Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The Narrative Catches Up As Reality Takes A Breather

What was obvious to sentient beings for 8 years finally becomes “conventional wisdom.”

When The Walls Fell

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Funny that’s not having any effect.
"We have a Rigged Judge, who is working for the Democrat Party and refuses to terminate this 'case,' which should have never been brought by Soft on Crime Alvin Bragg," Trump posted at 2 a.m. on Truth Social. 
"Judge [Juan] Merchan should be immediately removed, and the Appellate Courts have to take over. That also applies to Corrupt Judge [Arthur] Engoron, who knew I did nothing wrong, and still fraudulently fined me $500 Million Dollars while having no knowledge of Valuation, Finance, or in any way what he was doing. Same with Judge Kaplan, who allowed a woman, who I have never met (celebrity photo line does not count!), and know nothing about, to get a lawless judgment of $90 Million Dollars. New York Justice is in shambles, and only the Appellate Courts can save it."
Except the courts can’t (or won’t, because they’re rigged, too), so the GOP must.
A Republican doesn’t stand a chance," Trump raged in his overnight post. "This is not Justice." 
"This New York Cabal, run by Crooked Joe Biden’s White House, is a hit job on a Political Opponent the likes of which the USA has never seen before," Trump added. "For the Good of our Country, it must be stopped. The Crooked Joe Biden Witch Hunts have to be ended. REPUBLICANS IN WASHINGTON MUST TAKE ACTION!"
"MOMMY!”

Trump’s Day Off

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Trump Can’t Campaign…

I missed this, where Trump complains the articles he’s clutching should be “put in” at trial. In the same day David Pecker testified about all the articles he published that were lies invented by Trump.

He has no idea how a trial works. No wonder he’s miserable.
A good story teller sets the stage for the story:
There was an arrangement that Michael Cohen would, according to David Pecker, would call him up after one of the Republican debates," Schneider explained. 
"Whoever was doing the best at the debate, [Cohen] would direct him — David Pecker — to run a devastating story about that person." 
"That's setting up...for the jury to see, the fact that Trump allegedly seems to have a pattern and history of gaining an unfair advantage during that election," Schneider said. "And I think that that point, although subtle today, is going to come back later on in the trial."
And you know Trump still doesn’t know what happened.
Pennsylvania primary today. Trump couldn’t campaign.
Since Trump can’t campaign, his allies do it for him. Old news. Real news. Slowly, slowly, slowly, the narrative catches up with reality. While reality leaps relentlessly ahead.

Don’t Try This At Home, Kids!

Seriously. Don’t chop celery this way. Unless you have a dull knife. And want dirt in your food.

๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿป‍♂️

Why do people always act like this has never happened in the history of our country, ever? As Molly Ivins loved to say: “It’s a representative government.” As Ecclesiastes said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Who was it said you’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public? Self-awareness is not a success trait. And probably an impediment to getting on TeeVee. Remember when they called it the “boob tube”? I think that’s too highbrow a label now. But, of course, “highbrow” is too highbrow. Clearly Lara Trump thinks the RNC has become a government above all governments in the U.S. of A. Or maybe she just thinks so because now she gets on TeeVee. The irony of this is that David Pecker (Trump: “I never knew him. I think he brought coffee, or something. There was no relationship.”) is in that building testifying about all the fake news stories Trump invented about his political opponents that Pecker put on the front page.
And Trump is still at it.

 Truth is stranger than fiction.

“History Is Bunk!”—Henry Ford

Not that many progressives in charge of the Democrats, actually. Daley was responsible for the police riot in ‘68 (hey! They were on private property, right? Or something.) Conservatives nominated Humphrey over McCarthy (who was hardly seen as being as radical as McGovern). I’ll give you the assaults on LBJ over Vietnam (he was terrible), and not giving him any credit for civil rights and his Great Society legislation (Medicare was a small part of it). 

But Reagan was the snake oil salesman Trump wanted to be. His career was little more illustrious than Trump’s TeeVee stint, but Reagan hosted “Death Valley Days,” which increased his name/face recognition. And frankly, the Democratic nominees between Carter and Clinton weren’t that memorable.

Reagan also launched his campaign from Philadelphia, Mississippi, rather than California. A clear sign he wasn’t going to continue the legacy of civil rights, especially when there were welfare queens to blame for excessive government spending on the “wrong” people.

