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StarfishSaver's Journal
StarfishSaver's Journal
October 5, 2021

In case you missed it (I did): Jan. 6 panel will issue 'criminal referrals' for subpoena defiers

The committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection and former President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election will issue “criminal referrals” to witnesses who refuse to obey subpoena deadlines, Chair Bennie Thompson said Friday.

“The committee will probably for those who don’t agree to come in voluntarily, we’ll do criminal referrals and let that process work out,” Thompson told reporters at the Capitol.

In a brief interview, he said the panel had on Friday begun interviewing people who volunteered to cooperate with the investigation. Additional subpoenas would be coming out shortly, he said.

By "criminal referrals" he means that the committee will cite the recalcitrant witness(es) for Contempt of Congress and refer the matter to the U.S. Attorney for criminal prosecution.

October 5, 2021

Merrick Garland just came as close as he can to confirming that DOJ is investigating January 6

"We are doing everything we can to ensure that the perpetrators of January 6 are brought to justice. We will follow the facts and the law where they land," Garland said in an interview tonight with Jane Mayer at the New Yorker Festival.

That pretty clearly tells us that investigations are ongoing. And that's as far as he can go at this point.

Perhaps that will assuage some folks who think the fact that DOJ isn't talking about the investigations means that they aren't investigating. The Attorney General just told us that DOJ is indeed conducting an investigation.


October 4, 2021

Where is Marcia Fudge?

We have an eviction crisis, homelessness, soaring housing prices, and an affordable housing crunch, but I haven't seen her on television lately at all.

Where is she? Is she asleep, in a coma, golfing? Is she still the Secretary of HUD?

October 1, 2021

Breaking: Kavanaugh tests positive for COVID

Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh has tested positive for the coronavirus despite being vaccinated, the Supreme Court announced Friday.

In a statement, the court said Kavanaugh had a routine coronavirus test on Thursday and was informed later that night that he had tested positive.

“He has no symptoms and has been fully vaccinated since January,” the statement said.

The court said that the other justices had tested negative as of last Monday and that Kavanaugh tested negative that day as well.


September 29, 2021

Breaking: House Select Committee subpoenas 11 "Stop the Steal" organizers

The select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection has issued its second round of subpoenas, this time targeting individuals involved in the planning and organization of the "Stop the Steal" rally that served as a prelude to the riot at the US Capitol and other rallies organized in the lead up to the day of the attack.

September 27, 2021

Interesting fact: R. Kelly wasn't charged with or convicted of sexual assault.

He was charged with racketeering and violation of the Mann Act.

This was a very complicated but well-done prosecution.


September 24, 2021

Several legal pundits are saying former presidents can't invoke executive privilege. That's not true

The Supreme Court has explicitly held that former presidents can indeed exert executive privilege.

"It is argued, such claims may be asserted only by incumbents who are presently responsible to the American people for their action. We reject the argument that only an incumbent President may assert such claims, and hold that appellant, as a former President, may also be heard to assert them ...

"The confidentiality necessary to this exchange cannot be measured by the few months or years between the submission of the information and the end of the President's tenure; the privilege is not for the benefit of the President as an individual, but for the benefit of the Republic. Therefore the privilege survives the individual President's tenure."

---Justice Brennan, writing for the majority in Nixon v. Administrator of General Services, 433 U.S. 425 (1977) https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/433/425/#tab-opinion-1952361

It doesn't get any clearer than that.

Executive privilege can be invoked either by a current president for communications between him and his aides or for communications by former presidents during their tenure in office. Former presidents can invoke the privilege for communications during their time as president.

The current president's declination to invoke the privilege would surely carry great weight with the courts because they are responsible for the country. But a former president has a right to invoke the privilege, even if the court doesn't accept it. And it's not necessarily a sure thing that the privilege doesn't exist if the current president chooses not to invoke it.

For example, imagine if Trump and his henchmen, including various U.S. Attorneys, Republican Senators and Members of Congress had decided to really go after President Obama and subpoenaed his Chief of Staff, Cabinet Secretaries (including Hillary Clinton) and other staffers, demanding that they testify about all of their deliberations on various matters.

Surely, former President Obama could have invoked executive privilege, while the Trump White House probably would have declined to do so. I doubt any court in that situation would rule that Obama could not invoke the privilege or that those communications weren't privileged and forced Obama's staff and appointees to testify because Trump's views controlled.
September 24, 2021

Assuming all the subpoenaed witnesses show up and testify...

What new information do you think the committee will learn from them?

September 23, 2021

Tim Wise: Race-Talk is a Language White Folks Need to Learn

I’ve been white long enough to know there are different reasons why so many of my group have a hard time discussing race and racism in America.

For some, it’s about their own biases, which they seek to deny or at least keep from view, lest people conclude they’re not as open-minded as they profess. For others, it’s defensiveness at the mention of ongoing inequality and unfairness still faced by persons of color. After all, acknowledging those might call into question the legitimacy of their own social status. A third group would rather talk about class, gender, or sexuality — areas where, because of their relationship to those identities, they can focus on where they got hurt, rather than where they were advantaged (even as both things can be true, and often are).

What white people hear when Black folks say “white people”

If you’re not from the South or didn’t grow up in a large city with a significant number of Black folks, you likely don’t speak the language of race.

As a result, when Black people start talking about race and racism, you think they’re talking about you.

When they talk about white people, you think they mean all 200 million white Americans, all the time, including those that were just delivered and haven’t even gotten their Apgar scores yet.

You believe their indictment of whiteness is personal because you don’t understand the broad and symbolic way Black Americans use language.

When Black people say “white people” or “white folks,” 9 times out of 10, they are not referring to 200 million individuals called white. For lack of a better way to put it, they are speaking of “Whiteness, Inc.” As in, the corporate entity registered in Delaware for tax purposes but with branch offices all over the country.
When Black people talk shit about white folks or whiteness, they are typically talking about whiteness as a state of mind. In fact, that’s what the late, great comedian, Dick Gregory, said whiteness was — and all it was.


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