It's kind of like the movie, The Silence of the Lambs. In it the investigator is given a hint that everything she needs to solve the case is already in front of her. In think we know already what happened. On a gut level. We know. This is just corroborating evidence of what we all already know. I'm glad Mueller will get to get a break , at least. I hope.
Hmm, lots of thought-provoking comments posted on this thread in the last few days. I generally agree with Luminata's and Jeanne's take on corruption in the Trump presidency. What with all of the concurrent state and federal investigations going on and all of the potential witnesses who are disavowing their loyalty to the the current administration, Mueller has his inquiry booby-trapped, and even if the road to justice is more circuitous than we'd like, the truth will out at some point. In fact, news just broke that prosecutors in New York have charged Manafort in a tax fraud case that could bypass any presidential pardon.
Remember that Mueller is only the most visible figure in a sweeping cast of light workers currently fighting tooth and nail to safeguard American democracy.
With all due respect, @gabriel_a, the thought that a thirty six year old women with a Fordam law degree who has experience as a Federal Prosecuter needs her Daddy to protecter her is just a little ridiculous! Barr is a conervative Republican who was hand picked by Trump for the AG job. He will do what he is told which is to stiffle the Mueller report. There will be leaks but McConnell and the can't shoot straight gang aren't about to let any of the criminal charges come to light. THe States can try defendents but they can't impeach or force a crooked President from office.
After the ruling in NC the prospect of Trump being reelected are better and better. The NC candidate committed election fraud, but since he cried in court well we will just have another election and see if you can win honestly this time and if you don't we can always declare that election void on some charges and we will keep trying until the old fraud wins! I don't believe we have seen the tip of the iceberg as far as election tampering is concerned! That's why I think Trump has a good chance of winning again in 2020. If not him then they will run his daughter or even run them together. White Southern Republican men just love Ivanka.
@yogagirl None taken and if I came off with the wrong tone I apologies. As I said above there's many possibilities until we know the truth but I do agree with you.
Barr was the architect of the first Bush's iran contra pardons. He also condoned the detention of HIV positive Haitian refugees in the early 90's, at GITMO, until he was sued and the 2d circuit ordered the detention camp closed. He's not a nice person, to say the least, but he's not a trumper. He'll do what he wants, included perhaps keeping the report hidden, but not because trump wants him to. So we'll see what he does. It's his last job, and one he didn't particularly need, so maybe he will care how history judges him.
As for trump, he's on borrowed time. The energy has changed. I've felt it for a few months now. Yes, what lies ahead must be endured, but it is already going to get better. It's in the pipeline.
Yogagirl - I'm with you. I do believe eventually things will turn around, but I think it's going to take 30-50 years, which is past my lifespan.
Here's why: even if the Dems succeed in getting a president into the WH, and even if the Senate turns blue, the Rethuglicans have successfully stacked the deck. We are currently being ruled by minority. This will continue for a long time due to the way our national elections work combined with how SCOTUS works.
For example, a Dem prez and Congress get universal healthcare done. It gets reversed by the court. Green New Deal? Reversed by the court.
The GOP doesn't care about democracy, only about their minority rule. They will find ways to circumvent the will of the people for as long as they are alive. This includes suppressing whatever Mueller has discovered, or pardoning everyone they can.
Like I said, I have faith eventually things will turn around, but I doubt I'll live to see it. I had a recent discussion with a close friend (a pagan priestess, indigenous American and UU minister). She raised a valid point: It's entirely possible that the forces of evil do have a plan to destroy humankind. And further to what others have said here, it's important to acknowledge that reality while simultaneously keeping hope that good will prevail.
Apologies all around for my usual negativity, and AGAIN I do have faith it will get better, just not any time soon.
The federal judiciary is too small, and has been for decades. Likewise with the supreme court. Congress can expand both, if they have the guts to do it. Republicans have demonstrated that there's no value in adhering to norms, so the dems, if they achieve another blue wave, can reform the courts and bring them into the 21st century by expanding them considerably. This will dilute the trump appointments. Remember also that that state courts aren't controlled by trump or the fed gov't and have considerable power, albeit in their own states.
If a democrat wins the presidency in 2020, which I believe will happen, that person will replace Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Steven Breyer, but possibly Clarence Thomas too, and who knows who else. If the next president is a democrat and retains the presidency for 8 years, he or she will appoint A LOT of judges, including retiring judges appointed by Reagan and both Bushes.
I know some folks are feeling glum, and I don't want to minimize anyone's feelings, but my money is on an expansion of the judiciary in the coming 5-10 years, if not sooner.
Lynn - yes, there are provisions in the Constitution that allow for increasing the federal judiciary, including SCOTUS. Also to be considered is increasing the sheer number of Reps in the House - it's been nearly 100 years since a change, and it's long overdue (but that's the GOP's next pet project - jigger the censuses so that it doesn't change to favor progressive states).
