A Refreshingly Boring First 100 Days

From a legal perspective, the last three months have been pleasantly predictable.

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Recently, President Biden completed his first 100 days in office. And everyone let out a collective yawn. The legal landscape has been remarkably tame over the past three months. There have been only a handful of adverse rulings against the administration. A federal district court judge in Texas enjoined the moratorium on deportations. The government didn't even bother seeking an emergency stay with the Fifth Circuit. There have been some injunctions and declarations issued in case concerning the eviction moratorium. But Trump enacted that policy! As best as I can recall, the Solicitor General has not filed a single emergency application with the Supreme Court. So far, things have been, well, refreshingly boring.

The past four years felt like a marathon run at a sprint pace. We lived through a never-ending series of insane tweets, hasty executive actions, nationwide injunctions, stay applications, and divided Supreme Court rulings. (I was on the losing end of one of those nationwide injunctions, and my client wasn't even a real party!) I can't even fathom how many hours of legal services were spent on litigating for and against these policies.

Now, things are pleasantly predictable. Our biggest debates concern the definition of "infrastructure" rather than arguing about animus and emoluments.

Things may still heat up. But so far, I am enjoying this pause. It has allowed me to return to some projects that were on the backburner for far too long.

NEXT: Today in Supreme Court History: May 3, 1802

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  1. It is quiet because the Dems won. They did not accept the election of 2016, and made our lives miserable.

    1. Every President faces opposition and a head wind. President Clinton was investigated through much of his Presidency. President Bush (43) faced the question on Florida count. President Obama’s citizenship and birth status were questioned. So the former President did not face anything other Presidents have not faced.

      The difference was that other presidents put their head down and did their jobs. The former President just whined like a child and sat on his ass. He was self center and incompetent.

      1. The difference is that when a party elects an establishment President, you have partisan disagreements, but these are disagreements within the establishment. So only half the establishment is fighting that President

        When a party elects a candidate from outside the establishment, they’re going to be in conflict, not just with the opposing party, but with both party’s establishments, the uniparty. They’ll face exponentially more opposition.

        Trump wasn’t taking any positions that the GOP electorate found offensive, but he was attempting to do things that neither party’s establishment would agree with. It’s just that one party’s establishment could openly oppose him, and the other had to be a little covert about it.

        1. I almost feel sorry for the Marks that still buy this idea that Trump was an anti-Establishment warrior. The guy is, by his own admission, a life-long Establishment guy (it’s why he said he alone could save us all), an inheritee of millions of dollars who made a billion in the New Jersey-New York real estate world for crying out loud. He’s made a living out of political connections and favors. He didn’t lack for well connected people to work for him because he was always part of that world.

          I remember reading the work of psychologists who study right wing authoritarians back in grad school that found evidence that authoritarian followers are especially prone to being complete marks for any figure that arrives on the popular scene saying what they’ve been dying for someone like that to say on that scene. Trump’s marks really demonstrate that.

          1. Remember that Trump’s pretty much only major legislative achievement was: a corporate/wealthy class leaning tax cut!

            Take that Establishment!

            1. Remember that Trump’s pretty much only major legislative achievement was the one thing the establishment didn’t oppose him on.

              So, you’re putting a lot of weight on the establishment not opposing him even where they agreed.

            2. Queen Amalthea : “Remember that Trump’s pretty much only major legislative achievement was: a corporate/wealthy class leaning tax cut!”

              Of course the other side of that coin just reinforces the point: Where Trump’s “policies” did lie outside the GOP mainstream, his actions were empty theatrics and cartoon fireworks. His immigration “policy” was nothing more than spiteful stunts and PR gimmicks. His precious wall was ignored for almost two years until the base (at an Ann-Coulter-sub-level) began grumbling, then a panicked Trump put the country thru government shutdown & misappropriation of congressional funds to try and appease the rubes.

              His trade policy was incoherence personified. He tossed out tariffs without the slightest strategy or planned objective – like a monkey throwing feces against the wall. One minute he was gushing over Xi Jinping and signaling the U.S. would take no stand on the Uyghurs, the next minute he was in yellow-peril-mode. It all depended on what headline he wanted that day. A regular “policy” only came when Trump needed China as villian to obscure his own indifference to the Covid pandemic.

              Which raises a question for Brett : When did the GOP ever thwart a seriously-pursued, detailed, worked-out policy from Trump?

              Perhaps Brett is ready to answer honestly : Never.

              1. Disagreeing with a policy does not make it incoherent. You’re so opposed to everything Trump that you’re incapable of rationally assessing anything associated with him.

                1. Ah, no Brett : Incoherence makes a policy incoherent. But you’re welcome to provide an example of a complete worked-out policy proposal from Trump that his party rejected. He never came-up with a healthcare plan – that was “about to be announced” right up to the day he left office. He never came-up with an infrastructure plan no matter how many “infrastructure weeks” he staged. He never came-up with an immigration plan – just a series of executive actions tossed out as red meat to the dupes.

                  As for trade, what was even trying to accomplish? He ditched the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a stunt, and the Chinese just stepped into the void with their own trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership signed by 15 countries. That was a gift to the CCP delivered on a silver platter. All his tariffs were just scattershot PR, without an ounce of thought behind them. What he expected was Xi Jinping would throw him a bone. He appealed to the Chinese leader for just that. A little public relations gift, like he got from Kim Jong-un, was always the only objective.

              2. “He tossed out tariffs without the slightest strategy or planned objective – like a monkey throwing feces against the wall.”
                I find that characterization disingenuous at best. The tariff contra China was the result of many years of frustration with China when it can to underhanded business and trade practices.
                Was it thought out as far as it should have been? No.
                But I don’t see Mr. Biden moving rapidly to change direction.

                1. I learned a lot about the effects of bias during the Trump administration. It is everywhere, in journalism, in scientific advice, in the courts. It invalidates 99% of what we are doing, as just personal feelings fronting as objectivity or external reality. Everything has to be started over from scratch.

            3. Trump helped the black people more than anyone since Grant who hanged a bunch of KKK lawyers.

          2. More personal insults by a disloyal, America hater. Move to Venezuela for your welfare and for your comfort.

            1. Coke addled cockatoos are not good Americans, Polly.

            2. Behar,
              As the saying goes…”you’d catch more flies with sugar…”

              1. Donnie. How much sugar can overcome a $trillion in rent?

                1. Did you ever try to take candy from a baby? Not so easy either.

          3. POLITICAL establishment. That’s different than, say, belonging to the elite of the entertainment establishment. You’re comparing apples to grapes here.

            Is it really your contention that Trump DIDN’T upset the applecart? That he didn’t threaten the cushy sinecures of the political establishment at the federal level? Because if it is, I’d sure love to hear you make that argument.

            Otherwise, Brett’s point stands, and adding in idiocy about psychologists studying right-wing “authoritarians” just proves how utterly clueless you are. Because if Trump was anything, he was NOT authoritarian.

            1. I Callahan : Is it really your contention that Trump DIDN’T upset the applecart?

              How ?!? Certainly not by “draining the swamp”, since Trump appointees were forced to resign for ethics violations at (at least) four times the rate of Obama or W Bush. Certainly not by reforming the business of Washington; Trump ignored all existing ethics regulations & had certainly no interest in expanding or reforming them.

