Thursday, December 24, 2020

what can I say?


Saturday, December 12, 2020



Last days of Nero

Pardon me ... Trump's Dolchstosslegende ... Republicans' strong electoral showing down ballot ... Tejano vote ... Victory for Koch candidates ... Census case in Supreme Court ... The wreckage continues ... Oil leases in Alaska ... Last minute federal executions ... Roger Fitch, our man in Washington, reports 

"... in all of Anglo-American history, no monarch, royal governor, president, or other executive officer has tried to pardon himself ... the idea of a self-pardon is so antithetical to the constitutional structures of England and the United States ... that no one has ever had the effrontery to try it" - Just Security

"A self-pardon would be the ultimate act of constitutional onanism for a narcissistic President" - historian quoted in the New Yorker

•   •   •

It was a near-run thing. The attempted coup failed, but democracy got a scare.

"Shameless" has lost all meaning under Donald Trump, but many were still shocked by the loser's clumsy efforts to corrupt Republicans among Michigan's official election canvassers (they ultimately confirmed Biden's win). Georgia's governor rebuffed a seditious request that he call a special legislative session to overturn the state's popular vote, and subversive appeals to Republican legislators in Pennsylvania also failed.

Even after the last two states whose votes Trump contested had approved electors supporting Biden, far-fetched lawsuits continued, but on December 9, the safe harbour deadline for submitting electors passed. A last-minute supreme court appeal failed, but disgraced Texas AG Ken Paxton filed an absurd "motion" invoking the court's original jurisdiction.

Paxton, who's awaiting trial for securities fraud, was joined on cue and at public expense by Republican AGs of 17 states, a sign of how desperate Republicans are to annul a fair but uncongenial election result. 

Within days, the supreme court summarily threw out the case. What did Texas AG Paxton hope to get out of it? Perhaps a pardon by Trump for possible federal crimes, but that won't help him with the state felony charges.

Trump's four-year demolition derby, his dismantling of America's political system, is ending - capped by an election more outrageous than the infamous 1876 presidential election (more here), and there was fraud: Donald Trump's.

Aside from possible pardons, what's left is a final money-raising hustle, a grift by the greedy president, fleecing his credulous followers on his way out.  

•   •   •


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

40 years ago today...


Monday, December 7, 2020

The Talking Dog interviews Sarah Mirk

 The dog has been off the interview cycle for too long but alas he is back. Sarah Mirk is the author of "Guantanamo Voices" and the Dog interviews her about her book and how she happened to write it. I for one will be picking up a copy later today. Read the interview here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Killing US citizens without due process CORRECTED

 My country has long killed people from other countries. And in fact we have drone (and otherwise) killed our own citizens without most people even giving it a second thought. But, I think we enter a new universe when our government argues in court that killing our citizens without judicial oversight is ok.. 

My friend The Talking Dog reminded me that the killing of US citizen Anwar Al-Awlaki because he was an alleged terrorist and the killing of his US citizen teenage son -- because he was the son of a terrorist -- did make its way into the US court system and was deemed to be just fine. You can read more about Mr. Al- Awlaki and his young son here and here . I have lots of posts on these two killings back in my archives from 2014. It was the grandfather of Al-Awlaki's son who brought the action here. So that was the Obama administration finding that it was just fine to kill US citizens if they are suspected of being terrorists or are related to someone suspected of being a terrorist. Outrageous in its own right. 

But now my criminal president has gone one step further and is now claiming the right to kill US citizens "when state secrets are involved"...  As I mentioned yesterday this is a caveat without meaning as the government has long claimed total bullshit as "state secrets." For example, could they kill someone who read an unredacted Mueller report? 

Shit, there are hundreds of thousands of us who have security clearances that allows us to learn "state secrets."  Are we all potential targets? Seems so....

" Drawing alarm at the D.C. Circuit, a lawyer for the United States argued Monday that the government has the power to kill its citizens without judicial oversight when state secrets are involved."

Read the rest here.

Can Biden finish the job Obama botched and finally close Guantanamo?

 Biden of course should close Guantanamo. Whether he will, and if so, how -- are important questions. I am providing a link to this suggestion (A path for renewing Guantanamo's closing... I do not agree with how the author describes the 40 men left but that is neither here nor there at this point. The place should be closed and it is time to have open discusssions about finally closing the place..