I think both should and eventually will change/increase, but not for decades. As long as we have an electoral college, it won't.
Lynn, Laura, in the past read the future night in January, I saw that there will be a young centrist Democrat male president with a female VP. However, as with any election, there will be caveats of voter suppression and Russia meddling. It's likely that Mueller will have the report released later this year.
Laura, I remember in 2008 when David Patterson became governor of NY State (where I live) many of us in the progressive community rejoiced because we believed he'd be able to get marriage equality passed into law. He couldn't, and I remember thinking at the time that I'd never see it in my lifetime, not in NY, and certainly not nationally. Yet just a few years later Andrew Cuomo (no big progressive) did push it through, and very shortly thereafter a pretty conservative sup ct decided the Windsor case. Suddenly the impossible became real. I guess my point is that things turn on a dime, for the good and bad. I mean, who would have thought we'd have a russian asset in the white house?!! But they could turn back around just as suddenly as they went sideways. What may seem impossible could be around the corner, but we just don't see it yet. I really do believe things will get better, and that they are in fact green shoots sprouting all around us.
Laura, I would urge you to reconsider your view that change for the better will only come incrementally. We've discussed on this forum multiple times how natural systems such as global climate tend to change in a nonlinear fashion, which explains why weather patterns are changing more rapidly every year. But, by the same token, human culture is also a system that shifts exponentially in volatile periods, and that makes Lynn's example of same-sex marriage in the United States so poignant; once a critical mass has been reached, ideas of what's possible can gain rapid acknowledgement and acceptance.
We really are living in a revolutionary turning of the ages. Yes, it's scary, but the very volatility of societal phase shifts make them ripe for transformative change. As Bayo Akomolafe wrote in his amazing post-election piece from 2016, "Trump strolled to the grand stage in the front and wrecked it, but in so doing he inadvertently 'gave' us permission to inhabit the aisles - to rearrange the entire room." So don't let Trump's judicial appointments get you down. It's possible that in 10 years time our values will have shifted so rapidly that state and municipal governments will no longer regard Trump-era judges as being legitimate, and instead will be conducting litigation through legal avenues that don't yet exist. Perhaps the federal courts will be dissolved in their current form and restructured to better address our dire economic and environmental crises.
Whatever happens, the courts are only one more human concept that is at the whim of the collective. The same can be said of banks, the military, universities, legislatures, religious organizations, corporations etc. Our institutions are manifestations of the collective, so none one of them can resist the collective's hunger for a global reordering. It helps to remember that the American Revolution and an independent United States were unthinkable up until the late-1760s. Ten years later, Americans had nullified the divine rule of monarchy. I figure that if they could do it, nothing says we as 21st-century citizens can't assert our positions "in the aisle" and bring about radical transformation.
Coyote - I don't think our views are in contradiction. My point is more about not ignoring the power of evil, but to acknowledge it in order to move forward. In terms of linear vs. non-linear, my lifespan is, to date, lived in a linear fashion (I don't currently have a TARDIS). My concerns stem from how non-linear change often only occurs with great violence, and just because it's non-linear still doesn't mean it will occur within my [linear] lifetime.
Apologies that I led everyone on here off the Mueller discussion path...
And Clarence Thomas announced this week that he plans to resign before the 2020 election...
To shift us back on topic - let's all send our best visioning to Mueller - that his plans to protect his work are not thwarted, that the seeds he has planted take root and grow toward the sun. That it all comes to light, and that THAT is what drives the much needed change for our country.
This has been a fascinating discussion, uplifting and optimistic with a grim reminder of what a dangerous course our country is upon. For a while, I felt such aversion to Barr, the very sight of his face was disturbing to me. His letter to Trump criticizing the Mueller probe seems opportunistic at best and one must consider the possibility that he was campaigning for Sessions job. However, Barr is also known as an institutionalist. This article about Barr written by Benjamin Wittes, the editor in chief of Lawfare and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, is the best commentary I've read on the man to date: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/12/ben-wittes-william-barr-attorney-general-better-alternatives/577699/
Another thing to keep in mind is that any day now, Barr will be able to see the breadth and depth of Mueller's investigation. He will know the extent of the crimes exposed. Will he protect our democracy from authoritarianism?
As far as the SCOTUS is concerned, since Thomas has said he will resign before Trump leaves office, it will stay 5-4, however, if the Democrats take over the Senate and WH, they can play GOP dirty and add 2 seats to the court and take it back over. It sets bad precedent, but after Trump all the norms are out the door anyway.
Bumping this thread now that House has voted 420 - 0 unanimously for release of full Muller report. https://www.npr.org/2019/03/14/703369516/house-votes-almost-unanimously-for-public-release-of-mueller-report. The vote is not binding but it represents a huge bipartisan view that includes house republicans that they want the truth of Mueller's findings.
NY Times: "House Democrats are prepared to use subpoena power and other tools at their disposal to force the Justice Department to turn over anything Mr. Barr chooses to withhold."