Oklahoma schools chief shared misleading TikTok. It led to bomb threats

Oklahoma Democrats are demanding that Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters be subjected to an impeachment probe due to fallout from his hate- and disinformation-filled social media posts. In a statement, they called on the Republican speaker of the House to investigate possible charges against Walters, and said, ”The safety of Oklahoma’s students and families depends on changes to the current situation.”

Walters recently retweeted a selectively cropped TikTok video posted by the hatemonger and conwoman behind a social media account called Libs of TikTok. The video showed a Union Public School District librarian Kirby Mackenzie with an overlay reading, “POV: teachers in your state are dropping like flies but you are still just not quite finished pushing your woke agenda at the public school.” Walters retweeted the post, adding: “The liberal media denies the issue. Even some Republicans hide from it. Woke ideology is real and I am here to stop it.”

That led to bomb threats on six consecutive days.

Of course, Libs of TikTok had cropped the original video to exclude the caption, which provided crucial context. The excluded text read, “My radical agenda is teaching kids to love books and be kind hbu?? I think I’m going to make one of these every year until i die or end my teaching era.” Mackenzie also included an emoji showing two hands making the shape of a heart.

RELATED STORY: Oklahoma school head wants to leave race out of the Tulsa Race Massacre

Libs of TikTok’s account is operated by Chaya Raichik. There were good reasons Raichik’s account was suspended multiple times by what was then called Twitter, but it has found a new life being amplified on the X platform by billionaire Elon Musk. While Raichik’s bread and butter is spreading hate and endangering the lives of the LGBTQ+ community by harassing and doxxing educators she doesn’t agree with, she isn’t just homophobic: She’s bigoted across the board. Her recent work characterizing a get-together for families of color at an Oakland elementary school as some kind of attack on white people led to bomb threats at that school, as well.

The chances that the Republican supermajority in Oklahoma opens up an impeachment probe into Walter for helping provoke bomb threats against 16,000 Oklahoma children are nil. Republican House Speaker Charles McCall told NBC News, “Impeachment is not something that should be taken lightly, and the call by a group of House Democrats seems to be more of a ready, fire, aim approach.”

Before Walters sicced the world’s most grotesque social media account on Oklahoma’s children, he was openly posting about his intentions to defy Supreme Court decisions separating church and state in order to fund private religious schools. He recently embarrassed himself by trying to talk about Oklahoma history while pretending that race had nothing to do with the Tulsa Race Massacre.

He has spent his political career as a theocratic culture warrior. Unsurprisingly, he has been saving his biggest attacks for the predominantly Black Tulsa Public Schools system by threatening to take away its accreditation. Tulsa Public Schools is the largest school district in the state.

Here’s a video posted by davidhth showing Tulsa Public Schools Board President Stacey Woolley’s public statement about the matter.

Ryan Walters accusing teachers of a woke agenda is stirring hatred. Today, there was a third bomb threat after Walters retweeted a TikTok video made by a Tulsa librarian as a joke. Here TPS board president Stacey Woolley pleads with him to stop. A lawmaker wants him impeached. pic.twitter.com/JQNafK2SIj

— David Heath (@davidhth) August 24, 2023

And the posts that gave domestic terrorists a target for their anger.

OK’s state superintendent shared a doctored video of an OK librarian. who joked about pushing a woke agenda. The doctored video cut out the caption-“my radical liberal agenda is teaching kids to love books & be kind.” The district received bomb threats for 6 consecutive days. https://t.co/OtkRVYPyOp pic.twitter.com/dkh1RzI1GN

— Laura Burkhardt 🧡 (@LauraAnnSTL) August 30, 2023

Sign the petition: Stop book bans.

