The U.S. Government Accountability Office upheld NASA’s decision to make Elon Musk’s SpaceX the sole winner of a contract to develop the next lunar lander, despite protests from Jeff Bezos, who has argued that it is unfair to grant a single company the award. Back in April, NASA opted to award its $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX, rejecting a bid from Bezos’ Blue Origin, which partnered with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper. The space agency initially intended to have at least two private-sector companies compete to build a spacecraft for the first moon landing since 1972 — an initi...
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Lawrence O'Donnell shreds Kyrsten Sinema for her 'relentless ignorance' for 'constitutional vandalism'
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) isn't long for the U.S. Senate, if polling back home is any indication and her speech before Mitch McConnell's center of politics didn't make it much better. Claiming to share the same "values" as McConnell, who is anti-choice and anti-equality, Sinema misquoted the Constitution, purporting to be an expert on the 60-vote supermajority that has nearly brought down the ability of the U.S. Senate to function properly.
Speaking about Sinema's speech, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell unleashed a brutal fact-check on the one-time progressive activist. He began with the quote from Sinema saying, "those of you that our parents in the room know that the best thing that you can do for your child is not give them everything they want. Right?" Sinema doesn't have children, has never been a parent and is divorced.
"Kirsten Sinema is not one of the parents, and a note to Sinema's speech writers, most parents are not open to parenting advice from politicians who are not parents, or politicians period," O'Donnell shot down. "Needless to say, Sen. Sinema's parenting advice was every bit as bad as you would expect from somebody who has no idea what she is talking about."
Her logic explains that because no one should ever get everything they want is the reason that she believes there should always be a 60-vote supermajority to vote on everything in the Senate.
"So numbers -- she thinks that the 60 vote threshold ensures that nobody gets everything they want. There is not a single senator in the history of the United States Senate who has gotten everything that he or she wants, not ever," said O'Donnell, who spent more years working in the U.S. Senate than Sinema. "Sen. Sinema did not give a single example of a bill being passed with less than 60 votes that was then repealed when there is a change in power in Congress and the White House. Not a single example of her theoretical justification for a voting threshold in the Senate that was not yet provided for in the Constitution, and which defies democracy."
Sinema advocated restoring the 60-vote threshold for the Senate for all votes, including judges.
"Not everybody likes that because it would make it harder, harder for us to confirm judges, and it would make us harder to confirm executive appointments in each administration," she confessed. In the case of executive appointments, Donald Trump simply had a slew of "acting" Secretaries because he couldn't get them approved. So, a 60-vote threshold would simply ensure each president would be able to have whoever they wanted in their administration, regardless of their level of extremism.
"But I believe that if we did restore it, we could actually see more of that middle ground in all parts of our governance. That's what I believe our forefathers intended," said Sinema falsely.
If the Founding Fathers intended for there to be 60 votes to pass a bill, however, they likely would have mentioned something about it in the Constitution. They likely also would have indicated their desire for a 60-vote majority somewhere in the thousands of papers, letters, and documents that all of them wrote over the course of their lives after writing, debating and signing the Constitution.
"Our forefathers, as she called them, intended that women never be Senators," O'Donnell explained. "Our forefathers intended that women never have the right to vote. Our forefathers did not intend for a place called Arizona to be represented in the United States Senate. When the Founding Fathers were writing the Constitution, the place we call Arizona was Spain. And the authors of the Constitution expected it to remain Spain. In 1821, when Mexico secured its independence from Spain, the place now called Arizona was in Mexico. When the United States took that land as the spoils of war, which is how we got Arizona, the Arizona territory eventually became the 48 states in 1912. Pretty late in the game. But that was the same year the constitutional amendment finally overruled the Founding Fathers, and allowed the United States Senators to be elected by the voters of the state, instead of the state legislatures, as the founders wanted them to be."
He went on to say that if Sinema truly believed in what the forefathers advocated she would actually be staunchly opposed to the 60-vote majority, as the Constitution she purports to admire was very specific about the requirement of a majority vote, with the exception of treaties and impeachment convictions, which take a two-thirds vote.
"The number 60 never appears in the Constitution, which seems to live in her imagined version of the Constitution," O'Donnell explained. "The simple majority vote is a dangerous and fickle threshold for governing in a democracy. Why should only five members of the United States Supreme Court get to decide the final interpretation of the law of the land? Why doesn't Sen. Sinema advocate a minimum of a 60-vote threshold in the United States Supreme Court, instead of a majority? Why is the United States of America the only country that has a 60 percent threshold to win a vote in a national legislative body?"
O'Donnell also noted that the United States Constitution also says that "the President shall nominate, and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint judges of the Supreme Court. The Constitution does not say that Mitch McConnell shall prevent a nominated Supreme Court Justice from even being considered by the United States Senate for its consent as Mitch McConnell did to Merrick Garland in the last year of the Obama presidency."
