Independent News

If Democratic fundraising dollars could talk, they’d speak of massive hate for Mitch McConnell

If fundraising translates into votes, Mitch McConnell’s Senate majority is toast. Okay, we all know that it doesn’t work that way, but fundraising translates to enthusiasm and enthusiasm can definitely translate to votes. So, yes, Majority Leader McConnell’s freak-out over the filibuster is well-founded, and will be intensified now that fundraising information for the second quarter has been released.

As CBS News puts it, Democratic Senate candidates have “smashed” fundraising records, and boy does it seem like a lot of it is precisely because of Mitch McConnell. Prime example: the astonishing $17.4 million raked in from April through June by Amy McGrath, now the Democratic nominee to take on McConnell. Her average donation is $39, so that’s a lot of donors. McGrath has spent $15 million so far on advertising on both the primary against Charles Booker, which tightened up considerably in the last weeks of the campaign, and in raising her profile for a presumed run against McConnell. This is definitely and uphill climb for Democrats, because as unpopular as McConnell has always been in the state, he’s been safe. Sending $39 to McGrath, however, seems to be a very good way for people all over the country to register just how much they hate McConnell. It also means that McConnell has to spend time and money covering his own ass—so he can’t be helping out his fellow Republicans.

Let’s keep McConnell freaking out and end his Republican Senate majority. Help do that with your $3.

One of those fellow Republicans is South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, who’s also got to be taking a close look at his unfailing allegiance to both McConnell and Trump now that his Democratic opponent, Jaime Harrison, has racked up $14 million total in the second quarter. That doubled what Harrison raised in the first quarter of the race—and that total set a fundraising record in South Carolina. In Maine, where the primary is next week, Democrat Sara Gideon brought in more than $9 million against Republican Susan Collins. That’s an increase of about $2 million over her quarter one haul. There’s also several million waiting for Gideon in escrow funds raised by grassroots groups, including Daily Kos, for the Democratic nominee in Maine.

In North Carolina, Democrat Cal Cunningham raised $7.4 for his challenge to Sen. Thom Tillis. Outgoing Montana Gov. Steve Bullock raised $7.7 million for his race against Sen. Steve Daines. In Iowa, Theresa Greenfield raised $6 million for her challenge to Sen. Joni Ernst. All this truly makes McConnell’s Senate defense national—Republicans are going to have to spend in South Carolina and Iowa! And Montana, and Arizona, and Colorado, and North Carolina, and probably even Texas. And KANSAS. Dr. Barbara Bollier, seeking the seat of retiring Republican Pat Roberts, raised more than any other single federal or state candidate in Kansas history for a single quarter—$3.7 million. To repeat: Republicans are going to have to spend Senate money IN KANSAS.

In Georgia, Rev. Raphael Warnock raised nearly $3 million in his challenge to Sen. Kelly Loeffler, and Jon Ossoff raised more than $3.4 million for his race against Sen. David Perdue. In Texas, M.J. Hegar, who is in a runoff next week with State Sen. Royce West to take on Sen. John Cornyn, raised $1.7 million for the quarter. All this is without yet knowing how much Mark Kelly raised in Arizona to take on Sen. Martha McSally or John Hickenlooper’s total for the quarter in his challenge to Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner. Those states look so hopeless for Republicans that they may end up sacrificing them to save at least one seat in Georgia or the North Carolina seat or, god help them, Susan Collins. It means they have to play all over the country—and that is very good news for a Democratic flip in November.

If Democratic fundraising dollars could talk, they'd speak of massive hate for Mitch McConnell 1

P.S. Senate Republicans: We’re coming for you

“Someday soon, the time of Trump will pass,” promises a new ad from the anti-Trump Lincoln Project that absolutely skewers Senate Republicans. 

And when “this circus of incompetence, corruption, and cruelty” ends, notes the ad, GOP lawmakers who empowered Trump will tell you they can help repair and rebuild the damage he’s inflicted on the party and the nation. “They’ll beg you to forgive their votes to exonerate Trump of his crimes,” says the narrator. Don’t listen, he advises, invoking “their silence, their cowardice, and their betrayals as Trump wrecked this nation.” 

