Cognitive Psychology

The Danger of the Hot Takes on Garland and the DoJ’s Failure to Investigate


There’ve been plenty of hot takes about Garland and the DoJ’s investigation of the 6 January Insurrection flying around the social media and pundit spheres lately. Too many. Most of them have proven themselves thoroughly wrong and are as damaging as any disinformation or misinformation coming out of the conservative side or Russian troll farms.

There are a number of very popular blogs, podcasts, and substack-style newsletters being produced nowadays. Three of my favorites are The Sisters-in-Law podcast, Teri Kanefield’s blog, and Heather Cox Richardson’s daily newsletter. All three are professional with the first two providing what seems to me to be first rate legal interpretations and takes on the days news. I’d love to discuss your favorites in the comments — hint, hint.

I rarely refer to them because I figure most all y’all already know about them and follow them. There’s no use in me telling you about what you’ve already read. That said, I don’t keep up with every post and issue; maybe, you don’t either. If you missed any of these, you might could consider giving them a listen or read.

I’ll be relying on them for factual information and interpretation, then I’ll add the gaslighting bit. So put on your hazmat suits, y’all, we’re diving in and it’s going to get ugly. We might could even piss some people off.

Garland Isn’t Doing His Job

Kanefield does a good job of capturing several representative tweets from the Garland is too timid, too much of an institutionalist, too much of a traditionalist, too afraid of politics to investigate and indict Trump crowd. Go visit her blog if you want to see her screen grabs, otherwise I’ll summarize them here:

  • ELIE HONIG with Richard Signorelli agreeing “100%” claims that you don’t need to work your way up from the insurrectionalists in the Capitol, you can start with the upper echelon because 6 January Committee hearings, but this, of course, ignores the difference between a criminal investigation and a Congressional committee trying to write laws.
  • UBIQUITOUS CITIZEN HOT TAKE of predicting the end of democracy because Garland is “too timid” and it’s “mind-boggling” because it is all so obvious.
  • ROB REINER declaring that the ONLY reason not to indict is fear of a civil war with Lawrence Tribe giving a “whoa, if true” response.
  • UBIQUITOUS CITIZEN HOT TAKE of Garland being “too timid* to do the dirty deed.

The problem with social media and for-profit news coverage is that it all gets driven by the need for viewers, clicks, likes, and shares. Our public discourse is the equivalent of a drunk driver.

No matter who you are, you’ve got to post frequently on social media to grow your following and get that sweet sweet dopamine hit from all those likes and shares. It doesn’t matter if you’re some big shot celebrity, a news reporter, pundit, influencer, or just some guy pumping his blog. The more controversial, dire, predictive (accuracy is never checked by the way), or dissing your post, the more responses it gets. But, you also gotta resonate with your ingroup.

It became conventional wisdom to believe that (a) Garland and the DoJ weren’t investigating Trump and the upper echelons of the insurrection, (b) the investigation only started recently, and (c) the investigation only started because of the pressure from the televised hearings and the mean tweets.

The DoJ Investigation

Between the three of them, we get a good summary of the revelations of the investigation. They all rely on the contemporaneous legal reporting about DoJ investigative activity that came to light during the week, so let’s rehash some of that and their understandings of it.

DoJ WITNESSES. Several big name and high ranking witnesses have been called before the grand jury. Here’s a fairly exhaustive list, but feel free to add more in the comments.

  • Mark Short and Dave Jacob: Close sides to Mike Pence and were privy to a 4 January meeting in which Trump was pressuring him to refuse to certify the election 6January.
  • Ken Klukowski: December 2020 hire at DoJ who drafted Clark’s letter to Georgia falsely claiming evidence of election fraud.
  • Cassidy Hutchinson: We all know what she said.
  • Ali Alexander: Notorious planner of the 6 January rally
  • Pat Cipollone and Pat Philben: Cipollone lone was White House council and Phiben worked for him in the White House.

There has been lots of crowing and strutting on social media, especially, by all the armchair lawyers and a few of the chattering pundits about how all of the “pressure” has worked and Garland finally caved to the mean tweeter brigade.

