Notes and Comment Blog


Tear it up and start over

Dec 15th, 2018 3:33 pm | By

The state of academic “gender” studies these days.



They had a bad vibe

Dec 15th, 2018 11:53 am | By

How about a little nostalgia trip back to 2002 courtesy of the NY Times:

Within weeks of the death of John J. Gotti and the indictment of his eldest brother, Peter, the new reputed chief of the Gambino crime family, federal prosecutors in Manhattan yesterday announced charges against 14 more people who they said were Gambino family members or associates.

The crimes listed in the indictments seemed familiar — murder, loan-sharking, extortion, robbery and bookmaking — and they served as a reminder, federal officials said, that the mob is not dead in the city, only trying to reshape itself in the face of constant pressure from law enforcement.

”Folks who think that organized crime is a thing of the past in New York are kidding themselves,” said James B. Comey, the United States attorney in Manhattan. ”These people are out there, and they are struggling to revive and to maintain these organized crime families.”

It must feel so bizarre to him to see the same kind of thing squatting in the White House.

The indictment also charged that members of the crime family played a role in the 1989 killing of Frederick Weiss, a businessman. The government previously attributed the killing to members of the New Jersey-based DeCavalcante crime family, which prosecutors said has long been associated with the Gambinos.

Mr. Comey alleged that John Gotti, who died on June 10 in a federal prison hospital in Springfield, Mo., had suspected that Mr. Weiss ”might be cooperating with the government,” and that members of both crime families ”killed Weiss as a favor to Gotti.”

Mr. Comey said Mr. Weiss was not, in fact, cooperating with the government.

”They didn’t require proof beyond a reasonable doubt or probable cause,” Kevin P. Donovan, the assistant director in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New York office, said of the decision to kill Mr. Weiss.

They killed him, Mr. Donovan said, because ”they had a bad vibe.”

That too sounds very familiar.



Never in the history

Dec 15th, 2018 11:31 am | By

Bumpy day up in there.

Erm…what? I think I get the “should be good: are bad” polarity; I think he means stories that should be about how awesome Donald Trump is fail to say that and instead say that he is disappointing. But the “should be bad: are horrible” one? Mystifying. They should say Democrats are bad but instead say they’re horrible? That doesn’t seem like something Trump would frown on. He must have gotten confused. He meant to do a polarity thing: the ones that should be good are bad, the ones that should be bad are good. That’s a stupid polarity because he doesn’t mean bad/good so much as flattering/unflattering, but it would at least be possible to follow. But switching to bad—>horrible halfway through makes nonsense of the whole thing. Poor Donald. He doesn’t word.

Such dignity.

Says Mister Fuck Everything That Moves, Mister grab her by the pussy, Mister I moved on her like a bitch, Mister serial sexual assaulter.

Then a silence fell; I suppose he’s on the golf course.



She needed what he poured out

Dec 14th, 2018 5:27 pm | By

What happened:

A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who crossed the southern border into the United States illegally earlier this month died of dehydration and shock after being apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in New Mexico.

The girl and her father were part of a group of 163 people who surrendered to Border Patrol officers on the night of Dec. 6, south of Lordsburg, N.M., according to The Washington Post, which first reported the story.

It seems slightly stupid to say a girl of 7 crossed the border illegally. Children of 7 don’t have that kind of autonomy, and she was with her father.

Anyway. She died. She died of dehydration.

Eight hours after the girl and her father were taken into custody, she began having seizures and her body temperature was measured at 105.7 degrees by emergency medical technicians.

The girl “had not eaten or had any water for several days,” Post reporter Nick Miroff told NPR’s Morning Edition on Friday.

Now, this:



Living in interesting times

Dec 14th, 2018 4:31 pm | By

Susan Glasser notes that the Mueller investigation owns Trump’s attention.

Given the constant, repetitive nature of Trump’s “witch hunt” tweets, it might be tempting to ignore them. That would be a mistake. The chief executive’s attention is the most valuable resource of any Administration—what a President spends his time on reflects, more than anything else, an Administration’s true priorities. By those standards, the “witch hunt” is the overriding priority of the Trump White House, and it will be even more so in the new year, when the special counsel, Robert Mueller, moves toward a conclusion and a new, Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, with the power and the votes to subpoena and impeach Trump, takes office.

So, given the fact of Trump’s occupation of the White House, that’s a good thing. Time Trump spends tweeting “WITCH HUNT!!” and its cognates is time he doesn’t spend tearing up environmental laws or begging the North Koreans to stay in his hotels.

Largely overlooked in the daily flood of Trump-era news, a week ago, his former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said in an interview that Trump had repeatedly pressed him to violate the law. “I’d have to say to him, ‘Mr. President, I understand what you wanna do, but you can’t do it that way. It violates the law, it violates treaty.’ He got really frustrated,” Tillerson said. “I think he grew tired of me being the guy who told him, ‘You can’t do that.’ ”

Trump’s insults in response drew attention away from the substance, but that won’t last.

Tillerson’s allegation was more than just another bout of Trump-era name-calling between a former Secretary of State who once called his boss a “fucking moron” and the President who fired him by tweet. Imagine Tillerson before Congress come January, testifying under oath and live on television, about which laws Trump told him to break.

Oh yes; imagine that. How interesting it will be.



Follow the $$$

Dec 14th, 2018 4:14 pm | By

Adam Schiff and Jeffrey Toobin talked over burgers in downtown Burbank the other day. Schiff says it’s about The Monayyy.

Schiff went on, “At the end of the day, what should concern us most is anything that can have a continuing impact on the foreign policy and national-security policy of the United States, and, if the Russians were laundering money for the Trump Organization, that would be totally compromising.” Schiff hypothesizes that Trump went beyond using his campaign and the Presidency as a vehicle for advancing his business interests, speculating that he may have shaped policy with an eye to expanding his fortune. “There’s a whole constellation of issues where that is essentially the center of gravity,” Schiff said. “Obviously, that issue is implicated in efforts to build Trump Tower in Moscow. It’s implicated in the money that Trump is bragging he was getting from the Saudis. And why shouldn’t he love the Saudis? He said he was making so much money from them.” As the Washington Post has reported, Trump has sold a superyacht and a hotel to a Saudi prince, a $4.5-million apartment near the United Nations to the Saudi government, and many other apartments to Saudi nationals, and, since Trump became President, his hotels in New York and Chicago have seen significant increases in bookings from Saudi visitors. In a break with the Republican congressional leadership, Trump refuses to take action against Saudi Arabia, notwithstanding substantial evidence that Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince and the putative head of state, directed the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist who lived in the United States.

It’s indisputable that Trump has made money off the Saudis; it’s in dispute whether or not that had any effect on his policy decisions.

Schiff also pointed out that Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law, met with the C.E.O. of a state-owned Russian bank in December, 2016, and that, the following month, Erik Prince, an informal adviser to the Trump campaign, met with the leader of a Russian sovereign-wealth fund in the Seychelles, an East African archipelago nation in the Indian Ocean. “The American people have a right to know that their President is working on their behalf, not his family’s financial interests,” Schiff said. “Right now, I don’t think any of us can have the confidence that that’s the case.” All of these subjects, Schiff averred, were fair game for investigation by the committee that he will soon chair.

He goes from a staff of eleven to one of twenty-five; he says they’ve been deluged with resumes. Unlike Trump (I said that part).



“Reasonable checks on the incoming Democrats”

Dec 14th, 2018 11:34 am | By

The Republican coup in Wisconsin is complete.

Scott Walker, the outgoing Republican governor of Wisconsin, on Friday signed into law measures that diminish the power of his Democratic successor and expand the authority of Republican lawmakers who teamed up with him over the last eight years to move the state firmly to the right.

Those Republican lawmakers? They’re still in the majority only because Wisconsin is so gerrymandered in favor of Republicans. The vote for Dems was much larger.

Mr. Walker signed the measures over the objections of the incoming governor and despite vehement protest in the State Capitol as Republican lawmakers rushed the bills through in a hastily-called session last week. Tony Evers, the Democrat who beat Mr. Walker in the November election, has suggested he may file suit over the changes.

Walker is a “screw the underlings” Republican.

Mr. Walker, a former legislator and county executive who then was little known outside of the Milwaukee area, won a crucial advantage when he became governor in 2011: Voters not only flipped the governor’s seat to Republican, but also both chambers of the Legislature.

