I thought I sent this one out several days ago but maybe not. So….
I listened to Sheldon Whitehouse yesterday because what he did with his time on the Senate Judicial Committee hearing was not question Amy Coney Barrett.
No. He ignored her entirely and indicted the Koch machine for all the right-wing federal court decisions — he’s tracked 80 — they’ve paid for by buying right-wing judicial nominees, including Barrett.
Senator Whitehouse has been accumulating his evidence and shining his sunlight for at least the past year, which I know because I’ve followed him on Twitter. I’ve been in admiration of him for longer than that.
Also yesterday, the Times published an op by Christopher Leonard, the author of Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America. That is, Mr. Leonard knows what he’s writing about, and what he’s writing about is both a complement to Senator Whitehouse’s dissertation in the Committee today and a big punch in our collective gut.
If you put Whitehouse’s and Leonard’s thorough investigations together, you will understand how it happened that the Koch machine achieved one of its greatest goals: controlling the federal courts.
Indeed, I just read with the same damn outrage how the Fifth Circuit Federal Court — in Texas, where else? — rejected the lower federal judge’s ruling that Governor Greg Abbott could not limit ballot drop-off boxes to one per county, no matter how many people there were in a county. Three judges on that Fifth Circuit panel, all of them put there by Trump and McConnell.
And paid for by the Koch machine. Secretly, with money shoveled out of unlabeled closets.
Who paid for those weird ads — weird in the sense of when have we ever been barraged by glossy political ads for a….judge? Who paid?
And who will be paying for glossy toilet paper TV ads for Amy Coney Barrett?
Same guys Sheldon Whitehouse was naming in the Senate chamber yesterday.