And an empty field helps Trump. Aside from DeSantis, whose numbers are dropping like a stone in deep water, the field might as well be empty. If it was only Trump, non-Trump voters would not vote in the primaries. A few voters will turn out for Haley or Scott or (yeah, right!), Christie; but this isn’t 2016. Trump is not a spoiler with a reputation from reality TeeVee. The field is not a toss-up. It’s Trump’s race to lose. There’s nothing now to indicate he would lose the nomination to any one other candidate in 2024.
Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Chris Christie, now Mike Pence -- a crowded GOP field helps Trump, and that's exactly what's happeningVote— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 31, 2023
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
...it’s laughable. Sad, too; in equal measure. This is just a laundry list of crazy. It almost makes Chip Roy seem sensible. It certainly attempts to up the ante on the crazy that crashed and burned in the debt ceiling negotiations.
Once we pass the debt ceiling bill, these are just a few of the things House Republicans will be able to do in appropriations to take down the Deep State:— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) May 31, 2023
❌ Punish Dr. Fauci, Peter Strzok, James Comey, and John Brennan by defunding their retirements
❌ Terminate all government… https://t.co/24fm5J5xiE
Yeah, I think Mad Marge is trying to get her street cred back. First 19 tweets to justify the debt ceiling settlement, and now this? She’s trying to get invited back to the kewl kids table.
It’s funny watching here saying space laser equivalent stuff but this time to help pass the bill McCarthy had to agree to with Dark Brandon https://t.co/bQO7VIGqX1— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 31, 2023
It can be correct that journalists are being played. But that’s not just because they can’t distinguish what they know from what prosecutors know; because the lawyers on a case ALWAYS know more about it than even the clients know.
If a journalist can't distinguish what THEY know from what PROSECUTORS know -- as both CNN and NYT did on this -- it should raise real cautions about their reporting.— emptywheel (@emptywheel) June 1, 2023
Bc if they can't distinguish THAT, they can't tell how they're being used.
This is useful evidence for the narrative to the jury; but it’s not legally dispositive, or crucial.
Whoa. Trump's own people recorded him talking about having top secret Pentagon planning on Iran and saying he couldn't show it because it was classified - blowing up his argument that he had declassified all the documents he took. This is a year before the subpoena and raid. https://t.co/Us4fg67OV4— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) May 31, 2023
e) Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it;That’s not a dispositive citation because the case law can alter the outcome, and we don’t know the facts even of this tape. We don’t know what the prosecutors know, plain and simple. So when you get this:
That is, a lawyer on TeeVee discussing a case he/she is not involved in. I’ve worked on cases where other lawyers discussed what the case, when they had no idea what the facts, and so the applicable law, was. Or what we needed it to be for our client (yes, it works that way, too). Lawyers on TeeVee are pretty much talking out of their ass. Not always, but take it with a large amount of salt. They are trying a case that isn’t in court yet, on TeeVee. How much do you think that’s worth now?
Trump is on the hook for several crimes — even if he did declassify the docs: legal analyst https://t.co/jnayVw9nud— Raw Story (@RawStory) June 1, 2023
Trump’s lawyer is on TeeVee because…well, I don’t know why. Because Trump wants him to be? Probably. Think back to O.J.’s “Dream Team” ( if you can). They tried their case in court, not in the press. They did a very good job. Trusty shouldn’t be in front of cameras, either. He should be talking to his counterparts at the DOJ, not on TV sets and sending letters to the AG (a. pointless and even revealing (of weakness) act). But even then, he could win for his client. It all depends on the courtroom. Nothing else matters.
Watch: Trump lawyer refuses to say whether Trump declassified the doc in audio recording https://t.co/TAEGT5EVQM— Raw Story (@RawStory) June 1, 2023
The tape was not a secret recording; nearly all if not all of Trump’s book interviews were recorded in 2021. https://t.co/798IvJIcFI— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 31, 2023
Investigators have several recordings. We have a few minutes of one. We know far less than they do. And a little knowledge is always a dangerous thing.
“Investigators have several if not all of the recordings of book interviews that Mr. Trump gave, according to two of the people familiar with the events.— George Conway 🇺🇦 (@gtconway3d) June 1, 2023
“In one interview, Mr. Trump said he had taken ‘nothing of great urgency’ when asked if he had anything in his possession.” https://t.co/YUPxb12rvZ
I dare Trusty to trot out these arguments in a courtroom. A federal judge will body slam him and throw him halfway across the Beltway for it.— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) June 1, 2023
Of course, he won’t do it. He is trying the case in the media. He doesn’t want to become Rudy Giuliani. https://t.co/hV9cNDEzSs
Please cancel it from your vocabulary..
I’m not sure that’s the right name for this. https://t.co/8CNfbtsF3P— Schooley (@Rschooley) May 31, 2023
Or "politica capital," as he put it, and he was gonna spend it cutting Social Security. Not for retirees, he insisted; but for their grandchildren.
McCarthy suggests new commission could look at Social Security and Medicare cuts https://t.co/P9Knyukko7— Raw Story (@RawStory) May 31, 2023
I’m just not. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.
walking up to chick-fil-a and asking if i can inspect the crotches of the child sized swimsuits theyre selling just to be sure theyre normal like me https://t.co/K00XcSKY9i— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) May 31, 2023
Says the man who went to not 1, but 2 Ivy League schools and kicked off his campaign with not 1, but 2 Silicon Valley billionaires. https://t.co/yQzy8vXIbJ— Reed Galen (@reedgalen) May 31, 2023
DeSantis: "I was not going to let the state of Florida descend into some type of Fauci-ian dystopia" pic.twitter.com/25lplIud8y— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 31, 2023
Ron DeSantis accuses teachers of 'forcing' students to pick pronouns https://t.co/3K17oiONAU— Raw Story (@RawStory) May 31, 2023
Governor Ron DeSantis kicked off his official presidential campaign tour on Tuesday, traveling to Iowa after announcing last week he was launching a White House run. On Wednesday, the Republican bragged to GOP voters that in Florida he recently signed a bill into law banning teachers from forcing children to pick pronouns, insisting it is happening in other states.
“It is wrong for a teacher to tell a student that they may have been born in the wrong body, or that their gender is a choice,” DeSantis announced.
“We don’t allow this in the state of Florida, and we actually just signed legislation protecting students from having teachers force them to pick pronouns, which they are doing in some parts of this country, at [a] very, very young age. We’re not competing in the ‘pronoun sweepstakes.’ We’re going to have school just like school’s been, from time in memoriam [sic], we’re not going to do all this other stuff,” he declared.You’ve got to be so deep in the bubble that doesn’t need an explanation. But outside the bubble: “Huh?”
JMM’s comments are good; but it’s the drawing of Randy Quaid as bearded crackpot that raises it to art.
"crushes fake news" 🤣🤣😂😂😅😅🙃🙃🙃🤪🤪 https://t.co/0KPyZrB3Br— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 31, 2023
I'm old enough to remember when Andrew Bacevich was a voice in the wilderness saying this about the GOP (that they weren't "serious"), and using Reinhold Niebuhr to back it up.
Heritage is now just another nest of kooks. And before you say "well, it was always like that" - no, it wasn't. You might not have liked the views it espoused, but it wasn't this. Over 40 years, I've agreed and disagreed with Heritage - but it's no longer a serious place. https://t.co/zJxohje0Ul— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) May 30, 2023
In Niebuhr's view, although history may be purposeful, it is also opaque, a drama in which both the story line and the dénouement remain hidden from view. The twists and turns that the plot has already taken suggest the need for a certain modesty in forecasting what is still to come. Yet as Niebuhr writes, "modern man lacks the humility to accept the fact that the whole drama of history is enacted in a frame of meaning too large for human comprehension or management."Such humility is in particularly short supply in present-day Washington. There, especially among neoconservatives and neoliberals, the conviction persists that Americans are called up on to serve, in Niebuhr's most memorable phrase, "as tutors of mankind in its pilgrimage to perfection."
Now git offa mah lawn!
imagine getting the CEO of this website’s personal blessing to impersonate a sitting member of congress and being this painfully unfunny with it pic.twitter.com/dPkFJJdwRq— soul nate (@MNateShyamalan) May 30, 2023
Elmo, however, remains a genius.
Twitter is worth one-third of the amount it was when Elon Musk and co-investors bought the social platform for $44 billion. https://t.co/KpJqp50LUc— Axios (@axios) May 31, 2023
Or, to be fair: Texas.
Among all voters ages 18 to 29, about 45% do not see themselves living in Michigan in 10 years.https://t.co/Gs7rgo3mvP— Axios (@axios) May 31, 2023
She’s a straight-A student.— Sewell Chan (@sewellchan) May 31, 2023
She’s the class president.
She’s going to Harvard.
She’s transgender—and no longer feels at home in Texas: “I’m kind of having to abandon everyone for my own good.”@williammelhado @leisaidane, for @TexasTribune: https://t.co/YbpVs2ras5
Doesn’t understand the oath of office.
Just think—in January 2025 we have the opportunity to become a third-world country whose president-for-life can’t count to three https://t.co/wf1DwNP18g— George Conway (@gtconway3d) May 30, 2023
Trump vows to unilaterally end natural-born citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants https://t.co/GWX3LWkfTU— Raw Story (@RawStory) May 30, 2023
Under [Joe] Biden's current policies, even though these millions of illegal border crossers have entered the country unlawfully, all of their future children will become automatic U.S. citizens," he said. "Can you imagine? They'll be eligible for welfare, taxpayer-funded health care, the right to vote, chain migration, and countless other government benefits, many of which will also profit the illegal alien parents."
"As part of my plan to secure the border on day one of my new term in office, I will sign an executive order making clear to federal agencies that under the correct interpretation of the law, going forward, the future children of illegal aliens will not receive automatic U.S. citizenship."Can’t read the constitution.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.That’s the one he swears to preserve, protect, and defend. It doesn’t say presidents can determine citizenship. It says citizenship is determined by place of birth. Congress can’t alter that. The President can’t alter that. That’s the only possible “correct interpretation of the law.”
I can’t believe he passed up an opportunity to use a Q. https://t.co/jLi9IDCQQo— Schooley (@Rschooley) May 31, 2023
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
From now on, MTG needs to hear only two words: “Tara Reade.” Asked as a question. Asked by anyone who has her in front of a camera.