              But why do I even bother asking, I Callahan? Everyone already knows the answer. You found Trump’s brat-child behavior entertaining – and entertainment is everything to you. Substantive questions like above bore you – as opposed to the yuks & yee-haws in watching Trump treat our nation’s highest office with contempt. On that juvenile level, yeah Trump “upset the applecart”. Brat children misbehave like that.

              1. I’ve often argued that Trump fans like Calahan seem to have no idea what professional ethics, conflict of interest and civil service laws are about. They seem to think the swamp of government corruption is drained by hiring your son in law to run things or getting rid of career civil servants.

            2. Is it really your contention that Trump DIDN’T upset the applecart? That he didn’t threaten the cushy sinecures of the political establishment at the federal level? Because if it is, I’d sure love to hear you make that argument.

              Correct. He did nothing whatsoever in that regard.

        2. he was attempting to do things that neither party’s establishment would agree with. It’s just that one party’s establishment could openly oppose him, and the other had to be a little covert about it.

          This is bullshit. What was hew doing that establisment Republicans didn’t like? Cutting taxes for rich people? Appointing right-wing judges? Trying to restrict immigration? (The GOP gave up being pro-immigration before Trump came along.)

          And how did the establishment GOP oppose him? They didn’t. They went into full ass-kissing mode.

          1. You’re forgetting that sometimes when Trump expressed a bog-standard GOP position in a particularly boorish way some GOP figures, certainly RINO’s for doing so amirite!, frowed their brows and made mild criticisms of the words!

            The Deep State was *relentless* I tells ya!

          2. Yes, trying to restrict immigration. The GOP establishment had to oppose him covertly on that, but you’ll recall he couldn’t get his enforcement funding, even though Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress.

            1. Weren’t they waiting for Mexico to provide the funding as promised by Trump so much?

              1. And how do you get Mexico to pay? By taxing remittances.

                Very easy, but it requires legislation. And the legislature was held by people who didn’t want the wall, though they had to lie to the voters about it.

          3. Building a wall.
            Limiting Immigration.
            Making changes to bureaucracies (cleaning the swamp).

            Is it really your contention that Trump didn’t attempt the above, and that even if he had, the establishment wasn’t against those moves? What color sky is the planet you live on?

            1. Limiting immigration is a long held and established stance among many GOPers for a long time. It’s not ‘anti-Establishment.’ Trump offered non-serious goofball stuff about building a wall (Mexico would pay for it!) and then had to violate the separation of powers to get his funding. And the guy was as far from any coherent conception of good government as we are from Alpha Centauri by foot.

              1. Talking about limiting illegal immigration isn’t anti-Establishment. Doing anything to limit illegal immigration is, however.

                Why did Trump have to go to emergency spending powers to build the wall? Because, the establishment Reps who had run on it were determined to oppose it.

            2. I Callahan : Is it really your contention that Trump didn’t attempt the above….?

              Two questions :

              (1) What “making changes to bureaucracies (cleaning the swamp)”? I’m going to microwave a bag of popcorn & sit back to enjoy the spectacle of your floundering – if you even dare try to answer that question. Just to list it as one of your “points” shows incompetent recklessness in the art of bluffing. (You must be a disaster at poker). Or maybe you meant Trump channeling Ukrainian policy thru his burnt-out husk of a personal attorney & two-grade crook henchmen? All to bargain for dirt on a political opponent?? Lord knows you must have meant something…

              (2) Building the wall? Okeydokey, recent history time : After his wall gibberish was no longer a campaign line, Trump ignored his “signature issue” for two years. In 2019, Trump wholeheartedly approved a budget without wall funding in the morning, got flamed by Ann Coulter-types in the afternoon, and reversed his position 180-degrees next morning. It seemed the rubes had finally noticed Trump didn’t give a damn about his joke-wall & were starting to grumble. The result was sweaty panic, a government shutdown, misappropriation of congressionally mandated funds.

              So I guess this much is true : In a Ann-Coulter-induced panic frenzy, Trump was forced to take his own bullshit seriously. (I’m sure you take great comfort in that)

            3. Trump made the Mexican Army stop the caravans at the Guatemala border, and keep the asylum seekers in Mexico. That was 10 times more effective than the wall.

              1. The CARAVANS ?!?

                Jeez, dude, do you enjoy playing the clown? We all remember those caravans, which would start out as a few thousand people deep in Central American. As they inched north, two things happened : First they regularly shed people by the score, mile by mile. Second, the pearl-clutching hysteria of the Right steadily grew in shrill panic – also mile by mile. You would think no one could be dupe enough to fall for it, but no : Trump had his followers soiling their undies they were so distraught. He had to call in the National Guard!!! It was an invasion!!!!

                By the time they reached the border, the numbers were down to a few hundred and were handled by United States Border Patrol the same as any other refugees. The National Guard stood around doing nothing, but they’re used to that. (I was in the Guard and well know). The Trump cultists changed into clean underwear & praised Dear Leader for saving them.

                The caravans! Damn, you people are gullible……

          4. “The GOP gave up being pro-immigration before Trump came along.”
            Indeed they opposed W’s early and sincere attempt to make a real move in immigration reform, a move that would have strengthened the Republican party in the long run.

        3. If by establishment you mean someone who isn’t a narcissistic, self absorbed, incompetent, mendacious kleptocrat, then please, give us establishment presidents.

          1. Which was the last president to not meet that description?

            1. Granted it’s a matter of degree, but Trump took those bad qualities and raised them by orders of magnitude. Comparing his character flaws to those of most previous presidents is like comparing the football skills of the New England Patriots to those of a high school second string.

              1. No, this is just your visceral, personal, emotional dislike of the man. It has nothing to do with what Trump did.

                1. What Trump did is what he’s done all his life: Be a con artist who separates fools from their money.

                  1. Because he is a nasty, amoral and immoral individual. What could one have expected.

                    1. Again, which recent politician is not this?

                      The only thing top pols have in common is the skill of lying convincingly. This ties not to “feeling your pain”, but the opposite: not caring at all, emotionally, if they are caught lying. They are low end, functioning psychopaths.

                    2. This is the ‘I know my cousin shit on the kitchen floor when he visited but your cousin took the last piece of lasagna at dinner without asking if anyone else wanted it’ what-about-ism that people use to defend Trump.

                    3. This is the ‘I know my cousin shit on the kitchen floor when he visited but your cousin took the last piece of lasagna at dinner without asking if anyone else wanted it’ what-about-ism that people use to defend Trump.

                      Exactly. Every human being lies, and of course politicians lie more than normal people. But Trump — as he did with everything else — took it to a whole ‘nother level: sociopathy. Politicians (and normal people) lie to get something out of it. Trump lies purely for the fun of it.

                      The thing about Trump is, every past president, IMO, cared about the country. They might have been greedy, self-absorbed, misguided, stupid, or even corrupt, but they were still doing what they thought was good for the country. Trump, uniquely, didn’t/doesn’t care about anything other than himself. Culminating in his post-election If-I-can’t-have-it-I’m-going-to-burn-the-country-down.

