Furtive Facts For Friday April 20

THIS JUST IN:  Once again Indiana has wasted your tax dollars appealing a ruling against an obviously unconstitutional law:

‘The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said the 2016 ban on “selective” abortions imposed an “undue burden” on the ability to have the procedure.

It rejected Indiana’s suggestion that women’s privacy rights covered only the “binary choice” of whether or not to have a child, not whether to terminate particular pregnancies, including for genetic disabilities. ‘  The panel was composed entirely of Republican appointees.  The court also struck down the “funerals for fetuses” provision of the Indiana statute.


Two years ago then-candidate Donald Trump said of the fraud suit against Trump University, “This is a case I could have settled very easily, but I don’t settle cases very easily when I’m right.”:

On April 9th a federal judge finalised a $25 million settlement between Donald Trump and former students in their favour.  Please note that the terms allow him to admit no wrong doing.  Please also note just how unusual it is, how bizarre it sounds, that the sitting president of the United States has to write a check for $25,000,000 to fellow Americans he defrauded.  No need to feel sorry for him, though.  Under the terms of his non-blind trust Trump may receive “net income or principal” from his trust by simply requesting it


Rumours are circulating in Washington about the possibility of a Pence-Haley ticket for 2020:

‘Aides to both scoff at such suggestions, but the slightest hint of such a pairing would be likely to enrage Mr. Trump, who has made it clear that he plans to run for re-election. The talk was exacerbated in recent days when Mr. Pence named Jon Lerner, Ms. Haley’s deputy, as his new national security adviser, while allowing him to keep his job at the United Nations.’


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may experiment with a novel weapon for the GOP in the run-up to the mid-terms:

He is threatening to increase the days the Senate is in session to keep Democrats such as Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Bill Nelson of Florida, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri off the campaign trail.

‘[I]n red states like North Dakota, West Virginia, Florida, Missouri, and Montana, where Democratic Sen. Jon Tester is up for re-election, voters are satisfied with the president’s leadership, putting incumbent Democrats who have largely opposed him on the defensive.


Furtive Facts For Friday April 13th

You have probably seen and may have wondered about President Trump’s tweet on the morning of April 10th, ‘“Attorney Client privilege is dead!”’.  Attorney-client privilege is indeed a cornerstone of our legal system:
That is precisely why the U.S. Attorney’s Manual https://www.justice.gov/usam/usam-9-13000-obtaining-evidence#9-13.420   has six stringent requirements that must be met before such a search warrant is issued:

  1. Before obtaining a search warrant, investigators had to try to obtain the evidence in another way, such as by subpoena.
  2. The authorization for the warrant had to come from either the U.S. attorney or an assistant attorney general. (Rosenstein is deputy attorney general, a higher position than assistant attorney general.)
  3. The prosecutor had to confer with the criminal division of the department before seeking the warrant.
  4. The team conducting the search had to “employ adequate precautions” to ensure that they weren’t improperly viewing privileged communications between Cohen and his clients.
  5. The search team would have included a “privilege team,” including lawyers and agents not working the case, which would work to ensure that investigators conducting the search didn’t see privileged communications.
  6. The investigators had to develop a review process for the seized material.



Indiana is considered a swing state for the 2018 mid-term elections (So get out there and VOTE!):

The GOP primary has already gotten ugly, with Todd Rokita and Luke Messer slinging mud at each other as they vie for the Senate nomination.  Trump fans tend to support Rokita, while Pence’s crowd backs Messer.  Already, it has split Trump world, with Trump supporters in the state backing Rokita while Pence’s allies are behind Messer. There’s even a third contender, Mike Braun, hoping to benefit from the Rokita – Messer mess.

In the meantime Democrat Joe Donnelly has had his best fundraising quarter ever, and Democrats are hoping the GOP fight will leave the winner bruised heading into the general election.



Mike isn’t the only Braun running for Congress in Indiana this year:

His brother Steve is competing for Todd Rokita’s vacated seat in Indiana’s 4th District.  Steve is a Porsche-driving “gentleman farmer” as he terms himself on LinkedIn.  Of the fact that both brothers are campaigning for federal office, Steve Braun says, “My network is very different from my brother’s network and probably more closely aligns with Messer’s and Rokita’s. So a lot of people that normally would support me don’t because my brother’s running.”