Results came immediately. Within weeks, Mr. Walker announced the plan that would define his tenure and make him a national name. He wanted to shrink collective bargaining rights for most public sector workers in a state with deep roots in the labor movement.

Outside Mr. Walker’s Capitol office, protesters marched and drummed and chanted fury at what they saw as an effort to weaken unions and diminish Democrats. But Mr. Walker pushed through the measure, survived a recall election and went on to guide Wisconsin on a conservative path, adopting a concealed carry law, expanding private school vouchers, enacting so-called right-to-work legislation, passing voter identification rules and setting work rules for Medicaid recipients.

More guns; more private schools and thus worse public schools; weaker unions; voter suppression; no health insurance for the poor. What a glorious vision, huh?

To Mr. Walker’s supporters, the bills Mr. Walker acted on Friday were pragmatic ways to shore up Republican policies and establish reasonable checks on the incoming Democrats. Signing the bills would secure his legacy, they say, not sully it.

Excuse me, one party is not supposed to put any “checks” on a rival party. That’s not how this is supposed to work.



Not covered by the principle of academic freedom

Dec 14th, 2018 10:51 am | By

The LA Review of Books has An Open Letter from Queer Studies Scholars. It is not an intelligent or persuasive letter.

To Whom It May Concern,

We write to respond to Christopher Reed and Christopher Castiglia’s unfortunate letter regarding Grace Lavery’s essay on using appropriate pronouns in the classroom context. While we debated taking up the many points of Professor Castiglia and Professor Reed’s very long essay, we feel that the best response is a simple reiteration of the final lines of Professor Lavery’s essay:

Deadnaming and misgendering are not acceptable scholarly practices, and they are not covered by the principle of academic freedom.

They “feel” (not think) that is the best response? And they call themselves scholars?

“Deadnaming” and “misgendering” are not straightforwardly anything, including practices or scholarly practices, because the words are jargon, and quite recently coined jargon at that. They are jargon and they are not even scholarly jargon but rather political jargon, and politics of a very peculiar kind. It’s fundamentally meaningless to announce that “deadnaming” and “misgendering” are not acceptable scholarly practices, which makes it very odd to call it “the best response.”

And even if the two jargon words were perfectly cromulent words, the sentence that contains them would remain simply an abrupt and unargued assertion. It’s downright weird to see people who claim to be scholars calling an abrupt and unargued assertion “the best response.” It isn’t.

And then there’s the fact that the assertion is not even true. Scholarship takes no position on the made-up crimes of “deadnaming” and “misgendering” because scholarship has better things to do.

After that fatuous claim they do go on to make a token effort to present something resembling an argument, but the result is not compelling.

We reject the idea that misgendering is an exercise of academic freedom. As teachers and scholars, we take very seriously the responsibility to challenge our students intellectually, but that responsibility in no way translates into the capacity to selectively refute their dignity and right to self-definition.

Once again that’s not scholarly anything, it’s hackneyed and basically meaningless political jargon. What does “refute their dignity” even mean? It should at the very least be something like “refute their claims to dignity,” but even then it would be feeble, because it’s not self-evident that anyone’s dignity is dependent on other people’s tactful acceptance of counterfactual personal claims. You could argue that it’s the other way around: that tactful acceptance of counterfactual personal claims treats the claimant like a child who has to be humored, which is not as dignified as all that. And then, what “right to self-definition”? Again: that’s not a real thing, and certainly not a real scholarly thing. There is no such thing as a broad, general, binding right to define ourselves. I can “define myself” as a Supreme Court Justice if I like, but it won’t get me a seat on the bench or even the courtesy of being called Justice.

That is not academic freedom; it is a form of self-serving aggression worthy of Title IX intervention on the part of the institution.

What? Self-serving? How is it self-serving? Step one, say women are women; step two, face barrage of hostility; step three, ???; step 4, profit!? It’s not self-serving, it’s resistance to being ordered to believe lies. Is it aggression though? No, it is not aggression. Is it a Title IX crime? Nope not that either.

If this shit is scholarship give me ignorance.



Imbecilic hackery

Dec 13th, 2018 5:05 pm | By

H/t Screechy Monkey



They don’t have immunity

Dec 13th, 2018 1:43 pm | By

Maddow argued yesterday that the AMI confession puts the three miniTrumps in the hot seat.



