Gym Jordan’s Fake Whistleblowers; Debt Ceiling Talks Crash

Republicans walked out of debt ceiling talks this morning, saying the White House isn’t being “reasonable.” I am hoping the White House is seriously considering some 14th Amendment option to just ignore Congress and give Treasury a go-ahead to borrow money as needed to pay debts. Don’t wait for a court ruling; just do it.

Do watch this segment from The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell from last night. He goes on a bit long at the beginning, so if you want to skip the first four or five minutes that’s okay. Just be sure to watch it to the end.

Gym Jordan is running his “protect Donald Trump from facing the law” committee like the petty, pissant tyrant that he is, ignoring House rules and making up his own rules as he goes along. He is trying to freeze Democrats on his committee out of participating in it, obviously. See also Steve Benen, Jim Jordan is inadvertently discrediting his own case against the FBI and Jim Jordan Freaks Out When Dem Confronts Him With House Rules by Justin Baragona at Daily Beast.

Part of Jordan’s problem is that his “whistleblowers” don’t meet the legal definition of whistleblower. He seems to think he can just designate somebody as a “whisleblower” as needed. His FBI “whistleblowers” are ex-employees who were terminated for various misconducts. Nikki Ramirez writes in Rolling Stone,

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-Ohio) claims he has testimony from “dozens” of whistleblowers who’ve provided him with proof that the FBI is unfairly persecuting conservatives. This doesn’t actually seem to be the case.

The first three of these witnesses whose testimony Jordan received were not really “whistleblowers,” but disaffected former FBI employees receiving financial backing from former President Trump’s ally and advisor Kash Patel. None of them have been given whistleblower protection status by the Department of Justice. 

Jordan held a hearing of the Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on Thursday that featured two of these witnesses. During the hearing, Rep. Daniel Goldman (D-N.Y.) confronted suspended FBI agent Garret O’Boyle and former agent Steve Friend as to whether they had received payments from Patel. Both admitted they had. …

… Friend was suspended by the FBI after refusing to participate in cases related to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. He was also one of three agents who had their security clearances revoked by the FBI, in his case for having “espoused an alternative narrative about the events at the U.S. Capitol” and downloading documents to “an unauthorized removable flash drive.” 

During questioning, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D- Va.) displayed tweets from the witnesses espousing conspiracy theories about the Capitol riot, including that undercover federal agents had been responsible for the attack. 

So yeah, it’s a mess.

16 thoughts on “Gym Jordan’s Fake Whistleblowers; Debt Ceiling Talks Crash

  1. The piece by O'Donald was inspired.  I repeat, for the vast majority of republicans, their job and the only job they are capable of doing in government is to get out of the way and let it work.  If the 14th must be invoked, then get it done.  At this point no good faith negotiations appear possible. nbsp; 

  2. At some point in time, having political parties* using the debt ceiling as a hostage will have to stop.

    This country can't keep going through this. 

    We look like feckin' morons!

    Why not not use the 14th Amendment and do it now? 

    Do it now, rather than after a global recession/depression!

    Let the RepubliKKKLANs take Biden to court. 


    Why not?!?

    If they do sue, it's going to be pretty obvious to everyone by not agreeing to go along with the Constitution's demand that the POTUS pay the bills of prior Congresses, that the RepubliKKKLAN Party would rather throw America's and the world's economies into states of uncertainty and chaos.

    Using the 14th Amendment will have to be used for this debt ceiling nonsense eventually.

    No better time than now: 2023!!!

    *Yeah, I know only the RelubliKKKLANs have used it as a hostage, but I didn't want to sound too partisan. 

    • Isn't this the process their hero, donnie, goes through?  He gets the work then has a controversy over paying, even to not paying.  It seems to be the repuke way of doing business these days.

  3. If I had a child.

    And that child was stupid.

    And ignorant.

    And mean.

    And bigoted.

    I'd tell that child not to worry about their career prospects.

    I'd steer that child into RepubliKKKLAN politics.

    If that child is stupid, ignorant, mean, and bigoted enough, s/he could lead a House committee.

    And you never know.

    If s/he was stupider, more ignorant, meaner, and more bigoted than all of the other RepubliKKKLANs, s/he could be their presidential candidate!

    I'd be so (NOT!) proud.


  4. I'm mildly optimistic that we won't default, but it will be a nail-biter until it's resolved. Biden has a number of options, even if they've never been used before. Plus Dems are working behind the scenes on a discharge petition, but peeling off 5 Republicans to sign it probably won't happen until the last minute. Patience is called for, and so is prayer. It's far more powerful than people think. Our country and its leaders need prayer.

