The fallacy of ‘free’ trade is more than a fallacy of ‘free’ trade

Now that Donald Trump has begun a trade war that has, among other things, prompted Harley Davidson to shift some production overseas to avoid European Union tariffs,[1] it would seem that at least some so-called “free traders” may be rethinking. Read more

  1. [1]Bob Tita, “Harley-Davidson to Shift Production Overseas to Offset EU Tariffs,” Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2018,

On the difficulty of having the Department of Justice in the executive branch

Once upon a time, Hillary Clinton had an email server. And also, once upon about that very same time, Hillary Clinton was U.S. Secretary of State. And finally, once upon about that very same time, Hillary Clinton received and sent classified—including some very highly classified—emails on that server, all in breach of the law. The ensuing scandal, Clinton’s own obfuscation, and her probable cover-up dogged her throughout 2015 and 2016, when she was running for president. Then-Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey was in charge of the investigation and both his and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s handling of the the investigation and the publicity surrounding it sometimes seemed dubious, as he and the FBI were sometimes suspected of favoring Donald Trump. Comey eventually twice, after once re-opening the investigation, declared that Clinton couldn’t be indicted, which led a number of people (including me) to suspect he was letting Clinton off the hook for a crime that a lower-ranking person would surely have been indicted for.[1] She lost the election for numerous reasons, which is why Trump is now president. (I strenuously objected to both major party candidates.) Read more

