Uncivil Liberties Open Thread: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III Feeling Pretty Good About His Chances

I piously hope that Mr. Mueller’s investigators are taking notes at the Federalist Society, because the Malevolent Leprechaun spelled out why he’s going to all that trouble playing Blanche DuBois in front of unsympathetic Democrats…

Sessions had a bounce in his step Friday as he took aim at “judicial activism” of judges legislating from the bench and took a moment to tick through the changes he’s made to return Justice Department to the “rule of law” in a wide-ranging speech at Federalist Society’s national convention.

“Elections really do have consequences,” Sessions said with a smile…

Despite the fact that four of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees have received a rare “not-qualified” rating by the American Bar Association and come under fire for controversial blog postings, Sessions said Trump has been appointing “extremely well-qualified” lawyers who will be “neutral umpires, calling balls and strikes.”…

“I get frustrated, too,” Sessions said, but vowed his “department will not make decisions based on politics” and will not confirm investigations to get a few “cheap headlines.”…

(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)
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Per the Washington Post:

Sessions has been under fire in recent weeks for his shifting account of his and other Trump campaign aides’ dealings with Russia. On Tuesday, he spent more than five hours before the House Judiciary Committee answering questions about the matter.

Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s former ambassador to the United States, is a key figure because Sessions had long ago denied having any communications with Russians, only to have The Washington Post reveal he had twice met with Kislyak during the campaign.
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Late Night {Face*Palm} Open Thread: Horseshoes, Clown Shoes

Why do we make the mistake of chewing on each others’ ankles, when there are “professionals” like Stoller to do that for us?

The horseshoe theory of politics states that theorists out towards the far end of opposing ideas eventually start to bend towards each other — thus, far-right authoritarians and far-left “purists” may have more in common with each other than with those of us closer to the center of the bell curve. And you didn’t even know that horses could wear clown shoes!

As for Atrios — whose post set Young Stoller off — IIRC, he’s an economist, and therefore disappointed in President Obama’s solutions to the Great Recession. I also think he’s wrong about how “history” will view Obama’s tenure. While he may have been unduly respectful of both the Republican opposition and his “centrist” so-called allies, I still think President Obama is going to end up in the Top Ten Presidents list if only for what his enemies chose to label Obamacare… among other things.



And a parade of the gray suited grafters

Populism:

The tax bill Senate Republicans are championing would give large tax cuts to millionaires while raising taxes on American families earning $10,000 to $75,000 over the next decade, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’ official nonpartisan analysts.

President Trump and Republican lawmakers have been heralding their bill as a win for hard-working Americans, but the JCT report casts serious doubt on that claim. Tax hikes for households earning $10,000 to $30,000 would start in 2021 and grow sharply from there. By the year 2027, Americans earning $30,000 to $75,000 a year would also be forced to pay more in taxes even though people earning over $100,000 continue to get substantial tax cuts.








Repubs in Disarray Open Thread: More Moore (Of Course)

If ya let yer wimmen forget their place in God’s plan, then the coloreds are gonna get uppity! And if ya let the coloreds get uppity, next thing ya know yer wimmen will forget their place!

The ugly truth, of course, is that Roy Moore’s current candidacy is the distilled end product of the GOP’s forty-plus years’ refining a message that would resonant with all the worst instincts and practices of “true American” clannishness, misogyny, authoritarianism, and xenophobia. And the embodied sludge that is “Judge” Roy Moore is now… an embarrassment to his enablers.

McConnell aides express caution, saying they’re uncertain whether such a move, one of several options being discussed, is even possible. Yet the talks underscore the despair among top Republicans over relinquishing a seat in deep-red Alabama, further diminishing their slim Senate majority.

New GOP polling obtained by POLITICO suggests that Moore is cratering. A survey conducted by the National Republican Senatorial Committee after allegations emerged that Moore had engaged in sexual misconduct with teenagers showed him trailing Democratic candidate Doug Jones by 12 points. Other recent polling has the race closer.
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Mostly you just make me mad

There was a thoughtful Caitlin Flanagan piece in the Atlantic you should all read about how liberals need to admit they were on the wrong side of history when they supported Bill Clinton through the Lewinsky affair. Until they do so, she argue persuasively, they will have no….ha ha, I’m kidding, fuck that shit and the totebaggers who gobble it up. It’s not even fair to the Soviets to call it whataboutism.

