130 Comments

I watched that clip of Bill Barr with interest. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but he seemed to me to be a wan version of his former bulldog self. I can't help but think that a smart fellow like Barr has recognized that he is going to be reviled by historians as one of the key actors keeping Trump from facing what should have been the consequences of his actions. He is trying now to burnish that image, and good for him, but I suspect it is too little, too late.

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Yet more depressing outrage over "how did he get these documents"? Who would have brought them to his attention? Why did no one keep track of the documents? Why did no one make sure the documents (and information itself) was secure? Puhleeze. #45 was served this stuff on a silver platter every day in his PDB or with (I'm sure) someone totally unqualified rummaging around the country's intelligence and information file cabinets to satisfy some probably idiotic question or command. No one stopped him from ripping up documents, (probably) flushing important documents down the toilets, tucking documents into his pockets that tickled his fancy, etc. In four year. No one. In the inevitable blizzard of them sweeping up poop behind him, no one notices the little snowball he held in reserved and tucked away to bring out and admire and hug to himself time and again. Gollum lives, and all our nation's secrets are his "precious". Nothing is allowed to come between them, especially the safety and security of our country.

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If they don’t sign mail-in vote in the exact manner they did when they registered eons ago their ballot is rejected. This could be as simple signing with middle initial when registering then failing to use your middle initial when you vote. I registered years ago and have no idea if I used my middle initial or not. Do you read the news? This was a well known problem recently in the primaries in some states. And they refuse to let you see how you signed your registration so you could do it properly when you actually vote. Lots of ballots were rejected - and of course mostly black votes.

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Lamentably, I saw something like this coming from Judge Cannon the moment she began giving Formerly's lawyers tips on how better to represent their client. Not that it helped, so Judge Cannon has bravely waded in to give aid and comfort to the undisputed king of deflection, denial, deceit, and above all else, dragging out legal prosecutions and/or lawsuits till everybody but he is either broke or dead. Some, however, are so sick to death of his shit, they write books about it.

Indict his ass--today, if possible--and let the rabid 28% bring their so-called "Storm" at last. Hey, works for me. I, too, am sick to death of his shit. Too bad it's the kind you can't make up.

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founding

A Risible ruling? In the sense of amusing? Well, maybe if laughter is the appropriate response to the spectacle of a judge corruptly doing a favor for the crooked politician who helped him (her) get appointed. And who holds the hand, and even almost the pen, of the pathetic lawyer trying to cough up a passable legal fig leaf to give the corrupt judge something to rule YES on. As if the judge were a professor helping the football hero at State U fill out enough right answers on the multiple choice test so he could stay eligible for the bowl game.

This is a trade of favors. And the judge is now on the top of the list of servile apparatchiks hoping for sinecures in the courts and Justice department -- usable, proven tools when the dictator takes power in less than two years. Hey, boss, you're going to want henchmen and hatchetmen after you get back into office, reliable stooges who will put on the potemkin legal performances you need -- show trials, prosecutions. By this one simple little ruling I have forbidden the prosecutors from even so much as lifting a finger until you run out the clock. And after that -- when you're looking for clothes horses to put on your show of pretending to run a legal system -- well, hard to imagine anyone will be able to claim any greater reward than me.

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I think I've had enough.

Enough mafia style bullshit from Presidents. Enough Federalist Society. Enough judgement, lies, innuendo. Enough Tucker Fucking Carlson. Enough narcissism & childish behavior. Enough of GOP accusing 'the left' of all the shit they do. Enough excuses. Enough enabling. Enough power grabbing & money sucking.

I just want ethical, honest people doing their jobs the way they are supposed to be done. I just want people to treat people with respect. I want us to admire admirable people. I want public figures to be role models to aspire to. I want the whole world to sit back at the end of the day and say 'we did good.'

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Sep 7, 2022·edited Sep 7, 2022

I'll invoke Godwin's law to say that Aileen Cannon would make Roland Freisler proud.

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I may be riffing off a comment from someone in the Washington Post story, but how exactly can Trump suffer reputational damage? What would that even look like? Would someone accuse him of being kind to a minority?

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Like a lot of the rest of our system, the court system needs an enema. (Visions of the Jack Nicholson Joker quote here).

If you watched the signs you knew this was coming, despite the strength of the DoJ's filing (which I actually read, BTW).

It is just another indicator of how broken our institutions and society is. Another log to fuel the fire of the desire to tear things down and redo it from the ground up. Another blow to the narrative that law and justice are not political... because it IS only a narrative.

A lot of our culture and society depends upon creating and sustaining the illusion that it is fair and just. Politicians used to be careful to maintain the illusion. Used to be. Judges used to be careful to maintain the illusion... used to be.

Many of these people no longer believe that creating and maintaining that illusion is necessary. In fact, many of them depend upon the reverse, creating the realization that the system IS unfair and unjust (and that any unfairness and injustice they create is in recompense for the existing condition). Much of it (from the Right) is in response to society trying to create an actual more fair and just system.

I have always believed that the law should be more restrictive and harsher on those with wealth and power than on those who do not have it. I do believe in a two-tiered system of justice... it is just that my tiers are the reverse of the actuality.

Fat chance of that happening though, amiright?

The corruption used to be more carefully curated.

We have a system that is, in effect, designed to create and sustain an elite political class coupled with an economic system that creates an elite plutocratic class.. a wonderful combination.

Electoral systems create elitism and preference, based largely upon qualities that have little to do with fitness for representation or leadership. Most electoral systems have inherent skews/biases 9ours is particularly egregious in that regard) and those running for election come from the class of people who have access to the wealth and "leisure" to run for office... or who are "sponsored" by those with the wealth.

Any such system will inevitably create an elitist system (and the elitism is NOT built on merit) that will act to cement it's elite status. Look around you.

At a certain point, the elite feel secure enough in their status to stop pretending. We have kind of reached that point.

The only way to really short circuit this is to eliminate the role of personality in politics and policy.

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founding
Sep 7, 2022·edited Sep 7, 2022

At a certain point the total preposterousness becomes the message. You stop trying to even pretend to tell the truth, because the purpose is no longer to fool people into thinking you credible. The purpose is to smash them in the mouth with the greatest absurdities you can, to demonstrate that any resistance to lies, or appeal to fact or reason or justice, is futile, and the only possible posture is full acquiesce -- to your dominion.

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Re: the Risible Ruling

I'm a little puzzled as to why Charlie pulled punches on this ridiculous decision and the jurist who authored it, namely: she was a Trump appointee, a mere two years ago. Oh and she's also "coincidentally" been a member of the Federalist society since 2005.

The ruling wasn't merely incompetent, it was clearly corrupt. She's rewarding her master for the appointment and is playing along with Trump's usual tactic in these situations, namely delay, delay, delay.

And I'll confidenly predict what will happen next:

1) DOJ will appeal the decision and seek an immediate injunction on the prohibition relating to using the documents to continue the investigation.

2) Court of Appeal will grant the injunction.

3) SCOTUS will reverse the ruling of the appellate court in a shadow docket decision, giving no reasons. Or in the extraordinary event that they do provide reasons, the reasons will rely on factual fantasies, in the same way as the majority invented facts in the coach prayer decision.

It's self-evident at this point that there is no rule of law in the United States. If you are wealthy or influential, you can literally get away with murder (Trump certainly has a lot of blood on his hands but will never ever be held accountable).

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founding

WE are already living in a one-party state.

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Wow...your #3 is really a bleak outlook for our country....if it comes to pass.

I would like to think that #3 won't happen because even the Supreme Court won't want this bad legal precedent having their stamp of approval.

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Agreed, bleak indeed, but no legal experts saw the counter-factual, and frankly disrespectful gutting of Roe vs Wade from a stare decis point of view coming.

Ordinarily I would have opined that the complete OUTRAGE at the decision would have moderated their future decisions but in the unsuall circumstances of overturning Roe with the leaked decision, the SCOTUS extremists had ample opportunity to moderate their decision in response to the outrage and they didn't care in the slightest.