                    4. Krayt,
                      I worked for a US Senator for six years. While we did not agree about every topic that came across his desk, I saw that he treated all with honesty and integrity. I was disappointed that his party did not nominate him to run for President.
                      Your characterization is a gross misrepresentation of most of our elected officials offered only to excuse the most disgraceful occupant of the White House in our lifetimes.

                2. You do realize that you are the outlier in thinking Trump was in the line of a normal politicians’ flaws, yes?

      2. M4e,
        The items that haunted W and BHO were mosquitoes. DJT faced a full-throated chorus of “not my President.” The one Democat who tried to take a moderate stance, Diane Feinstein, was excoriated by her colleagues and primaried against.
        The fools, Diane crushed them like and insect, but she did get in line with the party chant.

        1. First, I’m not sure you remember the Obama and Bush admins. There was plenty of not my President for both.

          It is not at all clear to me you have the cause and effect in the right order.

          DJT was extraordinarily bad from the break, including what he campaigned on and how he campaigned.

          I would also note how many, thanks to Trump, are rolling with Biden not being THE President, not just ‘not my President.’

          1. S-0,
            I think you have the selective memory in this case.
            Sure people grumbled about W and BHO, but nothing like the cacophony that greeted the Orange Clown.
            Yes, D’s were angry about Bush v Gore, but one did not see a plethora of requests for nationwide injunctions. And Gore did finally walk away after the SCOTUS ruling without any of the craziness displayed by Trump up to January 20.
            And as for Obama, no sane person seriously doubted that he won. McCane guaranteed that when he choose Sarah Palin.

            1. I figured he guaranteed it when he shut down his own campaign.

              1. For those of you unused to the Theology of Brett, he refers to this : In September of ’08 – as the economy teetered on the point of collapse – McCain tried the political stunt of “shutting down his campaign” and calling for Obama to do the same. This was proposed to “come together” for a bi-partisan rescue bill, and was in response to Obama’s political stunt of calling for a joint statement by the two candidates. McCain’s faux-campaign shutdown lasted less than two days & ended with about two months left before the election.

                Our Brett has somehow convinced himself this little political gimmick has all the importance of Comet Pizza’s (nonexistent) basement. It was the cause of McCain’s loss!! It was a betrayal!! It is just more evidence of the treachery of those rinos & cucks!!!!

                (Brett can convince himself of ANYTHING)

              2. It would have been semi-miraculous for any R to win. McCane should have stuck with his principles and ask Joe Liebermann to be his running mate

                1. That would have been sticking to his principles, but he would have lost even bigger. The reason he’d picked Palin in the first place is that Republicans were dubious about him, and he needed a conservative running mate to balance the ticket. If he’d picked a Democrat, instead, Republicans would have just not bothered voting at the top of the ticket.

                  1. And there you have it folks….. Brett somehow convinces himself the tiny little political gimmick of a two-day “campaign shutdown” during a national economic catastrophe is some dark deep-state betrayal of “right-wing principles”. He repeatedly raises this wacko opinion here in this forum, always with real seething bitterness (this just being the first time I pointed out how absurd his nonsense is)

                    Meanwhile, nominating a clownish buffoon like Palin is a affirmation of “right-wing principles”- something that might have saved McCain’s candidacy.

                    Of course in the real (non-Brett) world, the opposite is true to the nth degree. The “shutdown” was a nothingburger, over in less than two days, over two months before the election, and quickly forgotten by all (even then). On the other hand, Palin was a massive dead weight hung round the neck of a man struggling to tread water. She was a calamity & embarrassment throughout the entire campaign. She was a living, breathing witness to doubts McCain should be president. She was a joke, whatever “little starbursts” she set off in Rich Lowry (and Brett).

                    And she presaged Trump, when entertainment & reality-TV kicks finally became the Right’s guiding factor in picking a national leader. The GOP is now so mentally & morally sick, I honestly think they could pick Tucker Carlson as their next nominee if he’d run. “Right-wing principles”, huh?

            2. As I noted, Trump invited the cacophony with what he campaigned on.

              I do recall Limbaugh saying he hoped Obama failed, and McConnell saying it was his #1 Job to make Obama a 1 term President. Plus birtherism.

              With Bush, it wasn’t as quick, (though no shortage were willing to go scorched Earth till Gore said no), but once he started with the WMD stuff (which I fell for), there was a pretty robust constant protest movement from then on.

    2. “They did not accept the election of 2016”

      Derpity-Do!

      1. This is silly and childish. You know it’s a true statement, so have the stones to admit it.

        1. It’s not like a dozen Democrat Senators and a majority of Representatives voted to reject the election results while a mob rioted in the Capitol over it…

          1. Biden To Democrats Objecting To Electoral College Results: ‘It Is Over’

            “More than half a dozen members rose at different points to object to the results of the election, citing Russian hacking, the legitimacy of the election and electors, voting machines, voter suppression and more.”

            And maybe you didn’t notice the riots, either. But they happened.

            1. Ok : let’s tally up the crazy :

              In 2016, (007) Democrat Representatives tried to thwart the people’s vote

              in 2021, (139) Republican Representatives tried to thwart the people’s vote

              In 2016, three Protesters arrested.

              In 2021, hundreds of rioters overran the Capitol, forced Senators & Representatives to retreat into heavily-guarded safe rooms, beat the policemen trying to hold them back, screamed they would murder the Vice President & Congressmen, caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, humiliated our country in the eyes of the world.

              Yep. I can accept that contrast – 2016 vs 2021 – as a gauge of the freak-quotient of the two respective parties. Hell, you can almost reduce the question to a mathematical formula with this data alone. Care to work out the GOP’s Freak Rating, Brett? After all, you supplied the link; you deserve the honor….

              1. grb,
                by looking at the instantaneous and the small, you reallu minimize the huge opposition to Trump immediately on his election and you disregard the punishment that the D left tried vainly to mete out to DiFi.
                It all led to a remarkable resentment on the right. That Trump sought at every turn to amplify- all culminating with the circus launched by Trump after he lost

                1. Hours into his presidency, Donald Trump told a lie about his inauguration crowd size so bizarre it seemed to augur mental illness. The next day he attended a memorial ceremony at CIA HQs to honor agents who died in the line of duty. He spent most of the speech whining about his crowd size,

                  Within days Trump was telling people “the president can’t have a conflict of interest”. Two weeks & change found Trump claiming millions of illegal votes had denied him a popular vote victory.

                  Still under two months, and Trump is explaining why he’s only bothered with 4 of 31 intelligence briefings (“I’m, like, a smart person”), trashing Lockheed Martin’s stock with a random tweet, and denying the head of Twitter a place at a tech conference because he wouldn’t create a “Crooked Hillary” emoji. Fast-forward four years and he’s claiming Obama had Seal Team Six secretly murdered. You could barely find a sane or ethical moment in the interim.

                  So please excuse my language, but fuck right-wing whining on the raw deal Trump faced. Any normal president – or normal human being – would have faced way more blowback than Trump, even for a fraction of the misdeeds. Why? Because that person would have faced normal president/human being standards. Trump didn’t. For the very beginning of his presidency he got off easy.

