Who can short circuit Trump’s claims of executive privilege?

Back before the Mueller Report was released to the public, I though a lot of redactions in the Mueller report would be Executive Privilege ones. I was wrong.

Barr didn’t use Executive Privilege to redact info, but now the question of Executive Privilege and the Report comes up again.

At the time the report was released I asked my friend Lisa Graves, co-director of Documented , if she would be talking about redactions on the Lawrence O’Donnell show.  I had a few questions about Executive Privilege that I know the answers to now, but I really wanted to know what smart moves Democrats could make given this current delaying tactic?

Trump does things like this all the time, ignoring norms and breaking conventions. The democrats on the committee always seem to be in reactive mode.  Trump’s assertion of Executive Privilege is bogus, so what are the steps to flip it so it hurts Trump and speeds his impeachment?

Ian Millhiser over at ThinkProgress said,

Trump’s claim that the Mueller report is protected by executive privilege is hot garbage 

He doesn’t have a legal claim, but he can probably run out the clock. 

There are two big Executive Privilege cases cited in this NY Times piece. One in 1997 in which Clinton’s lost his claim of Executive Privilege another in 2016 where Obama lost his.

If I was in charge of the committee’s media strategy I would get the people who won against Obama and Clinton on Executive Privilege on TV, STAT. Heck, these people could even go on Fox News!

Get the lawyers who beat Obama on TV to say, ‘Executive Privilege FAILED when OBAMA tried it. An attempt by Trump will FAIL too.”

Experts answer technical questions about Executive Privilege for the media all the time, but what I want to know is, “How political are the people in the ruling bodies right now?”

What ideology controls the deciding institutions?Are they all Federalist Society judges? How political are the ones who would get this case first?  Name some names. For example, would it be Amy Berman Jackson, Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia?

She ruled against Obama in an Executive Privilege case. She was appointed by Obama.  (She is also the judge who was taking no crap from Roger Stone.)

Amy Berman Jackson ruled against Obama’s Executive Privilege claim in 2016

Even is she isn’t the judge who would get the case, get some retired judges to comment. Can a judge throw the case out quickly with a warning, “This was already decided, this is bogus, stop doing this.”?

Since Executive Privilege was waived earlier, I wonder if there is a mechanical or automatic process that makes the release of the unredacted report possible?

What happens if someone releases the unredacted report to Congress? Maybe someone released it to congress already before this latest claim of Executive Privilege.  Might they be following orders of a co-equal branch of government when they did this?  What would the consequences be for that person?

I’m trying to think at least two steps ahead of Trump, so I’m going to guess the White House will next claim they can’t release the unredacted Mueller Report because of National Security concerns.  Trump will say, “National Security” and people shut up, so it will be important to get the people in that area, who make those decisions, to be prepared to talk and explain what unredacted info they can give to congress and why it is okay for them to see it.

You don’t have to be from the future like me to know what Trump will do next. Just look for the obvious maliciously, incompetent norm-breaking act that could save his hide from getting busted for his treasonous actions.

No-Permit Gun Carry Bill Dead after Advocate Threatens Texas House Speaker’s Family

This story starts with an online threat by someone with a gun. Because it was taken seriously by the people threatened, the consequences to the perpetrator extended beyond a single act.  It’s a companion to my case study, What To Do If A Trump Supporter Threatens You. I was going to call it, “What To Do If a Gun McNutt Threatens You.” but that would look too much like a joke. This story is no joke.

In March gun-rights activist Chris McNutt posted rants on Facebook about lack of movement on a Texas bill allowing gun owners to legally carry handguns without obtaining a state-issued license. McNutt, executive director of Texas Gun Rights, then drove to Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen’s home about 50 miles south of Houston while Bonnen was in Austin and his wife and teenage sons were home. McNutt also visited the homes of Reps. Dustin Burrows of Lubbock and Four Price of Amarillo.

