The Line of Succession for the Governorship of Virginia: Lieutenant Governor Fairfax Comes Under Fire

Even as Governor Northam huddles with his cabinet as an attempt to maintain his governorship of Virginian, the same fine folks that thought Breitbart was too liberal have decided to direct fire against Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax.

From 13NewsNow:

Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax denies 2004 sexual assault allegation

The allegation involves an unsubstantiated claim of sexual assault against Fairfax during the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

The full details of the allegation are on Big League Politics.

This allegation was previously investigated by both local Virginia news outlets and The Washington Post last year and they could not substantiate it. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true, or parts of it aren’t, but that the allegations couldn’t be corroborated and/or substantiated.

Here’s Lieutenant Governor Fairfax’s statement:

Longtime Republican campaign strategist and strategic communication professional Rick Wilson thinks something here stinks in regards to how the allegations against Lieutenant Governor Fairfax came to light just after a “concerned citizen” discovered Governor Northam’s yearbook page.

The problem here is that it doesn’t really make a lot of political sense to do all of this so far from the Virginia state elections that are coming up later this year. If either and/or both of these stories play out, with Northam ultimately resigning or being forced out by the Democrats in Virginia – and there is a process to do that – and Fairfax also having to step aside, it isn’t going to make the Democrats look like they didn’t take either and/or both of these problems seriously. Nor would it hand the governorship to a Republican as the next in the line of succession is Mark Herring, who is Virginia’s Attorney General and a Democrat. (emphasis mine below)

In the case of the removal of the Governor from office or in the case of his disqualification, death, or resignation, the Lieutenant Governor shall become Governor.

If a vacancy exists in the office of Lieutenant Governor when the Lieutenant Governor is to succeed to the office of Governor or to serve as Acting Governor, the Attorney General, if he is eligible to serve as Governor, shall succeed to the office of Governor for the unexpired term or serve as Acting Governor. If the Attorney General is ineligible to serve as Governor, the Speaker of the House of Delegates, if he is eligible to serve as Governor, shall succeed to the office of Governor for the unexpired term or serve as Acting Governor. If a vacancy exists in the office of the Speaker of the House of Delegates or if the Speaker of the House of Delegates is ineligible to serve as Governor, the House of Delegates shall convene and fill the vacancy.

If this is an attempt to place the Virginia governorship in Republican hands, sort of a coup by scandal, it won’t work unless there’s a scandalous story involving Virginia Attorney General Herring teed up and ready to be deployed because the only Republican in the line of succession is the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates is Republican William J. Howell.

What is unclear right now is what, in the larger political sense, specifically of partisan political warfare, is actually going on. If this is a coordinated attempt to remove the Democratic leadership of Virginia’s executive branch through selected news reports of opposition research that was either overlooked or never previously released because it couldn’t be verified, then expect Big League Politics or some other similar outlet to drop a story on Virginia Attorney General Herring in the next few days, especially if other news outlets give the allegations against Lieutenant Governor Fairfax serious coverage and the pressure builds on him to resign as well.

This much coincidence, long buried inappropriate behavior by Virginia’s Democratic governor and lieutenant governor that one would have expected to have been put forward as oppo research much earlier in their political careers, takes a lot of work. That it doesn’t seem to really be a coincidence doesn’t excuse Governor Northam’s admission he dressed in blackface to go to a theme party as Michael Jackson, even as he disputes that he is either the person in blackface or the person in the Klan costume pictured on his yearbook page. Nor would it excuse Lieutenant Governor Fairfax if the allegations that have surfaced regarding sexual assault are substantiated. That it would all surface right now seems much too convenient.

Once is chance, twice is coincidence, the third time is enemy action.

Lieutenant Governor Fairfax is giving a press conference right now where he is both addressing the issues around Governor Northam and the resurfaced allegations against himself. I can’t find a live stream. If I do, I’ll update the post.

Open thread!








We Need to See All the Videos Before Drawing Conclusions: Covington Catholic High School Students Yell at Young Women Edition

Since we have to see all the videos of the fine young men from Covington Catholic High School, we definitely should make sure this is on the front page with the context provided by the person who both took the video and was in the group of young women being accosted and yelled at.

Beware of the 21st century technological Panopticon. It sees all!

Open thread.








The Trump Narrative

I think that one reason people have taken up the Steele dossier as a key to Donald Trump’s election wrongdoing is that it is a relatively compact telling of events, from which a narrative may be extracted.

Most of the news coverage is of one small piece of the story at a time. The format of the articles tends to be a general statement of that small piece, perhaps with a bit of background, then a more detailed explanation of the small piece, and then more background. Space is limited, and the story is big. The cast appears to include thousands.

I find those articles largely unreadable and uninformative. Journalists seem to be having trouble too. Sally Buzbee, the executive editor of AP, said the Trump-Russia probes have “gone on so long that it’s difficult to be able to assess what in this investigation is truly very serious and what is not as serious. So that is one thing that journalists struggle with a little bit…” (video here; quote begins at 4:30) That certainly could be one reason that their articles are unreadable.

We need an overall story into which we can fit the breaking news. That will help us figure out what is truly very serious. Elliott Broidy, as far as we know now, is not as important to the story as Erik Prince, who is not as important as Donald Trump Jr. A master narrative can show where characters and subplots fit. Then the subplots can be written separately, noting the connections.

So I’m going to stick my neck out and provide a narrative. It is a bare-bones framework on which we can hang the many subplots and add in facts as they emerge. I’ve also added questions that need to be answered. I suspect that Robert Mueller has answers to some of those questions.

I invite you to suggest subplots. I’ll add them to my list and perhaps write another post in which I try to incorporate them into the narrative.

The narrative is below the fold. Read more








Today in Rudys Giuliani: An Ongoing Series Regarding the Quantum Dynamics of America’s (Dumbest) Mayor!

Today we once again convene our ad hoc pro-seminar analytical series into the quantum dynamics and entanglements of Mayor A Noun, A Verb, and Boy Do I Sound Like a Dumbass! Giuliani. On behalf of the Institute for the Study of Infinite Rudys Giuliani, I would personally like to thank Josh Marshall for capturing the relevant clips of the various Rudys Giuliani broadcast and cable news appearances, which has made today’s installment possible.

This morning one of the Rudys Giuliani went on CNN this morning in an attempt to clarify something he said on Fox News earlier this morning. As a result we got this lovely revelation:

To summarize for those not able to watch video:

  1. Rudy Giuliani went on CNN to clarify Rudy Giuliani’s remarks earlier this morning on Fox News.
  2. Rudy Giuliani explained to CNN viewers that there was a planning meeting on 7 June 2016 in advance of the 9 June 2016 meeting with Natalia Veselnitskiya, her two Russian intelligence handlers (one former GRU and one, reportedly, former SVR), Emin Agalarov, Rob Goldstone, and a couple of other hangers on.
  3. In attendance at the now newly disclosed for the first time by Rudy Giuliani on CNN this morning to clarify what Rudy Giuliani said on Fox News before the CNN interview 7 June 2016 meeting was, according to Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump, Jr, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner (who are all reported to have been at the actual 9 June meeting with Veselnetskiya et al), Rick Gates, and Michael Cohen.
  4. Rick Gates has been cooperating with the Special Counsel’s Office for months.

It is important to remember that on 26 July 2018, Rudy Giuliani told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that:

GIULIANI: He didn’t know about it. I know that. I’ve been over this in great detail. I’ve talked to the corroborating witnesses. This guy is walking into a trap. But —

CUOMO: You’ve talked to the other people that were in the room?

GIULIANI: Of course I did. Months ago. A month ago. Two months ago.

CUOMO: And you know what they say the president was told and not told by his son?

GIULIANI: I know what they say, yes.

Here’s a question for the seminar: how does one talk to people who were in the room at a meeting that you’ve stated didn’t happen?

