Showing posts with label Ginni Thomas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ginni Thomas. Show all posts

April 8, 2023

Why Clarence Thomas shouldn't have had to disclose his trips to visit his close friends

By Hal Brown

In view of what came out since I originally wrote this with the top illustration (see Sunday blog here) I added the bottom image.

Clarence and Ginni have two besties. They happen to be fairly rich. To quote what Clarence said:

“Harlan and Kathy Crow are among our dearest friends, and we have been friends for over 25 years. As friends do, we have joined them on a number of family trips during the more than quarter-century we have known them.”

People, with the exception of hermits and totally anti-social curmudgeons, have friends. Most have a range of friends some of whom are closer than others.

On occasion they may exchange gifts, say for birthdays, and how expensive, or lavish, these gifts are varies. Some people visit each other so often that they rarely if ever bring presents. On special occasions people of modest means may bring a bottle of supermarket wine when they eat over at a friend's house. 

It may look tawdry, or worse, for Clarence and Ginni Thomas to have considered travel on a private jet and being entertained on a big boat not to be things they need to have reported as gifts, but rich people consider their planes and yachts to be homes away from home. What's the difference, really, between having meal prepared by a chef and having your pal flip burgers on a backyard grill? Food is food, right?

People may be served hamburgers or they may serve filet mignon on special occasions. Wealthy people may treat their houseguests to Dom Perignon champagne and expensive cheese. The super rich may serve astronomically expensive vintage wine, Croatian truffles, and  "Strottarga Bianco" caviar .

Headlines like the following included terms that are relative:

What's to be defined as a lavish gift?

There are some people who would scoff at the description of what The NY Times headlines as lavish gifts.

Is there a line between driving to visit friends for dinner, having your kids play in their above ground pool, and having a barbecue, and what the Thomas's did by being transported in a common Bombardier Global 5000 private jet and being entertained on yacht that in the snobby yachting world wouldn't even be considered a super yacht. 

After all the Crows are said to be worth a paltry $2 billion. There are super yachts that cost  almost that much or more

The Michela Rose is the boat the Thomas's were entertained on.

There are private jets that cost much more than the one the couple own. For example the AirBus A380 owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal goes for $600 million.

To mirror Marc Antony's eulogy for Julius Caesar indulge me when I say that I come not to bury Thomas nor to praise him. The evil Thomas has done, and is likely to continue to do, will be his legacy. There is no Brutus to end his tenure.  

There are those who argue that no person should be above the law and those who contend that only Donald Trump should be above the law. Clarence Thomas gave the appearance of impropriety, but did he break any laws in accepting the hospitality of his close friends and not reporting this?

There are those in public office who are scrupulous about accepting absolutely nothing of value from anyone who might be trying to influence them.  For example, I have a friend who used to work for a U.S. Senator as a senior aide. From time to time they reminded them that they shouldn't let a lobbyist pick up the tab when they dined out. There are others in official positions who may be a bit looser when it comes to such matters.

What are the ethical boundaries for people who have political power and influence?

I once invited a local lawmaker to lunch for an interview. Lunch would be on me. He wouldn’t allow it. “I wouldn’t even let you buy me a cup of coffee at Starbucks,” he told me.

At least that was a good thing, since I’m not exactly a fan of Starbucks.

A member of Congress, the executive branch, or the judiciary may engage with lobbyists and others who want to influence policy. It's also possible they could be friends with them. This, truly, could put one in a sticky wicket.

These revelations about Clarence hopefully has him meandering in a mucilaginous morass. If he and Ginni are feeling stuck in the muck it makes me happy. However, I rather doubt anything will come of it. I have a feeling that this will prove to be a tempest in a teapot, although it may be an expensive teapot.

Updates: You'll need a subscription to read why The Wall Street Journal says this is a smear.

"The left is furious it lost control of the Supreme Court, and it wants it back by whatever means possible. The latest effort is a smear on Justice Thomas."

Is it illegal for Thomas to receive gifts? 

Generally speaking, Supreme Court justices are required to disclose any perks that they receive if they are valued at more than $415 and they aren't reimbursed, according to public filings for judicial officers and employees. Those perks may include travel, food or lodging. 

But some exceptions can include situations when a person hosts a justice on their own property, in which case food and lodging would not have to be disclosed. But this exception does not apply to travel expenses such as costs for a private plane, however. 

Additionally, it appears Thomas should have reported vacations at Crow's Camp Topridge resort in New York because the developer technically owns the resort through a company, as opposed to owning it personally, according to ProPublica.

This confirms that everything that the Thomases accepted by way of hospitality on the Crow's yacht wasn't different than it would have been if they went to a friend's backyard barbecue. The travel expenses should have been reported.

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January 5, 2023

The Bunion reports: Compromise candidate for Speaker is Ginni Thomas

The Burning Bunion reports: Compromise candidate for Speaker is Ginni Thomas
Hal Brown

This is a shameless ripoff of oft quoted satirical website The Onion. It turns out that The Bunion, my original  name, was an idea too good to be original. In 2014 there was a Boston University student satire website with the name The Bunion so I named this The Burning Bunion. I can only aspire to be somewhat as clever in my attempts at satire as the good folks at The Onion are.

Breaking news: A backroom deal was finally struck among House Republicans with a compromise candidate to be the Speaker of the House. It is Ginni Thomas. While she is politically the polar opposite of Nancy Pelosi one thing the two have in common is they like to wear colorful scarves. 

Democrat political fashion guru Lisa Bungalow told The Bunion in an exclusive interview "while I loathe her politics and when I see her on TV it already makes me nauseous, at least she will keep bringing a splash of color to the podium."

Bungalow noted that when she was with her husband Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas she often wears red to complement what, like Donald Trump, is a signature red tie.

Saturday night Live took notice of this:
Kenan Thompson and Aidy Bryant
Sparticum Voluminous of The Okey-dokey Online Law Review in an email to The Bunion wrote "this would be like getting a Speaker of the House and a Supreme Court Justice rolling into one as second in line to the presidency." He noted that "everyone knows that Ginni and Clarence Thomas share everything. She advices him and he advises her."

Update: I wrote this above yesterday. Was I prescient or what? This story was on HUFFPOST this morning:
I put a comment on HuffPost. Perhaps some readers will see it and click to read this story.

October 2, 2022

The whole Truth? Ginni says generally, not never.

The whole Truth?

Ginni says generally, not never

by Hal Brown

Related articles on bottom of page

Click to enlarge image

“She was a gift from God that I had prayed for,” the justice said in a new book about him, “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in his Own Words.” “She’s been as dear and close a human being as I could have ever imagined having in my life.”

 Just saying: Turning back the clock of justice 

The horrible housfrau Thomas' choice of the word "generally" in her testimony to the Jan. 6th Committee jumped out at me: 

The words quoted in her prepared remarks sound as if they were prepared by lawyers to avoid her perjuring herself.

This is from CNN.

“Regarding the 2020 election, I did not speak with him at all about the details of my volunteer campaign activities,” Thomas said under oath in her opening statement obtained by CNN. “And I did not speak with him at all about the details of my post-election activities, which were minimal, in any event. I am certain I never spoke with him about any of the legal challenges to the 2020 election, as I was not involved with those challenges in any way.”

Thomas’ prepared remarks, however, stressed, “that my husband has never spoken with me about pending cases at the Court. It’s an iron clad rule in our home.”

“Additionally, [Justice Thomas] is uninterested in politics. And I generally do not discuss with him my day-to-day work in politics, the topics I am working on, who I am calling, emailing, texting, or meeting,” she added.

Not that anyone need to be reminded of the following synonyms for generally:
The remarks quoted above were prepared in advance. Did Ginni write them herself? I rather doubt it. They sound like they were carefully written by lawyers so she wouldn't risk perjuring herself.

The last part about her husband being uninterested in politics depends of course on one's definition of politics, but  it is still impossible to believe. 

Nobody with a working prefrontal cortex believes that Ginni didn't discuss her belief that the election was stollen as a result of a complex and massive scheme to deprive Donald Trump of his legitimate win.

The first part of her statement that it is an iron clad rule that her husband doesn't speak with her about pending cases may be true, after all she "guarantees" that it is.

This doesn't preclude his listening to her when she talks about her political beliefs and engaging in back and forth discussion with her about them. 

Getting back to the word "generally" and what she didn't say. She didn't say that she never speaks with him about specifics about what she's working on in her day-to-day work in politics, but even this is true she didn't address whether she speaks with him about what she believes.

I would be very surprised if the two of them didn't engage in numerous discussions about her belief, and very possibly Clarence's belief, that the election was stollen by the evil Joe Biden and the members of the deep state who were his allies in the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on freedom loving patriotic Americans.

And then there's this:

‘The View’ Hosts ‘Call B.S.’ on Ginni Thomas’ Claims She Doesn’t Talk Politics With Her Husband: ‘A Filthy Liar’


I think Ginni Thomas is a little bit of a filthy liar,” (co-host) Hostin said. “And the reason that I say that is because she says ‘We don’t talk about politics. We don’t talk about the Supreme Court…'” At that, Joy Behar cut her off, asking “What do they talk about, ‘Dancing With the Stars?'”