Wanna kick Sen. Mitch McConnell and his majority to the curb? Give $2 right now to give Senate Republicans the boot and elect lawmakers who actually care about the people they serve.

All the while, the TV screen floods with pictures of these Republican senators loving on Trump. In rapid succession, Sens. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Martha McSally of Arizona, Ted Cruz of Texas, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Susan Collins of Maine all buddy up to Trump. Most of the GOP senators pictured are up for reelection this year, but a handful or so, such as Rubio and Cruz, are put on notice that their turn in the barrel is coming, so to speak.

“Every time they had a choice between America and Trump, they chose Trump. Every time they were called to the service of this nation and their sacred oaths, they chose Trump. Every time.

“Learn. Their. Names. […] And never, ever trust them again.”

Amen. We at Daily Kos have been preaching this for years now. Far from being hostages, Senate Republicans built the monster who is now devouring the nation in a senseless loss of both blood and treasure. Innocent lives lost. A devastated economy. Total wreckage at a soul-sucking human level.

Every time you see a headline about more job losses, gaping testing shortages, surging case loads, besieged hospitals, ravaged communities, and shattered families, remember the Republican lawmakers who sicced Trump on this nation.

Never forget. Election Day is less than four months away. 

P.S. Senate Republicans, we’re coming for you.

P.S. Senate Republicans: We're coming for you 2

This Week in Statehouse Action: What a Fool Believes edition

Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh.

(Sigh or scream? Up to you!)

We’ve almost made it through another week!

But before the weekend, a quick update on what’s shaking in the states:

Fool’s Gold: If you’ve been enjoying my takes and enduring my bad puns and such for, say, about two years or more, you may recall the long-ago time of late 2018, when Wisconsin Republican lawmakers were mourning Scott Walker’s loss of the governorship to Democrat Tony Evers.

Campaign Action

  • The GOP-controlled legislature observed this solemn time by ramming as many bills through the lame-duck session as possible to undermine the authority of the incoming governor and his administration.
  • The power stolen by the GOP-controlled legislature from the incoming Democratic administration includes curtailing the governor’s authority to
    • Guide economic development,
    • Halt litigation on the state’s behalf, and
    • Set administrative rules to carry out new laws.
    • The new laws also limit the state attorney general’s power to defend legal challenges to state laws.
  • Evers was understandably extremely unhappy with the laws passed specifically to usurp his gubernatorial authority, and the whole thing quickly ended up in court.

But not much happens quickly in the courts, so it took until, well, today for the whole matter to get resolved.

… sort of.

  • The conservative-majority Wisconsin Supreme Court handed down a generally-not-great ruling for the Evers administration Thursday.
    • The court upheld the laws that 
      • Empower a committee of legislators, rather than the (currently Democratic) attorney general, to sign off on some court settlements involving the state.
      • Allow lawmakers to easily intervene in those lawsuits involving the state.
      • Give the legislature the power to repeatedly suspend administrative rules (those rules I mentioned above that are implemented by the executive branch and generally carry the force of law).
  • The news wasn’t all bad:
  • The ruling also remanded parts of the case back to a lower court.
    • … which means, even after all this, the fight over the Wisconsin GOP’s power-grab isn’t actually over!

But let me found out this court-related discussion with some good news:

  • This week, a federal judge struck down a 2018 law passed by the GOP-controlled Indiana legislature that required healthcare providers to snitch to the state on women treated for post-abortion complications.
    • The “unconstitutionally vague” law made failing to report one of 26 listed conditions to the state a misdemeanor, and, I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn,
      • Had absolutely no basis in medicine and
      • Was intended to shame and stigmatize women who receive abortions and make providing reproductive healthcare to women more burdensome for doctors.

Ship of Fools: So there’s still a pandemic on.

And it’s getting worse in a LOT of places.