All they’ve really done is expose their ignorance, arrogance, and hubris. Consider:

  • The DoJ investigates crimes, which mostly consist of behavior. They don’t investigate individuals. They don’t open an investigation into Trump. They open an investigation into the fraudulent electors scheme or the 6 January Insurrection.
  • DoJ investigations have to use evidence that is acceptable in courts of law. It is a high standard. As damning as Cassidy Hutchinson is testimony before the Committee was, some of it was considered here say and not admissible.
  • Calling a grand jury is the LAST step before indictment. Any witness called before the grand jury has already been interviewed extensively by lawyers and agents. It is a process that takes months. MONTHS. Long before the public hearings, the DoJ was investigating and following evidence.

There was a lot of public angst, hand-wringing, gnashing of teeth, rending of garments, and scraping of boils concerning whether or not Trump would get away with it. Garland shoulda said something before now, goes social media and pundits.

(A) Garland has said things before now. He just can’t be too specific because he can’t talk about ongoing investigations, Comey and her emails be damned.

(B) It is against the law for anyone at DoJ to divulge the goings on of a grand jury proceeding. Whatever we’re getting in the media comes from reporters staking out the grand jury room to see who is coming and going and the witnesses or the defense side talking to reporters.

And (c) it is a sign that indictments could be coming sooner rather than later. Just remember, it goes indictment, trial, appeal. We’ve still a long way to go.

There’s been lots breaking in the news about the son’s investigation that I haven’t included here. Let’s discuss it in the comments, okay?

What’s Wrong with Hot Takes

Here’s the long candy short of it: the more often you hear something, the more you are likely to believe it is true. #ScienceFact: It don’t even matter that you know it is a gottamned to lie told by some lying dirty lying dog what lies like a common Trump. Simply hearing or reading something a second time gives it a veneer of truthiness. This is called the Illusion of Truthiness with apologies to Steven Colbert.

It has been demonstrated numerous times in numerous ways and they have been reviewed here on He Older Blogge before. It has been demonstrated yet again by a study out of Stanford in which participants were given a news article on views on smoking to read. Even when the participants were told the information was false, it still influenced their reaction to the article two weeks later.

Just telling people that the news is fake, doesn’t work.

When something happens in your environment that gets your attention, you search your memory for similar things. So, when one politician causes their opponent of something outlandish like being a cat murderer, and you then read on your social media that they’re a cat murderer, you have this nagging feeling that it just might be true.

You’ve located the line in your memory, whether you know it or not. Because it is there already, it feels true. We evolved to believe our senses and our memory. When you think about the life of a hunter-gatherer, it makes sense. The environment doesn’t lie to you. If you think you see a leopard charging at you, it is better to believe it than doubt it, right?

Also, our memory is influenced by emotion. Emotional events are encoded more strongly and are easier to access. The very upsetting accusation of being a cat murderer is more strongly encoded than the boring old apology for being mistaken, so the acknowledgment that it was a lie doesn’t come back as quickly, easily, or reliably.

When you’re out to net your self a whole heaping helping of cool points and likes and shares by producing speculation that Merrick Garland is more interested in protecting the office of the presidency and doesn’t want the DoJ to seem political or is fretting about civil war, you contribute to the veneer of truthiness that the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is going to get away with it AGAIN, and the concomitant feelings of helplessness and hopelessness that it engenders or to the perception of the Biden administration being impotent or to the politicization of the DoJ or to the decline in trust of our institutions or all of them, Katie.

As more and more social media influencers and pundits piled on, it took on an even stringer sense of being true. It passed from an amazing!y insightful hot take to conventional wisdom.

Worse, when you falsely claim that your social media “pressure” campaign “worked” and Garland caved to it, you make it (a) more likely that the cycle will be repeated and (b) less likely that anyone will actually learn about how the DoJ conducts its investigations or who does what in our government.

Instead of voicing your fears, anxiety, and baseless speculation, you could’ve amplified Garland’s statements about what they were doing and reassured folks that we should trust Garland to do his job.

Also, by claiming that Garland caved to pressure, you realize that you are undermining confidence that DoJ is an independent apolitical entity, the exact opposite of what we want it to be. By urging Garland to investigate Trump, you are urging him to persecute a political opponent, again, the opposite of what we want. By urging Garland to “arrest somebody” as a popular meme does, you are urging him to operate outside of the rule of law.

The Ol’ Pussy Grabber has succeeded in so undermining our confidence in our institutions in general and the DoJ in particular that we are becoming our enemy. We are becoming the authoritarian conservative.

And that’s what is wrong with all of those hot takes that seem so harmless.

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94 replies »

  1. Posted before the (((Raid on Merde A Loto)))?

    I too have recalled his successes with the Fremen, at the time (loosely) neighbors of mine of whom I was not one damned bit happy about the attention they attracted, the Mad Mathematician and Tim McVeigh, though I found it a bit hinky at the time. A little too pat, a little too easy. Not unlike other significant investigations/prosecutions of the time. Of the past twenty-five years. Just a little too pat, a little too easy.

    Sometimes you’ve just got to rile up the troops …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Ten Bears!

      I suppose a well prepared prosecution does make it seem easy. As horrific of abuses that our system of government has produced over the past sixty years or so, the alternative is worse. We can go back to the Jim Crow era of racial oppression and boom and bust monopoly capitalism — we’re getting pretty damn close now — or worse go to a single-party pseudo-democratic minority-rule autocratic kleptocracy allowing China and Russia to remake the world order in their authoritarian oppressive self-serving, which excludes us by the way, image.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

  2. It is easier to disregard all those hot takes if one simply remembers (and, re-remembering it often) the number and kinds of cases Garland has not just won, but slam dunked or swished from the three-point line. The best advice for anybody in court as a defendant who is actually guilty and sees this guy come sit at the prosecution table is to plead guilty and try to make a deal. He wouldn’t have brought the case if he didn’t have the evidence to prove it. Of course, that is what those long months of conversations with suspects and witnesses are about, getting to check mate and the suspect and/or his attorneys knowing it.

    Maybe that is the best come back to the hot takes, just recite the list – Enron, Uni-bomber, OK City, … . Also, a good way to strike terror in the hearts of his targets.

    Another relevant study: https://www.psypost.org/2022/08/political-partisanship-appears-to-have-a-surprisingly-powerful-influence-on-how-people-remember-events-63641

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      When Garland was appointed and confirmed a lot was said about those cases as evidence that he was up to the job. They also noted that he has a reputation for not leaking about his investigations and prosecutions. None of that is as emotionally satisfying as venting your pique about the lack of evidence of progress.

      I’ll also note the tone deaf lack of insight into wanting Garland and the DoJ to break the same rules and norms that we all complained that Bill Barr was doing.

      It isn’t surprising that partisanship distorts memory since strong emotions affect encoding and retrieval and re-coding so much! It would be worthwhile to compare the distortions of conservatives to liberal protests to liberal distortions of liberals to conservative protests, as well as degree of partisanship.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Bob!

          It is difficult to imagine that liberals would some how be immune to the distortions partisanship brings to the picture when viewing conservative protests or actions. My social media feed seems to attest to that.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Liked by 1 person

          • Liberals are as vulnerable to the illusion of objectivity as anybody. Still, the rhetoric and actions on the conservative side have become clearly more extreme and violent, and larger, that distorting them is a serious challenge to the imagination.

            Liked by 1 person

              • At the far edge of the right, many have itchy trigger fingers, have had since 1/6 didn’t work. The more they act out in incidents like this, which they will, the more likely they are to scare the soccer moms into voting blue.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Howdy Bob!

                  I heard a discussion on one of the cable news show involving someone who monitors rightwing social media who said that the militia types are pretty quiet, but the Trump supporters are going nuts. Also, polling suggests that most Americans support the raid. And, in the generic congressional ballot, the Dems have a lead. So, there’s hope for November, yet.

                  Huzzah!
                  Jack

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • I suspect that the militia types may be seeing Trump as on his way down and who will take his place not yet clear. They also have been shown that DOJ is watching them. The ordinary MAGAs are dealing with escalating cognitive dissonance and losing their shit. We can expect more “lone wolf” violence from them. Also, many of the GOP candidates and incumbents are being way too honest about their fascist plans, thinking they don’t need to bother with dog whistles and sugar coating. That works with the rabid base, but bothers the swing voters, and especially the infrequent swing voter.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      I guess the militias followed Trump only insofar as he provided cover for their civil war. When he didn’t invoke the Insurrection Act and call upon them to “defend” the country, they went their separate ways.

                      The level of psychosis that Trump has evoked in a substantial portion of the country, though, is impressive. There are so many people out there not dealing with anything resembling reality in the political-economic-#COVID19 sphere.

                      But, the worst part is that the GQP is openly supporting violence and openly attacking democracy. Trump is giving them cover by delivering the base. We are in a race between prosecuting those who were planning and implementing the 6 January Insurrection and the elections. Should we lose the House, the GQP will attempt to tie up the DoJ through “investigations” and impeachments to slow the investigations until the 2024 elections. Don’t be surprised if there is a real effort by a GQP controlled House to defund the DoJ.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • They are likely to get serious about “draining the swamp”. If they take the House or Senate, we will be in legislative gridlock, stuck solid. If they take both, Biden will rack up the longest list of vetoes in history.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Whatever the outcome of the November election, the GOP will be using whatever advantage they have to obstruct Biden in whatever way. It is just going to be all out warfare between the two parties.

                      Biden, Schumer, and Pelosi have played the legislative game well. All of the kvetching out here in the observer space didn’t really affect them. They kept at it and brought some impressive, albeit scaled back, victories. Hopefully, it will improve our chances in November.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Interestingly, the Dems seem to be winning the donation race also. They’ve got significantly more money than the RNC to spend on races. Of course, there are several conservative PAC’s that may step in and help the Repubes out, but if it looks like they’re going to struggle to win, they may decide to keep their money for the 2024 races.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Also, there are the reports of women registering to vote in significantly greater numbers than men. It is helpful to remember that humans are far more sensitive to the prospect of loss than gain. When you start taking away rights long taken for granted, people notice.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      I think that polling finds it difficult to keep up with such major demographic shifts in the electorate when they happen so quickly.

                      There are several metrics that have given me hope even though we still have a lifetime to go before the election: the donations thing, the generic congressional poll, Joe Biden’s approval rating is less underwater, the improving inflation situation, the donations disparity, the improving poll numbers of several senatorial candidates in red and purple states.

                      There’s still a lot of time between now and then, but the 6 January Committee will hold more public hearings in September, the NYC case against the Trump Organization and their CFO is set to begin in October, Lindsey Graham is delaying his testimony to Fani Willis in Georgia long enough for the indictment against Rudy to come out closer to the election, Trump isn’t running for office, so the DoJ is free to move against him no matter how close to the election and their stolen documents case ought to be making more publicity in September and October as they finish going through the documents.

                      There are lots of reasons to hope.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • We are also expecting the redacted version of the warrant application later this week. I was thinking about that in terms of the process of writing such things. The probability of needing to release a version with some redactions is known from the beginning. So, they did not start planning for that last week. The goal in writing the thing is to write around the likely redactions in such way that the argument is still clear and effective, perhaps, even strengthened by the fact that redactions were needed. Trump will not get what he wants. He will not get the names of witnesses so that he can send the flying monkeys after them, or find out whom he cannot trust. The document as released will not embarrass the DOJ and FBI by proving the search unjustified. He will be throwing hamburgers at the wall. He will be angry and when he is angry, he makes mistakes.

                      The saying goes that the first thing to do when you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging. Trump can’t do that. He doesn’t know how. But, he can pull a lot of people into the hole with him.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      That’s one way to reach the top, isn’t it? Climb out over the corpses.

