Quick Takes: The Great American Legislative Heist

* Steve Benen says that Mitch McConnell intends pull off a legislative heist.

Consider what goes into every successful heist:

Deception? Check.

Secrecy? Check.

Misdirection? Check.

The heist always culminates in the theft itself, which in this case involves stealing millions of Americans’ health benefits, stashing the savings in the bank accounts of the wealthy in the form of needless tax breaks.

In the process, congressional Republicans are also grabbing the American policymaking process, throwing it in the dumper behind the Capitol, as a necessary part of executing the plot worked out behind closed doors.

* Here is another interesting addition to Mueller’s investigative team.

Elizabeth Prelogar, an assistant to the solicitor general, is working with deputy solicitor general Michael Dreeben in his part-time role in Mueller’s legal team, according to lawyers familiar with the assignment…

Prelogar, a former law clerk to Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan, is a Harvard Law School graduate and formerly worked in private practice at Hogan Lovells…Prelogar also appears to be fluent in Russian. As an Emory College undergraduate, she majored in English and Russian. After graduating from Emory she was a Fulbright scholar in Russia. When she was a 1L at Harvard Law in 2006, she won an Overseas Press Club scholarship to study Russian media and censorship.

* Consider what it means when the U.S. Attorney General has to get lawyered up.

Charles Cooper, the well-known Republican lawyer, wasn’t simply in attendance at U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ congressional hearing one week ago to support his friend. Cooper is Sessions’ personal lawyer, he confirmed in an email Tuesday…

Cooper’s involvement isn’t that surprising given his public appearance with Sessions on Capitol Hill. Lawyers typically consult counsel before testifying, so that they can prepare adequately.

But a continuing attorney-client relationship between the attorney general and a private lawyer could signal they expect additional perilous legal questions—including from Robert Mueller III’s special counsel investigation.

* This could be big news:

More than two years after leaving the Obama administration, former Attorney General Eric Holder is reentering the political fray.

His goal: to lead the legal resistance to Donald Trump’s agenda — and perhaps even run against the president in 2020…

“Up to now, I have been more behind-the-scenes,” Holder told Yahoo News in an exclusive interview about his plans. “But that’s about to change. I have a certain status as the former attorney general. A certain familiarity as the first African-American attorney general. There’s a justified perception that I’m close to President Obama. So I want to use whatever skills I have, whatever notoriety I have, to be effective in opposing things that are, at the end of the day, just bad for the country.

“Now is the time to be more visible,” Holder added. “Now is the time to be heard.”

* We’ll have to see how this plays out over the next year. But Paul Ryan could be facing a formidable challenge from the looks of this video announcement.

* Finally, I was looking for some music to keep us company while we wait for results from the special election in Georgia’s 6th District. I love both of these. So rather than chose one, I decided there was time for a double.

from novemoore http://ift.tt/2tMeRBz

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