Hostin brought that up because there is indeed a thread between former clerks of Judge Thomas — which his wife is not only on, but “she plans family retreats for everyone” in it. Hostin also pointed out that one of those former clerks is John Eastman, who was, of course, one of the biggest testimonies in the Jan. 6 hearings.

“So Ginni, come on girl,” Hostin said cheekily.

Host Alyssa Farah Griffin also admitted that she’d “call B.S.” on Thomas’ claims that the Thomases don’t discuss their work, arguing that at the very least, Judge Thomas might ask his wife how her day was, or if she did anything exciting — including on Jan. 6, when his wife was at the Capitol.

“Is she a liar, or is she in the cult?” Behar wondered. But to that, host Ana Navarro had a blunt answer.

“Honey, she’s cray cray,” Navarro shot back. “This is not hard to figure out. First of all, since they’re not talking about politics, and they’re not talking about legal cases, maybe they’re the ones talking about Bruno.”

At Behar’s obvious confusion, Navarro clarified that she was referencing the viral song from Disney’s “Encanto,” before getting into her true thoughts on Ginni Thomas.

“I think she is representative of people who are somewhat radicalized, or totally radicalized, who are not rooted in fact, and who are crazy,” she said. “But I don’t think Ginni Thomas is a mastermind behind this conspiracy. I think she is one of those annoying gadflies that they had to deal with because she happens to be married to a Supreme Court justice that they needed.”

....and this:

"As we talk about and think of the rigged and stolen of 2020 — presidential election, rigged and stolen — I would like to thank a great woman named Ginni Thomas. Do you know Ginni Thomas? Great woman."

My snarky photo manipulation of the day (if you don't count the one I made for this story):

A picture is worth 1000 words... going 266,000 miles beyond the cliche... and you might be in dire need of psychiatric intervention too.

A (mostly) unrelated story and my comment:
Click below to enlarge my comment and added illustration.
As someone who was a psychotherapist for 40 years I try to have empathy for people like this woman because she was vulnerable to being manipulated like so many others who got sucked into the Trump cult and other far smaller cults in previous times. It is sad that instead of MAGA hats in another context they could be wearing tinfoil on their heads to prevent outer-space rays from frying their brains.

Another article, I added to the illustration (click image to enlarge)

Lawyer claims Trump could get away with financial lies because there was a disclaimer

And then there's Judge Cannon.... who went to The University of Michigan Law School... read my story about her (and Trump) here.

On the subject of law schools, real ones that is, here is a related article:

The Supreme Court Is Blowing Up Law School, Too

Inside the growing furor among professors who have had enough.


At law schools across the country, thousands of professors of constitutional law are currently facing a court that, in their view, has let the mask of neutrality fall off completely. Six conservative justices are steering the court head-on into the most controversial debates of the day and consistently siding with the Republican Party. Increasingly, the conservative majority does not even bother to provide any reasoning for its decisions, exploiting the shadow docket to overhaul the law without a word of explanation. The crisis reached its zenith between September 2021 and June 2022, when the Supreme Court let Texas impose its vigilante abortion ban through the shadow docket, then abolished a 50-year-old right to bodily autonomy by overruling Roe v. Wade. Now law professors are faced with a quandary: How—and why—should you teach law to students while the Supreme Court openly changes the meaning of the Constitution to align with the GOP?

A version of this question has long dogged the profession, which has fought over the distinction between law and politics for about as long as it has existed. For decades, however, the court has handed enough victories to both sides of the political spectrum that it has avoided a full-on academic revolt against its legitimacy. That dynamic changed when Trump appointed Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett to replace far less conservative predecessors and created a Republican-appointed supermajority, a coalition further aided by the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to a seat that should have been filled by Barack Obama. The cascade of far-right rulings in 2022 confirmed that the new court is eager to shred long-held precedents it deems too liberal as quickly as possible. The pace and scale of this revolution is requiring law professors to adapt on several levels—intellectually, pedagogically, and emotionally.


The problem, it’s worth emphasizing, is not that the Supreme Court is issuing decisions with which left-leaning professors disagree. It’s that the court seems to be reaching many of these conclusions in defiance of centuries of standards, rejecting precedent and moderation in favor of aggressive, partisan-tinged motivated reasoning. Plenty of progressive professors have long viewed the court with skepticism, and many professors, right- and left-leaning, have criticized the reasoning behind certain opinions for decades. But it’s only in recent years—with the manipulation of the justice selection process combined with clear, results-oriented cynicism in decisions—that the problem has seemed so acute that they feel it affects their ability to teach constitutional law.

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