Ten Thousan Marbles Thread watched More to ignore, Book 100....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ten Thousan Marbles

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.....For years, I have been wondering when Americans would draw the line on Trump and his minions. We could rehearse the litany of Trump’s awfulness: his vulgarity, his racism, his callous disregard for veterans, his pathetic submissiveness around Vladimir Putin. We could remind ourselves of the attempt to pressure the Ukrainian government that got him impeached (the first time).

None of it seems to matter, because for a large swath of the American public, nothing really matters. And here, I do not mean only the “MAGA Republicans,” loyalists who are already a lost cause. (Trump was tragically prescient when he said that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and they would not abandon him.) Nor do I mean the people who have attached their parasitical careers to their Trumpian host.

No, I mean the ordinary Americans who shrug at a violent insurrection and the near-miss of a coup. As the historian Michael Beschloss said on MSNBC last night after the hearing, Trump “probably wanted to declare martial law.” He also pointed out that the insurrection was a close-run thing, noting that if “Trump and those rioters had been a little bit faster, we might be living in a country of unbelievable darkness and cruelty.”

But who cares? After all, inflation is too high, and gas is still too expensive, and that’s a bigger problem than the overthrow of the government, isn’t it?......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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....The good news is that headline inflation has fallen by almost a percentage point since June, when it had reached 9.1 per cent, and it is likely to fall further in the months ahead. But both the headline and core inflation numbers for September came in higher than economists had expected. Investors reacted by pushing up bond yields in anticipation of the Federal Reserve—which has committed to bringing down inflation—raising the federal funds rate further. Investors now expect the funds rate, which is currently set between three and 3.25 per cent, to reach nearly five per cent in the first half of next year. Twelve months ago, it was close to zero.

Earlier this year, it seemed perfectly possible that by now the inflation rate would be coming down more sharply. The presumption was that, as pandemic-related supply-chain problems got resolved, and the price of oil fell back from the highs it hit after Russia invaded Ukraine, prices for all sorts of things, particularly stuff that gets shipped from China and other places in big boxes, would decline. And, in fact, this has happened. Excluding food and energy, the prices of all other goods taken together didn’t rise at all last month, the C.P.I. report showed, and some widely purchased items fell in price. They included clothes, footwear, used vehicles, major appliances, smartphones, and sporting goods.

The problem is that such stuff makes up less than a quarter of the Consumer Price Index. And though we’ve recently seen an improvement in the inflation picture for these products, there have been offsetting price hikes for other items that play a bigger role in household budgets, such as food, energy, and services of many kinds—from rental housing to air travel and medical care. It is inflation in services, not inflation in goods, that has prevented the over-all rate from coming down very much......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Professional conduct regulators with the Washington, D.C. Bar on Thursday filed a witness list and arguments to rebut Rudy Giuliani’s attempt to escape discipline in a probe connected to the former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney’s litigation strategy in the aftermath of the 2020 election. Giuliani on Friday responded in turn.

According to documents filed late this week, the Washington, D.C. Bar’s disciplinary counsel plans to call the following to testify at an upcoming hearing: Giuliani, Daniel R. Ortiz, and Matthew T. Sanderson. Ortiz is a law professor at the University of Virginia. Sanderson is an attorney and member of the political law group at the law firm Caplin & Drysdale.

Giuliani’s witness list is a recitation of well-known conservative names — many of whom peddled since-scuttled legal theories that the 2020 election had been stolen.

Giuliani’s list, and his explanation for what each individual will allegedly add to the proceeding, reads as follows, verbatim:

1. Rudolph W. Giuliani will testify that he had a reasonable basis to make the arguments that he made on behalf of his client then President Trump in the Pennsylvania litigation.
2. Christina Bobb, Esq. will testify that through her investigative work she spoke to people who witnessed voting irregularities and allegations of fraud.
3. Pam Bondi, Esq. former Attorney General of the State of Florida will testify that she was on the ground in Pennsylvania and witnessed in Philadelphia the exclusion of Republican inspectors and poll watchers including herself from inspecting any ballots.
4. Katherine Friess, Esq. will testify that she was a senior Republican inspector and observed in Pittsburgh the exclusion of Republican inspectors and poll watchers and conveyed to Respondent numerous allegations of fraud.
5. Julie Levin, Esq. will testify that she assisted in assembling Respondent’s legal team and was aware of pressures and stresses placed on the attorneys in the attempt to deter them from assisting in the representation of then President Trump.
6. Colonel Phil Waldron will testify as to the methods that were employed by staff to analyze the nature of the irregularities and alleged voting illegalities.
7. Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai will testify as to the statistical analysis as to voting results.
8. Corey Lewandowski will testify that he was on the ground in Pennsylvania and in Philadelphia he witnessed the exclusion of Republican inspectors and poll watchers including himself from inspecting any ballots.
9. Peter Navarro will testify as to his extensive analysis of voting irregularities and alleged illegalities.
10. Russell Ramsland will testify as to statistical analyses of the then available voting records.
11. Douglas Mastriano will testify as to the gathering of evidence of voting irregularities and alleged illegalities and arranged for and presided over the Gettysburg hearing.
12. Michael Roman will testify that as the chief investigator in Pennsylvania for the Trump campaign he conveyed to Respondent incidents of voter irregularities and allegations of fraud.
13. Joann Miller will testify that she assisted Peter Navarro in gathering information for his reports and conveying information to Respondent’s staff.
14. John Droz, Jr. will testify as to his report on irregularities and improprieties in the Pennsylvania election which was conveyed to Respondent at the time of the Pennsylvania litigation.
15. Jenna Ellis, Esq. will, testify that she was the number two lawyer on the then President Trump’s Pennsylvania litigation team.
16. Jeremy Mercer, Esq. will testify that he was in charge of numerous Republican inspectors and poll watchers who were excluded from inspecting ballots.

17. Bernard Kerik will testify that he was one of the chief investigators into the irregularities and allegations of fraud in the Pennsylvania Presidential election and in the subject litigation.

None of the elections cases pressed by Giuliani or any of Trump’s other lawyers were successful.

Bloomberg Law’s Zoe Tillman described Giuliani’s strategy as one of “calling a string of witnesses who promoted baseless claims that the 2020 election was marred by widespread fraud.”

The Washington, D.C. discipline case against Giuliani is akin to the concept of reciprocal discipline. The case alleges that Giuliani violated professional conduct rules in Pennsylvania when he appeared in Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. v. Boockvar in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Authorities in D.C. can discipline him, according to the rules, if they ascertain that a violation in that jurisdiction warrants a domino effect in their jurisdiction.....
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Department of Justice recommends 6 months sentence for Bannon

Joan McCarter

Here’s a nice start to a Monday: the prospect of Steve Bannon sitting in jail and paying the maximum fine for his contempt of Congress, and of the rule of law. The Department of Justice has demanded the maximum fine of $200,000 and a jail sentence of six months for the Trump aide. Prosecutors said in their sentencing recommendation memo that, from the moment the Jan. 6 select committee subpoenaed him, Bannon “has pursued a bad-faith strategy of defiance and contempt.”

Bannon was found guilty of two misdemeanor counts of contempt of Congress last July over his refusal to testify to the Jan. 6 committee and to provide documents. His sentencing by U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols is scheduled for this Friday.

Federal prosecutors point out in their sentencing memo that Bannon tried to derail the case against him just days before his hearing by announcing that he would, after all, cooperate. “His effort to exact a quid pro quo with the Committee to persuade the Department of Justice to delay trial and dismiss the charges against him should leave no doubt that his contempt was deliberate and continues to this day,” the prosecutors argued.

J.P. Cooney and Amanda Vaughn, the Justice Department lawyers, revealed in their memo that Bannon’s lawyer, Evan Corcoran, had tried to get one of the select committee’s stop investigators, Tim Heaphy, to work with him to get the contempt case dismissed with a last-minute cooperation deal. The FBI interviewed Heaphy on October 7, and Heaphy recalled their phone conversation. He had taken notes during the call, as well as having another committee staffer join as a potential witness. Heaphy told the FBI that “the overall ‘vibe’ of his conversation” was an “attempt to solicit the Select Committee’s assistance in their effort to delay Bannon’s criminal trial and obtain a dismissal of the Contempt of Congress charges pending against him.”

