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…


Furtive Facts For Friday March 30th

More evidence that getting out the vote – registering voters and getting them to the polls – makes a huge difference:

‘In Illinois’ 6th Congressional District, 62,990 people voted Democratic last week for seven candidates, up from just 8,615 in the 2014 primary.’  That is a 631%% increase over four years ago!



The Indiana General Assembly will most likely be called for a special session in May, costing taxpayers as much as $30,000 per day:

There are quite a few questions being raised about this such as:

Is this really a special session for special interests?  Last minute addenda to three different tax bills – hundreds of pages of proposed statutes – that benefit powerful corporate interests are part of why some legislators want to come back and pass those bills.  Democrats are wondering why a GOP supermajority couldn’t get bills, some of which had bi-partisan support, passed during the regular session.  How will the fact of knowing they have lost their re-nomination bid affect the decision making of lawmakers so affected?





“[This] White House has assembled the most preponderantly male team since the Reagan administration:

This gender skew shows up at all levels of the government, which means not only are women underrepresented in senior ranks, but the appointees and aides at lower levels are also overwhelmingly male – and those are the people gaining experience that will make the attractive to the next Republican administration in power.  This, obviously, perpetuates the lack of women with input and making policy.


This effect may, however, be dampened by the surge of women getting involved as candidates at the state and local levels:

In Indiana there are 75 women running for a seat in the General Assembly on May 8th, which is twice as many as ran four years ago!



If you missed the debate among GOP candidates for Todd Rokita’s soon-to-be-vacated seat, you can catch up with it here: