Court watch: Ultrasound walks, at least for now!

MONDAY, JUNE 27, 2016

The Court scolds Rachel Maddow:
We were happy to see the Supreme Court strike down the Texas abortion law, which seemed like a fraud on its face.

We were also glad to see the Court let Governor Ultrasound walk, at least for now.

The Court's decision on Ultrasound was unanimous. Let's just say it: The Court delivered a telling blow to the Creeping Maddowism our tribe has been getting sold.

What's involved in the set of beliefs the experts now describe as "Maddowism?" In its essence, Maddowism involves the belief that an accusation is the equivalent of a conviction.

It involves the desire to see everyone sent to jail, especially if they're from the other tribe and you're too self-involved and self-adoring to be able to figure out how to beat them at the ballot box. It involves the desire to see their children humiliated in the process, where possible.

Maddow has been selling this philosophy for years. It's a small, crabbed, unintelligent approach which, in Maddow's case, borders on a type of fanaticism.

Rachel Maddow has never heard of prosecutorial overreach, even as a theoretical possibility. Today, in a unanimous decision, the Court said Maddow was over her skis during the endless segments in which she taught us to hate Ultrasound over a bunch of trivial matters, up to and including the body wash he uses.

Why was Ultrasound allowed to walk? In this passage, the Washington Post's Robert Barnes offers part of the explanation:
BARNES (6/27/16): The McDonnell case stems from more than $175,000 in loans and gifts—a Rolex watch, vacations, partial payments of a daughter’s wedding reception, among them—that the governor and his family received from Richmond businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr. Williams, the chief executive of Star Scientific, wanted state universities to perform important clinical tests on a dietary supplement the company had developed.

The gifts were not barred by Virginia law, and the tests were not conducted. But federal prosecutors said Williams’s generosity was part of an illegal quid pro quo arrangement. McDonnell’s part of the deal, they said, came in the form of meetings arranged to connect Williams with state officials, a luncheon Williams was allowed to throw at the governor’s mansion to help launch the product, and a guest list Williams was allowed to shape at a mansion reception meant for health-care leaders.
The gifts were not barred by Virginia law! The tests were not conducted! In our view, it's probably a bad idea that Virginia permits such gifts and loans. But Virginia does permit such gifts and loans, and the "payoffs" to Williams were always absurdly trivial.

For that matter, so were the gifts and loans. Some of that $175,000 comes from value imputed to letting McDonnell use Williams' less-than-spectacular vacation home in southwest Virginia for occasional vacations.

Warning! Democratic presidents have been accepting free use of fancier vacation homes since 1993. A lot of pols will end up in jail if we follow the road of unfettered Maddowism, in which a crackpot corporate media star fills our heads with unintelligent, small-minded junk.

Concerning that corporate media star, you might consider this:

Maddow is reportedly paid $7 million per year by her own corporate bag men. When Maddow kept hunting Ultrasound about the price of his body wash, a person who accepts such massive largesse was trying to get a political enemy thrown into jail for pennies on the dollar.

Maddow isn't a public official, of course; she's simply a corporate hack who pretends to do "the news." But make no mistake—there's almost nothing she won't do to please the bosses who bribe her and affect her conduct with that $7 million per year. She's been feeding us liberals ridiculous bullroar for the past several years in exchange for that corporate swag, dumbing us down in the process.

Maddow's money-grubbing corruption dwarfs that of the man she loathes. We were glad to see McDonnell walk, at least for now.

He got to drive a Ferrari one time. On a certain cable news channel, his Javert pockets the moon.


  1. We are astounded Rachel Maddow is so powerful she was able to get the Justice Department to investigate and indict McDonnell, then convince a jury to find him guilty.

    And while you the reader ponder the injustice that Bob Somerby has no such equal power, and you tremble at the thought that Deomocratic Presidents since 1993 took vacation home visits as gifts, also consider this: your salary, like that of Rachel Maddow's, not some tawdry $175,000 worth of gifts to an elected offical, is the real bribe.

    Be like Bob. Work for free.

    1. We were happy to see Governor Ultrasound Got Charged with something. And convicted! We only read Howler Headlines so we never knew.

  2. "Jonnie Williams has just finished explaining to the jury his April 2011 shopping trip with the then-first lady of Virginia. He said he got a call from Maureen McDonnell in April explaining that she and the governor were coming to New York and “we could go shopping now.”

    Williams, recalling that he had earlier been told by then-Gov. Bob McDonnell’s counsel Jasen Eige that he could not purchase the first lady’s inauguration gown, said he responded, “Are you sure that’s okay?” he testified. She responded, “It’s okay now.”

    So he said he arranged the day. Accompanied by her chief of staff Mary-Shea Sutherland and two police officers, Williams took Maureen McDonnell first to lunch at Bergdorf-Goodman. Then, the crew went to Oscar de la Renta, where he had made an appointment through a friend who was close to de la Renta. After that, they went to Louis Vuitton. Then, he testified, Maureen McDonnell requested to return to Bergdorf-Goodman for more shopping.

    Williams said McDonnell initially indicated she wanted to buy two dresses — one for her anniversary with the governor and a second to wear to her daughter’s wedding. But he said she ended up purchasing a series of items. He described some: A full-length white leather coat. A pair of shoes. A raincoat. A dress that after it was tailored did not fit, so Williams arranged for a new dress to be sent to the governor’s mansion.

    Williams said he could not recall how many items were purchased it total: “It went on for hours,” he said.

    Asked McDonnell’s demeanor during the trip, he said, “She was happy.”

  3. Did the court scold Rachel Maddow or double cover their own robe draped ascots?

    "Last month's sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia at a Texas hunting lodge, where he was staying for free as a guest of a Texas businessman, put a spotlight on a long-simmering ethical issue.

    Should Supreme Court justices be taking trips paid for by business people, political activists, ideological organizations, or anyone with vested interests in the broad legal issues that come before the court?

    The short answer is no, they shouldn't.

    But they are. From 2004 to 2014, the nine justices took more than 1,000 reported trips paid for by outside sources. Scalia was by far the most traveled, with more than 23 trips on average a year, followed by Justice Stephen Breyer, with 17. Chief Justice John Roberts took the least, fewer than five per year.

    We’re not suggesting that the justices are for sale. Or that they improperly discuss pending court cases. We are saying it looks bad for any judge, let alone the nine men and women who decide the most far-reaching issues of the day, to accept free trips, some of which are never publicly disclosed and many of which are paid for by private groups with clear agendas.

    Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas spoke at separate Federalist Society events in the Palm Springs area sponsored by Koch. Their attendance — which inspired much criticism after it was accidentally revealed — might never have been public if not for Koch mentioning it on the invitation to a 2011 event.

    Scalia also attended events sponsored by the conservative Federalist Society more than 20 times over about a decade in resort towns that include Park City, Utah, and Napa, Calif. Breyer traveled to London, Luxembourg and Sun Valley in 2014 with groups picking up the tab. And Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared before the International Women’s Health Coalition, which advocates for reproductive rights.

    Under federal disclosure rules, the reporting of trips is late and scant, and sometimes it doesn’t happen at all.

    Like other government officials, the justices report once a year. It takes months for reports to become public. A trip taken in January 2015 won’t be known publicly until this June. The value of transportation, lodging and meals is not disclosed, only the location and sponsor. And many trips fall into a gaping hole created by this exception: “Personal hospitality of an individual” does not need to be reported.

    That might well have been the fate of Scalia’s trip to the Texas hunting lodge where he died. The businessman picked up the tab for 37 guests, including Scalia's $700-a-night room, according to The Washington Post. The host also owns a company that had a matter the Supreme Court declined to hear last year, The New York Times reported.

  4. Poor Ultra and Mrs. Sound. Forced to rough it in.....

    "Williams' less-than-spectacular vacation home in southwest Virginia."

    Bob Somerby, in addition to knowing all the rough rules of thumb about educational testing, what is and what is not sound journalistic practice, and how political campaigns are won and lost, Bob Somerby knows what is and is not spectacular in a house!

