‘The kidney has a very special place in the heart’

That’s where your smartness is (stable genius taps Temple knowingly), kidneys. I spel gud 2 covfefe.

One of the great benefits of being on the road is you can’t watch much Cable News. Of course what you do get is CNN which barely qualifies as news and makes me appreciate MSNBC more, not that MSNBC is all that good. I really should give up my daily habit of Meth, Crack, and Fentanyl (helps even out the other two, especially taken with Gin and Tonic).

Of course all the reliable sources like Stephen, Seth, and Trevor, and John and Sam too, are on vacation.

Today (tomorrow as I write this) it’s supposed to rain all day. I’ll try not to let it get to me.

It’s a travel day anyway, a frantic scramble to pack up, go someplace else, and do it all over again.

Cartnoon

Martin Frobisher, Renaissance Man

The Breakfast Club (Spaceship Earth)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo stress free zone_zps7hlsflkj.jpg

This Day in History

Julius Caesar born; Walter Mondale taps Geraldine Ferraro as the first woman to run on a major party ticket for the White House; Boris Yeltsin quits the Soviet Communist Party; Comedian Bill Cosby born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.

R. Buckminster Fuller

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Six In The Morning Friday 12 July 2019

 

US census 2020: Trump retreats on citizenship question

President Donald Trump will no longer pursue adding a question on citizenship to the 2020 US census questionnaire.

Instead, he said officials would obtain the information through an executive order for government agencies, as court challenges would have delayed a census.

The retreat follows a long fight over the inclusion of the question, which the Supreme Court blocked in June.

Critics called the question politically motivated and said it would lead to fewer immigrant households taking part.

Iran warns western powers to ‘leave region’ amid Gulf crisis

Foreign ministry demands release of Iranian oil tanker UK seized last week

Iran has called on Britain to release its seized oil tanker and warned foreign powers to “leave the region because Iran and other regional countries are capable of securing the regional security”.

The Royal Marines seized the tanker last week on suspicion it was breaking European sanctions by taking oil to Syria.

“This is a dangerous game and has consequences … the legal pretexts for the capture are not valid … the release of the tanker is in all countries’ interests,” the foreign ministry spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, told IRNA news agency.

Feeding People With SciencePlant Researchers Brace for Population Explosion

By 2050, the world will require nearly twice as much food as today. But producing it without consuming any extra resources — so as not to exacerbate climate change — will be tricky. Three scientists explain how this agricultural feat may be possible.

By 

If the progress of the last 60 years had to be depicted in only four figures, this is what they would be: In 1960, global agriculture produced an average of 200 kilograms (around 400 pounds) of grain for each person on the planet. Today, it has risen to 400 kilograms. At the same time, the global population has risen from 3 to 7 billion.

These statistics reveal a miracle of sorts: Though the number of people on the planet has doubled in the past six decades, the amount of food per capita has also increased. The percentage of people around the world who are currently suffering from hunger, 11 percent, marks a record low. Never before in the history of humankind has our collective abundance been so high.

Libya demands answers after French missiles found at pro-Haftar base

Libya’s internationally recognised government on Thursday demanded urgent answers after Paris conceded French missiles were found at a base used by strongman Khalifa Haftar, whose forces are fighting to take over the capital Tripoli.

Foreign Minister Mohamad Tahar Siala has asked French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian to “urgently explain” how the missiles “reached Haftar‘s forces, when they were delivered and how”, according to a ministry statement.

Haftar in April ordered his self-styled Libyan National Army on an offensive to take the Libyan capital from the UN-recognised Government of National Accord.

Donald Trump stokes fear and conspiracy on path to 2020

Updated 0733 GMT (1533 HKT) July 12, 2019

President Donald Trump spent Thursday feeding the fires of fear and conspiracy he thinks he needs to keep burning to stay in power beyond 2020.

The administration finalized plans to target undocumented families in mass raids announced in advance — perhaps for maximum political effect — which are sowing anxiety in 10 cities.
Covering up a reversal in his bid to add a citizenship question to the census, Trump said liberals want to hide “illegal aliens in our midst” and questioned the loyalty of his opponents.