Saturday, November 14, 2020

The talking dog speaks...once again

 This time the dog looks at our election and the winter heading our way in the good ole U S of A.

Read the latest here.

While we wait this out...


Friday, November 13, 2020


 Several years ago -- actually 15 years ago -- I took on the representation of the first of my two clients at Guantanamo. Shortly after I took on that representation a man by the name of Cully Stimson decided that it would be fun (his word not mine) to go after the bottom line of the big firms who volunteered to represent men at Guantanamo. I wrote about Cully's idea of fun for Huffington Post (click here to read my article). I lamented the fact that I was not a big firm (only had two attorneys at the time!) so Cully really couldn't pick on me. 

The reason that what Cully was doing was so insidious was that we were all attorneys who were working without pay -- and in fact had to expend large sums of money for things like translators, travel, lodging etc. - in order to try to uphold our legal principles. 

So now we have some very large law firms making a ton of money to represent trump in frivolous lawsuits. These law suits are not trying to uphold our legal principles but in fact are destroying those very principles. It is wrong and they should be widely criticized for filing these frivolous cases. 

If you agree with me you can email these law firms yourself and express your dismay at their attempts to dismantle our rule of law. trump and his cronies -- which includes these two law firms -- are putting our country and our democracy at risk and they need to stop.

Email for Law Firm Calls

Jones Day:
King & Spaulding:

You can use the language suggested below or even better -- come up with your own language:

Hey XYZ Law Firm, we know you are representing Trump and we want you to stop! He lost the election and he’s still trying to take votes away from Black and Brown people. You representing him is in direct opposition to the oath you took as lawyers. Stop helping Trump steal the election and cause chaos!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian...


Post-election prospects

Still an enormous number of hypnotised chooks in America ... What's on the cooker till January 20 ... The prospects of plunder during the interregnum ... The presidency as a private financial asset ... Republican judicial mischief ahead ... Corporate prosecutions on easy terms before the Democrats take over ... Roger Fitch in Washington rakes over the ruins 

"Shared psychosis or folie à millions has been well-documented ... contagion of symptoms dissipates when exposure to the primary person is reduced, which is why Donald Trump holds rallies like his life depended on them ... It is also the reason why he cannot leave the presidency - in addition to the possibility of prosecution" -
Yale psychiatrist

"Never before in US history has a president done such lasting damage to the fabric of American democracy in such a short amount of time ... The Mess Created By Trump Will Be with Us for Years." -
Der Spiegel

The long-fought election campaign is over, with America's unconventional president breaking laws to the last, even flouting federal court orders to process postal ballots. 

Despite predictions, the expected buyers' remorse among 2016 Donald Trump voters didn't happen, and more Americans than previously suspected were outed as Trump-supporters, arguably a case of mass psychosis or, as an Australian might say, hypnotised chooks. 

Even so, after four years of daylight robbery accompanied by oafish belligerence and bad manners, the president has been expelled, not by congress, but by voters, after his party spent $20 million on 300 lawsuits to deter them from voting. 

The initial election results favouring Joe Biden were predictably contested, using the game plan from the Republicans' notorious 2000 election-theft. As in the 2000 "Brooks Brothers Riot", a Republican rabble besieged vote-counting centres, now in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona rather than Florida.  

The strategy was the same: harass election authorities into pausing the count (preferably while you're ahead), and then invent a pretext to go to federal court. 

It's not likely to succeed, and the New Republic found the attempt farcical, but one law prof took it seriously.

After four long days of counting, the media (of all people) declared Joe Biden Jr the winner, but the incumbent persisted in election litigation, attacking (as expected) the ballots in states with Democrat governors but Republican legislatures, e.g. Pennsylvania, where Trump's lawyers were encouraged by helpful hints from conservative justices, especially Brett Kavanaugh

Even so, absent supreme court intervention, come January 20th, America's comprehensively-crooked president will be removed (perhaps forcefully) from the principal crime scene, and could even face jail, more here. Some think he's a flight risk, like other autocrats who lose elections.

Sadly, Mr Trump will not be taking the Republican senate with him, as Democrats netted only one of the three senators they need to take control, although January runoffs in Georgia could result in two more. Without the senate, the Democratic house's election-law reforms, designed to avoid future chaos such as that in 2020, are doomed. 