  5. Bob is out over his skis in his latest overuse of a trite phrase.

  6. One funny thing about $7 million in salary. If I made that money for just ONE year, then I could not be bought after that. Most of us, I think, are concerned about doing what we need to do to keep our jobs. The roof, the meal ticket - those things are kinda important.

    But having $4,000,000 would mean I was set for life. I mean, my salary for the last 32 years was less than $400,000 in total. So pretty sure I could go the next twenty or thirty on ten times that much money.

    Seems irrational to me, if Rachel, by this point, is at all motivated by money. Is another $50 million in salary a huge incentive when you have already made $40 million?

    It seems more likely that she is motivated in this case by the same tribal hatred that her viewers are (although in their usual state of high dudgeon they will claim to be concerned about "justice".


    2. I know of very few Drs. who work for as little recompense as you Dr. T. Your tribe is lucky to have your service.

    3. Do you know how much a yacht cost in upkeep alone?

  7. The problem is not Rachel Maddow; the problem is prosecutors bringing far-fetched cases against leading politicians in the other party. Other examples are the prosecution of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, whose conviction was overturned. And, the attempted prosecution of Wisconsin Governor Walker. And, the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry. So far, all these have been perpetrated by Democratic prosecutors. But, it's only a matter of time until Republicans respond in kind. This is ugly stuff.

    1. So far, all you doing is perpetrating your record for inaccuracy. DinC. Ted Stevens was indicted by the Justice Department during the Bush administration, by the Public Integrity Unit headed by a man appointed and confirmed under Bush. Walker's administration in Milwaukee County was investigated by local prosecutors. It was never clear if he was a target of the investigation. Rick Perry was indicted by a special prosecutor appointed by a Republican judge.

    2. "all of these have been perpetrated by Democractic prosecutors."


  8. "When Maddow kept hunting Ultrasound about the price of his body wash, a person who accepts such massive largesse was trying to get a political enemy thrown into jail for pennies on the dollar."

    Not more than 77 pennies for each dollar we are sure. You hang in there Bob.

  9. Poor Governor Ultrasound. He really is broke and in debt. I wonder if Mrs. Governor Ultrasound will forgive and forget him trying to throw her under the Bus to the Hoosegow.

    1. But he didn't throw her under the bus. He tried to push her out of the way of the bus. Mrs G. Ultrasound was not a public official; none of the counts of the indictment involving bribery applied to her. They got her for lying to the FBI and conspiracy. Mr G. Ultrasound's testimony is that he and Mrs. G. were so estranged that they didn't talk to each other and therefore couldn't have engaged in a conspiracy.

    2. George Zimmerman's missing conscienceJune 29, 2016 at 1:53 AM

      Didn't I see your uncle on the subway recently? Youtube, maybe? At least we'll always have Einstein.

    3. Yup. He was standing on the platform when an express pulled through the station. Your aunt was on the train, and at one point, they were opposite each other. It was a matter of relative-ity.

  10. The troll is stuck in the mud on this one. A fool. Months of time wasted.

    1. But didn't you see the clever rejoinders? And get this: the comments used some of the same words that Somerby uses!

      Whew, he he he, let me catch my breath, ... man, I'll never get tired of that droll troll.

    2. George Zimmerman's missing conscienceJune 29, 2016 at 1:55 AM

      "let me catch my breath, ...."

      Please don't.

  11. How goest the Kinsley proverb? The scandal lies not in what's illegal, but in what's legal. Applicable here not only to Gov. Valjean, but also Javert? When is the First Amendment like the Second Amendment? When journalists like Rachel shoot their mouths off in a crowded theatre.

    This also reminds of the pleasing (to adopt a favorite Howlerism) tale of how two bold young reporters got Nixon when in fact the FBI (especially one disgruntled agent), Judge Sirica, numerous prosecutors, the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, the Supreme Court, and the House Judiciary Committee might have had something to do with it, too.

    What did Nixon have in common with Garfield? Both were felled by disappointed office seekers. Gov. Valjean, aussi?

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