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Last July, in a 7–2 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that Donald Trump’s claims of absolute presidential immunity were constitutional rubbish. The case involved two sets of subpoenas, one from Congress and one from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, both of whom were seeking financial documents from the President’s bankers and accountants. In his concurring opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts trumpeted, “No citizen, not even the president, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding.”

Of course, despite the soaring rhetoric, the details of the decision turned out to exemplify the standard…


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As Texans suffer through their fifth consecutive day in sub-freezing weather with little or no power, little or no heat, and now little or no water or water that needs to be boiled despite having no power or heat to do so, there are already a number of obvious lessons to be learned.

First, living in a state that believes in a functioning government and at least some regulation of capitalist forces is probably a good idea. Texas has already seen this kind of deep freeze and the resulting power problems before. Back in 2011, another polar vortex froze natural…


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Democrats took the first baby steps in implementing the structural changes necessary to restore a functioning legislative branch after a decade of Republican-led obstruction and sclerosis. According to Punchbowl News, the Democratic chairs of the appropriations committees in the House and the Senate will reinstate the practice of earmarks. Earmarks are basically spending programs requested by a member for their particular state or congressional district. …


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As expected, Donald Trump was acquitted of incitement of insurrection when 43 Republican Senators basically ignored the evidence and their oaths to the Constitution simply because of the fear of retribution, both political and apparently physical, from Trump, his base, and the paramilitaries that have become an extension of the Trump Republican party. The evidence against Trump was overwhelming. He refused to accept the results of the election, making spurious accusations of fraud and theft. He attempted to force state election officials to change the results in his favor. He invited the insurrectionists to the Capitol. He changed the date…


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Probably not since the darkest days of Jim Crow have we seen a supposed trial where the jurors were not only actual accomplices to the crime but also witnesses who were also actively working with one of the legal teams involved. Last night, three Republican Senators, Graham, Cruz, and Lee, met for over an hour with Trump’s impeachment defense team in what Cruz admitted was a discussion about the “strategy for tomorrow…in terms of where the argument was and where to go”. …


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Like a bad dream, America’s political class appears to want to act as though the nearly successful insurrection on January 6th never really happened. For entirely different reasons, both Democrats and Republicans now appear to want to get impeachment behind them as quickly as possible. The media invites those who supported and abetted the insurrection on the Sunday shows as though everything is normal, allowing them to continue to spew their lies about the election and the insurrection. …


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As the world’s financial system teetered on the edge of collapse in September 2008 and the country stood on the brink of a recession that would turn out to rival the Great Depression, President Bush proposed a $700 billion package that was an attempt to stabilize the markets and the economy by ensuring banks stayed solvent. In what even David Brooks declares was the “revolt of the nihilists”, only 65 House Republicans voted to support the bill, delivering a shocking defeat to Bush that further roiled the markets.

A few days later, congressional leaders tried again and this time the…

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Thoughtful discussions on politics and economics with some sidelights in photography and astronomy.

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