ICYMI: Our Would-Be Ruler Verbally Assaults A Federal Judge

Remember when we could joke about “Friday news dumps” because they were the exception? Weekends, one more thing the Republicans were looking to destroy as they ushered Lord Smallgloves into office…



So-Called Judge

The countertop inspection on the judge who blocked Trump’s immigration order is going to be brutal:

“I will now step back from my very precise legal practice and give you the following observation — from me,” he said.

He spoke of the police — training and accountability and leadership: “The men and women who go out and walk around Seattle and proudly wear the Seattle Police Department uniform,” he said. “They are entitled to know what they may and may not do.”

He breathed in again. Then he spoke of protests against police that had spread across the country, and FBI statistics showing that black people are twice as likely to be shot dead by police as their share of the population would warrant.

“Black lives matter,” the judge said.

His words, the Seattle Times noted, caused “a startled, audible reaction” in the courtroom. Here was a federal judge echoing a slogan used by protesters.

Robart was not done. “Black people are not alone in this,” he went on. “Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans are also involved. And lastly and importantly: police deaths in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and let’s not forget Lakewood, Washington, remind us of the importance of what we are doing.”

Robart was appointed by Bush II and confirmed by unanimous vote. Trumpelstiltskin has already called him a “so-called judge”, so I assume Minister of Propaganda Bannon will start smearing the guy immediately.








Let’s Start Our Day on a Positive Note

That’s better.

On the SCOTUS appointment, the one really nice thing is I have to spend zero time learning about the nominee. You simply oppose anyone who is not Garland, because obstruction should not be rewarded. Period. End of Story. Dems filibuster him until McConnell blows up the filibuster.



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Plan Your Week in Advance!

(Jack Ohman via GoComics.com)
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A little gift for those who need to update their protest calendars (hope Kay sees this!)…


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Apart from scheduling, what’s on the agenda for the day?
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On SCOTUS: I Like How Jason Kander Thinks

Don’t care how good he looks as a potential reality-teevee character, let the Repubs defend their Talibangelical sock-puppet… at length.

Longer we stand up, more time there will be for the inevitable skeletons to tumble out of Gorsuch’s legal closet…



Open Thread: Democrats Standing Up Against Sessions

Good for them. From the Washington Post:

Senate Judiciary Committee members on Tuesday sparred over whether Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) can operate independently of the president if confirmed as attorney general — a debate that took on new importance after President Trump’s late-night firing of acting attorney general Sally Yates for refusing to defend his immigration order.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the committee’s chairman, said that Sessions will “follow the law, regardless of whether he would have supported it as a matter of policy as a senator.” He said Sessions offered no help in drafting Trump’s order, although it is “not clear to me why it would be a problem even if he had been involved.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the panel, attacked Trump’s order and noted that Sessions’s ideals seem to have at least shaped it. She read aloud from Yates’s memo declaring that she did not find Trump’s immigration order lawful, then referenced the “Saturday Night Massacre,” when two top Justice Department officials resigned over an order from President Richard Nixon…

The committee scheduled a vote on Sessions’s nomination for Wednesday morning. A vote by the full Senate is expected later in the week….

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said he will vote against the nominee because of concerns about Sessions’s civil rights record, his failure to address Russia’s interference in the November presidential election and ethical conflicts in the Trump administration, among other issues. He took aim Tuesday at Trump’s firing of Yates, saying the president had “placed the independence of the Justice Department at stake.”…

…[N]o Democrat on the committee has declared an intention to vote for Sessions, and Democrats are increasing efforts to delay the confirmation of several of Trump’s Cabinet nominees.

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is every terrible political idea of the last hundred-plus years wrapped in the skin of a depraved leprechaun, and he no more deserves to be in a position of power than… Donald Trump.



The Firings Have Begun

Per the Washington Post:

Earlier on Monday, Yates ordered Justice Department not to defend President Trump’s immigration order temporarily banning entry into the United States for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees from around the world, declaring in a memo that she is not convinced the order is lawful.

Yates wrote that, as the leader of the Justice Department, she must ensure that the department’s position is “legally defensible” and “consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right.”…

What will happen next is unclear. A Justice Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said those who would normally defend the order under Yates’s authority can no longer do so. Yates will probably be replaced soon by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Trump’s attorney general nominee, who could be confirmed as early as Thursday or Friday. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider his nomination Tuesday, and the entire Senate must wait one day before voting…

The President-Asterisk goes full RMNixon. Now, more than ever:

From the Washington Post, “Trump’s hard-line actions have an intellectual godfather: Jeff Sessions” —

The early days of the Trump presidency have rushed a nationalist agenda long on the fringes of American life into action — and Sessions, the quiet Alabam­ian who long cultivated those ideas as a Senate backbencher, has become a singular power in this new Washington.

Sessions’s ideology is driven by a visceral aversion to what he calls “soulless globalism,” a term used on the extreme right to convey a perceived threat to the United States from free trade, international alliances and the immigration of nonwhites.

And despite many reservations among Republicans about that worldview, Sessions — whose 1986 nomination for a federal judgeship was doomed by accusations of racism that he denied — is finding little resistance in Congress to his proposed role as Trump’s attorney general….

The author of many of Trump’s executive orders is senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, a Sessions confidant who was mentored by him and who spent the weekend overseeing the government’s implementation of the refu­gee ban. The tactician turning Trump’s agenda into law is deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn, Sessions’s longtime chief of staff in the Senate. The mastermind behind Trump’s incendiary brand of populism is chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who, as chairman of the Breitbart website, promoted Sessions for years.

Then there is Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, who considers Sessions a savant and forged a bond with the senator while orchestrating Trump’s trip last summer to Mexico City and during the darkest days of the campaign.

In an email in response to a request from The Washington Post, Bannon described Sessions as “the clearinghouse for policy and philosophy” in Trump’s administration, saying he and the senator are at the center of Trump’s “pro-America movement” and the global nationalist phenomenon…

Sessions helped devise the president’s first-week strategy, in which Trump signed a blizzard of executive orders that begin to fulfill his signature campaign promises — although Sessions had advocated going even faster.

The senator lobbied for a “shock-and-awe” period of executive action that would rattle Congress, impress Trump’s base and catch his critics unaware, according to two officials involved in the transition planning. Trump opted for a slightly slower pace, these officials said, because he wanted to maximize news coverage by spreading out his directives over several weeks.

Trump makes his own decisions, but Sessions was one of the rare lawmakers who shared his impulses.

“Sessions brings heft to the president’s gut instincts,” said Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser. He compared Sessions to John Mitchell, who was attorney general under Richard M. Nixon but served a more intimate role as a counselor to the president on just about everything. “Nixon is not a guy given to taking advice, but Mitchell was probably Nixon’s closest adviser,” Stone said…

With such a rogues’ gallery supporting him, you don’t even need to know about Jefferson Beauregard Sessions’ long history defending racism and voter disenfranchisement to realize he is NOT a good man, or a trustworthy judge.