It was a reaction to the’60’s, not the legacy of blinkered progressives. It carried right through Clinton’s eight years, where he carefully disavowed being a “child of the ‘60’s,” and Gingrich claimed Reagan’s mantle. And the heir of Gingrich is…Trump. And MTG. Except Reagan and Gingrich both knew how to make government work.

Yes, we had only one Republican President between 1932 and 1968. But by ‘68 the differences between the Democrats and the GOP were truly academic HHH ran more like Gore 30 years later, than LBJ ran like the heir to JFK.) And the American public didn’t really like all the radical changes in American life between ‘45 and ‘67. I wouldn’t blame that on college students on a few campuses. I mean, you might as well blame Beatniks, Daddy-O.

The Reviews Are In!

"Thousands of people were turned away from the Courthouse in Lower Manhattan by steel stanchions and police, literally blocks from the tiny side door from where I enter and leave," Trump wrote. "It is an armed camp to keep people away.”
"Maggot Hagerman of The Failing New York Times, falsely reported that I was disappointed with the crowds," Trump declared. "No, I’m disappointed with Maggot, and her lack of writing skill, and that some of these many police aren’t being sent to Columbia and NYU to keep the schools open and the students safe. The Legal Scholars call the case a Scam that should never have been brought. I call it Election Interference and a personal hit job by a conflicted and corrupt Judge who shouldn’t be allowed to preside over this Political Hoax. New York Justice is being reduced to ashes, and the World is breathlessly watching. Hopefully, Appellate Courts can save it, and all of the companies that are fleeing to other jurisdictions. They can no longer take a chance on New York Justice!"
Funny thing, they don’t have to try very hard. Especially when you’re doing the work for them. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿป‍♂️ 
The five hour days are the worst part.  (I regularly go 7-8 hours between breakfast and dinner without eating. It can be done!) Even I’m not that old. Except Trump is only making that claim in the media. Let’s see if he raises it in the courtroom. (Pro-tip: it would require Trump’s testimony. But it’s also not remotely a defense to the charges. So all Trump’s testimony would do is ruin his credibility.) Projection is a really harsh mistress.

Numb And Number

Trump is not being strategic. He’s just desperate for money, and he figures jail will flail (!)  the outrage nerve attached to his supporters wallets one more time.

Does he want to go to jail? Then why did he attack Merchan this time, instead of the jury or a witness? He heard the judge bristle at the “two systems of justice” comment in the show cause hearing, so he goes for “kangaroo court.” But if he really wants to visit the cells, he could stand up and read that post in court. Or this one:
#DonSnorleone

Such an act of defiance would get him in a cell instanter. He doesn’t want to go to jail. He wants credit for the possibility. He wants to touch his supporters in their happy place, so they’ll send him money, without putting himself at risk. But you can only tickle that spot so many times before it becomes dull, and then numb.

Even going to jail might not work. And that’s what he fears most.

“The Only Thing That Matters Is The Front Page”—David Pecker

That pretty much sums it up. Plus ce la change...

Why Blanche Lost Credibility

Do you remember the scene from “The Paper Chase” when Kingsfield hands some coins to a student and tells him to go call his mother, and tell her he’s never going to be a lawyer?

That’s the response Blanche’s statement merits.

๐Ÿชฆ R.I.P. Todd Blanche, Esq.

☠️

(If the judge is already telling you that you have lost credibility, you are well and truly fucked.)

Monday, April 22, 2024

What’s To Understand?

NOT Trump’s lawyer in New York. Or influence a fair jury trial. IOW, the way every defendant in a classified case wants the case to be tried. Before CIPA, that’s why so few classified cases were tried to juries. Nothing new here, IOW, just trying to threaten the prosecution with what they don’t want. And recognizing Cannon is so far over her head, she’s looking up to see bottom. I guess he’s seen the pictures. What if they held a trial protest and nobody came? I’m just guessing the crowd who travel to a field in North Carolina aren’t coming to downtown Manhattan anytime soon.
He has been hoping for something of a circus around his trial, but the reality is that only two to three dozen supporters over the last week have shown up," said Haberman, who has been covering the trial in person. "He looked very unhappy."
So his desperation is expanding? Makes sense. Also makes sense. Newt was rooting for the police. In fact... I’m really not worried about how the right-wing press covers this trial. C’mon, you gotta give me that one!

Masterclassing

If my knife was that dull, I’d replace it (and take the old blade to a knife sharpening service). Way too much effort going into cutting celery. (And considering how much dirt hides in a celery bunch, I’d never cut up celery that way. You have to separate the stalks and rinse them.) Gott mit... who, exactly? A little louder for the folks in the back!