Everyone wants to Instagram the world’s most beautiful canyon. Should they?

A sudden burst of tourism to a photogenic natural wonder is transforming a small town, and a tribe.

By 

Page, Arizona, has always been a small town. The 4 million visitors who come here annually, though, that’s new. For the past decade, locals have been mildly flummoxed about the massive surge of people to their home, with its population of fewer than 8,000 and somewhat remote locale. Nestled at the northernmost edge of the Arizona desert, it’s a solid two-hour drive from the Flagstaff airport and five from the larger hubs of Phoenix and Las Vegas.

Residents of Page do know, though, that many of those tourists come to see the same thing. On the night I arrive in early May, the bartender at the Courtyard Marriott cantina off the town’s main drag describes it to me thusly: “It’s rocks.”

I first see the rocks early the next morning with a tour group, which is the only way you are allowed to visit them. Before our guide tells us his name, which we find out is Anthony, he asks us the most crucial question of the day: “Do you all have iPhones?”

 

 

 

 

Nancy Pelosi’s Leadership Failure

What Does Nancy Pelosi Think She’s Doing?
By Sarah Jones, New York Magazine
July 10, 2019

(Alexander) Acosta, with his baggage from the past and struggles in the present, is both an appropriate and easy target for House Democrats. Or he would be, if Democrats actually wanted to fully exercise their oversight authority. But that outcome looked distant on Tuesday. Though she’s called on Acosta to resign, Speaker Nancy Pelosi seemed to dismiss the possibility of impeaching him.

On Wednesday, House Oversight Committee chairman Elijah Cummings announced that Democrats would investigate Acosta’s conduct in the Epstein case. But if Pelosi truly does oppose impeachment, the investigation could find itself at a dead end. Her intransigence does encourage some unsavory speculation: that Pelosi might want to protect prominent Democrats. Before he went to jail in 2008, Epstein was friendly with powerful members of both parties, including former president Bill Clinton. But there’s no evidence that Clinton abused underage girls while in Epstein’s company, and right now, the federal case in New York against Epstein seems focused on Epstein alone. Her evident willingness to allow a wide-ranging investigation suggests she’s not afraid of what supervisorial spadework might turn up. But there’s a likelier explanation for Pelosi ruling out, even prior to an investigation, impeaching Acosta. She’s clinging to an outdated view of the world, which makes her unfit for the challenges of the moment. Pelosi is willing to confront Trump, or his officials, but only to a point. She not only believes the center will hold; she seems to think that it will, once some unspecified red line is crossed, topple Trump and his administration without any direct intervention on her part.

The horrors of the Trump presidency are legion. Children die in camps at the border; on Tuesday evening, NBC reported that children in an Arizona camp had been sexually abused. Vital support services for the poor are at risk. The president himself is corrupt, and violent, according to the 24 women who have accused him of sexual assault. White-supremacist violence is increasing, which experts credit to Trump’s anti-immigrant nationalism, and the administration seems determined to provoke some kind of conflict with Iran. A credible political party would have plenty of fodder for a coherent opposition narrative. But if Pelosi wants to be the opposition, it doesn’t show. She behaves as if confrontation, or intervention, will cost her party the bit of power it holds.

Pelosi’s reluctance to investigate Acosta is part of a pattern. She’ll criticize, call on someone to resign, or even permit an investigation, but impeachment is too far. Trump, she said in May, is becoming “self-impeachable,” a nonsensical phrase that absolves her of any responsibility to act. In June, she refused to even censure the president, telling the press that “if the goods are there, you must impeach.” For Pelosi, it seems to be impeachment or nothing, and so far, she’s chosen nothing. Meanwhile, she’s jabbed repeatedly at left-wing policies and progressive members of her own party. The Green New Deal, to Pelosi, isn’t a promising proposal to address a pressing existential crisis; it’s “the green dream or whatever.” When she speaks of the party’s left-wing, four-woman freshman “squad,” Pelosi can sound distinctly sour. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” she told New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, after Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib voted against a humanitarian bill that included funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people, and that’s how many votes they got.”