More disgraceful ducking and dodging

Dec 13th, 2018 1:31 pm | By

The US Senate just did what Trump has repeatedly refused to do.

The Senate cast two historic votes Thursday to end U.S. participation in the Saudi-led war effort in Yemen and condemn the Saudi crown prince as responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, delivering clear political rebukes of President Trump’s continued embrace of the kingdom.

The unanimous vote to hold Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible for Khashoggi’s murder reflects the extent to which senators of both parties have grown tired of Trump’s continued defense of Mohammed’s denials. It also puts significant pressure on leaders in the House — where the president’s Saudi policy is a much more partisan issue — to allow members to cast a similar vote condemning the crown prince before the end of the year.

The votes came just hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis briefed House lawmakers behind closed doors — a meeting from which Republicans and Democrats emerged urging very different responses to Saudi Arabia and its crown prince.

Trump is left pretty isolated now…but it’s ok, he still has Pompeo.

Trump has refused to condemn Mohammed for the killing of Khashoggi, a Saudi national. Pompeo has echoed Trump’s stance in public interviews, and behind closed doors as well, lawmakers said.

“All we heard today was more disgraceful ducking and dodging by the secretary,” said Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Tex.)…

Now about Raif Badawi…



Not replacing short wall with similar wall

Dec 13th, 2018 11:33 am | By

I can’t tell if this is hilarious or terrifying.

Talking Points Memo cautiously prods the suspicious object:

The Department of Homeland Security sounded a bit like Cookie Monster or The Incredible Hulk in a press release Wednesday detailing how the agency has spent the roughly $1.67 billion allocated to it for fence and wall construction and renovation over the past 19 months.

“DHS is committed to building wall and building wall quickly,” the release read. “We are not replacing short, outdated and ineffective wall with similar wall.  Instead, under this President we are building a wall that is 30-feet high.”

To me it sounds like Natasha and Boris in Rocky and Bullwinkle but that’s probably because I’m not familiar with Cookie Monster or The Incredible Hulk.

Anyway, it really is a press release from the real DHS.



Guest post: They gin up their supporters to revolt whenever they don’t get their way

Dec 13th, 2018 11:18 am | By

Originally a comment by Seth on He thinks the people would revolt.

As was obvious to anyone who’s been paying attention since Bush the Lesser’s misbegotten reign, Republicans rule as though divinely mandated despite (or, rather, because of) their having failed to secure a mandate, and they gin up their supporters to revolt whenever they don’t get their way.

People have already forgotten that Obama faced two organized, armed revolts during his tenure, instigated by the Bundy clan (klan?) and inspiring thousands of their fellow rubenicks to join them in spirit, and dozens in person. These revolts amounted to an insurrection that hasn’t been properly dealt with, especially given the wisdom of the juries involved.

The next Democratic administration, even (or especially) if elected by a historic majority and run by a member of a historic minority, is certain to see another armed revolt that will very likely evolve into an insurrection. Republicans have stoked the flames of it for my entire lifetime, and now that their avatar is a living wheel of melted cheddar who says all the quiet parts out loud, there will be nothing to stop him from making good on his threat.

It doesn’t take a majority to revolt and destroy a society. It just takes a few percent, and a leader willing and eager to inspire them. I daresay they have the numbers to do a great deal of physical and political damage, when their tangerine generalissimo gives them the watchword.



Canada sets an example

Dec 13th, 2018 10:59 am | By

Ian Bushfield of the BC Humanists Association writes:

Section 296 of Canada’s Criminal Code said:

Offence

296 (1) Every one who publishes a blasphemous libel is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

Question of fact

(2) It is a question of fact whether or not any matter that is published is a blasphemous libel.

Saving

(3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under this section for expressing in good faith and in decent language, or attempting to establish by argument used in good faith and conveyed in decent language, an opinion on a religious subject.

As Jeremy Patrick wrote in his PhD dissertation, the provision has been part of the Code since 1892 and the last conviction was in 1927. Nevertheless, private prosecutions occurred throughout the 1920s and and 30s, with some happening into the 1970s. The most recent effort to invoke the law was in 1979 when an Anglican clergyman tried unsuccessfully to use it to censor a screening of Monty Python’s The Life of Brian.

Humanist and freethinking groups got together in 2016 to send a petition to parliament to get rid of the blasphemy law, aka section 296 of the Criminal Code.