I wasn’t going to, but this is too good to pass up:
Hillary said the following: "His bromance with Putin - it was actually called that by the former PM of Australia who said he saw Trump with Putin and Trump was just gaga over Putin. Because Putin does what he would like to do - kill his opposition, imprison his opposition, drive journalists and others into exile, rule without any check or balance. That's what Trump really wants."
Lake responded:
Lake responded to the clip, "That's really rich coming from a woman like Hillary Clinton. How many of her friends have mysteriously died or committed suicide?" 
"Then know they can't win on their policies ... They know they can't win on that so they have to try every other measure to try to control the government. It's comical that Hillary is talking about Trump wanting to kill his opponents? I just want to say, as I'm speaking about this topic I want everyone out there to know that the brakes on my car have recently been checked and they work. I'm not suicidal. Hillary, I don't mean any harm to you, please don't send your henchmen out to me. We understand what you're about."
See how quickly that turned from a comment on Trump into a threat on the life of Lake? Truly Trumpian. Or by DEI trying to teach them to recognize people not exactly like them, are people, too.
Another masterclass. Besides, I thought he needed to be campaigning. Actually, the silly part is suggesting golf is exercise. It’s not really even a good walk. And the way Trumps does it (he drives his cart onto the greens), it’s not even a walk. Trump had better disavow her immediately, or he’s lost Texas. Sear? Brisket? What fresh hell is this? So many people knew. Because all the businesses have already left the city, donchaknow?
Bill Maher predicted last year that this trial would only rally pro-Trump voters and help him secure the presidency. “I think this is a colossal mistake if they bring these charges,” the pundit argued. “I mean, yes, [Trump’s] done a lot of bad things, and I'm sure he did this—everything they accused him of [doing], he did. But first of all, it’s not gonna work. It’s gonna be rocket fuel for his 2024 campaign.”
It’s certainly drawing people to the courthouse.
Yet last week felt like the opposite of “rocket fuel.” If anything, what we saw was a grumpy 77-year-old man who was exhausted from hours of sitting on a hard chair in a cold room, falling asleep to potential jurors talking about their (oft-negative) feelings about him. Before the trial started, Trump’s campaign sent out a fundraising email promising that it was “72 hours until all hell breaks loose.” But there was no hell to speak of. Trump supporters didn’t storm the courthouse like they did the Capitol back in January 2021. In fact, the only turnout Trump got was a smattering of his usual toadies, including Andrew Giuliani. We don’t know what the next four days of Trump’s trial will hold. But if he and his supporters are already feeling depleted, imagine how they’ll feel in June.
Well, with all those businesses leaving the city… Of course.

Free Bird

A man set himself on fire outside that building last week. I think NYPD can make its own deployment decisions. Trump is free to campaign this afternoon. Hope springs eternal. As opposed to an indirect violation. (Sorry, but that one’s been hanging out there all day. A “direct” violation would actually be one in the presence of the court. Those are much more likely to draw the “remedy” if imprisonment.)

The Day In Court (And Out)

Tell me again Trump will not testify. Isn’t the state’s case that Trump misrepresented what that $130,000 was for?

There is apparently a break in proceedings (or early adjournment? I came in late.).  NBC is talking about the trial so far, and silently showing Trump talk to the camera, apparently live. Silenced. “Is our children learning?”
Tell me again why she isn’t on the defense team?

Trump still ranting, NBC still not covering it, but talking about what Trump is talking about. Not exactly a FoxNews moment.
SO SAY WE ALL! "Anything you say can and will…” In cross-examination? In a week or two? And the jury will decide who’s credible, and who isn’t. Does he understand what trials are for? No, apparently he doesn’t know. And the walls come tumbling down. As NBC pointed out, Trump could campaign on weekends and Wednesdays.  This trial date wasn’t a surprise. I think he did that.
He argued that Trump paid Cohen a total of $420,000, not just $130,000 that was paid to Stormy Daniels. He then said this shows that Trump was paying Cohen for legal services and not reimbursing his hush money payment.
That depends entirely on how it was recorded. Doesn’t the prosecution have the books? I know the judge told the jury that nothing the lawyers say is evidence. So, who’s putting on this evidence?
Blanche then told the jury, "There's nothing wrong with trying to influence the election. It's called democracy." He said that what Stormy Daniels did was "extortion," and that there was "nothing illegal about a non-disclosure agreement." He said that there were all kinds of "salacious allegations" being made about Trump at the time and he was just trying to protect "his brand" and his family.
And his chances for election?
He then noted that Cohen talks constantly about Trump and how he wants to see him go to prison, and told the jury that just last night Cohen said that Trump is a "despicable human being" and he was hoping to see him "in an orange jumpsuit" someday. He then tried to argue that Cohen perjured himself twice in Trump's civil fraud trial, which drew an objection from the prosecutor. The objection was sustained and the judge instructed the jury to disregard the statement.
Oddly enough, Trump lied in that trial, too. Which I’m sure came out in the Sandoval hearing.

