Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Christology v Theology

So Much Winning!

And when Trump does campaign, he does this: Trump has not been campaigning, even when he could. He’s attended fundraisers since the trial, held rallies in the cheapest venues possible; and been reported funneling $5 million if contributions to…himself. Which will be interesting to the court monitor still overseeing Trump’s finances and businesses.

And he’s bleeding legal fees after that trial, and for all the hearings in Florida (court appearances cost $, preparing pleadings and briefs cost $; the odds Cannon would dismiss are zero (she’d be reversed almost immediately, probably lose control of the case. SDFL is supposed to have a “rocket docket,” but she’s making snails look hasty. ๐ŸŒ ) And there’s the appeal of the three civil judgments, and soon to be criminal appeal. None of these are going to end before next year; but the fundraising will. While the costs become astronomical.

Trump is desperate for the money. And his strategy is to win in November and make it all go away. That’s it. That’s all he knows.  His focus is on those cases, and fighting everything about them. That strategy cost him a lot of money and maybe even some mitigation defense.  He’s spending money fighting things that shouldn’t be fought (like the conflict of interest claim in Georgia. That’s not a winner, but it’s costing Trump a lot of money. Yes, it postponed the trial, but that just means the trial will come after the election; after the money dries up.). That strategy is not a winning one.

Trump isn’t trying to win the election. He thinks the polls and his rally attendees will do that for him. He’s trying to keep his ass out of jail, and out of another trial, until November 5th. 

That’s not a winning strategy, either.

The Children’s Hour; Or…

...MAGA in a nutshell.

Trump Is Not Campaigning

He just thinks the aura of candidacy will raise him enough money to buy his way out of his problems.

Prove me wrong. ๐Ÿ˜‘ 

BREAKING! Biden Embraces Convicted Felon!

See What The Rigged Justice System Did To Trump?

Fortunately, there’s always a fallback: I’m sure the NYT will report on this soon. And then Hell will freeze over. ๐Ÿฅถ 

A Sound Of Thunder

First, while poll averages are helpful to making sense of the current state of the race, forecasts are like predicting the future. In fact, they are literally about predicting the future. And predicting the future is hard — a basic life lesson if you haven’t come across it yet. To me, the 538 modeling is the gold standard. But I see it still as half a novelty. That’s no criticism of the people who put it together, incredibly smart folks. It’s just that there are a lot of factors that can’t be reduced to formulas and data inputs and the data that can be put into the model come with their own clouds of uncertainty. To me it’s a helpful data exercise which takes a knowledgable person’s range of factors, adds a bunch more and looks at them in a systematic and consistent-over-time fashion, stripped of wishful thinking. That’s helpful. It’s just not the be all and end all.
No, first, the problem with the future is that NOBODY LIVES THERE! Science (which is supposed to be the basis of polling), cannot predict the future because it cannot observe the future. As Hume pointed out, we only know the sun will rise tomorrow BECAUSE IT ALWAYS HAS. We have no reason to expect it not to, but if tomorrow it doesn’t then our expectations failed. We also predict presidential election results every four years, and those almost always fail. Not because we can’t account for enough variables (the problem is not pop chaos theory, or “Life Finds A Way”), the problem is, it’s the future, and by the time it gets here, reasonable guesses are more likely to be right, but also more likely to be meaningless.

Who predicted 2016? Somebody somewhere did, but so what? In polling a miss is as good as a mile because it seldom predicts the future, but every four years we blame black swan events and October surprises and declare four years after the fact that James Comey screwed over Hillary Clinton, and but for…!

But how do you know? Do you go back in time and step on the butterfly that leads to the birth of James Comey and find out?

Probably too many variables, right?*

IIRC, Romney was giving Obama a narrow path to re-election. In the end, it wasn’t even close. In my lifetime only three Presidents who ran for a second term, lost: Carter, Bush pere, and Trump. None of the three were as good at retail politics as their opponents. And Trump is now being noticed for babbling about electric boats and sharks and teleprompters. And he’s still raising money to pay lawyers, not to campaign.

