Thursday, January 14, 2021

We can do this fast

Because Senators are already publicly announcing how they will vote on impeachment, why is it necessary to hold anything more than a cursory trial? Since Senators aren't even pretending to consider the evidence, why not do the bare minimum to fulfill the constitutional requirement that the Senate "try all impeachments"? Trials can be fast when the evidence is not in dispute. Just get it done. Maybe if you tell McConnell a pre-inauguration removal would piss off the DNC because it would invalidate all their merchandise that says "46" that will be a sufficient lib-owning for him to go for it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Parler as an antitrust issue

The thing that killed Parler this week was when Amazon said it will no longer host the service and Parler couldn't find anywhere else to go. Everyone is arguing about whether that story is about big tech suppressing speech, but really I just see it as a simple antitrust issue. AWS dominates the market for server space to such an extent, it is often one of the only options if you have a service that requires storing a large amount of data. 

If people started talking about what happened to Parler as an antitrust problem, maybe some of these conservative whack-jobs would start caring about antitrust enforcement.

On lasting change from the Trump era

Newspapers no longer shy away from printing potty words:

I think this started with “shithole countries” but now it’s not even remarkable when they print words that just four years ago would have been scandalous. I remember when the Times would get around bad words by making that dumb joke such as: “he then used a word not suitable for a family newspaper like the New York Times.” I guess they’re not a family newspaper anymore.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Sloppiness has consequences

Doesn't this mean that next week, President Biden can easily remove the designation of the Houthi insurgent group as a terrorist organization, claiming that Pompeo's move violated the statute?
The statute for designating new terrorist organizations requires the White House to notify Congress of its intent to designate foreign terrorist organizations at least seven days in advance. Congressional aides noted that the department sent its notice on the briefing within hours of Pompeo issuing his announcement.
Also, I find it really weird that press reports are referring to Pompeo's move as designating "the Houthis" as a terrorist organization. The Houthis are a tribe of Arabs who live in Northern Yemen. You can't designate an entire clan as a terrorist organization. Technically, the DOS announcement designates Ansarallah as the terrorist organization, which is the Houthi-dominated insurgent movement. I guess news organizations realize that few are familiar with the term "Ansarallah", but that's also kinda their fault because the media has pretty consistently referred to the rebel group in Yemen as "the Houthis."

Hanukkah is longer than what remains of the Trump presidency

I'm reassured that Trump blames antifa for the January 6 insurrection. It means he isn't going to pardon the insurrectionists (he wouldn't pardon antifa!). And it guarantees that, after Trump is out of office, the participants who are hounded by the law are going to be loudly protesting that they are not antifa and to prove it tell everyone all the respectable Republicans who supported their efforts.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Anything horrible that Trump does in the last 9 days of office is on Pence, Pelosi, and McConnnell

I thought Pelosi gave Pence a 24 hour warning last week. (Didn't she? I can't find it now. But if not, why didn't she give him 24 hours last Wednesday?) What is the point of yet another delay? A day doesn't sound like much, but we are just 9 days away from everyone saying "Trump is out of office so impeachment is moot."

I don't think the various Congress Critters get just how important it is to move really fast on this. At stake is not just the precedent or whether Trump gets to keep his Presidential pension, it's whether he pardons the guy who bludgeoned a cop to death last week in the Capitol, or the people who wandered the halls of Congress, destroying and looting offices, while talking about executing the Vice President. Trump could do that at any moment. Every second of delay risks another crime.

I mean, McConnell slammed through a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court in 8 days to make sure she was installed before election day. If he wanted to he could do a Senate impeachment trial in a day or two. But he doesn't want to.

(Incidentally, there is no reason that Pelosi can't hold an impeachment vote now at the same time that she demands Pence remove Trump under the 25th Amendment. Impeachment does not need to wait for Pence to decide whether to act. We can do both and the two methods for removing a President have different effects on the outcome.)

Sunday, January 10, 2021

"Martyring" is not a concern when you don't sympathize with the accused

Why do people only talk about not holding someone accountable out of concern about the dangers of "martyring" when the person to be prosecution is a powerful white person?

Seriously, there have been many instances where someone commits a crime and there is a significant chance that the perpetrator would be considered a martyr by their followers if prosecuted. Like Charles Manson, or any cult leader for that matter, or many people who have been charged with terrorism. In those cases the "martyring" concern didn't give anyone on the prosecutor's side any pause.

Besides, to his die-hard followers, Trump and his enablers are already martyrs. We've crossed that rubicon. Holding them accountable for their crimes isn't going to affect that either way. Anyone who raises the "martyring" objection is just trying to allow Trump and the Trumpies avoid consequences for their criminal behavior.

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Rudy's gonna Rudy

Sometimes it is hard to know what to do about the Trump era. Even as it draws to a close I'm not sure how to react when they make otherwise frightening efforts to undermine democracy but fuck it up in hilariously inept ways.

Don't get me wrong, the Trump Administration's attempted destruction of our constitutional order is really serious. I can only imagine how much worse this would be if Trump wasn't relying upon the least competent attorney in the entire country.

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Silver linings

The fact that the rioters who stormed the capitol building today also won't wear masks will make identifying them and charging them with crimes later* much easier.

*Just remember not to do it before noon on January 20 if you don't want them to get a presidential pardon.

I bet...

...if any Trump supporters are arrested or otherwise face criminal charges because of their conduct today, no matter how violent (yes, even if they murder someone), Trump will pardon them before noon on January 20, 2021.

This might be a good reason for DC prosecutors to wait a couple of weeks before filing any charges.

They are not really turning on Trump if they are not willing to have their name published

Quoted in the article are:
  • "one Republican strategist"
  • "a senior Senate Republican aide"
  • "one GOP strategist"
  • "one party official"
  • "a Republican who worked on the runoff races"
  • Josh Holmes, former chief of staff and campaign manager for Mitch McConnell
  • Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele
The article also includes a general description (without quotes) of the reactions of "Trump's closest allies" and "Georgia Republicans."

I mean, good for Mr. Holmes and Mr. Steele, I guess. But I do notice that "former" before each of their titles.

Sometimes it is good to be wrong

Six days into the New Year and already prediction #1 is wrong. This also means that predictions #2 and 3 will probably be wrong too. 

I'm not changing my predictions post, however. Once I hit that publish button they are set until I grade them at the end of the year.