Friday, May 31, 2024

Or He’s Just Corruptly Pumping Himself Up

Well there’s a lot of developments yet to come but I do think, I do believe the Supreme Court should step in,” Speaker Johnson told Fox News (video below.) “Obviously, this is totally unprecedented. And it’s dangerous to our system. I mean, we’ve all discussed this before. And you all talk about it all the time. This is diminishing the American people’s faith in our system of justice itself. And to maintain a republic, you have to have that, people have to believe that justice is fair that there’s equal justice under law. They don’t see that right now. And I think that the justices on the court, I know many of them personally, I think they’re deeply concerned about that as we are so I think they’ll set this straight but it’s going to take a while.”
And the best way to prove justice is fair is for the Supreme Court to rescue a rich white man and former President from the clutches of state law by inventing some reason why this case violates overriding federal law (that overrides state law, that is), or some odd interpretation of the Constitution finding that the Founders never meant to make former Presidents subject to state law. Like how paying off a porn star and falsifying business records to do so is within the official acts of the Presidency, a/k/a the “King’s’X’” defense.

Or it could be (and is more likely true), Speaker Johnson is just full of shit, and hasn’t been in touch with anyone. He just wants to prove he can sit with the kewl kids at lunch.

The Supremes can’t even consider touching this case until the NY Court of Appeals issues a final ruling, and even then the case will have to involve constitutional law or a significant federal issue. By then (years from now), Trump will be broke and a pariah and no one will give a shit about him. He probably won’t be able to afford the appeal, especially because he’ll probably be serving time in a federal prison.

And nobody will remember him, except his children, who will have watched him piss away their inheritance.

Let me just add: NBC News is on in the other room, once again doing their duty to edit Trump’s rambling nonsense spewed this morning, in the finest tradition of “The Apprentice,” to make the broken old man sound cogent and rational. I truly believe they hold thi truth to be self-evident: the former Emperor must never be portrayed as naked. The Narrative must be served above all things. It would upset the children to know how far gone Grandpa is. And besides: is the naked truth about Trump also objective? The Narrative doesn’t think so. 🧐 
Well, said the MSM, who are paid NOT to notice such things, and to actively exclude them from the public record.



If you start here… end up here.

An endless round of baseless accusations and recriminations that enlighten no one and establish nothing. Except that somebody doesn’t like it that their team lost.

Well, and corruption.

How To Win Votes And Influence People


Blitzer, who lost family members at Auschwitz during the Holocaust, took particular exception to Trump calling the U.S. a "fascist state" in his "incoherent" speech at Trump Tower on Friday, which led him to press Vance over whether he agreed about the state of the country.

That was preceded by Vance stating, "I believe that Donald Trump did nothing wrong," which led to him asserting the 34 felony counts Trump was convicted of shouldn't happen "in the country I want to live in. Not in the United States of America that I know and love."

Blitzer shot back, "So you don't want to live in the United States?"

"I don't want to live in a New York sham prosecution — I would not live in New York state right now, absolutely I wouldn't Wolf," Vance replied.

"But you don't believe we live in a fascist state, do you?" Blitzer later asked, quoting Trump.

"Wolf, I think that..." Vance began as Blitzer followed up with, "Answer the question."

"I think what happened in New York, if you apply to across all 50 states, would be the definition of fascism," the Ohio Republican replied as Blitzer attempted to speak again. Vance spoke over him, complaining, "Throwing your political opponents in jail? Thank God it only happened in New York and not the rest of the country." 

Or, you know, not.

We're gonna need a roll call of politicians who've gone to jail, or just been criminally prosecuted.  Maybe we could start with Blogojevich.  Or the clown who just got kicked out of the House. 

It's gonna be a long list.

As Biden said today, no one in America is above the law, including candidates for public office.  They, especially, should be beyond reproach.  And a felony is, among other things, a crime of moral turpitude.

Face it, this is going to be fun: 

It also won't make Trump any less of a felon. I also hate it when Trump makes John Bolton right. Yeah, and if I cared about the future of the GOP, that might worry me. Trump IS finally getting mainstream press attention. But did you do it in New York City? I'm pretty sure the Harris County DA would let me get away with it. Since, you know, I'm not running for President or anything, and flaunting my criminality and daring people to prosecute me. I really wish Biden would fight back. All he's done is release this statement and make some off the cuff remarks about the jury verdict and a ringing defense of the US legal system, and then launch into a thorough explanation of a complex proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza, which took longer to explain and lay out in broad, but clear, terms. A nice contrast to Trump's rambling farrago, but when is Biden going to actually fight? Or, you know, just notice that Trump is a convicted felon and a dangerous idiot? Yes, I think that's the Rubicon we've crossed. We'll see....

The Beat Goes On


Was he up all night? All non-Trump supporters are unmutual! When even FixNews notices. CNN admits it has never paid attention to Trump’s rallies, or any of his public statements for the last four years.

IMHO: this trial has broken Trump.

Paying Your Tab


You know! Languages spoken by WHITE people!

(Always remember, with Trump there is no “we” or “they.” There is only “I.” Only Trump.)
Not so much a “blown opportunity” as an exposure to reality,  a chance for the nation to see the unvarnished truth: Trump is a bumbling fool, the old man in the grocery store aisle muttering to himself but standing stock still as if he were all alone. Like this: So I guess it wasn’t a press conference. I await all the thumb sucker pieces about how long it’s been since the presumptive GOP nominee for president has held a press conference and answered questions.

I won’t be holding my breath.

This Is Pretty Much What It Looks Like

"Law ‘n’ order,” I mean.*

(*Don’t make me discuss what a sad and empty phrase that is.)



So he didn’t testify because he couldn’t pontificate. Costello? He put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Trump didn’t call any other witnesses. Or find you guilty on 34 felony counts. Said the murderer, after being convicted of the murder. 🀷🏻‍♂️  There is no “we” or “they” to Trump. There is only “I”.

…but verify

In this case don’t even trust; just verify.

A) Wait for the FEC filing.

B) It’ll all go to lawyers, anyway.

The Last Refuge

"Mr. Trump’s team was a reflection of its client, always attacking and never backing down," concluded Mariotti. "That playbook has worked for Mr. Trump again and again. For this trial and in a Manhattan courtroom, the attitude and strategy backfired."
60+ cases challenging the 2020 election. Two libel judgments won by E. Jean Carroll. A civil fraud judgment won by the NYAG. A felony conviction today.

Trump’s “attitude and strategy backfired” a long time ago.
Stay tuned. Please don’t throw that big fat slow ball directly over the plate…(Because actually, the system they “founded” only allowed virtuous people to vote. If by “virtuous” you mean white male property owners, where “property” included human beings.) OTOH, the majority of the Supreme Court is loyal to the “Founders,” a group of people they never met, know almost nothing about, and most of whom were cool with slavery. Well, and peonage. As well as women having few to no rights. Somehow not as sad? Welcome to America. There’s a lot of non-white Americans who would like a word.

What? It’s been a day. And I was radicalized in seminary. The last refuge nobody in government worries about.

Behold The Power Of The Legal System

Jurors take their role seriously.

Trump is done for.

In A Nutshell

Trump is a convicted felon. All the crocodile tears of the GOP (Ken Paxton actually says he will use all the tools at his disposal to change that. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t have any) won’t change that. Now is the time to enjoy their impotence.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Great Minds… πŸƒ

Very curious about this. I think it really depends on how the appellate courts can be expected to view it. McConnell well knows he will be long retired in Kentucky (or, more likely, some exclusive resort in Wyoming) before there’s any possibility of that happening. Aside from the fact that outcome is about as likely as the hung jury Trump spectacularly didn’t get. Nobody cares. Or thinks you know your ass from a hole in the ground.πŸ•³️  And dance. πŸ•Ί In the streets. All night long. πŸͺ© And...? Has Trump ever recognized “we”? In his life? Something about Trump’s mental decline is clearly contagious.😷  Outside of movies, people who “play dumb”…aren’t playing. And with a functioning political party, the system would have kept this from happening (the main difference between Nixon then and Trump now). Be fair.  Did you expect him to go on TeeVee and admit to malpractice? The better question is: what the fuck is he doing on TeeVee, with the sentencing hearing in just six weeks? I’m beginning to think this wasn’t all because Trump was running his own case. I knew lawyers like that in civil practice. They were assholes. I had a friend who had worked for a criminal lawyer. She said she always knew when he’d lost. He’d come back from court and, when asked how it went, declared “Justice prevailed!” I worked for a lawyer who won a major product liability case which left the plaintiff a quadriplegic. I congratulated him on the win, but he said the plaintiff had rejected a settlement offer and now was left with nothing. He didn’t want to be congratulated for that. I worked for lawyers who were decent human beings, as well as good lawyers. Trump lived in Manhattan. The crime was committed in Manhattan. The charges were, therefore, brought in Manhattan. Were they expecting the trial to be held in Cannon’s court? (Doesn’t really matter. The trial had to be where it was, and the verdict will stand long after Trump runs out of money and lawyers.)
Did anybody else have “Xmas in May” on their bingo cards? 

Trump Punched Down

The consensus number is 4200. That’s how many civil suits Trump was supposedly involved in over the decades. The problem with civil suits is, they’re expensive. I just read an article mentioning an architect who did work for Trump and never got paid for all of it.  He said it would cost more than he was owed to file suit and pursue it.

I’ve worked collections, the legal effort to collect on a judgment. It’s expensive because it’s time-consuming (lawyers do get paid by the hour), and usually does cost as much as the debt. And that doesn’t account for the ability to collect at all. Unless you are a major corporation suing Trump, it’s a loss, and not worth the candle. That’s how Trump has evaded accountability. He always punched down.

This is where I point out the time Trump and Daddy lost a Fair Housing civil suit brought by the federal government. Governments don’t buffalo, or back down, or write off the loss. And only governments bring criminal cases. One of the few times he wasn’t punching down.

By the way, E. Jean Carroll and the NYAG have already held Trump accountable. This isn’t even that new.

Except that Trump is no longer punching down. He’s got an opponent in his weight class, now. And, frankly, his lawyers aren’t that good. 😊 

Mic Drop 🎀

I’m very curious how Turley imagines this gets into the federal system. As a lawyer/commentator just said on local TeeVee, the appeal of this case will last until we’re raising tomatoes on Mars.

Spoiler alert; Trump will run out of money long before that. He’s paying for three (soon to be four) appeals, and still has to pay for three more criminal trials. And did I mention he’s now a convicted felon?

I also wonder what grounds for appeal Turley imagines. Just the usual “Me no like!”? He’s a law professor. 🀦🏻‍♂️
Or maybe on those grounds? Yeah, we’ll see how that works. I’m sure that will be newsworthy. Does he realize how many people will watch only the soundbites, and be reminded he is now a convicted felon?

I’m telling you, this changes everything. Well, except his diaper.

Trump Made The NYT Front Page

How many cases has he lost now? First criminal case, but I’m seeing a pattern. "Convicted Felon” will be the albatross around his neck. Well, no. New York law applies (because of Florida law, where Trump lives), and New York doesn’t remove voting privileges for a felony if the felon doesn’t serve prison time. And Florida will follow NY law.

I’m not sure about gun possession. But I am sure Trump is a convicted felon.

Truth or Consequences

(Watch the narrative, not the a-hole.)

Deus ex Narrative

The question of how this affects the election is premature. The narrative now begins: Trump is a convicted felon. Sentencing will be July 11, per Justice Merchan. Now begins the narrative that Donald Trump is the first former President to be convicted of felonies. (As I type Trump is rambling and ranting out his same old complaints, including xenophobia and racism.)
That narrative is gonna stick. That narrative is going to change the acceptance of Trump. Trump can be a convicted felon and be President. But will he be?

Let the narrative do its work.
34 counts is going to be a millstone. He is now a convicted criminal. 


Guilty on all 34. Poured him out like water.

“We’re The Supreme Court, Bitches!”

(Because he can’t really force Alito to do anything. Maybe we need a fully Democratic Congress in order to get somewhere.)

I think we need the Congress and President to say that Marbury v Madison is no longer in effect and to dare Roberts et al to enforce it.
How many troops does Alito have?

Trump’s New Complaint About The Trial In 5…4…3…2…


And when the tapes show up: “DEEP AI FAKES!”

Count on it. Bee-yotch.

I Love This Nonsense

But in the end, who cares?

Everybody “knows” OJ was guilty. But he didn’t end his days in prison. MAGA insisting this trial is “rigged” won’t influence the appellate courts. If Trump is convicted, he’ll stay convicted, despite what legal Twitter says.

Beware Jury “Readers”

From what I understand, neither lawyer on the jury is a criminal lawyer.

I worked in a law firm with litigators and business/real estate lawyers. The two groups practically spoke different languages. My experience was in civil law. I wouldn’t presume to know what “inference” meant in a criminal case, any more than I would, on a jury, offer my definition in a civil case. I’d defer to the instructions from the judge.

Don’t infer shit. Wait for the verdict. It’s the only way to be sure.

Meh 🫀

There was audio for the “Access Hollywood” story. That story is still playing in our heads because of the New York criminal trial. And honestly, Trump saying “N——r”? Don’t we just assume he does by now?

To me, this is the more interesting story:
"Without a doubt, the hardest decisions we faced in postproduction were how to edit together sequences involving Trump. We needed him to sound sharp, dignified, and clear on what he was looking for and not as if he was yelling at people," he wrote before adding, "While filming, he struggled to convey even the most basic items. But as he became more comfortable with filming, Trump made raucous comments he found funny or amusing—some of them misogynistic as well as racist. We cut those comments. Go to one of his rallies today and you can hear many of them."
And all that means Trump hasn’t gotten worse, we’re just learning not to see him through the lens of his TV show. Finally.

Then again, maybe the tapes would do it. But I’m not putting many eggs in that basket.🧺 

Sometimes I Think The Narrative Is A Great Green God

Let’s start here (this’ll take a minute). The misinformation didn’t start with McKay or FixNews or Elmo buying Twitter, or even Newt Gingrich.

The roots lie in the Chicago School of Economics (not necessarily a real school, but how they were popularly identified) and the sacralization of Milton Friedman, who peddled the absolutely bullshit notion that government spending creates inflation. A notion Republicans have run with since Goldwater in order to impugn the Democrats and their Presidents.

Q: who was the only President to balance the federal budget in the 20th century?
A: Bill Clinton 

And did Democrats get credit for that? No. Because Republicans insist Democrats in the White House lead to deficit spending and runaway inflation, when the economic record of GOP Presidents starting in the 20th century is uniformly dismal for the economy; especially for the working class.

Republicans have pounded this drum for over half a century. Republicans are uniformly seen as better for the economy, even though the record shows the opposite is true.

I’d still rather have Biden’s focus on the working and middle class, than Trump promising billionaires and corporations a raid on the Treasury if they’ll just pay his legal bills.

So Biden doesn’t get credit for the economy? What else is new? Meanwhile:
“Compared to last month, confidence improved among consumers of all age groups. In terms of income, those making over $100K expressed the largest rise in confidence. On a six-month moving average basis, confidence continued to be highest among the youngest (under 35) and wealthiest (making over $100K) consumers.”
It ain’t all gloom and despair and what the latest rando said on Twitter.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

How To Be More Dangerous Than A POTUS With Absolute Immunity

I am disappointed that Justice Alito is not standing up for the grand principles of the classic and received common law in this case: 
“It was all Mrs. Bumble. She would do it," urged Mr. Bumble; first looking round, to ascertain that his partner had left the room. 
"That is no excuse," returned Mr. Brownlow. "You were present on the occasion of the destruction of these trinkets, and, indeed, are the more guilty of the two, in the eye of the law; for the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction." 
You of course know the rest.
The rest is worth noting:
If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, "the law is a ass — a idiot. If that's the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is, that his eye may be opened by experience — by experience.
Experience, huh? But that doesn’t apply to Alito. He’s a Supreme Court Justice. No law applies to him unless he says so. Besides, he didn’t do it; his wife did.  No, I’m not kidding. Or exaggerating.
The law is not the ass here.

The Fall Of The House Of

Is it a communicable disease of some kind? This wild compulsion to exaggerate? Or is it just envy? OTOH, maybe stupidity is contagious.😷  Okay, walk through that step by step. First: who is “they”? Can’t be the prosecution; they called all the witnesses save Costello. Funny he passes silently over Costello. 

And the list? What, he’s got a little list, and they’ll none of them be missed? How Nixonesque. 

Now, “big players”? Big, strong players with tears in their eyes, saying as they’re weeping that they’ve never seen anything like it? And these big players would have solved “their problem”? Again, who is “they”? Is they the prosecution? Really can’t be, can it? Is Trump dissociating himself from…himself, from his predicament, from the person who might soon be, now and forever, a convicted felon?

“Or actually would have given us the win.” Well, that seems to throw the whole analysis into a cocked hat, doesn’t it?  Except I think it underlines the last line: that Trump is disassociating himself from this reality he fears so much. And here’s the break: he could have had the win, if the prosecution had just allowed it, had just called those big, strong witnesses with tears in their eyes to say they’d never seen anything like this.

Then again, they didn’t need to: “We already have the win.” No question who the pronoun refers to now. Or why he says it. A sort of sympathetic magic to jinx the hex he just put in himself. The power of positive thinking, you know, is to magically control the future which is now wholly out of control, and force it to respond to your command anyway. It won’t, of course. That’s what makes it magical thinking.

Or the start of a psychological break. I’m not sure that’s a term of art, but it does seem to me Trump is already refusing to accept what happens next. Only he can’t file 60 lawsuits and rally 3000 people and leagues of fake electors to try to reverse the inevitable. Not that it worked the last time, either.
“Witnessers.” Making up words to fill the inability to find the words. Perhaps. Something going on there. And back to the refusal of responsibility. Trump cannot fall, he can only be failed. 

The truth is, putting in a defense in a criminal case dangerously risks shifting the burden of proof to the defendant. Too much evidence and “reasonable doubt” becomes quite unreasonable. That’s the risk. But Trump ran the case, that much is clear. There’s no one else to blame. Not that he’ll ever admit that. But is he aware, as he speaks, that the failure to call these witnesses lies solely with his lawyers (who undoubtedly made the right call)?

No. Absolutely not. That much self-awareness would make him explode like a sun going nova.

I really think we’re starting to see clear cracks in the foundation. The split from ground to roofline that opens until the whole structure collapses into the tarn.

As My CrimLaw Professor Said:

"They don’t catch the smart ones.”

Tell It To The Appellate Division

Yeah, get Trump to pay lawyers to make that argument on appeal. He’s already sold a jet to get money for lawyers. What else does he got? For clarity. But honestly, what do these Mama’s basement lawyers think they’re doing? Vying for Trump’s portable printer? (There are a lot of Constitutional scholars in replies insisting the statute or the charge, or both, are unconstitutional. Well, it is if a court says it is . Until then, it isn’t. (Or if the courts, as is more likely, have already said it isn’t.))

I know I repost it a lot, but legal Twitter really can be the fucking worst.

And speaking of the fucking worst:
Three guesses who he’s referring to; first two don’t count. Just so we’re all on the same page: There was a time (Abe Fortas, hem-hem) when Supreme Court justices recognized the problem of damage to the institution. Alito’s attitude is “I’m on the Supreme Court, bitch! What the fuck you gonna do about it? I’ll recuse when I decide to recuse, and that’ll be half-past fuckin’ never! That work for you? Works for me just fuckin’ fine! Fuck all y’all if you don’t like it!”

And there’s not a damned thing Roberts can do about it. If he even wants to. Of which, BTW, there is no public evidence. Besides, Alito is preaching it round and square:

Clearly it imposes the requirements the individual Justices want it to impose. In them, individually. Nice work if you can get it. (This effectively puts each Justice above every other branch of the government, for a lifetime. It’s beginning to be clear there’s a problem here.)

Completing our sojourn through BMoss’s Twitter feed:
Q: Can Trump keep his base rallied until November?
A: if you thought that 5 hour summation by Steinglass was too long…(Shorter: “Signs point to ‘No.’”)

It’s Really A Pity Trump Law School Never Got Off The Ground

The last phrase is a tell. But it tells me Trump is thinking about money. Certainly not about God. Nothing to do with Trump or law, but there are several small towns only a few hours away from where I sit, with buildings still standing from the 19th/early 20th century, which had houses above the store below. Hell, “Dobie Gillis” was a TV show from ‘59 to’63, where Dobie lived with his family above their grocery store.

And farmers; and ranchers. Living where you work is not a new concept. Commuting to work, still is. In historical terms.
Alina Habba agrees: it is boring. πŸ₯± 
While providing updates on the courtroom proceeding, CNN's Paula Reid reported, "Just now a phone went off in the courtroom; our colleagues are reporting that it appeared to be Alina Habba's phone playing a video." 
As co-host John Berman laughed, she added, "Apparently the judge did not look, did not react, did not make a thing about it and she apparently put her away her phone." 
"That's interesting," co-host Kaitlan Collins interrupted, "because Trump's team they've had their phones out. Anyone else, if you're sitting in the back of the room, including the DA's team from what I've seen, are not on their phones. You are not allowed to be on your phone, you can't even have your phone sitting next to you if on silent or even off. The court officers will tell you, put it away, and don't even bring it out." 
'Yeah, but Trump's team, they sit right behind them and they often have their phones out doing various things, emails, but to have a video play in the middle of this historic moment when they're charging the jury? I mean, that's that's pretty poor form so hopefully that will not happen again," Reid replied.
(Children. These people are fucking children.) History is a series of events like this. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know she’s dead, either.

Not Really


The real point of complex jury instructions is for the sake of the law.

Juries are finders of facts. As such, their word is final on the facts of the case (unless you’re Justice Alito and the facts involve a contract football coach praying on the football field).

Appellate courts review application of the law. Jury instructions apply the law, and are reviewable by higher courts. Who can’t second guess the jury, but who CAN say the jury was improperly instructed.

Frankly, jury instructions can give the lawyers involved fits over what is instructed. Juries aren’t expected to make heads or tails of them. Juries also aren’t expected to answer questions of law. Which is why they don’t get the jury instructions to chew over like a bone. Or to exegete like rabbinic (or German, for that matter), scholars. Or, to make it perfectly fair, to deconstruct like French philosophers.

They have to find the facts.The questions they answer are about the facts, not about the law. Judges will decide whether they were properly instructed in the law.

Ye gods and little fishes, if you gave the jury the written instructions (which, yes, read like stereo instructions), they’d never reach a conclusion on anything.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

This Is Just Weird

The really curious part is the least visible here: A curiously arrogant reference. Then again, humble people don’t commission portraits of themselves. Apparently the better part she has chosen is to align herself with God. Or, as is more likely, to align God with herself.

I say that because:
“In the Baden family’s version, the justice’s wife initiated the conflict,” the Times reports. 
Baden recounts seeing Mrs. Alito lingering outside their home and glaring at the couple after the riots, according to the report. Baden also remembers driving by the Alitos’ home with her then-boyfriend the day of President Joe Biden’s inauguration. 
“Mrs. Alito ran toward their car and yelled something they did not understand,” the Times reports. “The couple continued driving, they said, and as they passed the Alito home again to exit the cul-de-sac, Mrs. Alito appeared to spit toward the vehicle.” 
The following month, there was yet another hostile encounter, according to the Times. 
“The couple were pulling in trash bins when the Alitos, who seemed to be on a stroll, appeared.” the Times reports. “Mrs. Alito addressed the pair by name, used an expletive and called them 'fascists,' the couple told The Times and said in texts at the time.” 
This is when Baden admits she used expletives of her own. 
“She does not remember her precise words, but recalls something like [the following]” the Times reports: 
“How dare you behave this way. You’ve been harassing us, over signs. You represent the highest court in the land. Shame on you.”
She seems nice. And not at all to have chosen the better part.