… including, it turns out, in the Mississippi legislature.

Sadly, some of these folks probably contracted the coronavirus over the past couple of weeks as lawmakers worked to pass legislation (FINALLY) removing the Confederate battle insignia from the state flag.

Mississippi is suffering from a huge upswing in COVID-19 cases right now.

  • Hospitals are already stretched to capacity, and some doctors are sending coronavirus patients out of state to get treated because of the dearth of in-state facilities.

… it’s also hurricane season but maybe let’s not think too much about that right now.

The Fool Off the Hill: Speaking of getting rid of Confederate iconography, the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest is finally about to be gone from the Tennessee state capitol.

  • This week, the State Capitol Commission, which is in charge of all the statues and stuff in the building, voted to remove the bust of the brutal Confederate general and first grand wizard of the KKK.
    • Did you know? The bust of this racist horrorshow was first placed in the capitol in the 1970s!
  • The commission also voted to remove the bust of Union admiral and Civil War hero David Farragut, because, um … both sides?
    • FWIW, a bust of Admiral Albert Gleaves, who served in the Spanish-American War and in World War I, is also being removed.

Chain of Fools: But back to GOP lawmakers and COVID-19.

Because oy.

So, yeah, Republicans are continuing to handle the ongoing pandemic super well.

Sigh.

Welp, that’s a wrap for this week. Thanks for tuning in!

And hang in there. I know it’s weird. I know it’s hard.

Stay safe. We need you.

This Week in Statehouse Action: What a Fool Believes edition 3

Trump’s under-attended rally directly connected to surge in COVID-19 cases in Tulsa area

The debate over what it takes to be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic continues, with many researchers worried that the social distancing guidelines now in place are insufficient in light of  evidence the disease can be spread by smaller aerosol particles. But as experts debate the relative safety of various locations and activities, one things has remained clear: The absolute worst situation is a large number of people, for a sustained period of time, in an indoor location. 

That’s why Donald Trump’s announcement that he was holding an indoor rally in Tulsa back on June 21 was so irresponsible. And it’s why the willingness of some area Republicans to go along with, or even encourage, Trump’s action was such a betrayal of the local citizens. About the only thing that can be said on a positive note is that the rally was sparsely attended, with the arena at less than a third of capacity and the outside areas for “overflow” completely empty. That’s particularly good now that, as many predicted, Trump’s rally has turned out to be a spreading event that has generated hundreds of cases in the Tulsa area.

Since the Trump rally, Oklahoma has experienced a doubling of new cases. That includes hitting the peak number of new cases in the state just two days ago. But while cases are up across the state, there’s a particular surge in Tulsa, and as CNN reports, health officials there have tied this surge directly to Trump’s visit.

Despite a growth of cases in many parts of the country, the city of Tulsa has actually been in a slow decline. That ended abruptly a week after Trump’s traveling circus came to town, with 500 new cases and counting. Rather than seeing a decline, Tulsa is now a hot spot for the region.

With an incubation period of two to 14 days, Tulsa is only now getting a count of those infected in the first wave of post-rally disease. It’s still to be determined whether or not the rally will be a so-called super spreader event, as has been seen with some church services that have been directly connected to hundreds, or even thousands, of new cases.

The best thing about the Trump rally was the low attendance. The worst thing was … everything else. Not only did Trump decide to hold the rally at an indoor location against all medical advice, he also made it clear that he regarded wearing a mask as an insult. And even when the area had plenty of seats, Trump’s team crowded everyone together.

Expect to hear the results from Trump’s visit to Phoenix in about seven days. And Rushmore a week after that.

Trump's under-attended rally directly connected to surge in COVID-19 cases in Tulsa area 4

Throwing a sandwich ends in death for Black teen restrained until he lost consciousness

Security surveillance video released Tuesday showed a 16-year-old boy who threw a sandwich at another teen being restrained until he lost consciousness at a Michigan youth facility. That child, Cornelius Fredericks, died May 1, two days after the incident at Lakeside Academy, a facility that houses children in foster care or the juvenile justice system, according to NBC News. Fredericks, a ward of the state, wasn’t involved in the juvenile justice system and was only at the facility because his mother died and his father was deemed unable to take care of him, the news network reported.