        2. Judging by the content of your posts, you are not someone who knows what truth is.

          Trump’s gone. You don’t need to kneel with your mouth agape any longer.

      2. Trump was weak. He should not only have fired Mueller, he should have arrested Mueller and Pelosi for insurrection, tried them, and put them in stir at hard labor for 10 years. The Dems abused the legal system to attack a political adversary. As to shadiness, anyone who works commits multiple federal crimes a day. Lend me your laptop for an hour. I can get you years in prison and $million in fines, even if a toddler. I am surprised no one did what I would do.

        1. (1) As I noted in another thread a few days ago, the subject of “weakness” is often an obsession of weak people. Why am not surprised our DaivdBehar keeps returning to it again & again?

          (2) The Justice Department’s Inspector General has already ruled on your childish fantasy: The investigation into possible ties between the Russian Intelligence effort to aid Trump & his campaign was legitimately founded. That’s never going to change.

          (3) You : “As to shadiness, anyone who works commits multiple federal crimes a day. Lend me your laptop (etc)” Hilarious! You are such an incoherent babbling freak…..

          1. “2) The Justice Department’s Inspector General has already ruled on your childish fantasy: The investigation into possible ties between the Russian Intelligence effort to aid Trump & his campaign was legitimately founded. That’s never going to change.”

            What the IG determined is that they had enough basis to START an investigation, and then almost immediately learned that basis was false. But they kept the investigation going anyway by feeding the FISA court incomplete and misleading applications.

            1. But Brett,

              They found out that (1) Trump’s campaign manager was giving private briefing to a Russian spy, (2) Trump’s son was told the Russian government wanted to help his daddy’s election & responded with glee – in writing, (3) Trump’s fixer was sneaking into Moscow throughout the campaign to negotiate a massive business deal, (4) Trump repeatedly lied about his Russian business dealings during the campaign – even when asked direct questions, (5) Russian Intelligence released anti-Clinton information they’d hacked months earlier within one hour of the Access Hollywood story breaking – and their boy’s campaign being threatened.

              And, of course, much, much, more.

              Which brings us to your truly bizarre complaint : You pick a point where you think the investigation might have ended before all that embarrassing (relevant & substantive) information emerging. You then claim it sooooo unfair the investigation wasn’t stopped before supporting evidence was discovered.

              Well, given the tortuous lengths “conservatives” went to excuse Trump’s maleficence, it’s not surprised you’re shameless enuff to actually make that argument.

        2. ” he should have arrested Mueller and Pelosi for insurrection, tried them, and put them in stir at hard labor for 10 years.”
          It is truly amazing how much the human brain can degenerate

        3. I will agree to this extent: Trump’s only real hope of sucess would have lain in announcing a bunch of top level firings right from the podium moments after being inaugurated. He gave the swamp a chance to reform, and they used it to organize against him and lay traps, instead.

    3. Antifa is attacking London. Antifa achieved its goals in the US. They have moved on.

      I opposed kicking Antifa ass. I do support visiting their employer, Soros.

  2. Prof., no one is holding a gun to your head and making you blog every minor event that occurs in legal politics …

    1. Nor is anyone holding any gun forcing you to read them.

    2. Or, literally, every minor event that doesn’t happen, which appears to be the point of this post?

    3. The problem was not those reporting. The former President basically just ramped things up till he got a response. The only time the former President actually quieted down was after January 6th because even he realized that he had gone to far and needed to lay low for a while.

      1. Trump was deplatformed by the tech billionaires.

        1. Twitter valuation dropped 15%, which I suppose is a decent penalty for its betrayal of our nation.

          It should be seized in civil forfeiture for the billions of crimes committed on its platform.

        2. Trump was “deplatformed” by his own vanity, his own stupidity, and his own mean spirit.

  3. Thus proving the injunctions really were all “TrumpLaw”.

    Yeah, I suppose this administration is pretty boring from a legal, as opposed to policy, standpoint. That’s always going to be the case when the establishment takes back power, Trump’s legal problems came from fighting the establishment, and the establishment doesn’t fight itself.

    Still, some people find the crisis on the border, and assaults on basic civil liberties such as gun ownership, “exciting”.

    1. The only thing that guy fought was a heart attack from sitting on his ass all day eating Big Macs and rage tweeting about how people were so unfair to him.

      1. Well said.

        1. One person types an absolutely adolescent, idiotic, personal comment; another agrees. Good Lord, if you two are lawyers, we are truly screwed.

          1. Seriously, this particular comment thread resembles the WaPo. I hope it isn’t tidings of the future here at Reason.

            1. WaPo is worse. Much worse. It is a continuing barrage of insults. I cancelled my subscription.
              In contrast the NYT moderated site is far more civil but boringly tame.
              You pays your money and takes your chances.

        2. And no other recent presidents suffered from sitting on their ass and eating too many Big Macs?

          1. Actually not.
            The Orange Clown did not even believe in starting work before 11 am.
            And if you’re referring to Bill Clinton. He got by on 4 to 5 hours of sleep each night. His was a mind always in motion and the last president who delivered (and who will ever deliver) a balance budget

      2. I learned a lot about the effects on perception of partisan viewpoints the past 4 years. People looking at the same events have totally different interpretations of it. This is called the Rashomon Effect, after the Japanese movie of the totally different depictions of the same murder.

        1. David’s next revelation will be that the Sun comes up in the east, and he will blame it on a Commie Plot or d-word lawyers.

          1. QA,
            You were not specific enough. It would be a Chinese Commie Plot.

    2. No, this Trumplaw thing is nonsense. Just the usual ‘Those liberal, liberal, judges are lying’ dressed back up.

      With as much complete lack of substantive information to back it up.

      As with so many things, just feeling there’s a double standard is not enough to establish the existence of one.

  4. This is what normal politics looks like when you don’t have the media and elite leftists go into full on meltdown mode for four years…

    And of course we don’t hear anything about the extreme positions of this administration in the news. Nothing on the complete failure of border security, governance by executive order, trillion dollar boondoggles, etc. That helps when the press are your active collaborators and not the “resistance.”

    1. No, this is what normal politics looks like when you have a normal president.

      1. “Normal” isn’t necessarily a good thing, in a country whose politics have become increasingly corrupt and unresponsive to the voters.

        1. “a country whose politics have become increasingly corrupt and unresponsive to the voters.”

          Conservatives today live with no sense of history (ironically). It gets in the way of the hyperbole that fuels their extremism and sense of victimhood. They have a halcyon view of the ‘Great America’ that was. I mean, look at this sentence. I guess we need to return to the wonderful 50’s with their responsive politics that ignored black voters and uncorrupt political machine politicians like Truman. Or the wonderful Gilded Age with honest, responsive political figures like Boss Tweed. Or the glory days of the Federalists, those responsive-to-the-public rascals. Jesus Christ.

          We live in an age of unprecedented transparency in re corruption and unmatched ‘responsiveness.’