Just 3 weeks ago, Tara Reade met with Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene & Matt Gaetz - who called her "one of the most credible witnesses I have ever interviewed.." Now Reade is in Russia hanging with Maria Butina. Media should ask Matt Gaetz: what happened? 8/https://t.co/nfKADjXG5K— capitolhunters (@capitolhunters) May 30, 2023
...freedom of speech...
Acting as a dictator, a President DeSantis would exert direct political control over FBI and Justice in a way that Trump or Nixon would envy— Will Bunch (@Will_Bunch) May 30, 2023
DeSantis says this out loud, but folks are too busy laughing at his glitches to notice his fascism. My new column https://t.co/fjprFsvf6M
...is also the freedom to say really dumb things. And just because Democrats don’t stop them from saying it, and don’t unleash the flying monkeys onto Twitter immediately after something is said, doesn’t mean “they win and we lose!”
Democrats could do a better job of defining barely coded white supremacist language for what it is before the next election. https://t.co/WD3yGkhVI2— Schooley (@Rschooley) May 30, 2023
No. Just: no. Paxton is bragging a la Trump's "border wall" pronouncements. There are no facts here, not as he describes the case. Calm down. There is a reason criminal investigations are long and complicated while internet memes spring up in a few hours and become "true" in less time than that. As I mentioned before, what the Texas Supreme Court said was that voters could mean "covid" when they said they had a "disability" (the term in the statute) and needed a mail-in ballot.
Is it possible that Paxton's claim that restricting mail ballots helped deny Biden Texas? Hard to know for sure since Texas is repressive on many counts, but there is a clear correlation between mail ballot usage and turnout in 2020. Texas circled in red pic.twitter.com/L3xRmkkkD5— Michael McDonald (@ElectProject) May 30, 2023
The respondents do not have a ministerial duty, reviewable by mandamus, to look beyond the application to vote by mail. Moreover, while the State has alleged that the Clerks are accepting “improper application[s],” there is no evidence in the record that any has accepted a faulty application.The Clerks have assured us that they will fully discharge their duty to follow the law. We are confident that they will follow the guidance we have provided here. Accordingly, we conclude that issuing the writ of mandamus to compel them to do so is unwarranted.
Got that? Paxton asked for a court order (mandamus) telling county clerks not to accept mail in ballots because the "disability" was covid, even though the box only says "disability," not "...and which one?" The court said, explicitly (last sentence) they wouldn't issue such an order.
That's what Paxton asked for. That's what he didn't get. The court did, in dicta, say counties can't send ballot applications to all and sundry, but only to those who request one, again per the statutes. The court also said covid was not a "disability" under the statute; but the county clerks didn't have to check on what voters meant by "disability." So whether or not covid was the reason, was a moot point. Paxton spun that bland statement into a "win!" It wasn't. What I said in 2020 still holds:
(My suspicion is Paxton's office said "Hey, we won!" and reporters were stupid enough to take their word for it. The opinion isn't even that hard to read, and surely they have access to lawyers if they stumble over "mandamus" and don't understand that's what Paxton was asking for and didn't get. We the people really are not well served by our institutions, including the "fourth estate." My daughter The Golden Child scion of a lawyer would understand this ruling better than that, and she might ask me what "mandamus" meant anyway. Ignorant reporters reporting on legal decisions are the worst.)
Let me put it in plain sentences. Paxton sued to get a court order. He didn't get his court order. Lawyers call that "losing." Paxton says he won, anyway. Paxton is a liar spinning things to his own advantage, a la Trump. End of story.
Except now, instead of credulous and ignorant reporters, it's people on Twitter who think Paxton is telling the truth (for once?), and has given away the game. He's mini-Trump, however, and he's not even lying. He's just full of empty braggadocio, which in this case is not a crime. He didn't win that issue. He didn't suppress any ballots in Harris County. He didn't do anything but waste taxpayer money on a case that he took to the Supremes, who wouldn't touch it with a club.
Now please get over it. Please. I remember when the important thing in on-line political discussions was to be the "fact-based community." Whatever happened to that?
I’ve bought an entire range and oven (natural gas. The black helicopters can pry it from my cold, dead fingers. By the way, it has excellent ventilation.) and didn’t get anything in writing. Well, except the e-mail confirmation of what I bought and what I paid. On my phone. Which is how I bought it, too.
Freedom Caucusers demanded three days to read any bill. They got it. Then they realized none of them know how to read. Sad. https://t.co/qP0ocmZK5J— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 30, 2023
RALPH NORMAN: It's like the Pelosi days. You gotta pass it before you read it.— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 30, 2023
FOX: But he's giving you 72 hours to read it.
NORMAN: We ought to have a lot more time.
FOX: It's only 99 pages. pic.twitter.com/Yl7SQBMaw7
Or at least it adds value to your humanity.
Drive those babies to labor https://t.co/THM0CGCwb4— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) May 30, 2023
And "fake news" is soon to be retired to the Museum of Forbidden Phrases.
And here I thought my child already had worth and value even though he’s an unemployed sixth-grader. I feel like such an idiot. https://t.co/hjkFCd1vov— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) May 30, 2023
Boebert: Tomorrow’s bill is a bunch of fake news pic.twitter.com/woJQuLCnrt— Acyn (@Acyn) May 30, 2023
The fun part here is: how would that be enforced? I mean, you could kick a few people off of committees, but pretty soon that becomes self-immolation. And what about MTG, who is praising the deal? Excommunicate her? Don’t threaten me with a good time.
