30 thoughts on “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”

  1. Appointment of a Special Counsel | OPA | Department of Justice

    Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced today the appointment of former career Justice Department prosecutor and former chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague, Jack Smith, to serve as Special Counsel to oversee two ongoing criminal investigations. The first is the investigation, as described in court filings in the District of Columbia, into whether any person or entity unlawfully interfered with the transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or the certification of the Electoral College vote held on or about January 6, 2021. The second is the ongoing investigation involving classified documents and other presidential records, as well as the possible obstruction of that investigation, referenced and described in court filings submitted in a pending matter in the Southern District of Florida.

    “Based on recent developments, including the former President’s announcement that he is a candidate for President in the next election, and the sitting President’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel,” said Attorney General Garland. “Such an appointment underscores the Department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters. It also allows prosecutors and agents to continue their work expeditiously, and to make decisions indisputably guided only by the facts and the law.”

    The Attorney General also stated, “Although the Special Counsel will not be subject to the day-to-day supervision of any official of the Department, he must comply with the regulations, procedures, and policies of the Department. I will ensure that the Special Counsel receives the resources to conduct this work quickly and completely. Given the work done to date and Mr. Smith’s prosecutorial experience, I am confident that this appointment will not slow the completion of these investigations. The men and women who are pursuing these investigations are conducting themselves in accordance with the highest standards of professionalism. I could not be prouder of them. I strongly believe that the normal processes of this Department can handle all investigations with integrity. And I also believe that appointing a Special Counsel at this time is the right thing to do. The extraordinary circumstances presented here demand it. Mr. Smith is the right choice to complete these matters in an even-handed and urgent manner.”

    Special Counsel Smith has resigned as the chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague charged with investigating and adjudicating war crimes in Kosovo.

  2. Bill recaps the top stories of the week, including Donald Trump’s “big announcement” and the latest crypto crash.

    and

    America is having a “not as crazy as we thought” moment – let’s keep it going.

  3. I think one of the most difficult things is finding a new place to live is a life changing event, extremely stressful.  The shift to a new place to exchange information or ideas is similar.Changing habits almost overnight can be difficult.  With the destruction of twit in a few weeks moving to a new world is very difficult for many.  There are many other social media sites to move, but most people do not know them or how to function in them. 
     
    For those trying out Mastodon there are several computer system concepts that need to be learned and understood.  The first is there are separate servers (computers) run by admin types and built for a focus, such as art or country.  The servers communicate and allow posts to be shared and commented on.  It was slowly being built before twit happened.  Now it is soaking up hundreds of thousands of refugees from twit.  The distributed (silo) Mastodon is able to absorb all these in a way other social media is not capable. 
     
    I saw tumblr asking for former twit employees, including teams, to contact them.  In case you do not remember, or even did not know, tumblr used to be a very wide open social media site.  It did a twit in 2019 (I think that is close) when it stopped all the porn, nudity and nasty talk.  The new owner is seeing an opportunity to rebuild the site, not as a porn site but as a real replacement for twit.  It should be interesting as they already have a system in place.  I do not know what their software is but they should be able to ramp up.
    I have not seen much about MySpace taking in people.  It is now a music site, very good too.  They probably do not want to get back into the social media world with all the complexities that brings.
     
    You can also get into political talk on Daily Kos.  I have been on it from the start, in fact (proud of this) I had a top ten post a few years ago.  That gives lots of cred to my standing.  I still post there every few years, just to keep my hands busy.
     
    And, our local Trail Mix is a great place.
     

  4. Bettrand Russell, one of my early heroes, on growing old:
     
    Make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life. An individual human existence should be like a river — small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being.

  5. i agree with rep. swalwell on appt.

    wasingtontimes:

    Rep. Eric Swalwell, California Democrat, said the special counsel was the best way to ensure justice is served in the pursuit of prosecuting Mr. Trump.
    Donald Trump has tested us time after time since he came down that escalator at Trump Tower,” Mr. Swalwell said on CNN, referring to when Mr. Trump announced his 2016 presidential run. “He will be held to account. If we go tit for tat with him, it ultimately reduces our whole system and the confidence people have in it. So I would rather see us get it right, recognizing that democracy is at stake.”

  6. by george, he’s on it too

    George Conway joins CNN’s John Berman to discuss the Justice Department’s appointment of Jack Smith as special counsel overseeing investigations into former President Donald Trump

  7. some of those GOPer congress critters were probably relieved when garland said the special counsel’s purview does NOT include people “physically present on the Capitol grounds” on jan 6. 
    I doubt doj’s investigation will extend to the senators or reps that had a hand in the insurrection eiher, mainly because of separation of powers sentiment.

  8. Ive heard two primary opinions on the Smith appointment. The one close to consensus among prior DOJ muckedy-mucks is that it wasn’t necessary.  Among those is Neil Katyal, who I have a great deal of respect for. The other opinion, also from former DOJ prosecutors, is that Garland knows the evidence is enough to indict and he’s seeking cover since there will be a political firestorm when the indictment drops. whatever, I agree with you, Poobah, I hope it isn’t delayed as a result.

  9. SFB and all of the critters in Congress who aided and abetted J6, I hope they are all rolled up. 

  10. BiD, i hope the conspiring congcritters eventually are punished for betraying their oath to the constitution but since they were “physically present on the capitol grounds” on jan6, looks like to me they won’t be investigated by the special counsel.  they still could be by DOJ but hauling them in for their just desserts isn’t likely to happen IMHO. public exposure and censure might be all that is possible. and that will only happen under a democratic house.

  11. in case you missed it 

    “Democracy requires, by definition, getting along with people who don’t agree with you.” Former President Barack Obama discusses why he believes the youth turnout made all the difference in Democratic victories these midterms, how globalization, disinformation and the media infrastructure are contributing to the weakening of democracy globally, and what advice he has for Trevor after The Daily Show.

  12. Bink, it looks more like a clergy vest than a robe to me and i wondered about that too.  perhaps it’s required formal wear for prosecutors at hague proceedings??? 

    maybe he’s a closet clergyman???

  13. When it’s time it will have the desired effect without a word being said or any shots fired.

  14. Space Karen has summoned all software engineers to SFO to do CPR on the twitters. 

    https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-remaining-twitter-coders-engineers-email-2022-11

    ***

    https://slate.com/technology/2022/11/elon-musk-twitter-code-fixation.html

    “Musk is clearly going with what he knows (code) and not what he should be working on (culture). Assuming that he can read the code of Twitter’s software engineers and use it for any kind of decision making is pure hubris. But what did we expect? This is Elon Musk. He will likely continue to plow headfirst into Twitter pushing anyone out of his way that pushes back. He’ll look at a room full of engineers and silently judge them because he’s sure he’s the smartest one in the room all the while confusing cleverness with wisdom.”

    ***

    https://www.reuters.com/technology/elon-musk-asks-twitter-software-engineers-report-office-email-2022-11-18/

    “Elon Musk started a Twitter poll late on Friday asking followers to vote on whether to reinstate former U.S. President Donald Trump’s account on the platform, with early results showing roughly 60% voting yes.”

    “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted, a Latin phrase that roughly means meaning “the voice of the people is the voice of God.” The poll was open for 24 hours.

    “Musk, Twitter’s new owner, said in May he would reverse Twitter’s ban on Trump, whose account was suspended after last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.”

    “..,Twitter had reinstated some controversial accounts that had been banned or suspended, including satirical website Babylon Bee and comedian Kathy Griffin.”

    I wonder if she cares.

  15. The cohesive party will win the next election regardless of policy…….the party of dishevelment, anger,  and disarray won’t.

  16. https://www.texastribune.org/2022/11/18/texas-border-military-armored-vehicles-operation-lone-star/

    “Three days after Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted a legally dubious invocation of the “invasion clause” of the U.S. and Texas constitutions over the high number of migrant encounters at the Texas-Mexico border, his border mission is set to include armored personnel carriers designed to carry troops into battle alongside tanks, according to a planning document obtained by Army Times and The Texas Tribune.”

    “…Vietnam-era M113 armored personnel carriers will be sent to 10 locations along the Texas-Mexico border.”

    “The U.S. has sent 200 of the aging vehicles to Ukraine to support that country’s fight against invading Russians.”

    “Armored personnel carriers like the M113 are designed to carry infantry troops across modern battlefields alongside tanks. They can be equipped with a range of weapons: heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, antitank missiles or even large cannons similar to those mounted on tanks. It’s not clear what weapons, if any, will be on the Texas Guard’s M113s at the border.”

    “…the Texas National Guard is increasing “aircraft flights and security efforts” on the border.”

    “…Abbott is “trying to justify the narrative of the invasion” by casting asylum seekers and migrants seeking opportunities as violent criminals.”

    “For [Abbott] it’s easy to say there’s an invasion, and send troops to the border with a potential consequence of a major situation of human rights violations,” García said.

    “Concerns with Operation Lone Star’s misdemeanor trespassing arrests of migrants also have sparked a Department of Justice civil rights probe.”

    “Additionally, Texas Guard troops have complained about pay problems, poor living conditions and inconsistent guidance from leaders since the operation expanded massively last fall.”

    “Ten soldiers linked to the mission have died since September 2021, all via accident or suicide.”

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