Pelosi’s job, as Speaker in a time during which her party does not control the Senate or the White House, is to protect a Democratic majority in the House. She’s also responsible for helping maximize her party’s chances of defeating Trump. The only legible explanation for her reluctance to investigate Acosta, or censure Trump, is that she fears a backlash that would cost her moderate members their seats. But if that’s the case, she overestimates the risk. Trump is an unpopular president, and the disgraceful events of his tenure mobilized voters and flipped House districts. The forces that elevated insurgents like Ocasio-Cortez, and moderates like Virginia’s Abigail Spanberger, have shared roots: Voters reacted against Trump and demanded change. Now Pelosi seems to believe that she can simply ride 2018’s blue wave through the general election, but there may be consequences to that reticence that she does not expect. If she wants to keep her majority, she has to give people a reason to back her party — and that takes more than passing bills that go to the Senate to die. She has to give voters something to believe in, too. Why should voters give Democrats power they won’t use?

The times demand a more aggressive Democratic Party. Acosta stands accused of violating federal law to give an unrepentant sexual predator a light sentence. If Pelosi won’t even consider his impeachment, then she is complicit in the same culture of impunity allows Trump to prosper.

The depths of cowardice among Institutional Democrats betrays the Party and alienates the Electorate. Why do they vote for “Strong Men”?

Because Democratic Party leaders are craven and weak, worthless and ineffectual, feckless and incompetent.

Eschew Impeachment and Oversight for Bills McConnell won’t allow a vote on and Unindicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio will Veto? It’s the only area of endevour with even a hope of success. They show by their designed and willful inactivity that they don’t want change to the System that annointed them than the Republicans do, Republicans are just more honest about it. that They should all be fired.

You can’t get a convicted Child Molester and his RICO Gang of Enablers? What damn good are you anyway? You lose because you deserve to lose.

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Michael Conway: What Will It Take for Democrats to Unite Behind Impeaching Trump?

Watergate-era House Democrats hold out the possibility for overcoming initial divisions over their approach to impeachment.

Many Democrats are arguing harshly that the House is wasting an opportunity to open an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Their point of support: Watergate-era House Democrats. In their telling, House Democrats were always united in support of impeaching President Richard Nixon.

But that isn’t true. I was there, and in fact initially they were as divided in their approach to addressing President Nixon’s conduct as House Democrats are today about starting an impeachment inquiry. [..]

Party unity coalesced only after House leadership authorized Peter Rodino of New Jersey, the Judiciary Committee chairman, to conduct a thorough, deliberate, six-month impeachment investigation.

Still, Democratic unity today remains unlikely — by all appearances, Ms. Pelosi has no intention of letting that process begin. It will take unforeseen events, or a pro-impeachment surge in public opinion, to change the current dynamic.

Charles M. Blow: Trump Detests Apologetic Men

To stay on the president’s good side, you must perfect the art of denial, deflection and discredit.

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta negotiated what many consider a sweetheart deal with Jeffrey Epstein over sex-crime charges years ago when Acosta was the United States attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Acosta held a news conference on Wednesday to, presumably, calm calls for his removal now that Epstein has been arrested and charged with sex trafficking by federal prosecutors in New York.

The Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor and Human Trafficking is part of the Department of Labor.

The charges are absolutely disgusting. Epstein is alleged to have preyed on underage girls, some of whom he used as recruiters of other victims.

Donald Trump urged Acosta to publicly explain actions, or inactions, in the Epstein case, according to reports.

It remains to be seen whether Acosta’s news conference performance will save his job. As The New York Times reported, “Mr. Acosta’s appearance before cameras was seen as a crucial test of whether he will keep his job, with an audience of one as President Trump watched and weighed a decision.”

But that’s the thing that stops you: For Trump, this isn’t about the charges or the children. For him, this is about how men perform denial. In the mind of the misogynist, a man’s word is the weightiest thing in society, even when he’s lying. One’s test of survival and prosperity isn’t what you say, but how you say it. It isn’t what you do, but how you defend or deny it.

Continue reading

For The Kids

“Oh, you’re Boy Scouts, but you know life. You know life. So — look at you.”