1) Does the House GOP require all of its members to vote in lockstep in the Rules Committee? Doubtful, according to various GOP sources.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) May 30, 2023
Still don’t understand how they thought they could enforce that. Or how nobody could have foreseen:
3) This was purportedly a promise made in order to secure the votes of several members to propel House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to the Speakership in January.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) May 30, 2023
Which raises the question: why do all the House Republicans keep voting in lockstep? Where is this majority that is being so abused?
5) “The rebellion we are seeing is both unprofessional and unprecedented,” said the source. “These are self absorbed & self righteous insurgents intent on overturning the current leadership and forcing their radical style and disruptive tactics on the majority of Republican mbrs"— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) May 30, 2023
Shorter GOP hostage-takers in the House:— emptywheel (@emptywheel) May 30, 2023
The President is debilitated by dementia and yet he badly outsmarted all of us.
More shorter GOP: 222 Republicans in their prime are still no match for Dark Brandon!— emptywheel (@emptywheel) May 30, 2023
Biden: One of the things that I heard some of you saying is why doesn't Biden say what a good deal it is? You think that's going to help get it passed? No. That's why you guys don't bargain very well. pic.twitter.com/q4xRKedQGy— Acyn (@Acyn) May 29, 2023
This got so little attention I assumed it was only visible on Trump’s website. I didn’t realize it was part of the record of the impeachment proceedings.
Trump issues an urgent demand yesterday not to impeach Ken Paxton, which was read on the Floor by a Member before the vote, and virtually the entire Texas Republican House just ignored him.— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 28, 2023
Paxton is not Abbot’s attorney general. It’s an elected office over which the governor has no authority.
Maybe something. Maybe nothing. Something to keep an eye on. pic.twitter.com/XJqwIHZPfJ— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 28, 2023
But more and more that just doesn’t matter to the rest of us.
Correct pic.twitter.com/MIi5jY7NwS— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 28, 2023
To recap the weekend so far:— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 28, 2023
Trump demanded TX House Republicans not impeach Paxton. They ignored him.
Trump demanded House Republicans not compromise on debt ceiling negotiations. They ignored him.
Biden got it done while Trump played golf for the 18th day in a row.
Fewer staff writers? Increased unemployment for professional liars? More pictures of Republicans in 19th century (style) military uniforms?
fascinating story about how right-wing media, including Fox News, irresponsibly ran with a confused police report about an incident in rural North Dakota to frame up Biden as inciting deadly violence when he in fact did no such thing https://t.co/xKUOTRx4IN— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 29, 2023
I’d like this to be true, but: nope.
Admitting to another crime on the air. https://t.co/wwyYGzr0re— Reed Galen (@reedgalen) May 30, 2023
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, said former President Donald Trump would have lost in Texas in the 2020 election if his office had not successfully blocked counties from mailing out applications for mail-in ballots to all registered voters.
Harris County, home to the city of Houston, wanted to mail out applications for mail-in ballots to its approximately 2.4 million registered voters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the conservative Texas Supreme Court blocked the county from doing so after it faced litigation from Paxton's office.
"If we'd lost Harris County—Trump won by 620,000 votes in Texas. Harris County mail-in ballots that they wanted to send out were 2.5 million, those were all illegal and we were able to stop every one of them," Paxton told former Trump adviser Steve Bannon during the latter's War Room podcast on Friday.
"Had we not done that, we would have been in the very same situation—we would've been on Election Day, I was watching on election night and I knew, when I saw what was happening in these other states, that that would've been Texas. We would've been in the same boat. We would've been one of those battleground states that they were counting votes in Harris County for three days and Donald Trump would've lost the election," the Republican official said.Besides, Paxton was bragging to Steve Bannon. Reality was harsher:
Although the [Texas Supreme] court sided with Paxton's interpretation of what constitutes a disability, it indicated that it is up to voters to assess their own health and determine if they meet the state's definition.
"We agree, of course, that a voter can take into consideration aspects of his health and his health history that are physical conditions in deciding whether, under the circumstances, to apply to vote by mail because of disability," the court ruled.
The high court also rejected Paxton’s request to prevent local election officials from sending mail-in ballots to voters who were citing lack of immunity to the coronavirus as a disability. Those officials denied they were operating outside the law and argued they cannot deny ballots to voters who cite a disability — even if their reasoning is tied to susceptibility to the coronavirus.
When voters cite disability to request an absentee ballot, they're not required to say what the disability is. The voters simply check a box on the application form, and if their application is properly filled out, locals officials are supposed to send them a ballot. The state ultimately conceded that officials can't reject those voters.I remember this case, and though I’m too lazy to search my archives, I remember it wasn’t a victory for Paxton. He tried to spin it into one, but the Supreme Court threw all his legal theories into the shredder. He’s not belatedly confessing a crime here. He’s bragging about something he bragged about 2 years ago. And his brag has all the substance of Trump’s brag that he built the border wall.
Not a dog whistle.
The Republican Party. pic.twitter.com/SNGBBOmIeG— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 29, 2023
Boy, that AI sure fooled me!
Strange, strange people. pic.twitter.com/8Y3V2Pxo7c— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 29, 2023
So you’ll obliterate Disney, Target, and Anheuser Busch, and any other company that doesn’t agree with you 100%? And then eliminate or outlaw any person who disagrees with you? I’m sure this will include banning all the books, just to tidy up.
