– Harvard law prof says pack the court or lose everything;

Dr. Jen Gunter – can’t we all agree this GOOP thing is a bad idea?

emptywheel – Prigozhin’s paid trolls prove indictment challenge false;

Steve in Manhattan (@blogenfreude) blogs at and is really looking forward to Orson Welles’s last movie.

Please send tips and link suggestions to MBRU [at] – we check it, we really do!

In Cold Blood

We were going to express our indignation over an American resident being executed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, but then we were reminded of our indignation over a newsroom being shot up, over massacres in schools and churches, over a woman being run down by a neo-Nazi.

We were reminded of our indignation over children being stolen from their parents by our government, and our indignation over our government’s deliberate carelessness in returning them.

We were reminded that our President once bragged he could shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue without losing supporters.

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Crock the Vote

The pretense of government legitimacy in America rests, ultimately, on our right to vote — that as citizens of our republic, we collectively determine who governs us. An election lost can be deeply disheartening — our first presidential ballot was cast in 1980 — but if the loss is fair and square, so be it. Don’t blame us, we voted for the lesser scoundrel.

In many ways, the efficacy of voting, its guarantee of the consent of the governed, is an illusion: A President can achieve office while losing the popular vote. Half the American population is represented by only eighteen senators. House districts can be gerrymandered beyond recognition. The pretense of legitimacy is maintained — people voted! — but the results are engineered to thwart the popular will.

And even voting isn’t left to chance.

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A User’s Guide to Our Illegitimate Government

Come Tuesday, when an unrepentant rapist is sworn into our nation’s highest court, the despotism of our government will be complete.

The President who nominated Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch will have taken office without the consent of a majority of voters.

The Senate majority that confirmed both represents only 46 percent of the population.

And between them, a Supreme Court majority will be established that lasts a generation.

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The Imperial Senate

We didn’t watch. We couldn’t.

There was nothing to be gained from watching. What we could know, we already did — not only about the witnesses, but the circumstances. It was yet another setup, yet another event engineered to provide the appearance of legitimacy without the substance. We couldn’t watch, because we couldn’t participate in yet another sham ritual. We’re done with that.

We couldn’t watch, but we did follow. We followed the responses, followed the reaction, followed the news coverage that accepted the sham as legitimate, which is why we’re done with news coverage, at least political news. We’re too old for this. We know too much.

Here’s what we know: The Senate majority represents 18 percent of Americans.

That is a sham of legitimacy as well.

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I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming.

This is all you need to know about Brett Kavanaugh. He’ll not only incite gang rape but he gets a charge out of muffling the shrieks of his victims. Yeah, baby, Brett loves knowing no one can hear you SCREAM!, exactly the guy we need interpreting the laws of the land.

Ford’s testimony is terrifying for what she doesn’t talk about.

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The Second Time Around

We have been here before, of course. We have been here many times in the past year, and the story always involves power, and the lengths to which people will go to achieve and sustain it.

And if that were the entire story, we could understand it, the corruption of the individual, the stuff of novels and movies. But the real story is never about one person; it is always about the infrastructure of power, the aiders and abettors, people whose silence can be bought, people whose fear keeps them silent, people whose own power depends on staying in line.

This is how you get rape apologists.

This is also how you get traitors.

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