So if I were a betting man, I'd say SCOTUS will uphold the trial court decision pending a full appeal to give Trump the stalling time that he wants.

They may ultimately destroy the decision, but not until the decision becomes politcally irrelevant a year from now.

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Charlie,

Should you continue to ignore the massive wave of reaction to and action on, the position the Supreme court has taken in the Dobbs decision, then you are at great risk of being dismissed as accurately portraying the stance of women (and a lot of males) as being the real driving force behind the shift in the electorate in denying the GOP it's long anticipated midterm victory.

You need to bite the bullet on the issue or risk dismissal as being a force of change. Change is happening, right now. The people are leading and the leaders who follow will survive.

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author

Huh? I've written/spoken extensively on the Dobbs factor. For instance: https://morningshots.thebulwark.com/p/the-dobbs-backlash-is-real

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Sep 7, 2022·edited Sep 7, 2022

Wow....sometimes I'm completely blown away at the criticism directed at Charlie for things.

He and the Bulwark have all pretty much been saying that the Dobbs decision is a huge one and will likely contribute greatly to the mid-terms swinging to the Dems. The only question was "how much?".

Personally....the fact that our former POTUS had TS/SCI documents at his residence is a pretty big competition for bandwidth with the Dobbs decision at this time. As the mid-terms approach...the Dobbs story will get a lot more play.

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Sep 7, 2022·edited Sep 7, 2022

I'm in Charlie's purple home state of Wisconsin and as most of us Bulwarkers know features a marquee Senate match-up this November, as well as a gubernatorial race. I'm getting hammered daily with digital ads pounding Ron Johnson's and Tim Michaels' stances on the state's abortion law that is back into effect since Dobbs - a law that was enacted in 1849 and is fairly restrictive (no exceptions for rape or incest). This issue is already saturated here, definitely not back-burner

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I'm chiding Charlie, I'm not reeking of anger. I read the posts from the last week and the issue seemed remarkably back burner. I may well be wrong but I read it carefully every day it comes in the mail.

The vote of pissed off women is what will turn things in November.

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author

I was off all last week. Perhaps you missed this earlier; https://morningshots.thebulwark.com/p/the-dobbs-backlash-is-real

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Don't confuse me with an enemy. Think of me more as a strategist who hears from lots of pissed of Women. Remember Carville. It's the economy stupid? Well in this case, it's different.

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I understand that and I understand a difference in your internal points of view. I think that's what democracy is really all about. In this case, it strikes me that we need to stay focused on the goal and that's the sound defeat of the Maggot world of which Trump is the head.

The Dobbs decision is a golden ticket if I am uncomfortably willing to make it a political reality. This site has always been a tight rope truce with the mutually disaffected. I'd submit that dancing with the one that brung ya is worthwhile if what you want is a win.

Push it, don't ignore it, ( constantly)

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Sep 7, 2022·edited Sep 7, 2022

That chiding had some strong sauce, man! OK...I get where you're coming from. Although it is worthy to note that Charlie wasn't here last week when you were reading the back burner stories (IYHO). He was playing catch up this morning with the "new" news...

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OK, I took your comment to heart. I went back and reread carefully bothe Sikes and the JVL posts and would take not that Charlie had some good time off.

Now, as to Dobbs? ZIP. NOTHING. Not a word in print. Now it may be the case that the board at Bulwark thought bringing in the take on Hollywood by Sunny Brunch was pertinent, and I do not have any ax to grind there, I do think it best not to take one's eye off the ball when the ball will likely convert independents votes as well as centrist women nationwide. Those are the people who will not only flip the power center, but they will also likely defeat future Maggots. If the right has every been consistent about anything, it's serious over reach.

And this is important to take note of. They're not a convenient electorate, they are reall live people having their lives dictated to by old white men.

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One thing that is guaranteed in life: as soon as legal experts declare something to be 'impossible' or 'unprecedented' then you know it is exactly what is going to happen. And I didn't even go to law school!