          1. We may live in an age of increased “responsiveness” but it certainly isn’t responsiveness to voters, let alone black voters

            1. You don’t think black voters are responded to by politicians more so than in, say, 1950, 1960 or 1890 or 1790???

              1. When they all rally around Black politicians — for reasons that fail me — you gotta ask why White politicians should even care about them…

        2. “Normal” isn’t necessarily a good thing, in a country whose politics have become increasingly corrupt and unresponsive to the voters.

          ISTM that your side is the one trying hard to make our politics unresponsive to the voters, and defending that unresponsiveness as desirable.

          Or are you saying that everyone you know voted for Trump, so he is obviously massively popular?

          1. ” your side is the one trying hard to make our politics unresponsive to the voters”

            We’re a Republic, not a Democracy for Pete’s sake! And many people really shouldn’t be voting anyway, that’s what National Review told me.

            And the Establishment is thwarting the will of the People!

            It’s like the Woody Allen joke ‘boy the food here is terrible, and such small portions!’

        3. Being driven off a cliff by the narcissistic, self absorbed, incompetent, mendacious kleptocratic Donald Trump isn’t such a great thing either.

          1. That is what the media wanted you to believe and you were apparently more than happy to drink that kool-aid…

            1. This would be the same media that spent most of 2016 doing everything it could to destroy Hillary Clinton?

              1. No, K_2.
                Hilary did most of the damage to herself and by ignoring the good campaign advice from Bill.

                1. Hillary was an awful candidate, no disagreement there. But my specific point is that the claim that the media only goes after Republicans is nonsense after the terrible press she got for most of 2016.

                  1. I agree, that claim is also nonsense.
                    Reporters will report on a fire no matter whose house is burning. It’s their job.

                    1. I’m not sure that’s what happened in 2016. I think there was a misguided notion among the press that being fair and balanced meant pretending that both candidates were just as bad, which was manifestly not true.

                      It’s fine to report on Hillary’s flaws, and she has them. It’s not fine to make out that someone who at least would have been a competent president was the same as a poo-throwing chimpanzee.

                    2. Yes and no. Let’s review an example : One of the medium-grade blows that Ms. Clinton’s campaign took was an article from AP reporters alleging favoritism at the State Department for people who contributed to the Clinton Foundation. It was announced by a tweet that said more than half of people who met w/ her at State were contributors.

                      Clinton immediately pointed out the tweet didn’t even match the story, which only claimed half of non-State Department business meetings, not meeting in general. The AP refused to take the tweet down or revise it, claiming they didn’t know how. But the mess of this story was only beginning.

                      How did the AP define non-State Department business? They wouldn’t say. How did they define contributor? It turned out that meant anyone who contributed to any group who also contributed to the Foundation, which was a very broad net. The tally was supposedly plus-eighty meetings but – brace yourself – the AP refused to release their list. It was a “we’re holding in our hands a list of eighty suspect meetings but refuse to publish it.” They never did.

                      So what examples were given in the article? After all, they were surely the damning cases, right? One was Melinda Gates, heavily involved in charity projects around the globe. How did the AP define her as non-State Department related? Who knows.

                      The second was a former UAE diplomat who had met with every Secretary of State since Warren Christopher. The third was Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist who won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering low-interest “microcredit” for poor business owners – and had previously been invited to address a joint session of Congress. Non-State Department related? Huh.

                      Again, these were the best examples the AP could produce. Again, they refused to disclose their other “examples”. Again, this story did major damage to Clinton’s campaign.

                      Questioned about the story, the AP said (smirking) that they wished they could have produce a better article, but Clinton had not cooperated with providing them meeting info. So that was why they shivved her in the back – that & the fact the press corps is something like a junior high school. Some people just. aren’t. liked.

                      If you hadn’t heard about this mess before, apologies. We of the Left aren’t into butthurt snowflake victimhood whinging as much as you Right-wingers.

        4. Brett, I’m happy to hear that you think being responsive to the voters is a good thing. Does that mean you will join me in calling for abolition of the electoral college and two senators per state?

          1. No, but I’m quite on board with punishing unfaithful electors.

            1. OK, so you don’t actually think being responsive to the voters is a good thing then.

              1. I believe Senators should be responsive to the people who elect them. This doesn’t require believing that the Senate should be a second House of Representatives.

                1. “I believe Senators should be responsive to the people who elect them.”

                  Those people just need to be career state pols and not The People! (Brett opposes the 17th Amendment).

                2. Right, just like politicians were responsive to the people who elected them before those people included women and blacks.

        5. ” “Normal” isn’t necessarily a good thing, ”

          . . . the Ballad of the Misfit.

        6. Note to self: Do not piss off the opposition as well as people who should be your friends, and people who were your friend but disagreed with you.

          1. Basically the GOP only got Trump as a nominee in the first place because the party establishment had been giving their own voting base the finger for so long that said voters were willing to vote for just about anybody so long as they didn’t belong to the party establishment. So along comes Trump with enough resources that they couldn’t kill his candidacy off early, and he became the only non-establishment choice.

            The voters weren’t looking for somebody who’d be the GOP establishment’s friend. They exactly weren’t looking for that, because they didn’t view the GOP establishment as THEIR friend.

            1. Oh no, they got Trump because the base *loved* what he was saying and offering.

              This ‘GOP Establishment’ stuff is more of your paranoid conspiracy mongering. There is not monolithic ‘GOP Establishment’ and there was not in 2016. It’s just a Goldstein conservative extremists conjure up to explain away why they didn’t get the extreme policy results they wanted.

            2. Yah, but the GOP’s voting base is patent idiots, as the last four years have starkly shown. There’s something to be said for not pandering to idiots even if they’re your base.

              1. So much for healing and bringing America together.

                1. I’m giving it four to six years before they’re calling for reeducation camps.

                  1. No need for reeducation camps. Just end the anti-democratic institutions that allow the patent nuts to wield far more political power than their numbers would indicate.

                    It would be one thing if the patent idiots won democratic elections fair and square (meaning a New Yorker’s vote counts just as much as a Kansan’s). I still wouldn’t be happy about it, but at least it would be a fair system. But to have a system that disproportionately gives the patent nuts more power than their numbers? That’s, well, nuts.

                    1. “at least it would be a fair system”
                      It would only be your idea of a fair system.

                  2. Those Dems will reveal their secret desires and plans I know they have to the world in 4 years!

                    I expect you’ll be posting the same Ed-esqe catastrophization in 4 years.

                  3. Brett Bellmore : I’m giving it four to six years before they’re calling for reeducation camps.

                    Fear not, Brett! Next time I meet Soros for my paycheck, I’ll put in a good word for you. We’ll make sure you go to a reeducation camp with tennis courts, arts & crafts, ice cream on Sundays….