And being a convicted felon is not likely to be a benefit on the campaign trail. Still, the future will be what the future will be. In 2016, we decided Trump would be the corrective that would teach us all to listen to Susan Sarandon; or that no matter how bad Hillary was (because: Bill. And because: Hillary.), Trump wouldn’t win; and mostly because, Trump can’t win, and I’m not voting for Hillary.

And have we learned from that?

These are the variables that try men’s (and women’s?) souls.

But the biggest problem is trying to get back to the future without a DeLorean equipped with a flux capacitor. It’s the obsession with the future which is the real narrative of the narrative. The moment the Presidential election is over, speculation begins about the next election in four years. Trump has taken our two national political obsessions: Who’s next?, and What do the polls say?, and like an evil (or simply feral) genius, turned them against us. All the political press cares about is the horse race, assuming always it’s a battle between Tweedledee and Tweedledum, so the outcome doesn’t matter. The sound of thunder happens so far in the past only the butterfly hears it. All that matters is who wins in November, so the speculation on who wins four Novembers from now, can begin. We are constantly chasing the future in four-year increments. And Trump is using that, now, to try to avoid the criminal prosecutions he can’t avoid.

Trump has been running for office practically since he left Washington, and he claims it gives him extra-legal protection that no court has recognized. He also claims he’s leading in the polls, so he can’t be guilty; or even prosecuted. He’s working the two polls of the narrative: who’s next? (Trump) and what do the polls tell us about the future? In political reporting no two things are more sacred than who is running, and what is their standing in the polls? Every time someone complains about Trump’s attacks on democracy, consider how they are twisting themselves even tighter into those bindings, because all they are really talking about is what the polls say, and what the future will be. That political narrative is old and familiar and, like it or not, we accept it as true and trustworthy. The same way we accept presidential candidates as worthy to hold the office. If they were not worthy, would they be candidates?

In the end, the narrative won’t save him. Trump’s con is on himself: he confuses the narrative with reality. He thinks polls are actually windows on the future, and can tell us who in the future is next. He thinks being next retroactively protects him now; or at least will extend endlessly into the future. He also presents himself as worthy of the office, because how else could he have supporters? The problem is less who he is, than who we think who he must be. He’s crashing not because somebody in the past stepped on the butterfly, but because he’s trying to live in the future we’ve always insisted was the only place that matters. But reality is in the here and now, and it’s wrenching to the national discourse to focus on the present (not on the future that never arrives because “Who’s next?”) and on character (which is not just a partisan campaign issue that muddies the “objective” POV of political reporting.). 

The irony is, reality and the present are not giving Trump a very good future at all.

*If you remember the story, you remember that the untimely death of a butterfly in the Jurassic era lead to the unwelcome election of a strong man over a wise man, to the American presidency. 

Inside MAGA Baseball

So, Comer and Miller go deep into MAGA conspiracy theory to find something even proponents of CRT (remember that?) can’t understand. So far under the stitches they can’t even see the stitches.

Mike Johnson, meanwhile, finds a way to sell it to the masses: praising the use of a sledgehammer as a fly swatter.
(There are reports Hunter will raise a 2nd amendment defense on appeal of these charges.)

And Lauren Boebert is still running around in the round room, looking for that corner to sit in:
She just knows she’s supposed to be saying something. So she highlights the statement President Biden made hours before her tweet: MAGA is not coping very well with reality.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Catching The Car

“Those Who Are Not With Me, Are Ideological And Against Me”

In the audio, recorded June 3 at an event hosted by the Supreme Court Historical Society, the questioner asks the justice why he feels the nation's highest court has been "attacked" and "targeted by the media" in recent years. 
Alito replied: “They don’t like our decisions, and they don’t like how they anticipate we may decide some cases that are coming up. That’s the beginning of the end of it,” he said. 
The justice added:" “There are groups that are very well-funded by ideological groups that have spearheaded these attacks. That’s what it is.” 
When asked to explain further, Alito said, "ProPublica gets a lot of money, and they have spent a fortune investigating Clarence Thomas, for example. You know, everything he’s ever done in his entire life.” 
"They look for any little thing they can find, and they try to make something out of it," he said.
“They look for any little thing they can find, and they try to make something out of it.”

