More to ignore, Book 73.......

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
103,405
18,484
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Part of the J6 Committee's brilliance was hiring producer James Goldston.
mspicata

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James Goldston is a British-American journalist and television executive who most recently retired from a seven year stint as head of ABC News. He had been known for his revitalization of such shows as Nightline and Good Morning America. Earlier this year, the J6 Committee hired him to manage the hearings for a television audience. The stage craft you’ve been seeing is Goldston’s, and he deserves a great deal of credit for his work.

Here’s the Washington Post describing his on-the-fly recovery when Bill Stepien’s wife went into labor:

But just hours before Stepien was expected to testify, word reached the committee that he wouldn’t make it to Capitol Hill. His wife was about to have a baby.
Committee investigators rushed to the small room in the Cannon House Office Building where they have huddled during the hearings with a small production team. They were joined by a man in horn-rimmed glasses and a dark-blue plaid suit. He was James Goldston, the former president of ABC News, whom the committee tapped this spring, relatively late in their process, to help hone a clean, compelling, easy-to-follow structure to present the evidence they’ve collected from over 1,000 interviews and depositions.
The committee announced the day’s hearing would start late, and its staff got to work filling the programming void. An idea to have Stepien’s attorney deliver a statement on his behalf was considered and rejected. Instead, investigators decided to simply present excerpts of Stepien’s videotaped deposition, a compelling-enough story, as it turned out, with the campaign pro describing his dismay as Trump shunned his advice in favor of the wild election-fraud theories whispered to him by Rudy Giuliani and others.

It was Goldston who suggested that the Committee could weave snippets of testimony into coherent narratives. He pointed out that in many cases they had interviewed all of the participants in a given meeting, and that they could construct oral histories out of those snippets to tell the story. Though some Committee members thought Goldston’s presentation lackluster,

“it ended up hanging together so cohesively and so right,” said a person involved in the process, “and we haven’t overplayed anything.”

Even some of those interviewed expressed admiration for Goldston’s work. “Game respects game,” one said to the Post.

Imagine how things might be playing with a typical committee hearing on live television, and give a tip of the hat to Mr. Golston. His next gig, by the way, is a series entitled Kushner, Inc.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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The Supreme Court will come for your Social Security. Count on it
Joan McCarter

Will the radical, Trump-packed U.S. Supreme Court is not going to be satisfied it has owned the libs once it has done away with contraception, abortion, marriage equality, voting rights, and the federal government’s ability to regulate anything to protect citizens from guns to baby food to air and water? In a word, no. Their list of grievances against 20th-century progress isn’t going to stop with our private lives. Not when their twin bugbears of the New Deal and Great Society still stand. Not until they’ve completed the Great Regression. Elected officials haven’t been able to get it done, so the unelected Supreme Court will take on the job.

Since the Social Security Act was enacted into law on August 14, 1935, Republicans have tried to tear it down. The thought of all that money being safely stored away by the government to help secure dignified and sustainable retirements for regular working people has rankled the Republicans all these decades. Elected officials have tried and failed. Case in point: Former President George W. Bush entered his second term in office with a radical “reform” plan to privatize Social Security. “I earned capital in this campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it,” he declared after the 2004 election.

He really did try, and the people turned on him. “According to the Gallup organization, public disapproval of President Bush’s handling of Social Security rose by 16 points from 48 to 64% between his State of the Union address and June.” Democrats were united against his proposal and Republicans could see it was toxic, and used Bush’s post-Hurricane Katrina dive in public support to pull the plug. Even the Very Serious People involved in all those Very Serious commissions making all their Very Serious pronouncements about how Social Security has to be “reformed” because the deficit have not been able to convince elected Republicans to finally do it. Because elections would be hard to win afterward.
..........

So it will be down to the unelected Supreme Court to do it, just as the Federalist Society—which built this court with the enthusiastic assistance of Mitch McConnell, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump—has intended all along.

Erica Suares, policy adviser to McConnell made that very clear with the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the seat McConnell stole from President Barack Obama and his nominee, Merrick Garland. Trump Supreme Court nominees could “fundamentally change the country,” she said. The goal was “shifting the culture” toward a limited federal government, adding “with these lifetime appointments we can really change the country in a short period of time.” Will Dunham, then policy director for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and a Heritage Foundation alum, said they were aiming beyond undoing Obama’s achievements at going “even further back—all the way back to the New Deal.”

The New Deal, and after it, LBJ’s Great Society, are definitely on the chopping block once civil rights have been done away with. It’s been the plan for decades, as described in 2018 by People for the American Way’s Peter Montgomery.

Throughout its history, a central focus of Federalist Society members has been developing and promoting a pre-New Deal understanding of federalism. A 1998 student conference focused on the structure of the Constitution, including “undoing the New Deal.” In 2001, the society sponsored a conference called “Rolling Back the New Deal.” It featured a presentation by law professor Richard Epstein called “The Mistakes of 1937”—a reference to the Supreme Court adopting a more expansive interpretation of the Commerce Clause. Epstein, an influential Federalist Society figure, has also promoted an extreme view of “takings” doctrine under the Fifth Amendment, which he admitted in a book on the topic would effectively invalidate most laws passed in the 20th Century.”