Desantis says Good Morning: “I will serve two terms, and I will be able to destroy leftism in this country.” pic.twitter.com/okqerKl7Gs— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 29, 2023
One of these people is obviously suffering from dementia. And the other one is the sitting President of the United States.
Biden’s Memorial Day message and Trump’s Memorial Day message. pic.twitter.com/nHbu0FT4dm— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 29, 2023
"Can’t find his pants”?
Washington is broken.— Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) May 30, 2023
Republicans got outsmarted by a President who can’t find his pants.
I’m voting NO on the debt ceiling debacle because playing the DC game isn’t worth selling out our kids and grandkids.
(And no, I’m not going to hunt it down. Life’s too short. I remember seeing some episodes of “The Sopranos,” and all I could think was that Scorsese did it better. So I’m sure I’m not poorer for this.)
Do I now have to binge watch all four seasons of this show so I know what people are talking about? And who the hell is Max? Is he related to Shiv? https://t.co/bIEi0iYSyA— George Conway (@gtconway3d) May 29, 2023
Monday, May 29, 2023
I don’t understand the relevance of this at all.
In Paris rain, this week 1961, JFK and de Gaulle honor soldiers who gave their lives: pic.twitter.com/rU8ynn8I6Y— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) May 29, 2023
Oh, that’s right!
A good day to remember that time Trump balked a visiting a WWI cemetery for fear his hair would get wet. https://t.co/v91c34iVuo— emptywheel (@emptywheel) May 29, 2023
Every #MemorialDay, I share this video.— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) May 29, 2023
French caretakers take the sand from Omaha Beach in Normandy and scrub them into the letters to give them the brown/gold coloring.
They do this for all 9,386 soldiers who died.
France also gave us this land as American soil. pic.twitter.com/TfE6gFD6lD
And this is the militaristic bullshit I despise on Memorial Day. I don’t care what nouns they use, or don’t use. The entire sentiment is wrong.
And women. pic.twitter.com/ZeZGYKf3xv— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 29, 2023
It's the electoral math that confuses me. Cruz only beat Beto by 2 points, but he beat Beto. I’m not sure Paxton would lose in ‘24, even after the House vote (if they hadn’t impeached, I mean). I don’t see any recent history to indicate otherwise.
Is my brain not working? Isn’t 60 more than 23? I’m going to leave aside the cynicism of the comment and it still not making sense. https://t.co/Fn3pwJ4Fdy— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 29, 2023
Sunday, May 28, 2023
What job, pray tell, do you think he’s been doing?
"I think he's done a wonderful job for the state" -- Rep. Beth Van Duyne on Texas AG Ken Paxton, who was impeached yesterday pic.twitter.com/0E9krBKsj8— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 28, 2023
Among other things, Paxton allegedly fired four employees after they reported “acts of criminal bribery, tampering with government records, harassment, obstruction of justice, and abuse of office” to the FBI.
FBI agents executed search warrants on Paul’s home and office in August 2019, the lawsuit says.
From there, Paul started calling in favors with Paxton. They included him asking Paxton to execute search warrants on nearly everyone involved in the chain of events that led to Paul’s own search, including:
Per the lawsuit, Paul and Paxton enjoyed a cozy personal relationship as Paul made his demands. Paul allegedly hired Paxton’s mistress, which she then hid on her Linkedin profile. He gave Paxton a “major remodeling” of Paxton’s home in 2020 as well.
In exchange, Paxton used his office to undertake a series of action so egregious, the lawsuit says, “that they could only have been prompted by illicit motives such as a desire to repay debts, pay hush money, or reciprocate favors extended by Paul.”
In one instance, Paxton allegedly intervened to approve an open records request from Paul’s attorneys for records related to the FBI searches. When the records were released, Paxton allegedly “personally took the file, including all the responsive documents, which included documents sealed by a federal court, and did not return it for approximately seven to ten days.”
In another, Paul was facing litigation from a charity that his businesses had partnered with. The charity sued Paul’s company, claiming that it was being denied access to books and records from its business partner, with a receiver eventually being appointed to oversee the companies.
Paxton allegedly tried to use the attorney general’s office to interfere in the case, including one episode in which staff purportedly had to talk him down from appearing in person at a hearing in the matter.
Keep in mind: these are allegations made in the lawsuit. But Texas House investigators later corroborated many of these claims after Paxton agreed to issue an apology as part of a $3.3 million settlement that lawmakers never agreed to fund.
Other allegations involved Paxton issuing a legal opinion which used COVID-19 to justify halting foreclosure proceedings in August 2020, just as Paul had several foreclosures pending in Austin.
But arguably the most stunning allegations — substantiated by the Committee’s investigation — show how far Paxton went in trying to block the FBI’s probe.
“The OAG has approximately 400 open criminal cases and 2,000 open criminal investigations each year,” the lawsuit reads. “Paxton rarely showed an interest in any pending criminal investigations, but he showed an extraordinary interest in investigations sought by Nate Paul.”
Paxton allegedly set up a meeting with the Travis County District Attorney in an effort to have a criminal investigation into the federal prosecutors and FBI agents examining Paul opened. Specifically, Paxton wanted the officials to investigate a claim by Paul that the feds had forged a search warrant after a real one had been signed off on by a federal magistrate, thereby unlawfully gaining access.
As Attorney General officials denied that claim, Paul leaked the fact of Paxton’s investigation into his obviously false claims to the media — a winning strategy if there ever was one, but an approach which pales in comparison to what may have been the denouement of Paxton’s attempt to use his office to help his buddy out.
In September 2020, Paxton hired an attorney named Brandon Cammack as outside counsel. With five years of experience under his belt, Cammack allegedly began to investigate those investigating Paul.
Paxton purportedly claimed that he was “tired of his people not doing what he had asked,” before allegedly directing Cammack to act as a “special prosecutor.”
Per the lawsuit, Paxton empowered Cammack to act as a “special prosecutor” even though he hadn’t yet signed a contract with the Office of the Attorney General. One of the alleged whistleblowers to-be refused to sign an employment contract for Cammack; Cammack then, allegedly, at Paxton’s direction, falsely claimed to be a special prosecutor “in order to obtain grand jury subpoenas under false pretenses to investigate, harass, and intimidate Nate Paul’s perceived adversaries.”
In that mostly fake role, Cammack allegedly obtained 39 grand jury subpoenas directed at “law enforcement agents and federal prosecutors” involved in the Nate Paul investigation — much of the list that Paul initially asked Paxton to investigate.
It’s a stunning allegation of abuse of power, and one that essentially reads like a crime spree undertaken from within and with the reins of a state law enforcement agency.And then he asked Texas taxpayers to pay for his behavior. All good for Texas?
The problem with Covid is that more people didn’t get sick; or die.
Kevin McCarthy touts defunding the CDC. What could possibly go wrong? pic.twitter.com/SPBOircgAR— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 28, 2023
Rich people need our sympathy. And their money.
Democratic Rep. Jim Himes: "Why the speaker wants to defend taking IRS police off the block so that more people can cheat on their taxes is beyond me." pic.twitter.com/7y73V6G08R— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 28, 2023
Math is hard.
If 5 percent of House Republicans don't support the bill that leaves them 7 votes short of what's needed for passage, so ... https://t.co/e1ws9nzOfX— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 28, 2023
Pretty sure McCarthy ginning up the debt limit fight as his big baller move didn't really go the way he thought. I think the problem is it's too much like math for MAGA loyalists to pay much attention.— Schooley (@Rschooley) May 28, 2023
...distract from the fact that Paxton won re-election.
Don’t let Paxton’s corruption distract from the fact that — in briefs his own Solicitor General refused to sign — he sued Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election. https://t.co/DwZ6A4vDtl https://t.co/JlRHvfeye3— Eric Columbus (@EricColumbus) May 27, 2023
'I'm here to watch history': Texans marvel at Paxton impeachment spectaclehttps://t.co/Sl852A9Pmi— Raw Story (@RawStory) May 28, 2023
It is an attempt to overthrow an election. I look at it as an attempted coup to disenfranchise voters like me who just four months ago voted for Ken Paxton knowing all these allegations were out there,” Glass said outside the House gallery immediately after the vote.Says a woman who ran for Governor as a Libertarian in 2014. Not necessarily a representative sampling, IOW. More people in the Capitol didn’t seem to know anything was going on:
Two women walked out of the Capitol into the sunshine, one of them expressing surprise that the building remained open after 5 p.m. on a Saturday.
“They’re voting on something today,” the other one said, but she couldn’t remember what.Of course, there are always political activists who think everyone thinks like them:
I’m here to watch history in the making and stand for our Attorney General Ken Paxton,” said Marcia Watson, 60, with Citizens Defending Freedom, a political nonprofit.
Watson said none of the information revealed by the House General Investigating Committee, which has been secretly investigating Paxton since March, is new to voters and that voters reelected him despite the accusations and indictments against him.I, for one, wasn’t aware of the charges of constitutional bribery (state, not federal, constitution). Too bad the Lege disbanded that Public Integrity Unit in Austin. They could use it about now.
Saturday, May 27, 2023
You ready for that?
All five of the representatives from Collin County, where Ken Paxton and his wife have lived for decades, voted in favor of his impeachment.— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) May 27, 2023
House Speaker Dade Phelan and another two-thirds of the House’s GOP majority also voted to impeach Paxton.https://t.co/DQU6GErgpS
Ken Paxton blasted his impeachment and suspension from office, calling the proceeding a “politically motivated sham” pushed by Democrats and those he called “Republicans in name only.”
He is now hoping for “a quick resolution” in the Republican-dominated Texas Senate, which will hold a trial after the similarly GOP-controlled Texas House voted overwhelmingly to impeach him as attorney general.
“I am beyond grateful to have the support of millions of Texans who recognize that what we just witnessed is illegal, unethical, and profoundly unjust,” Paxton said in a statement Saturday. “I look forward to a quick resolution in the Texas Senate, where I have full confidence the process will be fair and just.”
The Office of the Attorney General has also released a 56-page report that it says “unequivocally refutes incorrect testimony” shared to the House investigative committee. The OAG added that the report is the work of an external law firm, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, that it had hired to further examine claims of retaliation.
“This report, along with other clarifying and ultimately exonerating information, could have been readily available to the committee investigators had they merely asked,” the OAG says in a statement.
The Saturday impeachment vote mandates that Paxton be temporarily suspended from his role and Gov. Greg Abbott — a former attorney general himself — can appoint a provisional person to fill the vacancy until after the Senate conducts its trial.The report referenced must be about the whistleblower suit (not the criminal case for securities fraud or the FBI corruption investigation). Which raises a question:
Was this why?
This shld be interesting. https://t.co/NLvXvT3hlc— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 28, 2023
Or was it just the threat?
Corporations America sends in their closer. https://t.co/YXZYIVoV1C— Schooley (@Rschooley) May 27, 2023
A deal in principle has been reached between the White House and House GOP leaders, per multiple sources. Tue call is meant to begin selling the deal to the members https://t.co/Oi18DZMjY8— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 28, 2023
Very optimistic headline.
White House, Republicans Reach Deal to Avert Historic US Default https://t.co/fbcAYAfP05— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) May 28, 2023
In the spin zone. Apparently he needs the spin.
So heavy focus on Biden agreeing to negotiate. Because selling getting stood down by Biden is gonna be a challenge https://t.co/d7P4aqqSw1— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 28, 2023
Basically what I’ve been saying (and others too). This is roughly the deal you wld have had if they just had a normal budget negotiation. McCarthy threatened to blow up the world economy. But Biden didn’t really give him jack. https://t.co/3CvYK7GI5w— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 28, 2023
This, however, is a curious analysis:
Yes. These are real concessions. But when we say they cld have gotten as much thu normal budget negotiation (correct) that means the whole hostage taking accomplished nothing. When you go into a Dennys with a gun and say gimme the money, if you just get breakfast that’s a fail. https://t.co/WGXiorZLN8— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 28, 2023
Seeing a lot of people predicting Dems will supply votes for McCarthy if there’s a Freedom Caucus rebellion. But why? What exactly is in it for them? We cld go way down the rabbit of what he’d need to agree to support or refrain from for the support. But the reality is that a …— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 28, 2023
Hello? Default catastrophe? Do Dems vote to let that happen? If they save McCarthy, does he owe them? If they save him, after this what leverage does McCarthy have? The Freedom Caucus wants him out, and he can’t threaten Dems with, well, anything. How is this other than a win-win for the Democrats? Especially if Biden negotiated this and gave McCarthy nothing?
3/ Would the House be reduced to chaos and go weeks or months without a speaker? Why would the Ds care? There’s simply no asset or outcome Ds will want to keep McCarthy around for. In the crassest terms the bigger the shit show the better for D elections prospects next year.— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 28, 2023
Or is it?
McCarthy: I believe this is an agreement in principle that's worthy of the American people. It has historic reductions in spending, consequential reforms that will lift people out of poverty into the workforce, rein in government overreach. There are no new taxes.. pic.twitter.com/g3B9SW0eTv— Acyn (@Acyn) May 28, 2023
"Republicans began this process wanting 22% across the board cuts on all spending. The fact that spending will remain flat for the next two years is a win for Democrats and Biden. This landed far better for President Biden than anyone was forecasting." -@kurtbardella pic.twitter.com/NWOKss0wj6— AYMAN (@AymanMSNBC) May 28, 2023
White House and Republicans reach tentative deal to avoid default: reports https://t.co/x5inIENE0C— Raw Story (@RawStory) May 28, 2023
"Biden and McCarthy held a 90-minute phone call earlier on Saturday evening to discuss the deal," Reuters reported. "The deal would avert an economically destabilizing default, so long as they succeed in passing it through the narrowly divided Congress before the Treasury Department runs short of money to cover all its obligations, which it warned Friday will occur if the debt ceiling is not raised by June 5."
Marjorie Taylor Greene hails tentative debt deal for money it claws back from 'overseas' https://t.co/E2l3Rt9QY5— Raw Story (@RawStory) May 28, 2023
“Hearing @SpeakerMcCarthy’s soon to be finalized agreement on the debt limit will clawback $400 MILLION from the CDC 'Global Health Fund' that sends money overseas to countries like China," she wrote.
Then she added:
"Here’s a few other countries that will no longer get access to these taxpayer dollars: Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burma, Cambodia, China, Ivory Coast, DRC, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Malawi, Mail, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe."
The congresswoman added: If
"Also on the chopping block is nearly $1.5 BILLION from the CDC’s 'Vaccine Distribution and Monitoring Program.'"Pretty weak tea. Then again, Biden may have struck a good deal after all. MTG always was all talk and no action. She talks loudly, but even she knows a global economic catastrophe is not good for the brand. That she takes the first sign of a deal, is telling.
I wonder how many average MAGA Republicans are even following McCarthy's big debt circus versus those getting mad at brands.— Schooley (@Rschooley) May 28, 2023
Eh, not really. I’d have been surprised if he hadn’t been impeached. “Follow the money” is the soundest political advice there is.
The GOP controlled Texas Legislature has voted to impeach Republican attorney general Ken Paxton. Absolutely shocking. Next to the senate! https://t.co/LGA4x18Ayk— Rebekah Allen (@rebekahallen) May 27, 2023
Suspended from office for abject corruption? He’ll be polling at 15% for the GOP presidential nomination by Monday. https://t.co/L1wYpONSxq— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) May 27, 2023
This day just gets better and better.