A fair description of what judges do. Well, according to ideologues.
Damned calculating ideologues. Bleeding ideologues.

๐Ÿฆต๐Ÿฆต๐Ÿฆต(Legs) (?)

Two Levels Of Justice

I Am The Speaker Of The House…

...and I think the rule of law is only fair when I like the outcome.

Otherwise the rule of law fails. And while I’ve never attended a criminal case in my life, when I like the outcome I know the evidence was overwhelming. When I don’t like the outcome, I know it was not.

Because I am the Speaker of the House.

Tuesday Follies And The Full Monty

Never underestimate the power of MAGA fantasy. Well, it’s Stephen Miller, so… Because you deserve the Full Monty. Yup. And the best way I understand it:

Teflon Don

I remember a comment by Mark Cuban, that a real billionaire doesn’t need to do a TeeVee show.

Trump was never coated in Teflon; he was a joke. He stopped being funny when he entered the White House; but he was still a joke. People just stopped accepting him as one at that point.

๐ŸŽถIn The Year 2025 ๐ŸŽถ

It’s about time we moved on from the Constitution being the Supreme Law of the Land. Constitutional order is so 2024.

Holy War

And since they won’t yield and leave the field, we have a religious obligation to make them more godly.

Or at least burn their Pride flags and fly the flags of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Monday, June 10, 2024

The Day After Nevada

Ya think? Things You Will See In An Amicus Brief: Or A Campaign Ad. Also, too, as well:
The whole point of a con is to convince people the criminal is trying to help them. 

Making A Difference, Dept. Yeah, that changed everything.

Because Jesus Said: “Punk Your Enemies”

๐ŸŽถ”God made us the boss!
God gave us the cross!
We turned it into a sword!
To spread the word of the Lord!
We use His holy decrees 
To do whatever we please!

And it was good (yeah!)
And it was good (yeah!)
And it was Goddamned good!”๐ŸŽถ

Leonard Bernstein, “IX. Gospel-Sermon,” from “Mass.”

Accordion Hands ๐Ÿ™Œ


The Majority Of The Country Would Be Happy To Make Arrangements For You To Move To A Place Where You Are More Comfortable...

 "I don’t know that we can negotiate with the left in the way that needs to happen for the polarization to end,” Windsor told him. “I think that it’s a matter of, like, winning.”

“I think you’re probably right,” Alito said. “On one side or the other — one side or the other is going to win. I don’t know. I mean, there can be a way of working — a way of living together peacefully, but it’s difficult, you know, because there are differences on fundamental things that really can’t be compromised. They really can’t be compromised. So it’s not like you are going to split the difference.”

One cannot compromise with evil?  That's a fine stance for a zealot, religious or otherwise.  It's not a good position for a judge, or just anyone living in a pluralistic, democratic society.

In another instance, Windsor got Alito to seemingly agree about the need for the United States to return to its purported roots as a Christian nation.

"People in this country who believe in God have got to keep fighting for that — to return our country to a place of godliness," she said.

“I agree with you. I agree with you,” he replied.

I'm quite sure the "God" you want to find the standard of "godliness" is the god of your own reflection. Which, based on the previous quote, is not the God of the Gospels, or the Hebrew prophets or the Law of Moses, at all. 

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Hey! It Would Work On TeeVee! ๐Ÿ“บ

Vibes, see. We need to acknowledge the rule of vibes!

Marching Resolutely Backwards

Besides, as we saw in France this week, most of that generation is dead.

Honor them for what they got right, but it was their children, the Boomers, who locked arms with “minorities” and  pushed civil rights for race, gender, and sexual preference.