Over 7400 Canadians signed that petition. As part of her response to the petition, Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould confirmed the blasphemy law was being considered as part of a broader effort of justice reform.

Almost a year after the launch of the petition, the Government included the repeal of section 296 in its bill to modernize the criminal codeBill C-51 repeals a number of archaic and unconstitutional provisions of the Code and make a couple other amendments.

Well done Canada!

The Governor General still has to bestow or pronounce something called Royal Assent, but it looks as if that’s a (quite literal) formality.

Image result for applause

H/t Kausik Datta



Guest post: Shocked, shocked

Dec 13th, 2018 10:43 am | By

Originally a comment by Pliny the in Between on “Flynn Entrapment”.

Counterpoint: Ok, so a guy who was NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES pulls a classic Louis Renault and claims that he is shocked – SHOCKED I SAY to learn that lying to the FBI is a crime.

I’ve come up with a metric to help:

1-who does background checks on all candidates for sensitive positions in the US government?

a-The FBI b-The FBI c-The FBI d-a,b and c

2-True or false, the following was part of the SCOTUS ruling in Brogan vs The United States: “Our legal system provides methods for challenging the Government’s right to ask questions — lying is not one of them.”

3-Have you ever watched a TV or movie procedural that illustrated the consequences of lying to the FBI?

4-Have you ever watched a TV or movie procedural that suggested there were NO consequences of lying to the FBI?

5-Have you lived in a bunker all your life with only Fox News for knowledge of the outside world?

6-Rate how you would answer the following: How detrimental to one’s effectiveness as NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES would lying or woeful ignorance be? None at all Minimal Can’t Say Somewhat Pretty fucking crucial

7- On average, how many times is the following phrase uttered in a US courtroom on a daily basis? “Ignorance of the law is no excuse”

a-0 b-10 c-100 d-1000 e-a billion



Ranting and venting

Dec 13th, 2018 10:33 am | By

That’s something to look forward to:

Trump has ranted about why no one around him is doing anything to stop any of it and vented about the lack of support he believes he has in Congress and within his own White House, the sources tell NBC News.

In addition to the much-anticipated report from Mueller on the Russia investigation, Democrats could ask prosecutors in the SDNY to similarly share details of their probe into Cohen that are related to the president.

Ohhh, could they indeed.

Trump has in recent days been made aware of this possibility from people close to him, opening up a new vulnerability for the president.

Good. Good good good.



A great reckoning in a little room

Dec 13th, 2018 9:54 am | By

Elinor Lipman sends a poem:



“Flynn entrapment”

Dec 13th, 2018 9:32 am | By

Oh ffs.

This shit must have been dictated over the phone by Trump and then put into coherent English by someone at the WSJ. It reeks of Trumpism.

Of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s many targets, the most tragic may be former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The former three-star general pleaded guilty last year to a single count of lying to the FBI about conversations he had with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. Now we learn from Mr. Flynn’s court filing to the sentencing judge that senior bureau officials acted in a way to set him up for the fall.

So we’re supposed to think it’s no big deal that Flynn buddied up with the Russian ambassador but an OUTRAGE that the FBI didn’t remind Flynn that lying to the FBI is a crime? Aren’t Flynn and the FBI supposed to be on the same team? Both working for the good of the country, both on the side of legality and justice?

According to the FBI summary of the interview—known as a 302—Mr. McCabe and FBI officials “decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport.”

Shocking, shocking. But so then the Journal’s point is that Flynn should have been free to lie to the FBI? That his lying to the FBI about his dealings with Russia should have been given a pass? That the problem here is not Flynn’s coziness with Putin’s gang but the FBI’s not telling the National Security Adviser to refrain from lying? Seriously?

If the goal was to set a legal trap, it worked. The two agents showed up at the White House within hours of Mr. McCabe’s call, and they reported in the 302 that General Flynn had been “relaxed and jocular” and “clearly saw the FBI agents as allies.” One of the agents was Peter Strzok, who is famous for his anti-Trump texts to his FBI paramour.

That’s the bit where I decided this has to have been dictated by Trump. The sheer stupid vulgarity of it.



He thinks the people would revolt

Dec 12th, 2018 4:30 pm | By

Trump told Reuters yesterday that it’s all fine, it’s all legal, it’s nothing, it’s peanuts, oh look a squirrel.