Rep. defending Ken Paxton warns Republicans in the TX House during impeachment hearing that Trump and Ted Cruz just posted statements in support of Paxton on social media. pic.twitter.com/6Nfa8Wi1qY— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 27, 2023
In case you’re wondering, the full complement of the Texas House is 150. Which means more than 2/3rd voted for impeachment (a majority is all that was necessary). That is a signal the Senate probably won’t ignore.
Here’s a statement from the House Republicans that represent Collin County, Paxton’s home county, on their support for impeachment: pic.twitter.com/SLaOFFlJY6— Patrick Svitek (@PatrickSvitek) May 27, 2023
...you to criticize other people in the room with you?
.@elonmusk is using the same quote and graphic @RepThomasMassie did 11 months ago, even though subsequently multiple major outlets - @ap, @Reuters - showed that it came not from Voltaire but from a neo-Nazi, Kevin Alfred Storm. https://t.co/J6mETf3qla— Ron Kampeas (@kampeas) May 27, 2023
And not getting much support, either.
Outside the Capitol - while impeachment debate carries on in the House - two small, opposing groups goaded each other over Paxton. #txlege— William Melhado (@williammelhado) May 27, 2023
"Ken is my hero," a Paxton fan shouted.
"He's a criminal," the others responded. pic.twitter.com/h4h7WGyn7Y
Attorney General Ken Paxton called several lawmakers and threatened them with political consequences if they voted for his impeachment, according to state Rep. Charlie Geren. https://t.co/RyQFH9epsQ— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) May 27, 2023
A member of the House General Investigative Committee said Attorney General Ken Paxton called several lawmakers and threatened them with political consequences if they voted for his impeachment.
“I would like to point out that several members of this House while on the floor of this House, doing the state business, received telephone calls from general Paxton personally, threatening them with political consequences in their next election,” state Rep. Charlie Geren said.
Geren’s claims came as part of the opening remarks of the House’s impeachment hearings. Geren spent most of his time refuting Paxton’s claims that the impeachment is a political witch hunt and that the whistleblowers who sued him were “political” appointees.
Geren reiterated what the committee said in its articles of impeachment: That it would not have scrutinized the issue had he not requested that the Legislature sign off on a $3.3 million lawsuit settlement to the former employees.
“We are here today because the attorney general asked the state Legislature to fund a multimillion-dollar settlement,” Geren said. “There was no investigation prior to this time. We wanted to look further into the reasons behind that.”
Geren then argued that the lawsuit settlement was an attempt by Paxton to conceal potential wrongdoing.
“This settlement served to stave off a trial, including a discovery process that could have brought new info to light,” he said.Ken’s “defense” is that voters knew all this in 2020. Whenever someone says all the information is already available, it usually means they want to keep any further information from getting out.
It’s what I call the ‘hang them out and judge them later’ policy,” said state Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo, who under House rules was allotted 30 minutes to respond to the committee’s report.
Smithee said that he was not making a statement on Paxton’s guilt but rather was condemning the process.
“What you have in this case is triple hearsay. … It is hearsay, within hearsay, within hearsay,” he said.
After Smithee closed his speech, applause broke out from some in the gallery overlooking the House floor.
Another lawmaker, state Rep. Tony Tinderholt, compared Paxton to former President Donald Trump, who Tinderholt said was subject to one of “the most egregious impeachments in the history of the United States.”
Tinderholt also cited recent statements in which Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz separately condemned the investigation and said they support Paxton.Yeah, comparing Paxton to Trump is not really helpful. And attacking the process is not really a defense. (And hearsay only matters in a court of law where rules of evidence apply. And what you think is hearsay, ain’t necessarily so.)
Fire your staff. They’re useless. Or you are; but I’m pretty sure we can’t get you to resign.
Funny story: that's actually the law already.— Andrew Bates (@AndrewJBates46) May 26, 2023
White House staff have released that information to the public for years.
The end of your article includes it.
Fire everybody. You’re obviously not using them anyway, and you’re delaying the inevitable. Go ahead and set that $44 billion on fire and get it over with.
Friday scoop: weeks before Gov. DeSantis' glitchy launch of his presidential campaign on Twitter Spaces, Twitter stopped paying Redis Labs for software that plays a key role in hosting live virtual events. https://t.co/1wEon3STQ2 pic.twitter.com/ZZuAK2HQYc— Laura Mandaro (@lauramandaro) May 26, 2023
1/ ICYMI: A Texas House committee has filed 20 articles of impeachment against Attorney General Ken Paxton. Here’s what we know about Paxton’s long-running scandals and the impeachment process. https://t.co/02rrFWCRDO— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) May 26, 2023
The committee stressed that Paxton’s request earlier this year for the Legislature to pay $3.3 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit led to its investigation and ultimately the articles of impeachment. The memo also said impeachment is not a criminal process and its primary purpose is to “protect the state, not to punish the offender.” The memo also addressed arguments by lawyers with the attorney general’s office who called the committee investigation illegal because impeachment proceedings could not be initiated against Paxton for crimes alleged to have occurred before his last election in 2022.
The memo said the so-called “forgiveness doctrine” did not apply in Paxton’s case. The committee cited the most famous impeachment case in Texas history to support its argument, noting that in 1917, Gov. James Ferguson was impeached on four articles that related to his conduct before and during the 1916 election. The Senate convicted Ferguson on those counts.