“The polls! The polls! Old Rocky Face, Look Forth!”*

I don’t know why I think polls predict the future about as well as tea leaves and chicken entrails. *Apologies to W.B. Yeats

Now We Know Why Trump Doesn’t Like Mail-In Voting

Crazier Than The Heat

Got to prove it’s not hot, right? He used that word first. Nobody ever used it before him. See, it’s not that hot! ๐Ÿฅต And they had water to throw! But the fun part is, Trump imagining anybody is going to give a shit about him a year from now. 3 criminal trials? He doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of staying out of jail. Is he trying to boost Kool-Aid sales? Don’t they understand what’s important to Trump is what’s important? Due process for me, but not for thee. It’s like variations on a constant theme. I guess it got hot after all. ๐Ÿฅต

Remind Me, Again…

...what does Elmo actually know?  Besides self-aggrandizement, I mean.

I know what Dr. Fauci’s knowledge base is. But Elmo? What the fuck does Elmo actually know about anything?

๐Ÿฅต Crazy From The Heat ๐Ÿฅต

Well, he didn’t say “Lock ‘em up!,” so it’s okay. The schoolyard taunt was: “Takes one to know one!” These stories are all very familiar. I think he’s already jumped the shark. ๐Ÿฆˆ (You’re guess is as good as mine what this has to do with campaigning at all.) "Message: I care.”! (Oops, sorry! Wrong ex-President.) "Except for me, of course!” Again, it’s only what he doesn’t say that matters. Right? Room? I guess the room comment is okay, then.
From? Are you better off now? Well, you know, it’s so old news that it’s just Trump being Trump. But have you heard about Biden’s uncle?

The President Of Mexico’s Husband?

Jesus missed his chance for Jesus trading cards. And I just gotta say: The closest parallel would be “political prisoner.” Crucifixion was reserved for those who threatened the political power of Rome. Think the end of  “Spartacus,” and all the slaves crucified together.

So the comparison might be more apt if Trump is convicted in the DC case. Except Trump is going to jail for his sins.


About 8:45 a.m. Saturday at former President Donald Trump’s Sunset Park outdoor rally in Las Vegas, a secret service agent ran toward the security line shouting “Medic.” It was the first call for medical help on a day that could see many of them. According to the National Weather Service, it was 86 degrees but temperatures are expected to top 100 degrees with no shade for attendees. 
A person was wheeled to a closed, air-conditioned tent just off the open field where the rally is being staged. 
The temperature at the outdoor venue was 88 degrees at 8:30 a.m., on the way to a forecast high of 96 degrees at 11 a.m. when the former president was scheduled to go on. 
At Friday's event in Phoenix, 11 people were taken to area hospitals from heat-related incidents, authorities said. That event was held indoors but people waited in line outside for hours. 
Gates opened at 9 a.m. at Sunday’s event.
It was 79F this morning when I went out to do some gardening. The humidity is much higher here than the Nevada desert, but the temperature rose quickly to 90, and I called it a day after 90 minutes. I had water, and I had shade, and I still didn’t cool off until I came inside.

I understand Trump is worried about losing Nevada,. This is a very poor way to electioneer for it.


Yes, there’s a good reason Joe Biden would never do that. Granted: But there isn’t anyway to make that argument come out right.

OTOH, Joe Biden is old! “How old is he?”

Lawyers Ain’t Cheap

Open parks are. I guess Trump’s supporters won’t follow him into hell. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ Is Trump’s supporters learning? That will be 1:00 pm MDT, or noon solar time. When the hot part of the day begins, IOW. It will just keep getting hotter and hotter ๐Ÿฅต until sundown.

“Big, Strong Guys, Who Never Cry, With Tears In Their Eyes” ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Yeah, Biden’s the one with the problem. ๐Ÿ™„ I’ve heard all the stories Trump told above, repeatedly. I’ve even heard of the story of Biden’s uncle and cannibals.

“All the news that fits!”

Still Unclear About The Concept

According to the author, Trump is at his best when the cameras are on, because, at heart, he's a performer and he would try and turn a stint in jail into a spectacle. “I think that if he did go to jail, he would figure out a way to make that his stage,” Wolff stated. 
“That would be the effect that they would make him even more famous. Jail would become an extraordinary platform for him.”
How many people in the media still don’t understand what jail is?

(And yes, Trump is incoherent in front of the cameras. Editing is all that’s hiding that now.)

ETTD; Or, It’s Just The Company He Keeps

Of course, it just could be Trump is the world’s biggest asshole: Like attracts like.