The far-right justices on Wisconsin's Supreme Court just can't handle the fact that liberals now have the majority for the first time in 15 years, so they're in the throes of an ongoing meltdown—and their tears are delicious. On this week's episode of "The Downballot," co-hosts David Nir and David Beard drink up all the schadenfreude they can handle as they puncture conservative claims that their progressive colleagues are "partisan hacks" (try looking in the mirror) or are breaking the law (try reading the state constitution). Elections do indeed have consequences!

Gov Kemp says special session to remove DA Willis isn’t going to happen

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp says ill-fated attempts by state Republicans to call a special session to remove Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis are not going to work.

Kemp made the comments during a press conference on Thursday, saying it has nothing to do with his personal feelings surrounding the district attorney's case against former President Trump.

"Up to this point, I have not seen any evidence that DA Willis's actions or lack thereof warrant action by the prosecuting attorney oversight commission. As long as I'm governor, we are going to follow the law and the Constitution — regardless of who it helps politically," Kemp said.


In a letter to the governor filed earlier this month, State Sen. Colton Moore claimed to have the support of "3/5 of each respective house" in the state legislature regarding his efforts to impeach Willis.

Moore, in a statement to Fox News Digital, later admitted that the statement in the letter alluding to having a majority in both houses was not accurate.

"We have a law in the state of Georgia that clearly outlines the legal steps that can be taken if constituents believe their local prosecutors are violating their oath by engaging in unethical or illegal behavior," Kemp said Thursday at the press conference.


Since Moore's stunt, other state Republicans have demanded similar obstructions to the Georgia case against Trump with similar lack of success.

Willis filed a motion Tuesday afternoon asking the Fulton County, Georgia, judge presiding over the case against former President Trump and 18 others to expedite the trial.

All 19 defendants – Trump, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, his former attorneys Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, Kenneth Chesebro, and others – are being tried together on charges related to Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. 

Willis’ motion asks that the defendants be given a deadline to be able to sever themselves from the larger case.

"The State of Georgia further respectfully requests that the Court set a deadline for any Defendant wishing to file a motion to sever, allow the parties, including the State of Georgia, sufficient time to brief the severance issue, and hold a hearing on any filed motion to sever so that the Court may consider the factors set forth in Cain and its progeny, as required by Georgia law," the motion states.

Fox News Digital's Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.

The GOP ‘once saw their roles as legislators first and Republicans second.’ Trump has destroyed that

One of the many characteristics of The First Former President to be Indicted (Twice Thrice, Four Freaking Times, for now) is that he sucks all the oxygen out of the room of our national public discourse (not to mention that he just sucks in general). Another is that he’s a fascist who’d destroy our democracy without a second thought in order to save his own skin, but we’ll leave that aside for a moment. This chaos agent’s actions reverberate throughout our politics in a way no American figure has before—not even Richard Nixon, who resigned from the presidency in disgrace in the aftermath of Watergate.

That scandal brings to mind another comparison between then and now, namely how differently leading Republicans, in particular those in Congress, have reacted to the leader of their party facing investigation and accountability for his behavior. Let me start with a little hint: The Trumpist Republicans of today don’t come out of this comparison looking very good.

RELATED STORY: House Republicans swiftly act to obstruct on Trump’s behalf

After The Man Who Lost an Election and Tried to Steal it made his first court appearance and entered a plea in response to the deadly serious national security-related charges brought by special counsel Jack Smith in the classified documents case, we saw responses from a broad array of Republican officials. Overall, it ain’t pretty. The same goes for the responses to the Jan. 6-related Trump indictments as well as to the indictments in Georgia offered by most of the Republicans running, in theory at least, against Trump for the GQP presidential nomination, along with other top members of the Trumpist party.

who is speaking out?