      2. “when you have a normal president.”
        more actuate to say “when you have a normal partisan.” The Orange Clown was far from that. In fact he provoked opponents real and imagined from outside and within his own party from the outset and did so every day.
        He had a golden opportunity to challenge the Democrats and Republican non-believers to craft a great infrastructure renewal program that would have made America structurally stable again.
        Instead I went on and on with his fantasy of the wall that Mecico would pay for.
        He could have fired Comey week one with applause from all corners and saved himself a headache.
        And I have not even gotten to week 2

      3. “Normal”. You people are caricatures…

        1. Did he upset the applecart or was he blandly normal? The answer depends on when you ask Calahan I guess.

    2. Not to mention the rabid antisemites and racists that he is nominating to important positions.

      1. Ed,
        Care to name several of them?

        1. His nominee for ED-OCR, for DOJ-OCR, for something in the SBA and one more.

    3. Biggest winner in 2020? The Chinese Commie Party and its subhuman agents, the US tech billionaires.

    4. “Nothing on the complete failure of border security”

      The ‘crisis at the border’ story is literally all over the news.

  5. The former President was a con man. His entire history speaks to this fact. Con men operate by keeping things agitated, never allowing the victim to think about what is happening. You just wake up one day and find that you have been fleeced. Well the con man is gone and we have only started to count up the damages.

    1. Trump was to America what the Medici popes were to the Catholic church.

      1. No, Trump was more like Martin Luther.

        1. Lol, more like Lex Luther from Superman I, but with slight brain damage.

        2. “I think I speak for many people in that Trump has never actually been wrong, and so we’ve learned to trust when he says something, that he’s not just going to spew something out there that’s wrong and not verified…”
          -Debra Ell, a Republican organizer in Michigan

          “Trump did not lose the 2020 election anymore than Jesus lost the battle between good and evil when He died on a Roman cross.”
          – another random member of the cult

          “Trump was more like Martin Luther.”
          -Dr Ed 2

        3. Well, Martin Luther was a drunk, sex-obsessed anti-Semite. Be careful where you go with that.

      2. And I would have thought that you said as the Borgia Pope was to the Catholic Church.

    2. Stupid name calling by a disloyal American.

      1. Criticizing Trump is treason to America. Says it all.

  6. Yep. Pretty normal except for massive new spending without any way to pay for it, and a massive increase Of Federal overreach into even more aspects of our lives. Not to forget the continuing demonization of anyone who doesn’t completely toe the Party line. Other than that, nothing to see here.

    1. You’re just repeating this line from 2017, 2011, 2003, 1995, etc….

      1. I dunno. $6T is about $18k per capita. That’s a *lot* of money. I don’t get the sense that our society has thought through the corresponding spending cuts (in public spending or private spending) we will perforce end up making.

        1. Actually, $18k per capita doesn’t sound like all that much. And the money doesn’t just disappear – it gets spent and re-spent and re-spent as it flows through the economy. Deficit spending works like a charm to invigorate the economy (see the Reagan boom in the early 80s after he tripled the federal deficit).

          Anyway, apedad’s point is that Republicans are silent about the deficit when they’re in the White house (Cheney’s “Deficits don’t matter comment the notable exception) and become a predictable Greek chorus of “fiscal discipline” the moment they’re not. It’s like clockwork.

          1. “Actually, $18k per capita doesn’t sound like all that much. And the money doesn’t just disappear – it gets spent and re-spent and re-spent as it flows through the economy.”

            That’s awesome, then! But why, then, a measly $18k? Why not $18k, or $1.8M, per capita, since it works so well and doesn’t have any downside?

            1. A “slippery slope” argument. How cute.

              1. No, but curious if you think there is an upper limit? Some of the MMT enthusiasts don’t, and it seems unlikely to me that there is no upper limit.

                If there is some amount where the government can overspend, how do we know that $6T isn’t over that amount (or under, so that we should be spending more?). It seems like it should be a quantitative discussion, not just a qualitative ‘deficit spending is good because the money flies around’ one.

                I have heard for years that health care spending is way to high, and it is 3.X trillion a year, so 6 trillion seems to me to perhaps not be as trivial as you seem to think.

                I got to enjoy the 1970’s/80’s round of double digit inflation first hand, and it wasn’t all that much fun, so concerns about avoiding a repeat of that seem like they are worthy of serious discussion to me.

      2. And it’s been correct every time it’s been repeated. We spend way too much as a country, and it’s going to come back and bite us. Stick your head in the sand all you want.

        1. I Callahan : Stick your head in the sand all you want.

          Ok, I admit to being curious. Did you do this Cassandra bit when :

          1. Reagan exploded the deficit
          2. George W. Bush exploded the deficit
          3. Donald Trump exploded the deficit

          Know what? I’m betting you had your “head in the sand” every time.

          1. Just to be fair
            Obama exploded the deficit
            and Biden is working to expand the explosion in record time.

            1. Just to be REALLY fair, the day Obama assumed the presidency for the first time, the projected deficit was 1.3 trillion dollars. From that moment until he left office eight years later the deficit was cut, year by year.

              You are welcome to argue how much credit Mr. Obama deserves for improving the situation he inherited, but he still left matters much better than he found them. With GOP presidents the opposite has always been true. Prior to Biden, that’s a reoccurring theme running well-nigh close to half a century. Republicans explode the deficit; Democrats clean-up after their self-indulgent mess.

              Carter to Reagan/Bush,
              Reagan/Bush to Clinton
              Clinton to W Bush
              W Bush to Obama
              Obama to Trump.

              Biden is obviously breaking the pattern (in a big way). As for me, I’ve traditionally supported fiscal responsibility. But even I’m weary of being treated like a chump by the Republicans.

              1. I don’t give any of these guys a free pass.

                If you care to look at
                https://www.statista.com/statistics/187867/public-debt-of-the-united-states-since-1990/
                you will see that the debt took a sharp upward turn in 2014 and continued at that rate until 2020. It 2020, the COVID collapse hit and the debt shoot up.

                So try to be honest rather than partisan. There is no point in arguing about the second significant figure in the deficit when so many big ticket items are off-budget.

                If you ask me who give the biggest criticism for our being in the hole, that is easy. It is GWB who launched the war in Iraq.

                If you think that we will ever see a year with a surplus again you’re dreaming. Just like Ted Williams is the last person who will ever bat over .400, Bill Clinton is the last who will ever give us a surplus

                1. “who give the biggest criticism”
                  that should read “who gets the biggest criticism”
                  We are never recovering from the war in Iraq.

    2. You’re right: no way to pay for it. Except, of course, to have a few corporations, billionaires, and multi-millionaires cough up their fair share.

      1. And where is the other 20 trillion going to come from? (and that’s assuming “fair share” is 100%)

      2. MC,
        Try doing the real math,
        $6T will mean a real tax increase down to all families earning more than $50K. Your “get it from the robber barns does not raise nearly enough money UNLESS the US nationalizes their businesses via a few years of Warren’s wealth tax.

        1. And of course, that only works one time. Because after that, no one will accumulate wealth if it’s going to be taken away from them. Why build a business if the government is going to basically confiscate it via wealth taxes?

          1. I-C,
            Try looking at Communist China. You will see that your argument fails. Why because the Corporate State and the State Corporations are not very far apart at all. In both systems, the clever become oligarchs who support the government leaders due to their own self-interests.
            To unwind your argument a bit: Warren’s wealth tax does set in until $50M. Why?
            1) Enterprises smaller than that are not worth nationalizing.
            2) One has to leave room for entrepreneurial impulse (as in China).

