The Watergate Roadmap Is A Reminder Honorable People In Government Can Make All The Difference

(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To The Last Post Of The Week From The Blog's Favourite Living Canadian)

Because the summers of 1973 and 1974 were a time of great joy in my heart as I watched Richard Nixon get swept out of the White House like the yard waste he was, I was fascinated by the release this week of the long-awaited Watergate "Road Map" that was submitted to the House of Representatives by the Watergate Special Prosecution force on March 1, 1974. This is, as the late Jimmy Breslin put it in his fine Watergate book, the sharp-edged paper that cut Nixon's life away. It is also a healthy reminder of the fact that honorable people in government can make all the difference in the world.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

There's too much in there even to summarize, but it's heartening to know even now that everything we thought was bad wrong with the Nixon White House actually was. I can't tell you how many times people said, "He can't really have been involved in this, can he?" over those two remarkable years. Ratfcking McGovern? Why? The road map shows you why—the president was too much of a political sociopath to let anything go. He won 49 states and he was still afraid of the Kennedys.

Richard Nixon Giving a Speech
> Getty ImagesWally McNamee

The deadliest of the documents is probably the "Nixon Evidentiary Report," a statement of evidence against the president dated February 7, 1974, and drafted by Assistant Special Prosecutor named George Frampton. (As you can see, there were only nine copies of this document, and they were all locked away after use. Frampton later became famous for helping derail Robert Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court.) Bear in mind, this report was presented before anyone except the president and (perhaps) his lawyers had heard the June 23, 1972 "smoking gun" tape, in which Nixon himself began the systematic cover-up of what John Mitchell came to call "the White House horrors."

Consequently, Frampton's report states categorically that Nixon became aware of, and began to participate in, the obstruction of justice in February or March of 1973. (Frampton does allude to evidence of earlier obstruction but emphasizes that, at this point, it is largely circumstantial.) Then, there is this.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
While the president's persistent refusal fully to cooperate with a legitimate investigation into a conspiracy to obstruct justice, and the intentional destruction of evidence by a person or persons close to the president are outside the scope of this memorandum, and are not considered here, this evidence must also be taken into account in interpreting the president's past actions and assessing his criminal intent.

Yes. Indeed, it must. X marks the crook, after all.


Earlier this week, the congressional campaign of Abigail Spanberger in Virginia busted one of James O'Keefe's apprentice ratfckers and (politely) ushered her out. On Friday, O'Keefe's fantasy factory produced a video allegedly showing that Beto O'Rourke used campaign money to finance The Caravan. OMIGOD, went the wingnut faithful.

Then, The Texas Tribune came along and, well, the inevitable denouement ensues.

On Thursday night, the controversial conservative group Project Veritas released a nearly 24-minute video featuring undercover footage from the O'Rourke campaign, purporting to show staffers "using campaign resources to buy supplies and help transport Honduran aliens." In a tweet Friday morning, Cruz sought to tie the staffers' actions to the massive migrant caravan that is currently hundreds of miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border and has emerged as a campaign issue in races across the country. Responding to the video Friday morning, O'Rourke's campaign said that the staffers were responding to an unrelated incident last week in which the federal government dropped off over 100 migrants seeking asylum at a bus station in downtown El Paso. The local newspaper said that bus station officials then called Annunciation House, a Catholic nonprofit immigrant shelter.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

O'Keefe rips the lid off charity and basic humanity! Sweetheart, get me rewrite. And a net.

Sen. Ted Cruz Continues His Get Out The Vote Bus Tour Throughout Texas
> Getty ImagesJustin Sullivan

And, of course, Tailgunner Ted Cruz jumped right on this, because when you're desperate and friendless, you'll grab for anything. The problem, of course, is that this kind of thing doesn't get flushed out of the mainstream easily. I wish that weren't the case, but it is.

"Staff members took it upon themselves to use prepaid cards from one of our more than 700 field offices to buy baby wipes, diapers, water, fruit and granola bars, and donate them to a local humanitarian nonprofit (Annunciation House) that helps mothers and children in the community," O'Rourke spokesman Chris Evans said in a statement. "The value was under $300 and it will be appropriately reported to the FEC."

However will the Republic survive. These really are the fcking mole people.


