Morning Canary-TNB ICYMI News 2018 Reflections

New Years Canary. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

A very happy New Year’s eve and good morning, TNBer’s! Isn’t Mr. Bird so handsome in his party hat?! Lenny is the absolute bestest ever. He totally indulges me. Read: Suffers me, more like it, but I love him all the more for putting up with my silliness.

So, here we are at the end of another year. Wow. What a rollercoaster ride of a journey it has been. One that has taken us to new heights, with sudden, stomach churning drops, with twists and loops and turns and bends in the tracks only to discover the next new hill around the corner. And just when we are all screaming, “I want off this ride!” O.M.G, here we go again!

What a wild ride life can be.

As we ring out the old, I had to decide, how do we reflect In Case You Missed It News? There is so much of it, here today, gone to tomorrow. Some of it benign, some of it insane rabbit holes. But then I thought, what about those ones we are keeping an eye on?

So on that note, as we get ready to ring in the new, here are three top stories to remember about the Morning Canary will continue to update, ones that I think will continue to have an impact as we board 2019’s rollercoaster.

1. DNC Changes Rules to “Strip” Entrenched Insider Superdelegate Powers

As you’ll recall, the newly elected DNC chair Tom Perez announced this news after the 2018 DNC meeting in Chicago. Politico reported it as being a measure to “strip superdelegates of much of their power in the presidential nominating process, infuriating many traditionalists while handing a victory to the party’s left flank.”

Perez called it, “a big victory for the base of the party,” while former DNC chair Howard Dean said it was seen as “an urgent response to the will of grassroots voters.”

“Under the new rule, superdelegates…will not be allowed to vote on the first ballot at a contested national convention. The change could dramatically re-shape the calculus of future presidential campaigns, rendering candidates’ connections to superdelegates less significant,” Politico reports.

The superdelegates are now only allowed to vote in the first round if the candidate earned enough pledged delegates from their states’ primaries and caucuses.

The News Blender; Aug 27 2018

But is it a ‘big victory?” Is the party’s “left flank” really their “base?” Or is Dean more correct insofar as this is nothing more than paying lip service because it was played off as “an urgent response?”

After all, just as ousted DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz told Jake Tapper in February 2016, ““Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists…”

Considering this new change only comes into effect in the event of a “contested” convention and considering what did not change is their “superdelegates” will still be “free to campaign and endorse” their candidate of choice, they will still have “complete floor access,” and most importantly, they are still “eligible to serve on rules, platform, and credential committees,” I’d posit this is not that significant or “historical” of a change as many of that so-call ‘base’ are being led to believe.

Though, if 2020 does turn out to be a contested nominating convention for them, that is when we will truly see this being put to the test. This is why we’ll continue to keep an eye on this one throughout 2019 (and especially into 2020). The DNC will have another meeting this next summer. No telling what new thing gets “stripped.” Stay tuned.

2. Census Citizenship Question Lawsuits Move Forward

In September, we started following the story of the “six lawsuits over the hotly contest 2020 census citizenship question,” that involved “on going legal battles which included more than two dozen states and cities. This involved them suing the Census Bureau and the Commerce Department about the details surrounding Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ decision to reinstate the citizenship question to the upcoming decennial questionnaire that has not appeared on a Census survey since 1950.

In case you missed it, you can catch up with the whole convoluted and sorted story, then with the updates, here, here, here, here and most recent, here.

This is definitely going to be one to continue to watch as majorly significant, and, more importantly, as telling cases as things continue to come out. Mainly, that this was a preconceived Steven Miller and Steve Bannon idea from the very beginning and could end up putting a black eye back on the United States.

Machinations, shenanigans and lies continue to be exposed, as well as dragging a lot of people down with them. Good people’s reputations may be ruined here if it continues to unfold that DOJ lawyers are allowing themselves to be pawns in the dirty dealings going on in this administration.

This specific question was removed 1950 for a very specific reason.