    3. ” Pretty normal except for massive new spending without any way to pay for it, ”

      You prefer the Republican approach, which featured massive spending coupled with a tax cut?

      Disaffected, bigoted, obsolete, disingenuous right-wingers are among my favorite culture war casualties. Watching them get stomped into political and cultural irrelevance by their betters is entertaining, enjoyable, and important.

      1. Oh, screw you, Art, you arrogant, pompous asswipe. The only thing you’re “better” at is being a boot-licking fascist.

        And those taxes are my earnings. You’re not entitled to a cent of them, you thief. Spend less and do without, like normal human beings (those people are YOUR betters).

        1. You seem cranky, I Callahan. Has watching your bigoted, backward conservative ideas get stomped by better Americans for more than a half-century made you sad and disaffected?

          As for your pointers — win some elections or prepare to open wider.

        2. I-C,
          you really got suckered in by the troll

    4. But there is a way to pay for it: Increase taxes on the rich. The GOP just doesn’t want to.

      1. ” Increase taxes on the rich. ”
        Stop kidding yourself. The only way is increase taxes for all families earning over $50K.
        Be honest.

        1. I’m actually in favor of broadening the tax base generally, but income is so concentrated these days that you definitely don’t need to do so to generate plenty of revenue. The top 1% of earners accounts for 21% of income and the top 10% of earners account for nearly 50% of income.

          Having said that, Biden is saying he only wants tax increases on people earning $400K+, which is pretty limiting from a revenue base perspective. You’d roughly double your taxable revenue base by focusing on the top 10% of earners, which is about $150K in income as a cutoff.

          (Source: https://taxfoundation.org/summary-of-the-latest-federal-income-tax-data-2020-update/)

          1. I know what Biden says, but his proposed increases won’t come close to getting the deficit below $1T per year unless the tax base is widely broadened or unless major pieces of productive wealth are seized.
            If the latter, the government cannot monetarize those holdings else they will crash the value of the holdings for the government and private shareholders and that could sink the economy. Therefore the must continue to seize more by the wealth tax until they have control of thos corporations—hence effective nationalization.

  7. Am I the only one concerned about what is, at best, the selective prosecution of Rudi Giuliani?

    We have long had the tradition that the incoming administration doesn’t prosecute the preceding one, no matter how guilty it might have been. Bush 43 didn’t prosecute the Clinton Crime Family, nor did Trump, nor did Trump prosecute a lot more people whom he should have — this is unprecedented and damn dangerous.

    In firefighting terms, there is something known as a “backdraft” — an undetected fire smouldering with limited air and superheated explosive gases (notably carbon monoxide) that are way above their spontaneous ignition temperature. Someone opens a door, a window breaks — the fire gets some oxygen and you have a literal explosion of fire.

    I keep thinking that the Barrack O’Biden administration is building backdrafts without realizing it….

    1. Not just selective prosecution, but the investigation shat all over attorney-client privilege. That’s becoming increasingly common, I’ve noticed.

      1. But of course you Trumpists *love* selective prosecution. It’s what the whole ‘perfect phone call’ was about.

        1. Do two wrongs make a right? Do you always have to be the “but their side did it too” hypocrite?

          1. Why, yes. Yes she does.

          2. Pots and kettles, pots and kettles.

      2. How is it that you and Dr. Ed have such insight into the Giuliani case? Do you have a mole in the US Attorney’s office, or are you reading some RW rag that doesn’t know anything?

        Is it impossible that Giuliani has committed a crime, or at least that there is ample reason to suspect that?

        1. Confidently pontificating about what you don’t and sometimes can’t possibly know enough about is kind of the conservative way these days.

          1. QA,
            I seems to happen enough on the left that I’d call it a universal phenomenon

        2. If past patterns hold, Brett is just saying what he needs to, in order to maintain the delusional Trumpist narrative for the current news cycle. When additional facts come out – making clear that Giuliani violated the law, for instance, or when Trump disavows him, and so on – Brett will nimbly revise his views as necessary in order to conclude, once again, that Trump (and Giuliani) are spotless, and it’s really all those nasty Democrats’ fault, after all.

          1. Brett is an on-the-spectrum birther. A disaffected, delusional, anti-social, right-wing malcontent. Devoting attention to him is like watching a car wreck that was caused by exceptional stupidity.

        3. It is impossible that the Clinton Crime Family committed a crime?

          1. Dr. Ed, If anything is abundantly clear form politics over the last 40 years it is that the law does not apply to the Klintons. And if the law doesn’t apply to you, then it is impossible for you to commit a crime.

            1. Grievance-consumed, conspiracy-addled, whining conservatives are among my favorite culture war casualties.

              Carry on, clingers . . . if you betters permit, that is.

              1. “Carry on, clingers ”
                That comment has worn so thin it is mere threads by now

      3. all over attorney-client privilege

        Another area of law Brett Bellmore is now an expert in!

    2. “I keep thinking ”

      No you don’t. You’re reacting, not thinking.

    3. Are you referring to the selective prosecution that started during the Trump administration?

      1. Still waiting for Hunter Biden to get charged with a gun crime, one that he openly confessed to in his book. Had that been someone associated with Trump we would hear nothing but “rule of law” means they had to be charged and tried.

    4. Was Michael Cohen’s prosecution “selective”? If so, did you complain about it at the time? And if not, what are the key differences between Cohen’s and Giuliani’s prosecutions that make one “selective” and not the other?

    5. I think your the only one that thinks it is selective prosecution. The fact that you are friends of the former President is not a “get out of jail” card. We prosecute people throughout the government for criminal activity. Rudy is just one in a lone line of corrupt politicians. Rudy joins Rostenkowski, Scooter Libby, Dennis Hastert to name only a few.

      1. Remember when Hilary ran her own email server that violated around a hundred federal laws and her hubby Clinton just “fixed” that problem by having a conversation on the tarmac with the AG? Yeah that was extra special….

        1. That level of right-wing sputtering just makes victory in the culture war all the sweeter.

        2. An D ex-President married to a suspect talking to the AG vs. a current R President asking the head of the FBI to drop an investigation of a suspect. Of course Jimmy is worked up over the former and not the latter because the only relevant variable is the D and the R.

          1. Doubtless Bill’s talking with the AG in that circumstance hurt Hilary. If nothing else the optics were poor.

        3. This is complete fiction.

          1. S_0,
            Bill did do that. Is that what you are claiming is a fiction?

        4. Remember when Hilary ran her own email server that violated around a hundred federal laws

          No. Name three.

          1. I agree. What exactly was Secretary Clinton doing that was against the law? How many investigation of Hillary Clinton turned up nothing? I give you a hint, all of them.

            1. She sent emails that were later judged to be classified. Her argument that they were not marked is bogus and hardly legal since she was a primary, not derivative, classifier. She then destroyed many files that a public official is required by law to maintain, unless the file contents are “working papers” that must be destroyed within a few days.
              Be honest. She was let off the hook.

              1. Any lesser official would have been prosecuted.
                Prosecuting a nominated candidate for office of president is just not tenable.