    Ditto for the prosecution of Donald Trump. Harry Litman said that Trump's performance (shall we say) on CNN may mean that the MAL documents case might be tried in DC instead of Florida, which is home to corrupt judges like Aileen Cannon and millions of MAGA jurors. Until he made his incriminating statements on a national stage (CNN), the case most likely would've stayed in Florida, says Harry. Thank-you, CNN!

    I'm so looking forward to MAGA world implode, when the big indictments start coming out. Gym Jordan and especially MGT will look more and more ridiculous, especially after her "Impeach Joe Biden" performance. Queen of the Karens, enjoy your 15 minutes of fame.




    • Plus Dems are working behind the scenes on a discharge petition, but peeling off 5 Republicans to sign it probably won't happen until the last minute. 

      If it happens at all; they could not get one republican, even though several have said Santos deserves to be kicked out, to support a vote that would have led to just that.  Going against the party line means more than ostracization and funding getting pulled; it now means death threats and Fox News attacks, and there are 221 cowards in the GQP caucus who'd rather do the wrong thing than face up to that.

  5. @gulag – I was fired from a job 18 years ago, over an "I've had enough" email I sent to a bullying right wing coworker. I had suffered his nonsense (during the Shrub years) for seven long years. It took me 10 years to reenter the workforce. I tell people I have a PhD in right wing psychology because of this idiot.

    I had to learn to deal with bullies, because I'm fairly certain I did a lot of bullying in former lives. I also realized, that had I been born only 5 years later (1960), and into a slightly different family, I would've become the worst rw a$$hole imaginable. It's helpful if you can see their immature behavior as something you were lucky enough to avoid.

    I'm fairly certain the dimwit coworker will never forget the things I emailed him. I have never gotten into trouble with email since.

  6. "They're representing Donald Trump." Rep Plaskett nailed it.

    At one point, some Republicans danced around the fringes of defending some of the J6 insurrectionists. Trump has gone to a full-throated attack on DOJ for locating, investigating, arresting, and prosecuting his insurrectionist army. Since then, there's been a full-court press to conflate the confinement of the most violent J6 suspects (pre-trial) with the gentle treatment the non-violent trespassers of J6 received. The fact is – if DOJ could not prove with pics that a participant in J6 was part of the assault, they weren't detained and generally got a light slap by pleading to a misdemeanor. Even those who got off lightly were seriously affected – their participation became public locally. In some cases, they lost jobs. In other cases, their businesses were adversely affected. They had to spend on lawyers to try to minimize their exposure to more serious charges. All of them found out that the game was taken seriously by federal prosecutors with the resources to play hardball. Which has impacted the recruitment of new insurrectionists.

    Trump wants to make martyrs of these clowns – most of them were idiots, called out to provide a smoke screen for the serious insurrectionists who are facing years in jail. IMO, there was a plan – it wasn't spontaneous for the para-military and political operatives who understood the objectives. I think (and there is no proof of this.) that they wanted to commit murder and take hostages. When all of Congress was out of reach, and only AFTER they were out of reach, Trump called off the attack. 

    Jordan and Trump are trying to legitimize J6. If they can discredit the convictions of hundreds of J6 traitors, they hope to cast doubt on the prosecution of Trump. This is all, ultimately, about protecting Trump. Part of this is personal, based on personal loyalty but IMO, it has to do with the fate of the movement. If Trump crashes, so does Trumpism. Many of the faithful are loyal to TRUMP, not just Trumpism. Otherwise, DeSantis would be rising in the polls. 

    Their first choice is if nobody brings (more) criminal charges. Their second choice is if all charges are withdrawn without prosecution. Third is if all criminal prosecutions can be delayed until after the election – with the hope that Trump wins, or takes the presidency by deception and fraud, or takes the presidency by insurrection. In all three cases,  if Trump can, expect Trump to suspend the Constitution and prohibit his own prosecution. (I believe this would fail – even this USSC would strike down such actions. I suspect the DOJ would refuse the orders of Trump's AG regarding any orders that violate their oath to the Constitution. But that's the plan, I think.) 

    If Trump is convicted repeatedly, as I think is likely, he may flee the country to avoid prison. This leaves the MAGA movement with no figurehead. Trump will claim the mantle, and many followers will cling to the idea that Trump will return like Christ (and about as quickly.) Ambitious politicos like DeSantis and Cruz will claim to be perfect stand-ins, understudies for Trump. Trump will reject them as AntiChrist fakes and the movement will tear at itself. Hopefully, with AR-15s.

    The GOP politicos might recognize that they are at a dead-end in a graveyard that stretches in all directions forever for as long as they are married to fascism and Turmpism. IF – and I said if – the USA affirms a commitment to democracy (defined as respect for the will of the majority, with protections for the rights of the minority) then Trumpism should be sidelined – rejected by Democrats  AND by the GOP. I'm suggesting the GOP will kick out the fascists, white supremacists, anti-semites, and deniers of democracy. It will be the only path back to an elected majority and they will have to do it without the votes of the MAGA movement.