Blanche also said Trump relied on advice of his attorneys, so he can’t be at fault. There are serious problems there. One: Trump hasn’t waived attorney-client privilege, which means he can’t raise that defense. Two: Trump alone can present evidence on that defense.

Tell me one more time Trump won’t testify. The minute he says something about it, he’s waived the privilege. If he doesn’t testify, he can’t raise the defense. (Who else will? His lawyer? Not unless Trump waives the privilege.)

There are other problems with Blanche’s statement, not just who will testify to support his claims:
"Just based on what I'm hearing here, I am fearful that Todd Blanche may be sort of overselling his hand, going back to the psychology, and I think we've all made this point here that you want to create a rapport with the juror, and you want them to like you," Polisi said. 
"The worst thing you can do is over-promise and under-deliver. It sounds like Blanche is over-promising here. There's a lot of reasons why him stating that Trump knew nothing about these payments or the purpose thereof is just flatly proven wrong by the documents." 
There's also a recording of a phone call where Trump and Cohen are discussing the payments to Daniels to ensure her silence about an extramarital affair, prosecutors have said. 
"There's a phone call of Trump saying, 'Let's pay her in cash,' Cohen saying, 'No, we're going to do it my way," Polisi said. 
"Also, the way retainer agreements work with an attorney is that, yes, there is sort of an evergreen standard payment, in this case it was $35,000 a month or whatever to get up to that amount, but then the lawyer bills you or invoices you for services rendered, and here there is nothing. 
"Michael Cohen did not — we all sort of live and die by the billable hours. We have to say what we do, how we do it, when we do it. The invoices here simply show Michael Cohen saying, 'I'd like that check now for my retainer agreement.' He's not done any legal services. 
"I think it's not doing him any service, the defense, by trying to really state too much. They don't have to really necessarily deny knowledge, and I think they're making a mistake by doing that."
Pecker testified briefly, without getting to the details of the payments to McDougal and Daniels (probably why Trump didn’t shout about him today). The court adjourned early for Passover.
And speaking of transparency:

Maybe We Do Need Cameras In The Courtroom

Do you think there is any truth to the claims that Trump is either: a) sedated so that he doesn't act nuts; b) being deprived of his Adderall so that he doesn't act nuts?
I think he stays up late (he usually starts tweeting after midnight) and sleeps late (White House staff says he never came down to work before 11:30). Court hours are “late” for my once working hours, but early for Trump. 

Which doesn’t mean he’s not missing his drugs…

Trump On The Campaign Trail

And his rallies sound pretty much like this: If he’d just put the cash in escrow with the court, there wouldn’t be a hearing on the bond today. Is that a reference to inflation? Apparently lunch at McDonald’s costs $700. Because Trump can’t afford the lawyers anymore? Cat got your tongue? Or there’s a show cause hearing tomorrow. Meanwhile... The fish rots from the head.

“THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING!”

The jury is certainly watching. 

The reality TeeVee star is not ready for…reality.

And Wondering What The News Is In This

Before walking into opening statements of the first ever criminal trial of a former U.S. president, Donald Trump stopped to hit the press with his usual talking points 
.... 
His rant in front of the courtroom was quickly shut down by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. 
“Obviously, none of that is true,” she told host Anderson Cooper, focusing on the allegations of Biden’s involvement. 
.... 
Collins said it had left viewers, “Drinking their morning coffee and wondering what he’s talking about.”
And wondering why they’re seeing this.  When they aren’t wondering what the hell is wrong with that guy.

Preparing To Face The Day

Only one of those things was predictable. Does he train by eating $700 worth of McDonald’s for lunch? I see the jokes are already old.

“Anything You Say Can And Will Be Used Against You In A Court Of Law”

Or in a political campaign:

Sunday, April 21, 2024

First Rule Of Holes

Tell me you don’t know anything about Chicago in ‘68, without…well, you know the rest.