    6. “selective prosecution ”
      That phrase means that US attorneys and DA’s prosecute cases that they have a good expectation of winning. What else is new.
      If any one understands that it is Giuliani.

    7. Setting aside everything else factually and legally wrong with what you said, and the fact that you can’t spell the name of a prominent figure like Rudy Giuliani, Giuliani was not in the preceding administration.

    8. Dr. Ed 2 : “the selective prosecution of Rudi Giuliani?”

      Ya know, an article recently claimed the investigation was focusing on money & favors traded in the dirty-tricks campaign to oust Ambassador Yovanovitch. If that’s true, it will be a fascinating window into the shit-choked cesspool that is Rudi Giuliani. Anyone remember that part of his sleazy operation in Ukraine?

      1. Giuliani was supposedly Trump’s secret agent buying Biden dirt, but he was busy selling other deals on the side. Some of those concerned Ambassador Yovanovitch, who infuriated many Ukrainian oligarchs by her support for anti-corruption measures. In response, they were willing to pay anything to have her ousted. Some of this dirty cash went to former congressmen Pete Sessions, buying a letter from him to Pompeo trashing the ambassador. Other payoffs went to Rudi; his services were locked-up too.

      2. Meanwhile, we have Giuliani’s two low-grade crook henchmen, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas. They had no history, connections or financing to get into in Ukraine’s lucrative energy market, but thought they could leverage Trump’s name to grab some action. Their “in” was Dmitry Firtash – a disgraced billionaire who wanted Yovanovitch out & his U.S. legal problems dismissed. Fruman and Parnas negotiated with him partially representing Trump (seeking Biden dirt), partially representing Rudi’s side action, partially representing their own scheming.

      2. Meanwhile, Trump doesn’t realize that everyone one of his people are two-timing him on the side. Being bought & paid-for, Sessions delivers a scathing attack on Yovanovitch. Working their side-angle, Fruman and Parnas attack the ambassador over drinks at Mar-a-Lago, telling Trump she said meanie things about him. Fully bought & paid-for, Giuliani follows suit, peddles the same smear to his “client”, Donald Trump.

      And being childishly easy to manipulate, Trump performs as mechanically sure as a wind-up doll. Stoked into a towering rage, he demands Pompeo fire Yovanovitch.

      Just the ambassador’s saga alone has such cross-dealings, double-dealings, and oceans of dirty cash as would keep a grand jury busy for weeks. And yet it’s only a small part of Giuliani’s Ukrainian sleaze.

  8. Biden’s early period has been relatively boring from a legal perspective because he’s largely been involved in two things: 1. the pandemic, which was luckily for him began winding down when he came in and 2. using the spending power (which I think he’s using too far too much, but it’s not illegal). But boring is what Biden ran on (likewise Trump ran on conservative virtue signaling/trolling and so naturally his days were going to be more legally eventful), so if it’s seen that way it will be a political win for him, for good or for ill.

    1. I love it when libbies try to co-opt the language that is used against them. In one breath they will say that “virtue signaling” is akin to a very bad swear word, but then will try to turn it around and use it against others only to fall flat when doing so.

      Now do the thing where you randomly yell “snowflake” at a comment and expect magic to happen…..

      1. Trump was and is a huge virtue signaler if that concept has any meaning. It’s true conservative don’t think much of how much their cute buzzwords actually apply to them….

        1. QA,
          “Trump was and is a huge virtue signaler”
          He would have been if any virtue could have existed within his warped mind

          1. Don, without intruding on your privacy, I am curious if you have a job.

            1. Of course. And I do it incredibly well.
              Next question.

      2. Explain how Trump’s loud twitter yelling followed by zero followup actions do not follow your definition of virtue signaling?

  9. Biden has focused on the taxing and spending powers, in no small part because he doesn’t need a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate to pass a budget the way he does for other parts of his program.

    Conservatives and libertarians may not like higher taxes and bigger spending. It may make the economy less efficient and get us into more debt. But it’s a clear federal power and isn’t legally controversial. And the Republic will survive another day.

    1. What can’t go on forever, won’t. Continuing down this road will push us away from the “Republic” and into the “Aristocracy.”

  10. Once more an adult is at the wheel. A good feeling for us other adults. We’re going to the supermarket, the gas station, home. No more endless runs to Chuck E Cheese’s and dodging telephone poles as the car swerves on and off the sidewalk.

    1. Instead this “adult” pounded back a six pack, hit the accelerator, and wants to see what happens when he hits that embankment up there at 140 mph hoping it won’t mean the economy tanks with hyperinflation….

      1. Clearly school isn’t working out. I’ll have to homeschool you along with Donald. Remember, don’t let him cheat at Candyland.

        1. A few university administrators are still trying to figure out how me and six other people managed to get through ALL of undergrad AND graduate school without being indoctrinated…..

    2. A senile old man who honestly has no idea on economics or the bill of rights is hardly an “adult”

    3. But don’t take your eyes off the road or trust your TESLA’s Autopilot

  11. BLM is demanding a complete cancellation of Trump while it looks like Farcebook may give him his account back. This is going to get interesting …

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/blm-demands-defunding-police-banning-trump

    1. Black lives matter….so white liberals have decided to ban menthol cigarettes because white liberals think they are bad and black people buy 80% of them. Obviously, black people are incapable of exercising personal responsibility (maybe due to systemic racism?) so the government needs to step up and save them from themselves here. And this is totally NOT racist because white liberals only have good intentions here….

      1. BLM is Soros, of course. He advertises for their protests on Craig’s List. Pay is $15/hour.

  12. Things may still heat up. But so far, I am enjoying this pause. It has allowed me to return to some projects that were on the backburner for far too long.

    What backburner projects, Professor Blackman?

      1. Mushroom risotto?
        Best thing I’ve heard today!
        More, please…

        1. Use carnaroli rice and some dried porcini mushrooms

      2. Finally the man has a decent idea.

    1. “What backburner projects, Professor Blackman?”

      He’s the guy who is going to reverse the tide of the culture war and deliver victory to the conservatives after a half-century (and more) of crushing defeat.

      At least, that appears to be how it plays out in his mind . . . but the reality-based world is going to be a harsh governess indeed to Prof. Blackman’s dreams.

  13. Biden should be impeached for collusion with China and with Ukraine. Mueller should be appointed as Special Prosecutor.

  14. Trump was a big FU to the establishments but honestly as soon as he won and started to bring in the usual cast of GOP/neocons/neolibs it was pretty much a shit show. Mattis at Defense? John Bolton? The usual Wall Street financiers…

    I was hoping he would break from the post Reagan GOP and actually govern as a conservative/old right person. Having that idiot Paul Ryan and big govt pork man Mitch probably didn’t help. But in the end he just needed to do what he said or maybe I thought he said? I could never be sure…

    Downsize govt radically, stop running deficits, bring in some Austrian economists to run the Fed and shut it down, bring the troops home, dissolve the CIA (as Daniel Patrick Moynahan suggested in 1991) and so on….and yes end the govt trying to push social outcomes they want..just let people have total free association in all parts of their lives including trade! It wasn’t too much to ask…well it was and he didn’t do any of it.

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