There are some exceptions, no doubt, including Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Bill Cassidy, and Mitt Romney, Rep. Don Bacon, and Gov. Chris Sununu. Within the Republican presidential field only several have spoken out strongly, but none of them exactly qualify as a frontrunner. Chris Christie said Trump “has been a one-man crime wave. Look, he’s earned every one of [the indictments]. If you look at it, every one of these is self-inflicted.” Will Hurd shared, “Donald Trump is running to stay out of prison.” Asa Hutchinson said, “I have said from the beginning that Donald Trump’s actions on January 6 should disqualify him from ever being president again.” The other candidates have been fairly mealy-mouthed at best (even after the fourth indictment, which caused little change in how they talked about the erstwhile frontrunner), with the Nikki Haley versus Nikki Haley debate being particularly pathetic. Meanwhile, a number of them have stated they’d even pardon the insurrectionist-in-chief.

Given his slavish loyalty along with the completely false presentations in support of his boss he made prior to the 2020 election, the assessments former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr offered on the documents case as well as on the Jan. 6 indictments carry perhaps the most weight. However, as Daily Kos’ Laura Clawson so helpfully reminds us, he remains a “sleazeball.”

But for the most part, the sycophantic (not to mention dangerous to our democracy) behavior of congressional Republicans is both awful and yet exactly what you’d expect, in particular from the MAGA caucus over in the House. It doesn’t get much more moronic than Barely Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was asked whether it was perhaps problematic that the disgraced former president was knowingly storing national security secrets next to the toilet. He replied that “a bathroom door locks.” (Hey, Kev, you know it only locks from the inside, right?) Looks like he’s locked the remnants of his integrity behind such a door and has thrown away the key. Additionally, his comments regarding the Jan. 6 indictments were less laughable, but if anything more cynical.

Regarding the attempt by McCarthy and the other Trump stooges to attack the indictment by drawing false parallels to investigations of President Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton, Jesse Wegman of The New York Times thoroughly dismantled that malarkey one bald-faced lie at a time. What’s so harmful is that Trump—the most prodigious liar in American history—has set a precedent that Republicans who lie will never be punished by their own party. Would there have been a George Santos or a shady grifter like Vivek Ramaswamy in our politics if there hadn’t already been a Donald Trump, who has led with lies and deceit right from the start of his public career?

Moving forward, will we see more members of what remains of the Party of Trump actually reject their pro-crime, anti-law enforcement stance and turn on their leader as more evidence comes into public view? That’s a key question for the present.

looking to the past

But how about the past? Specifically, how did Republicans measure up on that very question a half-century ago, the last time a president from their party behaved criminally and put our constitutional democracy at risk? To start with, it's not as simple as saying that Republicans back then immediately turned on Nixon once reporting made clear by spring 1973 that the White House was engaged in a cover-up. However, during the following year, two profoundly important developments took place.

First, Republicans in the House backed the impeachment inquiry's subpoena efforts. Nixon had claimed that executive privilege gave him the right to withhold recordings of Oval Office conversations along with other relevant evidence. Michigan Republican Rep. Edward Hutchinson, the ranking member of his party on the House Judiciary Committee that ultimately voted to impeach Nixon, utterly rejected such a claim, stating that “executive privilege, in the face of an impeachment inquiry, must fail.”

Rep. Edward Hutchinson said “executive privilege, in the face of an impeachment inquiry, must fail.”

The House agreed overwhelmingly, and in a vote of 410-4 (!) gave the committee the authority to subpoena whatever it felt necessary. The four no votes were all Republican. Those subpoenas resulted in the production of the tapes that ultimately brought down a president. Second, when that overwhelming evidence came out, House and Senate Republicans assessed it fairly and told Nixon he had to go.

Garrett Graff, who wrote the recent book “Watergate: A New History,” offered the following summary to The New York Times: “In 1972 to 1974, the Republicans participated as good-faith members of the process. They saw their roles as legislators first and Republicans second.” Regarding the charges leveled against a president from their own party, “they definitely were skeptical” at first; however, ultimately “they followed the facts where they led.”

One separate but related point of comparison concerns the media. During Watergate, most Americans got their information from outlets that reported, well, the news. Now a good chunk of Republican voters soak up propaganda from sources like Fox, which just this June shamelessly and without any factual basis for doing so characterized the elected president of the United States as a “wannabe dictator.” (At least the producer who was responsible resigned three days later, but the damage was done.) That’s not good for our democracy.

Getting back to the politicians, Garrett further explained that when Nixon’s own second-in-command, then-Vice President Spiro Agnew, went after his boss’ enemies, he focused his ire “mainly against the press, not the F.B.I. or the special prosecutor.” Trump, on the other hand, has assailed our entire system of justice. He called Jack Smith a “deranged lunatic” and a “psycho;” referred to “the ‘Thugs’ from the Department of Injustice;” slandered Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who filed the charges against him in Georgia, by calling her a racist; and attacked Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the Jan. 6 case, as “highly partisan” and “VERY BIASED AND UNFAIR.” Ohio State law professor Joshua Dressler stated, “This could be interpreted as an attempt to intimidate Judge Chutkan.” Not even the Nixon White House went that far. Trump’s allies have shown themselves to be equally erratic—he sets the example and others follow it blindly—with Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona going all the way to no sense left at all.

Defund and dismantle the FBI.

— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) May 15, 2023

Beyond Biggs, we’ve already seen violent rhetoric spewing forth from Trump supporters, along with threats of violence credible enough to lead to criminal charges. Unfortunately we can expect more of this as his trials move forward. Fuck a L’Orange himself has already incited one violent insurrection, and that was just to keep his day job. Do we really think he’ll hold back when the stakes are a prison sentence? That’s one punishment he won’t be able to buy his way out of.

but what about the democrats?

Because we’ve discussed Republicans acting in a bipartisan fashion during Watergate and contrasted that against the overwhelming majority of Republicans in the Trump era, it’s important to also address how Democrats acted during the investigation and impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. First, yes, Democrats were unified in opposing Clinton’s impeachment and removal from office, but there are fundamental differences between what happened then and what Trump has done over the past few years.

Most importantly, Clinton was investigated for private behavior. Trump (and Nixon), on the other hand, were investigated and, in the Tangerine Palpatine’s case, impeached for abuses of office that rendered them unfit to serve (though Trump obviously has some private behavior he’s on the hook for as well). Both demonstrated themselves to be threats to the rule of law.

Second, Robert Fiske, the initial, nonpartisan special counsel assigned to investigate Clinton, was unjustly removed by a panel of Republican judges and replaced by hyper-partisan Ken Starr. Fiske had at that point already concluded that there was no criminality in the Whitewater or Vince Foster cases, which happened to be the matters he was charged with investigating. Republicans in the House ultimately impeached Clinton over wrongdoing that would never have occurred without Starr coming in and forcing him to testify under oath.

Democrats were right to vote against impeachment and conviction there because not only did Clinton’s behavior, wrong though it was, not rise to the level of necessitating the overturning of the will of the people, the Starr process was partisan from the start. And the American public consistently agreed with the Democrats’ stance. In other words, just as Republicans acted on the side of our Constitution by working with Democrats during Watergate, Democrats did likewise by opposing Republicans during the Starr/Clinton business.

Getting back to the current cast of characters, Jackie Calmes wrote a year ago that Trump-era Republicans—as well as the Republican voters who keep rewarding them in primary elections—had already failed the American people by letting Trump off the hook for the unconscionable crimes he committed while in office. Will they, as a party, take this final opportunity provided by Smith and Willis to redeem themselves? Don’t hold your breath.

Here’s one thing we can say about how leading Republicans acted in Nixon’s time—a time when, as Calmes pointed out, “the truth had a common meaning to both parties.” Back then they knew when the game was up, and they made sure Nixon wouldn’t end up being able to raise $7 million for another White House run off a mugshot.

