Footnote (and John Eastman’s 6 point plan for Pence to steal the stolen election on January 6 for himself and his boss)

Trump has no friends, his type never does. They regard men as base coin to gratify their passions, in a phrase used to describe Napoleon’s attitude toward other humans. Some humans’ blindly driving ambition is useful, can greatly benefit the man who knows how to skillfully use others to his own advantage. As base coin, these ambitious types can be cast away at any time and replaced by other tarnished instruments.

Nobody truly likes a deeply damaged, loveless motherfucker [1] like our former president except for ambitious lackeys and angry mobs. Angry mobs adore his relentless in-your-face, norm and common decency smashing assault on liberals, queers, mass media, disloyal party members, Muslims, Mexicans, women of color, disloyal Jews, Blacks, cripples, losers, non-Scandanavian immigrants, socialists, anti-fascists, etc. He rules his spineless, platformless (2020 RNC platform — whatever the big guy wants) party by terror. The famously vindictive man’s sure, vicious revenge, guaranteed to be visited on anyone opposing his will, is a constantly reinforced reminder that he will not be opposed, no matter how insane his demands. Here’s the thing:

This particular angry, boastful, lying Orange maniac did not invent any of the corrupt, lying, authoritarian routine he practices, and while he certainly wasn’t their first choice, radical right billionaires have found their audacious front man to be very useful for their larger purpose, keeping everyone distracted and enraged as they game democracy to protect the privileges of vast inherited wealth in perpetuity. This Orange Polyp, since he is a malignant narcissist and an amoral opportunist, is their go to guy in the war of the few to keep hold of everything, in the face of the rising threat of the John Birch and Federalist Society’s great enemy, ‘majoritarian tyranny’.

Here is what former Trump lawyer John Eastman [2] advised Trump to do in a two page Privileged and Confidential memo entitled Scenario for January 6. This is the action plan part of what Glenn Kirscher and many others have called a blueprint for insurrection.

1. VP Pence, presiding over the joint session (or Senate Pro Tempore Grassley, if Pence recuses himself), begins to open and count the ballots, starting with Alabama (without conceding that the procedure, specified by the Electoral Count Act, of going through the States alphabetically is required).

2. When he gets to Arizona, he announces that he has multiple slates of electors, and so is going to defer decision on that until finishing the other States. This would be the first break with the procedure set out in the Act.

3. At the end, he announces that because of the ongoing disputes in the 7 States, there are no electors that can be deemed validly appointed in those States. That means the total number of “electors appointed” – the language of the 12th Amendment — is 454. This reading of the 12th Amendment has also been advanced by Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe (here). A “majority of the electors appointed” would therefore be 228. There are at this point 232 votes for Trump, 222 votes for Biden. Pence then gavels President Trump as re-elected.

4. Howls, of course, from the Democrats, who now claim, contrary to Tribe’s prior position, that 270 is required. So Pence says, fine. Pursuant to the 12th Amendment, no candidate has achieved the necessary majority. That sends the matter to the House, where the “the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote . . . .” Republicans currently control 26 of the state delegations, the bare majority needed to win that vote. President Trump is re-elected there as well.

5. One last piece. Assuming the Electoral Count Act process is followed and, upon getting the objections to the Arizona slates, the two houses break into their separate chambers, we should not allow the Electoral Count Act constraint on debate to control. That would mean that a prior legislature was determining the rules of the present one — a constitutional no-no (as Tribe has forcefully argued). So someone – Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, etc. – should demand normal rules (which includes the filibuster). That creates a stalemate that would give the state legislatures more time to weigh in to formally support the alternate slate of electors, if they had not already done so.

6. The main thing here is that Pence should do this without asking for permission – either from a vote of the joint session or from the Court. Let the other side challenge his actions in court, where Tribe (who in 2001 conceded the President of the Senate might be in charge of counting the votes) and others who would press a lawsuit would have their past position — that these are non-justiciable political questions – thrown back at them, to get the lawsuit dismissed. The fact is that the Constitution assigns this power to the Vice President as the ultimate arbiter. We should take all of our actions with that in mind.

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NOTHING TO PROSECUTE ANYONE FOR, ON MY SIDE!!! TOTAL WITCH HUNT!

[1]

Of course, sometimes motherfucker simply means motherfucker, but a few words are in order about using this vulgar and inflammatory phrase to describe a vulgar man who treats others like his slaves.

My father, during a few years of my school life, taught a group dynamics seminar where, at one point, he asked Black kids and White kids to give their thoughts on the word “motherfucker.” It’s origin on the plantation, of course, was a guy like Thomas Jefferson, rich, powerful, entitled, who, if he found your mother beautiful, was at liberty to fuck her, since he actually owned her body and controlled her actions. If a child was born, the motherfucker owned another slave, it was win-win for him. So the term was always ambiguous and multi-edged for male slaves on the plantation, you hated the motherfucker, but also, damn.

My father asked an Italian gang leader from a Brooklyn high school what the word motherfucker meant to him.

That’s the last word you hear before the fists start flying and the chains and gravity knives come out,” he said, looking across at the Puerto Rican and Black gang leaders. The Black kid smirked. My father asked him what ‘motherfucker’ meant to him.

Where I come from ‘motherfucker’ is one of the most useful and versatile words we have,” he said. “Contrary to the usage given by my Italian-American colleague over there, it doesn’t generally mean I want to fight you, unless I say it right before I’m going to fight a motherfucker. In that case, I use it as a deliberate provocation, otherwise it means a lot of things, depending on the context.”

For example?

The late great John Coltrane played like a motherfucker. Miles Davis is a motherfucker. Are you crazy, motherfucker? That motherfucker is hilarious. Motherfucker… please… That algebra test was a motherfucker. This motherfucker thinks his shit don’t stink. That motherfucker can’t take a joke. Relax, motherfucker. Motherfuckers were dancing in the street. Motherfucker be like…” and he imitated an idiosyncratic motherfucker they all knew.

My favorite dictionary definition of all-time is Merriam-Webster’s explanation of the word ‘squeamish’: “Exhibiting a prudish readiness to be nauseated.” This language-scrupulous Caucasian motherfucker has a prudish readiness to be nauseated by the word ‘motherfucker,’ and also by the unexpurgated ‘n-word’ and the common ‘f-word’. Oh, my.

[2]

Eastman spoke at the January 6 rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol. He retired from his position as a professor at Chapman University a week after January 6, which occurred amid protests from faculty at the Southern California university over his participation in Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.

Eastman told the Washington Post that his memo merely “explored all options that had been proposed.” In an interview on Tuesday, Eastman told CNN that the two-page memo had been only a preliminary draft. He provided CNN with a longer six-page memo laying out numerous other scenarios for Pence to follow on January 6. Eastman told CNN that during the January 4 meeting he’d had in the Oval Office with Trump and Pence, he had told Pence he should only delay certifying votes in the seven states, not try to throw the election to Trump.

The reality, however, is that a delay was simply another avenue to stop Biden from taking office.

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Did someone say Seditious Conspiracy?

According to a Mother Jones article, entitled FBI Seizes Oath Keeper Lawyer’s Phone in “Seditious Conspiracy” Investigation, the Department of Justice is looking into Seditious Conspiracy charges in connection with the January 6 MAGA riot to stop the final certification of Biden’s victory/Trump’s electoral loss. You will google this story in vain, no other media has published a peep about this search warrant or the investigation into Seditious Conspiracy.

Glenn Kirschner did a piece on the warrant and the seditious conspiracy investigation at the time, based on the Mother Jones reporting, and noted that it is encouraging, a sign that the DOJ is putting its prosecutorial ducks in a row for a real prosecution of the conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election. It is a conspiracy there is ample, public evidence for. The evidence demonstrates intent, the involvement of numerous co-conspirators, and dark money funders of the conspiracy [1], with new pieces of graphic evidence emerging daily.

Yesterday we had this one from the NY Times, about a legal memo outlining various vote fraud conspiracy theories and explaining why they were unfounded, conspiracy theories that, though debunked, were nonetheless lyingly deployed in the conspiracy to overturn, and steal the “stolen” election. After Trump’s team got this memo, on November 13, dismissing as baseless each of these wild counterfactual conspiracies, they went to court to make meritless legal claims based on information they knew to be false. The Times report begins:

Two weeks after the 2020 election, a team of lawyers closely allied with Donald J. Trump held a widely watched news conference at the Republican Party’s headquarters in Washington. At the event, they laid out a bizarre conspiracy theory claiming that a voting machine company had worked with an election software firm, the financier George Soros and Venezuela to steal the presidential contest from Mr. Trump.

But there was a problem for the Trump team, according to court documents released on Monday evening.

