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These Judges are Corrupt

Do take a moment to reach Josh Kovensky’s report here on Judge Cannon’s latest order. It’s hard to capture just how unheard of and close to unprecedented this is. Trump literally asked for this particular judge to be the Special Master. Now only a couple weeks after his appointment she is jumping in and just overruling him in the most transparently one-sided ways. It’s really not too much to say that she’s essentially acting as Trump’s defense counsel – which is good I guess since he’s had a hard time holding on to them.

Special Masters do work on behalf of the judge. At the end of the process he can make recommendations and she can simply not take them. So she is not acting beyond her authority in the narrow sense. But the point of the exercise is to have a respected outside party review evidence and make recommendations to the judge. By jumping in and overruling entirely reasonable and unremarkable decisions about how the review will be conducted she’s removing whatever pretense was left that she is there to oversee the case under the law as opposed to protect Trump. It’s not the worst of her orders in this ruling. Others are much worse on substance. But Special Master Dearie said he needed x amount of time to conduct the review. She jumps in and says, no actually you need to past the election.

It’s all very transparent. But here we are. Read it.

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Listen To This: The Smorgasbord Episode

A new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast is live! This week, Josh and Kate discuss a charcuterie tray of a Supreme Court case, the latest hijinks of the two most infamous Democratic senators and some recent shifts in midterm polls.

You can listen to the new episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast here.

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Five Alarm Fire 

The DC insider sheets are already buzzing about the exciting news: House Republicans plan a new round of debt limit hostage taking next year. Of course, this is all treated as somehow totally normal, as opposed to an unconstitutional form of legislative terrorism. This piece in Axios walks through the ins and outs of it, noting the following ….

The debt limit turning into a “political football” has become a “pattern in divided government,” particularly with a Democratic president, Neil Bradley, chief policy officer for the U.S. Chamber of Congress, told Axios.

This is a crock. Let’s be honest. Only Republicans do this. It only happens with Democratic Presidents. Perhaps understandably, the head of the pro-business Chamber – which is, paradoxically, somewhat reviled now in the Trumpite GOP – can’t say this directly. But journalists don’t have to repeat their nonsense. The leading contender for the key committee chairmanship that would call the shots on this is already being clear on what Republicans will do. Tell the President that he has to repeal his 2021-22 legislation or the country has to declare national bankruptcy.

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Missed Chances 

If you look recent polls there’s definitely a drift away from Democrats in a number of key races. The shifts are tiny if you look at the race averages. They may simply be the sloshing back and forth of poll numbers which is essentially noise. My best guess, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, is that Republicans have gotten back on the airwaves in a number of key races and been helped by a few weeks or ominous economic news – market declines which create a backdrop of disquiet even for people who have little or no direct exposure to equities markets. These things are mostly beyond Democrats and individual Senate candidates control. But what campaigns do control or have some real impact on is what an election is about. And it is always critical to make the election ‘about’ whatever it is on which you have the strongest hand. In this case, for Democrats, that’s on abortion rights.

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Big Kev: A Stone Cold Killa

This Washington Post article paints a picture of Kevin McCarthy completely at odds with the real life Kevin McCarthy many of us has observed for years. As the piece tells it, McCarthy is backroom enforcer you don’t want to cross. Not content to relive the fates of predecessors John Boehner and Paul Ryan, McCarthy has worked behind the scenes to prune the House GOP of the kinds of bomb throwers and fame-seekers who made Boehner’s and Ryan’s jobs so thankless. Says one McCarthy insider: “He is not a guy to be trifled with. It’s like they say in the Marine Corps, ‘No better friend, no worse enemy.’ And they mean it, and they act on it.”

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God On Ron’s Side

I wanted to flag this passage in Sarah Posner’s piece for TPM today …

In recent political speeches, DeSantis has been using a verse from Ephesians 6 (“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes”), but with a notable substitution: instead of “the devil’s,” he has said “the left’s.” The meaning is not lost on evangelical audiences, who are well familiar with the actual words of the verse. 

Read the piece here.

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Watching Russia 

Over the weekend I started thinking about a hypothetical: is there anyone in the Russian national security apparatus who thinks to themselves, “Yep, decision to pull the trigger on the invasion back in February … great call!”

I emphasize “think” rather than “say” since the mood in Russia doesn’t seem like one where doubts are likely to be expressed openly, at least at the upper levels of the national security establishment. People find ways not to ask themselves these questions, even in the privacy of their thoughts. But it is hard to imagine many managing to say yes. The suffering is overwhelmingly in and to Ukraine; they are the victims. But it is hard to imagine a greater self-inflicted wound than the one Russia brought on itself back in February, entirely at a time and place of its choosing.

I raise this question because, as you likely know, President Putin recently declared a “partial mobilization” in Russia, the first since the Second World War, which gives the state power to draft about 300,000 new recruits, though there are signs on the ground that the mobilization is actually far from partial.

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Judge Cannon Does Trump Another Solid

Trump will no longer have to say whether he really believes that the FBI planted evidence.

After twisting federal criminal and national security law to help former President Trump fend off the Mar-a-Lago investigation, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon for the Southern District of Florida has given him another boost.

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Senate Passes Stopgap Bill To Avert Shutdown And Fund Gov’t Through Mid-December

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Hurricane Ian Makes Landfall In Southwest Florida As A Category 4 Storm

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The Josh marshall podcast

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Ep. 242: The Smorgasbord Episode

Josh and Kate discuss a charcuterie tray of a Supreme Court case, the latest hijinks of the two most infamous Democratic senators and some recent shifts in midterm polls.

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