Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Last Call For A Pence-ive Decision

Mike Pence has essentially cut a deal to testify against Donald Trump about January 6th, as the feds have put him in a corner and given him precisely one way out.

Former Vice President Mike Pence will not appeal a federal judge’s order that he testify in the special counsel’s probe of former President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election, his adviser announced Wednesday.

The decision not to fight the order could provide special counsel Jack Smith with remarkable access to one of the key people with critical insight into Trump’s thinking and efforts to cling to power.

Last week, Judge James Boasberg, the chief judge of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, largely dismissed efforts mounted by Pence and Trump to limit his testimony and avoid handing over documents.

Boasberg acknowledged a constitutional argument against forcing Pence to testify in front of a grand jury about matters related to his role as Senate president during the certification of the election on Jan. 6, but nevertheless concluded that immunity should not prevent Pence from testifying about conversations related to alleged “illegality” on Trump’s part.

“Vice President Mike Pence swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and his claim that the Biden Special Counsel’s unprecedented subpoena was unconstitutional under the Speech or Debate Clause was an important one made to preserve the Separation of Powers outlined by our Founders,” Pence adviser Devin O’Malley said in a statement Wednesday. “In the Court’s decision, that principle prevailed. The Court’s landmark and historic ruling affirmed for the first time in history that the Speech or Debate Clause extends to the Vice President of the United States. Having vindicated that principle of the Constitution, Vice President Pence will not appeal the Judge’s ruling and will comply with the subpoena as required by law.”

It’s unclear exactly when Pence will appear before the grand jury in Washington, according to a source familiar with the matter, and the case remains under seal. Trump’s attorneys could still appeal Boasberg’s ruling. Last week, his legal team filed an appeal to block the testimony of several of his senior aides.

That appeal got blown up yesterday, and it looks like Special Counsel Jack Smith is going to have a feast, if not a full-blown smorgasbord of grand jury testimony to bring to the grand jury. Whatever you think about the Bragg case, it'll be tied up well into 2024. Jack Smith on the other hand may be able to move (relatively) more quickly. 

We'll see where things go from here.

The GOP's Race To The Bottom, Con't

To recap Republican "history education", anything that mentions Black history is prohibited because it makes white students feel unfairly guilty. Instead, we must therefore celebrate Confederate Heritage Month to honor the traitors that turned against the US in order to preserve, you know, slavery of Black folk.
For the fourth year in a row, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has signed a proclamation declaring April as Confederate Heritage Month in Mississippi, keeping alive a 30-year-old tradition that former Republican Gov. Kirk Fordice first began. Black people make up 38% of Mississippi’s population, which is the highest for any state.

A branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the SCV Camp 265 Rankin Rough & Ready’s, posted a copy of the proclamation on its Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon.

“Whereas, as we honor all who lost their lives in (the Civil War), it is important for all Americans to reflect upon our nation’s past, to gain insight from our mistakes and successes, and to come to a full understanding that the lessons learned yesterday and today will carry us through tomorrow if we carefully and earnestly strive to understand and appreciate our heritage and our opportunities which lie before us,” the proclamation says.

“Now, therefore, I, Tate Reeves, Governor of the State of Mississippi, hereby proclaim the month of April 2023 as Confederate Heritage Month in the State of Mississippi.”

Starting in 2016, Donna Ladd reported first and then annually in the Jackson Free Press on then-Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant’s Confederate Heritage Month proclamations, and later on Reeves’ first Confederate Heritage Month proclamation in 2020. The Mississippi Free Press reported on Reeves’ proclamations in 2021 and 2022.

Reeves’ 2023 proclamation is dated April 31, 2023—a date that does not exist because April only has 30 days. In Facebook comments, members of the SCV Camp 265 Rankin Rough & Ready’s noted the error, with the group’s administrator writing, “what do you expect it’s from Tater.”

“Woops,” the administrator added in a followup comment.

The group has posted Reeves’ proclamations annually since 2021; the R.E. Lee Camp 239 SCV Facebook group posted the 2020 proclamation. Without SCV groups posting the proclamations and the Jackson Free Press and Mississippi Free Press reporting on them, they could have gone unnoticed as they did before 2016; neither the governor nor any other state official publicizes the proclamations or posts them on any state websites or social-media pages.

Reeves defended issuing the proclamations in 2021.

“For the last 30 years, five Mississippi governors—Republicans and Democrats alike—have signed a proclamation recognizing the statutory state holiday and identifying April as Confederate Heritage Month,” he said in a statement to WAPT at the time. “Gov. Reeves also signed the proclamation because he believes we can all learn from our history.”
I assume nobody in Mississippi's state government asked Black kids how they feel about honoring the people who fought to keep their ancestors enslaved, but I'm sure Black folk don't have human feelings because we're not considered sentient lifeforms anyway.

Shutdown Countdown, Armageddon Edition, Con't

Kevin McCarthy and the House GOP Circus of the Damned are running the psyop that they can pass a budget with no Democratic votes and force the Senate and Joe Biden to accept trillions in cuts that would tank the economy even worse than defaulting on the national debt.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his top lieutenants say they are actively preparing to move a party-line bill to raise the national debt limit if President Joe Biden continues to draw a firm line against talks with House Republicans to avoid the nation’s first-ever default.

The move would be a risky one. The GOP can only afford to lose four votes on any partisan plan, and thorny fiscal issues have long divided their party. House passage of a party-line bill would be difficult in the Democratic-led Senate where 60 votes would be needed to advance such a package.

But Republican leaders believe that their weeks of internal talks with the various ideological factions – known as the GOP’s five families – could produce a bill that would pass the House along party lines. And if the White House won’t negotiate, they believe they can put pressure on the Senate and Biden by passing a bill that would raise the debt ceiling and include budget cuts.

“I’m confident we can get there if we needed to,” Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves, whom McCarthy selected to lead the internal GOP talks, said of a Republican-only bill.

Speaking to CNN and a small group of reporters, Graves said that moving a GOP bill is “absolutely an option on the table.”

McCarthy was even more bullish.

“Yes,” McCarthy said when asked if he believed Republicans would have the votes to approve a debt ceiling plan on their own.

“I think the markets will be excited here that one entity here is taking action,” McCarthy told reporters on Thursday.

Republicans say their first choice is to negotiate a deal with the White House.

“Mr. President, I’m ready anytime at any moment. I’ll come tonight,” McCarthy said, adding he would bring lunch or “would make it soft food if that’s what he wants.”

But Biden has called on the House GOP to raise the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling without any conditions or strings attached to avoid the prospects of fiscal calamity, pointing to Congress approving a borrowing limit suspension three times under then-President Donald Trump. But this time, House Republicans say a clean debt ceiling hike simply won’t happen, given the mountain of debt the country faces.

The problem is McCarthy doesn't have to votes to pass this or any other bill with just Republican votes, and everyone knows it.  That's why the Biden White House is staying put.  If McCarthy actually could get the votes for this, he would have done it already and tole Biden that this was the new reality.

But that won't happen.  So we wait until McCarthy figures this out. The problem of course is that McCarthy is very stupid, and a miscalculation could lead to economic collapse. McCarthy's not bright enough to go to Biden himself and work this out, then getting Hakeem Jeffries to save his ass.

The odds of a default and economic catastrophe are extremely high, because the GOP side is run by idiots.
Related Posts with Thumbnails