The prosecutors also argue that Bannon has clearly continued to use his podcast and his courthouse appearances to attack the Jan. 6 investigation. “Throughout the pendency of this case, the Defendant has exploited his notoriety—through courthouse press conferences and his War Room podcast—to display to the public the source of his bad-faith refusal to comply with the Committee’s subpoena: a total disregard for government processes and the law,” Justice Department lawyers wrote.

“Through his public platforms, the Defendant has used hyperbolic and sometimes violent rhetoric to disparage the Committee’s investigation, personally attack the Committee’s members, and ridicule the criminal justice system,” prosecutors wrote. “The Defendant’s statements prove that his contempt was not aimed at protecting executive privilege or the Constitution, rather it was aimed at undermining the Committee’s efforts to investigate an historic attack on government.”

“The rioters who overran the Capitol on January 6 did not just attack a building—they assaulted the rule of law upon which this country was built and through which it endure,” prosecutors wrote in the memo. “By flouting the select committee’s subpoena and its authority, the defendant exacerbated that assault. To this day, he continues to unlawfully withhold documents and testimony that stand to help the committee’s authorized investigation to get to the bottom of what led to January 6 and ascertain what steps must be taken to ensure that it never happens again. That cannot be tolerated.”

Because of all this, they argue, the minimum sentence of one month is “insufficient to account for, punish, and deter his criminal offenses.”

The select committee’s subpoena demanded documents and communications in 17 areas related to the Jan. 6 attack, from his communications with Trump and with the team of lawyers trying to litigate the election, to communication with the violent extremist groups before the Capitol riot.
......

UPDATE: Monday, Oct 17, 2022 · 12:16:05 PM EDT · Joan McCarter
Bannon has filed his sentencing memo, asks for probation and for the judge to stay his sentence pending appeal.


 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Biden gives harshest criticism of Supreme Court yet, might just be leaning toward Court reform

Joan McCarter

In case you missed it with all the momentous recent news, President Joe Biden signaled another big shift in his rhetoric, and hopefully his thinking, on the U.S. Supreme Court. In a virtual fundraiser for Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Biden told attendees in not so many words that the current Court has lost legitimacy.

“So, I view this … off-year election as one of the most important elections that I’ve been engaged in, because a lot can change because the institutions have changed,” Biden said. “The Supreme Court is more of an advocacy group these days than it is … evenhanded.” He expanded on that, saying that this election is the first where Americans are concerned “about whether we can keep our democracy.”

“Who’s gonna count the votes? Will it be the state legislature that can make a determination in who won the election? I can go on and on. There’s so much at stake,” he said. He’s clearly thinking about the fact that this court is taking on an absurd and extreme case this session that could hand over federal election and redistricting decisions entirely to state legislatures.
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As a creature of the Senate, as an institutionalist, that’s real movement from Biden, amplified by the pitch he gave that night. “We’re less than 30 days away from the midterms, and the stakes are clear,” he said. “The right to choose is on the ballot. Your Social Security you paid for your whole life is on the ballot. The safety of our kids and gun violence is on the ballot. Literally, the survival of the planet is … on the ballot. And your right to vote. And democracy itself is … on the ballot.”

Maybe that puts Biden in the growing crowd of Democrats who are opening themselves up to the possibility of court expansion.



“I’ve never felt more hopeful about my work,” Sarah Lipton-Lubet told Mother Jones this week, about her job as executive director of Take Back the Court, which has been working on court expansion since 2018. “The court is only becoming more radical, only becoming more unhinged,” says Lipton-Lubet.

“The real question is just how long is this going to take until we act? And how many people are going to be hurt in the interim that wouldn’t have had to be if we had acted faster?”

That urgency seems to have sunk in with Biden. It’s possible, just possible, that with a real Democratic Senate majority it could happen.