RELATED STORY: Here's what you need to know ahead of a historic mugshot

putting democracy over partisanship

Were Watergate-era Republicans in Congress reading the political tea leaves? They couldn’t ignore them, that’s for sure (and neither will the Republicans of 2023, many of whom will only turn on Trump if and when it suits them politically). But beyond the polls, enough Nixon-era Republicans at least recognized the gravity of what their leader, the president of the United States, had done. They were prepared to join with Democrats in Congress to remove him from office. They sealed his political fate. They put democracy over partisanship. Country over party.

On the other hand, when Putin’s puppet got impeached the first time, Mitt Romney was the only Republican senator to vote for conviction. The second time around, he was joined by six others. I guess that represents progress? On the other hand, of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over Jan. 6, only a paltry two made it back into the next Congress. (Four retired, including Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, while four were defeated in GQP primaries.) Either way, I have not a single doubt that in the unimaginable hypothetical circumstance where a Democratic president had behaved exactly as Trump did, every single Republican member of the House would have voted to impeach, and every single Senate Republican would have voted to convict. Oh, and so would have every Democrat in their respective chambers. That’s another pretty damn important point of comparison to make here.

As it stands right now, congressional Republicans have no official responsibility for what becomes of Donald Trump, either criminally or politically. His criminal fate rests in the hands of the folks serving on various juries in Florida, New York, Georgia, D.C., and who knows where else, while his political fate, at least at first, is in the hands of Republican primary voters.

When it comes to moral responsibility, congressional Republicans as a whole showed absolutely none of it when they were charged with assessing whether Fuck a L’Orange should have been impeached and removed from the presidency. If they had acted responsibly, maybe our country wouldn’t be stuck where we are now: in a room without any oxygen.


 'A dark moment' for the Republican Party

Trump's enablers are turning on each other. Will they turn on him next?

Ian Reifowitz is the author of The Tribalization of Politics: How Rush Limbaugh's Race-Baiting Rhetoric on the Obama Presidency Paved the Way for Trump (Foreword by Markos Moulitsas)

Liberals fight Republican attempt to boot Wisconsin Supreme Court justice from redistricting case

Liberals argued in a legal filing this week that Republicans were trying to nullify the election of a Democratic-backed Wisconsin Supreme Court justice by asking her to recuse herself from hearing redistricting lawsuits that could result in drawing new legislative electoral maps.

Attorneys in two separate redistricting cases filed arguments Tuesday objecting to the Republican-controlled Legislature's request that Justice Janet Protasiewicz recuse herself. They argued that there was no legal or ethical obligation for Protasiewicz to step aside, despite her comments during the campaign that she thinks the current maps are “rigged” or because she accepted nearly $10 million from the Wisconsin Democratic Party.

One motion objecting to Protasiewicz's recusal argued that such a move would be unsupported by fact or law and “it would be contrary to her duties as a justice on the Supreme Court.”

“Unhappy with this electoral result, which they could not prevent through gerrymandering, (Republicans) now seek to nullify the results and pick their Justices," said the filing from Law Forward, a Madison-based liberal law firm, the Stafford Rosenbaum law firm, Election Law Clinic at Harvard Law School, Campaign Legal Center, and the Arnold & Porter law firm.

The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature argued in filings last week that Protasiewicz has pre-judged the cases, which could result in new more Democratic-friendly maps being drawn before the 2024 election. Republican legislative leaders have threatened to impeach her if she hears the cases, a move that they have enough votes to do.

Protasiewicz is part of a 4-3 liberal majority on the court, and her election ended a 15-year run of conservative justices in control. Two redistricting lawsuits were filed in the first week after Protasiewicz joined the court on Aug. 1.

Republicans argued in their recusal motion that “Justice Protasiewicz’s campaign statements reveal that her thumb is very much on the scale in this case.”

During her winning campaign, Protasiewicz called the Republican-drawn maps “unfair” and “rigged” and said there needs to be “a fresh look at the gerrymandering question.” Protasiewicz never said how she would rule on a redistricting lawsuit.

Protasiewicz did not make any “pledges or promises” about how she would rule, which would require recusal, said attorneys in the second redistricting lawsuit representing voters who support Democratic candidates and several members of the Citizen Mathematicians and Scientists.

The U.S. Supreme Court made clear that judicial candidates can discuss political issues, and nothing she said indicates that she has prejudged the case, the attorneys argued.

But her comments have led some Republican state lawmakers, including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, to say that impeachment should be considered if she doesn’t recuse from the cases. He was among the Republicans who filed the motion asking that she step aside from the cases.

It would take only a simple majority vote in the Assembly to impeach Protasiewicz, and a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate to remove her from office. Republicans have a 65-34 majority in the Assembly and a 22-11 majority in the Senate.

Wisconsin’s Assembly districts rank among the most gerrymandered in the country, with Republicans routinely winning far more seats than would be expected based on their average share of the vote, according to an Associated Press analysis.

Both lawsuits ask that all 132 state lawmakers be up for election that year in newly drawn districts. In Senate districts that are midway through a four-year term in 2024, there would be a special election, with the winners serving two years. The regular four-year cycle would resume again in 2026.

The state Supreme Court has yet to decide whether it will hear the redistricting challenges. It is up to Protasiewicz, and not the entire court, to decide whether to recuse herself or hear the cases.

Clarence Thomas definitely not corrupt, say people whose careers he launched

Oh, very big news, everyone. Over 100 former clerks to Justice Clarence Thomas have signed an open letter announcing that Thomas is just great, nothing to see here, no corruption so everyone needs to shut up about that.

Fox “News” is boosting the story, and it helpfully includes the actual letter itself, which is ... wow, a whole lot of not much, actually. In general, when you're defending someone against charges of accepting improper favors from people who, say, purchase his mother's house, fix it up and let her live there rent-free in preparation for turning the site into a museum of Why Clarence Thomas Is Great, you'd want to include some actual defenses.

But the Clarence Thomas Is Great Club skips all of that. Instead, most of the letter is a retelling of Thomas' entire life story. It’s a story of hardship and more hardship and being inspirational until now, finally, he's at the top of the American hierarchy and gets to be friends with people who own yachts.

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"Home was Pin Point, among the Gullah-Geechee and oysters and marshlands. His father left. And a fire took all he had and the shack where he lived." And after a while his grandfather "enrolled him in a Catholic school run by Irish nuns.” Then he went to law school, and "took the road less traveled," which in this case means he "went to work for Republican Jack Danforth in the middle of Missouri.” It's just paragraphs of that rather than anything about the vacations or the yachts or the inability of the Catholic-educated ex-seminary-student-turned-lawyer to properly fill out a gift disclosure form to save his life.

It's all pretty obviously cribbed from a pre-written obituary sitting in a drawer somewhere, but it brings to mind one of the sappier introductions cookbook authors use to tell the story of how they found their favorite recipe.

"When I was seventeen, I was attacked by an ax murderer, who cut off one of my arms. Using the severed arm as a club, I beat him senseless and ran to the nearest house for safety, but the house turned out to be owned by the granddaughter of an old-timey gangster and was haunted by the spirits of three Girl Scouts who refused to let me leave until I purchased all their remaining Thin Mints. After returning home and getting my arm reattached, I was subjected to an IRS audit, which made me so distraught that I drove to the ocean to throw myself off a pier. After tying cement blocks to both feet, I jumped, landing on the sandy seabed. It was there I discovered, lodged between two rocks, the most delightful recipe for this astonishing raspberry tart."

Instead of a recipe, though, the former clerks close the section off with an insistence that this is "a story that should be told in every American classroom, at every American kitchen table, in every anthology of American dreams realized.” I get that some people have endured more hardship than others, but the notion that legal dinosaur Thomas is among the most amazing of them all is the sort of claim that will get your lights punched out during Hagiographers Society bruncheons.

More to the point, as historian Kevin Kruse points out, the letter's focus on Thomas' history rather than his conduct is "a rehash of the Bush White House's plan for his confirmation, what they called 'the Pin Point strategy.'" That makes it sound suspiciously astroturf-y.

Not to worry, though: Just look at the names of the former clerks vouching for Thomas. Among the great American legal minds defending Thomas’ integrity are John Eastman, who is currently under indictment in Florida and listed as co-conspirator in the Jan. 6, 2021 attempted coup, as well as prominent war crime proponent John Yoo. If you can't trust Eastman and Yoo to tell you who's got integrity and who doesn't, there's just no pleasing you.

Anyway, after that we get a paragraph reminiscing about how Thomas is just a damn fine fellow to work with, a real pal. "His chambers become our chambers—a place fueled by unstoppable curiosity and unreturned library books, all to get every case just right," wax his old clerks, just casually dropping an anecdote of the oozing-with-integrity Supreme Court justice who can't even return his library books.

It's only at the tail end of the letter we finally get to some vague references to the rude questions the public keeps asking about Thomas and the rest of the court: "Lately, the stories have questioned his integrity and his ethics for the friends he keeps" is the closest the open letter gets to even hinting at the current scandals.

Well, yes. That's accurate, if impossibly opaque. Outside critics are indeed questioning his integrity because of the friends he keeps, most specifically "friends" who are 1) known conservative megadonors linked with Republicanism's long-term plans for packing the courts with hard-right loyalists like several of Thomas' junior peers, and 2) who started plying him with unusually expensive gifts that include lavish vacations and future Museums of Clarence Thomas only after he was presented with his long black robes.

So, fine, let's turn this around: Where were these Republican yacht owners back when Thomas was in Pin Point, among the Gullah-Geechee? Where were they when his home burned down, or when he was in segregated schools, or when he was doing hard farm work, or in the seminary, or working to gain entry to law school?

Oh. Right. They were nowhere. The billionaire class now giving the Supreme Court justice free yacht rides and renovating his mom's house didn't give a flying shit about Thomas through any of that. It was only when Thomas landed his ass in a position of ultimate American legal authority that boy howdy did he make so many new friends. Very, very rich friends with statuary gardens who would have had their security teams shoot Thomas in the head if he appeared on their property during any time of his life when he was not a Supreme Court justice.

This isn't like returning library books, you know. When you're on the Supreme Court, surrounded by supplicating clerks that have fought tooth and nail to be your own personal servants and who will absolutely return your library books for you if you told them to do it, you're supposed to at least pretend to follow the same ethical guidelines as every other last sodding person in government. Even if you, by a strictly technical reading of the laws, don't really have to.

That one vague sentence is the end of talking about the thing Thomas is actually being criticized for. Then we're back to gauzy references to his life story and how even coup plotters like Eastman and international war crime defenders like Yoo find Thomas just so damn "unimpeachable" that it brings tears to their eyes to think anyone would doubt him.

"A bust of his grandfather—himself raised by a grandmother born into slavery—watches over his office," goes one of the closing lines, a line that's both inspirational and that is a reminder that there are very few families in America who can afford to commission a freakin' bronze bust of a grandparent. But there's no actual content to the letter other than, “He's a great guy to work with,” say the people whose careers he helped start.

Just ask Trump Deputy Legal Adviser John Eisenberg, who moved to improperly classify the transcript of the Trump call to Ukrainian officials that would lead to Trump's first impeachment. Just ask Bush-era waterboarding defender Steven Bradbury, or Harlan Crow-linked 5th Circuit Judge James Ho, the judge who recently made news for a laboriously crackpotty dissenting opinion claiming that Catholic doctors had standing to block abortions they had nothing to do with because they suffer an aesthetic injury when women take mifepristone without their permission.

Yeah. Yeah, let's ask all of these people to vouch for the integrity of the guy getting yacht trips from billionaires, said Clarence Thomas' closest allies. That'll work out great.


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