Judges are getting involved again, for good and ill. In North Dakota, a federal judge decided to take the white-out—and I do mean white-out—to the 15th amendment as it pertains to allowing Native Americans to vote. From Slate:

Following Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s narrow victory in 2012, North Dakota’s Republican lawmakers passed a new law requiring voters to present an ID that lists their current residential street address. The measure plainly targeted Native Americans, many of whom live on rural reservations with no street names or residential addresses. Previously, residents could vote with a valid mailing address, allowing rural tribal voters to list their P.O. Box. Now they must provide an ID with their exact residency—something that many Native Americans don’t have and can’t get.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Amazing coincidence, n'est-ce pas?

Despite these roadblocks, Hovland refused to block the law’s application to these unlucky voters and their tribe, Spirit Lake. Hovland conceded that their claims gave him “great cause for concern.” But he cited the Supreme Court’s Purcell principle, which warns lower courts not to alter voting laws shortly before an election due to the risk of voter confusion. In a jab at the 8th Circuit, Hovland noted that the problems highlighted in this lawsuit “were clearly predictable and certain to occur.” Yet because early voting has already begun—and the election is five days away—Hovland concluded that a new injunction “will create as much confusion as it will alleviate.”
Voting In New Hampshire Primary Election
> Getty ImagesBoston Globe
This assertion is difficult to believe. In his earlier ruling, Hovland found that the new law would prevent about 5,000 Native American voters from casting a ballot. Although tribal governments have scrambled to hand out new IDs for free, voters like Terry Yellow Fat have no recourse. The state wrongly insists that Yellow Fat lives in a liquor store, and must use the store’s address to vote—but if he does so, he will break the law, because it is not actually his “fixed permanent dwelling.” It’s hard to see how a narrow order protecting people like Yellow Fat would’ve created any confusion.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Meanwhile, in Georgia, Brian Kemp took another shot in the 'nads in court, when his attempt to fck some rats was, like, totally cock-blocked. From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

In an order filed late Tuesday — a week before Election Day — May said she would not do so. She wrote that granting a stay “would only cause confusion, as Secretary Kemp has already issued guidance in accordance with the injunction to county elections officials.” “The Court finds that the public interest is best served by allowing qualified absentee voters to vote and have their votes counted,” May wrote.

The tactic employed here—make voting difficult and then argue, in court, that untangling the mess you made is too confusing for the fragile little minds of the voters to comprehend—is so dangerously close to the law-school definition of chutzpah that judges seem to be getting fed up with hearing it. In any event, the post-election knife-fighting is going to be intense.

Georgia Secretary of State And Gubernatorial Candidate Brian Kemp Holds Primary Night Event In Athens, Georgia
> Getty ImagesJessica McGowan

Science Marches On: This, from the BBC, arrives just in time, which is to say after I've already had my flu shot.

Science is on the hunt for a way to kill all types of flu, no matter the strain or how much it mutates. That's where the llama, better known for its wool, comes in. The animals produce incredibly tiny antibodies in comparison to our own. Antibodies are weapons of the immune system and they bind to the proteins that stick out from the surface of a virus.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Human antibodies tend to attack the tips of those proteins, but that's the part influenza mutates most readily. Llama antibodies use their size advantage to wriggle a little bit deeper and attack the parts that flu cannot change. The team at the Scripps Institute in California infected llamas with multiple types of flu to provoke an immune response. They then scoured llama blood for the most potent antibodies that could attack a wide range of flu strains. They picked four, and then set about building their own synthetic antibody that used elements from each.

Llamas, though often foul-tempered beasts, are considered adorable by most people. They ought to be able to sell this even to the most fanatical anti-vaxxers, all of whom should be sent to a desert island anyway.

Llamas
> Getty Images

Jesus H. Christ on a morphine drip, I thought we were all worried about opioid deaths. From The Washington Post:

The drug is five to 10 times more potent than pharmaceutical fentanyl. The tiny pill — just three millimeters in diameter — is likely to worsen the nation’s drug crisis, according to critics and the head of the FDA’s advisory committee on painkillers. At the same time, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb issued an unusual statement saying he would seek more authority for the agency to consider whether there are too many similar drugs on the market. That might allow the agency to turn down future applications for new opioid approvals if the drugs are not filling an unmet need. “We need to address the question that I believe underlies the criticism raised in advance of this approval,” Gottlieb wrote. “To what extent should we evaluate each opioid solely on its own merits, and to what extent should we also consider...the epidemic of opioid misuse and abuse that’s gripping our nation?”
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

You think? We should declare a moratorium on this administration until we figure out what the hell is going on.


No, go away.

You, too.


Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "High Sheriff Of Calhoun Parish" (Tony Joe White): Yeah, I pretty much still love New Orleans. (Also, RIP, TJW. Hell on guitar he was, and a great storyteller. Outlaw Country on Sirius/XM ran a long interview with him that got me through the mountains of Tennessee last week.)

Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archives: Here's folks voting in 1964. A heavy turnout was expected. Lyndon got re-elected—or, elected, actually—and the Democratic Party managed veto-proof majorities in both house of the Congress. I repeat, a heavy turnout was expected. Anyway, I have no idea why the cameraman decided to stalk that one woman in the fur stole, but I hope she whacked him with her handbag on the way out.


Raw Story brings us someone who seems...nice.

He identified his enemies as CNN, George Soros, Hillary Clinton, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, whom he referred to as “Pocahontas” — and was the only foe Spaeth named that had not been sent a mail bomb that same week, allegedly by another Trump supporter, Cesar Sayoc. “They want to turn America into a socialistic country,” Spaeth said. “It’s disgusting.” The reporter asked Spaeth how far he would be willing to take his hatred, and he told Pilkington he would gladly — and violently — turn on his sister, a liberal who votes Democratic.
“If there is a civil war in this country and you were on the wrong side,” Spaeth said he told his sister, “I would have no problem shooting you in the face.” The reporter asked if he was joking, and Spaeth insisted he was serious. “No, I am not,” he said. “I love my sister, we get on great. But she has to know how passionate I am about our president.”
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

This election can't end fast enough, and 2020 is already looking worse.

Authorities Arrest Suspect In Serial Mail Bombing Case In South Florida
> Getty ImagesJoe Raedle

Over the last couple years, I have got involved with a great group called Irish Stand, an organization of the children and grandchildren of the Irish diaspora that supports this generation of immigrants at this difficult time for them. The founder,

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, a member of the Irish Senate, has launched a podcast that's worth a listen, as long as he doesn't start talking about those Dublin GAA jackeens. Also more than worth a listen is a new CD, Live To Love, by Niamh Hyland, who's also heavily involved in Irish Stand, and Michael Brunnock. Blog says check it all out.

Is it a good day for dinosaur news, Smithsonian? It's always a good day for dinosaur news!

In spite of their diversity, bird eggs derive their color from just two pigments: protoporphyrin, which produces a reddish-brown color, and biliverdin, which creates blue and green. Last year, a team led by Yale palaeontologist Jasmina Wiemann discovered these two pigments in the fossilized eggs of an oviraptor, a small, bird-like dinosaur. As part of a new study, published recently in the journal Nature, Wiemann and her colleagues expanded their research to include eggshells from 15 Cretaceous dinosaurs and extinct birds, along with the eggs of living birds like chickens, emus and terns, reports John Pickrell of Science.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
The researchers relied on a non-destructive technique called Raman microspectroscopy, which involved bouncing lasers off the eggshells to map their molecular composition. The team detected the pigments protoporphyrin IX and biliverdin5 in the eggs of both modern birds and eumaniraptoran dinosaurs, among them the Velociraptor, which are ancient ancestors of today’s birds. Not only that, the researchers could see that some eumaniraptoran eggs were spotted and speckled. The pigments were even found at the same depths from the shell’s surface as the eggs of modern birds. “We have, very likely, a single evolutionary origin of egg color,” Wiemann tells NPR’s Nell Greenfieldboyce.

Brightly colored eggs? Also, I get to include the word eumaniraptoran on the blog? Tell me again that dinosaurs didn't live then to make us happy now.


You may have noticed that some changes have come to the shebeen. I've been delighted by the reaction so far. Without this community of gobshites and bastids, the last two years might have been unbearable. You are all of great value. Hang in there with us, OK?

I'm off to Kansas, where I'm going to ride out the election, because not only is Kansas the home of Kris Kobach, the Napoleon of ratfcking under the color of law, but because, even more than Wisconsin, Kansas was the lab rat for bad conservative ideas under the plagued hand of former governor Sam Brownback. If there is going to be a general revulsion against everything that's happened to the country since 2008, it's Kansas where it ought to happen, god knows. Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snake line, and drive someone to the polls, singing.

Source : https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a24569379/watergate-roadmap-documents-released-richard-nixon/

The Watergate Roadmap Is a Reminder Honorable People in Government Can Make All the Difference
The NSA Speech: Obama Accepts the Logic of Staying Terrorized
On the Record Interview with Chief Judge Paul Michel, Part 1
Gonzo post-game
The Deep State Goes to War With President-Elect, Using Unverified Claims, as Democrats Cheer
'The Abrams Report' for May 31
Courting the veteran vote
Are We Rome? Not yet, but We're Getting There
Raw Data: Text of Bush Remarks