“The court concludes that the plaintiffs have not raised any serious questions…(and) even if the questions were sufficiently serious, injunctive relief would be unwarranted.”

Judge Ramos throwing serious legal shade:

The Manhattan federal judge who immediately blocked an attempt from President Trump to halt a Congressional subpoena for his financial records told private attorneys hired by the President that their case was not “serious.”

During the hour-long read of his opinion on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos drew a distinction between the “serious political ramifications” of the investigation into a president’s finances, and what constitutes a “serious” question to be considered by a judge.

“The court concludes that the plaintiffs have not raised any serious questions,” Ramos said.

He added that, “even if the questions were sufficiently serious, injunctive relief would be unwarranted.”

[…]

The judge drew special attention to the question of timing during his ruling, saying that “any delay in the proceedings may result in irreparable harm to the Committees.”

He added that the law in the matter was “well-settled.”

“Courts have long recognized a clear public interest in maximizing Congress’s power to investigate,” Ramos intoned.

Trump had argued that because House Democrats’ motives for accessing the information was “political,” the judge should strike down the subpoenas as unconstitutional.

“Propriety of legislative motives is not a question left to the courts,” Ramos said. He added that, rather, the question was “left to voters, not judges.”

Source: Judge Offers Total Rejection Of Trump Bid To Block Subpoenas

This is one of those instances in which the law is so clear and so settled that SCOTUS will eventually affirm this without comment. In its own way, that will help strengthen our system, as it will once again show just how resilient it truly is.

The Freedom Caucus has always been fraudulent

House Freedom Caucus decides that Rep. Amash’s defense of the constitution is a bridge too far. Remember this the next time they mount a “principled constitutional conservative” defense against something. They never meant any of it. It was never principled, always partisan.

And partisanship is fine! Just stop pretending this has anything to do with immutable first principles. It doesn’t. It’s entirely and only situationalist opposition to actions of their opponents. Nothing more, nothing less.

The House Freedom Caucus on Monday night formally condemned Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), one of its founding members, for calling for President Trump’s actions “impeachable.”

talkingpointsmemo.com/news/house-freedom-caucus-amash-impeachment

Trump Shows Signs He Will Pardon Servicemen Accused or Convicted of War Crimes

These last few months have been so relentlessly exhausting that I haven’t really had much to say around here. But this…THIS…pardoning people convicted of war crimes?!? Do you know how hard it is to get convicted of something like this under the UCMJ? It’s as unlikely as a cop getting convicted for shooting a civilian. It’s THAT hard.

And what’s the point of this? Convicting the men and women who commit crimes such as these isn’t just done because it morally right; it’s also done because it’s in our own self interest, both narrowly as a military and more broadly as a nation.

If ever you wanted to do something to demonstrate to the world that we’ve never meant any of the things we’ve said, that our ideals were just a smokescreen hiding naked amoral self interest, I cannot think of much that would do so more clearly.

War crimes. He’s going to pardon people CONVICTED of war crimes. War crimes. On Memorial Day. War crimes.

Military officials received expedited requests for paperwork needed to pardon several military members on or around Memorial Day. — Read on www.nytimes.com/2019/05/18/us/trump-pardons-war-crimes.html

Change just a few names here and there and imagine how this would play out….

Imagine the world in which Mueller’s report read as follows:

In this investigation, the evidence does not establish that President Clinton was involved in an underlying crime related to Iranian election interference. But the evidence does point to a range of other possible personal motives animating the President’s conduct. These include concerns that continued investigation would call into question the legitimacy of his election and potential uncertainty about whether certain events — such as advance notice of WikiLeaks’s release of hacked information or the June 9, 2016 meeting between senior campaign officials and Iranians— could be seen as criminal activity by the President, her campaign, her family, or her family’s charitable foundation….

The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate her.”

My response would be white hot rage at the Clinton team, including a demand that she leave office. My Republican friends would of course feel the same. That they do not here simply because Trump is “theri guy” tells you everything you ever need to know about the role of principles in their political lives. Never forget this.

Source: Mueller report: the case Trump obstructed justice, in one paragraph – Vox

My Standard Is Always the Same: Reverse the Roles, and How Would I Feel?

There’s honestly no better way to evaluate a political controversy than to ask yourself how you would feel if the roles were reversed.  Think power should be wielded more forcefully? How would you feel if your opponents were doing it in service of something you vehemently opposed? Think your opponents claims of corruption are unwarranted? How would you feel if you saw your opponents doing something nearly identical but in different circumstances? Flipping the script like that tends to clarify a lot of things while avoiding a whole lot of special pleading.

So that’s how I’ve been handling this whole Trump/Russia thing. If, for example, Hillary Clinton had been shown to be indirectly benefiting from Iranian interference in our electoral processes while also negotiating a lucrative deal with them for her foundation, how would I have felt? And how would her opponents have felt?

The answer to both questions is the same: white-hot outrage. My Republican friends know this about me, and this know this about themselves. What’s so sad is that how few of them are willing to apply this same standard in reverse. And in particular, how few of the Christians are will to do so. Because replace “Trump” with “Clinton” and “Russia” with “Iran” but keep all the other major details in the Mueller report the same and she would’ve been impeached so quickly your head wouldn’t even have time to spin.

So as I always say in moments like these: remember this. Remember that their principled-sounding arguments aren’t principled but situational. Remember that the standards they demand Democrats must adhere to when in power are standards that they cheerfully ignore when they hold the reigns. Remember this the next time Democrats are in power. Remember this and IGNORE THEIR ARGUMENTS while pursuing the greater good. Maybe one day they’ll be willing to work with us again in a network of trans-partisan norms and standards, but they are not willing to do so now. They broke the game, and it cannot be repaired until both sides want to repair it together. REMEMBER THIS and ACT APPROPRIATELY.

Source: Mueller report: winners and losers – Vox

“by the end of the day, however…”

That will be the key phrase in nearly every report written attempting to summarize the upcoming day’s events. Don’t stay glued to your TVs and Twitter and Facebook. Let the early part of the day pass without notice of the spin. Ignore it until until people have had time to read and digest the report. By the end of the day, central components of the morning and early afternoon’s conventional wisdom will have been obliterated. Until then, put your focus on places you can make a difference. Thats my advice for the day.

“Why is Obama always so divisive,” they used to wail. I tried to tell everyone it wasn’t honest criticism. You believe me now?

From over the weekend:

Days after he posted an edited video to Twitter trying to link Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to the 9/11 attacks, President Donald Trump made it through a Tax Day business roundtable in the first-term Congress member home state on Monday without mentioning her. Afterward, however, Trump told a local reporter he had no regrets about his incendiary, misleading, and dangerous tweet — even though she’s faced death threats from his supporters.

www.vox.com/2019/4/16/18395065/trump-ilhan-omar-death-threats

They don’t want unity. Or rather, they only want unity when it helps them get what they want. It’s not a genuine complaint, and it never has been. If a member of congress getting death threats thanks to the President’s comments doesn’t convince you of that, nothing ever will.