At least three of the staff members shown piling on top of Fredericks were more than 6 feet tall and weighed at least 215 pounds, according to a state special investigation report addressed to Steven Laidacker, executive director of the facility. “Due to the severity of the violations, disciplinary action against your license is recommended,” an investigator stated in the letter.

Former nurse Heather Newton McLogan and staff members Zachary Raul Solis and Michael Joshua Mosley—who were all fired along with seven other staff members at the facility—were also charged with involuntary manslaughter and second-degree child abuse in the incident. McLogan is accused of waiting 12 minutes after the child was restrained to call 911, state officials reported. Fredericks’ family also filed a civil lawsuit against the facility on June 22, accusing the facility of negligence.

“In fact, video from Lakeside Academy even shows a staff member placing his/her weight directly on Cornelius’s chest for nearly ten minutes as Cornelius lost consciousness,” an attorney stated in the lawsuit. “Cornelius’s scream of ‘I can’t breathe’ was not enough to get the staff members to stop the excessive restraint.” 

Neither was the child urinating on himself, the family’s attorney Geoffrey Fieger told NBC News. “Certainly this type of behavior is not human,” he said. “It can only be akin to a subhuman-type species that would inflict this behavior on children.”

The facility has had more than 30 investigations since 2016 regarding staff qualifications, discipline, behavior management, resident restraint, and premise maintenance, attorney Tenia Goshay said in the suit. The staff members named in the suit were accused of violating policy in six different incidents involving the “improper use of de-escalation techniques” or “improper restraints,” Goshay said in the suit. “The documented history and repeated investigations of Defendants’ improper use of restraints on residents should have put the Defendants on notice that change was needed,” the attorney said in the suit.

Sequel Youth and Family Services, which oversees Lakeside Academy, called Fredericks’ death “senseless and tragic. The actions taken by the staff members in that video do not adhere to the Sequel and Lakeside Academy policies and procedures,” the family services business said.

However, Anastase Markou, McLogan’s lawyer, told NBC News his client thought the child was “faking” his loss of consciousness. “She’s been accused of not doing something based on some form of legal duty, which I’m still trying to decide what legal duty she had,” Markou told the news network.

Kiana Garrity, Mosley’s attorney, told NBC News Fredericks threatened his peers. “They did not restrain him for throwing food as alleged,” Garrity said. “That’s a made-up narrative by Lakeside. They’re lying through their teeth to cover their policies.”

Donald Sappanos, one of Solis’ attorneys, predicted all three staff members charged would be acquitted because they followed their employee handbook, NBC News reported.

Throwing a sandwich ends in death for Black teen restrained until he lost consciousness 5

18-year-old Andrés Guardado was shot 5 times in back by police, independent autopsy finds

An independent autopsy performed at the request of the family of Andrés Guardado has found that the 18-year-old student and part-time security guard was shot in the back five times by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy last month, NBC News reports

Guardado’s family, already frustrated over the lack of answers regarding his killing by police on June 18, requested the independent autopsy after the department put a “security hold” on the L.A. County coroner’s results. “These findings confirm what we have known all along,” his family said according to LAist, “which is that Andrés was unjustifiably killed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy.”

“Lawyers for the Guardado family have said that officials’ failure to explain exactly what prompted the shooting has made the family’s grieving process that much more difficult,” NBC News said, as well as anger around an allegation by police that he was armed. Police claim they found an unmarked gun at the scene that had not been fired, “leading police to believe that Andres didn’t fire it,” the report continued. 

“We do not believe that he had a gun,” family attorney Adam Shea said according to NBC News. “There was a gun at the scene. How and why that gun was there and who it belonged to is a question that needs to be answered.” Doubt around the police’s claims are only heightened following a Los Angeles Times report that Miguel Vega, the officer who reportedly killed the 18-year-old, has already faced a number of accusations of misconduct in the past, including “making false statements in an investigation.”