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I have no doubt that Trump was not innocent in bringing these documents to Mar-A-Lago. He has a keen instinct for leverage. I wonder if he has already used his access to these documents for his own personal gain. I can't imagine that these sat unused in boxes, particularly if they were hiding them and moving them around for months. He knew what he had and he was not giving them up. Michael Cohen surmises that there could be originals or copies at Trump's other properties or his kids' houses. I wonder how true this is.

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So we have a judge saying that someone is actually above the law. I do not have an issue with understanding that this case has a different nature than most in that there is a public interest element. This, however, does not override the course of investigation, place Trump above the law, or any other such action. Appeal, appeal. appeal! She has no standing to make such a case.

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I know we're supposed to pretend that who appointed a judge to the federal bench doesn't matter; that judges will fairly and impartially evaluate the evidence and apply the law without fear or favor, yada, yada, yada.

But after a spring and summer of extreme rulings from the Supreme Court and district courts, we can't afford to be that naive. Trump went forum shopping precisely to get this case in front of a judge he appointed on his way out the door, after he lost the election. And she's acting like one of 'his judges' with this ridiculous, baseless ruling.

In Federalist 69, Hamilton made it clear that the Framers envisioned presidents leaving office and returning to private life, subject to exactly the same treatment under law as anyone else. But this Federalist Society appointee acts like she's never read the Federalist Papers in carving out exceptions to the law that apply only to Trump. She didn't even bother with the pretense of objectivity in declaring her intent to appoint a special master before the government had a chance to reply to the original filing. Yesterday, she denied a request to file an amicus brief from a group of former GOP officials because they oppose appointing a special master.

I'm not a lawyer, but I hope someone who is can answer this question: Is it possible for the government to request a change of venue so that this case which involves presidential records is moved to the court required by the Presidential Records Act, the federal district court for DC? That would at least take this case out of the hands of Trump's entourage of federal judges at the district and appellate levels in FL and move it to DC where this case belongs.

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Overturning Roe was not an extreme ruling. Conservative and liberal legal scholars have criticized that decision for decades. It was not a well-written or thought out opinion. It was a policy choice masquerading as constitutional law. One can totally agree with the policy but not think it's the job of judges to enact policy from the bench because he or she thinks it's good. That's not what judges are supposed to do.

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The Dobbs decision was completely extreme, stripping Constitutional protections from the right of a woman to make private decisions. It was an act of raw power; the ONLY reason precedent upon precedent was overturned was because the composition of the court changed. This was not a conservative decision; to conserve is to maintain, and Dobbs upended the legal and medical field as relates to reproduction. Abortion was literally legal in the morning in a state like Arkansas, like it had been for fifty years, and then suddenly illegal by the end of the day; that IS radical and unconserbative. Dobbs will rank as of one of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever, alongside Plessy, Dred Scott, and Korematsu.

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Sep 8, 2022·edited Sep 8, 2022

I don't lose my temper often, but I'm quite sick of people 'mansplaining' to me and other women why overturning Roe is either a good thing or no big deal. Only people who've never felt their rights are on the line depending on the make-up of the Court could say something so repugnant.

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The Roe decision wasn't 'a policy choice'. It was a finding that the Constitution provided a fundamental right to privacy and that included the right to abortion. It was upheld by subsequent Courts of varying political/cultural persuasions until this year, when an extremist majority overturned that decision. Two of the justices who worked to uphold Roe in the Casey decision, for example, were Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O'Connor - who no-one would mistake for judicial activists 'legislating from the bench.'

If you think Roe was poorly thought out and written, the legal and historical butchering in Dodd should make your day.

The reason people have any trust in courts is because they generally don't upend half-century precedent wholesale, and take away constitutional rights people have come to rely on as settled. We're only now seeing the results this extremist decision has unleashed as states vie with each other to see which one can pass the most onerous legislation.

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That may be true to some extent, but the entire constitutional legal edifice is a house of cards without stare decisis and respect for precedent. I’m hardly the first to observe that Marbury itself is judge-made law.

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This is off-topic but figured worth posting somewhere - you guys had an ad for the Aaron Mate/Katie Halper podcast at the conclusion of Amanda's latest "Need to Know".

I, uh, can't think that was intentional.

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