  1. [1]Spencer Ackerman, “‘The FBI is Trumpland’: anti-Clinton atmosphere spurred leaking, sources say,” Guardian, November 4, 2016,; Hannah Allam and Tim Johnson, “Clinton’s handling of email went beyond carelessness, experts say,” McClatchy, July 5, 2016,; Cooper Allen and Kevin Johnson, “New emails under review in Clinton case emerged from Weiner investigation,” USA Today, October 28, 2016,; Associated Press, “Hillary Clinton’s emails, data erased from server before handed to FBI,” Guardian, August 19, 2015,; Associated Press, “Highlights of FBI notes on Clinton email investigation,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, September 3, 2016,; Associated Press, “FBI announces latest Clinton emails don’t require further investigation or charges,” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, November 6, 2016, FBI announces latest Clinton emails don’t require further investigation or charges; Rachael Bade, “FBI steps up interviews in Clinton email probe,” Politico, November 10, 2015,; Rachael Bade, “Clinton aides unite on FBI legal strategy,” Politico, April 1, 2016,; Rachael Bade, “5 ways Comey contradicted Clinton’s email claims,” Politico, July 5, 2016,; Rachael Bade and Josh Gerstein, “Hillary Clinton camp: Email ‘thumb drive is secure’,” Politico, July 30, 2015,; Rachael Bade and Josh Gerstein, “Watchdog: Clinton’s server had classified material beyond ‘top secret,'” Politico, January 19, 2016,; Rachael Bade and Josh Gerstein, “Judge rules Clinton staff can be questioned about emails,” Politico, February 23, 2016,; Rachael Bade and Louis Nelson, “FBI hands over Clinton email probe documents to Congress,” Politico, August 16, 2016,; Devlin Barrett, “FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe,” Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2016,; Devlin Barrett and Adam Entous, “FBI to Hand Over to Congress Notes From Hillary Clinton Email Probe,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2016,; Dana Bash, Shimon Prokupecz, and Gloria Borger, “Sources: Comey acted on Russian intelligence he knew was fake,” CNN, May 26, 2017,; Brian Beutler, “The FBI director’s pronouncements about Hillary Clinton were extremely unusual—and she has herself to blame,” New Republic, July 5, 2016,; Michael Biesecker, “Clinton failed to hand over key email to State Department,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, July 24, 2016,; Bill Blum, “Could a President Hillary Clinton Be Impeached Over Her Emails?” Truthdig, February 9, 2016,; Bill Blum, “In a Rigged System, Hillary Clinton Is Too Big to Indict,” Truthdig, October 28, 2016,; Jordain Carney, “Top Republican questions Lynch on Clinton Foundation probe,” Hill, August 12, 2016,; Chris Cillizza, “Hillary Clinton’s e-mail issues have become a massive political problem,” Washington Post, September 14, 2015,; Chris Cillizza, “Hillary Clinton STILL doesn’t have a good answer for questions about her emails,” Washington Post, January 26, 2016,; Chris Cillizza, “Hillary Clinton’s email story continues to get harder and harder to believe,” Washington Post, June 28, 2016,; Shannen W. Coffin, “FBI Director Comey Is Wrong: The Case for Prosecuting Hillary Clinton Is Strong,” National Review, July 5, 2016,; Eliza Collins, “FBI director: No rush to finish Clinton email probe before convention,” Politico, April 5, 2016,; Joe Conason, “Ethical Questions Surround FBI Director’s Decision On Email Probe,” National Memo, October 29, 2016,; Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, “No Prosecution of Clinton, Attorney General Says,” July 6, 2016,; Bob Cusack and Ian Swanson, “FBI chief is wild card for Clinton,” Hill, December 1, 2015,; Karoun Demirjian and Devlin Barrett, “How a dubious Russian document influenced the FBI’s handling of the Clinton probe,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, May 24, 2017,; Democracy Now! “‘Significant Security Risks’: State Department Says Clinton Broke Rules Using Private Email Server,” May 26, 2016,; Daniel R. DePetris, “The End of the Beginning of Hillary Clinton’s Email Problem,” National Interest, July 5, 2016,; Ken Dilanian, “Investigators found classified information in Clinton’s email, but what does that mean?,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, July 31, 2015,; Stephen Dinan, “State Dept. concedes ‘gaps’ in Clinton email record; could result in perjury charge,” Washington Times, September 14, 2015,; Stephen Dinan, “Judge: State Dept. ‘lackadaisical’ in processing Clinton files,” Washington Times, November 10, 2015,; Stephen Dinan, “Judge suspects ‘bad faith’ from Obama administration on Hillary Clinton emails,” Washington Times, February 23, 2016,; Stephen Dinan, “State Dept: Review of Clinton secret emails may wait until after November election,” Washington Times, March 1, 2016,; Stephen Dinan, “Judge orders feds to release details of Clinton email probe after FBI refused request,” Washington Times, August 31, 2017,; Stephen Dinan, “FBI says time crunch necessitated immunity deal for Clinton