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Partering Glances



Realizing Yourself, Leaving Others

It all started last Monday and I blame Charles Johnson. Who? Well, if you read me you probably don’t read him. He’s the guy who writes the incredibly successful right-wing political blog, Little Green Footballs. And he’s a parter.

What’s a “parter?” What? – You don’t know? A parter is someone so well-known for who they are that it seems incomprehensible that they would “part ways” with their current “affiliations.” Johnson did just that last Monday, in his post, “Why I Parted Ways With The Right.”

On his list of ten reasons why he parted ways with the Right, Johnson says, is their:

“2. Support for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism (see: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Robert Stacy McCain, Lew Rockwell, etc.)”


“5. Support for homophobic bigotry (see: Sarah Palin, Dobson, the entire religious right, etc.)”

and, quite possibly my favorite:

“10. Hatred for President Obama that goes far beyond simply criticizing his policies, into racism, hate speech, and bizarre conspiracy theories (see: witch doctor pictures, tea parties, Birthers, Michelle Malkin, Fox News, World Net Daily, Newsmax, and every other right wing source)”

(Shameless plug: Check out all the writing I’ve done about Michelle Malkin.)

Now, I confess I don’t read Little Green Footballs. (It’s OK; I’m sure Charles doesn’t read me either.) So I can’t tell you that he’s become a huge Socialist, or that he now supports a single-payer option, or really, anything. But I can tell you that the news of “parting ways” made the major media. Most importantly, I can tell you that it’s not he who has changed, so much as it is those around him.

The next day, Tuesday, another conservative blogger, and a man for whom I have great respect, the incredibly intelligent Andrew Sullivan, became a parter. In “Leaving the Right,” he says,

“…there has to come a point at which a movement or party so abandons core principles or degenerates into such a rhetorical septic system that you have to take a stand. It seems to me that now is a critical time for more people whose principles lie broadly on the center-right to do so – against the conservative degeneracy in front of us.”

Wow. Sullivan, who is gay and a strong supporter of marriage equality, has for a while now been embracing his inner Left. But this was a big, bold statement.

He goes on. In his own (unenumerated) list, Sullivan details his reasons, including,

“I cannot support a movement that regards gay people as threats to their own families.”

and offers,

“I cannot support a movement that does not accept evolution as a fact.

“I cannot support a movement that sees climate change as a hoax and offers domestic oil exploration as the core plank of an energy policy.”


“I cannot support a movement that refuses to distance itself from a demagogue like Rush Limbaugh or a nutjob like Glenn Beck.”

And I must throw in this final gem:

“Does this make me a “radical leftist” as Michelle Malkin would say? Emphatically not. But it sure disqualifies me from the current American right.”

Bravo, Mr. Sullivan!

But wait – there’s more.

Just one day after Sullivan made his announcement came yet another parter: Meredith Baxter! She partered big time, by announcing on the Today Show, that she is a “lesbian.” (I’m putting it in quotes, out of respect – not like some conservatives put quotes around the term “gay marriage,” as if it weren’t “real marriage,” – but because it’s the word she used and a lot of lesbians were glad she used that word instead of “gay,” like Ellen did.)

Just one week after Johnson’s announcement, came news of another sort of partering. Yesterday, Al Diamon wrote about the partering of Larry Grard. Who is Larry Grard? Yeah, I didn’t know either. Turns out the Mr. Grard was, and I say was because he no longer is, a reporter for the Morning Sentinel, a Waterville, Maine newspaper. Grard was partered against his will, for emailing HRC and calling them “haters.” (I put “haters” in quotes, respectfully or not, because that’s the word he used. And it’s the word that got him partered.)

I’ll make no comment about Grard, except to say that if you’re going to say something, best be comfortable signing your name, or it’s probably not a good idea to say it. (Me, I sign everything I write.)

But, at least for (formerly Right-wing) bloggers, it’s not a one-way street. Sullivan calls attention to another parter.

In, “Leaving The Left,” Sullivan writes,

“A blogger explains why reading the liberal blogosphere’s routine attacks on Obama has led her to rethink where she stands.”

Here’s what said liberal blogger wrote, in “Why I’m Not a Liberal Anymore,”

‘”The stuff coming out of “progressive” mouths is all too often on a par with Glenn Beck’s abusive rants–both sides (right and left wingers) playing thousand-pound national football with the President as the ball…”

(And later, in, “Leaving The Left, ctd.,” Sullivan shares readers’ responses. I urge you spend the three minutes it will take you to read it.)

So, there’s been a lot of change, a lot of partering, if you will, over the past week or so. I’m not sure quite yet what to make of it all. My friend Cody Daigle might chalk it up to, “Saturn Returns.”

In truth, all of these folks haven’t changed, so much as remained true to who they are, while they saw the world, their world, change. And they responded. Some, like Johnson and Sullivan, taking positive, productive stances. Some, like Grard, taking a negative and unproductive stance. Some, like Baxter, allowing her true being to be seen, and thus, remaining true to herself as well.

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions. And to chart your own course of action.

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Donald Trump Guilty on All Counts in New York Criminal Trial



Donald Trump has been found guilty by a jury in the State of New York’s criminal prosecution on all 34 charges of falsifying business records to cover-up a conspiracy to assist his election to the presidency of the United States by unlawful means. He is the first American president in history to have been criminally charged, and now is the first to have been convicted of crimes. The ex-president’s efforts to hide payments of “hush money” to two women, a Playboy model and an adult film actress, to prevent the voters from learning of his affairs was central to the scheme.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prosecution alleged Trump had “repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.”