Upside Down World

Wouldn’t it be a Rubicon moment if Bannon was in contempt of Congress and not charged for it? He was charged, tried, and had a court of appeals review the conviction.

It’s called “due process of law.” Without which, per Hobbes, life is “nasty, brutish, and short.” What’s actually short is Bannon’s sentence. He’ll be out before Thanksgiving.

Or is the mask off because rich white man privilege doesn’t protect all rich white men from the consequences of their actions?
Or Elmo. Or any rich, right-wing, white guy.

I’m old enough to remember when this guy was the heir apparent to Hunter Thompson. That didn’t last long.

Doubling Down On Doubling Down

Trump is likely to double down on his attacks against Merchan, directing his supporters at rallies and in Truth Social posts to take up their grievances with the judge, one of the sources added," Lowell wrote before adding, "Trump’s supporters have a history of making threats against judges Trump has assailed, including death threats to Tanya Chutkan, the US district judge who is presiding in his federal 2020 election interference case, and to the chambers of the New York judge who oversaw his civil fraud trial." 
The report continued, "If a jail sentence does come, one of the sources said, they expected Trump to lash out in anger," before adding, "... if Merchan does actually sentence Trump to jail, the judge would be thrust forward by Trump as responsible for any fallout and any unrest from his supporters who have a history of engaging in political violence merely on the former president airing grievances." 
"The pre-sentencing report is typically one major opportunity that defendants have to make a good impression on the judge, including by expressing contrition. Trump has suggested none of that since his conviction, including by attacking the verdict the very next day," Lowell added.
As I’ve said before, Trump has never faced a criminal charge, much less a trial and conviction. He railed against E. Jean Carroll, and that earned a second civil judgment. But the similarity between civil and criminal ends long before that. 

Criminal trials don’t end with the verdict. Sentencing takes into account many facts not presented at trial (since most of them would be prejudicial). A civil court can hear evidence of wealth in order to determine damages; a criminal jury only decides guilt. The judge at sentencing can hear evidence, from an officer of the court, of wealth in setting the fine; or conduct, from many sources, in assessing imprisonment.He can also take notice of all the other threats against all the other judges. Trump’s noise is not going to beat the system. Trump’s noise is going to beat Trump.

And after sentencing? Well, let’s just say Trump does himself no favors with the appeals courts by continuing to attack the trial judge. He’s in the hands of the system now, and that system doesn’t need another trial and new grounds to punish him.

As for the threats of violence: 1) again, that works against Trump. 2) it will be no more than noise and, possibly, lone wolves. That’s bad, but Trump still believes if he’s loud enough, something like J6 will be repeated. But there was nothing spontaneous about J6. And Trump has proven time and again he can’t rally anybody but his “Dead Heads,” and even they are getting bored.

“Sorry MAGA,” But You Don’t Have A Clue

Tl;dr: Biden tried to jawbone Saudi Arabia to increase production and lower prices. SA told Biden to pound sand. So Biden became the biggest oil trader in the world.

He sold inventory from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve at $90 bbl, driving the global market price down. He forced oil traders to play by saying he had more where that came from. They fell in line from fear of being left behind. Later he restored the reserves, buying at $70 bbl, for a profit of $4 billion into the Treasury.

And OPEC recently gave in and increased production, because the US is setting the price on the world market. Between that and increased US production, we’re sitting in the catbird’s seat.

(Trump’s play in this is to promise to open federal lands for drilling. “Drill, baby, drill.” He did that when he was in office. Nobody was interested. So he’s doubling down. Ignorance is all he has to offer.)

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Biden Visiting The Aisne-Marne American Cemetery… already an attack on Trump in itself. Wait for it…

You Misspelled “Fundraising”

But let’s see his lawyers investigate it and try to put evidence before Merchan. That’s going to require more than tweets.

We Get Comments

Unfortunately, I can't read what Gretta Van Smartypants said because neither my browsers is supported. I'm guessing she got hoaxed. You'd think a lawyer as old as she is would know how to avoid being hoaxed online but they seem to be as naive about that stuff as I was around 2002. Did anyone make out as big as she did from the OJ case? I avoided that circus as much as I could and even I found out who she was.