Here’s how the story unfolded. The first story is from March 30th in The Facts, a Brazoria County Texas paper. Emphasis mine

After McNutt posted his North Texas visits to social media, the Bonnen family got word the Department of Public Safety felt . . . → Read More: No-Permit Gun Carry Bill Dead after Advocate Threatens Texas House Speaker’s Family

Florida House to Vote on Giving More Teachers Guns, Just Days After Armed Teacher Injured Child

On Thursday, March 21, the Florida House Education Committee passed out of committee a broad school safety bill (HB 7093) that would expand an existing guardian program to allow classroom teachers at private and charter schools to volunteer to carry weapons on campus if local school boards approve. (link)

On Friday, March 22,  Henry Rex Weaver, 74 a substitute teacher at Blountsville Elementary School discharged his gun inside his pocket. A child was injured, treated at the scene of the crime, and released. (link)

Henry Rex Weaver, Teacher at Blountsville Elementary School in Blountsville, Alabama. Mug shot from Blount County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook page and WBRC video

On April 3, the bill, HB 7093 on School Safety, goes to the full house. A key part of the bill allows charter schools and private schools to have the Guardian program. If that passes, more teachers will be legally allowed to carry guns in classrooms.  If people  want to stop that, ALL members of the House need to see this story and other examples of failures of armed teachers.  (See more examples below.)

Sadly, the Guardian program is already law, 49 school districts said NO to it, but 25 said . . . → Read More: Florida House to Vote on Giving More Teachers Guns, Just Days After Armed Teacher Injured Child

What to do if a Trump supporter threatens you

Trump has a long history of making threats. He also directs others, like Michael Cohen, to make threats to specific people.  Trump supporters also hear that Trump expects them to “be tough” when Trump is attacked.

This week Trump explained to a Brietbart editor that when his people in the military and police reach a certain point he expects things will be “very bad, very bad” for his enemies. Trump Again Threatens Violence If Democrats Don’t Support Him

Image by WayneBreivogel

It is clear to me that we cannot stop Trump from inciting and suggesting violence, rather than trying to stop a jackass from braying, I want to focus on what you can do if a Trump supporter threatens you. Below is a case study of someone who was threatened online and the steps she took to deal with it.  Here are the first three steps:

1) Don’t ignore them 2) Demand an investigation of the threats made and the person making them–establish the facts      There should be due process for the people accused of making the threats 3) If the facts support the case, there should be appropriate consequences for the people who made the threats     . . . → Read More: What to do if a Trump supporter threatens you

Let’s Use Trump’s Threats To Topple Him

Trump makes threats. Sometimes he personally makes them, other times he has people do it for him.


Rep. Speier: How many times did Mr. Trump ask you to threaten an individual or entity on his behalf?

Michael Cohen: Quite a few times.

Rep. Jackie Speier: 50 times? Cohen: More

Rep. Jackie Speier: 100 times? Cohen: More

Rep. Jackie Speier: 200 times? Cohen: More

Rep. Jackie Speier: 500 times?

Michael Cohen: Probably, over the 10 years.

Cohen says he made “threats of litigation” which makes them sound nice and polite. But listen to this call Cohen made to a reporter. (Link) It’s more than a legal threat. That’s a threat of violence.

For Trump, legal threats aren’t enough. He wants the people on the other end to be afraid for their life. Trump’s use of threats of violence can provide another route to impeachment, in addition to all his campaign finance crimes and other law breaking. Remember this threat to Stormy Daniels and her daughter?

“A guy walked up on me and said to me: ‘Leave Trump alone. Forget the story,’” Clifford said. “Then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, ‘That’s a beautiful little girl — it’d be a . . . → Read More: Let’s Use Trump’s Threats To Topple Him

Stop letting lobbyists, pundits and media decide who is electable in 2020

On the January 2nd episode of The Majority Report, Sam Seder talked about the folly of deciding on ‘electability” now.

“Making the electability argument is the most detrimental force to getting a better candidate from the perspective of the left. Because “electability” is exactly what you will hear to discount anyone coming from the left.”

It’s a great point. He goes on to explain that the center right wants to define electability. He points out that there are people and industries that want to set what is electable for the left, especially in certain issues, like health care.

Then they illustrated this with clips of two democrats who were auditioning for lobbyist positions for drug companies and health insurance companies following the 2020 elections.

The drug companies and health insurance firms will want to influence whomever is running for president on the left. Since nobody knows exactly who it will be, they will cover all their bets. They hire former politicians as lobbyists on the left, betting that in 2020 a Democrat president will be in power.

The drug and insurance companies want to determine what is “electable” FOR THEM. They want to set what is a “reasonable” position on any health . . . → Read More: Stop letting lobbyists, pundits and media decide who is electable in 2020

How to stop friends fighting over the 2020 President picks

Watching the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination race start on MSNBC makes me weary. Friends tell me they dread it.