I’m also not sure the residents of NYC around Columbia actually a major electoral group.
I know, I know:”outside agitators.” But it’s a little early to declare Columbia the new Berkeley. It may have more to do with Columbia than students nationwide.

It’s not like the Yippies in ‘68 defeated Nixon, either. Or that young people elected McGovern four years later.

So like I said…

๐Ÿ˜ต

Abbie Hoffman’s gonna be there? And Mayor Daley? And anti-war protestors opposing the draft? And all of them part of organized groups? Well, “organized” in contrast to people agreeing with each other on Twitter. Or just going to Columbia.

Are they even that organized?

I’m pretty sure the Proud Boys had more of a system.
 I think they’re going to be too busy this summer looking for new schools. Oh, wait, they’re busy terrorizing Jewish students. That’s why classes will be virtual, now. Ironic. But I don’t think they’ll get it.

But I’m sure they’re very proud.

Nothing About The Trial, However

Message received?

(It occurs to me, belatedly: maybe Trump is worried about Pekar’s testimony. He’s spent so much time claiming Cohen is the “key” witness (again, this is not a TeeVee trial. The case isn’t about one witness. Parlatore should know that, too.), this may well have blindsided him.

He’s certainly not tweeting about it.)

๐Ÿ’ธ ๐Ÿ˜ต‍๐Ÿ’ซ

Trump has a bigger trial team than I imagined. You know that metaphorical meter I said was spinning? It’s clouded in smoke and throwing off sparks. ⚡️ Not because Trump spent so much at McDonalds, but because he had to! Hand to God, every time I see pictures of that place, I think I’m gonna be wrong and find out that’s exactly what hell looks like. 

Well, it will be for me.
Imagine how many people he has to buy lunch for on Monday. No, I’m not kidding. Makes the mental exercise a bit more concrete. Especially when you realize lunch will be the cheapest part of the day.

๐Ÿ˜ท

She really needs to hold a press conference. It’s been 8 years since the last one. Biden should immediately fire Garland and appoint Barr Acting AG. It’s the Republican Way! ETTD. It’s because whatever he’s got, it’s contagious!๐Ÿ˜ท 

Trump Is A Manifestation, Not An Aberration

(Schools don’t get paid when student loans are forgiven, or even paid off. They got their money from the loan.)
Strong “LOCK ‘EM UP!” energy there.

The power the White House has here is the bully pulpit. And this is the correct way to use that power (not straight from Biden’s mouth, IOW). But where are the FOJ and FBI? Investigating and prosecuting federal crimes, which these are not. The responsibility here lies with Columbia and NYC and possibly the state of New York.

Biden is right to stand with the Jewish students. Much of the energy I’m seeing is misdirected and mistaken. Dr. King wasn’t a good speaker with a “dream.” He was part of an organization aimed at securing civil rights for all, by getting them for blacks; and the poor (the purpose of the Washington March which everyone forgets). This is all people running around screaming “MY FEE-FEES ARE HURT!” And being anti-Semitic about it. Or being upset that other people are being anti-Semitic. If it upsets you that much, what are YOU going to do about it?

Biden did the right thing. It should be an example to the rest of us.

That’s what TR’s bully pulpit is for. ๐Ÿ‚ 

Whingers

We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: "Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?" "Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?" We decided to schedule our direct action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic-withdrawal program would be the by product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change.
Letter From Birmingham Jail 

Get back to me when you’re ready to be an adult, and accept responsibility.

Nothing personal here. You can find this sentiment all over Twitter, but mostly, it seems, centered in Columbia.

๐Ÿ™ƒ

It would seem… ...he’s not posting about his trial today.

๐Ÿค”

๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ

All reports on spending are for March. The first criminal trial started a week ago. The lawyers are working all weekend to prepare for next week. They will work all week every week for six weeks or so. The weeks before trial they were filing and arguing motions in two courts (Merchan and appeals).  All in April, and then into May.

The meter is spinning. And this one won’t end soon. Supreme Court arguments this week, and a hearing on his bond. If Engoron rejects it, that’s more money on lawyers without even starting an appeal brief. And Georgia, and Florida…. 

I still say Trump can’t afford the delay strategy. He can’t raise enough money fast enough to fund a Presidential campaign and fight four government cases to a standstill before November. The more he tries, the faster he uses up his resources.

๐Ÿ’ธ