By the time the news conference occurred on Nov. 19, Mr. Trump’s campaign had already prepared an internal memo on many of the outlandish claims about the company, Dominion Voting Systems, and the separate software company, Smartmatic. The memo had determined that those allegations were untrue.

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The legal memo referred to in the article (and linked to above) examines claims like the CEO of Dominion Voting Machines having ties to Antifa. It concludes he does not. The memo appears to be silent on Q’s role in the resurrection of a dead Venezuelan socialist and his apparent zombie involvement in the stealing of the disputed election for Chinese Communist Puppet Biden, with the assistance of Italian anti-democracy hackers. No connection was found, the memo reported, between Dominion Voting Machines and the notorious, shady, sneaky, radical Communist Jew George Soros.

One troubling aspect of the memo Glenn Kirschner referred to as a blueprint for insurrection (wait, that was the other memo, written by former law professor, then Trump-lawyer John Eastman, which described an insane claim Pence could make to swing the election to Trump on January 6– I’ll put a link to this batshit crazy memo in a future post [2]), is its heavy reliance on the NY Times and Washington Post to dispute claims Trump and his followers continue to make. Like so (though this bit cites AP):

What the hell’s up with that? Trump lawyers citing the fake media?!!!

Here’s the text of the law, 18 USC Section 2384, Seditious Conspiracy:

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. For a seditious conspiracy charge to be effected, a crime need only be planned, it need not be actually attempted.

Let’s look at just a few elements of the conspiracy to use force to prevent, hinder or delay the execution of law of the United States (note, the Trump-incited MAGA riot tried to prevent, and succeeded in hindering and delaying, the vote certification that is the last official act by Congress to ensure the peaceful transfer of power).

A president loses his bid for re-election, but not to worry. He has set the stage for contesting the results, by repeatedly claiming the only way he could lose was by massive voter fraud. There has been no proof of widespread voter fraud in any American election in recent decades. The diligent, ideologically-driven fraud hunting voter fraud myth promoters that support people like the former president have found about 1 fraudulent vote per million, according to their database that goes back to 1982. The candidate brought literally hundreds (300?) cases in various courts before the election, attempting to limit the number of ballots that could be cast in contested states.

Low turnout has historically helped his minority party. His hand-picked Postmaster General, a “mega-donor” to his campaign, took valiant, brazen steps to slow the mail and limit the votes in urban districts, places the president and his gunsel had designated enemy territory– Anarchist Jurisdictions — by removing and dismantling high speed mail-sorting machines. The former president’s cabinet level supporters constantly warned the public of unfounded, but theoretically possible, potential massive electoral fraud in urban Anarchist Jurisdictions where the former president was understandably hated for simply protecting his religious, rural base.

The election featured massive voter turnout, the largest in American history, during a pandemic that was surging as the election got closer. Every attempt was made by the Republican National Committee to thwart mail-in voting, the safe from of voting favored by anti-Covid Democrats. Republicans, the pro-freedom, pro-COVID party, were willing to show up in numbers, in person, maskless and proud, to support their candidate. To the dismay of the MAGA faithful, record numbers of Democrats stood on line for hours, masked and keeping a safe distance on line, to vote in person. Trump bragged about getting the most votes ever for an incumbent, 74,000,000, which was true, oddly enough. As for the record 81,000,000 votes his opponent got — fake news! Fraud. Communists, anarchists, antifascists, Antifa!!! and other enemies, plotting, stealing and lying, as they always do. The former president lost every one of the sixty post-election cases his myrmidons brought in various courts, he lost for lack of evidence, for lack of any credible legal claim. Fake judges, disloyal, sickening, a conspiracy against a great president, an ongoing miscarriage of justice!

All of this is well-known, by anybody who does not live in Rupert Murdoch’s echo chamber (or the unimaginably even more fair and balanced Newsmax, OANN, Breitbart, Der Sturmer). Then, on January 6, the day a joint session of Congress officially certifies the election, results of which were recounted, more than once, in more than one state the former president lost, the Orange Polyp plans a rally. A huge, wild rally he tweets to his followers they must attend. A gigantic crowd shows up, spurred, in part, by $50,000,000 in ad buys to promote the stolen election. Say that again? FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS IN ADS (PAID FOR BY “DARK MONEY”) TO CONVINCE AMERICANS THE ELECTION HAD BEEN STOLEN [3]. Before the stirring speeches about a stolen landslide victory and the need to fight like hell to take back our country, a stirring propaganda video, portraying American carnage and Trump as our only savior, was played on a giant screen behind the bulletproofed podium in front of the barricaded White House where the president would deliver the final remarks prior to the march on the Capitol [4].

The large crowd that marched down to the Capitol, along with Trump himself, thankfully, did not all choose to break the law by attacking police and storming the building. Had the entire crowd surged in behind the violent leaders it is likely that many lives would have been lost in the fight for the Capitol. An unknown number of the boldest and most violent, an estimated 800, stormed the building to disrupt the final certification of Trump’s loss. Bands roamed the halls calling for Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi, to kill them and decapitate the line of succession (apparently they hadn’t googled “third in line” or they’d have also been after President pro tempore of the Senate, Chuck Grassley). When the National Guard finally arrived hours later, after Capitol police had been instructed not to use anti-riot gear against the surging MAGA mob, and surrounded the building, they did not corral and mass arrest the hundreds who had broken down barricades and assaulted the police, as the law-abiding among us might have assumed, the pro-Trump mob was allowed to peacefully disperse. Eventually about 600 of these folks were tracked down and arrested, charged with various fairly minor crimes. The first plea deals have been made with a small wave of these defendants.

America heard Trump violate every letter of the Georgia law in a recording of the early January call when he tried to cajole, influence, threaten, convince, persuade, pressure, intimidate, and otherwise move Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger to give him a break and just “find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have.” No consequence, nine months later, though there is an ongoing criminal investigation in Fulton County that has not been reported on since the grand jury was convened in April. So, why WOULDN’T Trump try again with Raffensberger, this time with an even bolder lie?

When the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse story broke, a couple of grunts, who’d taken selfies with prisoners they were humiliating, per the directives of Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, were eventually prosecuted and thrown into prison. The architects of the torture program, those who wrote the tortured legal justification for illegal “enhanced interrogation” (it’s not torture unless the pain is like organ failure) and war mongers like Dick “Other Priorities” Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld who gave the orders for Americans to “go to the dark side”, after ensuring secrecy at torture sites, suffered no consequences at all, outside of lifetime university tenure (John Fucking Yoo), a lifetime federal judgeship (Jay Fucking Bybee) and other honors, along with their comfortable lives.

So you can convict a bunch of zealous, hopped up grunts in Trump’s ragtag, extra-legal army, put a few in jail, but how does this do anything to prevent the repeat of this kind of violent putsch? Without holding the planners, organizers, funders and inciters of the riot accountable, and prosecuting them for instigating a seditious riot, the hope for avoiding the next one is approximately… none. We learned that $3,500,000 was paid to the organizers of the “event” — who, exactly, got paid, for what [3]? Why no charges for seditious conspiracy against the rioters who stormed and defaced the Capitol to prevent the peaceful transfer of power?

We learn:

Last summer, then-Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen sent a memo allowing federal prosecutors to consider sedition charges against police reform demonstrators, particularly in Portland, Oregon, where clashes between rioters and federal authorities raged outside a federal courthouse. It was never used.

But the memo said the Justice Department believed the statute doesn’t require proof of a plot to overthrow the government and could also be used when a defendant tries to oppose the government’s authority by force.

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Fair is fair, justice is justice, the status quo is the status quo and good enough will just have to do. Merrick Garland was tearful at his confirmation hearing, expressing gratitude for this beloved country that had rescued his family from death at the hands of a prior iteration of Trumpism, back in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. So far, scrupulous about appearing fair and impartial, he has not shown the stomach to stand up in the fight against unprincipled zealots, united behind clearly disprovable lies, and ready to do whatever it takes to make this country great again, including physically attacking and massacring whatever hated enemies need to be taken out of the way, including many Blue Lives Matter traitors, or generals, who believe the rule of law is more important than allowing a very stable genius to continue his world-changing work of making this country great again.

[1]

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island who has tracked the flow of dark money in American politics, told me that a “flotilla of front groups” once focussed on advancing such conservative causes as capturing the courts and opposing abortion have now “more or less shifted to work on the voter-suppression thing.” These groups have cast their campaigns as high-minded attempts to maintain “election integrity,” but Whitehouse believes that they are in fact tampering with the guardrails of democracy.

One of the movement’s leaders is the Heritage Foundation, the prominent conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. It has been working with the American Legislative Exchange Council (alec)—a corporate-funded nonprofit that generates model laws for state legislators—on ways to impose new voting restrictions. Among those deep in the fight is Leonard Leo, a chairman of the Federalist Society, the legal organization known for its decades-long campaign to fill the courts with conservative judges. In February, 2020, the Judicial Education Project, a group tied to Leo, quietly rebranded itself as the Honest Elections Project, which subsequently filed briefs at the Supreme Court, and in numerous states, opposing mail-in ballots and other reforms that have made it easier for people to vote.

Another newcomer to the cause is the Election Integrity Project California. And a group called FreedomWorks, which once concentrated on opposing government regulation, is now demanding expanded government regulation of voters, with a project called the National Election Protection Initiative.

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[2]

We now know that Donald Trump’s scheme to steal the 2020 election was put into writing, and we can all read it. Call it the Trump coup memo: John Eastman, a lawyer representing Trump, wrote a memo outlining how Vice President Pence could supposedly subvert Trump’s election loss in Congress on Jan. 6, the day of the violent mob assault on the Capitol.

After the news broke that this memo existed, CNN posted the full text online. It further underscores the argument that schemes like this one illustrate the need for reforming how Congress counts the electoral college votes, lest something like this succeed in the future.

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[3]

What fraction of the money Mr. Trump did spend after the election was plowed mostly into a public-relations campaign and to keep his perpetual fund-raising machine whirring, with nearly $50 million going toward online advertising, text-message outreach and a small television ad campaign.

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[4]

I’d never seen this video, until more than a month after the riot. The two minute propaganda video, apparently narrated by Trump himself and fired up with a triumphant hiphop soundtrack, begins at 1 minute 19 in this youTube, and resumes at 6:56, 8:54 and afterwards.

Bush v. Gore 2001 and the oringes of the “Independent State Legislature Doctrine”

Would it surprise anyone to learn that in Florida prior to the 2000 election, the one that the Supreme Court declared Bush/Cheney had won by 537 votes in Florida once they ordered vote recounting stopped, 100,000 voters had been purged from the Florida voter rolls? Shades of candidate Brian Kemp using the power of his office to purge more Georgia voters than that when he narrowly defeated Stacey Abrams in Georgia. Voter purges alone will not allow the radical GOP to keep winning close elections in the face of “majoritarian tyranny”.

The party that represents less than half the country needs a hard hitting legal theory that sounds damned constitutional, or at least is good enough for a Federalist Society 6-3 win on Biden’s high court, made the law of the land in a narrowly tailored, unappealable summary opinion by Boof Kavanaugh or fellow nonpartisan, non-ideological constitutional scholar Amy Coney Barrett. That’s where the so-called Independent State Legislature Doctrine comes in.

The Independent State Legislature Doctrine allows a minority party that controls a state by permissible partisan gerrymandering (6-3 says you have to prove the gerrymandering is intentionally racist to successfully challenge it, nothing wrong with partisan officials using their power to benefit their party) to overrule the will of the rest of the state’s voters, just like the Orange Polyp kept demanding after losing in 2020.

The great Jane Mayer traces the origins of this controversial theory from the unprecedented, one-off 5-4 party-line 2001 Supreme Court decision that gave the presidency to a man who’d lost the popular vote:

Like many conservatives of her generation, Cleta Mitchell was galvanized by the disputed 2000 election, in which George W. Bush and Al Gore battled for weeks over the outcome in Florida. She repeatedly spoke out on behalf of Bush, who won the state by only five hundred and thirty-seven votes. A dispute over recounts ended up at the Supreme Court.

Few people noticed at the time, but in that case, Bush v. Gore, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, along with Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, hinted at a radical reading of the Constitution that, two decades later, undergirds many of the court challenges on behalf of Trump. In a concurring opinion, the Justices argued that state legislatures have the plenary power to run elections and can even pass laws giving themselves the right to appoint electors. Today, the so-called Independent Legislature Doctrine has informed Trump and the right’s attempts to use Republican-dominated state legislatures to overrule the popular will. Nathaniel Persily, an election-law expert at Stanford, told me, “It’s giving intellectual respectability to an otherwise insane, anti-democratic argument.”

Barack Obama’s election in 2008 made plain that the voting-rights wars were fueled, in no small part, by racial animus. Bigoted conspiracists, including Trump, spent years trying to undermine the result by falsely claiming that Obama wasn’t born in America. Birtherism, which attempted to undercut a landmark election in which the turnout rate among Black voters nearly matched that of whites, was a progenitor of the Big Lie. As Penda Hair, a founder of the Advancement Project, a progressive voting-rights advocacy group, told me, conservatives were looking at Obama’s victory “and saying, ‘We’ve got to clamp things down’—they’d always tried to suppress the Black vote, but it was then that they came up with new schemes.” . . .

. . . In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a key section of the Voting Rights Act, eliminating the Justice Department’s power to screen proposed changes to election procedures in states with discriminatory histories, one of which was Arizona. Terry Goddard, a former Arizona attorney general and a Democrat, told me that “the state has a history of voter suppression, especially against Native Americans.” Before Rehnquist became a Supreme Court Justice, in 1971, he lived in Arizona, where he was accused of administering literacy tests to voters of color. In the mid-two-thousands, Goddard recalled, Republican leaders erected many barriers aimed at deterring Latino voters, some of which the courts struck down. But the 2013 Supreme Court ruling initiated a new era of election manipulation.

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And note the raft of voter suppression laws that were ready to become law in Republican controlled states immediately after John Roberts pulled that legally and ethically shaky yet unappealable Shelby County opinion out of his learned, corporate lawyer ass. Although he pretended Congress hadn’t studied a mass of recent data in many hearings before reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act with stunning bipartisan numbers [1], 98-0 in the Senate, and the law was enthusiastically signed by George Dubya Bush, Roberts rested his decision on the crackpot idea that racism is no longer a factor in American voting since we had elected a what used to be called mulatto as president (was not Obama as “white” as he was Black? anywhere but in a racist society, the People rest).

the justices [three of the 5-4 majority in Bush v. Gore] argued that state legislatures have the plenary power to run elections and can even pass laws giving themselves the right to appoint electors

This is a quoted by Jennifer Rubin in her excellent recent op-ed in the Washington Post:

The benefit of technical arguments under the independent state legislature doctrine to subvert election results is that they have an aura of respectability and expertise. Lawyers in fine suits making legalistic arguments are much more appealing than desperate lawyers making unsubstantiated claims of ballot box stuffing and other chicanery. The doctrine would be a strong vehicle for a bloodless coup.

The theory reminds me of the one that says the vice-president, a candidate for re-election who has seemingly lost his bid, has the power to overrule the states trying to certify vote tallies that go against him. A good theory, I suppose, if you have a cushioned extremist majority on an ideologically packed Supreme Court, tens of millions of angry, credulous adrenalized citizens addicted to the incendiary outpourings of right wing mass media, a Department of Justice too high-minded to prosecute a powerful scofflaw demagogue [2] who continues to spray gasoline on the many fires he set, and, in a pinch, a violent, well-funded mob ready to riot again any time they are called on to stand by. And when you’re a huge star, and the organizer, promoter and funder of a riot in the Capitol to forcibly stop the peaceful transfer of power, they let you do, it’s true, they let you do it!

[1]

Only when you read Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent in Shelby County v. Holder (another magnificent piece of clear, precise legal and moral logic) do you realize the audacity of the Roberts majority’s legal sleight of hand. You learn that the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act was passed, after 21 hearings and 15,000 pages of evidence of ongoing discrimination in the states under preclearance, by a vote of 390-33 in the House and, after further debate, 98 to 0 in the Senate. Reading the John Roberts decision you’d have no reason to suspect that President George W. Bush signed the reauthorization into law a week later, as Ginsburg writes:

recognizing the need for “further work . . . in the fight against injustice,” and calling the reauthorization “an example of our continued commitment to a united America where every person is valued and treated with dignity and respect.” 

[2]

This particular angry, boastful, lying Orange madman did not invent any of the shit he practices, and while he certainly wasn’t their first choice, radical right billionaires have found their audacious front man to be very useful for their larger purpose, gaming democracy to protect the privileges of vast inherited wealth in perpetuity. This Orange Polyp, since he is a malignant narcissist and an amoral opportunist, is their go to guy in the war of the few to keep hold of everything.

From Heather Cox Richardson

For his part, Trump does not want to wait until 2022 for a change in government. On Friday, he wrote to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger charging that 43,000 Georgia ballots were “invalid.” He called for Raffensperger to decertify the 2020 election “and announce the true winner,” warning that the nation “is being systematically destroyed by an illegitimate president and his administration.” 

Trump is under criminal investigation in Georgia for his previous attempts to overturn the state’s election results.

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Department of Let’s Let Bygones be Bygones

Glenn Kirschner has been promoting the indisputable idea, with everything we’ve seen the last six years or so, where norms and all pretense of fair play are thrown into the shitter along with all other democratic values, that justice matters. “Justice matters” is Glenn’s mantra and coat of arms, and he’s been fighting a hard public fight to encourage his former employer, the US Department of Justice, to pursue accountability for crimes like Seditious Conspiracy for the conspirators who planned, funded and facilitated the January 6th MAGA riot.

Usually the man to turn to for encouragement after some really bad MAGA news, sometimes even Glenn Kirschner gets discouraged, which is heartbreaking to see, but at the same time, it shows that even the most dogged fighter for justice just gets frustrated and tired sometimes. Here he is asking a simple and basic question, and right back on the case the next day:

Here is the video the clip is from:

here is today’s:

Joe Manchin, moderate coal executive and ALEC member

Excellent portrait of the consummate moderately right wing sack of shit, member of the far right corporate American Legislative Exchange Council, coal broker and chairman of the Senate Energy and National Resources Committee, this podcast, which Robert Reich heard and excerpted this from:

https://theintercept.com/2021/09/10/deconstructed-joe-manchin-west-virginia-cant-wait/

Corporate Media finally not mincing words, eight months later…

I don’t know why this sort of straightforward piece of reporting was not done in January, or February, when it was well known that Trump and his surrogates had made numerous public and private attempts to coerce state officials to change vote tallies, before finally inciting a deadly riot to try to #Stop the Steal. It is now clear, from Barr and his successor as AG, that Trump knew he was lying about the rigged, stolen election, as Barr had been when he claimed, over and over, without any evidence at all (the evidence points to the extreme, statistically insignificant rarity of US voter fraud) that it was “obvious’ mail-in voting was open to “massive” fraud, as Trump mega-donor Postmaster Looey DeJoy slowed the mail to a crawl by dismantling mail sorting machines ahead of the pandemic election of 2020. Can you say Seditious Conspiracy?

I know it’s a cardinal rule of corporate media to avoid conflict that could lead to alienating sponsors. A supremely unfortunate bottom-line rule when it comes to news reporting, because instead of real-time action against outrages against us all, we have a sort of long, polite, deliberative, institutional pause (as right wing radicals continue to scheme and act), followed by a historical recap that, nine months or a year later, might as well pertain to the Byzantine Empire as far as the average American is concerned. But the other day we finally had this:

Former President Trump and his inner circle were using all the powers of the presidential office to wage a high-pressure campaign, CNN’s Drew Griffin reports — not to stop the steal but to start it.

you can see and hear the well-known details here, which includes the rare editorial use of “lying” for “knowingly false” “misleading” “incorrect” and all the other euphemisms that corporate media employs to avoid ascribing intent to the actions of allegedly criminal pieces of shit:

Greed, intolerance and endless rage

Of course the Trump RNC is threatening to sue Biden for using his power to try to stop surging COVID-19 by getting more of the 80,000,000 reluctant Americans vaccinated (hello Sidney Powell). Vaccines, masks and other health precautions have been weaponized by the malignant Orange Polyp in the course of his ordinary duties as the 45th president.

Recall that the RNC had a single plank in their 2020 party platform: support whatever Trump says. They,’ve kept that promise, big time.

The Trump RNC represents the lowest impulses of humanity: greed, intolerance and limitless rage (also smug entitlement to privilege). And they’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie!

Lying in the service of truth is no vice when your enemies rape children and drink their blood, to paraphrase Barry Goldwater.

Two minutes on Robert E. Lee

One from the What the fucking Fuck? Department, a traitor who led an army against the nation he swore an oath to protect, a guy who told his fellow rebel generals to stand down after his surrender at Appomattox, of whom Ulysses S. Grant said [1]:

“setting an example of forced acquiescence so grudging and pernicious in its effects as to be hardly realized”

is depicted on a stained glass window in the Washington National Cathedral. Go pray under that window, if you’re feeling inspired (you’d have to go back in time, to any day between 1953 and 2017 when this window, and the one to fellow Confederate General Stonewall Jackson –accidentally killed by his own troops– were finally taken down [2]).

Among his posthumous honors:

Robert E. Lee has been commemorated on U.S. postage stamps at least five times, the first one being a commemorative stamp that also honored Stonewall Jackson, issued in 1936. A second “regular-issue” stamp was issued in 1955. He was commemorated with a 32-cent stamp issued in the American Civil War Issue of June 29, 1995. His horse Traveller is pictured in the background.[156]

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And none of this was even during the tenure of smirking weasel Trump megadonor Looey DeJoy.