Despite Congress being unwilling to address the gun carnage in America, financial institutions are beginning to distance themselves from dealers of death:

And remember, money talks.  Bank of America joins Citigroup in restricting its financial dealings with firearms manufacturers.  The article also notes that Smith & Wesson’s parent company’s value has dropped by half in the past year.



Concern about  President Trump’s rush to set tariffs and engage in trade wars are beginning to hit home in the Hoosier Heartland:

Indiana is vulnerable in both agricultural and manufacturing arenas.  ‘[David Rodibaugh says] a tariff on pork, a perishable product, would be felt quickly, while a tariff on soybeans could hit especially hard.

“More than one-third of U.S. soybeans go to China. Right now the world inventory of soybeans is high. We’re in a vulnerable time as far as pricing already,” Rodibaugh said.

He said Brazil, which is America’s biggest competitor for the Chinese soybean market, could take a larger chunk as a result of the tariff.

“We compete with Brazil every day,” Rodibaugh said.

Melanie Fitzpatrick, spokeswoman for the Indiana Soybean Alliance, said farmers have already seen some volatility in prices, as a result of China’s announcement of a possible tariff looming in six month.’


Furtive Facts For Friday April 6th


And you can do it by text:  ‘For the first time, Indiana residents can kick off the registration process with a text message. Hoosiers can text “Indiana” to 2VOTE (28683) to get a link to the indianavoters.com website to register to vote.’


Showing up matters.  ‘A new Post-Kaiser survey finds that 20% of adults have attended a political protest, rally or speech in the last two years.’:

The poll offers a rare snapshot of how public activism has changed in the 50 years since large street protests and rallies last dominated the political landscape.

“This confirms there is a resistance and that a lot of people want to be associated with it,” said Michael Kazin, a history professor at Georgetown University and editor of Dissent magazine. He said many Americans intensely oppose what Trump is doing, just as many did in the second half of Lyndon Johnson’s term in the late 1960s….

Nearly 4 in 10 said they plan to become more involved in political causes in 2018. Among the one-third who planned to work or volunteer for congressional races, 64 percent say they will do so for Democrats, and 26 percent plan to work for Republicans.’



More women are running for office than ever before: 

‘In Indiana, for example, women are running in each of the state’s nine congressional districts — only two of which are currently represented by Democrats.’


According to Time Magazine ‘Even with the record numbers, women are still outnumbered by male candidates. But experts say the sheer number of women running combined with so many House seats open due to retirements or resignations provides one of the best opportunities for women to make real gains in terms of representation and a change in priorities.’

Now that Rex Tillerson is gone some of his “run it like a business cost-cutting” is being questioned:

‘Congressional officials, some of whom had unsuccessfully tried for months to learn details of the redesign, expressed surprise when POLITICO disclosed the dollar figures to them and said the issue could be the subject of upcoming hearings.

“I believe we must look into how taxpayer money was spent on this botched project and will continue to call for the committee to examine these issues in open hearings in the near future,” [New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez]  Millions have been spent on private consultants (mostly from Deloitte).



President Trump’s relief that Robert Mueller’s investigation has told him is not a “target” of the investigation may be premature:

The Washington Post reported that ‘Prosecutors view someone as a subject when that person has engaged in conduct that is under investigation but there is not sufficient evidence to bring charges.’  However, according to University of Missouri School of Law professor Frank Bowman, that is an incomplete reading of DOJ guidelines.  ‘The full DOJ definition also offers that a target is someone “who, in the judgment of the prosecutor, is a putative defendant.” This is relevant, because current Department of Justice guidelines say that a sitting president cannot be indicted, which means that according to these guidelines he cannot technically be a putative defendant—at least not while in office.

“The ‘not a target’ designation doesn’t convey much of real substance concerning Mueller’s assessment of the current evidence against Trump,” Bowman told me over email. “If Mueller really said Trump is not a ‘target,’ all he may be saying is that, while there is substantial evidence linking him to a crime, DOJ policy precludes making him an actual indicted ‘defendant.’”

Until he is no longer President…