It's worth noting, McConnell didn't need 60 votes to do that either.
"Today, Kyrsten Sinema traveled to Kentucky to celebrate Mitch McConnell's constitutional vandalism, and her own relentless ignorance, by saying this about Mitch McConnell," he closed.
See the full video below or at the link here:
Kyrsten Sinema and her 'relentless ignorance' for 'constitutional vandalism' www.youtube.com
How Mark Meadows can dodge the Tuesday deadline to appear in Fulton County grand jury: legal analyst explains
Third-year Harvard Law School student Anna Bower, who also writes for Lawfare, explained that there's a chance Donald Trump's chief of staff could be a no-show for the Fulton County grand jury tomorrow.
As former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner explained in his "Justice Matters" video Monday, Meadows is being called in as part of the ongoing investigation of whether Trump committed fraud in his attempt to overthrow the Georgia election in 2020. Meadows not only organized a call between Trump and Republican officials who had been dodging him, Meadows also traveled down to Georgia demanding to watch the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and election officials conduct the signature match.
The Meadows subpoena set a deadline for Tuesday for him to appear and it is expected he will comply with the grand jury, unlike his cooperation with the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress. Still, Bower noted Meadows could be a no-show. When the Justice Department called him, however, it was another story.
"Meadows is an out-of-state witness; he claims to reside in South Carolina," Bower explained. "While jurisdiction to subpoena a witness typically ends at a state’s borders, both Georgia and South Carolina have adopted the Uniform Act to Secure the Attendance of Witnesses From Without a State in Criminal Proceedings."
"Meadows can be compelled to testify in Georgia if a South Carolina judge issues an order directing him to do so," she continued. "But securing that summons is a multi-step process. First, a GA judge must certify that Meadows is a material witness."
She posted the certification issued in Georgia by Judge McBurney last month, saying:
"Based on the representations made by the State in the attached 'Petition for Certification of Need for Testimony Before Special Purpose Grand Jury' the Court finds that Mark Randall Meadows, born July 28, 1959, (hereinafter, 'The Witness') is a necessary and material witness to the Special Purpose Grand Jury investigation. The Court further finds that the Witness currently resides in Sunset, Pickens County, South Carolina."
"Then prosecutors must present the certification to a South Carolina judge and request that the judge issue an order for Meadows to appear in Georgia," Bower explained. Interestingly, a Sept. 9 filing in Pickens County did exactly that when Fulton County prosecutors began working with the local solicitor.
If Meadows decides to fight the subpoena by not showing up, it would mean the South Carolina judge would hold a hearing to decide if Meadows is necessary to the investigation and that his trip to Georiga won't result in a "hardship." You might recall Rudy Giuliani attempted to claim a hardship, saying that due to medical reasons he couldn't fly. Lawyers offered to pay for a bus ticket to Georgia.
The court never scheduled a hearing or issued an order on the Pickens County information, Bower said. So, she called the clerk's office to ask.
"The person I spoke to told me that they're still waiting to hear from the judge," she said. "So, if Mark Meadows doesn't show up in GA tomorrow...it might be because he's not yet required to do so by law. Of course, it's also possible that Meadows agreed to waive the material witness hearing and/or stipulated to a voluntary appearance in Georgia. That would vitiate the need for a summons from a South Carolina judge."
On Monday, former Donald Trump attorney and fixer Michael Cohen performed a peculiar impression of his onetime boss declassifying top secret documents that were stashed at his Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida.
"He turns around and he wants to use the Jedi mind trick," said Cohen, putting on an impression of Master Yoda from Star Wars. "Declassify, we do, hrmm?"
\u201cOh my god you have to watch @MichaelCohen212's impression of Trump declassifying documents with his mind\u201d— MeidasTouch (@MeidasTouch) 1664240600
The former president is under investigation by the Justice Department over the documents, which were removed as he left office, and which the National Archives repeatedly demanded be returned. The investigation escalated as it became clear Trump was in possession of documents classified at the highest level, including documents that contained information about clandestine human intelligence and the nuclear technology of a foreign power.
Trump has tried to claim that he has the power to declassify documents just by thinking about doing it — a claim that doesn't have any basis in law.
DOJ officials were temporarily blocked from a counterintelligence review of the recovered information when Aileen Cannon, a Trump-appointed district judge in Florida, demanded a special master first review all the documents for privilege.
That order was partially stayed earlier this month when a three-judge panel on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, including two other Trump-appointed judges, allowed the DOJ access to the classified information. The special master, Senior Judge Raymond Dearie, will continue to review non-classified documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.