Read this paragraph, and try not to feel slightly indignant:

After the war, Lee was not arrested or punished (although he was indicted), [126] but he did lose the right to vote as well as some property. Lee’s prewar family home, the Custis-Lee Mansion, was seized by Union forces during the war and turned into Arlington National Cemetery, and his family was not compensated until more than a decade after his death.[127]

Imagine that! The family of the West Point-trained traitor who led an army against his nation in a war that cost more than 600,000 American dead was not compensated until more than a decade after his death. They had to wait more than ten years to be paid for the confiscated land that would become Arlington National Cemetery. Fucking hell! SO UNFAIR! I suppose they never got paid for the slaves they lost either… sheesh.

Viciously stripped of his US Citizenship by vengeful Radical Republicans in Congress (they were insane in their hatred of slavery and pro-slavery forces who had killed Americans to defend it), he had to wait over a century to have his citizenship restored! Read the sickening details of what was done to this great American/Confederate:

In 1865, after the war, Lee was paroled and signed an oath of allegiance, asking to have his citizenship of the United States restored. However, his application was not processed by Secretary of State William Seward, a radical Republican and firm opponent of slavery, and as a result Lee did not receive a pardon and his citizenship was not restored.[159][160] On January 30, 1975, Senate Joint Resolution 23, A joint resolution to restore posthumously full rights of citizenship to General R. E. Lee was introduced into the Senate by Senator Harry F. Byrd Jr. (I-VA), the result of a five-year campaign to accomplish this. Proponents portrayed the lack of pardon as a mere clerical error. The resolution, which enacted Public Law 94–67, was passed, and the bill was signed by President Gerald Ford on September 5.[161][162][163]

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I’ve got nothing against his noble horse, Traveller, but fuck Robert E. Lee and the horse he rode in on.

And, word to Merrick Garland, it’s time not to repeat the mistakes of our shared American past. Incitement to violence, incitement to insurrection, a plan to violently thwart the peaceful transfer of power after an election, are big fucking deals in a democracy and prosecuting the organizers, funders and inciters should be at the top of your list, if you want your family to have a country to escape to the next time Nazis are after you.

[1]

In 1866 Lee counseled southerners not to resume fighting, of which Grant said Lee was “setting an example of forced acquiescence so grudging and pernicious in its effects as to be hardly realized”.[128] Lee joined with Democrats in opposing the Radical Republicans who demanded punitive measures against the South, distrusted its commitment to the abolition of slavery and, indeed, distrusted the region’s loyalty to the United States.[129][130] Lee supported a system of free public schools for blacks but forthrightly opposed allowing blacks to vote. “My own opinion is that, at this time, they [black Southerners] cannot vote intelligently, and that giving them the [vote] would lead to a great deal of demagogism, and lead to embarrassments in various ways,” Lee stated.[131] Emory Thomas says Lee had become a suffering Christ-like icon for ex-Confederates. President Grant invited him to the White House in 1869, and he went. Nationally he became an icon of reconciliation between the North and South, and the reintegration of former Confederates into the national fabric.[132]

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[2]

In 1953, two stained-glass windows – one honoring Lee, the other Stonewall Jackson – were installed in the Washington National Cathedral.[175] The stained glass of Lee shows him on horseback at Chancellorsville; it was sponsored by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.[176] In 2017, these windows were removed by a vote of the cathedral’s governing board. The cathedral plans to keep the windows and eventually display them in historical context.[175]

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Nice one from the MTA in the subway of Anarchist Jurisdiction NYC

Yesterday in the subway I passed this sign, put up by the Metropolitan Transit Authority of one of the nation’s largest Anarchist Jurisdictions in the country. You will recall that Trump’s godly hatchet man “Bagpiper” Bill Barr, a pious crusader for his interpretation of Jesus Christ’s eternal law as the basis for all decent American law, and culture, designated New York City and several other cities that were not MAGA-compliant, Anarchist Jurisdictions, radical secular shit holes that would be denied federal funding. Here’s what the Anarchist MTA is displaying in a tunnel under 42nd Street, connecting the 8th Avenue and the 7th Avenue lines.

I trust you can understand why someone like radical right wing religious fanatic Bill Barr would designate this town an Anarchist Jurisdiction. Comparing the cost of an only 95% effective vaccine against a deadly pandemic to the cost of a coffin! For Christ’s sake! Have you no shame, Secular Humanist scum?