Real judicial reform, more here and here will also be off the table, and with a newly-minted two-thirds supreme court majority, Republicans can move on from executive power to judicial mischief. 

Americans must now endure, instead of a corrupt Republican administration, a Republican-subservient supreme court, bolstered by the alarming addition of the party loyalist Amy Coney Barrett, the first justice in 151 years to be confirmed without bipartisan support. 


Saturday, November 7, 2020

This chapter is over.

 But it will still be an ugly couple of months....

Friday, November 6, 2020


 He will probably not go quietly in the night but he will go. And it is so poetic that Georgia is the state that sealed our hope. Thank you John Lewis (RIP) and Stacey Abrams.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

and now we wait...


h/o to mother jones...

Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Final Days...

 yes, things are a bit stressful here in the U S of A.  so, with that I leave you this...

Thursday, October 8, 2020

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian...


According to Le Monde, "Donald Trump torpille son premier débat". Torpedoing his debate was one way to describe a comprehensive disaster in which the president displayed his usual unbearable rudeness, continuously interrupting and insulting Biden, and lying ceaselessly

One writer wondered if it was Donald Trump's Senator McCarthy moment, another found it was a good debate for revealing the president's character.  

Trump was probably Covid-19 positive as his family and other hangers-on attended the debate, without face-masks, contrary to agreed rules. Within days, Trump's Covid hospitalisation engulfed the news and opinion. As the president's polls plunged and re-election prospects dimmed, the Lawfare blog posted helpful "Rules for Displacing an Ailing Presidential Candidate."

Most other news is very bad: as America's most vulnerable election approaches, the Reichstag is burning, and it's a six-alarm fire. Will the election finish the US? The Atlantic and the New Yorker are sounding the alarm. A constitutional coup is not impossible.

The Republican party seems afflicted by madness, not unlike the malignant normality of its candidate, a man who refuses to say he will accept the results of the election and whose personality traits portend disaster. He's a man who, if he loses, may not leave office, and could go to jail if he does. He has his own Praetorian guard, and his die-hard supporters, some violent, are already disrupting early voting.

As a minority party, Republicans must be ruthless in order to maintain office. Historically, they have had to cheat to win elections, and this year, it's all hands on deck to impede an honest election November 3rd.

The Republican-controlled states are doing their bit. The vote-suppressing Texas governor ordered each county to limit its drop-off  box for ballots to one location. Democratic-leaning Harris County (Houston), with 4.7 million residents and one sixth of Texas' population, will have a single drop-off point. 

In the swing states that Trump unexpectedly won four years ago, postal ballot sabotage is underway, and planning for polling-day intimidation, reminiscent of Mr Trump's 2016 black voter deterrence


Saturday, September 19, 2020



Saturday, September 12, 2020

Lest we forget...

 His story becomes even more important as my country resorts to the old tactics-- like polling taxes.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Oh yeah.... it is 9/11

 The pandemic has eclipsed 9/11 not only in the number of dead on that particular day (65 X more than 9-11 as of this moment in time...-- of course if we look at all of the people killed in response to 9-11 the war on "terror" wins as of this moment in time) but if the talking dog is correct (and I have no doubt he is) the economic cost of 19 years of "the war on terror" is already eclipsed by the pandemic.

But I digress... I always turn to my friend the talking dog on 9-11 because he was actually in NY - a block away from the towers.

Once again... where was I? I guess I was trying to point out that our various handlings of September 11th, a catastrophic global war on everyone, everywhere whose "war prize" seems to be holding 40 Muslim men (some were captured as boys) in a Cuban gulag with the occasional "flawed" ersatz judicial proceeding (both military commissions and what passes for habeas corpus), to the financial crisis of 2007-9 (something like zero bankers and those responsible facing actual jail), or of course, the current pandemic (disastrous handling of everything leading to nearly 200,000 American deaths and counting) show that we are damaged goods as a society (I attribute it to American Exceptionalism in my book of that title), and to the point, seem to know the monetary cost of everything, but the value (or in the reverse case, the actual risks) of nothing.

Hence, the pathological focus on a far-off vaccine for no other reason than it will be expensive and money will be made, rather than on developing a population with its own improved immune systems to lower risk at a lower cost (you might try vitamins B complex, C and D, especially D, zinc, selenium and quercetin, with N-A-C and elderberry optional-- at least those are my go-to supplements now). Or of course, "mixed messaging" on mask wearing, even now.