This post is about the crappy tax bill that ol’ blue eyes has scheduled today. It’s going to be tough to stop it in the House, but if you live in a Republican district, get on the horn with your representative.

We keep hearing about how it will be a big win politically for Republicans if it passes both chambers, is signed, and becomes law. I think that’s bullshit. The bill is already extremely unpopular. The Republicans are better off not passing it from the standpoint of the 2018 elections. But that’s not what matters. The bill is bad for the middle-class, bad for the country, bad for the future, and we need stop it.

Here’s one Republican who has the right idea:

Steve Louro, a Republican donor who hosted an event for Donald J. Trump at his Long Island home last year, abruptly quit his post as regional finance chairman for the state’s Republican Party on Tuesday over objections to the Republican-led tax bill advancing through Congress.

“The bill that’s going to get passed is not going to take care of the American people. It’s a disgrace,” Mr. Louro said in a phone interview. He had resigned from his post as a fund-raiser via email earlier in the day, he said.

“The Republican Party took control of the government against all odds, and the bottom line is” they messed up, he said, using an expletive. “It’s a disgrace. It’s going to hurt a lot of middle-class Republicans.”








Open Thread: Steve Bannon, the New Karl Rove?

As in “the guy who’s about to have a major meltdown, live and on camera”? Somebody has it out for the man, because one doesn’t bring in professional assassin Olivia Nuzzi for just a puff piece…

When Steve Bannon was the chief strategist and senior counselor to President Donald Trump, he spent his days and often long into his nights in an office on the first floor of the West Wing, separated from the Oval Office only by his neighbor Jared Kushner and the presidential study…

The last time I saw him before he was fired in August, West Wing construction had forced him across the driveway into a temporary office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. His central whiteboard had been relocated to basement storage, and a smaller version had been wheeled in and positioned by the desk. Anywhere Bannon is existing, it seems, becomes a kind of pop-up war room.

Since leaving the White House and its adjacent properties altogether, he’s moved his operation back into a war townhouse he calls the Breitbart Embassy. Breitbart News, where he’s the executive chairman, is headquartered in the basement; upstairs, he hosts glitzy parties and plans his hostile takeover of the GOP. And, depending on which sources you believe, the Breitbart Embassy is also where he happens to live…

During his time in the White House, rumors circulated in D.C. about the Breitbart Embassy; he was thought by many in the White House press corps to be living there despite having claimed to put a barrier between himself and the website he ran that served, during the campaign and thereafter, as Trump’s very own Russia Today. During the campaign and into the current administration, there was little meaningful difference between Breitbart’s coverage of Trump and Trump’s own press releases. Under Bannon, Breitbart also incubated and amplified voices that played at the edges of right-wing extremism. In 2016, Bannon referred to it as “the platform of the alt-right,” but attempted to move closer to the middle — by hiring staff with traditional journalism backgrounds — once the alt-right became synonymous with neo-Nazism.

Even now, with ethical constraints in the rearview mirror, Bannon is unwilling to admit that he calls the Breitbart Embassy home. A source with knowledge of his real-estate holdings told me he lives in Northern Virginia and stays at the Embassy when his schedule demands it, but provided no further details or proof. Another source close to Bannon told me that wasn’t true, and for what it’s worth, the general consensus here in D.C. is the same. “Steve lives on the top two floors,” this source explained, “so Steve will do his meetings at the second-floor dining-room table.”…
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Just seventeen, if you know what I mean

Worst David Brooks column ever:

In 1982, Kelly Harrison Thorp was working as a hostess at the Red Lobster restaurant in Gadsden. She was 17 years old and a high school senior.

One day Roy Moore came into the restaurant, and she recognized him.

“He was a public figure in this small town,” she said of Moore, who at the time was in his early 30s and the deputy district attorney for Etowah County. Later that year he would mount an unsuccessful campaign for circuit court judge.

Thorp said Moore asked her if she’d go out with him sometime.

“I just kind of said, ‘Do you know how old I am?'” she recalled.

“And he said, ‘Yeah. I go out with girls your age all the time.'”