                      Trump or at least someone close to Trump knew that the application wouldn’t be released with any useful information in it if it was released at all. It is looking like it won’t be released at this writing. That gives them the ability to scream bloody murder about how they won’t release it because it shows their corruption.

                      If they did release it, then it gives them insight into who turned state’s evidence and what the DoJ’s case against him is like. So, it is win-win.

                      The problem for Trump, which he probably doesn’t realize, is that the base has shrunk significantly since 2020, and it was never bigger than the anti-Trump vote.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • As with Trump’s reported scheme to release things like the documents of the Russia Investigation, the demand to see the affidavit is based in Donald’s “knowing” that it would reveal that he is right about the other side’s corruption and evil conspiracy against him.

                      Trump’s focus is becoming more and more on his personal grievances and narcissistic wounds than on the real ones of his base. That will become increasingly tiresome to all but the most completely gaslit.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      The funny thing is that Trump has always been more about his own personal grievance than those of his base. When a narcissistic wound is inflicted upon him, his personal grievances take center stage, and his popularity wanes. He uses the grievances of his base to manipulate them into supporting him. He’s hoping to use those grievances to stoke political violence to protect him from prosecution over mishandling state secrets.

                      It seems more and more like he kept those classified document more out of an urge to feed his presidential delusion and to soothe his narcissistic wound than anything else. It doesn’t mean that Kushner and foreign spy services weren’t using them for their own ends, or that Trump wouldn’t try to threaten the government with them if they didn’t back off of an investigation or he wouldn’t try to sell them himself. They can all be true simultaneously.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Another factor in his handling of the documents while in the White House is his poor executive functioning and intolerance for direction from others. He couldn’t and wouldn’t learn the rules and procedures, and carry them out, and if you were trying to pick up after him you had to do it without his noticing. It didn’t help that some of the lower staff who could do some picking up wouldn’t have the security clearances to even touch some of the material.

                      One of the types of evidence that DOJ needs to get is that he was informed of the rules and procedures, probably during the transition briefings and orientation as President Elect. That would have been tricky due to his impatience with being told anything complicated, and his certainty that he knows more about being President than anybody.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      From what I understand from all the talking heads that purport to know these things is that when the National Archives folks contacted them in mid-January 2020 — BEFORE he left the WH — that was when he knew that he shouldn’t have those documents and should’ve given them back. When they pursued him in Mar-a-Lago for the documents, he knew. When they discovered the 185 classified documents spread over 14 boxes and notified him that they needed everything back in January 2021, he should’ve known. When the head of the secret document division visited Mar-a-Lago in June 2021 and his lawyer signed an affidavit swearing that all of the documents had been returned, he should’ve known. It is all laid out in the unredacted portion of the affidavit for the search warrant.

                      If Garland wants to prosecute him for having the documents or for obstruction, the case has already been made at least according to the pundits.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • The case to put before a jury is:

                      This is what the law says must be done or not done, allowing not ifs, ands, buts, or exceptions.

                      This is the repeated behavior of the defendant which violated that law.

                      This is the proof that the defendant did that illegal behavior.

                      The goal is to keep it clear, simple, and easily understood so as to eliminate room for reasonable doubt, and get a conviction.

                      Once you get one conviction, bringing and arguing any more complicated charges (like conspiracy) is easier.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • With Trump’s request for a special master and injunction, the DoJ is getting to “speak through its filings,” and it ain’t pretty for Trump. Bless his heart, though. Trump just can’t help himself. He doesn’t know when to shut the fuck up and keep his head down. He needs to be quietly negotiating with DoJ to avoid prosecution.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • The trouble is that he really believes he is destined to be above the law and really has a right to keep all that stuff. So, he tasks his attorneys to find arguments to prove that rather than negotiate, or even find somebody to blame. The more that reality intrudes on his fantasy, the more delusional he will get. Expect him to burn through lawyers.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      It really could be that Trump has that material because of to soothe his narcissistic wound of losing the election, taking it out to, essentially, cosplay Executive Branch with his aides and show off to guests. That doesn’t mean that those around him or even he wouldn’t sell it. Worse, it also doesn’t mean that copies of those documents haven’t been made. I’m surprised that no one is speculating that one of the things they’ve been doing is that those documents haven’t been copied. Even the nonclassified documents have value to foreign intelligence services.