But I digress. This here blog started a week after 9-11. On that day, I was, of course, working a block north of the WTC and got a ringside 16th floor window view of events, which, I confess, have probably traumatized me less than many people who watched it on television. I lost a couple of people I knew, and I lost my job (proximity!) But maybe because it was such a useful event to justify a military action that was already baked into the cake, there seemed to be a consensus that this was "a national moment," as good-wishes poured into NYC from everywhere, all over the country and all over the world.

Read the whole thing here.

From our Friends down under at Justinian...


Reelecting the thief-in-chief

US elections ... Republican plots to steal the outcome ... Supreme Court in the wings ... Declaration of an election "emergency" ... Prospects of state and federal criminal indictments ... Fictions at the Republican National Convention ... Long-term Washington hand Roger Fitch reports 

With eight weeks to go, America is lurching towards electoral disaster. In 15 years covering Washington, Fitch has seen a lot, but the extraordinary crimes of Donald Trump, the institutional damage he has inflicted, go far beyond George Bush's criminal mischief. They threaten the republic itself, at least the part that survived Bush v Gore, the supreme court's notorious intervention in the 2000 election: partisan meddling that could happen again

In the light of Bush v Gore, maybe the eighteenth century republic never made it into the twenty-first: in either one, Trump qualifies as the worst, most dishonest president in American history. Even petty grifts are assiduously pursued. What else can one expect? He assumes everyone is as venal as himself, including political appointees and government hires. As New York Magazine observed in 2018:

"It is hardly a coincidence that so many greedy people have filled the administration's ranks. Trump's ostentatious crudeness and misogyny are a kind of human-resources strategy. Radiating personal and professional sleaze lets him quickly and easily identify individuals who have any kind of public ethics and to sort them out ... Trump is legitimately excellent at cultivating an inner circle unburdened by legal or moral scruples. These are the only kind of people who want to work for Trump, and the only kind Trump wants to work for him."



Thursday, September 10, 2020

Guantanamo Forever...

 Well it sure seems that way to my client who is one of the 40 remaining at Guantanamo. My client is being held because he was in a guesthouse where an individual that my government thought was an al qaeda operative was also staying. Seems my country was wrong about that guy but that doesn't matter because based on 2nd and 3rd level hearsay my client was a bad guy. And that is what happens when you don't have to charge people with crimes or prove anything to just hold someone forever...

The sad shape of our judiciary in the Trump era tells the rest of the story. Read it here.

h/o to Don for sharing the article.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The continuing battle against the International Court...

 So my country is now sanctioning the prosecutor of the International Court because she is continuing to "target" americans! And here I thought it was Putin who was targetting Americans... and even offering bounties.

Well, almost every day we reach new lows in this here country of mine and not much surprises me.

You can read about the sanctions here.

Thursday, August 27, 2020


 We have been moving in this direction for a long time but tonight the republican party will formally nominate a openly white supremist for president of the United States (they have nominated several in past years who were not quite as open about their racism).

Thursday, August 13, 2020

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian

 •   •   •

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, congress explicitly rejected a federal police force in the US, but Donald Trump, aided by his servile (Acting) Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Attorney Gerneral William Barr, is busy using a back door to create one.

Trump established the first beachhead in Portland, Oregon, with heavily armed, unidentified and camouflaged federal agents "stretching the limits of their authority", as the New York Times delicately put it. 

It was a manufactured crisis, quickly seen by some as "made-for-TV fascism" and "performative authoritarianism". 

With electoral doom increasingly likely, Donald Trump has ignited multiple Reichstag Fires (perhaps literally, in the case of the Democratic headquarters in Arizona) in Democratic-governed cities, with Portland the first regional sortie, following his unsuccessful assault on Washington, DC.

Unmarked federal agents in Portland

Chicago and Philadelphia remain particular targets of  Mr Trump. Just as Herr Hitler must have cracked down first on unreliable cities such as Hamburg and Dresden, Mr Trump has in his sights every city and state with elected Democrat leadership. Some Democratic officials are calling him out on "fascist tactics". 

Portland reminded Michael Dorf of Putin's Crimean manoeuvres, while Steve Vladeck pointed out the likely illegality and Neil Buchanan feared Chilean-style desaparecidos. 