One said, “Spocko, my brain will explode if we go through another campaign season like 2016!”

As someone who has had his brain removed I am strongly against brains exploding, especially ones on our side. So, how can you stop friends fighting and brains exploding?

Here is what I’m going to do:  Every time I see an online debate about Warren, Beto, Biden, Harris, Sanders or any possible Democratic presidential nominee I will stop and ask myself.

“What can I do stop the criminality of Republicans? What can I do to expose the anti-democratic institutions and organization they run? How can I de-fund and defeat the people and groups that made Trump, McConnell and Ryan possible?”

Then I will act, based on how I answer those questions.

“But Spocko,” Mr. Lefty McLefterson says, “Some of the people on my side are WRONG!  Isn’t it my duty to educate them? If they aren’t castigated NOW for who they supported in the past, how can they learn from their mistakes?  If I don’t explain why their candidate isn’t the best, we will get Trump . . . → Read More: How to stop friends fighting over the 2020 President picks

Watch The Sexy Spy, But Follow The Rubles To NRA’s GOP Campaigns

“Follow the rubles,” said the modern-day Deep Throat.  But following money is boring!  Who cares if you find the connections between Russia, the NRA and the 2016 elections of Republican politicians and campaign finance law violations?

Luckily we have Maria Butina*. Everyone wants to know about her and her leader’s plan to influence the US elections.

In the same way the Stormy Daniels’ case gave the media an eye-catching hook to look into the corrupt dealings of Michael Cohen and Donald Trump, so too will the Maria Butina case give the media a way to look deeper into the Russian connection to the NRA and the influence they have had on the Trump campaign as well as MULTIPLE REPUBLICANS.

Because the mainstream media needs to look serious, they won’t just cover this “unregistered foreign agent” they will also report on the multiple campaign finance violations committed by the NRA over the years. The sexy spy will lead the coverage, which is fine with me, as long as the NRA involvement is fully exposed. Currently the NRA is dodging the media or saying this connection is no big deal.. The investigations from the FBI and FEC should prove . . . → Read More: Watch The Sexy Spy, But Follow The Rubles To NRA’s GOP Campaigns

Nation’s Right-Wing Uncle: “I won the Thanksgiving conversations!”

“My sister begged me not to talk about politics at Thanksgiving,” said Uncle Dick Vespa, speaking from a recliner in his sister’s house in a Lincoln Nebraska suburb.

“She pleaded with me, ‘Talk about happy memories when we were kids.’ So I did. The happiest days of MY childhood were teasing her until she cried!”

While Uncle Dick sat in the living room waiting for his younger sister and niece to clean up, he explained why he had no choice but to attack, correct and educate his relatives during the annual holiday event.

“Look, it’s not my fault. From the second I arrived everyone attacked me! I came into the kitchen and my sister was ranting about how important government regulations were, blah blah blah. I didn’t catch it all because she started going off about the food I bought: a very expensive 17 pound honey-baked ham. I know I said I was going to bring a salad, since they’ve been vegan for years, but the stores removed all the romaine lettuce because of the caravan invasion. I couldn’t make my famous Caesar salad so I got a ham instead–which, by the way, was much more expensive. I figured . . . → Read More: Nation’s Right-Wing Uncle: “I won the Thanksgiving conversations!”

Win or Lose: We Must Demand Investigations

Democrats are expected to be good winners. After a Democratic win, the media will ask the Democrats just how bipartisan they will be going forward. Most Democrats fall for this. They will reach out to their opponent and talk about a “hard-fought race.” Even if their opponent lied about their past votes on health care and supported hateful and violent rhetoric from Trump. The Democrats will talk about being a representative for all the people in the district, not just the people who voted for them.

They will want to be a uniter, not a divider. I understand. They don’t want to be like Red Hats at a Trump rally mindlessly screaming ‘Lock him up!’ about their opponents. But what if their opponents actually committed crimes?   

Red and Blue Good Sports, AP photo CBS News

Democrats are expected to be good losers. They aren’t supposed to demand investigations of voter suppression, hacking and campaign election fraud. There will be pressured to conceded rather than fight the results.  The media, and the Republicans, will want concessions even when there isn’t an  overwhelmingly clear winner.  Brooks Brothers Riots will abound.

Howie Klein said the other day that many Democrats have to . . . → Read More: Win or Lose: We Must Demand Investigations