aide Cheryl Mills,” Washington Times, September 27, 2016,; James Freeman, “How Comey’s FBI Treats Non-Clintons,” Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2016,; Nicole Gaouette, “Former Obama intel official: Hillary Clinton should drop out,” CNN, February 13, 2016,; Nick Gass, “Democratic rep: Clinton email flap ‘could upend her campaign’,” Politico, August 20, 2015,; Nick Gass, Josh Gerstein, and Rachael Bade, “Obama drawn into Clinton email controversy,” Politico, October 30, 2015,; Josh Gerstein, “Source: Key Clinton emails did not contain highly classified secrets,” Politico, November 6, 2015,; Josh Gerstein, “Intelligence agencies say 2 Clinton emails were ‘top secret,’ but one is no longer,” Politico, December 15, 2015,; Josh Gerstein, “Judge irked by State Dept.’s delay in releasing rest of Clinton’s emails,” Politico, February 9, 2016,; Josh Gerstein, “State Dept. marks three more Clinton emails at ‘secret’ level,” Politico, February 13, 2016,; Josh Gerstein, “FBI’s Comey: I feel ‘pressure’ to quickly finish Clinton email probe,” Politico, May 11, 2016,; Josh Gerstein, “Comey denies Clinton email ‘Reddit’ cover-up,” Politico, September 28, 2016,; Josh Gerstein, “Comey on Clinton email probe: ‘Don’t call us weasels,'” Politico, September 28, 2016,; Josh Gerstein and Nick Gass, “Clinton’s email woes deepen as classified messages pile up,” Politico, September 30, 2015,; Charles E. Grassley and Lindsey O. Graham, “Transcripts: Comey Drafted Conclusion in Clinton Probe Prior to Interviewing Key Witnesses,” August 31, 2017,; Julian Hattem, “Clinton may not have turned over all her emails,” Hill, September 25, 2015,; Julian Hattem, “FBI’s Hillary Clinton email investigation not letting up,” Hill, January 28, 2016,; Julian Hattem, “Pressure on Lynch to step aside in Clinton email probe,” Hill, February 8, 2016,; Julian Hattem, “CIA leaker: Clinton ‘given a pass’ for emails,” Hill, February 22, 2016,; Julian Hattem, “Lost emails from Clinton server discovered,” Hill, March 24, 2016,; Julian Hattem, “Decision time for FBI on Clinton,” Hill, May 8, 2016,; Julian Hattem, “Justice’s reputation hangs in balance of Clinton probe,” Hill, May 11, 2016,; Julian Hattem, “Clinton email headache is about to get worse,” Hill, May 28, 2016,; Jon Gabriel, “Hillary Clinton: Too Big to Jail,” Ricochet, July 5, 2016,; Evan Halper, “Federal investigators want Justice Department probe of Hillary Clinton emails,” Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2015,; Julian Hattem, “Clinton’s IT aide keeps email server shrouded in mystery,” Hill, June 5, 2016,; Julian Hattem, “Lynch pressured to recuse herself after Clinton tarmac meeting,” Hill, July 1, 2016,; Julian Hattem, “FBI director takes center stage in Clinton email case,” Hill, July 2, 2016,; Julian Hattem, “FBI recommends no charges against Clinton,” Hill, July 5, 2016,; Julian Hattem, “Seven ways FBI contradicted Clinton’s email claims,” Hill, July 9, 2016,; Julian Hattem, “State Department to release all of Clinton’s deleted emails,” Hill, August 16, 2016,; Julian Hattem, “GOP preps tough perjury case against Clinton,” Hill, August 19, 2016,; Julian Hattem, “FBI director, House GOP face off in dramatic hearing,” Hill, July 7, 2016,; Julian Hattem, “Poll: Majority believes Clinton broke the law,” Hill, July 15, 2016,; Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger, “Clinton, on her private server, wrote 104 emails the government says are classified,” Washington Post, March 5, 2016,; Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger, and Carol D. Leonnig, “Tech company: No indication that Clinton’s e-mail server was ‘wiped’,” Washington Post, September 13, 2015,;  Mark Hensch, “Poll: Majority believe Clinton lied about emails,” Hill, August 14, 2015,; Mark Hensch, “Some Clinton emails classified from Day 1: report,” Hill, August 22, 2015,; Spencer S. Hsu, “U.S. judge orders discovery to go forward over Clinton’s private email system,” Washington Post, February 23, 2016,; Spencer S. Hsu, “FBI uncovers 15,000 more documents in Clinton email probe,” Washington Post, August 22, 2016,; Sara Jerde, “Fox News Host Grills Clinton At Town Hall On Her Email Server Use,” Talking Points Memo, March 7, 2016,; Ben Kamisar, “Judge orders State to begin releasing Clinton emails next month,” Hill, August 25, 2016,; Annie Karni, “Allies fault Hillary Clinton’s response on emails,” Politico, August 19, 2015,; John Kass, “Democrats should ask Clinton to step aside,” Chicago Tribune, October 29, 2016,; Glenn Kessler, “Clinton’s claim that the FBI director said her email answers were ‘truthful,’” Washington Post, July 31, 2016,; Rebecca Kheel, “Final batch of Clinton emails released,” Hill, February 29, 2016,; Bradley Klapper, “AP: Gov’t Declares 22 Clinton Emails ‘Top Secret,'” Talking Points Memo, January 29, 2016,; Anita Kumar, Marisa Taylor, and Greg Gordon, “‘Top Secret’ emails found as Clinton probe expands to key aides,” McClatchy, August 11, 2015,; Anita Kumar, “At least 1,818 Clinton emails contain