count for him and threatens various political consequences if he doesn't.
posted by Nelson at 10:58 AM on January 3, 2021 [8 favorites]


He threatens criminal consequences, also: "“That’s a criminal offense,” he said. “And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer.”"
posted by BungaDunga at 11:02 AM on January 3, 2021 [3 favorites]


is it too late to impeach him again?
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:13 AM on January 3, 2021 [4 favorites]


You can hear the audio yourself where Trump openly calls for the Secretary of State of Georgia to fix the election count for him and threatens various political consequences if he doesn't.

Holy shit. I hope Raffensperger has around-the-clock protection.
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:29 AM on January 3, 2021 [1 favorite]


This reboot of The Sopranos has such lousy casting.
posted by PhineasGage at 11:40 AM on January 3, 2021


The call was an hour long. He’s the goddamn president. Make the ask, deliver the threat, and get off the phone. If someone hasn’t agreed to do what you want in the first ten minutes, then they are not going to no matter much you ramble on. To the 70 plus million Americans who voted for this fool, what is the matter with you?
posted by rdr at 2:06 PM on January 3, 2021 [6 favorites]


Man, this call. Telepundits are making more “mob boss” analogies but all I can envision when listening to it is Al Pacino reclining in a fancy, gilt office chair in a bright red business suit. (Though Pacino's Satan could speak any human language effortlessly and was an actual business and legal mastermind, at great odds to the Trump character.)

Seriously, pair it up with some clips of evangelical leaders and elected Nazis testifying that Trump was chosen by God and you have a premium, evocative historical document. It's basically a Medieval morality play in which Trump takes on the role of evil itself and tries every trick of the Devil to tempt the moral abstraction of a civil servant to betray their duty.

In fact, if I was part of a theater group and if it weren't for COVID, I think I'd spirit-glue some horns on and a find a bucket of red body paint and a lady justice and put on a show this very night from just the transcript.
posted by XMLicious at 2:10 PM on January 3, 2021 [5 favorites]


The ‘Red Slime’ Lawsuit That Could Sink Right-Wing Media
This is both hilarious and sad and potentially a big slap in the face to the extremists. But who knows, at this point in time?
posted by mumimor at 2:32 PM on January 3, 2021 [4 favorites]


is it too late to impeach him again?

I don't think so, and I think we should and convict him too. Congress could consequently ban him from holding office. I'm not sure that could keep him from running again, but it would provide a good foundation for charging him with fraud for fundraising if he did.
posted by rochrobbb at 5:44 PM on January 3, 2021 [2 favorites]


All 10 living former defense secretaries: Involving the military in election disputes would cross into dangerous territory, Washington Post Opinions; Ashton Carter, Dick Cheney, William Cohen, Mark Esper, Robert Gates, Chuck Hagel, James Mattis, Leon Panetta, William Perry and Donald Rumsfeld; Jan. 3, 2021 at 10:00 p.m. UTC [*alternate link (Google Webcache)]:
As former secretaries of defense, we hold a common view of the solemn obligations of the U.S. armed forces and the Defense Department. Each of us swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We did not swear it to an individual or a party.

American elections and the peaceful transfers of power that result are hallmarks of our democracy. With one singular and tragic exception that cost the lives of more Americans than all of our other wars combined, the United States has had an unbroken record of such transitions since 1789, including in times of partisan strife, war, epidemics and economic depression. This year should be no exception.

Our elections have occurred. Recounts and audits have been conducted. Appropriate challenges have been addressed by the courts. Governors have certified the results. And the electoral college has voted. The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived.

As senior Defense Department leaders have noted, “there’s no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of a U.S. election.” Efforts to involve the U.S. armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory. Civilian and military officials who direct or carry out such measures would be accountable, including potentially facing criminal penalties, for the grave consequences of their actions on our republic.

Transitions, which all of us have experienced, are a crucial part of the successful transfer of power. They often occur at times of international uncertainty about U.S. national security policy and posture. They can be a moment when the nation is vulnerable to actions by adversaries seeking to take advantage of the situation.

Given these factors, particularly at a time when U.S. forces are engaged in active operations around the world, it is all the more imperative that the transition at the Defense Department be carried out fully, cooperatively and transparently. Acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller and his subordinates — political appointees, officers and civil servants — are each bound by oath, law and precedent to facilitate the entry into office of the incoming administration, and to do so wholeheartedly. They must also refrain from any political actions that undermine the results of the election or hinder the success of the new team.

We call upon them, in the strongest terms, to do as so many generations of Americans have done before them. This final action is in keeping with the highest traditions and professionalism of the U.S. armed forces, and the history of democratic transition in our great country.
Seems serious enough to quote all of it here.
posted by cenoxo at 7:50 PM on January 3, 2021 [9 favorites]


Trump to attend D.C. protests against Congress certifying Biden victory, CNBC, Emma Newburger, 1/3/2021:
  • President Donald Trump on Sunday said he will attend protests in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, the day Congress certifies Electoral College votes and declares President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
  • Demonstrators plan to go to the Washington Monument, Freedom Plaza and the Capitol. ...The Proud Boys, a far-right group that has promoted violence, have vowed to attend incognito.
  • A group of Republican senators and senators-elect are pushing to delay Biden’s certification on Wednesday, an effort that is unlikely to change the Electoral College tally that Biden won 306-232.
DC prepares for Pro-Trump rallies, MPD places new signs reminding people no guns allowed at protests — According to MAGA rally websites, several Pro-Trump rallies are planned in the District leading up to the day Congress is set to certify the election., WUSA9 (Washington, D.C.), Kolbie Satterfield, 1/3/2021:
...In preparation for MAGA supporters to make their way to D.C. new signs have been posted along central rally locations that outline no guns are allowed. WUSA9 found several posts on the website TheDonaldWin encouraging supporters to “bring guns.”

"Members of the public and anyone attending the events are reminded that District law prohibits anyone from carrying a firearm within 1,000 feet of any First Amendment activity," a statement from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said [*]. "Under federal law, it is illegal to possess firearms on the U.S. Capitol grounds and on National Park Service areas, such as Freedom Plaza, the Ellipse, and the National Mall."...the Metropolitan Police Department will be fully activated and she’s instructed District agencies to create a public safety response...
*Link to her full statement: Mayor Bowser Continues Preparation for Upcoming First Amendment Demonstrations, Office of the Mayor, Sunday, January 3, 2021.
posted by cenoxo at 10:01 PM on January 3, 2021 [1 favorite]


So are we at 1936 or 1938?
posted by PhineasGage at 10:18 PM on January 3, 2021 [1 favorite]


somewhere between beerhall putsch and reichstag fire with kristalnacht ambition in vichy drag and a bump stock, the president's best case is havoc of magnitude sufficient to justify martial response.

please be careful, vigilant, safe, (i have requested my loved ones shelter in place) gentle citizens of d.c.
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:02 PM on January 3, 2021


Looking figuratively at Hitler's Rise to Power: A Timeline (scroll down for text list), let’s hope we’re at November 1923’s Beer Hall Putsch and no further. Compared to Mussolini, it’s time to block the March on Rome in October 1922. May all Republican members of the U.S. Congress now remember their oath of office:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
posted by cenoxo at 4:12 AM on January 4, 2021 [1 favorite]


A to-the-point headline from today's Guardian:
Trump's Republicans have dumped Lincoln – they're the Confederacy now

(The article highlights the racial context. But I wish it also focused on the other big thing that drove the Confederacy: the idea that any and all means are valid when it comes to a few rich people making and keeping money, up to and including slavery, breaking apart a country, and mobilizing an entire population to kill and be killed for your right to stay richer than them.)
posted by trig at 4:38 AM on January 4, 2021 [3 favorites]


I've been astonished at the seditionists citing the Hayes/Tilden election of 1876 as precedent. It's a singularly bad moment in American democracy reflecting the absolute worst of Reconstruction.

The reason that election was contested was that white Democrats kept killing and burning out southern Republicans, particularly Black voters. They did so much damage that several states' results were seriously in question. And then the compromise that was struck was to appoint a Republican president, but only after an unwritten agreement that he'd undermine the rest of Reconstruction and let the white Southerners establish a racist, exploitative government. That among other things would immediately deny Black people the right to vote, the very center of the struggle in Reconstruction.

The process was bad and the outcome was bad and the whole thing was painted in racism. And so that's the modern Republicans' model for attempting to overthrow a current vote? One not even disputed by any facts?
posted by Nelson at 8:00 AM on January 4, 2021 [3 favorites]


I've been astonished at the seditionists citing the Hayes/Tilden election of 1876 as precedent.

Ted Cruz wrote the letter citing the 1876 election. Ted Cruz is a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law with an emphasis on constitutional issues. He knows the history and exactly what he is in-citing.
posted by JackFlash at 8:19 AM on January 4, 2021 [6 favorites]


Just to re-emphasize, the Compromise of 1877 was the most corrupt presidential election result in U.S. history. It was one of the most momentous political shifts in U.S. history. In a backroom deal in exchange for the seat in the White House, Republicans gave up being the party of Lincoln, gave up enforcement of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments and turned over the south to the segregationist Democrats and Klu Klux Klan. It was the beginning of a century of vicious Jim Crow segregation and terrorism in the U.S.

That is the legal precedent Ted Cruz is proudly invoking in defense of Donald Trump. It is quite fitting.
posted by JackFlash at 8:48 AM on January 4, 2021 [6 favorites]


Trump’s Authoritarian Moment Is Here, New Yorker, John Cassidy, 1/4/2021:
On Sunday, the Washington Post reported the contents of a lengthy phone call that took place on Saturday between Trump and Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state. Raffensperger is one of the honorable Republicans at the state and local level who have stood up against the President’s efforts to bully them into calling the election for the loser: him. The conversation was a long one—it lasted almost an hour—but the transcript [with audio] shows that this wasn’t the Trump of the campaign trail or the White House press room, endlessly going off on tangents. Throughout the conversation, he remained focussed on his counterfactual narrative—that he carried Georgia easily—and a specific set of demands for Raffensperger....

...this wasn’t Rudy Giuliani standing outside Four Seasons Total Landscaping, in a Philadelphia strip mall. It was the President of the United States speaking from the Oval Office and leaning on a local election official, with the backing of his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, who was also on the call, and a number of other Trump lawyers, including Cleta Mitchell, a partner at the corporate law firm Foley & Lardner.

“The entire call is astonishing,” Michael Bromwich, a former inspector general at the Justice Department, commented on Twitter, after the Post report was published. “The bullying, the threats, the insults, the credulous embrace of discredited conspiracy theories. Like a crime boss, Trump occasionally says that all he wants is the truth. But he doesn’t—he wants the win.”...
posted by cenoxo at 9:44 AM on January 4, 2021 [3 favorites]


JFC Trump is awarding David Nunes the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In 2017, Congressman Nunes launched an investigation into the Obama-Biden administration’s misconduct during the 2016 election – and began to unearth the crime of the century. As a result of his work, he discovered that the infamous Steele Dossier was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. He found that a senior Justice Department attorney was married to one of the architects of the document. He learned that the Obama-Biden administration had issued Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants to spy on President Trump’s campaign and illegitimately unmasked several innocent spying victims for political gain.
Basically he's being rewarded for batshittery.
posted by Mitheral at 11:04 AM on January 4, 2021 [1 favorite]


Not to take anything away from non-Trump winners of these medals, but at some point you have to send them back, don't you? A bit like Eagle Scouts "resigning" after it turned out the leadership was a bunch of scum. You can still take pride in having received the medal when it meant something, but you cannot stand alongside scumbags like Nunes...can you?
posted by maxwelton at 11:21 AM on January 4, 2021




but at some point you have to send them back

Hell no, I wouldn't give mine back if I had one. I was going to say something like the "he's the one who sucks" reason Huffy Puffy posted funnier than me. But also, I'd be able to say I had a pre-Trump medal of freedom, and no more people can ever say that.
posted by ctmf at 12:30 PM on January 4, 2021 [2 favorites]


I'm sure Biden will restore the dignity, so I would just be left with having a NON-Trump medal of freedom. Point is, Trump can't ruin it just by giving it to a few ass-clowns.
posted by ctmf at 12:32 PM on January 4, 2021


I'm sure Biden will restore the dignity...

Biden’s first day on the job, as foreseen by political cartoonist Morten Morland for The Times of London, 11/9/2020. (Here’s a large version to check out the details: note Trump being dragged away by his fingernails in the Oval Office’s lower left window.)
posted by cenoxo at 1:52 PM on January 4, 2021 [6 favorites]


Another Trump last minute before out-the-door-award.