                      It is like we are living in 2019 again and witnessing the panic of the Mueller report being released and impeachment. The frantic flailing is growing to epic proportions.

                      His filings in court really do smack of him “dictating” what his lawyers are doing rather than his lawyers trying to figure out a way to use the law to best protect or defend him. Few good lawyers will work under those conditions since it threatens their licenses. Fortunately for us, the more he files in court, the worse it looks for him.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • We are watching the destruction of a man by his own hubris, as truly as in any of the ancient Greek tragedies. If it were not for the damage he spreads all around him, we might be able to pity him.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I’m hoping for film noir where everyone is guilty of some crime or immoral act and gets their just deserts in the end. It may be too much to hope for in America, but it’s the only Hollywood ending that fits the story.

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I think that a bunch of them will get what they deserve. Some, like Rudy an Lindsey at the grand jury in Georgia will have to decide whether to tell the truth and start working on a plea deal, or just take the Fifth on everything.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Something tells me that Rudy does not want to risk going to prison. He’s already lost his law license, which he hasn’t actually used for the past couple of decades. He’ll flip. Trump has been treating him awfully badly when it gets right down to it.

                      Lindsey, on the other hand, still has hope that he won’t be in a position of incriminating himself, taking the fifth, or flipping on Trump. If he ever does land in that hot seat; he’ll flip.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I saw an opinion piece speculating that WAPO and NYT are in a race to find the new “Deep Throat” and get the big story that will blow Trumpworld wide open. That’s very likely.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Narcissistic collapse is a term that I’m not familiar with, but it is a concept that we’ve used here before. Hitler saw the end coming because it had a physical manifestation, the encroachment of the Soviet army. Trump may not ever see the end as inevitable. He may be able to delude himself into believing that victory is just around the corner. He’ll definitely go through whatever trial kicking and screaming and hoping for violence in the streets sufficient enough to force the powers that be to make an exception for him. He’ll be so sure that his followers will commit the violence and it will be so intimidating that the various AGs will back off their cases. When he finds himself bereft by allies and fans who are willing to take the fall for him and put themselves in danger, he’ll probably be convicted. Then and only then will he go the way of Jeffrey Epstein, but since he’ll be held in house arrest at Mar-a-Lago, probably not even then.

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I seem to recall hearing somewhere that house was at least partly the model for Kane’s Xanadu, but Hearst Castle and Bush Gardens are also mentioned. What would be Trump’s “Rosebud”?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • And, if we cast Trump in the mold of the classical tragic hero, the Furies are coming.

                      He is supposed to speak at a rally today in PA. The question is, how much more cray-cray and totally focused on how abused and persecuted he personally is will he get?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I think the furies showed up at his rally… and that was all that showed up. Attendance, from what I understand, was underwhelming. He accused Biden of being an enemy of the state. I guess he felt moved by Biden’s speech. Moved to confirm what Biden was saying about MAGA.

                      I’ve always said that Trump will shoot himself in the gonads if given enough rope. The GOP and the rest of the country just keep doling out the rope to him.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Indeed. And I think he can be called the Prince of Projection. That bit in the rally speech about Biden being manipulated by those around him is rather rich coming from a man of whom it is long known that if you are interested in a decision he is going to make, you want to be the last one to speak to him before he makes it.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Prince of Projection and the Duke of Delusion. He said that Zuckerberg had dinner with him in the WH last week!?! The narcissistic wound of losing the election has bitten deep. Avenging that injury is consuming him now. It makes him even more manipulable. If he thinks any of the records he’s copied can be used in that vengeance, they’re sold.

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • We await, then, the ultimate defense for taking the documents to Mar-A-Loco; Since he actually won the election and is the rightful president, he didn’t steal anything. He was just moving the White House to Florida. Wait for it. It is coming sooner or later.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • She’s got it very right, and even the face that such cases can actually get a hearing instead of being laughed out of court with the initial filing is the fruit of the long FS project to take over the courts.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I am marveling at the commentary from the lawyer types concerning Judge Cannon’s egregious decision. I’m surprised that the legal board in the 11th District isn’t reviewing her right now. Maybe they are, but I doubt it.

                      We are all waking up to the sobering reality that there is a large well-funded segment of US society that does not want to be a democracy. It is truly shocking and hard to believe.

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • The conservative instinct has always distrusted democracy, and the large owners of property have ever feared it being taken away by “The Mob” of the common folk. The dominant form of government in recorded history has been monarchy (often, also theocracy), and power and authority based on ownership of land. The rise of industrial economies added (as Marx and Engles accurately observed) the means of production to that. Even our founders limited the right to vote to owners of property (also, male and white). The thing about owning property (as opposed to essentially renting it from a bank by way of debt) is that the urge to as permanently and securely as possible guarantee that that ownership will continue becomes irresistible.

                      So, shocking?, yes, but hard to believe?, no.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      In many ways, we’ve been sold a bill of goods in that since our early education, we’ve been taught that democracy is the best system of governance and the US is the champion of democracy. Our democracy was sacrosanct and every American was dedicated to it. It turns out that it isn’t true. That’s a hard truth to accept just because the belief has been foundational.

                      The impact that such a violation has is disbelief. People just won’t believe that there are Americans, no matter how rich, who don’t believe in democracy. The funny thing is that given the sportification of our politics and the tendency to adjust our beliefs to match those of the politicians we like, we now have a large segment of the population who explicitly no longer want democracy. One way they did that is through the “I’d rather live in Russia rather than with a Democratic president,” and “Fuck your feelings” merchandise.

                      But, for the unindoctrinated, it is still hard to accept. It’s one reason that Biden’s push of the issue that democracy is under threat is so important. If he’s saying it, people are much more likely to accept it rather than if you and I are saying it. Also, the 6 January Insurrection meets the requirements of proportionality bias: big changes require big causes. Voter fraud was never widely accepted because it didn’t have a proportional cause. It was repeated enough to cause people doubt, but never really accepted.

                      This is starting to sound like blog post.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      Everyday there is a new revelation about what the DoJ is investigating or other corruption from the Trump WH. It’s coming out so fast ow, that the On the Media piece is already dated. It’s unbelievable. The level of corruption is beyond what anyone ever could have imagined. There is nothing that anyone could describe as corruption that didn’t take place in his four years. Nothing. Probably more than what the collective film noir community could write.

                      I used to say it was like living through 2020 all over again, but it is worse now.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Yes, the subpoenas are flying fast. The level of corruption makes that portrayed (with significant historical accuracy) in “China Town” look penny-anti. An odd thought came to me. Those people that Trump rewarded with blanket pardons cannot take refuge in the 5th Amendment when called to testify. They have immunity from prosecution. They can try for attorney-client privilege if they had that employment relationship with Trump or some other among the accused, or executive privilege, which hasn’t worked so far. So, it is a case of sing or be in contempt. Donald may come to regret those pardons (He’ll say he had bad legal advice, not his fault.).

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      None of the corruption is new. It is just more brazen during the past six years. I don’t think most Americans realized just how corrupt the upper echelons of US society are. I remember in the first six months of the Obama presidencies, a number of nominees withdrawing because it was discovered that they hadn’t been paying their taxes.

                      At the time, it dawned on me that the upper echelon just doesn’t pay taxes, and they don’t feel like they’re at any risk because of it.