“It’s hard to impeach somebody who hasn’t done anything wrong and who’s created the greatest economy in the history of our country,” Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview.

“I’m not concerned, no. I think that the people would revolt if that happened,” he said.

Nope. Some of “the base” might, but “the people” no. Most of us hate him and hate being under the thumb of a criminal.

“Michael Cohen is a lawyer. I assume he would know what he’s doing,” Trump said when asked if he had discussed campaign finance laws with Cohen.

“Number one, it wasn’t a campaign contribution. If it were, it’s only civil, and even if it’s only civil, there was no violation based on what we did. OK?”

Asked about prosecutors’ assertions that a number of people who had worked for him met or had business dealings with Russians before and during his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump said: “The stuff you’re talking about is peanut stuff.”

He then sought to turn the subject to his 2016 Democratic opponent.

“I haven’t heard this, but I can only tell you this: Hillary Clinton – her husband got money, she got money, she paid money, why doesn’t somebody talk about that?” Trump said.

And what about the Lindbergh baby? And that guy who shot Lincoln? And Guy Fawkes? Why doesn’t somebody talk about that?

Jennifer Rubin is not impressed.

We have gone from “hoax” and “witch hunt” to “Well, tax fraud, lying to the FBI and campaign violations are penny ante stuff.” That’s essentially President Trump’s newest line of defense: He and others didn’t break the law. But if they did, it’s no big deal.

Plus Hillary Clinton and Guy Fawkes.

What makes Trump’s blithe dismissal of felony crimes doubly horrifying is as chief executive Trump took an oath to “execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” not to “execute the Office of President of the United States — except when it comes to ‘peanut stuff.’”

Trump’s party is no better. When Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) says he doesn’t care if Trump broke the law, it’s time to question whether he or any other Republican congressional apologists for Trump, who took an oath as well, is fit for office. (This is the same crowd who wants to lock up migrants for the misdemeanor of entering the country illegally. Silly them — if only they’d obstructed justice or committed some “peanut stuff,” they’d be in fine shape.)

Orrin Hatch doesn’t care if the president committed crimes. Funny world we’re in, isn’t it.

Trump’s declaration that “the people would revolt” if he were impeached, if not an implicit threat to stage a civil uprising, represents a perfect distillation of his authoritarian outlook. Ultimately, nothing matters in his mind because he controls the streets. If he sounds like thuggish autocrats like Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey or Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, you can understand why he embraces such characters. He is one of them.

We can be sure it is a threat – he’s telling us he’ll call on “the people” to stage a coup for him. Yay populism.



Guest post: Conservatives have been discovering their outrage

Dec 12th, 2018 4:07 pm | By

Originally a comment by Screechy Monkey on But they didn’t tell him he shouldn’t lie.

I’m not a big crusader for the rights of criminal defendants, but it’s amazing how, throughout this whole process, conservatives have been discovering their outrage at stuff that they couldn’t be bothered to bat an eye about before.

Investigators tried to lull a non-custodial* suspect into a false sense of security instead of warning that they were in legal jeopardy and should get a fucking lawyer? SHOCKING! (*-If you’re not in custody, i.e., free to leave, then Miranda doesn’t apply. Cops like to be very vague on that point — they want you to think that you have to stay and answer their questions, but they don’t want to have to give you a Miranda warning.)

Investigators asked questions they already knew the answers to just to see if they could generate some “lying to investigators” charges? OUTRAGEOUS!

A search warrant was issued on a mere affidavit from a law enforcement official containing hearsay? UNBELIEVABLE!

Authorities show up in full force to execute a warrant and seize every document or computer in sight? JACKBOOTED THUGS!

The government seizes a defendant’s assets as fruits of criminal activity and ties them up in civil forfeiture, even if it impairs the defendant’s ability to fund his defense? IS THIS REALLY AMERICA?

Prosecutors threaten criminals with maximum penalties unless they flip on their co-conspirators? CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S LEGAL!

All of the above happens all the time and is perfectly legal? YEAH, BUT THIS TIME IT’S HAPPENING TO PEOPLE WHO MATTER. NOT, YOU KNOW, THUGSTHOSE PEOPLE. C’MON, DON’T MAKE ME SAY IT….