Anyhow, so when Rudy Giuliani went on CNN this morning to clarify what he said on Fox News before he went on CNN, he directly contradicted what Rudy Giuliani told CNN last Thursday. Everybody still with me? Good, because Rudy Giuliani has now gone on Fox News again to clarify what Rudy Giuliani told CNN this morning to clarify what Rudy Giuliani had told Fox News even earlier this morning, but which contradicts what Rudy Giuliani told CNN last Thursday.

Here’s the video clips of Rudy Giuliani on Fox earlier this afternoon to clarify what Rudy Giuliani told CNN this morning, which contradicted what Rudy Giuliani told CNN last Thursday in an attempt to clarify what Rudy Giuliani told Fox News even earlier this morning.

So, again, to summarize for those without video:

  1. Rudy Giuliani has gone on Fox News earlier this afternoon to state that there was no planning meeting on 7 June 2016 for the 9 June meeting with Natalia Veselnitskiya.
  2. This was an attempt to clarify what Rudy Giuliani told CNN this morning that there was a planning meeting on 7 June 2016 that was attended by Donald Trump, Jr, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates (who has been cooperating with the Special Counsel’s Office for months), and Michael “Hi-Fidelity” Cohen, which contradicted what Rudy Giuliani told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on 26 July 2018.
  3. This morning’s CNN appearance was an attempt by Rudy Giuliani to clarify what Rudy Giuliani told Fox News even earlier this morning.

It appears that we have had a Class 4 Rudys Giuliani quantum entanglement so far today. Though the day is young, who knows what Rudy Giuliani might say to Wolf Blitzer or Chris Cuomo or Anderson Cooper that will then require Rudy Giuliani to clarify what Rudy Giuliani said to Blitzer, Cuomo, and/or Cooper by going back on Fox News to set the record straight. If he really works at it, Rudy Giuliani may be able to get this all the way up to a Class 8 or 9!

I hope that everyone is clear about all of this, because if you’re not Rudy Giuliani will come to your house tonight to explain what Rudy Giuliani told Fox News to clarify what Rudy Giuliani told CNN, which contradicted what Rudy Giuliani told CNN last week, in an attempt to clarify what Rudy Giuliani told Fox News first thing this AM.

Open thread! Or threads if you can’t escape the quantum entanglements.

PS: More seriously, Giuliani’s inability to both keep his mouth shut, fight his mania for appearing on television multiple times every day, and get his stories straight is increasing the President’s legal jeopardy. As I noted above, Rick Gates has been cooperating with Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation for months. So the Special Counsel knows exactly whether there was or was not a 7 June 2016 planning meeting and what was or was not discussed at that meeting. Moreover, if you all recall, in the afternoon of 7 June 2016 the President held an impromptu press event to announce he’d be holding a press conference at the beginning of the following week to provide all sorts of new and damaging information about Secretary Clinton. Once news of the actual 9 June 2016 meeting broke last year, this has been seen as a significant tell that Veslenitskiya via the Agalarovs and Rob Goldstone had promised to provide incriminating information to the Trump campaign about Secretary Clinton. Specifically, that the President had been informed that the meeting was scheduled and what had been promised and couldn’t keep it to himself, so he teased it to the news media at a press conference. The President never held the follow on event he teased.








Late Night Open Thread: Facial Recognition


SRSLY!!!

Waiting on tenderhooks for the NYTimes to explain how the Juggalos are the real Midwestern white working-class heroes we have been waiting for.

No, I don’t mean ‘tenterhooks’; since the NYTimes is gonna get around to this on approximately the twelfth of never, I’m going for a softer seat, thankyouverymuch.

***********

Speaking of facial recognition, and its drawbacks…


Yeah, this ain’t a movie — this is a “Filthy commie lie-brals hate us, please send money!” grift.

***********

And because this is a late-night post, yet more facial recognition!

I believe the classical Roman quip was “Money has no odor”. And yet the Tad Devines can always sniff it out…