 Merchan’s letter:

“Today the Court became aware of a comment that was posted on the Unified Court System's public Facebook page and which I now bring to your attention. In the comment, the user, "Michael Anderson," states:

"My cousin is a juror and says Trump is getting convicted Thank you folks for all your hard work!!!!"
“The comment, now labeled as one week old, responded to a routine UCS notice, posted on May 29, 2024, regarding oral arguments in the Fourth Department of the Appellate Division unrelated to this proceeding. 'I'he posting, entitled "The Appellate Division, Fourth Department, will hear oral arguments this morning at 10." and the comment are both viewable at [ ].”

I would just note that letter leaves any response to the parties. The justice doesn’t offer any comment or set a hearing.  He leaves that to the parties, if they think they can offer anything. That’s the linchpin here: Where’s the evidence? Does either party want to touch this?

But a lot of people jumped to the conclusion this really meant something. Which, now we know, it didn’t. That’s one factor in the scandal-that-wasn’t. The other is the absolute stupidity, which seemed apparent before. Now, it’s even more so.

Merchan notifies the parties because it was on the court system Facebook page. That’s all this letter does. Jumping from that to exoneration is just really ridiculous.  I know I’m supposed to be afraid of these people, or wringing my hands in despair, or worrying about mob violence…but this is a fucking clown show.

If any narrative needs to be told, it’s that one. These people, from Trump down (including Haley and Romney and any other GOP politician who won’t admit Trump is fit only for a prison cell, or at least an ankle bracelet), are not to be treated as serious people; or even adults.

Which Is Funny, Because…

The appellate courts are not going to consider the ignorant and uninformed opinions of TeeVee and Twitter commentators.

And the voters are only going to hear: “Felony convictions.”

Any amendment or modification of that conviction, even a complete reversal and dismissal of all charges (unlikely, but it could happen. Due process, and all.), will not happen until long, long after November.

“Convicted felon” is gonna stick; like glue.

“This Is Where I Came In”*

I have memories of college kids (“radicals,” in the ‘60’s) complaining about judges being unfair and biased because they were upholding the law. Usually against black civil rights protestors (not all of whom were followers of Dr. King, so some violence was sometimes allegedly (or truly) involved.). Or anti war protestors, burning draft cards (it was a different time), etc. Sometimes protestors fighting cops, in court for it. I’m trying to be fair. It was never entirely a “police state” oppressing the people. Or, rather, People. Even though some tried to present it that way (sometimes quite correctly).

Everything old is new again, IOW (as the kids say). White college kids were the complainers with some legitimacy. Stokely Carmichael or Malcolm X were just thugs (in the popular mind/news narratives). Dr. King was troublemaker, not a saint. I’m trying to say white college kids (privileged. College kept them out of the draft.) were given some credence because they were…white. They were “radical,” but they were…misguided. King was wrong, but the Black Panthers were criminals (even though they were mostly interested in social justice) and dangerous (to thus day only rich white men can claim felonies as a badge of honor). And the critiques of those college students, the language they used, are now in the mouths of…Republican politicians and their supporters.

Judges were corrupt, biased, and part of the problem, back then; or so the protesters said. And the legal system as a whole was arrayed against the people. That critique was considered an insanely anti-democratic assault on Constitutional order at the time, a radical assault, a term the radicals meant was striking at the roots of the problem, and critics meant was simply too extreme to tolerate. Interestingly, it sprang from the same place as the critique against the “radicals” springs today: World War II.

That war destroyed the old world order and began work on a new one. Not just the Cold War, but the alliance with Japan and Germany, both if which eschewed the martial heritage of their wartime governments (“Godzilla Minus One” is a Japanese reboot if that country’s most famous pop culture icon. The movie opens in 1945, as the war is ending, and extends through the recovery years, in a kind of remake of the original “Godzilla” film. But what’s interesting is how much the characters who lived the war , reject the militarism of Imperial Japan, and clearly want to make better country from the ruins of the old. They don’t want to recover old glories; they want to rectify history and prove themselves better.). That new order inspired returning blacks to stop accepting Jim Crow in America. And the lesson my father’s generation taught mine, was that we could improve on the past, rather than accept it as just “the way it is.”

The radical idea of the ‘60’s was that justice could be for everybody. Black liberation meant women’s liberation meant gay liberation. Liberation not just for me, but for thee. True liberation had to be for thee, or how could I be free?

And now that language, those ideas, are co-opted: justice is for me (rich white men and their privileges) but not for thee (women, immigrants, non-whites, non-rich). Much of the radical assault on society and justice seemed foolish to me at the. It took decades for me to understand the wisdom behind it (and never all of it; discernment is part of wisdom), to learn some of it was right because the roots were rotten. But those critiques were meant to serve everyone. The same language, today, is mostly in the mouths of revanchists desperately trying to claw back privileges for themselves, or attain privileges they wish they could have.

And a lot of ‘em, like this guy, are just plain stupid.

*Even my analogies are outdated. In the days before multiplexes, a movie theater ran the movie almost on a loop. If you arrived late and the movie had started, you just sat through the beginning again, to see what you’d missed. I have a distinct memory of my father coming into the theater to pick up my brother and I as we sat in the downtown theater on a Saturday afternoon watching the show for the second time. Ah, dem was de days!

Friday, June 07, 2024

Too True To Be Good

As Ron Filipkowski says: This already doesn’t pass the smell test. But it will be entertaining. That’s going to be the fun part.

Who’d a Thunk It?

Wait, so we should ignore Trump?  Huh.

For Our Next Trick…

The Constitution establishes a “Supreme Court” and a “Chief Justice” of that Court in Article III.
The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
The jurisdiction of that Court lies largely with Congress:
In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.
As Professor Vladeck has pointed out, the Court we accept as “traditional” in function today is largely a product of the Judicial Act of 1925. The Court, in other words, is more a creature of Congress than not.

Which is where, if we could ask them today, the Founders would say the fault lies. “Good behavior” has been defined as “for life” unless impeached. Impeachment, however, has never removed a Supreme Court justice. Congress could change that. It could certain impose ethical rules on the Court, rules enforceable by a third party.  Members of Congress are accountable to the membership (ask George Santos). Presidents are accountable to Congress and to the voters. Supreme Court justices are accountable to…? This is a matter ripe for reform.*

Congress could even declare “good behavior” is limited to a term of years. Federal judges are already forced to resign from the active bench after a certain age. Supreme Court justices set themselves above that. Because we let them. Because Congress lets them.

The Founders didn’t do anything to us, certainly nothing we can’t change. We amended the Constitution to end slavery, give women and then 18 year olds the vote; directly elect Senators, and limit Presidents to two terms. We can certainly amend Article III, if it comes to that, to make “good behavior” limited by age.

Or we could go the Abe Fortas route and open a criminal investigation into Thomas. Then assistant attorney general Rehnquist convinced Nixon that it was perfectly legal to investigate Fortas (which eventually convinced Fortas to resign). Except I think we’d need the investigation to lead to charges to lead to a conviction and then impeachment before Thomas would resign. If he would resign.

Maybe in Biden’s second term.

*Thomas admitted today the receipt of outrageously expensive gifts reported by Pro Publica months ago. He seems to have decided there’s no harm in admitting it. He’s probably right.

Because No One Ever Lied About Who They Are In The Internet

I thought I’d just build a semi-historical semi-record. Yes, this will run loudly ‘round the world: And it will matter not a bean. ๐Ÿซ˜  It’s been less time since that event than will pass before the appellate court makes any ruling on Trump’s case. And before that there’ll be a clear record made of precisely what happened. Likely before the summer is over. Maybe even before the sentencing hearing.

The DA has a lot of investigative resources, after all.

Okay, let’s go there:
Merchan released this information precisely because he is a good jurist, and precisely because he doesn’t know whether or not this post is real. Which is why it should be investigated. 

You know, the determination to resolve factual matters best left to the courts is really as useless as the determination to leap to conclusions.