After extensive litigation and bad publicity (war-zone surveillance aircraft circulating overhead), the Trump incursion backfired spectacularly, and a withdrawal of federal forces from Portland was negotiated.


Friday, July 31, 2020

RIP John Lewis

John Lewis's last words should inspire all of us. 

"Together, you can redeem the soul of our nation

 though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe."

Read the whole thing here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

John Yoo returns... and is advising Trump

Seems our famous torture lawyer-- the one who advised GW Bush on how to "legally" torture people is back to advising presidents on legally dubious (and immoral) prinicples...  Now professor Yoo -- yes for those who don't know it -- the morally corrupt (in my opinion) Yoo has tenture at Berkely law school. So it seems Yoo is advising our morally corrupt president on how to rule by decree--- because hey, following the actual law is cumbersome for the likes of criminals like Trump and Yoo is the perfect person for this job.
You can read more here and here.

The fact that Yoo is even in the position he is in is a failing of Obama (and of course Berkely law schhol) who decided to look forward... and not hold any of the torturers responsible.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian...

Let's start with the good news:

A gangster in the White House

SCOTUS rules on Electoral College voting ... Sexual identity and civil rights ... Native-American reservations ... Dreamers ... Presidential tax records ... The power of theocrats and churches ... Some helpful rulings, others less so ... Justice Department habitually supporting Trump's personal battles in court ... Curious belief that a mentally unfit president could be reelected ... Maybe it is possible ... Roger Fitch reports from Washington 

The 2019 supreme court term has ended. Here's who won and who lost.

First the good news. 

"Faithless electors" can be punished; the decision was unanimous - dealing with situations where members of the Electoral College seek to defy the will of a state's voters. 

In a Louisiana case, the court ended non-unanimous jury verdicts in state felony trials. Linda Greenhouse was fascinated by the hidden agendas revealed in the individual opinions.

In Bostock, a majority supported a literal reading of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 so as to cover sexual identity and orientation. The conservative Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch joined the court's liberals and wrote the opinion. The Atlantic recounts the fortuitous presence of the word "sex" in American anti-discrimination law.

Bostock will affect overtly discriminatory Health and Human Services regulations recently announced by Trump and under legal attack, but religious zealots hope to use their claims to circumvent the new ruling. Some observers suspect Gorsuch laid landmines in Bostock to further future conservative initiatives.

In Indian Country (as we say) there was the momentous McGirt decision, again featuring Justice Gorsuch, who affirmed the enduring validity of Native-American reservations covering vast areas of eastern Oklahoma.  

In the DACA decision (Trump v NAACP), Chief Justice Roberts joined the court's liberals in finding that the Trump administration's efforts to abolish President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals  failed, not because it couldn't be done, but because of the sloppy way it was attempted. 

Citing respect for precedent, the newly-fluid CJ also joined a liberal majority in June Medical Services v Russo, striking down a Louisiana abortion restriction almost identical to one found unconstitutional by a differently-composed court in 2016. 


Thursday, July 9, 2020

Trumps war against the International Criminal Court

I have been meaning to write about this for over a month but things keep getting in the way....All of the men at Guantanamo (past and present) are victims of US war crimes.

Bush jr pulled us out of the International court (ICC) as one of his first acts when he was "elected" back in 2000.  Obama ignored the issue when he could have reinstated the US (when he had a majority in both houses) and of course Trump would never recognize the ICC.

So it looked like the US was going to get away with its war crimes in Afghanistan. However, Afghanistan is a member of the ICC and when the prosecutor started to look into the war crimes it was with Afghanistan's blessings. 

So now the US can be held accountable for our war crimes in Afghanistan even if we have not signed on to recognize the court. Bad news for the US but good news for justice.

Of course the Trump administration is vehemently opposed to any scrutiny by the ICC -- the US believes it is not accountable to anyone, nevertheless the ICC. And so the bullying begins.....or I guess I should say, the bullying continues. 

More here

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Saturday, June 27, 2020

today's musical interlude... Now March!


h/o to Devin

Thursday, June 18, 2020

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian...

It should have happened sooner. Behind the theatre, there is nothing innocent about Trump's flagrant deregulatory corruption and criminal mischief. The president is using the pandemic pretext to kill health and environmental regulations, even flout court orders, while ingratiating himself with supporters by funding church salaries, tormenting sexual minorities and reviving barbaric hunting practices.  