While Vega initially refused to make a statement to investigators, NBC News reports he’s set to be interviewed in the coming days. Both Vega and Chris Hernandez, the officer who was with him the day he shot and killed Guardado, are still employed by the sheriff’s department but officials wouldn’t say where they’re currently assigned, the report said.

Raising more alarms about a lack of transparency is the fact that sheriff’s department has yet to turn over evidence requested by the county’s inspector general. “On June 22, 2020, my office requested documents and video recovered in the investigation into the shooting of Andres Guardado. We have received no response,” the County of Los Angeles Office of Inspector General wrote to Sheriff Alex Villanueva this week. “I ask that you provide us the items requested immediately.”

Recent data has found that Latinos follow Black Americans in the demographic most violently affected by police violence. 

“It’s not an issue that’s associated with Latinos in the same way that it’s associated with African American men in particular,” Rep. Joaquin Castro said according to NPR, “but it has been a real problem for the Latino community throughout the country, particularly in inner city neighborhoods of folks being profiled, folks being killed over the years.” 

“Of course the years of systemic racism and voicelessness are not near the same level the Black community has been forced to endure,” AL DÍA News’ Ericka Conant rightfully notes, “but the recent deaths of multiple Latinx individuals at the hands of police have reignited the call to end police brutality against Latinx people as well.”

Guardado’s family has said they will not rest until their loved one receives justice. “Our son did not deserve to die this way,” they said according to NBC News. “Andres was a good boy, he was our son and he had so much life ahead of him.”

18-year-old Andrés Guardado was shot 5 times in back by police, independent autopsy finds 6

Trump’s apparently been too busy hate tweeting to file his annual financial disclosure report

Donald Trump’s annual financial disclosure report—really the only regular glimpse the public gets of a president’s finances—was due in May. He and other White House employees received a 45-day pandemic extension that came due last week, according to The New York Times.

Guess what? Trump’s financial report still hasn’t been filed.

Trump originally complained the report was “complicated” and said he was far too busy “addressing the coronavirus crisis and other matters” to meet the May deadline, as if he himself was filling it out. Apparently, his rigorous tweet schedule is inhibiting the ability of his accountants to complete the report.

Now the White House says Trump “intends to file as soon as possible.” Of course, no one is more conscientious about public disclosures than Trump.

Filing the report is legally mandated by federal ethics rules, but neither the White House nor Office of Government Ethics made so much as a peep when Trump blew past the second deadline last week. The Times requested comment from the ethics office and the Trump Organization and came up dry.

Trump has sometimes used the disclosures to brag about his wealth, documenting assets worth north of $1 billion. But last year, he ran into a little trouble when he coincidentally left all the free consultations he got from legal eagle Rudy Giuliani off the ledger.

It’s safe to say Trump’s got something to hide because he always has something to hide. But what it is isn’t exactly clear.

Trump's apparently been too busy hate tweeting to file his annual financial disclosure report 7

Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis have partnered to destroy Florida, and they’re doing a great job

Monday was horrendous. Yesterday was more horrendous. Today will be worse. COVID-19 cases aren’t just shooting up in dozens of states, they’re particularly soaring in states where there is absolutely no plan to halt, or even slow, the outbreaks. The poster child for awful is, of course, the state that Donald Trump has spent the most time slathering in praise. “Look at what’s going on in Florida,” said Trump. “It’s incredible. If you look at so many different places that have opened up … the ones that are most energetic about opening they are doing tremendous business.” To be fair, that was last month. To be more fair, on the day Trump made that claim, Florida had just set a record for its highest day ever—but that record was barely a tenth of what it ran up yesterday. 