Failing Trump resort cancels strip-club tournament with dancers auctioned as “caddy girls”
by Igor Derysh, Salon
July 11, 2019

President Donald Trump’s golf resort in Doral, Florida, canceled plans to host a tournament organized by a Miami-area strip club that would have allowed golfers to pay dancers to serve as “caddy girls.”

The Shadow Cabaret was scheduled to hold the “Shadow All Star Tournament” at the Trump National Doral Miami resort on Saturday, the Washington Post reports, adding that the strip club’s marketing materials “prominently” feature the Trump name and family crest.

Emanuele Mancuso, the Shadow Cabaret’s marketing director, told The Post that there would be no nudity but the “caddy girls” would be wearing pink miniskirts and a “sexy white polo.”

“They’re going to be clothed the whole time,” Mancuso said, but added that “at the venue is different,” explaining that the tournament would be followed by a “very tasteful” burlesque show that may involve nudity.

Mancuso said the dancers would drive a golf cart but would not carry golf bags.

“They’re actually going through training, most of the girls,” he said, so they can better advise players on shots. “If you enroll before the 10th [of July], you are able to pick out your caddie girl,” he added. “Everybody that enrolled after the 10th, they’re going to have an auction” that night.

The Trump Organization confirmed to the Post that the event was being hosted at the golf club to benefit a “worthwhile cause,” a Miami children’s charity called the Miami All Stars. Things begin to get questionable after that, according to the paper’s reporting.

While Miami All Stars claims on its website that it is a “non-profit organization under the laws of the State of Florida,” Franco Ripple, a spokesman for the state, told the Post that it is not a registered charity in Florida. And although the ads for the event feature logos for the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA, the NBA and WNBA told the Post that the leagues are not affiliated with the tournament and that the logos were used without permission. After the Post’s report, the Miami Allstars Foundation dropped out of the event.

“The event was originally booked with the understanding that it would be raising money to support a local charity benefiting underprivileged children,” a Trump Organization spokeswoman said in a statement. “Now that the charity has removed its affiliation, the event will no longer be taking place at our property and all amounts paid will be refunded.”

Revenues at the Doral club have plummeted since Trump’s presidential campaign, falling by 69 percent in the last two years.

The falling profits have caused the Trump Organization to seek tax relief from Miami-Dade County. Tax consultant Jessica Vachiratevanurak asked the county to lower the property’s tax bill, arguing that the Doral club is “severely underperforming” relative to other nearby resorts. “There is some negative connotation that is associated with the brand,” she explained.

The Doral resort is just one of Trump’s properties that have struggled since he took office. His prized Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach saw revenues fall by nearly 10 percent from 2017 to 2018, according to Trump’s financial disclosure. The Post reported last year that at least 19 charities pulled their events out of Mar-a-Lago after Trump claimed there were “very fine people” marching with white supremacists in Charlottesville.

Revenues at his hotels in New York and Chicago are also down, his name has been stripped from numerous buildings, and Bloomberg reported earlier this year that Trump Tower has become “one of the least desirable luxury properties in Manhattan.”

Because Evangelicals think being a Pimp running Hookers is AOk with Yahweh.

Tell me “it’s not all about Race” again you Fundamentalist Morons.

Cartnoon

I come from a long line of Circus folk.

The Breakfast Club (Afflictions)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo stress free zone_zps7hlsflkj.jpg

This Day in History

America normalizes diplomatic ties with Vietnam; Aaron Burr mortally wounds Alexander Hamilton in a duel; Skylab makes a fiery return to Earth; Babe Ruth’s major league debut; Laurence Olivier dies.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable. Finley Peter Dunne

Continue reading

Six In The Morning Thursday 11 July 2019

Iranian boats ‘tried to intercept British tanker’

Iranian boats tried to impede a British oil tanker near the Gulf – before being driven off by a Royal Navy ship, the Ministry of Defence has said.

HMS Montrose moved between the three boats and the tanker British Heritage before issuing verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels, a spokesman said.

He described the Iranians’ actions as “contrary to international law”.

Iran had threatened to retaliate for the seizure of one of its own tankers, but denied any attempted seizure.

Boats believed to belong to Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) approached the British Heritage tanker and tried to bring it to a halt as it was moving out of the Gulf into the Strait of Hormuz.