    HOW does the 'new' GOP become relevant without MAGA votes? They look up the principles of the old-time religion. Low taxes, small government, and limited interference in the private sector. There are conservative-leaning women who want their rights to control their own bodies. There are Hispanics who lean (or leaned) conservative until the GOP came after them. There's a ton of non-bigoted independent voters who aren't comfortable as Democrats. So a party that rejects MAGA (and those voters) has to move to the middle to establish a competitive status in elections. They will be for the ERA and for Dreamers. They will be for a sane immigration policy that provides enough workers to support the US agriculture and construction industries. (Watch what happens to florida ag with the new DeSanos demonization of undocumented workers. Stuff will rot on the vine and in trees.) 

    This is a viable outcome of history that's unfolding right in front of us now. Gym Jordan is facing obscurity after 2024 when Trump either retreats, leaving the movement in chaos, or is imprisoned for crimes we know he committed. The MAGA movement simmered for decades, waiting for a charismatic figurehead – Trump. The movement is about to be beheaded and will self-destruct as petty wanna-bes rip each other apart in a cage match for Trump's throne (that Trump will claim he occupies, even from Moscow.)

    The point being – Jordan and the Freedom Caucus realize that if Trump is taken down by multiple criminal convictions, the MAGA movement will decline, fail, and consume itself. The public decapitation of Trump is the death of Trumpism. 

    • IF you are correct about tRump fleeing the country, I am sure that he will declare himself "president in exile".  I find no evidence that his cult will not believe him.

  7. My nominee for best quote of the week; "Come on CNN, y'all trippin' now", Jamaal Bowman, Democratic congressional rep from NY, love it!

    About "white supremacist" being declared a slur by MTG, I'm trying to come up with acceptable alternatives; "ultra caucasian" is all I've got so far.  Reminds me of a bumper sticker from long ago, "Honk If You're Honk-y".

    • Marge is wrong of course, as usual.  The equivalent to "white supremacist" might be "black nationalist" and calling a black person that is not the same as and may even be the complete opposite of "n*****".  Imagine if Marge, who is, by definition, a white supremacist, called a black person a black nationalist, the response might be, "and your point is?"  But if said Marge called that same said black person a "n*****" the effect, impact and response will be totally different, and definitely not positive.  

      Marge, once again, herself, made the best argument against herself.  As usual.

  8. Great comments above!

    I just want to say that, as a former Virgin Islander, I am incredibly proud of Stacy Plaskett.  Every time I see her in action, I wish we had a thousand more like her.  All of my old friends from the USVI feel the same way.

  9. @Doug- you articulated a thought that's been kicking around in my head, that brought back a quote from "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" –

    "Cut off the head and the body will die" – To me this is the most likely scenario. Of course Trump will want to flee the country, but he'll have to outwit the FBI, who I suspect are well trained for this scenario. I think of Trump crony Peter Navarro who was nabbed at the airport.

  10. What I recently read on "The Hill" from comments from Biden on Sunday is that the 14th Amendment is an option. The question is how litigation (almost certain) would impact averting a disaster. The Hill said the comments "were Biden’s strongest to date on the 14th Amendment…" 

    Comments from somewhere else (I forget the source) from Biden were that MAGA extremists would crash the economy to prevent Biden's re-election regardless. My opinion is that Biden wants a legislative fix before a default happens.

    I think Biden will offer McCarthy a few face-saving concessions and call the deal 'bipartisan' if McCarthy will back off from the hostage-taking. No matter what Biden offers, the Freedom Caucus (most of them) will vote against raising the debt ceiling. So the only way to pass a compromise is if some Dems in the House (perhaps quite a few) will vote with the Republicans and McCarthy.

    The more Biden gives up, the harder it will be to get Dems to go along. The less Biden gives up, the more Republicans will revolt against McCarthy, to the degree that McCarthy will need Dems to vote to keep him in the Speaker's chair when the Freedom Caucus demands his removal. 

    There's two demands that caught my eye as campaign fodder. The GOP is demanding to extend the Trump tax cuts past the automatic sunset date (expiration) which would happen in 2025? 26? Soon enough that the donor class is freaking. The second demand is a denial of an option to allow the feds to negotiate in purchasing drugs. We're being gouged by big pharma and there's billions in savings by a simple change in the law. These two illustrate how the GOP is captive to big business in all of this.

    I wish Biden would require (after Monday) that negotiations continue but that they be televised so the public can see the real negotiating positions of both sides. (Who wants to be the first to remind me that I'm delusional if not suffering from flashbacks.)

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