Trump’s partner in destroying the Sunshine State, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, was still out there bragging about the state’s “low death rate” just two days ago. That was also when DeSantis said that COVID-19 had “stabilized” in Florida. Right before reporting a new record. Then breaking that record. Then on Thursday, Florida smashed its previous record by recording 120 deaths in a single day even though the state’s average age of new COVID-19 patients is only 21. Which makes Florida a prime candidate for Dr. Anthony Fauci’s latest recommendation: States like Florida should shut down.

It’s been just one month since DeSantis “proudly welcomed” Trump’s move of the Republican National Convention to Jacksonville, Florida. At that announcement, DeSantis didn’t wear a mask, didn’t practice social distancing, and made it clear he expected Jacksonville to be a full stadium, no distancing enforced event. But after pulling the convention from Charlotte, North Carolina because officials there would not allow Trump to violate local health ordinances, Wednesday brought some backtracking as Trump declared he was flexible on the size and structure of the convention. Meanwhile, a coalition of downtown Jacksonville businesses are actually suing to keep the convention away as their city is in the center of a COVID-19 hot spot. So … it’s all good.

Also, by an astounding coincidence, the White House has announced that Jacksonville will be just one of three cities in the nation that will be getting free surge testing locations. I mean … what are the odds?

Trump pointedly moved his (vote-by-mail) residency to Mar-a-Lago after the state attorney general in New York kept holding him accountable to the law. His partnership with DeSantis has been linked to a mutual love of deregulation, deep-pocket PACs, and lying. Full-time lying. 

But if Trump bet on the novel coronavirus magically going for a vacation in the summer, DeSantis doubled down on that bet. Even as other governors were enacting standards designed to protect their citizens from harm and reduce the rate of transmission, DeSantis was opening bars and gyms and giving Trump everything he wanted in putting the economy ahead of people. 

Even as cases first crept, then raced, then exploded upwards. DeSantis has had an excuse—look at our death rates. While the case fatality rate in Florida, at just under 2%, is good compared to states that suffered through the largest blow in the first weeks of the pandemic, it’s certainly nothing to brag about, dropping Florida in the middle of the pack both on case fatalities and in deaths versus population. But then DeSantis started bragging on that one statistic at about the same time as he forced the state’s medical examiners to stop reporting COVID-19 deaths. As the data scientist behind Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard has pointed out repeatedly, Florida is hiding important information on both deaths and hospitalizations. Which makes having attractive numbers considerably easier … and makes the numbers now being published seem considerably worse.

The cover-up of information in Florida has gotten so bad that the sheriff of the county that includes Daytona beach was forced to sue DeSantis just to get information for his own area. DeSantis has issued a “statewide directive” against sharing data with the city and county officials who have to deal directly with deaths, illness, and a lack of support from the state. What they don’t know will definitely hurt them.

Florida is in exactly the position that Dr. Anthony Fauci discussed on Wednesday when he said: “I think any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down.” Except DeSantis has made it clear that he only has one forward gear and no brakes at all. The time to lock down Florida was over a month ago, at the time cases were starting to rise and DeSantis was busy spiking the ball on the 40-yard-line. The 65,000 new cases that have been confirmed in just the last week are the result of DeSantis’ unwillingness to shut down in June. So are the record number of deaths. So are hospitals that are filling up across the state.

Donald Trump is not smarter than the medical professionals. Ron DeSantis is not smarter than the medical professionals. And the idea that either of them deserves praise for ignoring the advice of medical professionals isn’t just ludicrous—it’s deadly.

Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis have partnered to destroy Florida, and they're doing a great job 8

Ford workers ask company to stop assembling and selling police cars as protests continue

As protests and conversations about police brutality continue, an estimated 100 Ford Motor Co. employees have asked the motor vehicle manufacturer to consider no longer assembling and selling police cars, as reported by The Verge. As the Detroit Free Press confirmed, this issue has been raised by employees in multiple internal letters, as well as during an online town hall meeting. According to the outlet, this has occurred since George Floyd’s death at the hands of police on May 25. 