classified material,” McClatchy, February 26, 2016,; Katie LaPotin, “Witness to the ‘Secret’ Airplane Meeting in Phoenix Speaks Out – And It Does Not Look Good for Bubba,” Alexandria Independent Journal Review,” July 4, 2016,; Ruth Marcus, “Why a no-indictment for Hillary Clinton would still be a problem for America,” Washington Post, March 29, 2016,; Andrew C. McCarthy, “FBI Rewrites Federal Law to Let Hillary Off the Hook,” National Review, July 5, 2016,; Harper Neidig, “Justice Dept. warned FBI against letter on Clinton emails,” Hill, October 29, 2016,; Michael A. Memoli, “Hillary Clinton will turn over private email server to Justice Department,” Los Angeles Times, August 11, 2015,; Harper Neidig, “Clinton interviewed by FBI as part of email server investigation,” Hill, July 2, 2016,; Next Web, “Hillary Clinton email saga continues as 33,000 erased emails may not be ‘missing’ after all,” October 26, 2016,; Peter Nicholas and Byron Tau, “Email Questions Haunt Hillary Clinton,” Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2016,; Kelly J. O’Brien, “Answers to all the questions journalists might have about Hillary Clinton’s emails,” Columbia Journalism Review, March 5, 2015,; Robert O’Harrow, Jr., “How Clinton’s email scandal took root,” Washington Post, March 27, 2016,; Evan Perez, Pamela Brown, and Shimon Prokupecz, “FBI interviews Clinton aides including Huma Abedin as part of email probe,” CNN, May 5, 2016,; Paul Pillar, “The Clinton Emails: What Is and Is Not Damaging,” National Interest, February 9, 2016,; Nadia Prupis, “Government Report on Clinton Email Scandal Much Worse Than Expected,” Common Dreams, May 25, 2016,; Reuters, “Clinton emails: records suggest state department pressured FBI,” Guardian, October 18, 2016,; Valerie Richardson, “Pagliano’s immunity deal could indicate grand jury probe into Clinton email server,” Washington Times, March 3, 2016,; Sean J. Rosenthal, “The Shoddy Legal Reasoning Used to Clear Clinton,” Foundation for Economic Education, July 7, 2016,; John R. Schindler, “Game Over: EmailGate Just Crippled the Clinton Express,” Observer, May 26, 2016,; Michael S. Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo, “Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account,” New York Times, July 23, 2015,; Jack Shafer, “Hillary’s Drip-Drip-Drip Email Scandal,” Politico, August 19, 2015,; John Solomon, “Congressional investigators find irregularities in FBI’s handling of Clinton email case,” Hill, January 2, 2018,; Jonathan Swan, “Clinton on being indicted over emails: ‘It’s not going to happen,'” Hill, March 9, 2016,; James Taranto, “Laws Are for Little People,” Wall Street Journal, July 5, 2016,; Byron Tau, “Emails Are Likely to Keep Complicating Hillary Clinton’s Campaign,” Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2016,; Byron Tau, “Watchdog Faults Hillary Clinton’s Email Practices at State Department,” Wall Street Journal, May 25, 2016,; Byron Tau, “Most of Clinton’s Recovered Emails Will Be Released After Election Day,” Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2016,; Byron Tau and Peter Nicholas, “Hillary Clinton Emails Had a Two-Month Gap,” Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2015,; Trevor Timm, “Sorry, Hillary Clinton fans: her email errors are definitely newsworthy,” Guardian, August 1, 2015,; Hanna Trudo, “FBI could leak Clinton email investigation, Grassley warns,” Politico, April 22, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “Clinton: ‘Pretty Clear’ No Emails Were Classified Despite Contrary Findings Of Inspector General,” July 26, 2015,; Jonathan Turley, “State Department Classifies Dozens of Additional Clinton Emails,” August 3, 2015,; Jonathan Turley, “The State Department Flags More Than 300 Clinton Emails As Possibly Classified,” August 18, 2015,; Jonathan Turley, “Federal Judge Says Hillary Clinton Violated Government Policy In Using Personal Server While Secretary of State,” August 21, 2015,; Jonathan Turley, “Former Clinton Aide To Invoke The Fifth Amendment In Refusing To Testify On Email Scandal,” September 3, 2015,; Jonathan Turley, “Inspector General: Clinton Emails Contain Special Access Material Above The Top Secret Level,” January 20, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “Report: Clinton Emails Contained Human Intelligence Classified At Highest Levels,” January 23, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “State Department: 22 Emails Will Not Be Released As ‘Top Secret,'” January 29, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “Report: Clinton Emails Contained ‘Operational’ Information and Put Lives At Risk,” February 1, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “Federal Court Orders Discovery Into The Clinton Emails And Suggests The Possibility of Subpoenas To Force Disclosures,” February 24, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “Clinton Declares That She Will Never Be Indicted And Insists That Her “Predecessors Did The Same Thing” On Emails,” March 10, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “Clinton Aides Agree To Be Represented By The Same Lawyer In Answering Questions On Email Scandal,” April 3, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “‘We Do Investigations Here At The FBI’: FBI Director Reportedly Contradicts Clinton On Email Investigation,” May 11, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “State Department Refutes Key Statements By Clinton On Email Scandal; Finds That She Violated Clear Rules,” May 26, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “‘The Mystery Emails’: State Department Report References Key Emails That Were Not Previously Turned Over,” May 27, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “New Evidence Indicates Multiple Hacking Attempts and the Disabling Of Security Protections For Clinton Server,” June 24, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “ABC/Washington Post Poll: 56 Percent of Voters Believe That Hillary Clinton Should Have Been Charged After FBI Investigation,” July 12, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “Clinton Admits That It Is ‘Fair’ To Question Her Truthfulness But Then Denies That The FBI Found That Any Of Her Emails Were Classified,” August 1, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “Newly Released FBI Records Raises Question of Intentional Destruction of Evidence By Clinton Staff,” September 6, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “The Curious Role Of Cheryl Mills As Both Witness and Lawyer In The FBI Investigation,” September 7, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “Clinton Contractor Who Reportedly Destroyed Emails After Preservation Order Was Given Immunity By FBI,” September 9, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “Stonetear’s Secret: Immunized Former Clinton Aide Allegedly Sought Advice On Removing Email Address For ‘Very VIP’ Official,” September 21, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “House Committee: FBI Cut Side Deal To Limit Search Of Computers Of Key Clinton Aides And To Allow The Computers To Be Destroyed,” October 4, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “Quid Pro Quo: Top State Department Official Offered Deal To FBI If It Would Change Classification Of Clinton Emails,” October 18, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “‘They Wanted To Get Away With It’: Newly Released Emails Show Raising Concern Over Clinton Aides Withholding Information On Email Scandal,” October 26, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “Comey Sends Letter To Congress Citing New Evidence (and An Investigation) In The Clinton Email Scandal,” October 28, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “Reid Alleges That Comey May Have Violated Federal Law In Disclosure To Congress,” October 31, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “High-Ranking Justice Official Involved In Email Investigation Found To Have Close Friendship and Ties With Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta,” November 2, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “FBI Director Comey Announces That There Is No Basis For Criminal Charges In Newly Discovered Emails,” November 7, 2016,; Jonathan Turley, “Something Borrowed, Something Classified? Leaked Emails Raise Allegations Over Role Of Chelsea Clinton,” November 7, 2016,; Josh Voorhees, “Clinton’s ‘Classified’ Problem Just Got Worse,” Slate, August 31, 2015,;Wall Street Journal, “Clinton’s Email Jeopardy,” March 4, 2016,; Wall Street Journal, “The FBI on Classified Material,” July 6, 2016,; Wall Street Journal, “The Legend of Saint Comey,” September 28, 2016,; Del Quentin Wilber, “Clinton email probe enters new phase as FBI interviews loom,” Los Angeles Times, March 27, 2016,; Del Quentin Wilber, “Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch defends meeting with Bill Clinton amid email probe,” Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2016,; Del Quentin Wilber, “Lynch to accept recommendation of FBI, career prosecutors in Clinton email probe,” Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2016,; Katie Bo Williams, “Pressure grows on Clinton aides to lose security clearances,” Hill, July 11, 2016,; Katie Bo Williams, “Lynch: Clinton not investigated for Federal Records Act violations,” Hill, July 12, 2016,; Katie Bo Williams, “Clinton hazy on server details in FBI interview, notes show,” Hill, September 2, 2016,; Katie Bo Williams, “Clinton IT aide pleads Fifth, skips hearing,” Hill, September 13, 2016,; Katie Bo Williams, “House panel looking into Reddit post about Clinton’s email server,” Hill, September 19, 2016,; Katie Bo Williams, “Top Clinton aide granted immunity deal in FBI probe,” Hill, September 23, 2016,; Katie Bo Williams and Cory Bennett, “Immunity deal raises stakes in Clinton email investigation,” Hill, March 3, 2016,; Matt Zapotosky, Ellen Nakashima, and Rosalind S. Helderman, “FBI obtains search warrant to search newly discovered emails potentially relevant to Clinton investigation,” Washington Post, October 30, 2016,

The callousness of the moment

There is an occasional consolation in being sick. Yes, extremely unusually for me, I am sick, apparently due to having breathed too much of the ammonia in Patches’ urine when she soaked my clothing.[1]

More precisely, the consolation comes from being on the mend. My sinuses are finally clearing and my cough is productive. And I was awake at around 2 a.m. Read more

  1. [1]David Benfell, “About Patches,” Not Housebroken, June 10, 2018,

About Patches

Update, June 26, 2018: After I first wrote this post, I talked with the rescue folks at Animal Assist, the successor organization to Lake Pet Rescue, who agreed to take Patches for two or three weeks to get her back on track with the litter. On June 22, she came back to me and all seemed well for a while. Then, this morning she started peeing on my bed again. Animal Assist had no space available, so I took her to Marin Humane Society in Novato. The end of this post still very much applies.

Recent weeks have taken a toll. The ammonia in Patches’ urine led to some kind of respiratory ailment that I spent two days at home recovering from. When finally I ventured out, I was involved in a traffic collision—entirely my fault—which I attribute in part to my illness and in part to the fact I drive so much that I’m failing to maintain focus. My Prius was totaled. I suffered a crack in my sternum, which was compounded by what developed into, if it was not already, bronchitis: Coughing was supremely painful and, when you have bronchitis, you do a lot of that. That’s not the whole of it, but it’s enough. I can safely say that these last few weeks have been absolute hell.

After Admiral Janeway, a cat who had been with me since 2003 died on February 9, 2018, I rapidly came to the conclusion that the best way I could thank her for being in my life and being such an awesome cat was to welcome another cat to a forever home.

So on Monday, the 12th, my mother and I went down to the PetSmart in Rohnert Park—all the other adoption agencies were closed—and adopted Patches, a tortoise shell calico.

Patches was in the first cage I opened. She immediately grabbed onto me with all she had, showering me with an affection that never dimmed and bringing a smile to a face that has smiled too rarely. This is a cat who has adorable down pat. I think somebody must have told her when she was a kitten to never forget how to do that.

She manifested ringworm a few days later, we put her up at the veterinarian for a long, long month while we deep cleaned the house and let people who are actually good at giving pills to cats give her her medicine. I went down every day that they were open to visit, sometimes just for a few minutes, sometimes for over an hour.

It was in triumph that we brought her home, but of course on the Saturday of a three-day weekend (Memorial Day), she started peeing on my bed. She had a urinary tract infection which we had her treated for but I guess the prominent—at least to a cat—effect of such an infection is painful urination. She associated that pain with the litter box and would no longer pee in the box.

It’s been a very long couple of weeks of astronomical laundry bills as she peed on my bedding and peed on my clothing but, after following all the advice I could, and after an especially catastrophic morning yesterday (June 9), I have been forced to conclude that I can no longer trust her in the house. I am giving her back to the agency we adopted her from.

To say this is an unhappy moment does not even begin to cover it.

To Patches: Thank you for all the love you offered me. I wish with all my heart I could have done more for you. Never forget that knack you have for being adorable.

I, Donald

Update, June 9, 2018: Neil Lloyd points to 1) essentially the scenario I describe in the first paragraph of this post, and 2) a “150-year-old [U.S. Supreme Court] case frequently quoted as the definitive authority for the president’s unfettered prerogative to pardon, Ex Parte Garland” which also established “that, at least in some circumstances, the limit of the pardon power can be a legal question,” by which he means that it is subject to court review. Such a use of presidential power, he notes, would “facilitate[] one or more crimes.” Accordingly, he calls for the Supreme Court to review the matter.[1] I’m unclear on who would have standing to bring this case but I guess somebody had standing to bring Garland.

It’s becoming much too easy to imagine waking up one morning to learn that Donald Trump has simultaneously fired Robert Mueller, who is investigating allegations of Trump campaign collusion with the Russians in the 2016 election and obstruction of justice,[2] and has issued a blanket pardon for himself[3] and all who he perceives remained loyal to him[4] and were convicted or even face trial under Mueller’s prosecution or any of a number of legal challenges Trump faces.[5]
Read more

  1. [1]Neil Lloyd, “Presidential Pardons Are Reviewable by the Courts,” Slate, June 8, 2018,
  2. [2]The suggestion that Donald Trump might fire Robert Mueller never goes away, even as Republicans try to convince themselves that he won’t: Alexander Bolton, “GOP leaders to Trump: Leave Mueller alone,” Hill, March 20, 2018,; Jonathan Chait, “Trump Is Taking Out His Enemies And Turning Toward Robert Mueller,” New York, March 17, 2018,; Chris Cillizza, “The White House just let slip a big secret about firing Robert Mueller,” CNN, April 10, 2018,; Jonathan Easley, “Anger at Mueller burns hot on the right,” Hill, November 25, 2017,; Susan Hennessey, Quinta Jurecic, and Benjamin Wittes, “Trump’s Effort to Fire Mueller: Reactions to the New York Times Report,” Lawfare, January 25, 2018,; James Hohmann, “Prospect of Trump firing Mueller keeps becoming more untenable,” Washington Post, June 16, 2017,; James Hohmann, “Five takeaways from Trump’s thwarted effort to fire Mueller,” Washington Post, January 26, 2018,; Peter Nicholas, Aruna Viswanatha, and Erica Orden, “Trump’s Allies Urge Harder Line as Mueller Probe Heats Up,” Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2017,; Politico, “Trump Tried to Fire Mueller. So What?” January 26, 2018,; Michael S. Schmidt, Maggie Haberman, Charlie Savage and Matt Apuzzo, “Trump’s Lawyers, in Confidential Memo, Argue to Head Off a Historic Subpoena,” New York Times, June 2, 2018,; Niall Stanage, “Republicans fear disaster if Trump fires Mueller,” Hill, March 20, 2018,; Jeff Stein, “There’s now a bipartisan bill to protect Mueller’s investigation from Trump,” Vox, August 3, 2017,; Melanie Zanona, “Ryan: I’ve ‘received assurances’ Mueller won’t be fired,” Hill, March 20, 2018,
  3. [3]Maegan Vazquez and Veronica Stracqualursi, “Preet Bharara says Trump pardoning himself would be ‘almost self-executing impeachment,'” CNN, June 3, 2018,; Morgan Winsor, “President Trump ‘probably does’ have the power to pardon himself: Giuliani,” ABC News, June 3, 2018,
  4. [4]Del Quentin Wilber, “Trump Sought Comey’s Loyalty, Ex-FBI Director to Say,” Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2017,
  5. [5]Warren Richey, “Mueller aside, Trump now faces legal peril from a host of sources,” Christian Science Monitor, May 11, 2018,