Here is a sobering thought that came out of closing arguments yesterday. Much has been made about the fact that the citizenship question was taken out in 1950 and has not been included since that time.

“Arguing for the American Civil Liberties Union, Arnold & Porter attorney John Freedman invoked other troubling background surrounding the survey.”

““We have a history in this country of misusing census data,” Freedman said, citing its use to enact Japanese internment in the 1940s.”

“Though the United States added confidentiality protections to the census after World War II to prevent such an abuse from happening again, trial evidence showed that fear that the data would be shared with law enforcement ran strong in Latino communities.””

The News Blender: Nov 28 2018

Before it was publicly known that Ross lied in his Congressional hearing, before it was known Jeff Sessions knew he lied, before a lot of things continue to be publicly known, and especially before it was known Miller and Bannon had their dirty hands involved in this, I posited from the beginning: “That little gutter rat would absolutely use Census info and send ICE after whoever his black heart decided.”

We will continue to keep an eye on this. Stay tuned.

3. The Road Map to Nixon & National Archives Release Road Map to Nixon

This story has potential significance to follow because speculation continues about whether or not Special Counsel Robert Mueller will write a report of his findings and how that would be released, to Congress or to the public?

In September’s story, Lawfare’s Stephen Bates, Jack Goldsmith and Benjamin Wittes “filed a petition … to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia” and asked the court to unseal what is known as the “Road Map,” “one of the few significant pieces of Watergate history that remains unavailable to the public.”

This was one of two cases going on.

On Oct 11, Politico reported, in a separate request made by Geoffrey Shepard, “a California lawyer who serve as a member of Nixon’s defense team” who has been trying since 2011 to have information about the Nixon grand jury’s activities unsealed, “Chief U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell granted a request Thursday to unseal a large chunk of the so-called road map that a federal grand jury in Washington sent to the House Judiciary Committee in early 1974.”

The News Blender; Oct 16 2018

The Road Map, they explain, is what then Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski and his office wrote as the referral for impeachment he filed to the House, who had already started impeachment proceedings.

Bates wrote in September they believe the road map is a significant piece of history that not only has historical relevance, but is “also keenly relevant to current discussions of how Mueller should proceed,” and argued, “it was time for it to see the light of day.”

It wasn’t that the Road Map itself was a secret, but the contents the report contained were. It’s a legal battle being fought now, testing if judges have the right to release grand jury inquiry findings. But what is still at question, how does that report get released, and to whom? Can it be made public? If our Constitution charges that impeachment proceedings of a sitting president have to begin in the House, specifically to the House Judiciary Committee, but grand jury findings are secret how are those findings released to aid Congress in its own investigation if they find themselves charged with such an incident, as was the case in the Nixon investigation?

The News Blender; Nov 2 2018

Judge Howell’s order instructed the U.S. Archives to release what is known as the “road map,” to make public what amounted to “a two-page summary statement, followed by 53 individually numbered statements, as well as their 97 supporting documents” was released.

Historically speaking, this was a pretty big deal. And though speculation and rumors abound Mueller is already creating his very own Road Map with every filing his makes, every indictment and conviction he gets, and the specific words and wording he uses in each, we will continue to watch the Watergate Road Map as the legal beagles and analysts out there continue to pour over the Road Map and all the other “trove of related materials,” I image we well be getting plenty of historical analysis separate from more updates for the possible ‘Road Map’ for Mueller. Stay tuned.

There are still a few more we will continue to watch, like cases over Obamacare and immigration issues this administration continues to fubar on a regular basis, mainly because they are so bad they are even bad at being bad.

There will be new stuff and there may be much we miss, but because you guys are all so awesome I know you will help fill in the gaps for us and for each other, and as we all continue to learn so much from each other, I think we are going to be just fine.

A toast, my fellow TNBer’s. Here is to 2019 as we get ready to ride the rollercoaster together. Here we go again! Stay tuned!



!!! Happy New Year !!!

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