Remember that 41-day armed standoff at Oregon's National Malheur Wildlife Refuge? (Oregon Under Attack: And then there were four). The trigger for the armed occupation was the imprisonment of Dwight Hammond and his son Steven for arson. The Hammonds intentionally set off wildfires during a dangerous fire season behind the lines of firefighters in the field. The firefighters were surprised to turn around from the fire they were fighting to see new flames coming at them from behind, set by the Hammonds. The ostensible motive for the arson was to clear sagebrush from the federal land to improve it for grazing leases from the BLM (Bureau of Land Management).

Trump pardoned the Hammonds, releasing them early from their five-year sentences. But this wasn't enough. The BLM is run by Trump sycophant William Perry, another of those "acting-as" who was never confirmed by the Senate. Perry has sued the federal government over the Endangered Species Act, and is a climate denier and Bundy supporter.

So last week Perry awarded BLM grazing rights to 26,000 acres (40 square miles) of federal land to the same Hammonds who illegally set fire to these same lands and went to jail for it. There is a 14-day comment period, but that will be up before Trump leaves office on the 21st. Incidentally, the lease rate is a buck thirty-five a month per cow/calf pair.
posted by JackFlash at 6:23 PM on January 4, 2021 [7 favorites]


^Bridge Creek Area Allotment Management Plan; FAQ updated today:

Who, specifically, is considered a qualified applicant:
Applicants must meet the mandatory qualification requirements found in 43 CFR 4110.1. These requirements include ownership or control over base property and a satisfactory record of performance in the determination of the authorized officer. An applicant must also be: a citizen of the United States or have properly filed a valid declaration of intention to become a citizen or a valid petition for naturalization; a group or association authorized to conduct business in Oregon, all member of which own or control base property; or corporation authorized to conduct business in Oregon. An eligible applicant must have a clean record of performance within the last 3 years to be considered.

Hammond Ranches had its federal grazing permit revoked on Dec. 20, 2019: Neither [former Interior Secretary Ryan] Zinke or the U.S. Bureau of Land Management made a finding that the Hammonds were in “substantial compliance’’ with federal grazing regulations or had a “satisfactory history of performance’’ as required, the judge found. “Secretary Zinke simply avoided the issue altogether. Under federal law and agency regulations, he may not do this,’’ Simon wrote in a 41-page ruling issued after he heard oral arguments on Thursday.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:59 PM on January 4, 2021 [1 favorite]


Yep, a judge rejected the Hammonds permit in 2019, for good reason, but they are back again for last minute try with a new Secretary of the Interior and BLM manager.
posted by JackFlash at 7:36 PM on January 4, 2021


Yes, a permit renewal is baked into the new plan. The fires were in 2001 and 2006, the Hammonds were on trial in 2012, the stand-off (which they disavowed) was in 2016, and the pardon was in 2018. (Hammond criminal activity dates back decades.) The BLM FAQ link and the 2019 article is for anyone interested in submitting a comment in the 14-day period and in search of a talking point meeting the "within last three years" thing -- which is where I was, after reading your nifty 9:23 p.m. comment.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:45 PM on January 4, 2021 [2 favorites]


To our discussion about Hayes/Tilden and 1876, this Twitter thread from a historian is worth reading.
We need to talk about how Trump and the GOP are marketing themselves as the Southern Fire-Eaters who spurred secession and the Civil War and how that time bizarrely mirrors our own. ...

It's not a coincidence that, as the political moment has shifted away from the GOP, they've begun filling their ads with flashes of weapons and veiled threats of violence.
posted by Nelson at 10:35 AM on January 5, 2021 [2 favorites]


Another unasked-for episode of Trump's Mirror. As recently as Sunday, Trump tweeted that COVID-19 statistics are "far exaggerated" in the US, a popular conspiracy theory [see Debunking the False Claim That COVID Death Counts Are Inflated, Scientific American, January 2021], and today seeks a dismissal of his niece's September 2020 lawsuit, alleging that she's the conspiracy-theory fan.

U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit claiming he defrauded his niece out of an inheritance worth tens of millions of dollars, accusing her of embracing “conspiracy theories” in her quest to consume him with lawsuits after he leaves the White House. (Reuters, Jan. 5, 2021) The president’s lawyers said Mary Trump [the 55-year-old psychologist who authored "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man”] gave up her claims in a 2001 settlement with family members over the estate of his father Fred Trump Sr, who died in 1999. They also said Mary Trump waited too long to accuse Donald Trump, his sister Maryanne Trump Barry and his late brother Robert Trump of trying to “squeeze” her out of her inheritance, relying instead on a 2018 New York Times report on tax matters involving the family.

Mary L. Trump's Sept. 24, 2020 filing.

President Trump’s niece sues him, other relatives, alleging they cheated her out of millions in inheritance (WaPo cached link, Sept. 24, 2020): Mary Trump’s father, Fred Trump Jr., was the oldest of President Trump’s siblings. He died in his 40s when she was a teenager. Her three older relatives “committed to watch over [Mary Trump’s] interests as fiduciaries,” the lawsuit says. “They lied.” [...] According to the lawsuit, the Trump siblings took control of their father’s massive real estate portfolio in his declining years, as he was suffering from dementia. It alleges they siphoned money from him before his death, and then filtered funds through a sham company and other means to reduce their inheritance tax liability.

The defendants “devalued” properties that included Mary Trump’s financial interests, which minimized the worth of her assets and ultimately affected what she was paid, the lawsuit alleges. It claims she was then misled by her family with the assistance of her trustee, Irwin Durben, a longtime family attorney whose true loyalty was to the Trumps who were running the business. Durben died in 2016, the suit says. [...] It is unclear why the lawsuit was filed now, but Mary Trump is probably approaching a statute-of-limitations deadline. The New York Times investigation published two years ago next month, and fraud claims typically need to be filed within two years.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:34 PM on January 5, 2021 [1 favorite]


Speaking of the actual best people... can we have three cheers for Black voters? And the activists who electrify them, and even the major political party establishment types who electrify them?

I have no doubt that, like in the case of Alabama vs. pedophile rapist white supremacist Republican Roy Moore in 2017, we're going to find out that in the Georgia elections mentioned in Trump's call there was again something like 99% turnout among eligible Black voters. My own shortcomings meant I couldn't quite see it until the last few years, but the investment of Black voters in American democracy during the past century is pretty much the primary reason why we have anything nice at all in the present, and why we aren't yet living in the Fourth Reich.

And Republicans do know that, and that's why they've exercised every Democracy-undermining trick in the book for voter suppression, because it's not hypothetical or statistical modeling or anything, it really actually does matter down to every single voter they can specifically obstruct from voting.

Black Panther has of course been all the rage in recent years, and Wakanda Forever!, and white heroes were anointed before him, but to me it's Black voters who are the real American superheroes. And in what Jon Stewart &co called the Meth Labs of Democracy, they've been trying to make kryptonite.
posted by XMLicious at 1:57 PM on January 6, 2021 [1 favorite]


Executive Branch Legal Process and the Self-Pardon, Lawfare, Bob Bauer & Jack Goldsmith; January 9, 2021:
It remains a possibility that President Trump will pardon himself before leaving office. So perhaps it is useful to reflect on the legal advice that the president might, or might not, seek or receive on this question, and the potential consequences of the choices open to him.

No president has issued a self-pardon. No judicial decision has discussed the issue. The pardon power in Article II is qualified in only two ways: It is limited to federal crimes, and it cannot be used “in Cases of Impeachment.” Some scholars infer from this structure—the silence about self-pardons, and the express exception closing off pardons as a defense against impeachment—that self-pardons are allowed.

Others argue—based on founding history, or the bilateral nature of the act of pardoning, or the fact that someone removed from office by judgment of impeachment can “nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law”—that self-pardons are not allowed. There is nothing close to a scholarly consensus on self-pardons. The truth, as Keith Whittington notes, is that “validity of a presidential self-pardon is an issue of genuine uncertainty.”
...
The first question is whether Trump will seek legal advice before deciding whether it is lawful to pardon himself. He basically has three options: Ask the Justice Department (that is, OLC [Office of Legal Counsel]) for its views (directly or through the White House counsel); ask White House Counsel Pat Cipollone for his views, independent of what OLC thinks, or in addition to what OLC thinks; or ask some private attorney—Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell or Jay Sekulow....
More details in the article.
posted by cenoxo at 7:53 AM on January 10, 2021


Lisa Montgomery wasn't even alive the last time the Federal government executed a woman in 1953. Now she has become the 11th person put to death by the Trump DoJ.
posted by Mitheral at 1:57 PM on January 13, 2021


Biden’s first day on the job, as foreseen by political cartoonist Morten Morland for The Times of London, 11/9/2020.

Well, that was prescient.
posted by Mchelly at 4:34 AM on January 14, 2021


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