Democrat Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election’s popular vote by nearly three million votes but the reality TV star and real estate magnate, as he was best-known at the time, won the Electoral College vote.

Trump, soon to be 78, could be sentenced to up to four years in prison but, if convicted, is expected ask to have the verdict set aside, and to appeal.

READ MORE: Chief Justice Refuses to Meet With Senate Judiciary Chairman Over Alito Scandal

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Chief Justice Refuses to Meet With Senate Judiciary Chairman Over Alito Scandal



Chief Justice John Roberts, presiding over a court Democrats and government watchdogs say is riddled with corruption and ethics scandals, on Thursday once again refused to meet with the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman and a Democratic Senator who for more than a decade has been working to reform the nation’s highest court.

Last week, after bombshell reports revealed Justice Samuel Alito, a Bush-43 appointee, had two insurrection-linked flags flying at two of his homes, Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin and U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) sent the chief justice a letter requesting a meeting to discuss their call for Justice Alito to recuse from cases involving the January 6, 2021 insurrection, the 2020 election, and any cases involving Donald Trump. They also asked to meet to discuss the ongoing ethics scandals plaguing the Roberts Court, and the need for congressionally-mandated reforms.

“By displaying the upside-down and ‘Appeal to Heaven’ flags outside his homes, Justice Alito actively engaged in political activity, failed to avoid the appearance of impropriety, and failed to act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary,” the two Senate Democrats wrote. “He also created reasonable doubt about his impartiality and his ability to fairly discharge his duties in cases related to the 2020 presidential election and January 6th attack on the Capitol. His recusal in these matters is both necessary and required.”

“Until the Court and the Judicial Conference take meaningful action to address this ongoing ethical crisis,” they warned, “we will continue our efforts to enact legislation to resolve this crisis.”

READ MORE: ‘Incompetently Bad’: Judge Cannon’s Latest Move ‘Approaching This Level of Stupid’

The Chief Justice cited the Court’s recently adopted code of ethics which some say merely codified existing behaviors without doing much to hold the Justices to the same standard every other judge who sits on the federal bench is required to observe.

“Members of the Supreme Court recently reaffirmed the practice we have followed for 235 years pursuant to which individual Justices decide recusal issues,” Chief Justice Roberts said in his letter to Durbin and Whitehouse.

Roberts insisted he was obligated to refuse to meet.

“I must respectfully decline your request for a meeting. As noted in my letter to Chairman Durbin last April, apart from ceremonial events, only on rare occasions in our Nation’s history has a sitting Chief Justice met with legislators, even in a public setting (such as a Committee hearing) with members of both major political parties present. Separation of powers concerns and the importance of preserving judicial independence counsel against such appearances.”

“Moreover,” he added, “the format proposed – a meeting with leaders of only one party who have expressed an interest in matters currently pending before the Court – simply underscores that participating in such a meeting would be inadvisable.”

The Nation’s justice correspondent Elie Mystal, pointing to the Roberts letter, remarked: “John Roberts, again, has already spoken about Alito’s ethical failures. And Roberts is IN FAVOR of the corruption, not against it.”

READ MORE: Alito’s Opinion in a 2022 Christian Flag Case Flies in the Face of His Recusal Refusal

Image via Shutterstock

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‘Incompetently Bad’: Judge Cannon’s Latest Move ‘Approaching This Level of Stupid’



U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s latest move in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Espionage Act prosecution of Donald Trump appears to have at least one legal expert throwing up his hands in disbelief.

Back in February, Trump’s legal team claimed Special Counsel Jack Smith’s appointment was unlawful, as is the method of funding his office and his investigations.

“Neither the Constitution nor Congress have created the office of the ‘Special Counsel,'” Trump’s attorneys wrote, CBS News had reported, “arguing the attorney general did not have the proper authority to name Smith to the job.”

“The authority he attempts to employ as Special Counsel far exceeds the power exercisable by a non-superior officer, the authority that Congress has not cloaked him with,” they claimed. There are decades of precedence of Attorneys General appointing special counsels, special prosecutors, or independent counsels – possibly the most well-known being Ken Starr who investigated then-President Bill Clinton.

READ MORE: Alito’s Opinion in a 2022 Christian Flag Case Flies in the Face of His Recusal Refusal

CBS News also noted that “Garland cited numerous laws and regulations that he and other attorneys general have said confer necessary authority onto the selected prosecutors.”

Issuing her latest edict, Judge Cannon, who likely has already delayed the trial until after the 2024 election, responded to the Trump legal team’s challenge of Smith’s appointment on Thursday.

“Judge Cannon is giving Trump’s legal team and the government 12 days to tell her how the SCOTUS decision upholding the CFPB’s funding/appointment impacts Trump’s claim that Jack Smith was unlawfully appointed and funded…,” reports Reuters’ Sarah N. Lynch, who covers the Justice Dept.

The CFPB is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Earlier this month the Supreme Court ruled the methods by which it is funded are constitutional, overturning a lower court’s ruling.

READ MORE: ‘Doesn’t Know Most Basic Rule’: Conway Blasts Cannon Over ‘Perplexed’ Reaction

Constitutional law professor Anthony Michael Kreis, mocking Judge Cannon’s order, wrote:

“Jack Smith,

You have 12 days to tell me how what Martha-Ann Alito ate for lunch on May 30, 2024 affects your appointment as special counsel.


Judge Cannon”

He added, “We’re approaching this level of stupid,” and concluded, “Judge Cannon is incompetently bad.”

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