Saturday Morning Open Thread: Texas Judge Pulls ACA Ruling From Vulgar Bodily Orifice

This seems to be the most important fact about that ACA story *right at this very moment.* If you, or someone you know, has not yet been able to enroll — DO IT NOW.

While I am not an expert — and I assume people who are will be posting updates at a more reasonable hour — current consensus even among right-leaning pundits seems to be that Dubya appointee and Federalist Society contributor District Judge Reed O’Connor is making a noisy public display for his fellow true believers in the Invisible Hand. This is the everything’s-bigger-in-Texas version of the Republiclowns holding one last hearing on the Clinton Foundation before they lose control of the House (and, hopefully, the narrative)…

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GOP Luzers Open Thread: Malevolent Leprechaun Tests Water, Finds It Cold & Unsympathetic

He got the chance to hurt so many of Those People — not-whites, immigrants, anyone younger or hipper — and then it was all ripped away. And yet, for some reason, there is no sympathy for the plight of Jeff Sessions!

The former attorney general and Alabama senator said in an interview on Wednesday that he doesn’t miss being a senator and won’t decide on a run anytime soon. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) is seen as the most vulnerable incumbent on the ballot in two years — and Sessions is viewed as a prime candidate to beat him.

But, after enduring months of attacks from President Donald Trump for recusing himself from the Russia probe and being forced to leave his attorney general perch after the midterms, Sessions sounds eager to decompress…

Sessions didn’t have a general election challenger when he last ran in 2014, though he might face a GOP primary challenge if he decides to challenge Jones.

At least at this moment, though, that looks like a long shot. Sessions has told former colleagues that running for the Senate could be seen as a demotion after serving in Trump’s Cabinet.

Write your own snark about that ‘demotion’ line.

Russiagate Open Thread: Preview for This Week’s Doc Dump(s)

Follow the timeline…


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Repub Venality Open Thread: Trump’s Newest Enforcer

(Jack Ohman via

IMO, the fact that Trump hasn’t ditched his new mook (or, to be precise, had someone ditch Whitaker for him) would seem to indicate that the Oval Office Occupant is running out of half-decent alternatives.

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Late Night Open Thread: No Love for the Malevolent Leprechaun

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That 1850s Feeling: Brett Kavanaugh, for the Record

Very few people, when Preston Brooks assaulted Charles Sumner on the Senate floor, foresaw that Books’ supporters would declare war against their own country just a few years later. We’ve got the advantage of history to demonstrate where the kind of violent intransigence that just put Brett Kavanaugh on the SCOTUS bench can lead, so I devoutly hope we’ll be able to ringfence his future before he and his GOP co-conspirators can lead us down a similar path. But I’ve been accumulating a stack of links over the past couple of weeks, and I’m going to tack some of them up to this virtual wall just so we have them at hand.

Kavanaugh’s (former) friend Benjamin Wittes, in the Atlantic, “I Know Brett Kavanaugh, but I Wouldn’t Confirm Him”:

Faced with credible allegations of serious misconduct against him, Kavanaugh behaved in a fashion unacceptable in a justice, it seems preponderantly likely he was not candid with the Senate Judiciary Committee on important matters, and the risk of Ford’s allegations being closer to the truth than his denial of them is simply too high to place him on the Supreme Court.

We are in a political environment in which there are no rules, no norms anymore to violate. There is only power, and the individual judgments of individual senators—facing whatever political pressures they face, calculating political gain however they do it, and consulting their consciences to the extent they have them.

As much as I admire Kavanaugh, my conscience would not permit me to vote for him.

Charles Pierce, at Esquire, “A High-End Legal Ratf*cker Is Still a Ratf*cker”:

… I believe most of what has been alleged about Brett Kavanaugh from the people who knew him back in the day. His demeanor before the committee last week made him look like every privileged lace-curtain Irish inebriate with whom I grew up. I believe everything Dr. Christine Blasey Ford said about him, not because I oppose his nomination, but because she was human and he was a wind-up rage doll. Those charges and that temperament are enough to keep him off the Supreme Court. Hell, they’re enough to keep him out from behind the counter at Costco.

But, even if these most recent charges never emerged, I want him kept off the Supreme Court, even though his attitude last week is a damned good reason. (And, as The Washington Post reported, it was what gave the American Bar Association pause regarding Kavanaugh’s demeanor during the judge’s first go-round in the Senate.) I want him kept off the Supreme Court because, up until C-Plus Augustus rammed him onto the bench in 2006, Kavanaugh’s career was not that of a lawyer, but that of a partisan ratfcker. If he gets confirmed, we will have a vengeful partisan ratfcker on the Supreme Court for the rest of my lifetime, and that’s not a legacy I want to leave behind.
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Saturday Morning Open Thread: Things Get Better, However Gradually

Much more of Lisa Belkin’s livestream at her Twitter feed

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