Some background information: Ford makes the majority of police cars in the United States. Other makers include Chrysler and GM. New technologies are reportedly tested in Ford’s police vehicles, and some make their way into the standard car line-up. According to The Verge, Ford’s police cars are not a big moneymaker compared to its overall profits.

The letter circulated by employees reportedly asks the company to “cease development, production, and sale of all custom police vehicles and products.” According to Jalopnik, the outlet which first reported on the letter, the group stressed: “We cannot claim to support the fight against systemic racism while supplying and supporting the very systems that perpetrate violence against Black Americans.” In a time when more and more companies are releasing statements of solidarity and support with the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s especially important and understandable for people to, essentially, ask those with bargaining power to put their money with their mouths are. 

Jim Hackett, the CEO of Ford, reportedly responded to employees in a memo, noting that he doesn’t believe it’s “controversial” that the “Ford Police Interceptor helps officers do their job,” referring to one of the models it produces. In the letter, he adds that taking away the Interceptor would “be doing harm to their safety and making it harder for them to do their job.” The letter states that Ford will keep doing its current business. 

In the bigger picture, employees speaking out about how their products or labor are used has gained traction in some fields. For example, a number of essential workers who provided delivery services for companies like Instacart, Amazon, and Target protested for better working conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Amazon, in particular, received mass criticism after a handful of workers allege they had been fired for organizing or advocating for improved safety. Facebook employees staged a virtual walk-out last month over Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s overall lack of action on Donald Trump’s various dangerous Facebook posts. The comparison became especially sharp as Twitter recently labeled at least one of his tweets as “glorifying violence.”

Ford workers ask company to stop assembling and selling police cars as protests continue 9

Judge Sullivan isn’t done with Flynn just yet, case going to full court of appeals

Last December, Judge Emmet Sullivan made clear what he thought about Michael Flynn’s claim of being “ambushed” by FBI investigators with a one-sentence ruling: “The court summarily disposes of Mr. Flynn’s arguments that the FBI conducted an ambush interview for the purpose of trapping him into making false statements.” The idea that Flynn—who has pleaded guilty twice to lying in connection with his phone calls to the former Russian ambassador—was trapped has been ludicrous all along. Flynn is guilty—and of a lot more than he has been charged with in court. The trivial charges of perjury were supposed to be the former national security advisor’s slap-on-the-wrist exchange for providing information that kept both Flynn and his son from facing far more serious charges.

Flynn’s only hope for avoiding sentencing doesn’t lie with any legal claim. It’s with the White House, and with Attorney General William Barr’s effort to give Flynn a pardon without Trump having to dirty his pardon pen by withdrawing the case. Two weeks ago, a three-person panel of the Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals shockingly went along with Barr and told Flynn to go home, grab a beer, and revel in the ability of Trump to run rampant over the law. But now Judge Sullivan has replied with a not-so-fast, sending the case back to the Washington, D.C. Court in full—where the outcome is likely to be considerably different.

Since Flynn landed in Sullivan’s court, the district judge has demonstrated a decided lack of patience with the four-star pain in the ass. In 2018, when Flynn first hinted at trying to escape the deal he had made with the special counsel’s office, Sullivan blasted him wide open, telling him “you sold your country out” and making it clear he found Flynn’s deal exceptionally generous.

So it was never very likely that Sullivan was just going to nod his head over a ruling authored by Trump-appointed Judge Neomi Rao. Especially when that ruling seemed laughable to everyone not named Michael Flynn.

Sullivan made it clear that he thinks about as much of Rao’s ruling as he does of Flynn’s attempts to weasel out of his original deal. In his petition for a rehearing, Sullivan calls the previous ruling “a dramatic break from precedent that threatens the orderly administration of justice.” He also notes that Rao undermined the interpretation of a writ of mandamus and undercut Supreme Court rulings on at least two points.

There seems little doubt that Sullivan will get the hearing he wants. And what it produces is likely to be interesting—and much less helpful to Flynn.

Judge Sullivan isn't done with Flynn just yet, case going to full court of appeals 10