Mali crisis worsens as hundreds of thousands flee militia attacks

More than 200,000 people have been displaced since start of 2019 and about 600 killed

Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing their homes in Mali, where deadly attacks on villages are destabilising an already critical situation in the country’s centre.

More than 200,000 people have fled since the start of the year, almost six times the number that were displaced in the same period last year, according to the Rapid Response Mechanism, a tracking and alert system that helps humanitarian organisations respond to vulnerable people.

Nearly 600 civilians were killed in the first half of 2019, most of them in the central region of Mopti, where villagers including many women and children have borne the brunt of gruesome attacks attributed to ethnic militias.

US launches investigation into France’s plan to tax tech companies

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered an investigation into France’s planned tax on technology companies, a probe that could lead to the United States imposing new tariffs or other trade restrictions.

“The United States is very concerned that the digital services tax which is expected to pass the French Senate tomorrow unfairly targets American companies,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement announcing the investigation.

The move gives Lighthizer up to a year to investigate if France‘s digital-tax plan would hurt U.S. technology companies.

‘Be better than North Korea’: Amal Clooney warns Australia on press freedom

 
By Nick Miller

 Australia risks setting a bad example for oppressive regimes and could put journalists all over the world in more danger unless our government pays more than “lip service” to press freedom, a global conference attended by Foreign Minister Marise Payne has been warned.

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, recently appointed the UK’s first Special Envoy on Media Freedom, told the inaugural Defend Media Freedom conference in east London that the recent ABC newsroom raid was an example of global challenges to freedom of speech.

Conspiracy theorists, far-right agitators head to White House with social media in their sights

President Donald Trump is scheduled to host several right-wing internet personalities at an event Thursday that the White House said was intended to “share how they have been affected by bias online.”

Trump and other Republican politicians have recently amplified attacks on social media companies for what they see as unfair censorship directed at conservatives. Trump has repeatedly decried “censorship” of users who have been banned from social media for breaking terms-of-service agreements on sites like Twitter and Facebook. Some users have had their accounts terminated by social media platforms for operating fake accounts or directing hate speech at other users.

JAXA says space probe landed on asteroid to get soil sample

Japan’s space agency said data transmitted from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft indicated it successfully landed on a distant asteroid Thursday and completed its historic mission of collecting underground samples that scientists hope will provide clues to the origin of the solar system.

Hayabusa2 had created itself a landing crater in April by dropping a copper impactor. Thursday’s mission was to land inside that crater and collect underground samples that scientists believe contain more valuable data.

Hayabusa2 is the first to successfully collect underground soil samples from an asteroid and comes ahead of a similar mission planned by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration team at another asteroid.

 

 

It doesn’t get any better.

 

Road computing, I mean actually changing to new and exotic places on a nearly daily basis, is fraught by comparison with hooking up in a pre-Scouted and prepared location which, frankly, is frustrating enough. Add the large chunks of time spent in actual travel and I’m surprised I get anything done at all.

Yesterday things that worked in the morning didn’t at all by afternoon and since today is a travel day I had hoped to prepare something to cover in advance.

Well…, this is what I was able to accomplish instead.

On the other hand I had a really excellent Stuffed Haddock with a Wild Mushroom Risotto and Fiddleheads with Hollandaise. Dessert was Raspberry Pie since they’re in season and I like Raspberries a lot.

Deader Than A Door Nail

I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for.

Oh, I don’t mean Marley. He was dead a long time before 1843 according to Mr. Dickens so we will give no more thought to the matter. No, I’m talking about the Citizenship Question on the 2020 Census.

Judge Jesse is steamed.

Federal judge rejects Trump administration’s bid to swap out lawyers for census case on citizenship question
By Matt Zapotosky, Seung Min Kim, and Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post
July 9, 2019

A federal judge in New York on Tuesday denied a bid from the Justice Department to replace the team of lawyers on the case about the census citizenship question, writing that its request to do so was “patently deficient.”

The department had earlier this week announced its intention to swap out the legal team on the case, without saying exactly why.