All of that built on the shaky foundations of “originalism,” now the prevailing constitutional theory of the Court. This “once […] fringe intellectual concept, confined to conservative legal circles,” has “achieved its ultimate ascendance,” writes Joshua Zeitz who will soon release Building the Great Society: Inside Lyndon Johnson’s White House.

“The theory, which views jurisprudence as frozen in time, flatly rejects the idea of the Constitution as a living and evolving document and instead demands that we interpret its provisions exactly as the framers intended,” he explains, even though the execution of that theory in supporting radical decisions is at best sloppy and at worst a complete misreading of actual history and prevailing thought at the founding.

“Curiously, in the space of 24 hours, the court’s majority moved the goal posts—1790s for guns, 1850s or so, for abortion—in determining what historical standard should inform the boundaries of constitutional exegesis,” Zeitz writes. They also reversed themselves on the idea of states’ rights in that 24 hours—the state has no authority whatsoever when it comes to guns, all the authority when it comes to abortion. At least until a Republican Congress passes a national ban on abortion. That they’d uphold.

This is a court that will have absolutely no compunction about declaring Social Security unconstitutional—and with it, Medicare and Medicaid and most of the safety net. The foundation on what passes for intellectual thought in the far right to do so has been built. All it’s going to take is the right set of challenges, which Trump-packed federal courts will happily provide.

Unless they are stopped.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Nebraska special election last night hints at HUGE abortion impact on 2022 midterms
kos

As former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry was sentenced to a disgraceful two years of probation for lying to the FBI (there is a different justice system for the powerful), a special election took place yesterday in his former seat in Nebraska’s first congressional district.

The Republican won 53-47, a 6-point spread.

Donald Trump won this district by 15 in 2020, 56-41, but in a weird and undemocratic decision, the special election was held with the new district lines. Those new lines are actually more Democratic, as Republicans shored up the battleground 2nd Congressional District. Had the 2020 election been run using the new maps, Trump’s 56-41 victory in the 1st would’ve been 54-43—a 4-point swing.

538’s redistricting tracker shifts Nebraska 1 from a partisan lean of Republican +21 in the old maps, to +17—the same 4-point swing. “Partisan lean is the average margin difference between how a state or district votes and how the country votes overall,” so +17 means that the district is 17 points more Republican than the rest of the nation, or solidly red. The already competitive Nebraska 2nd went from a dead-even partisan lean, to Republican +3.

So comparing Trump’s 54-43 2020 results in this newly drawn district, to last night’s 53-47 result, that’s a
5-point swing toward Democrats. This is particularly surprising because 1) special elections are low-turnout affairs for base Democratic voters, and 2) the Republican outspent the Democrats by over 10-1—$858,000 to $80,000.

In 2020, the Democratic challenger in this district, under the old lines, got 120,000 votes. That number would be higher under the new lines. Yet last night, the Democrat got 53,000 votes. It hurts knowing that Democrats could’ve handily won by simply holding more of their 2020 turnout, but as the spending numbers show, Democrats didn’t even bother trying. A R+17 district wasn’t supposed to be anywhere remotely competitive.

A +5 shift means we may have
two competitive races in Nebraska next year. But if a R+17 seat is anywhere near competitive, this reverberates far beyond Nebraska. The conventional wisdom is that the party in the White House loses (many!) seats in its first midterm election of a new president. An energized opposition, plus the complacency and disappointment of the party in power (which can never deliver its campaign promises) create the condition for big shifts in power. Inflation and Joe Biden’s low approval ratings would doom Democrats in a typical year.

But as I wrote in the wake of the Supreme Court’s thermonuclear decision last week, Democrats are no longer the party in power. The Supreme Court is, and it is held by partisan Republican ideologues. There is no longer complacency among liberals, and Biden is virtually irrelevant. Republicans will be highly motivated, yes, but they won’t get to run up the score against a moribund left. You can sense it—we’re just as motivated, and the polls are picking it up.


NPR writes that [abortion decision] injects "volatility into the 2022 midterms," citing the fact that 78% of Democrats say the court's ruling makes them more likely to vote this fall—24 points higher than the number of Republicans who say the same

To be clear, this Nebraska race is a single data point, the only election conducted after the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion. But Democrats don’t have to outperform 2020 numbers by 5 points to hold the house or expand it. One or 2 points will do it. But again, if an R+17 district is competitive, we’re in far better shape than anyone could’ve reasonably hoped for just a week ago.

We can win this election.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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NC Republican Congressman Greg Murphy: Abortion isn't needed because rape doesn't exist
CarolinaForward

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As they say: that’s it. That’s the tweet.

In a since-deleted tweet (preserved by ProPublica’s Politwoops), NC Republican Congressman Greg Murphy insisted on Sunday that abortion is unnecessary because “no one forces anyone to have sex.” The Congressman also did not respond to a follow-up question about whether he agrees that very young girls should be forced into childbirth, or whether pregnancies that present great risk to the mother (ex. ectopic ones) should be left untreated.

Greg Murphy represents a large swath of eastern North Carolina that is relatively conservative. Since his days in the state legislature, he has been known for his aggressive, and occasionally outright racist, remarks. Just two years ago, he remarked on now-Vice President Kamala Harris’s selection in another since-deleted tweet:

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Murphy is widely rumored to have aspirations of running for Governor in North Carolina, though that is probably unrealistic.