Oh I’m sure all these things that keep happening are all a great big magical series of pure coincidences and nobody is doing anything goofy in this town ever. Except on the other side of which ever side of a line WE’RE on. Because that is exactly how coincidences work.
Look, it's obviously a total coincidence that Elena Kagan hired the kid of a the senior appellate court judge who was unfairly denied a seat on the Supreme Court.
And, look, it's a coincidence that the Biden administration hired a second Ricchetti.

And it's a coincidence that the Biden administration hired a third Ricchetti.

And it's a coincidence that the Biden administration hired a fourth Ricchetti.
And it's a coincidence that a fifth Ricchetti started lobbying the White House after Biden was elected and his brother, with whom he founded the lobbying firm, started working in the White House.

And it's a coincidence that a sixth Ricchetti is working for a member of Congress.
These are coincidences, I say.

And it's a coincidence that the administration hired two Reeds in the White House.

And it's a coincidence that there are two Psakis and two Klains in the administration.
And it's a coincidence that the daughter of the head of Presidential Personnel got a job in the White House's National Security Counsel.

And it's a coincidence that the daughter of the head of Presidential Personnel has an uncle who has a job in the White House.
And it's a coincidence that the National Security Advisor has a spouse who is a top aide to Merrick Garland (whose daughter was coincidentally hired by Elena Kagan, who works in the high court to which his nomination was unfairly blocked).
And there are a few more coincidences in flagged in the Washington Post, and these are just the ones we know about because the government has always refused to publish a timely, comprehensive list of political appointees. But, anyway, they are coincidences, I say.
And it's a coincidence that Hunter Biden never sold a any art before his dad was President and now wants to sell them for $75,000 to $500,000 apiece.

But that's a coincidence too, say I.
And it's a coincidence that the Energy Secretary was touting electric vehicle technology before divesting her electric vehicle stock options. Because there are a lot of coincidences in this world and, as you know, these are some of them.
And it's a coincidence that the DOJ was complicit in concealing Wilbur Ross's lies to Congress before Barr decided not to prosecute him.

And it's a coincidence that Garland is an institutionalist who seems to care about protecting DOJ and that he affirmed Barr's decision.
And it's a coincidence that DOJ lawyers were upbraided by a judge for deceiving her about the contents of a secret OLC memo and that Garland, who released part of the memo but appealed to keep the rest hidden, says the rest really is--honest and for true--legitimately secret.
And it's a coincidence that the Office of Special Counsel (no relation to Meuller), which enforces the Hatch Act, rejected a complaint about Kushner but found Secretary Marcia Fudge guilty of doing the same thing, and made Lynne Patton the one Trump appointee to suffer penalties.
And it's a coincidence that, though she does not appear to be the only Trump appointee to fail to file a termination financial disclosure (and though DOJ admits she has now filed a compliant one), Omarosa Manigault Newman is the only DOJ is suing for $50,000.
You can tell these things are all coincidences because they are things and they coincide. The universe is full of random things that wind up together like, say, the last ice cream sandwich in my freezer and the inside of my belly. Coincidence.
Now you may be inclined to say that, "now Walt" (because we're pals, see, and that's what you call me), "with so many things, it's clear some have to be coincidences." And there we agree. "But," you add, "not all of them!" And there we disagree, for you are a doubting Thomas.
To you I say, "Fie!" For I am upset with you, you petulant doubter you. "The people on Twitter have told me (and they have been clear, mind you) that these are ALL coincidences." But now I feel bad for shouting. I wish I could offer you an ice cream sandwich.
And it's a coincidence that the states with anti-vaxxer leaders are the ones with massive COVID rates.

And it's a coincidence that nearly all the people dying of COVID rare unvaccinated.

And it is a coincidence that the Fox News pundits fomenting vaccine hesitancy are vaxxed.
And it's a coincidence that (as previously noted) Garland's an institutionalist and that he has not reversed Barr's decision to defend Trump in a personal defamation suit. He is the right man for the job, and the expansion of executive branch power is . . . coincidental.
And it's a coincidence that the expansion of executive branch power is continuing at its pre-Trump pace and the executive branch is full of people who worked in the executive branch pre-Trump.
And it's a coincidence that the President has put a massive amount of effort into an infrastructure deal but not a voting rights deal and that we have an infrastructure deal and not a voting rights deal.
Now Lyndon Johnson put a ton of effort into voting rights and got a voting rights deal but that was a coincidence because, as you well know, there was no racism in the 1960s and the parties got along very well. So don't tell me that wasn't a coincidence.
No matter what you say, I know these are all coincidences because people on twitter tell me so. And they would not say it wasn't a coincidence if it wasn't a coincidence because, and I hardly need to point this out, social media is a reliable source of information and analysis.
Now you may say, "Walt, this all sounds very sarcastic." But I assure you that is a coincidence because, as with all these other things, if there's one thing I know for certain it is when I am seeing a coincidence.
Here I am doing by best imitation of @petridishes (which is not a very good imitation by any objective measure) and, this being twitter, there are folks worrying about me. But I say worry about @petridishes because this is nothing like her work and it's rude to suggest it is.
If you really want proof that these are coincidences (except for the reference to @petridishes, which I included on purpose because she can vouch that this is nothing like her work), here is proof that you know is objective because it comes from Twitter:
And, p.s., it's a coincidence that the Supreme Court has no ethics code and that at any given time at least one justice is hawking books, hunting with a party to litigation before the court, speaking to special interest groups that fund litigation, earning outside income . . .
. . . accepting gifts, accepting travel reimbursements, failing to recuse, failing to explain decisions to recuse, failing to explain decisions not to recuse, having debts repaid and not disclosing who owed the justice money for tickets, speaking at partisan fundraisers, etc.
Now please, so we can all go to bed, say it in unison with me: these are all coincidences, these are all coincidences, these are all coincidences, (louder now) these are ALL coincidences, what was Raymond doing with his hands, these are all coincidences.

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More from @waltshaub

21 Jul
I do have some good news about government ethics tonight. The first is this amazing document the White House just issued, commanding that White House appointees abide by a set of restrictions on communications with federal agencies. This is a great thing.
whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/…
This puts guardrails in place to prevent some of the worst abuses of the last administration. It is a very important tone-setting document, which is crucial in government ethics. As I've often said, tone from the top is everything.
whitehouse.gov/wp-content/upl…
It serves another purpose too. It's stated goals are to ensure "the integrity of government decision making" and "public confidence that decisions by government officials are made based on appropriate considerations"
whitehouse.gov/wp-content/upl… Image
Read 6 tweets
21 Jul
THREAD: Come on a journey with me. Don't stop until the end. Then, if you still want to do so, you can post your inane Billy Beer retorts and your "but Ivanka" whataboutisms. People keep asking me to repeat the explanations, so I'll do it one last time.
🎶Let's say we're "Just a city boy, born in south Detroit," but humble beginnings aren't gonna hold us back. Let's go to Faroffistan, a mythical land with no ethics program. Sure, we could take 🎶"the midnight train goin' anywhere." But we'll go there and build an ethics program.
We wanna finish our work fast 'cuz the Faroffistan presidential palace has 🎶"the smell of wine and cheap perfume." So let's just do the part about the proper us of governmental authority 'n public confidence in govt. Otherwise the ethics code will go 🎶"on and on and on and on."
Read 19 tweets
21 Jul
Rules of Twitter:
1. If you point out any ethical concern in 2021 you are saying it is EXACTLY the same as Trump, which is wrong.
2. Yes, you are
3. Yes, you are
4. And that's bothsiderism because we can only EVER complain about the other side
5. There are LOTS of coincidences
And we definitely believe in ethics, but nepotism or nepotism-adjacentism is fine, in fact we should have only one family in all of government. We could it a mono-archy or something because that's the best kind of republic. But also it's bad if the other side does nepotism.
And if my guy didn't open an hotel in Washington or appoint his kid in the White House then that means ethics has been solved for all time and we shouldn't talk about it and, if you do, it's definitely bothsiderism because you definitely are saying they are equal.
Read 4 tweets
20 Jul
Here are 3 worthy nonprofits, if you’re planning your giving this year. One is the pro-democracy nonprofit where I work, @POGOwatchdog, a great group! Another fights hunger, @nokidhungry. And another is a wonderful advocate for immigrant families at the border, @RAICESTEXAS.
Read 4 tweets
19 Jul
A tale of very unequal justice:

Merrick Garland just declined to prosecute Wilbur Ross for lying to Congress on a critically important issue.

But he’s continuing DOJ’s pursuit of $50,000 in fines against Omarosa Manigault Newman for filing a financial disclosure super late.
Here are 2 cases in which DOJ settled on a fine of $1,000 & $4,000 for 2
political appointees who failed to file financial disclosure reports. I’m all for holding folks accountable for not filing disclosures, but I’m not ok with disparate treatment. oge.gov/Web/OGE.nsf/0/…
I’ve been harping on this OMN story for well over a year. Maybe now that it’s not just Trump, people will believe me that there’s a disparity here. Sure, Trump was a crook who sought revenge. But these are career prosecutors chasing this case. There are 2 justice systems in USA.
Read 8 tweets
18 Jul
I normally save music posts for @TheFMWALT, but someone suggested sharing a few Japanese hard rock bands here to give them more exposure. Enjoy these three!
These guys will give you nightmares.
and Band-Maid is just good fun
Read 4 tweets

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