                      Every now and again someone will publicly discuss the revolving door between administrations and lobbyists, but it never gets enough public traction to have much done about it. The same is true for the dark money John Roberts allowed into our political discourse. Most people just can’t focus on it.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jon

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I recall a lawyer being quoted as saying, “The law is whatever you can get away with.” I can’t find an attribution for that, but he must have had rich clients. Most people can focus on this stuff they either consider it to be how it always has been and always will be, or they just can’t comprehend the quantity of money some people have to throw around to get their way.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I think it gets back to the projection thing and the assumption that we’re all average. It’s a fundamental assumption that people live like we do, even though, we can cognitively understand they don’t. Rich people know not everyone is rich, but way way overestimate how much money people have access, too. By the same token, poorer and middle class people know that the rich exist, but can’t comprehend the impact that having so much more money has on their life.

                      None of us average Joes really understands the access that rich people have to the levers of power and what that means.

                      I still think that the billionaire class is fundamentally different from the millionaire class in that they have substantially far greater amounts of money than anyone ever had — even in relative terms — in the history of the world.

                      There is lots of work in the behavioral economics literature on the effect of relative amounts of money on decision making. Twenty dollars has far greater worth when you only have fifty dollars to start with than it does when you have five hundred dollars. There is something there about the insulating and distorting value of vast wealth.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • There is also the clear tendency of rich people to believe that they deserve what they have, however much that may be, which translates to that everybody deserves what they have, however little that may be. They tend to believe in talent and hard work, while poor people must believe more in luck. Conversations between the two levels have been plagued by mutual non-comprehension for all of recorded history.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      i would tweak that just a little bit. Everyone assumes that everyone else has similar circumstances to their own. We cannot truly imagine what it is like to live as the other side of the tracks live. Rich people believe that they deserve and have earned what they’ve gotten, even though most of it is generational wealth that has been handed to them and they just haven’t Trumped it down the shitter. Many poor people believe the same thing. They believe that they deserve to be poor. They believe that if they could just pull themselves up by their bootstraps, they would succeed. Many rural conservative Christian white folks have completely bought into that paradigm. They blame liberals and the PoC for jumping the que and taking from them what is rightfully theirs, but they believe in the rewards of hard work and perseverance, and if they just work a little harder, and preserver a little longer, they will enjoy the fruits of the American dream. That belief has now been transformed into, if it weren’t for liberals and the lazy-taker PoC, we would already be in the promised land. It is the perpetuation of that system of belief that keeps the rural conservative Christian white citizen on the hook.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Then, there’s this:

                      “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
                      John Steinbeck

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Then, there’s this observation:
                      “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
                      John Steinbeck

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I was trying to think of that quote the other day. That really is the American dream: everyone can be a millionaire, just keep trying. It keeps ’em on the hook, racking up charges on their credit cards, and coming back for more.

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • It’s the central theme of the Horatio Alger stories so popular in the early 20th Century, a boy, born poor climbs the ladder to wealth through hard work, grit, and good morals. Lately, we seems to have gone a bit lite on the good morals part.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • The Great Depression was an incredibly difficult time. Nowadays, we cannot imagine what it was like. The mental beating that people took when the bottom fell out of the economy was enormous. People needed something to prop them up. They got Shirley Temple and Horatio Algers and, my personal favorite, the Thin Man.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for this Calico Jack. #SistersInLaw & Heather Cox Richardson are already among my favs but haven’t known about Terri Kanefield so will check out her blog. Another one – one that’s particularly good for countering the dangers of hot takes is Robert Hubbell’s daily newsletter https://roberthubbell.substack.com/p/keep-this-list?r=4iq04&s=r&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    It’s often available in audio, with Robert reading his daily commentary in his very soothing voice. Also, for facebook users, Heather Cox Richardson talks, in person-like, two times a week (one is a history talk, the other is a politics talk).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Cynthia!

      Thanks for the tip on Robert Hubbell’s daily. It does look like a reliable, insightful, and readable source of good information and analysis. I’ll add it to my list. That is one benefit of the Internet, the abundance of good information and analysis.

      I enjoy Sisters-in-Law just for the banter. It can be so wonderfully stilted, especially around their sponsors.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

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