Every lever of government has been corruptly co-opted, and even alternative civil institutions of the Republican Party have been subverted: the Federalist Society has become a Trump tool rather than a vehicle for conservative legal sentiment. More here

Ransacking the republic has required the removal of inspectors general en masse. These "Stalinist" purges should be a national scandal; their purpose, other than revenge (the Intelligence IG who forwarded the Ukraine extortion whistleblower's account to congress) and punishment, is to forestall any investigations of the president, at least until after the election

The first high-level victim was the Office of Personnel Management chief; others followed, including Glenn Fine, the newly-named IG charged with oversight of disbursal of the corona virus appropriations, and the IGs for both Defence (also Glenn Fine) and the State Department

It's not just IGs being sacked, witness Rick Bright, an official who declined to recommend the dangerous anti-malarial drug Trump had been spruiking, along with other nostrums peddled by his mates

deVos: regulations to protect dodgy "educational" institutions 

For some of Trump's new placemen - who often have conflicts of interest - it's a prize: a mediocre Texas congressman, John Ratcliffe, was awarded Chief of Intelligence for obstructing Trump's impeachment

The president also believes in looking after grifters like himself. New regulations cobbled together by his odious Education Secretary Betsy deVos are designed to protect proprietors of unscrupulous "colleges" like Trump University from student actions and remedies. Congress overturned her regulations, but Trump vetoed the disallowance (more deVos skulduggery here).


Friday, June 12, 2020

Will Hollywood do a movie on Slahi?

It would be nice to get some of these stories in the mainstream. Maybe it will happen. read more here.

h/o to Robert.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Banksy speaks out...

Banksy’s latest piece of art

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

If you are silent you are part of the problem....

Yes, we can't all be civil rights lawyers but we can all raise our voices. If you can't join a peaceful march then try donating to organizations like NAACP  or Black Lives Matter.
Or put a sign in your window.
Do not sit on the sidelines.

Friday, May 29, 2020

IACHR Gitmo decision-- Link Fixed

Last month the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued an important decision concerning the complaint filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of fomer Guantanamo detainee Algerian DJamel Ameziane.

"This is the first decision ever made by a major regional Human Rights body regarding the human rights violations committed at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and marks a historic victory for Mr. Ameziane and the rights of others detained at Guantanamo Bay to judicial reparations."

Read the entire report here.

h/o to Robert.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Memorial Day USA 2020 (con't)

Memorial Day weekend- USA 2020

I will always remember this time. A time when my country and the rest of the world were engulfed in a pandemic that will undoubtedly kill hundreds of thousands of people...maybe millions. Yes, I will remember that there were plenty of hero's. Some of the expected ones-- medical professionals and some of the unexpected, and maybe unwittingly ones, -- people working in the grocery stores, and liquor stores.
But what I will always remember about this time is how my president lied and pushed false cures, before going out to play golf. I will remember how people went out to spread the virus without a care in the world for anyone else's health or safety. I will remember people walking around with automatic weapons demanding the right to freely infect others. I will remember stores refusing to allow people in who ARE wearing masks.
I will remember just how ugly this time was.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

From Roger Fitch and our Friends down under at Justinian...

With six months to go, Trump's election-year strategy has emerged: discredit the Mueller inquiry, and partly supported by his attorney general, create external scandals: the absurdTrumped-up "Obamagate". 
Barr: unstitching the Mueller convictions
In federal district courts, AG Bill Barr has been systematically sabotaging cases arising from the special counsel's report, while his dishonest response to an FOI case requesting the full report prompted DC judge Reggie Walton to rebuke the AG and question his candour
In the Roger Stone case, the Attorney General's flagrant meddling was successfully resisted by DC judge Amy Jackson Berman. Stone has been sentenced, though temporarily reprieved due to the corona crisis.
Barr interfered next in the trial of former national security director Michael Flynn, also indicted during the Mueller investigation. After installing outside counsel to review the case, Barr pushed out career prosecutors and filed for dismissal of the case, even though the retired general had already pleaded guilty - twice.
The Flynn judge, Emmet Sullivan, could reject the government's motion, and Barr, perhaps unwisely, has sneered at his critics, who call his submissions faulty, and likely to incite frivolous arguments in future criminal cases. 
Judge Sullivan has now appointed outside counsel to argue the case against dismissal. More here
The Attorney General's political manipulation of the courts has shocked lawyers, and over 2000 former DOJ officers have called for Barr's dismissal
Progressive organisations discern a Republican plot, now reaching fruition, to use the courts to undo most 20th century advances in federal and state legislation (report here).


