Clarence Thomas

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Attorneys representing billionaire Nazi memorabilia collector Harlan Crow sent an electronic letter to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday declaring that "Congress does not have the constitutional power to impose ethics rules and standards on the Supreme Court," prompting a flurry of reactions by experts and lawmakers.

Probing the suspected corrupt relationship between Crow and Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Crow's counsel wrote, "would exceed Congress's Article I authority and violate basic separation of powers principles. That precludes the Committee from pursuing an investigation in support of such legislation."

Crow's lawyers argued that "separately, the Committee has not identified a valid legislative purpose for its investigation and is not authorized to conduct an ethics investigation of a Supreme Court Justice," adding that "the Committee's stated purpose of crafting new ethics guidelines for the Supreme Court is inconsistent with its actions and the circumstances in which this investigation was launched, all of which suggest that the Committee is targeting Justice Thomas for special and unwarranted opprobrium."

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) shredded those claims.

"Harlan Crow believes the secrecy of his lavish gifts to Justice Thomas is more important than the reputation of the highest court of law in this land," Durbin said in a statement, per Mediaite. "He is wrong."

Congressman Ted Lieu (D-California) called the memo "dumb. Congress has the authority to investigate the Executive Branch. Of course Congress has the authority to investigate the Judicial Branch. Also, what is Harlan Crow hiding from the American people?" he wondered.

Those responses were far from unique.

"It was Justice Thomas's decades-long improper financial relationship with billionaire benefactor Harlan Crow that sparked the Supreme Court corruption crisis, which has now reached a fever pitch. It’s no surprise that Crow continues to operate as though he and Thomas exist above the law — but they don't, and they must be held accountable,” watchdog group Accountable.US President Kyle Herrig said as noted by Raw Story. "Chief Justice [John] Roberts has deflected his responsibility to clean up his Court, forcing Congress to step in. Whether by Roberts or Congress, we need urgent reform to restore credibility and integrity to our Court."

Citizens for Ethics in Washington tweeted along with a May 1 editorial on the matter that "if you don't think there's a connection between Harlan Crow and Clarence Thomas's friendship, and the kinds of decisions Clarence Thomas has been making from the Supreme Court bench...well, then we have some news for you."

MeidasTouch: "Harlan Crow is not on the Supreme Court — but it's understandable why he might think he is due to his apparent corrupt influence on right-wing Supreme Court justices."

OkeyMor Taking a stand for justice with receipts: "Harlan Crow's lawyers need to re-read Article III of the US Constitution. Appointment to the bench is not a lifetime appointment but is contingent upon continued good behavior of the justices. It is up to Congress to define good behavior aka Code of Conduct."

Melanie D'Arrigo: "I feel like we're pretty close to learning that Harlan Crow gives Clarence Thomas an allowance."

Badd Company: "Dear Harlan Crow: The Executive Branch is equal to the other 2 Branches. They are also separate Branches of government. You say that Congress has no authority to investigate the SCOTUS but yet that same Congress is investigating the White House. Is it just the cake you want, or are you eating it too!"

Judd Legum: "I wasn't aware that HARLAN CROW was a MEMBER OF THE SUPREME COURT!"

The Lincoln Project: "No Labels doesn't mind right-wing racist dog whistles. No Labels megadonor and Clarence Thomas subsidizer/BFF Harlan Crow collects & proudly displays Nazi memorabilia, including Hitler's teapot and table linens. They dismiss it as nothing but 'noise.'"

Barbara Malmet: "Harlan Crow's word is garbage like his garden of evil."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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Linda Yaccarino

NPR Drops Twitter After State-Financed Musk Appends 'State-Affiliated' Label

Elon Musk announced Thursday he will hire a new Twitter CEO, at which point he will “transition to being exec chair & CTO, overseeing product, software & sysops.” Musk’s purchase and near-destruction of the social media giant took just over eight months after he fired about 75 percent of its staff, tanked the company’s advertising sales, and started and stopped ill-advised programs and initiatives, all while allowing thousands of bad actors back onto the platform.

The new CEO is Linda Yaccarino. Her qualifications for the new gig seem to be pretty clear: As NBCUniversal’s head of advertising, she oversaw “roughly $13 billion in annual ad revenue, and is well-known for her tight relationship with marketers and ad agencies.” With Musk’s Blue Check subscription revenue plan failing, finding someone who might help with Twitter’s nosediving advertising sales (which according to The Wall Street Journal made up “nearly 90% of the company’s revenue”) was imperative.

Yaccarino has also been a media “insider” for a long time, with strong ties to the World Economic Forum—a globalization-focused group that hosts the annual Davos World Economic Forum, which Musk has frequently derided.

This move was predictable in many ways. Musk’s proclaimed interest in turning Twitter into a new “free speech” mecca has always been dubious. One need only consider his definition of free speech and his repeatedcensoring of people he didn’t approve of.

But if you think Yaccarino is just your run-of-the-mill, ultrawealthy CEO type … well, you’re basically right.

But that doesn’t seem to be enough for the cognitive dissonance crowd. Does former Fox News scream queen and soon-to-be Twitter host Tucker Carlson have any thoughts on the matter?

What a tangled web we weave! Unfortunately, many of Musk’s blue-check brigade of blind followers are clearly freaking out about this classic bit of billionaire business. Their free speech warrior, it seems, might simply be a billionaire who does not care one iota about the opinions of the poors.

Enjoy the misguided tears.

But if you were worried that the denizens of QAnon wouldn’t be able to connect the dots, here you go. WARNING: Your brain may melt due to the truth bomb being dropped!

Chef’s kiss, indeed.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.