A person familiar with the matter said the decision was driven in part by frustration among some of the career lawyers who had been assigned to the case about how it was being handled, though the department wanted to replace those in both career and political positions.

But U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman denied the formal, legal bid to do so.

“Defendants provide no reasons, let alone ‘satisfactory reasons,’ for the substitution of counsel,” Furman wrote. He also noted that a filing in the case was due from the department in just three days, and that the department had previously pushed for the matter to be moved along quickly.

“If anything, that urgency — and the need for efficient judicial proceedings — has only grown since that time,” Furman wrote.

Furman said the department could refile its request, if it gave “satisfactory reasons” for the attorneys’ withdrawal and promises that the attorneys who had worked the case previously would be available upon request. The judge also asked the department to “file an affidavit providing unequivocal assurances that the substitution of counsel will not delay further litigation of this case (or any future related case).”

Furman did allow two attorneys who had previously left the Justice Department or its Civil Division to be removed.

Furman’s move could force the Justice Department to expose more of its messy, internal debates over the census case. Those attorneys who object to the handling of it might proceed without signing briefs, serving up a regular, public reminder of how fraught the case has become internally. The department might also choose to lay out more detailed reasons for wanting the attorneys off in a subsequent request.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the judge’s decision.

New York Attorney General Letitia James took a tacit swipe at Trump in reacting to the ruling.

“Despite the president attempting to fire his lawyers, this is not an episode of ‘The Apprentice.’ Judge Furman denied his request and required the administration to comply with the rules regarding substitution of counsel, ” said James, in a reference to Trump’s onetime television show.

Justin Levitt, an election law professor at Loyola Law School who was a deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division from 2015 to 2017, said he had never seen the department swap out an entire team in the middle of litigating a case.

The move was particularly odd given that the previous team was composed of experts in administrative procedure who were steeped in the details of the census litigation, he said. The new team, pulled together from the department’s consumer protection, civil fraud, and office of immigration litigation components, is “a truly random assortment,” he said.

“It’s a hodgepodge of people whose roles have absolutely nothing do to with the conduct of the census or with proper administrative procedure. That should give everybody pause about what’s coming next.”

Intensifying the political battle, House Democrats threatened to block funding for government efforts to ask about citizenship status as the White House continued to ponder an executive order to force the issue.

“I have no intention of allowing this flagrant waste of money,” Rep. José E. Serrano (D-N.Y.), who leads the House panel overseeing funding for the Commerce and Justice departments, said in a statement. “I once again urge the Trump administration to give up this fight and allow for a depoliticized and accurate census, as we always have.”

A spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee confirmed Democrats would seek to block taxpayer money from funding any efforts by the Trump administration to ask about citizenship in next year’s survey “if the issue has not been rendered moot by the courts.”

When it was anticipating a win in the Supreme Court, the government held fast against the possibility of pushing past the July 1 deadline. In a filing last month, Solicitor General Noel Francisco told the high court that an assertion by one of the plaintiffs that the forms could be finalized as late as Oct. 31 “is unsupported by the record.”

Other brewing fights are sure to keep the Census issue front and center in the coming weeks.

The Democratic-led House is set to vote before leaving for their August recess to hold both Attorney General William P. Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for not complying with subpoenas related to the administration’s decision to include the citizenship question. The White House has asserted executive privilege over the information.

Over at the Gray Lady-

Federal Judge Blocks Justice Department’s Effort to Withdraw Lawyers on Census Citizenship Case
By Michael Wines and Katie Benner, The New York Times
July 9, 2019

A federal judge in New York on Tuesday rejected the Justice Department’s request to switch its legal team midway through a case challenging the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The sharply worded order, by United States District Judge Jesse M. Furman, may further hobble an already struggling battle by the administration to save the citizenship question. Efforts to block it have become a crucial political issue as the next census — and the redrawing of political boundaries in 2021 that will use fresh census data — draws near.

On Sunday, the Justice Department said it was replacing the legal team defending the citizenship question. It offered no explanation for the change, which came in the middle of a prolonged clash over whether the administration’s arguments for adding the question could be believed.

But on Tuesday, as a new team of lawyers began to notify the court of its appearance in the case, Judge Furman barred the old lawyers from leaving until they met a legal requirement to satisfactorily explain their departure and show that it would not impede the case. He excepted only two lawyers on the team who had already left the department’s civil division, which was overseeing the lawsuit.

“Defendants provide no reasons, let alone ‘satisfactory reasons,’ for the substitution of counsel,” he wrote, adding that their written assurance that the switch would not disrupt the case “is not good enough.”

If the department wishes to continue with the switch of legal teams, the judge wrote, the lawyers must provide sworn affidavits explaining their departures and remain under the court’s jurisdiction should they be required to return.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other plaintiffs led by New York Attorney General Letitia James had asked the judge on Monday to block the Justice Department’s reassignment of the case without providing a reason for the withdrawal. On Tuesday the group said it still had questions about the move.

“The Justice Department owes the public and the courts an explanation for its unprecedented substitution of the entire legal team that has been working on this case,” said Dale Ho, the A.C.L.U.’s lead attorney on the case. “The Trump administration is acting like it has something to hide, and we won’t rest until we know the truth.”

The Justice Department declined to comment. Mr. Trump took to Twitter late on Tuesday to express his displeasure with Judge Furman’s order.

On its face, Judge Furman’s order only enforces a court rule governing changes of legal counsel. Practically, however, it presents the department with a difficult choice: Either reverse course and leave its old legal team in place, or produce sworn explanations that could prove both embarrassing and damaging to the administration’s case.

The department’s legal campaign had already undergone head-snapping changes in strategy this month. Department lawyers first said they were abandoning the case in the face of a Supreme Court ruling blocking the question, only to reverse course the next day, after President Trump called their statement “fake” and said the case would continue. They then told a federal judge that the administration was exploring a “legally available path” to restoring the question.

But that handed opponents of the citizenship question a legal opening: In a motion in Judge Furman’s court last week, they argued that the government had repeatedly said the lawsuit had to be resolved by June 30, when the printing of the 2020 census forms had to begin. The department’s announcement that it would continue to press for the question in July belied that explanation, opposition lawyers said.

They also suggested that the administration had set a false deadline for resolving the case to keep opponents from uncovering evidence that the citizenship question had been driven by a desire to help the Republican Party gain power when census figures are used to draw new political boundaries in 2021. The challengers said they would pursue sanctions against the defense for its conduct.

The Justice Department announced the switch in legal teams two days later on Sunday. While the department has not explained the change, multiple people familiar with the case have said that the lawyers resigned from the lawsuit out of ethical concerns and a belief that the suit was unwinnable.

Those people have said that many of the lawyers did not see a path forward on the case, given that any argument they made could appear to contradict statements to district judges and to the Supreme Court that the administration had to have a decision by June 30. Just as important, they faced a conflict of interest in trying to represent a client — the President of the United States — who had just publicly branded them liars.

But if those explanations were presented to Judge Furman, they would undermine any future arguments made by the Trump administration as it continues to find a way to put the citizenship question onto the census.

“They are absolutely in a bind,” said Neal Katyal, a partner at Hogan Lovells and the former acting solicitor general. “They can’t answer the question without gutting what Trump and Barr are trying to do. They can try to avoid being forthcoming, which is increasingly the modus operandi of Trump’s Justice Department. But that move will fail in the courts, as today’s decision indicates.”

The census fight has become an embarrassing issue for the Justice Department.

Dead, in the sense of Door Nails, is-

Door nails were long used to strengthen the door. The person building or installing the door would hammer the nail all the way through the boards. On the other side, he would hammer the end flat, bending it so that the nail would be more secure in a process, called “clenching.” In doing so, the nail was rendered unusable for any other purpose. It would be difficult to remove and even more difficult to use again elsewhere. Thus, the bent nail was commonly called “dead” (not just to do with doors, but elsewhere where the nail was bent over and couldn’t be used again.)

It’s kind of an apt metaphor in this case, that what makes them “Dead” is that the Nails can’t be removed and re-used. The arguments filed in the Supreme Court have been ruled on and are now settled Law. They’ll have to come up with something new that doesn’t admit to the perjury they’ve already committed.

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