Monday, May 18, 2020

musical interlude

Sometimes this is the only thing we can do... sit back and listen to the music and forget how fucked up things are:

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Razak's loss in DC Circuit

My poor client is doomed to die at Guantanamo. The DC Circuit just denied his latest attempt to get the hell out of that place. Seems he should have known by 18 days that he was staying at the wrong guest house...
I could go on about how fucked up this is -- on so many levels-- but it will do no good. You can read about it here.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Speaking of where we are, how about how did we get here...

We (here in the US of A) got here because, as a nation, we were too busy watching TV, taking photos of ourselves, playing on social media and just acting like nothing mattered. Because nothing did matter. Do you want to know more of the details that are leading to the fall of the US?

Then read this:
Donald J. Putin on American Exceptionalism : It's Not You, It's Just America Being America by [Donald J. Putin ]

And here we are....

It has been a while since I have linked to my friend The Talking Dog. The dog has been living in the trenches of NYC (Brooklyn to be exact) and reports on life from there is his latest post (you can read the entire post here, which I do recommend):

And so, now approaching two months of a local "half-assed lockdown" (the powers that be only recently mandated facial masks in all closed spaces like grocery stores and pharmacies, and near as I can tell, public parks, and of course, the NYC subways, remain open; and it seems our very own Secretary of Education is paying people to protest public health measures as a matter of a psychotic "personal freedom" that involves the peasantry conducting armed revolt to ensure more privileges for the aristocracy), most of the United States finds itself in a strange form of house arrest (as does a huge swath of the world's population). As we approach two months of this, we note a sudden resurgence in media interest in one of our themes of permanent house arrest inside a shipping container (that would be Guantanamo Bay), we have a Pulitzer Prize winning story of one of the released men, Mohamedou Salahi (I interviewed one of his attorneys Nancy Hollander), and a new podcast out detailing Abdul Latif, one of the poor bastards still held there. Perhaps a country that has unjustly held so many men without charge or trial based on its own irrational (and carefully media driven) fears of dark-skinned people now gets a perverse form of karmic payback. Indeed, while nearly 3,000 Americans died on 9-11, the coronavirus sometimes kills that number daily, and of course, most Americans are more or less pinned down in their homes. But I digress. We typical Americans (except for the over 2 million incarcerated persons!) aren't exactly living in GTMO.
Here in Brooklyn, of course, there aren't any gendarmes who will stop one from leaving their house and walking around, although a mask and social distancing will be required (especially for people of color). Even getting in a car or the subway and "going somewhere" aren't expressly prohibited, although most public gathering spaces such as bars and restaurants are shuttered (except for take out and delivery).
And so most of us have little choice but to "stay home," the prevailing public health advice that rational public officials would dispense, except of course, for that orange monster, who keeps saying "we have to open up America," even though it was never effectively shut down in the first place. Needless to say, state and local officials who are his political allies (and hence, more likely to value money over human life, especially the lives of the non-white and non-rich) are more likely to embrace this scientifically and economically insane "strategy" which is pretty much guaranteed to destroy both countless more lives and what remains of "the economy," but our "leader" operates on a twelve-hour time scale and lives in his own peculiar media bubble where the only thing that matters are some self-selected (and always favorable) polling data and of course that day's Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Mother's Day-- USA

Wednesday, May 6, 2020


Trump Death Clock

Estimated Portion U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Due To POTUS Inaction
In January 2020, the Trump administration was advised that immediate action was required to stop the spread of COVID-19. According to NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, “there was a lot of pushback” to this advice. President Trump declined to act until March 16th. Epidemiologists now estimate that, had mitigation measures been implemented one week earlier, 60% of American COVID-19 deaths would have been avoided.
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Total Estimated U.S. COVID-19 Cases:1,212,415
Total Estimated U.S. COVID-19 Deaths:67,285
Deaths Due to POTUS Inaction (60%):40,371
* Source: