Patterico's Pontifications

2/16/2024

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:44 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

I believe that Putin essentially killed Navalny because he remained a serious threat (even in his weakened physical state) to the Kremlin’s iron grip over the populace. Even during his imprisonment, Navalny’s vocal opposition to Putin, criticism of the state, and his bruising humor while under the most severe circumstances could no longer be permitted. Thanks to Navalny’s courage, there can be no denying the evil that is Putin. He had to go. But Navalny’s legacy is firmly in place. There will be no erasing of his memory:

Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service said in a statement that Mr. Navalny, 47, had lost consciousness and died after taking a walk on Friday in the Arctic prison where he was moved late last year. “All necessary resuscitation measures were taken, which did not lead to positive results,” the statement said.

Navalny’s wife speaks:

Yulia Navalnaya just shocked the Munich Security Conference by taking the stage to make a statement denouncing Putin and his government. “We cannot believe Putin and his government. They are lying constantly. But if it’s true, I would like Putin and all his staff, everybody around him, his government, his friends, I want them to know that they will be punished for what they have done with our country, with my family and with my husband. They will be brought to justice and this day will come soon.”

One must also wonder how nervous the Kremlin is, given Navalny’s death right before an election…

Second news item

On Tucker Carlson’s ridiculous interview with Putin and subsequent praise of Moscow and Putin:

In a healthy democracy, if we still were one, such a double stunt—granting a sycophantic interview to a supervillain and then trashing the United States and praising Russia while onstage in Dubai—would be greeted with condemnation, shame, or both. But we don’t appear to live in that country right now.

This is to our shame. It’s still shocking to see Americans’ embrace of Putin and Russia.

This:

If you’re going to worship a dictator, you must then worship the dictatorship. MAGA adoration of autocrats like Orbán and dictators like Putin may begin with “we need a strongman in America” but it logically progresses to advocating advocating for despotism.

Tucker is a propagandist, and the comparisons to Western leftists from Duranty to Bernie to Michael Moore visiting the USSR & Cuba in gullible awe are fine. But this is a concrete campaign on behalf of Putin’s murderous dictatorship, not credulous ideology…

It’s a war. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the front line, but it extends to every aspect of the free world vs authoritarians. Trump & the GOP have picked a side. Propagandists like Tucker & Musk have picked a side. It is not the side of America or freedom, and they know it.

The depravity of an American pretending to envy life in Putin’s collapsing gulag state, & the history of such spectacles, has been covered. I will simply ask how many educated people move to Putin’s Russia vs how many leave?

Third news item

House impeachment:

The GOP-led House impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on a second attempt after the resolution failed last week. He is the first Cabinet secretary to be impeached in nearly 150 years. The vote tally was 214 to 213 with three Republicans siding with Democrats.

The three Republicans voting with Democrats were Ken Buck of Colorado, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, and Tom McClintock of California.

Fourth news item

The U.N. disgraces itself… once again:

Griffith tried to do some damage control:

Just to clarify: Hamas is not on the list of groups designated as terrorist organizations by the United Nations Security Council.

This doesn’t make their acts of terror on 7 October any less horrific and reprehensible, as I’ve been saying all along.

Of course, this only begs the question: Why on earth hasn’t the U.N. designated Hamas a terrorist group?

Fifth news item

Democrats are likely to oppose it because it doesn’t provide aid to Palestinians, and Marjorie Taylor Greene has said she would lead the move to oust Speaker Johnson if he brings any bill to the floor providing aid to Ukraine. So much for bipartisanship:

A bipartisan group of House members on Friday rolled out a $66 billion national security package that would provide aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

The 30-page “Defending Borders, Defending Democracies Act” would automatically reject migrants who legally or illegally cross the border without proper paperwork for one year —restricting asylum, but with humanitarian exceptions.

The bill also blocks the use of federal funds to transfer migrants between detention centers or other locations unless it is for adjudicating their immigration case.

It would also implement a Trump-era policy that required migrants and asylum seekers be turned back to Mexico to await their court hearings. The policy requires cooperation from the Mexican government and cannot simply be enforced from the U.S. side.

By the numbers: The bill includes $47.7 billion in aid to Ukraine, $10.4 billion for Israel and $4.9 billion for U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific to combat China.

Sixth news item

As if flying isn’t stressful enough:

Unhappiness with air travel took a new turn when maggots rained down on passengers on a Delta flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, on Tuesday.

A passenger reportedly brought rotten fish on to the plane in a carry-on bag, and placed it in an overhead bin, before the maggots broke free and rained on to passengers seated below,

This individual should be banned from ever flying again!

Seventh news item

Checking in on today’s Republican Party, and I see that CPAC 2024 lists failed Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy as a featured speaker at the Ronald Reagan dinner.

Eighth news item

While awaiting Judge Engoron’s decision in Trump’s $370 million civil fraud case, the former president is opting out in another issue:

Former President Trump and his legal team have decided against appealing a court’s decision that found he is not immune from civil lawsuits that blame him for the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, after they previously signaled he would file an appeal.

Trump’s decision to not take his broader immunity claim to the Supreme Court means lawsuits seeking to hold him accountable for his role on Jan. 6 can move forward.

Have a good weekend.

—Dana

380 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (8e902f)

  2. In other news, leaked internal emails from the 2023 hugo administration committee indicate that the western members of the committee collected political dossiers on the nominees and used the contents of those dossiers to disqualify nominated works that the western members thought might generate objections from the chinese government.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  3. CPAC 2024 lists failed Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy as a featured speaker at the Ronald Reagan dinner.

    Food fight!

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  4. A passenger reportedly brought rotten fish on to the plane in a carry-on bag

    No doubt French.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  5. Just for fun, do a quick comparison of Tucker Carlson and Alexei Navalny. Their views on Putin and Russia, their summation of the tyrannical leader, and their mission in exposing the real Russia…or in Carlson’s case, the amazing grocery stores of Russia.

    Dana (8e902f)

  6. Watch Carlson dismiss questions about why he didn’t press Putin about Navalny here and write off Putin’s murderous leadership. Hint: All leaders murder people.

    Dana (8e902f)

  7. A Self driving car was torched in San Francisco’s Chinatown district. Maybe China is spying on us in that way?

    felipe (5045ed)

  8. @7, Stunning. “Leaders kill people” kind of misses the point. If Bush uses a drone strike to kill a terrorist, is that really morally the same as killing a political opponent? Seriously!? The same with censorship in this country. There are plenty of forums to critique the political opposition….in fact it’s partly why Trump and Biden both have such low approval ratings. You are also free to indulge paranoid conspiracies. There may be fewer outlets for that, but over half the GOP believes that the 2020 election was corrupt, irrespective of actual evidence. No one stops them from thinking so, though they are open for criticism. I’m a big critic of US media but not because the government is suppressing them. Russia suppresses dissent. There is nothing of the sort….in any stretch of comparison…going on in the US.

    This is why I can’t waste time on Tucker. He’s broken. I’m not sure why and how, but he’s no longer a clear thinker and a straight shooter. His agenda is brushing up against evil. It’s sad to watch.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  9. Unfortunately, Carlson still has a large audience that listens to him.

    Dana (d0ca42)

  10. Unfortunately, Carlson still has a large audience that listens to him.

    So did Father Coughlin until FDR shut him down.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  11. Trump loses NY Civil case entirely. He will of course appeal and the judge does seem vulnerable on bias and some of his rulings, particularly on low-ball real estate valuations.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  12. Not entirely, the corp/org were not dissolved.

    Interesting that the judge is quite explicit that these were not major sins and the real problem is how Trump responded after the sins were uncovered.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  13. Went about as expected.

    Many legal analyst opines that this will get overturned at higher courts. Might take years for that to happen though.

    whembly (5f7596)

  14. Judge Orders Trump to Pay More Than $350 Million for Misrepresenting His Wealth

    ……….
    (Justice Arthur Engoron) said Trump wasn’t Bernard Madoff, but the judge blasted the former president and other defendants for being “incapable of admitting the error of their ways.”

    “Their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological,” Engoron wrote in the 92-page decision. “They are accused only of inflating asset values to make more money. The documents prove this over and over again.”

    Ain’t that the truth. Ouch!

    When Trump appeals, this could really hurt. He will need to secure a bond equal to the judgement, just as he needs to do while appealing the $83M E. Jean Carroll verdict. He can’t use his super PACs to pay these judgements.

    Unless Trump settles the claims, it will now be up to appeals courts to decide whether the penalties and sanctions should stand. The appeals fight will likely focus on whether the state established Trump’s liability under a state fraud statute intended to combat consumer scams and corporate malfeasance that harms the marketplace. …….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  15. Navalny was in prison because he was convicted of embezzlement. His demise is what happens when the justice system is used as a political tool.

    lloyd (c37c56)

  16. the judge blasted the former president and other defendants for being “incapable of admitting the error of their ways.”

    This is hardly unique to Trump. If it were a crime the jails would all be full. Engoron’s valuations of some of Trump’s assets, such as Mar-a-lago, are questionable.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  17. @17

    the judge blasted the former president and other defendants for being “incapable of admitting the error of their ways.”

    This is hardly unique to Trump. If it were a crime the jails would all be full. Engoron’s valuations of some of Trump’s assets, such as Mar-a-lago, are questionable.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/16/2024 @ 1:25 pm

    This:
    Engoron’s valuations of some of Trump’s assets, such as Mar-a-lago, are questionable.

    Is what primarily going to give this verdict overturned imo.

    …and also, there’s no actual victims.

    whembly (5f7596)

  18. And no continuing problem of wrong evaluations by the Trump Organization – and if so that can be taken care of by requiring them to use a third party.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  19. I feel that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is absolutely right in his war aims but the Israeli army is covering up its own mistakes including the fact that they had high level penetration by spies for Hamas or some ally of Hamas and it is doing stupid things and even wants to go to war in Lebanon.

    A lot of what it is doing is stupid and they can’t even carry out protection for noncombatant civilians properly and think being more kinetic is better or will cause people in Israel to think better of them, including their own soldiers..

    And it’s relying on legality for targets , not sense.

    Benjamin Netanyahu is not exerting enough supervision over the army.

    And why isn’t Biden pressuring Egypt to accept Palestinian refugees from the war zone? I read today in the New York Times the governor of North Sinai was making plans to accept refugees — but now Egypt is building a wall and threatening the peace treaty. There is no excuse for this.

    Biden is playing politics because of worry about Michigan and he is slightly tilting against Israel. He is listening too much to Arab countries.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  20. The martyr’s power begins with his death and the tyrant’s power ends with his.

    asset (14813e)

  21. There can be weaponized and manufactured martyrs – paid for by Iran.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  22. Statement in Arabic by Egypt October 8 about preparing for refugees before they were overruled linked to by NYT

    https://www.facebook.com/northsinaiportal/posts/pfbid02Y9kSbKuJGfUFpsAdjTy5C7iDk65jpe2uCPyoYc1b4Dk2AujGkGJLPPgwyqX8fVopl

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  23. Without belaboring the point, under the New York statute (NY Executive Law 63 paragraph 12) and its precedents over the last 50+ years, a victim is not required.

    12. Whenever any person shall engage in repeated fraudulent or illegal acts or otherwise demonstrate persistent fraud or illegality in the carrying on, conducting or transaction of business, the attorney general may apply, in the name of the people of the state of New York, to the supreme court of the state of New York, on notice of five days, for an order enjoining the continuance of such business activity or of any fraudulent or illegal acts, directing restitution and damages and, in an appropriate case, cancelling any certificate filed under and by virtue of the provisions of section four hundred forty of the former penal law or section one hundred thirty of the general business law, and the court may award the relief applied for or so much thereof as it may deem proper.

    The word “fraud” or “fraudulent” as used herein shall include any device, scheme or artifice to defraud and any deception, misrepresentation, concealment, suppression, false pretense, false promise or unconscionable contractual provisions. The term “persistent fraud” or “illegality” as used herein shall include continuance or carrying on of any fraudulent or illegal act or conduct. The term “repeated” as used herein shall include repetition of any separate and distinct fraudulent or illegal act, or conduct which affects more than one person. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, all monies recovered or obtained under this subdivision by a state agency or state official or employee acting in their official capacity shall be subject to subdivision eleven of section four of the state finance law.

    In connection with any such application, the attorney general is authorized to take proof and make a determination of the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in accordance with the civil practice law and rules. Such authorization shall not abate or terminate by reason of any action or proceeding brought by the attorney general under this section.

    Paragraph breaks added.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  24. As if Biden needed his arm twisted

    Biden Shields Palestinians in the U.S. From Deportation

    Biden used an obscure program called Deferred Enforced Departure. Any loophole, like those in the defeated border bill, this administration will drive an Abrams tank through.

    lloyd (c37c56)

  25. Unfortunately for Biden folks, what all these prosecutions of Trump show is that he’s competent to stand trial.

    lloyd (c37c56)

  26. @24

    Without belaboring the point, under the New York statute (NY Executive Law 63 paragraph 12) and its precedents over the last 50+ years, a victim is not required.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/16/2024 @ 1:44 pm

    The case ought to be overturned or fine drastically reduced on the basis that the fine is excessive.

    In a 1993 decision, Austin v. United States, the Supreme Court declared that “the Excessive Fines Clause limits the government’s power to extract payments, whether in cash or in kind, ‘as punishment for some offense.’” To be considered a “fine,” a government-ordered payment must serve “in part to punish.”

    whembly (5f7596)

  27. @26

    Unfortunately for Biden folks, what all these prosecutions of Trump show is that he’s competent to stand trial.

    lloyd (c37c56) — 2/16/2024 @ 1:49 pm

    ooof.

    And this case, is going to reinforce the normie Norms and normie Janes, who don’t get into the weeds of these things, that these are political persecutions.

    whembly (5f7596)

  28. Ben Hur did not say that Biden is not competent to stand trial. He said that Biden is a well-meaning, sympathetic, elderly man with memory problems, and it will be hard to get a jury to find him guilty.

    But ride an orange pony,
    Let the spinning MAGA spin.

    nk (920916)

  29. As for Trump being competent to stand trial, the state mental institutions are full (literally, they’re taking up all the beds) of people who were found competent to stand trial but not guilty by reason of insanity.

    nk (920916)

  30. Some people call it a Kaiser blade. I call it a sling blade.

    nk (920916)

  31. The case ought to be overturned or fine drastically reduced on the basis that the fine is excessive.

    In a 1993 decision, Austin v. United States, the Supreme Court declared that “the Excessive Fines Clause limits the government’s power to extract payments, whether in cash or in kind, ‘as punishment for some offense.’” To be considered a “fine,” a government-ordered payment must serve “in part to punish.”

    whembly (5f7596) — 2/16/2024 @ 1:51 pm

    It is considered the “disgorgement” of ill-gotten gains. See page 81-85 here.

    [W]here, as here, there is a claim based on fraudulent activity, disgorgement may be available as an equitable remedy, notwithstanding the absence of loss to individuals or independent claims for restitution. Disgorgement is distinct from the remedy of restitution because it focuses on the gain to the wrongdoer as opposed to the loss to the victim. Thus, disgorgement aims to deter wrongdoing by preventing the wrongdoer from retaining ill-gotten gains from fraudulent conduct. Accordingly, the remedy of disgorgement does not require a showing or allegation of direct losses to consumers or the public; the source of the ill-gotten gains is “immaterial.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  32. Without belaboring the point, under the New York statute (NY Executive Law 63 paragraph 12) and its precedents over the last 50+ years, a victim is not required.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/16/2024 @ 1:44 pm

    Here are the precedents (beginning at page 16) supporting the authority of NY Executive Law 63 paragraph 12.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  33. I’m surprised it went this high. I know that’s what the prosecutor asked for, but I figured they would be more conservative. However, they probably figured it would be reviewed anyways…and someone else would pick a number… so go big or go home. On the political side, does this help or hurt Trump? It’s more victimhood and retribution fodder….but it also smells of “loser”. More bad news.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  34. This is to our shame. It’s still shocking to see Americans’ embrace of Putin and Russia.

    It’s shocking to see their embrace of Carlson, a toxic propagandist if there ever was one. Tuckyo is such an appropriate name.

    norcal (a6d8f6)

  35. To quote OJ Simpson, lemme ax you, was there ever any time in that case where Trump behaved like a responsible, law-abiding, honest businessman whose judgment about the valuation of his property and the conduct of his business affair merited the benefit of the doubt?

    nk (8ab460)

  36. @32

    It is considered the “disgorgement” of ill-gotten gains. See page 81-85 here.

    [W]here, as here, there is a claim based on fraudulent activity, disgorgement may be available as an equitable remedy, notwithstanding the absence of loss to individuals or independent claims for restitution. Disgorgement is distinct from the remedy of restitution because it focuses on the gain to the wrongdoer as opposed to the loss to the victim. Thus, disgorgement aims to deter wrongdoing by preventing the wrongdoer from retaining ill-gotten gains from fraudulent conduct. Accordingly, the remedy of disgorgement does not require a showing or allegation of direct losses to consumers or the public; the source of the ill-gotten gains is “immaterial.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/16/2024 @ 2:03 pm

    Which is an insane ruling guys.

    I’m trying like the dickens… but is there another case like this? I’m not seeing it, and the fact that this is potentially unprecedent is not a good look.

    whembly (5f7596)

  37. To quote OJ Simpson, lemme ax you, was there ever any time in that case where Trump behaved like a responsible, law-abiding, honest businessman whose judgment about the valuation of his property and the conduct of his business affair merited the benefit of the doubt?

    nk (8ab460) — 2/16/2024 @ 2:39 pm

    Bwahahaha!

    norcal (a6d8f6)

  38. This is reportedly video of Navalny from yesterday. He seems as healthy ans can be expected, and still witty, given the reactions of those in the court.

    Dana (8e902f)

  39. Which is an insane ruling guys.

    I’m trying like the dickens… but is there another case like this? I’m not seeing it, and the fact that this is potentially unprecedent is not a good look.

    whembly (5f7596) — 2/16/2024 @ 2:40 pm

    That’s the law in New York. The link (to in post 32 provides Engoron’s analysis of both the law and how the disgorgement amount was calculated.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  40. We’ll see what gets overturned (or not) sometime long after the election.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  41. Shameless:

    ………..
    Lee Zeldin took to X, formerly Twitter, on Friday to make a post meant as a tribute to Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, who died in a Russian jail while serving a 19-year sentence on extremism charges.

    Zeldin, who served New York from 2015 to 2023 before running a failed gubernatorial campaign, decided to mourn Navalny by comparing his situation to Trump’s current legal problems:

    “As the world reflects on the murder of Alexei Navalny at the hands of Putin, it’s worth remembering that Democrats are actively doing Biden’s bidding as they also try to imprison his chief political opponent, Donald Trump, remove him from the ballot, and ensure he dies in prison.”

    Considering that Navalny was a political prisoner fighting for democracy and Trump attempted to stop a peaceful transfer of power, many people on social media were shocked by Zeldin’s post.
    ………..

    Of course, Trump has compared himself to Nelson Mandela for the same reasons.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  42. I’m of the opinion that extreme outcomes generally lead to judicial review that is missing when the outcomes are mundane. This law seems to be easily weaponized. Is Trump targeted here, or is this just something that was due to happen to Trump?

    Remember back when Trump said all those nasty things about Muslims, then tried to use his clear powers to block immigrants from hostile Muslim countries? And the courts said “You are a bigot, you cannot do that”? The same train of thought occurs after AG James ran her campaign on “getting Trump” and now has gotten Trump.

    As much as I dislike this bastard, he has rights under the Law, even rights he would deny others. It actually matters.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  43. Of course, Trump has compared himself to Nelson Mandela for the same reasons.

    Please. And Laetitia James isn’t even Jim Garrison.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  44. There is no excuse for this

    It’s becoming clear that Likud’s plan here is to drive all the Palestinians out of Gaza. If they intended to wipe out Hamas, they could have done so by now. They may take it so far that the US breaks with them and I’m not sure that Likud views that as a bad thing.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  45. So, what was going though Trump’s mind today? He looked mightily pissed.

    Should he win the presidency again, I can see taxpayer-compliance audits all around for the NYC political class, and I bet you they’d find a lot of stuff.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  46. To quote OJ Simpson, lemme ax you, was there ever any time in that case where Trump behaved like a responsible, law-abiding, honest businessman whose judgment about the valuation of his property and the conduct of his business affair merited the benefit of the doubt?

    Well, that’s really my attitude towards the insurrection case, which is far more meaningful than this peek into the NYC snake-pit.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  47. We’ll see what gets overturned (or not) sometime long after the election.

    Ted Stevens could not be reached for comment.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  48. Should he win the presidency again, I can see taxpayer-compliance audits all around for the NYC political class, and I bet you they’d find a lot of stuff.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/16/2024 @ 3:31 pm

    Would you be in favor of that?

    Rip Murdock (f51515)

  49. decided to mourn Navalny by comparing his situation to Trump’s current legal problems:

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/16/2024 @ 3:05 pm

    We had somebody upthread who implied a similar comparison:

    Navalny was in prison because he was convicted of embezzlement. His demise is what happens when the justice system is used as a political tool.

    norcal (a6d8f6)

  50. > Which is an insane ruling guys.

    How so?

    “If you profit by fraud, you are not entitled to the profit which came about as a result of the fraud, and that profit must be disgorged” seems like it’s absolutely basic to any general fraud-prevention scheme — otherwise if the penalty for the fraud is less than the profit, there is no disincentive to fraud, you just factor the penalty for the fraud into the cost of doing business and commit the fraud.

    aphrael (71d87c)

  51. norcal (a6d8f6) — 2/16/2024 @ 4:42 pm

    Comparing the US justice system to the Soviet Russian system is about as offensive as it can get. The American system allow Trump (or any other defendant) ample opportunity to challenge the government’s case before the trial starts, at trial, as well as in post-trial appeals, all held in public. None of these aspects are reflected in the Soviet Russian “justice” system. As we have seen in cases of Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich, the Soviet Russian government will go to great lengths to wrongfully detain Americans as well as their internal critics (up to and including assassination).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  52. The divorce was final last December, so there’s no more Greene, it’s just plain old Marge Taylor, from Bumf-ck, Georgia.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  53. Navalny was in prison because he was convicted of embezzlement.

    No, Navalny was in prison because that’s where Putin wanted him, just like WSJ journalist Gershkovich.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  54. About that $5 million bribe to Joe as alleged by that Comer clown from Kentucky, I thought Zlochevksy was the liar but turns out the liar was the “highly credible” Confidential Human Source, a Mr. Smirnov. The funny thing is that Comer is still claiming there are “mountains of evidence”.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  55. @54 “No, Navalny was in prison because that’s where Putin wanted him, just like WSJ journalist Gershkovich.”

    My comment said exactly that. I’m sorry it went straight over your head.

    lloyd (540019)

  56. No, it didn’t, but you’re boring me, and I’m moving on.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  57. @40

    Which is an insane ruling guys.

    I’m trying like the dickens… but is there another case like this? I’m not seeing it, and the fact that this is potentially unprecedent is not a good look.

    whembly (5f7596) — 2/16/2024 @ 2:40 pm

    That’s the law in New York. The link (to in post 32 provides Engoron’s analysis of both the law and how the disgorgement amount was calculated.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/16/2024 @ 2:51 pm

    The issue here is the unprecedented nature of this ruling.

    It’ll get overturned.

    But, that’ll take years if I’m understanding how these kinds of cases are appealed.

    The fact that this case was largely driven by political axes to grind, doesn’t go unnoticed by the masses.

    whembly (bee3c9)

  58. @51

    > Which is an insane ruling guys.

    How so?

    “If you profit by fraud, you are not entitled to the profit which came about as a result of the fraud, and that profit must be disgorged” seems like it’s absolutely basic to any general fraud-prevention scheme — otherwise if the penalty for the fraud is less than the profit, there is no disincentive to fraud, you just factor the penalty for the fraud into the cost of doing business and commit the fraud.

    aphrael (71d87c) — 2/16/2024 @ 5:03 pm

    It’s ticky-tacky bull caca, and you know it. The judge is not adjudicating this in good faith.

    Who’s the victim here?

    Why is there such a massive disgorgement, when there’s no obvious victim or harm?

    I mean, I get why there’s this massive difficulty with talking about Trump is that you and others are either so poisoned against him, you can’t make an honest assessment despite the animus you feel towards Trump.

    But, c’mon, this one here is problematic. If this is allowed to stand, then congratulations, you have a standard template to go after disfavor political figures.

    Even Kevin M. here, who despises Trump as much as anyone else here, is calling bull caca here.

    whembly (bee3c9)

  59. Would you be in favor of that?

    “That would be wrong”

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  60. Maybe. But if this isn’t allowed to stand, the result is it’s now impossible to stop every corporation in America from lying to their lenders, and that will put incredible strain on the financial system over time.

    I don’t care in this case that it’s trump. The behavior of profiting by lying to banks must not become tolerated.

    You want to argue it’s too high and doesn’t correctly represent the profit, I have no reason to doubt you and don’t have the interest to investigate the numbers myself.

    But the base principal that disgorgement of profit gained through fraud *must* be upheld.

    aphrael (d4ad5d)

  61. “If you profit by fraud, you are not entitled to the profit which came about as a result of the fraud, and that profit must be disgorged”

    Why? Note that no one is complaining that they were defrauded, or that the alleged fraud cost them anything.

    But let’s take this to the next level and apply it to politicians. Say, a former Senate Majority Leader who lies about a presidential candidate’s tax returns, then later admits it while observing “but we won!”

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  62. But if this isn’t allowed to stand, the result is it’s now impossible to stop every corporation in America from lying to their lenders

    There are actually laws about lying to lenders. But that is criminal law — you know, actual crimes. That you conflate this with criminality does not make it so.

    Trump was not charged with any crime, as those are too hard to prove, or something. This was a CIVIL cause of action, with no jury, no 7th Amendment in New York, looser rules of evidence (including a judge’s opinion on valuation counting as such), a mere preponderance of that evidence, and literally a judge, jury & executioner running the show.

    If they can do this to Trump, they can do it to anyone.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  63. I get a bit pissy about the power of the state being used to crush people, even people I dislike. It’s probably a fault.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  64. The Russian Embassy and Consulate in Washington DC is located at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue NW, Calvert Street NW, and Tunlaw Road NW. At the very least, the intersection of those three streets should be designated as Alexei Navalny Square and some giant-ass signs promoting that ought to go up, in both Western Latin and Cyrillic script. But I doubt that we have the moxie to do that in this day and age.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  65. @65 I hope you don’t moderate me for this ;but I think something a lot more harsher then putting up a sign will be done to putin.

    asset (18ad69)

  66. don’t care in this case that it’s trump. The behavior of profiting by lying to banks must not become tolerated.

    You want to argue it’s too high and doesn’t correctly represent the profit, I have no reason to doubt you and don’t have the interest to investigate the numbers myself.

    But the base principal that disgorgement of profit gained through fraud *must* be upheld.

    aphrael (d4ad5d) — 2/16/2024 @ 10:12 pm

    Did you feel this way when Bernie and the left demanded “no doc” home loans because “racism?”

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  67. Why is there such a massive disgorgement, when there’s no obvious victim or harm?
    …………..
    whembly (bee3c9) — 2/16/2024 @ 9:31 pm

    And

    Note that no one is complaining that they were defrauded, or that the alleged fraud cost them anything.
    ………….
    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/16/2024 @ 10:14 pm

    As I posted above, (see posts 24 32, and 33), NY Executive Law 63 12 doesn’t require specific victims and the disgorgement calculations are described in the court’s opinion on pages 81-85.

    The law and its application here may suck, but this law has been in place since the 1950s doesn’t require a specific victim, which is also why disgorgement is the remedy.

    Rip Murdock (f51515)

  68. As I posted above, (see posts 24 32, and 33), NY Executive Law 63 12 doesn’t require specific victims and the disgorgement calculations are described in the court’s opinion on pages 81-85.

    Well that makes it right and just then. Also, the lack of any 7th Amendment rights, and the judge declaring his valuation opinions to be proof of fraud. Bork’s idea of “due process.”

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  69. why disgorgement is the remedy.

    To the state’s coffers. It’s just another flavor of asset forfeiture.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  70. Matt McDermott leverages Navalny’s death:
    @mattmfm
    Feb 16
    As the world reflects on the murder of Alexei Navalny at the hands of Putin, it’s worth remembering that Republicans are actively doing Putin’s bidding by holding up necessary aid to combat his war in Ukraine.

    Lee Zeldin responds:
    @LeeMZeldin
    As the world reflects on the murder of Alexei Navalny at the hands of Putin, it’s worth remembering that Democrats are actively doing Biden’s bidding as they also try to imprison his chief political opponent, Donald Trump, remove him from the ballot, and ensure he dies in prison.

    Chuck Schumer with his talking points handy:
    @SenSchumer
    This is the same Republican party that is doing Vladimir Trump’s bidding and standing in the way of the bill that would help the Ukrainian people fight Putin’s illegal, immoral war.

    Lee Zeldin lays out the facts:
    @LeeMZeldin
    Follow
    Both Schumer AND Putin…

    have endorsed the same candidate for US President in 2024: Joe Biden,

    believe their party’s chief political opposition should die in prison, and

    want to deny voters the right to choose for themselves who to elect as President.

    lloyd (540019)

  71. Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Unwhiten your knuckles or dampen your glee as, the case may be.

    Trump is playing the long con.

    His marks paid his legal expenses, and if the judge’s math is correct he already gained the ill-gotten money he has been ordered to disgorge.

    In other words, he broke even.

    If his choice to treat the trial as a campaign event gets him even more donations from his marks, he will be ahead. If, Heaven forbid, it gets him the White House again, it will be the biggest real estate deal he ever put through.

    Again, think “long con”!

    nk (810046)

  72. Trump is to Navalny what Stormy Daniels is to Joan of Arc.

    nk (810046)

  73. Speaking of cons, nk, here’s one about Trump’s customized vitamin regimens that he sold through his Trump Network (which ended because Trump ended the license, for lack of profit and not shut down by a judge), where you pee in a cup and then they send you your supplement “essentials”. The Trump urine test kit is classic.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  74. Trump is to Navalny what Stormy Daniels is to Joan of Arc.

    I was trying to top this, but I can’t.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  75. If Tucker was paid for that interview and doesn’t register as a foreign agent, he should be arrested and charged.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  76. Well that makes it right and just then. Also, the lack of any 7th Amendment rights, and the judge declaring his valuation opinions to be proof of fraud. Bork’s idea of “due process.”

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/17/2024 @ 7:59 am

    I never said it was right. IIgnore them if you wish but those are the facts.

    The Seventh Amendment doesn’t apply to the states.

    Rip Murdock (f51515)

  77. @LeeMZeldin
    As the world reflects on the murder of Alexei Navalny at the hands of Putin, it’s worth remembering that Democrats are actively doing Biden’s bidding as they also try to imprison his chief political opponent, Donald Trump, remove him from the ballot, and ensure he dies in prison.

    Anyone who compares the US justice system, with all of its procedural guarantees and obligations to ensure fair trials for defendants, with a system that operates on whim of the state and doesn’t even pretend to offer a fair trial to accused, is either ignorant or being dishonest.

    Rip Murdock (f51515)

  78. @65 I hope you don’t moderate me for this ;but I think something a lot more harsher then putting up a sign will be done to putin.

    As long as you steer clear of the progressive racism you’ll be fine, asset.

    JVW (ed03cd)

  79. I’ve been reading through the Hur report, and the way Biden handled documents was a mess. At his Wilmington residence, they not only found marked classified materials in his garage, but in three other rooms in his house.

    All told, they found 91 documents that were marked “classified”, at his house, at Penn Biden Center and at the University of Delaware, and the appendices detail the quantities, which are a lot. The materials at the latter locations fall under the category of accidental or inadvertent, not “willfully retained”.

    There were other documents at Biden’s residence that didn’t have classified markings but contained classified information, and they were his handwritten notebooks and papers, not unlike the Reagan diaries, so there was no reason to further pursue that avenue of investigation, because there was precedent.

    I was listening to the French-Isgur podcast, and one of the points they emphasized is that it’s not about whether Hur believes Biden is guilty beyond reasonable doubt, it’s whether a jury would believe Biden is guilty beyond reasonable doubt, and Hur concluded “no”. I know this concept is obvious to Prosecutor Patterico, and I know that Patterico has said Isgur is wrong about a lot of stuff, but I don’t believe she’s wrong here. They also emphasized that the guts of the case are in chapters 11-13.

    The investigation keyed in on the marked classified materials at the Biden residence, and they were all over the place, and I’m a little surprised that Hur didn’t pursue the “gross negligence” angle, because keeping all those materials in all those places was irresponsible, to say the least.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  80. Apparently, if you’re in Russia, “sudden death syndrome” is a thing. Unmentioned is what actually triggered Navalny’s Sudden Death Syndrome, but I hear that a good dose of Novichok can do the trick.

    By the way, a quick ctrl-f shows that Tucker didn’t say a single word about Navalny in his 2-hour lovefest with Putin.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  81. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-sues-tennessee-enforcing-state-law-discriminates-against-people-hiv

    Biden’s America. Prostitutes have the right to spread HIV and Biden will ensure they go unpunished for doing so.

    NJRob (7ac604)

  82. RIP legendary basketball coach Lefty Driesell (92).

    Rip Murdock (f51515)

  83. I’m a little surprised that Hur didn’t pursue the “gross negligence” angle, because keeping all those materials in all those places was irresponsible, to say the least.

    It would certainly have been pursued with a private citizen, even in their dotage.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  84. I hope you don’t moderate me for this ;but I think something a lot more harsher then putting up a sign will be done to putin.

    In days of old, some KGB diplomat would be hit by a truck.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  85. Monmouth University Poll 2/14/24

    …………
    Just under half (46%) of the American public has heard something about Taylor Swift being part of a supposed covert government effort to help Biden win the 2024 presidential election. Just under 1 in 5 Americans (18%) believe such a conspiracy involving Swift exists. Fully 71% of those who believe this identify with or lean toward the Republican Party and 83% indicate they are likely to support Donald Trump in the fall. Also, nearly three-quarters (73%) of those who believe the Swift conspiracy also believe the 2020 election outcome was fraudulent. …..

    “The supposed Taylor Swift PsyOp conspiracy has legs among a decent number of Trump supporters. Even many who hadn’t heard about it before we polled them accept the idea as credible. Welcome to the 2024 election,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

    On a less sinister note, two-thirds (68%) of the American public approves of Swift encouraging her fans to vote in the upcoming election. However, Republicans (42%) are much less supportive than Democrats (88%) and independents (71%) of these turnout efforts.

    Overall, 39% of American adults have a favorable impression of Swift. Only 13% hold an unfavorable view of her, while 43% have no opinion and just 5% have not heard of the singer at all. ………..
    …………

    Rip Murdock (f51515)

  86. @78 Anyone who compares Republican prioritizing our border security as “doing Putin’s bidding” is either ignorant and/or dishonest and/or doesn’t want the border fixed.

    Most media coverage of that twitter exchange dishonestly leaves out the moronic tweet Zeldin was responding to, because the media agrees with that moronic tweet. It’s the narrative.

    lloyd (c37c56)

  87. Interesting:

    Alexey Navalny’s mother and his lawyer traveled to the town of Salekhard on Saturday, where prison authorities had said the body of the opposition leader will be examined, but when they arrived at the morgue they were told the body wasn’t there, Navalny’s team said.

    Dana (8e902f)

  88. Of course Putin won’t let there be an autopsy…and even if he did, it would be done by state actors already told what to find.

    Dana (8e902f)

  89. If Republicans were “prioritizing our border security”, they’d ignore Trump and bring the bring the Senate border security bill to a vote. Instead, Trump is putting his personal ambition above his country, and his MAGA Nation is following suit. It’s fully contemptible.
    In MAGA World, it’s Trump first, and tied for second are America and Putin.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  90. Third news item:

    After the House managers solemnly walk the Mayorkas impeachment articles to the Senate, the impeachment will be dead on arrival. The Senate will not hold a full blown trial, it will either be referred to a committee for fact finding or dismissed outright.

    This will not happen.

    Rip Murdock (f51515)

  91. @90 Anyone who hypes the Senate bill (which didn’t even pass) and dismisses HR2 (which did pass) isn’t prioritizing our border security.

    lloyd (c37c56)

  92. HR2 was never going to happen, and even MAGA Mike didn’t demand that it happen. Red herring. It’s basic civics that Republicans and Democrats negotiate a deal, not have a GOP-only deal crammed down their throats.

    Bottom line, MAGA Mike is operating in bad faith, because his Orange Leader doesn’t want any deals. Trump wants to play political football instead of improving border security and helping our allies in their fights against bullies and terrorists.

    I’ll say it again: In MAGA World, it’s always Trump first and America second.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  93. @80, It’s becoming more and more clear that DoD and State (all the way to the Executive) manage classified information much much differently. Sure, you have the Petraeus nonsense, but we increasingly see the gross negligence with those conducting state craft. Holding onto items more for personal reasons rather than state reasons. The process is broken and both sides of the aisle are guilty. Support staff aren’t serving their bosses and country well. Biden/Trump/Hillary….the lesson should be business needs to be done differently…and the contours of illegality clarified. We can’t have this Presidential sweep of homes, garages, and country clubs every 4 years. Follow the F-ing rules. Maybe there is too much classification but that’s the job. If you don’t want to execute due diligence, then don’t run for the job or accept the job.

    We have to stop nominating seniors that are not up for the job….both sides.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  94. Great article from The Economist on Costco, founded in Seattle WA.

    Costco is the world’s third-biggest retailer, behind Walmart and Amazon. Though its sales are less than half of Walmart’s, its return on capital, at nearly 20%, is more than twice as high. Charlie Munger, a famed investor who served on Costco’s board from 1997 until his death last year, called it a “perfect damn company”. Mr Galanti, who describes Costco’s business model as “arrogantly simple”, says the company is guided by a simple idea—hook shoppers by offering high-quality products at the lowest prices. It does this by keeping markups low while charging a fixed membership fee and stocking fewer distinct products, all while treating its employees generously.

    Start with margins. Most retailers boost profits by marking up prices. Not Costco. Its gross margins hover around 12%, compared with Walmart’s 24%. The company makes up the shortfall through its membership fees: customers pay $60 or more a year to shop at its stores. In 2023 fees from its 129m members netted $4.6bn, more than half of Costco’s operating profits.

    Joe Feldman, an analyst at Telsey Advisory Group, a research firm, argues that the membership model creates a virtuous circle. The more members the company has, the greater its buying power, leading to better deals with suppliers, most of which are then passed on to its members. The fee also encourages customers to focus their spending at Costco, rather than shopping around. That seems to work; membership-renewal rates are upwards of 90%.

    Next, consider the way the company manages its product lineup. Costco stores stock a limited selection of about 3,800 distinct items. Sam’s Club, Walmart’s Costco-like competitor, carries about 7,000. A Walmart superstore has around 120,000. Buying more from fewer suppliers gives the company even greater bargaining heft, lowering prices further. By limiting its range, Costco can better focus on maintaining quality. Less variety in stores helps it use space more efficiently: its sales per square foot are three times that of Walmart. And with fewer products, Costco turns over its wares almost twice as fast as usual for retailers, meaning less capital gets tied up in inventory. It has also expanded its own brand, Kirkland Signature, which now accounts for over a quarter of its sales, well above average for a retailer. Its margins on its own-brand products are about six percentage points higher than for brands such as Hershey or Kellogg’s.

    Because it’s members-only, they don’t face the retail theft issues seen at other stores, they still sell a hot dog and soda for $1.50, and their employees are happy. It’s a solid business model.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  95. Anyone who hypes HR2 isn’t prioritizing our border security. They’re prioritizing the impossible and rejecting progress. Posturing is what asshats do.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  96. In MAGA World, it’s always Trump first and America second.

    What makes you say that America is as high as second?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  97. The difference between the fates of the Senate immigration bill and HR2 is the result of the different ways the Senate and House operate. The Senate operates on consensus (60 votes or nothing passes); the House operates on whatever party has a majority.

    Rip Murdock (f51515)

  98. The Senate bill is progress like duct tape on a dam breach is progress. The moment the 5000 threshold got leaked, and Lankford lied about it, everyone knew the Senate bill had no chance. It got pushed anyway. That’s posturing. HR2 is an actual fix for the problem. That’s precisely why it’s impossible.

    lloyd (878952)

  99. X Provides Premium Perks to Hezbollah, Other U.S.-Sanctioned Groups
    ………….
    (The X accounts identified by the Tech Transparency Project (TTP) include a) blue checkmark account that bears the name and profile image of Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Hezbollah, also indicates it is “ID verified,” a service that X offers to premium subscribers as a way to prevent impersonation. X requires users to submit a government-issued ID and a selfie to get verified in this way, though it is unclear if Nasrallah did so. X says these accounts get “prioritized support.”

    Two other accounts for U.S.-sanctioned entities, Iran’s Press TV and Russia’s Tinkoff Bank, had gold checkmarks. A gold checkmark indicates the account is a “Verified Organization,” and at the time of TTP’s research, cost $1,000 per month. (X has since introduced a Basic tier that costs $200 per month.) Gold checkmark accounts get all the benefits of X’s Premium+ tier plus a $1,000 ad credit per month.

    The individuals and organizations associated with these accounts are listed by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as “Specially Designated Nationals” subject to economic sanctions. TTP identified an additional four blue checkmark accounts linked to the government of Iran, which is under multiple U.S. sanctions.
    …………
    According to OFAC, U.S. nationals and “U.S. incorporated entities” are prohibited from engaging in transactions with sanctioned entities unless they receive a license, or waiver, from the government. The prohibited activity includes the “making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person and the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.”

    It isn’t publicly known if X has sought or received waivers for any of the accounts detailed in this report. But X’s own policies state that its premium services, which include the blue checkmark, are off limits to U.S.-sanctioned entities, including those under OFAC sanctions.
    ………….
    Hours after this report was published, X removed all of the checkmarks mentioned in the report and suspended one account for the Iranian-sponsored militia Harakat al-Nujaba. Among those losing blue checkmarks were accounts for Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Houthi rebels in Yemen.

    Days later, X suspended eight of the accounts, including accounts for Hezbollah’s news site Al-Ahed; the Houthis (Ansarallah) and the Houthi television channel Al-Masirah; Iran’s Al-Alam news network; and Mizan, the official news agency of the Iranian judiciary.
    …………
    Of the 28 X accounts identified by TTP, 18 show they got verified after April 1, 2023, when X began requiring accounts to subscribe to paid plans to get a checkmark. The other 10 were legacy verified accounts, which are required to pay for a subscription to retain their checkmarks.
    …………..
    Below are blue and gold checkmark accounts identified by TTP. The follower counts were collected on Feb. 13, 2024.
    ………….

    Rip Murdock (f51515)

  100. Thanks for that bit about Costco, Paul. I’ve been a Costco member for many years.

    The one thing I dislike about the company is the weekend hours. Closing at 7 PM on Saturday? That’s insane. If anything, weekend hours should be more expansive than weekday hours.

    norcal (955135)

  101. The Senate bill is progress like duct tape on a dam breach is progress.

    Even if so (and it’s not) you are opting to let the dam fail in the hopes that the large numbers drowned will help your side’s campaign.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  102. That’s posturing. HR2 is an actual fix for the problem.

    Posturing is making a stink for the impossible, when the possible is at hand. It’s what third party fringes do, and the MAGA GOP is a third-party fringe. You think that because all those people in your bubble think the same thing that you have a majority. Goldwater’s people thought so too until they were rejected out of hand.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  103. The Senate border security bill is the most relevant and stringent border security legislation to come across in decades, but that’s still not good enough for you MAGAts, letting the improbable be the enemy of the realistic. Democrats gave up a lot to agree to this, including doing nothing on the Dreamers issue.

    This was a decent, not great, deal that moved the ball forward, but instead, Trump preferred the status quo for baldly blatant political reasons.

    By any honest reckoning, this is the most restrictive migrant legislation in decades. Previous immigration talks have involved trading security measures for legalizing more immigration. There is little of the latter in this bill—nothing for nearly all of the Dreamers who were brought here illegally as children, no general pathway to citizenship or green cards for most illegal immigrants already in the U.S.

    This is almost entirely a border security bill, and its provisions include long-time GOP priorities that the party’s restrictionists could never have passed only a few months ago. Republicans demanded border measures last year as the price for passing military aid for Ukraine, Israel and Pacific allies. Democrats resisted at first but later agreed to negotiate and have made concessions that are infuriating the open-borders left. Will Republicans now abandon what they claimed to want?

    ***
    The bill’s details are worth describing because they’re crucial to reducing the current incentives for migrants to come to the U.S. border. Most important, the bill rewrites the standard and process for granting asylum in the U.S.

    Under current law and practice, migrants cross the border, turn themselves in to border patrol agents, and claim asylum. If they pass the deliberately low bar for claiming “credible fear” of persecution, they are given a date for a future asylum hearing and released into the U.S. The wait can take years, and many never show up. This is the policy that has become known as “catch and release.”

    The new bill raises the bar for that initial border screening for credible fear to a “reasonable possibility” of persecution. Toughening the asylum standard was a priority of the Trump Administration, but a statutory change is needed to make it permanent. Migrants will have to show they couldn’t have moved elsewhere in their own country to avoid persecution before seeking refuge in the U.S.

    The bill also includes an expedited review process for asylum with a stay-or-deport decision within 90-180 days. There is money for 50,000 detention beds while migrants are awaiting review. If there are more migrants arriving than can be detained, the overflow will be enrolled in mandatory alternatives-to-detention programs that use tools such as ankle bracelets or reporting curfews. No more catch and release without consequences.

    The bill also reforms humanitarian parole. Migrants will no long be able to register using the Biden CBP One App to gain free entry at a border crossing and an immediate work permit.

    The bill doesn’t include a cap on the number of parolees in a year, as some Republicans sought. But the tightened rules for claiming parole should reduce the incentives to come, and parole is vital in some cases such as Ukrainians or Afghan allies. One disappointment is that the bill lets the Administration continue its parole programs for Haitian, Cuban, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan migrants who apply in their home capitals.

    The bill also includes an emergency provision mandating that the border be closed if the average showing up each day for a week is 5,000. This is to stop the current mess in which border crossings are overwhelmed. If a shutdown is triggered, all migrants will be deported until the number of arrivees falls 25% and the border patrol has regained control. The provision does not mean that migration is unchecked up to 5,000 a day.

    GOP critics of the bill are pointing to the bill’s modest expansion of legal visas—about 50,000 a year for employment and family visas. But these immigrants aren’t pouring over the border willy-nilly. They are following legal rules. Republicans claim to oppose illegal immigration, but this complaint shows that some really oppose all immigration.

    But no, this is about Trump first, America second.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  104. @103 Overturning Roe v Wade was third party fringe impossible bubble until Trump’s judicial picks made it happen. We’re all too familiar with your preferred approach: go along to get along, give in, get nothing and see the situation get worse. The Senate bill included immediate work authorization, increasing the incentive for migrants to violate our laws. It would’ve made the situation worse, but hey that option is never impossible ever.

    lloyd (878952)

  105. MAGA would rather maintain purity and lose instead of compromise, Kevin. It makes for better group bonding, and gives them that warm, fuzzy feeling that religious zealots also experience.

    norcal (955135)

  106. @104 “Democrats gave up a lot to agree to this, including doing nothing on the Dreamers issue.”

    Yeah, and Hamas is giving up a lot by releasing hostages. Our border security and adherence to the Rule of Law is supposed to be non-negotiable, not a chip at the bargaining table. If Democrats are giving up a lot to stop the hemorrhaging, then f-ck em.

    As for the WSJ, so what. They’ve represented the Chamber of Commerce wing of the party for decades. You may as well quote the Cato Institute.

    lloyd (878952)

  107. @106 You spelled Nevertrump MAGA, norcal. Easy typo.

    lloyd (878952)

  108. It makes for better group bonding

    And besides, they’re winning! All their friends say so.

    Of course, when they only get 30% of the vote, they will be certain it was rigged. Again.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  109. Overturning Roe v Wade was third party fringe impossible bubble until Trump’s judicial picks made it happen.

    Perhaps. Then again, so was Roe itself, as the last gasp of a very activist court.

    It took 50 years to change, and there was no compromise offered. Still isn’t. If there had been an opportunity to compromise, it probably would have ended up like it did in Europe, much sooner, and like it will eventually end up here.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  110. You may as well quote the Cato Institute.

    Loads better than QAnon and Tucker.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  111. You’re grasping if you have to resort to bogus comparisons, lloyd.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  112. Mitch McConnell is, more than any other political leader, responsible for the overturn of Roe. Giving the Loser credit for the overturn of Roe is like giving Charlie McCarthy credit for Edgar Bergen’s clever lines.

    And of course, McConnell couldn’t have done it without the help he had from George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.

    (I have wondered for many years whether McConnell’s pro-life stand cost his his first marriage.)

    Jim Miller (c5e90f)

  113. If you think that Trump will pay his legal settlements with his own money, then he’s a got pairs of shoes to sell you.
    Assuming he finds enough suckers to buy them at $400 a pop, and assuming they cost $50 to manufacture, he can pay his legal bills and legal settlements if only two million MAGAts step up and buy, and it’s surely a more useful product than TrumpUrineTest.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  114. Trump Allies Plan New Sweeping Abortion Restrictions
    ………….
    Behind the scenes, specific anti-abortion plans being proposed by Mr. Trump’s allies are sweeping and legally sophisticated. Some of their proposals would rely on enforcing the Comstock Act, a long-dormant law from 1873, to criminalize the shipping of any materials used in an abortion — including abortion pills, which account for the majority of abortions in America.

    “We don’t need a federal ban when we have Comstock on the books,” said Jonathan F. Mitchell, the legal force behind a 2021 Texas law that found a way to effectively ban abortion in the state before Roe v. Wade was overturned. “There’s a smorgasbord of options.”
    …………..
    “I hope he doesn’t know about the existence of Comstock, because I just don’t want him to shoot off his mouth,” Mr. Mitchell said of Mr. Trump. “I think the pro-life groups should keep their mouths shut as much as possible until the election.”

    The New York Times reported on Friday that Mr. Trump had told advisers and allies that he liked the idea of a 16-week national abortion ban but that he wanted to wait until the Republican primary contest was over to publicly discuss his views.
    …………
    ………… (A) 16-week ban is all but certain to never pass Congress and become law. ……….(and) a 16-week ban would affect only a small fraction of abortions, given that nearly 94 percent happen in the first trimester, before 13 weeks of pregnancy.
    ………….
    In policy documents, private conversations and interviews, the plans described by former Trump administration officials, allies and supporters propose circumventing Congress and leveraging the regulatory powers of federal institutions, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Justice and the National Institutes of Health.
    …………….
    Policies under consideration include banning the use of fetal stem cells in medical research for diseases like cancer, rescinding approval of abortion pills at the F.D.A. and stopping hundreds of millions in federal funding for Planned Parenthood.………
    …………
    “The question will then become what can be done unilaterally at the executive branch level, and the answer is quite a bit,” Mr. Mitchell said. “But to the extent to which that’s done will depend on whether the president wants to take the political heat and whether the attorney general or the secretary of Health and Human Services are on board.”
    …………
    “Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, there is now no federal prohibition on the enforcement of (the Comstock Act),” the plan states. “The Department of Justice in the next conservative Administration should therefore announce its intent to enforce federal law against providers and distributors of such pills.”

    The plan also cites the statute number in a footnote justifying its recommendation that the F.D.A. stop “promoting or approving mail-order abortions in violation of longstanding federal laws that prohibit the mailing and interstate carriage of abortion drugs.”
    ……………
    “Congress isn’t going to pass a ban, but the Comstock Act is already on the books,” said Mary Ziegler, a law professor and a historian of abortion at the University of California, Davis. “As interpreted in this way, it doesn’t have any exceptions — it applies at conception. It’s any abortion, full stop.”

    The Comstock Act made it a federal crime to send or deliver “obscene, lewd or lascivious” material through the mail or by other carriers, specifically including items used for abortion or birth control. ……..
    ……………..

    Rip Murdock (f51515)

  115. #113 Correction: “him his” rather than “his his”.

    Jim Miller (c5e90f)

  116. Lloyd, if you end up with something better then the senate bill then you’re right. At the moment you have the status quo, which is worse. So you’re wrong.

    Time123 (1ce0a3)

  117. norcal (955135) — 2/17/2024 @ 2:37 pm

    This is a mindset with which I have had to deal for many decades. Being mocked by those (even other, fair-weather, Christians) who have a great mis-understanding of what being a follower of Christ is like, when one actually puts Christianity into practice.

    The constant drumbeat of “you just believe that because it comforts you” while completely unaware that they are tormenting you about very deeply held beliefs for which they are, even then, suffering. “A warm fuzzy feeling” is what one projects onto a Christian when that is what they have been told to believe.

    Christian martyrs die for their beliefs, not kill for them. When one has no belief for which they will die, one sees only madness in such commitment. Projected charges of “purity” (another completely misunderstood idea), and an unwillingness to “compromise.” You should always wonder why the lamb rarely compromises with the wolf.

    Truth is never discovered by consensus.

    felipe (5045ed)

  118. It took 50 years to change, and there was no compromise offered. Still isn’t. Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/17/2024 @ 3:13 pm

    I imagine that if there was only one thing disaffected voters (on both sides) have learned, it would be this, and their response is “no more compromises!” Right or wrong, that’s what we’ve got. It will only get worse until it all falls apart into civil war. That’s when to expect Barbarians at our gates.

    felipe (5045ed)

  119. Maybe it’s me, but I don’t equate how my faith is practiced (where there isn’t really any room to negotiate or bargain our principles) to how secular politics is practiced (where negotiating and bargaining is central and fundamental).

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  120. You are right, Paul. It’s not you. It was my perception that politics used to be about arriving at the best policy for the people (I know, naive), today I am sure that politics is about arriving at the best policy for one party (or interest) over and against another party (or interest).

    A comedian once observed that whoever invented jazz/rock, ruined both. I feel the same way about Church and state. Each has their proper sphere. Here’s a question:

    Which would make a better musician? A trained Jazz player who is hired to play rock, or a trained rock player who is hired to play jazz?

    felipe (5e2a04)

  121. Don’t get me started on jazz, felipe, or smooth jazz, but I will say that this Herbie Hancock and John Mayer collaboration is pretty good.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  122. This sounds like John Mayer ruining a Herbie Hancock tune. I usually agree with your excellent opinions. Mr. M.

    Jrh (14e837)

  123. Truth is never discovered by consensus.

    That would be a surprise to most scientists.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  124. @115/110 Compromise? The democrat party is pro-choice with very few pro-lifers hanging on. The democrat party base on this issue is just as rabid as the pro-lifer maggots on the other side. The more the other side passes more laws restricting abortion the more discredited the establishment corporate democrats become! Haven’t you never trumpers learned that when you stand in the middle of the road you get run over. Any democrat who offers a meaningful compromise will get primaried like that congressman in texas who won by barely 200 votes in 2022 We will get him this time. You wont compromise on gun laws we wont on abortion. As for your 2nd amendment in the constitution argument means nothing to gun control democrats.

    asset (49a0db)

  125. Thank you, JRH. I will say that my opinion of Mayer has lessened over time. There’s a pretentiousness I don’t like.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  126. How ironic that those preaching negotiation, bargaining and compromise have carved out exceptions for themselves the past two elections when their party committed the mortal sin of nominating someone they didn’t choose.

    lloyd (878952)

  127. Thank you felipe and Lloyd.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  128. Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 2/17/2024 @ 5:22 pm

    Thank you for that link, Paul! I know that voice, now thanks to you, I can put a name to the voice. Also, I laughed when Herbie entered on the G11sus2(?). A typical I II IV7 I progression – easy to follow and develop. I like it.

    felipe (5045ed)

  129. Jrh (14e837) — 2/17/2024 @ 5:35 pm

    That’s funny because I’m a musician and I know exactly the spirit in which you made that assessment.

    felipe (5045ed)

  130. That would be a surprise to most [climate] scientists.
    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/17/2024 @ 5:45 pm

    That’s better.

    felipe (5045ed)

  131. lloyd, I’m not a member of Congress, so I don’t have to compromise to get a deal done, and I won’t apologize for being NeverTrump.
    I won’t apologize for condemning a guy for undermining our democracy, for coddling dictators who work against American interests, for being an adjudicated liar, for being an adjudicated fraudster across multiple entities, for being an adjudicated sexual abuser, for putting his own interests above our nation’s, for breaching the rule of law multiple times over, for turning my party into a cult.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  132. NJRob (eb56c3) — 2/17/2024 @ 6:07 pm

    You are welcome, NJRob. Following Christ is not made easy for us, is it? Thanks be to G*D His yoke is easy.

    felipe (5045ed)

  133. Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 2/17/2024 @ 6:58 pm

    A may be wrong (it wouldn’t be the first time!), but it sounds like it is time for you to recognize, as did Patterico, Dana, and I (to name 3)did, that the Republican party has left you, I realized that it had left me when they passed Tarp back in the 80’s. If I can still trust my memory, as dicey as it has become…

    felipe (5045ed)

  134. I’m a total RINO, felipe, and I don’t apologize for that either.
    When people ask, I say I’m a Jack Kemp or Reagan Republican.
    Like the gang you mentioned, I’m waiting for a right-of-center party to emerge that isn’t Trumpist or populist.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  135. Ha! Good for you, Paul. I’ve been called a”turncoat” for leaving the R Party – but I did no such thing, they left me.

    You don’t owe anyone an apology – just remember to afford the Trumpers the same courtesy when they offer no apology. If you can do that, then you’ll find persuading them to your point of view to be more fruitful. And, I dare say, you may find their respect.

    felipe (5045ed)

  136. It depends on their reasoning, felipe, and I’ll just leave it that.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  137. @131: I am always amazed at what laymen think about “science”, but that may be because the press confuses politicians with scientists.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  138. I disagree. I remain a Republican. That the party is infested with crapweasels, fools and evil people doesn’t change that. There remains a need for a rear guard.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  139. Now, should all you former Republicans find a new home, let me know. But abandoning everything to MAGA is not a solution, it’s an abdication. If you had all stayed and fought, we would not be in this drama. But you ran away.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  140. @80

    I’ve been reading through the Hur report, and the way Biden handled documents was a mess. At his Wilmington residence, they not only found marked classified materials in his garage, but in three other rooms in his house.

    All told, they found 91 documents that were marked “classified”, at his house, at Penn Biden Center and at the University of Delaware, and the appendices detail the quantities, which are a lot. The materials at the latter locations fall under the category of accidental or inadvertent, not “willfully retained”.

    There were other documents at Biden’s residence that didn’t have classified markings but contained classified information, and they were his handwritten notebooks and papers, not unlike the Reagan diaries, so there was no reason to further pursue that avenue of investigation, because there was precedent.

    I was listening to the French-Isgur podcast, and one of the points they emphasized is that it’s not about whether Hur believes Biden is guilty beyond reasonable doubt, it’s whether a jury would believe Biden is guilty beyond reasonable doubt, and Hur concluded “no”. I know this concept is obvious to Prosecutor Patterico, and I know that Patterico has said Isgur is wrong about a lot of stuff, but I don’t believe she’s wrong here. They also emphasized that the guts of the case are in chapters 11-13.

    The investigation keyed in on the marked classified materials at the Biden residence, and they were all over the place, and I’m a little surprised that Hur didn’t pursue the “gross negligence” angle, because keeping all those materials in all those places was irresponsible, to say the least.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 2/17/2024 @ 9:58 am

    tbf, Hur did say that Biden should be charged with “gross negligence”, but argued that no jury would convict him.

    His job, is to inform AG Garland what charges should be done, and whether or not the government should pursue it.

    whembly (5f7596)

  141. @90

    If Republicans were “prioritizing our border security”, they’d ignore Trump and bring the bring the Senate border security bill to a vote. Instead, Trump is putting his personal ambition above his country, and his MAGA Nation is following suit. It’s fully contemptible.
    In MAGA World, it’s Trump first, and tied for second are America and Putin.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 2/17/2024 @ 10:49 am

    The Republicans already prioritized the border security by passing HR2 9 months ago.

    It’s contemptible that you and others on this board keeps forgetting this fact.

    whembly (5f7596)

  142. @92

    @90 Anyone who hypes the Senate bill (which didn’t even pass) and dismisses HR2 (which did pass) isn’t prioritizing our border security.

    lloyd (c37c56) — 2/17/2024 @ 11:06 a

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    whembly (5f7596)

  143. @99

    The Senate bill is progress like duct tape on a dam breach is progress. The moment the 5000 threshold got leaked, and Lankford lied about it, everyone knew the Senate bill had no chance. It got pushed anyway. That’s posturing. HR2 is an actual fix for the problem. That’s precisely why it’s impossible.

    lloyd (878952) — 2/17/2024 @ 1:08 pm

    ******************* lloyd dropping bombs! *******************

    whembly (5f7596)

  144. @117

    Lloyd, if you end up with something better then the senate bill then you’re right. At the moment you have the status quo, which is worse. So you’re wrong.

    Time123 (1ce0a3) — 2/17/2024 @ 4:08 pm

    I would argue that the Senate bill is worst, overall, than the status quo.

    That bill will not only juice even more sustain migrations due to established perverse incentives, it gives numerous actors (namely AG and immigration officials) even more discretion that any administration wanting to pursue open border policies.

    Hence why opponents of Senate bill often argues that it “codifies” much of the current Biden border policies.

    You often want “messy” compromises to ratchet the issue one direction. But, this Senate bill would never “go towards stronger border security” due to absolute insane open border gimmies. The changes to Asylum laws, while are good, gets overshadowed by the crappy parts of the bill.

    whembly (5f7596)

  145. https://www.breitbart.com/2024-election/2024/02/16/poll-reveals-consensus-migration-curbs-would-be-good-us/

    Almost 70 percent of Americans say the U.S. would benefit from new curbs on migration at the southern border, according to an Economist/YouGov poll of 1,671 citizens.

    The February 11-13 poll asked, “If Congress passes a new bill restricting the admission of new migrants at the border, do you think this would be good or bad for the United States?”

    Sixty-nine percent of the Americans responded that it would be “good,” while only 14 percent predicted “bad.”

    That result shows five Americans believe migration curbs will benefit America for every one American who believes migration curbs would be harmful.

    The new national consensus against southern migration comes after President Joe Biden and Democrats vigorously backed a Senate bill that they suggested would sharply curb their huge wave of southern migration.

    Versus the Senate bill that will guarantee millions of illegals a year the right to invade America.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  146. Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/17/2024 @ 9:52 pm

    Yes, beginning with poli-sci 101.

    felipe (5045ed)

  147. Sixty-nine percent of the Americans responded that it would be “good,” while only 14 percent predicted “bad.”

    But you, Trump and MAGA all sided with that 14%.

    Or do you think that the 70% were saying “Oh, gimme that HR2!”

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  148. But you ran away.
    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/17/2024 @ 9:58 pm

    No, it’s called freedom of association. I no longer associate myself with the Republican party because the crowd ran away from me when I stopped running with them, because I did not like the looks of their destination.

    I respect your decision to stay* – you’ve done what you found to be best. The best I can do is Vote for the least crazy party, which is still the Republicans.

    * There is a similar situation developing in the Catholic Church, where Pope Francis is embracing the worldly values of today in order to reshape the Church into a different image.

    Paul aptly said that, in religion, there is no room for compromise or negotiations. Indeed, when Jesus said “unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will have no life within you.” Which caused many to leave Him, and Jesus did not stop them because there was no misunderstanding that he had to clear up to get them to come back. When Jesus asked His disciples if they were going to leave as well, Peter responded with “To whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life.”

    This is precisely why I remain in the Catholic Church; there is no other place to go. I will not leave the Church to a bunch of “crapweasels, fools and evil people.”

    So I understand your decision. It’s just that the Republican party is not offering me eternal life, something for which I will die.

    felipe (5045ed)

  149. No, it’s called freedom of association.

    IMHO, you chose self-respect over solidarity. You refused to be in the same place as those clods, lest someone point at you and say “MAGA!” I get it, of course, but it just made it hard for those who stayed.

    But given your choice, you could at least begin organizing for a replacement party. The Church may be there for your immortal soul, but you need to consider Caesar, too.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  150. The Republicans already prioritized the border security by passing HR2 9 months ago.

    And then they de-prioritized, because Trump put himself above his country, and the GOP followed suit.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  151. Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/18/2024 @ 6:49 am

    Quite right, Kevin M, quite right. Well, I am voting. If you want the Independents help, make us a compelling Republican argument.

    felipe (5045ed)

  152. The GOP is lying about what the Senate Bill does

    https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2024/feb/06/steve-scalise/no-the-senate-immigration-bill-does-not-allow-5000/

    It’s lying because Trump wants it to lie because he needs immigration to remain chaotic.

    Biden does not believe he has the unilateral power to close the border given the current state of the law — hence the Senate bill. The good in the bill outweighs the bad and is an incredible opportunity for Republicans to get things we’ve wanted for a long time, without capitulating on amnesty or other liberal conditions. But we continue to accept lies and call it “politics”. Just stop lying….

    https://thehill.com/opinion/immigration/4458612-history-confirms-republicans-rejected-a-once-in-a-lifetime-immigration-opportunity/

    AJ_Liberty (d6d61a)

  153. This is because Trump doesn’t know how things work. Never has, never will. He stopped learning when he discovered he could blame everything on the servants.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  154. @153 “The GOP is lying about what the Senate Bill does”

    On average, this administration turns back on 14% of migrants encountered at the border. That’s just stating a fact that is easily available. This means a threshold of 5000 translates into an average of 4,300 let in per day, let in under law passed by Congress. So. is it a lie to highlight this 5,000 provision, or is it a lie to play down its significance and leave out the context of Biden’s very low turn back rate? Did Politifact omit this context because they wanted to fairly evaluate the claim, or did they leave it out because they don’t do fact checking very well, particularly when it conflicts with their decidedly left wing bias?

    So tell me again AJ, who is lying about this provision in the Senate bill?

    lloyd (c3a4ce)

  155. *turns back on average 14%

    lloyd (844a1e)

  156. You are. It’s 5000 encounters that triggers the shutdown after a week.

    AJ_Liberty (d6d61a)

  157. It’s 5000 per day, sustained per day for a week. Even your own left wing source says that. Get your Democrat talking points straight.

    lloyd (844a1e)

  158. @113 “Mitch McConnell is, more than any other political leader, responsible for the overturn of Roe.”

    Heh. The Bush presidents demonstrate that securing vacancies, as McConnell did for Trump, is not quite half the battle. Bush Sr appointed Souter, who gave us Sotomayor (who was first appointed to district court by Bush Jr). John Obamacare Roberts was appointed Chief Justice by Bush Jr., who also would’ve given us Harriet Miers. The Bush picks were largely driven by cronyism. Souter was pushed by the crony Sununu. Credit where credit is due.

    Other than Scalia, chosen by Reagan, the three picks by Trump are the best Republicans have put forth in many decades. His criteria was merit, not cronyism. Whether that merit was conferred by The Federalist Society matters little. He didn’t have to go with their picks, but he did.

    lloyd (844a1e)

  159. Winthrop University Poll

    ……….. 65% of likely voters in (South Carolina) support the nomination of former president Donald Trump – a 36% lead over his opponent, former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

    According to the latest Winthrop Poll, Trump is the top pick for the Republican presidential nomination among all likely voters in S.C., though pure Independents are more evenly split between the two candidates. Among Independents who are likely to vote in the upcoming primary, 42.3% support Haley while 42.6% support Trump. Among GOP voters only, Trump maintains a stronghold at 72%.
    ………..
    (The Director of the Winthrop Poll, Dr. Scott Huffmon said)”………Haley has several avenues left to motivate voters. These include motivating on-the-fence Independents as well as potential, if unlikely, crossover voters in order to cut Trump’s lead.

    Haley losing to “None of these candidates” in the Nevada primary while our survey was in the field certainly couldn’t have helped her cause in our poll of Likely Voters in South Carolina.

    One of the most notable findings was the drop in Haley’s favorability ratings in her home state. With the exception of when she defied the Tea Party and endorsed Mitt Romney in the GOP primary, she has always enjoyed very high approval and favorability ratings among Republicans in her home state. However, as we look at her favorability ratings among Republicans in South Carolina between the November 2023 Winthrop Poll and now, we see a significant dip in favorability and a rise in unfavorability that seems to correspond with her increasing attacks on Trump. This would seem to indicate that in South Carolina, as apparently in the nation as a whole, that the Republican Party is very much Trump’s party.”
    ………….
    Nikki Haley’s favorability among Republican registered voters has decreased by 15% since November. While 71% viewed her as favorable in November, 56% now hold that same view. Thirty-three percent now view her as unfavorable compared to 16% three months ago.
    ……….

    Paragraph breaks added.

    Rip Murdock (b0912e)

  160. In Biden’s first three years, border encounters averaged almost 5,700 per day, above the 5,000 trigger point.
    It still belies the fact that this is the first actual border security legislation in this century, but Trump doesn’t want it, for blatant political reasons.
    Trump 1st, American and Putin tied for 2nd.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  161. Rip Murdock (f51515) — 2/17/2024 @ 10:27 am

    More from the Monmouth University poll:

    …………
    In a Biden-Trump rematch, just over 4 in 10 registered voters say they will either definitely (30%) or probably (14%) vote for the Democratic incumbent and, in a separate question, a similar number will definitely (30%) or probably (16%) support the former Republican president. These results have not moved much since the fall, with both candidates seeing statistically insignificant 2 to 4 point increases.

    Trump does better with non-Hispanic white voters (51% are definite or probable supporters) than with voters who are Black, Hispanic, Asian, or of another race (37%). The results are flipped for Biden, who gets 53% support from people of color and 38% support from white voters. However, education is a mitigating factor.

    Biden does better among white college graduates (53%) than he does among whites without a college degree (28%), while it is the opposite for Trump with 63% support among whites without a college degree and 36% among white college graduates. ………..
    …………
    Overall, 51% of voters are at least somewhat confident that Trump has the mental and physical stamina necessary to carry out the job of president. Just 32% say the same about Biden. ……..

    There is a counterfactual finding to these concerns in the current poll. To the extent there are variations in seeing Trump as being more physically and mentally fit than Biden, those differing views come from voters under 70 years old rather than voters in the same age bracket as the two candidates. ………..
    …………
    Nearly half of the electorate thinks it is either very (20%) or somewhat (28%) likely that Biden will be replaced as the Democratic nominee on the presidential ballot in November. By comparison, one-third (10% very and 22% somewhat likely) think it is possible that Trump will be replaced as the Republican nominee. ……….

    When asked about Trump’s response to the 2020 election outcome, more than 4 in 10 voters (45%) maintain that his actions were criminal, while another 25% say he did something wrong but not criminal and 29% say Trump did nothing wrong.

    Turning to Biden, who is facing a House inquiry, 32% say he should be impeached, 18% say he may have violated his oath of office but should not be impeached, and 46% say he has not violated his oath. …….
    …………
    …………Currently, 63% of voters believe Biden knew about (classified) documents being in his home – which is only slightly higher than in January 2023 (58%). Just 36% are very concerned that the documents found in Biden’s home would pose a threat to national security if they fell into the wrong hands – similar to 39% who said the same a year ago.

    Turning to the Republican former president, who is currently facing criminal charges for his handling of classified documents, 83% of voters think Trump knew about their presence in his home (similar to 80% in 2023) and 43% are very concerned that the release of these documents would pose a national security threat (similar to 41% in 2023).

    “The Hur report doesn’t seem to have shifted public opinion on whether Biden mishandled classified documents………”(said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute).
    ………..

    Paragraph breaks added.

    Rip Murdock (b0912e)

  162. It’s 5000 per day, sustained per day for a week.

    This has been debunked endlessly, but you are one of those who is impervious to argument.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  163. Kevin M:

    Knowing your belief that the Executive Branch should fully enforce existing laws, I assume that includes the Comstock Act.

    Rip Murdock (301900)

  164. CNN: “U.S. Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is slamming her rival Donald Trump for his silence, following the death of Putin critic Alexey Navalny. Haley told supporters that Trump, “emboldened Putin.””

    The Hill: “Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) knocked former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) for comparing the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to the prosecution of former President Trump.

    “As the world reflects on the murder of Alexei Navalny at the hands of Putin, it’s worth remembering that Democrats are actively doing Biden’s bidding as they also try to imprison his chief political opponent, Donald Trump, remove him from the ballot, and ensure he dies in prison,” Zeldin posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.”

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  165. I’m Shocked!

    ………..
    Alexander Smirnov, 43, is facing charges in connection with lying to the FBI and creating false records. He was arrested Thursday at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, after his arrival in the US from overseas, and will make his initial appearance in federal court Thursday afternoon.
    ………..
    The indictment (obtained by Special Counsel David Weiss) alleges that Smirnov’s story to the FBI “was a fabrication, an amalgam of otherwise unremarkable business meetings and contacts that had actually occurred but at a later date than he claimed and for the purpose of pitching Burisma on the Defendant’s services and products, not for discussing bribes to [Joe Biden] when he was in office.”

    Congressional Republicans have championed Smirnov’s now-discredited allegations for roughly a year, though not by name. They fought with the FBI to obtain memos about what Smirnov told investigators and publicly released the materials over the FBI’s objections. The congressional Republicans repeatedly praised Smirnov as “credible” and put his uncorroborated claims front-and-center in their impeachment inquiry into the president.

    While announcing the impeachment inquiry, then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said “a trusted FBI informant has alleged a bribe to the Biden family.” The FBI is now using some of the same memos that congressional Republicans released as part of their indictment against Smirnov.
    ………….
    …………. Smirnov also allegedly reported that executives paid $5 million each to Joe and Hunter Biden while Joe Biden was vice president so that Hunter would “take care of all those issues through his dad,” referring to a criminal investigation being conducted by the then-Ukrainian prosecutor general into Burisma.

    “In truth and fact, the Defendant had contact with executives from Burisma in 2017, after the end of the Obama-Biden Administration and after the then Ukrainian Prosecutor General had been fired in February 2016, in other words, when [Joe Biden] had no ability to influence U.S. policy and when the Prosecutor General was no longer in office,” the indictment states.
    …………….

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  166. whembly (5f7596) — 2/16/2024 @ 1:51 pm

    The case ought to be overturned or fine drastically reduced on the basis that the fine is excessive.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/16/2024 @ 2:03 pm

    It is considered the “disgorgement” of ill-gotten gains. See page 81-85 here.

    [W]here, as here, there is a claim based on fraudulent activity, disgorgement may be available as an equitable remedy, notwithstanding the absence of loss to individuals or independent claims for restitution. Disgorgement is distinct from the remedy of restitution because it focuses on the gain to the wrongdoer as opposed to the loss to the victim….

    It was based, if I understand correctly, on the idea that Trump was able to get the loans at a lower interest rate because he overvalued the collateral, or that he made a profit on a transaction that would not have been made at all by the bank if they had known the true value of the collateral. Or maybe the loans wouldn’t have been made because there was a condition attached to the loans that he maintain a personal net worth of at least $2.5 billion.

    This is a fallacy. Trump would have, or could have, put up more collateral or he would have re-negotiated the terms, or he would have dropped the least likely to be profitable loans.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  167. then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said “a trusted FBI informant has alleged a bribe to the Biden family.”

    That doesn’t mean that, in fact, he was being truthful, and the FBI apparently has a habit of trusting too many people — and now, thanks to the Republicans, he’s being indicted for lying to the FBI even though this could embarrass some FBI agents, and/or ex-FBI agents in contrast to the usual FBI policy of just letting it go if it would embarrass the Bureau.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  168. Exceptions for non-contiguous nation invaders that don’t count towards the 5000 invaders per day
    Immediate work authorization
    Funding only for processing more illegal aliens not preventing invasion
    Enshrining into law a permissible amount of invasion
    No requirement for holding invaders
    and on and on

    versus

    just 11 percent of YouGov’s respondents said they “strongly approve” of Biden’s border policy, while 57 percent strongly disapprove.

    NJRob (38c8f1)

  169. It’s 5000 per day, sustained per day for a week.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/18/2024 @ 11:32 am

    This has been debunked endlessly, but you are one of those who is impervious to argument.

    It’s an average of 5,000 a day, which equal 35,000 a week, or 8,500 on any given day. Minors do not count, unless they are from Mexico or Canada.

    It is mandatory at that level, and voluntary at 4,000, that the border be “closed” at that point. It remains closed till it drops to 75% of the level which triggered it, (in other words an average of 3,759 or 3,000 over the course of a week) and then the cycle starts again. It would effectively cap the number the smugglers send.

    I think think anyone who crossers the U.S. (southern?) land border, not at a regular entry point, and is processed whether they are immediately sent back or not, counts but nobody who is not caught, and also included is anyone who asks for asylum at a regular entry point.

    Senator Lindsey Graham today endorsed a proposed House bill that would simply reinstitute “stay in Mexico” while awaiting asylum decision (which needs Mexican agreement for people other than Mexican and the rules of Title 42, and tried to confuse people about this and fentanyl smuggling as do all the Republicans. He also wants the aid to be converted into loans and limited to military assistance, which he says has Donald Trump’s agreement, Donald Trump does not want any immigration law provisions in the bill.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  170. Republicans want to deny all asylum claims if too many people ask for it,

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  171. “Congress isn’t going to pass a ban, but the Comstock Act is already on the books,” said Mary Ziegler, a law professor and a historian of abortion at the University of California, Davis. “As interpreted in this way, it doesn’t have any exceptions — it applies at conception. It’s any abortion, full stop.”

    For some reason, nobody seems interested in impeaching Attorney General Merrick Garland for not enforcing this law. Not even a little bit. And he doesn’t even have the excuse of impracticability or prioritization.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  172. The Comstock Act became enforceable again after Dobbs. The provisions against mailing birth control devices through the mail were repealed many years ago but not the provisions against mailing anything that could help in an abortion, because by the time they might have wanted to do so,,Roe v Wade was the law of the land,

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  173. Knowing your belief that the Executive Branch should fully enforce existing laws

    I believe that existing laws should be enforced to the letter. If they are bad laws, this is a great way to get them repealed. If the Executive can pick and choose which laws to enforce, we aren’t really a nation of laws anyway.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  174. The indictment (obtained by Special Counsel David Weiss) alleges that Smirnov’s story to the FBI “was a fabrication, an amalgam of otherwise unremarkable business meetings and contacts that had actually occurred but at a later date than he claimed and for the purpose of pitching Burisma on the Defendant’s services and products, not for discussing bribes to [Joe Biden] when he was in office.”

    If you believe that Joe Biden and his son are crooks, this is good news. It will bring all Smirnov’s charges into open court and require the government to disprove them.

    Of course they may cut a deal….

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  175. This whole “asylum” thing has all sorts of partisans gaming the system. Some facts:

    1. There are some legitimate asylum claims.
    2. There are some folks who help with false asylum claims.
    3. There is a need for compassion here, and also a need for discretion.
    4. There are Americans who are harmed by unchecked immigration.
    5. There is some racism, on more than one side.
    6. There are folks who view this as a political football, or hope to use it to tilt demographics. Again, on more than one side.

    The loudest voices, however, are for one-sided measures, either shutting the border or opening it completely. I hope we have the sense to tell them to STFU.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  176. What do you suppose the effect of $20 minimum wage laws are on attracting unskilled immigrants?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  177. If you believe that Joe Biden and his son are crooks, this is good news. It will bring all Smirnov’s charges into open court and require the government to disprove them.

    Of course they may cut a deal….

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/18/2024 @ 2:50 pm

    I disagree. The defense will need to argue Smirnov’s statements weren’t false and demonstrate that they were true.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  178. All the government will need to show is the statements were false and Smirnov knew it.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  179. The Heritage Foundation has a fact-based breakdown of the Senate bill, including:

    Unacceptably, the Senate bill accepts and codifies crisis levels of daily illegal immigration. If passed into law the bill would create a three-year “Border Emergency Authority” to allow agents to expel illegal aliens back across the border during “extraordinary migration circumstances”—but the numerous exceptions and limitations swallow that authority whole.

    The Secretary of Homeland Security has the discretion to activate the authority after the U.S. Customs and Boder Protection (CBP) encounters an average of 4,000 illegal aliens daily for seven consecutive days. Secretary activation of the emergency authority becomes mandatory after the CBP encounters a 5,000 illegal-alien daily average for seven consecutive days or 8,500 in one day. Not counted in those numbers are unaccompanied children, parolees, those who claim a fear of persecution, have already been in the U.S. for 14 days, or already traveled beyond 100 miles from the southwest border.

    The Secretary would not be able to activate the authority for more than 270 days, 225 days, and 180 days in calendar years one, two, and three, respectively. The bill then adds cumbersome and confusing calendar calculation requirements that further limit the Secretary’s use of the emergency authority. Finally, both the Secretary and the President could suspend the authority.

    Read the whole thing.

    lloyd (245f9b)

  180. @163 “This has been debunked endlessly, but you are one of those who is impervious to argument.”

    I’m impervious to BS claims of debunking unsupported by evidence, but however you want to phrase it.

    lloyd (245f9b)

  181. I’m impervious to BS claims of debunking unsupported by evidence, but however you want to phrase it.

    You seem to be impervious to actual language from the bill. And no, I’m not going to go find it for you again, as you seem to be relying on tailored snippets from MAGA.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  182. All the government will need to show is the statements were false and Smirnov knew it.

    This will require proving they were false and proving they were not false is an affirmative defense for which the DoJ must allow discovery.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  183. I disagree. The defense will need to argue Smirnov’s statements weren’t false and demonstrate that they were true.

    He must prove himself innocent?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  184. You seem to have enough energy and time to write zero content comments.

    lloyd (245f9b)

  185. …….the DoJ must allow discovery.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/18/2024 @ 4:14 pm

    Which happens in every case.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/18/2024 @ 4:16 pm

    Smirnov can make an affirmative defense by demonstrating that his statements are true.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  186. For some reason, nobody seems interested in impeaching Attorney General Merrick Garland for not enforcing (the Comstock Act). Not even a little bit. And he doesn’t even have the excuse of impracticability or prioritization.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e) — 2/18/2024 @ 1:29 pm

    What’s the point in impeaching Garland, Mayorkas, etc. when they are just carrying out President Biden’s policies? As Senator Lankford said about the Mayorkas impeachment:

    “It’ll still be the same policy, even if Mayorkas left,” Mr. Lankford said. “We’re going to have the same result, because we’ve got the same president who’s driving the policy.”

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  187. https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2024/02/arson-update-2.php

    Many readers have asked for an update on the arson that more or less destroyed the building in Golden Valley, Minnesota, that housed three conservative organizations, including Center of the American Experiment, along with several dozen small businesses. One or more arsonists set two fires, using gasoline as an accelerant, one of them on the building’s first floor and one on the third floor. The arsonists targeted only the three conservative organizations, but the entire building has been shut down due to damage from fire, water and smoke, and probably won’t reopen for a year or more. The arsonists caused many millions of dollars in damages.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  188. @180

    The Heritage Foundation has a fact-based breakdown of the Senate bill, including:

    Unacceptably, the Senate bill accepts and codifies crisis levels of daily illegal immigration. If passed into law the bill would create a three-year “Border Emergency Authority” to allow agents to expel illegal aliens back across the border during “extraordinary migration circumstances”—but the numerous exceptions and limitations swallow that authority whole.

    The Secretary of Homeland Security has the discretion to activate the authority after the U.S. Customs and Boder Protection (CBP) encounters an average of 4,000 illegal aliens daily for seven consecutive days. Secretary activation of the emergency authority becomes mandatory after the CBP encounters a 5,000 illegal-alien daily average for seven consecutive days or 8,500 in one day. Not counted in those numbers are unaccompanied children, parolees, those who claim a fear of persecution, have already been in the U.S. for 14 days, or already traveled beyond 100 miles from the southwest border.

    The Secretary would not be able to activate the authority for more than 270 days, 225 days, and 180 days in calendar years one, two, and three, respectively. The bill then adds cumbersome and confusing calendar calculation requirements that further limit the Secretary’s use of the emergency authority. Finally, both the Secretary and the President could suspend the authority.

    Read the whole thing.

    lloyd (245f9b) — 2/18/2024 @ 3:42 pm

    It’s interesting that the advocates of this Senate Bill hasn’t address this.

    whembly (dc0a55)

  189. @187

    What’s the point in impeaching Garland, Mayorkas, etc. when they are just carrying out President Biden’s policies? As Senator Lankford said about the Mayorkas impeachment:

    “It’ll still be the same policy, even if Mayorkas left,” Mr. Lankford said. “We’re going to have the same result, because we’ve got the same president who’s driving the policy.”

    Rip Murdock (884e90) — 2/18/2024 @ 6:10 pm

    Andy McCarthy makes the same point:
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2024/02/mayorkas-is-not-the-right-target-for-impeachment-over-the-border/?utm_source=recirc-desktop&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=river&utm_content=featured-content-trending&utm_term=first

    But, I would argue that Mayorkas flat out lied to Congress and is deserving impeachment anyways.

    His job was to obfuscate the issue.

    One of the ways to hold Biden accountable, is to have his direct reports impeached.

    But, under the unitary executive theorem, Mayorkas only has his powers as a delegates of Biden’s. So, it’s Biden that Congress should impeach.

    Good.

    Do it.

    whembly (dc0a55)

  190. https://apnews.com/article/trump-fraud-business-law-courts-banks-lending-punishment-2ee9e509a28c24d0cda92da2f9a9b689


    An Associated Press analysis of nearly 70 years of civil cases under the law showed that such a penalty has only been imposed a dozen previous times, and Trump’s case stands apart in a significant way: It’s the only big business found that was threatened with a shutdown without a showing of obvious victims and major losses.

    This case fits the definition of “unprecedented”… no?

    whembly (dc0a55)

  191. Do it.

    whembly (dc0a55) — 2/18/2024 @ 7:13 pm


    Impeaching Biden is a political imperative for the Republican base and Trump, given the extensive “evidence” the House Republicans have released against the Biden Crime Family™️. But Alexander Smirnov’s indictment raises a whole host of questions about that “evidence”. Right now I’ll bet there are more Republicans that would vote “no” than the three that did against Mayorkas. This explains why they haven’t done so yet.

    Impeaching Biden is probably the only thing that would increase Biden’s poll numbers. It would allow him to run against the impeachment rather than defending his record.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  192. Trumpsters going after republican senators who supported aid for Ukraine. On my side Rashida Tlaib ask michigan democrats to vote un-committed in primary instead of biden as corporate democrats and Israel lobby threaten her.

    asset (4b0789)

  193. This case fits the definition of “unprecedented”… no?

    whembly (dc0a55) — 2/18/2024 @ 7:32 pm

    There’s always a first time for everything. We’ll see if it’s sustained on appeal.

    Rip Murdock (ccbef3)

  194. How about before the election trump and his maggot supporters be arrested and charged with sedition unless we are already at war then we can add treason. In the south they used to station law enforcement to arrest blacks trying to vote under jim crow. The feds could be stationed out side polling places in heavy maggot areas and arrest trumpsters for accessory to insurrection and sedition as they vote.

    asset (4b0789)

  195. @192

    Do it.

    whembly (dc0a55) — 2/18/2024 @ 7:13 pm

    Impeaching Biden is a political imperative for the Republican base and Trump, given the extensive “evidence” the House Republicans have released against the Biden Crime Family™️. But Alexander Smirnov’s indictment raises a whole host of questions about that “evidence”. Right now I’ll bet there are more Republicans that would vote “no” than the three that did against Mayorkas. This explains why they haven’t done so yet.

    Impeaching Biden is probably the only thing that would increase Biden’s poll numbers. It would allow him to run against the impeachment rather than defending his record.

    Rip Murdock (884e90) — 2/18/2024 @ 9:13 pm

    eh.

    Republicans has multiple avenues to impeach Biden. Not exclusive:
    -Border
    -Document mishandling
    -Health
    -Afghanistan withdrawal

    But, we can be assured they’ll pick the wrong justifications…

    whembly (5f7596)

  196. Article II, Section 4:

    The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    “Shall”. Not “may”. If the House thinks there are grounds to impeach Biden, they must impeach him.

    nk (f2fb6c)

  197. whembly (5f7596) — 2/19/2024 @ 6:37 am

    We’ll see if the Republican House have the votes to pass an impeachment. I don’t think they do.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  198. File under Sarcasm, not satire – and certainly not parody. On second thought, file this under “chum.”

    My half-baked idea is that the R party was infiltrated by Democrats as RINOS a long time ago. The evidence is to be found in the voting records. Only a few, decisive, votes are cast in union with the Dems , sometimes on a rotating basis (to maintain cover). The first time the house voted to impeach Mayorkas, the vote was tied with a few Rs siding with the united votes of the Dems. That is, until one R switched sides. Hmmm. But the successful impeachment totally blows my idea out of the water, right?

    Now we have a movement to the exits of several Rs in not seeking re-election. Maybe the flipping of Santos’ seat was the sign needed for the RINO strategy to end, and the open flipping of multiple R seats to begin.

    But this idea is only half-baked, so let’s just leave it in the oven to either finish baking or to fall flat like so many other disturbed souffle’s.

    Anyway, I’m not married to this idea, so go ahead and have your way with it, fornicators.

    felipe (5045ed)

  199. Republicans has multiple avenues to impeach Biden. Not exclusive:

    -Border
    -Document mishandling
    -Health
    -Afghanistan withdrawal

    LOL! I think Mike Johnson has a better chance of losing his Speakership than Biden being impeached for any of those reasons.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  200. “Republicans has multiple avenues to impeach Biden. Not exclusive:
    -Border
    -Document mishandling
    -Health
    -Afghanistan withdrawal”

    On immigration, https://spectrumlocalnews.com/tx/south-texas-el-paso/news/2024/02/06/president-biden-authority-border-shutdown-

    Johnson pointed to a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that gives the president authority to “suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

    But some immigration experts say it is a bit more complicated.

    When asked if Johnson’s interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act was correct, Kathleen Bush-Joseph, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, said courts allowed former President Donald Trump to temporarily restrict entry in the U.S. of citizens from mostly Muslim-majority countries. That was not the case when it came to unlawful border crossings.

    “President Trump also tried to use that authority at the southwest border, but was blocked by the courts,” Bush-Joseph told Spectrum News. “Which is why President Biden has said that he needs this new authority to be able to prevent people from applying for asylum.”

    In 2018, Trump tried to block people from seeking asylum if they crossed the southern border illegally, but the courts stopped him, citing a provision of the law that affords anyone on U.S. soil — no matter how they got there — the right to seek asylum.

    “A president doesn’t have the unilateral authority to shut down the border. If a president did, the prior president would have done it,” said Alberto Benitez, director of the Immigration Clinic at George Washington University Law School. “Even the prior president, who had a particular perspective on immigration, never shut down the border. There needs to be buy-in from Congress that a border shutdown is necessary, which there never has been.”

    Certainly impeachment can simply be a political statement, but I wonder if other than the base, does it paint the GOP well? It seems to continue to downplay Trump’s real crimes and wallows in false equivalency. Does it strengthen or weaken our democracy to throw a tantrum, just as its leader does? This is a terrible idea that may not have the votes even in the House. It also sends a terrible message to moderates and independents that the GOP simply can’t govern and is stuck trying to accuse the other guy as their candidate readies for more court appearances. It really is sad.

    AJ_Liberty (6f4d3d)

  201. Good thing Gov. Hochul says there’s a Trump-specific rule then.

    whembly (5f7596) — 2/19/2024 @ 8:36 am

    You’re right, there two sets of rules, one for the law-abiding and another for the law-breaking:

    “I think that this is really an extraordinary, unusual circumstance that the law-abiding and rule-following New Yorkers who are business people have nothing to worry about, because they’re very different than Donald Trump and his behavior,” Hochul responded.

    My emphasis.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  202. whembly (5f7596) — 2/19/2024 @ 8:36 am

    Unauthorized Apple repairman, right to repair advocate, and now ex NY residdent and current Texas Resident, Louis Rossman, has long railed against the Real Estate practice of over inflating the value of property (and SQ footage for rents) in order to maintain the value of other derivative assets to keep the house of cards from falling in NYC.

    felipe (5045ed)

  203. Should “failure to use a discretionary authority” be an impeachable offense?

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  204. @205

    Should “failure to use a discretionary authority” be an impeachable offense?

    Rip Murdock (884e90) — 2/19/2024 @ 9:27 am

    If it’s so egregious… yes.

    whembly (5f7596)

  205. There’s always a first time for everything. We’ll see if it’s sustained on appeal.

    Gee, it’s not getting any better for your side.

    A civil suit using a law that has never been used like this, by a political establishment that hates the defendant, with no jury and a judge that seems to be an agent of the State, creating dubious valuations, supposed victims testifying for the defendant ….

    And all you can say is “We’ll see if it’s sustained on appeal”?

    This is a show trial of the worst sort. Yes, Trump is an asshole, but even assholes deserve the protection of the Law. And not just in some “later” appeal.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  206. @199:

    Sure, we are lynching the guy, but you black folks know better than to date white women, right?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  207. My half-baked idea is that the R party was infiltrated by Democrats as RINOS a long time ago.

    Trump and all his ilk are the RINOs.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  208. Section 63(12) also allowed the Attorney General to go after Trump University for fraud. Of course there, we have sympathetic victims and were OK with the broad authority it grants.

    Trump essentially kept three sets of books. One that over-valued properties to give him advantage for bank loans. One that over-valued liabilities and undervalued properties for the insurance companies and tax liabilities. And one that was closer to reality. I’ve previously argued that it’s curious that the banks and insurance companies were not bothered by losing $168M in extra insurance and fees….and what exactly is the message that is getting sent to other potential customers? It is a distortion and corruption of the market. How many competitors played by the rules and lost out in business because of this side wink-wink corruption?

    I’ve not studied how the judge arrived at $355M because I have a life. My gut reaction was that the judgment should have been more in the ballpark of $168M…or maybe that cut in half….taking into account that the “victims” willingly accommodated the fraud and some subjectivity in valuations…but setting the precedent of not allowing books to be cooked.

    As to whether this should have been a jury or not, the judge explained that this was not a “legal” remedy determination like with E. Jean Carroll but an “equitable” remedy that required more expertise. It’s not typical for the state to ask a jury to make such a technical determination. The result may get chiseled down but I doubt removed completely. I think I’m OK with that….Trump’s a cheat and a hustler…this is the consequence and he shouldn’t get off because he’s now moved the hustle over to politics….

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  209. Certainly impeachment can simply be a political statement, but I wonder if other than the base, does it paint the GOP well? It seems to continue to downplay Trump’s real crimes and wallows in false equivalency. Does it strengthen or weaken our democracy to throw a tantrum, just as its leader does? This is a terrible idea that may not have the votes even in the House. It also sends a terrible message to moderates and independents that the GOP simply can’t govern and is stuck trying to accuse the other guy as their candidate readies for more court appearances. It really is sad.

    AJ_Liberty (6f4d3d) — 2/19/2024 @ 8:51 am

    Since candidate Joe Biden told illegal aliens to surge the border and now he claims he cannot stop them that is the same evidence judges used to block Trump’s actions and lead to investigations on him

    NJRob (177211)

  210. AJ,

    But you couch all of this as being about Trump, which isn’t really the way to look at a law and how it is used. The “victims” knew what was going on and discounted Trump’s presentations to arrive at their fees, so I question even the basis for the court’s calculations. Nobody took anything at face value.

    What is upsetting is that this is an outlier case on the law, and it is applied to a politician by people who are opposed to that politician. One does not need much of an imagination to see what could happen going the other way in some red state to a Tom Thayer or in another blue state to a Elon Musk (oh, wait).

    I agree that the multiple book “valuations” are a problem, but I wonder just how unusual this is in NYC real estate, or commercial real estate in general. In any event, if this is a criminal practice then it should be prosecuted as a criminal practice.

    To use civil law, and any number of procedural and evidentiary shortcuts, to get at something you assert is criminal is JUST what the 7th Amendment (etc) aimed to prevent.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  211. Since candidate Joe Biden told illegal aliens to surge the border and now he claims he cannot stop them that is the same evidence judges used to block Trump’s actions and lead to investigations on him

    Yes, the judges who blocked Trump’s statutory control over immigration decisions, on the basis of his earlier pronouncements, set up a precedent that ought to bite Biden. It doesn’t, primarily because most conservative judges have more integrity than those Hawaiian scoundrels.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  212. And here’s the really odd thing about the NY “fraud” case: it would seem (and people are arguing) that what the Trump Organization did was criminal bank fraud. There are any number of felonies to allege, as Trump was busy signing these loan docs and tax returns.

    But they didn’t charge those (and they cannot now having gone the civil route). Why?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  213. Question: Should murder charges be brought against Putin in the ICC or in other venues?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  214. I’ve not studied how the judge arrived at $355M because I have a life. My gut reaction was that the judgment should have been more in the ballpark of $168M…or maybe that cut in half….taking into account that the “victims” willingly accommodated the fraud and some subjectivity in valuations…but setting the precedent of not allowing books to be cooked.

    The disgorgement amount is broken down by property, on pages 81-85 of the court’s opinion. It’s not hard to understand.

    How did you arrive at the $168M amount?

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  215. Question: Should murder charges be brought against Putin in the ICC or in other venues?

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/19/2024 @ 10:48 am

    Russia, like the US, Israel, and 27 other countries, signed but did not ratify the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court, and therefore is not subject to the ICC’s jurisdiction. Also, murder of an individual isn’t one of the crimes under its jurisdiction:

    The primary crimes are listed in article 5 of the Statute and defined in later articles: genocide (defined in article 6), crimes against humanity (defined in article 7), war crimes (defined in article 8), and crimes of aggression.

    . Source

    The only other venue would be Russia.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  216. A civil suit using a law that has never been used like this, by a political establishment that hates the defendant, with no jury and a judge that seems to be an agent of the State, creating dubious valuations, supposed victims testifying for the defendant ….

    And all you can say is “We’ll see if it’s sustained on appeal”?

    We can’t change the past. Continually railing against this “injustice” really is tilting at windmills.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  217. A civil suit using a law that has never been used like this, by a political establishment that hates the defendant, with no jury and a judge that seems to be an agent of the State, creating dubious valuations, supposed victims testifying for the defendant ….

    I suggest you contact the New York legislature and have them change the law. Outside of that, the only other option is to win an appeal.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  218. Yes, the judges who blocked Trump’s statutory control over immigration decisions, on the basis of his earlier pronouncements, set up a precedent that ought to bite Biden. It doesn’t, primarily because most conservative judges have more integrity than those Hawaiian scoundrels.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/19/2024 @ 10:41 am

    2 sets of laws is not sustainable. And we are seeing that more and more in our increasingly uncivil society.

    NJRob (177211)

  219. Question: Should murder charges be brought against Putin in the ICC or in other venues?

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/19/2024 @ 10:48 am

    Yes.

    Will they?

    No.

    International organizations are all run by illegitimate regimes.

    NJRob (177211)

  220. Also, murder of an individual isn’t one of the crimes under its jurisdiction:

    The only other venue would be Russia.

    Rip Murdock (884e90) — 2/19/2024 @ 11:07 am

    He’s murdered a lot more than one person

    NJRob (177211)

  221. “And here’s the really odd thing about the NY “fraud” case: it would seem (and people are arguing) that what the Trump Organization did was criminal bank fraud.”

    The short answer is that it’s easier to prove and exact justice.

    For example, in a civil action:

    * the case has to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence rather than beyond a reasonable doubt;

    * the defendant can be compelled to testify (or have a refusal to testify held against the defendant);

    * the defendant can be compelled to provide documents in the defendants’ possession;

    * a finding of no liability can be appealed;

    * fewer steps of the case must be conducted in person in open court;

    * economic damages can be awarded be beyond a statutory fine and “restitution” which is narrowly defined as actual out of pocket losses, and can instead include, for example, disgorgement of unjust gains received and punitive damages;

    * civil consequences such as the termination of licenses, injunctive relief, placing assets and companies in receivership, and orders to judicially dissolve companies are available;

    * there is not a right to a speedy trial in a civil action;

    * the scope of the right to trial by jury in a civil action is narrower and permits judges to enter “summary judgment” prior to a trial on the merits

    It’s because there’s no threat of going to prison. If you or I did the same thing on a loan application, I doubt we would get the wink-wink treatment that banks just want to have the pleasure of doing business with us wink-wink. I’m also uncomfortable with using the politician angle to grant Trump leniency. This is why parties should be hesitant to back unvetted candidates with baggage. The GOP should have impeached and convicted Trump. They gave us this travesty because they didn’t have the courage to do the right thing. The chickens….are coming home….to roost.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  222. Yahoo News/YouGov Poll 2/1/24

    Most U.S. voters (51%) say that if former President Donald Trump is convicted of a “serious crime” in the coming months, it would be a “fair outcome meant to hold him accountable for his actions,” according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll — and even more (53%) say he “should not be allowed” to serve as president again in such a scenario.
    ……………
    ……….(A) large number of Republican and Republican-leaning voters already think the opposite — that any conviction would be “an unfair outcome meant to damage [Trump] politically” (72%) and that Trump should be allowed to serve again even if he’s found guilty of a serious crime (68%).
    ………….
    ………….(J)ust over half of Americans say Trump has been indicted for each alleged crime, with expressed awareness highest for “taking classified documents from the White House and obstructing efforts to retrieve them” (58%) and lowest for “attempting to obstruct certification of a presidential election” (50%).

    ………….,Republicans are especially unaware of Trump’s indictments, with most either saying he hasn’t been indicted on a particular charge (24% to 30%) or that they’re not sure (27% to 35%).

    These numbers will presumably change once Trump’s various trials begin later this year.
    …………….
    …………….(M)ost Americans already say they would consider a candidate “unfit for the presidency” if they were convicted of conspiring to overturn election results (58%), attempting to obstruct certification of an election (54%) or taking and hoarding classified documents (53%).

    Fewer (40%) say the same of paying hush money to a porn star.
    ………….
    For now, the vast majority of Republicans seem likely to stick with Trump no matter what happens in the courtroom. Just 10% to 14% think he is guilty of the listed crimes; just 16% think a conviction in the coming months would be “fair.”

    When asked which candidate they currently support for the GOP nomination, 79% of potential Republican primary voters say Trump and just 14% say former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley. When asked which candidate they would support if Trump is convicted of a serious crime, Trump’s support falls (to 62%) and Haley’s rises (to 26%) — but not nearly enough to upend the primary contest.

    The number of potential Republican primary voters who think Trump should be allowed to serve as president again if convicted (68%) is 22 points higher than it was last June (46%).
    ………….
    ………….(W)hen voters are asked how they would vote if Trump is convicted of a serious crime, Biden pulls ahead (46% to 40%).

    This is partly because in that scenario, Trump loses 8 points among Republicans as more members of his own party say they wouldn’t vote or that they’re unsure what they would do. ………. independents……..go from preferring Trump 43%-36% to preferring Biden 39%-38%.

    Expectations about electability change as well. ………
    …………

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  223. He’s murdered a lot more than one person

    NJRob (177211) — 2/19/2024 @ 11:21 am

    Still not an offense that the ICC can consider.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  224. Yes.

    Will they?

    No.

    International organizations are all run by illegitimate regimes.

    NJRob (177211) — 2/19/2024 @ 11:19 am

    As I posted above, Russia, like the US, has not recognized the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court over its actions, so it is not subject to its rulings.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  225. International organizations are all run by illegitimate regimes.

    NJRob (177211) — 2/19/2024 @ 11:19 am

    Which is a good reason not to be part of the International Criminal Court.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  226. @227

    International organizations are all run by illegitimate regimes.

    NJRob (177211) — 2/19/2024 @ 11:19 am

    Which is a good reason not to be part of the International Criminal Court.

    Rip Murdock (884e90) — 2/19/2024 @ 11:52 am

    Yup… the ICC has no power, since the US never signed the treaty. (there’s arguments that the treaty itself is unconstitutional).

    whembly (5f7596)

  227. @208 Your lucky if I posted that I would be put in moderation by jvw. Anti trump burnout. Those with trump derangement syndrome say they are exhausted! (NYT.) When you look into the abyss the abyss looks into you and you become adam schiff or msDNC.

    asset (b6bda1)

  228. nk (f2fb6c) — 2/19/2024 @ 7:45 am

    “Shall”. Not “may”. If the House thinks there are grounds to impeach Biden, they must impeach him.

    No. The word “shall” modifies the word “removed>”

    If impeached and convicted, he is automatically removed. (They may, in addition, impose disqualification from holding any office of honor, profit; of trust under the United States (which did not happen with federal judge Alcee Hastings, who served many years after impeachment as a member of Congress) Article I, Section 3, Clause 7.

    Also, there’s no issue of double jeopardy. “shall” be “liable”

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  229. Fewer (40%) say the same of paying hush money to a porn star.

    That’s not alleged to be a crime?

    DO you have the YouGov poll results where they asked people how old they thought Biden was and how old they thought Trump was? What were the answers?

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  230. * Correction. Should be:

    That’s not alleged to be a crime!

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  231. DO you have the YouGov poll results where they asked people how old they thought Biden was and how old they thought Trump was? What were the answers?

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e) — 2/19/2024 @ 1:06 pm

    I provided a link to all the poll results.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  232. Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/19/2024 @ 9:38 am

    Why just Trump and his ilk? Why not say All Republicans are RINOS, just as all words are made up? Actually, this makes more sense to me considering that state of the R party, in the sense that they have lost themselves and their identity.

    felipe (5e2a04)

  233. Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e) — 2/19/2024 @ 1:06 pm

    I provided a link to all the poll results.

    Rip Murdock (884e90) — 2/19/2024 @ 1:10 pm

    Other than that, no.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  234. In case you missed the latest episodes of Real Prosecutors of Atlanta last week:

    https://www.ajc.com/politics/the-fani-willis-hearing-what-we-learned/HLZVKBPM3JGZFPR6HUE5QBSZBY/

    The voters may have something to say about Fani Willis’ romantic errors, but the RICO defendents won’t get what they are hoping for.

    Appalled (991226)

  235. Donald Trump’s heartfelt tribute to Alexei Navalny.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  236. Also, murder of an individual isn’t one of the crimes under its jurisdiction:

    The only other venue would be Russia.

    I would think the Pinochet case would be similar (mass political murder, etc). I’d be OK with Putin hounded from one jurisdiction to another until he died.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  237. Donald Trump’s heartfelt tribute to Alexei Navalny.

    He forgot to mention Jesus on the Cross.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  238. Why just Trump and his ilk? Why not say All Republicans are RINOS, just as all words are made up?

    Because it is not true. There are lots of Republicans who were Republicans before the Trump Caravan arrived, and they will still be there after the hobos trundle off again.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  239. The short answer is that it’s easier to prove and exact justice.

    We could solve a lot of problems this way — “probably guilty” is so much easier. Heck, why bother with trials if we are just after “justice.” Death squads are even more efficient.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  240. It’s because there’s no threat of going to prison. If you or I did the same thing on a loan application, I doubt we would get the wink-wink treatment that banks just want to have the pleasure of doing business with us wink-wink. I’m also uncomfortable with using the politician angle to grant Trump leniency. This is why parties should be hesitant to back unvetted candidates with baggage. The GOP should have impeached and convicted Trump. They gave us this travesty because they didn’t have the courage to do the right thing. The chickens….are coming home….to roost.

    Shorter AJ:

    AJ: “So, now you give Trump the benefit of law!”

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  241. “Donald Trump’s heartfelt tribute to Alexei Navalny.”

    It almost brings a tear to the eye. Who knew it was in him to speak so touchingly about the family.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  242. “We could solve a lot of problems this way — “probably guilty” is so much easier”

    Yes, poor Trump, he’s so picked on. He should be allowed to be corrupt and only laws Kevin likes should be enforced….and only how Kevin wants them to be.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  243. Regarding Heritage Foundation, they’re one of the multitude that sold out to Trump, from conservative think tank to a tank for Trump.

    Paul Montagu (a152b1)

  244. @felipe@204 Rossman is often an interesting watch. I’ve been keeping up with him off and on for a few years now, mostly on the Right to Repair issues, but also sometimes on the NYC is messed up stuff.

    Nic (896fdf)

  245. A tiny bit of progress at the Seattle Times: On the 12th, they mentioned that it was Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. (They’ve skipped even that mention in the past few years.)

    The newspaper used to be moderate, but has gone so far to the cultural left that some pieces there read — to me — like intentional satire. For instance, recently they did a full-page article on “drag queens”. It was quite laudatory.

    Jim Miller (1396f2)

  246. Yes, poor Trump, he’s so picked on. He should be allowed to be corrupt and only laws Kevin likes should be enforced….and only how Kevin wants them to be.

    This particular law appears to only be hauled out for Trump, absent actual victims, and only by people who are ON RECORD as wanting to “get Trump.”

    I’m sorry if you cannot see how this makes a travesty of “the rule of Law”, but it does. There are plenty of actual laws to get Trump on, where you can show that he’s a criminal. Spare me the whining about how tough it is. Lawfare is not a great look for the good guys, especially when it makes the Devil look good.

    But, if you are going to be a partisan Trump-getter, at least admit that is what you are and that evidence, argument and “justice” are only important when they serve your ends.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  247. Yes, the failed impeachment was a blunder. The Supremes have a shot at keeping him off the ballot, but they too will chicken out — Roberts will not save us any more than McConnell did. Nikki will not save us. Biden probably won’t live to save us. And all the rest are just toreadors and clowns.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  248. I would think the Pinochet case would be similar (mass political murder, etc). I’d be OK with Putin hounded from one jurisdiction to another until he died.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/19/2024 @ 2:17 pm

    While Pinochet was arrested in London on “charges of genocide and terrorism that include murder” in October 1998, he was released by the Thatcher government on humanitarian grounds and he returned to Chile, where he died at 91 in 2006. He was charged with several crimes over the following years but all were dismissed for a variety of reasons; and he was never “hounded from one jurisdiction to another.”

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  249. Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/19/2024 @ 2:17 pm

    So you are right-Putin could end up like Pinochet, icing in internal exile in his dacha in Russia and protected from extradition.

    Rip Murdock (ccbef3)

  250. icing=living

    Rip Murdock (ccbef3)

  251. Oops, Nikki says it again……

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  252. It’s the one issue that Nikki has been consistent on.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  253. Trump did nothing to help his case. Zero, Zip. Zilch. Nada.
    In fact, he did his best to turn it into a WWE wrestling match.

    If we’re going to look at violated legal principles, the first one to look at is whether he was competent to stand trial. Nothing he did shows that he was.

    nk (b03680)

  254. The one thing that Biden’s supporters should really be held accountable for is how he has destroyed the housing and renting market in the United States. Mortgages are unatainable due to inflated prices and brutal interest rates. Because of that, rent has skyrocketed 50% in the past 2-3 years in NJ. A 1 bedroom in a lower class area that went for 1,100 pre-COVID is over 1,700 now. That is not sustainable.

    But you get what you vote for.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  255. Measles erupts in Florida school where 11% of kids are unvaccinated
    …………
    On Friday, Broward County Public School reported a confirmed case of measles in a student at Manatee Bay Elementary School in the city of Weston. A local CBS affiliate reported that the case was in a third-grade student who had not recently traveled. On Saturday, the school system announced that three additional cases at the same school had been reported, bringing the current reported total to four cases.
    …………
    At Manatee Bay Elementary School, the number of children at risk could be over 100 students. According to a Broward County vaccine study reported by the local CBS outlet, only 89.31 percent of students at Manatee Bay Elementary School were fully immunized in the 2023/2024 school year, which is significantly lower than the target vaccination coverage of 95 percent. The school currently has 1,067 students enrolled, suggesting that up to 114 students are vulnerable to the infection based on their vaccination status.

    ………… The virus can linger in air space for up to two hours after an infected person has been in an area. People who are not vaccinated or have compromised immune systems are susceptible, and up to 90 percent of susceptible people exposed to the virus will become infected. Measles symptoms typically begin around eight to 14 days after exposure, but the disease can incubate for up to 21 days. …
    ………..
    While the risk of measles is generally low in the US—the country declared it eliminated in 2000—the threat of large outbreaks is growing as vaccination rates slip. ………(I)f a travel-related case lands in a pocket with low vaccination coverage, the virus can take off. Such was the case in 2019, when the country tallied 1,274 measles cases and nearly lost its elimination status.
    …………
    The CDC has tallied 20 measles cases in the US so far this year. But that is the tally as of February 15; it does not include any of the Florida cases reported since Friday. In 2023, there were 58 measles cases reported to the CDC.
    #########

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  256. Rip Murdock (884e90) — 2/19/2024 @ 5:01 pm

    At current rates, there will be far more measles cases in 2024 than in 2023. But parents have made their choice not to vaccinate their children.

    Rip Murdock (ccbef3)

  257. “hounded from one jurisdiction to another.”

    He was also charged in Spain, so that’s 3 countries and his life back in Chile was hardly peaceful, with several attempts to prosecute him that only ended with his death.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  258. Trump did nothing to help his case. Zero, Zip. Zilch. Nada.

    Well, sure. But the argument is that the state had to reach for the EASY path because actually charging him with a crime was too hard.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  259. But parents have made their choice not to vaccinate their children.

    No, *some* parents have made that choice and are imposing that choice on other parents. Kinda like folks who refuse to circle their wagons affect the whole wagon train.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  260. There are lots of Republicans who were Republicans before the Trump Caravan arrived, and they will still be there after the hobos trundle off again.
    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/19/2024 @ 2:20 pm

    Hah! “Lots of Republicans.” Yes, lots of RINOS before and after. You’re not persuading me in any way. You seem too timid to seriously consider the worst case- the one where it may have only been possible for Trump to become a Republican because the party had already been infiltrated and tainted by that infiltration to where Trump looked great to the disaffected in comparison to their establishment leaders. The only Rs in name and deed have either left, or been kicked out.

    If I thought you were right, I would be second guessing my decision to leave the R Party and become an Indie. The R party over-all moved left of me, and I say they moved left because of the quite leverage applied through the quite RINO votes.

    What I always thought was “no backbone” in the Republican party, may have been the watering down of the resolve within it to fight for conservative the principles that once were a hallmark of the R party. Reagan’s “speak no evil” of fellow Rs has totally turned into bile.

    Do you really think anyone other than Trump would have moved the U.S, embassy to Jerusalem? Gotten the Abraham accords done? I mention these two things because I see no one else here recognizing it.

    felipe (5045ed)

  261. @NJRob@256 If the market didn’t sustain those rates, the prices would go down.

    Nic (896fdf)

  262. Measles erupts in Florida school where 11% of kids are unvaccinated

    89% of the kids ARE vaccinated. The article suggests that only the unvaccinated children are at risk, but that’s not really how it works. Measles is ridiculously contagious and once herd immunity is broken though, all children are at risk due to repeated exposure.

    And there are children who have health problems already who are at much greater risk should they get measles.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  263. If the market didn’t sustain those rates, the prices would go down.

    Nic (896fdf) — 2/19/2024 @ 5:22 pm

    Those rates are being inflated from massive illegal immigration, large institutions buying up properties and people being stuck in their homes unable to sell if they cannot find an institutional buyer. Those who do sell flee the state.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  264. But somehow that Bidenflation is never discussed. Why is that?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  265. AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 2/19/2024 @ 2:28 pm

    I am in no way bothered by all the picking done to Trump or any other politician. But what bothers me is how those pols and media critics who dish it out, scream and are butt-hurt when they get it in return – with interest. Every charge of “totalitarian!” sounds so hollow coming from those who actively display totalitarian behavior. It reminds me of the time Marcos was finally defeated by Corazon Aquino, and he accused her of being a “totalitarian, plain and simple!”

    felipe (5045ed)

  266. nk (b03680) — 2/19/2024 @ 4:16 pm

    When you’re right, nk, you’re right!

    felipe (5045ed)

  267. Nic (896fdf) — 2/19/2024 @ 2:50 pm

    Same here, Nic. It was his right-to-repair advocacy that brought him to my attention.

    felipe (5045ed)

  268. AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 2/19/2024 @ 2:28 pm

    My goodness, I totally went on a tangent. What I intended to say in response to your comment is that Kevin M’s assessment of the application of the law is highly persuasive to me. Say what you want, but ultimately, you have not shown any fault in Kevin’s reasoning. Kevin is not even a lawyer, but he makes a very solid argument.

    felipe (5045ed)

  269. Mortgages are unatainable due to inflated prices and brutal interest rates.

    Between 1973 and 1997, mortgage interest rates were NEVER under 7% and only dropped under 8% briefly in 1992. How did we survive?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  270. AJ,

    TBF, I don’t mind the state picking on Trump — if it has to pick on someone rather him than a widow with children. But I find the argument risible that the poor weak state has to use kangaroo court tactics to get someone like Trump. It’s not like he’s Professor Moriarty.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  271. @NJRob@265 How many people who are in NJ illigally do you think can afford to buy a house or rent anything close to a 1700 apartment? My dad had to cosign for my $1300 apartment my first year teaching and I was making 40,000ish a year. Large conglomerates buying properties are part of the market. “Those who sell flee the state.” That’s how it is in states with high property values. People have been fleeing NY to NJ for decades and housing prices have been increasing fairly steadily across the country since the market bottomed out in 20212, it was bound to catch up in NJ at some point.

    Nic (896fdf)

  272. Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/19/2024 @ 5:49 pm

    Those who survived, did so by one word – work. The last home mortgage we received, in the 70’s was 12% – we had recovered from a bankruptcy a few years before. My parents experience during the great depression was passed on to me – they made double payments whenever possible and paid off their home early. We did the same.

    The only trick they (and we) missed was asking the mortgage holder to do a recalculation of the payments to get a lower monthly payment once the principle had been, roughly, halved. I’d say the large monthly payment kept the fire burning under our feet. We all learned to do without.

    felipe (5045ed)

  273. @271

    Mortgages are unatainable due to inflated prices and brutal interest rates.

    Between 1973 and 1997, mortgage interest rates were NEVER under 7% and only dropped under 8% briefly in 1992. How did we survive?

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/19/2024 @ 5:49 pm

    But the price point of housing during those times were much better than now.

    The domicle, itself, has gotten more expensive in comparison to those years.

    whembly (07640f)

  274. He was also charged in Spain, so that’s 3 countries and his life back in Chile was hardly peaceful, with several attempts to prosecute him that only ended with his death.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/19/2024 @ 5:12 pm

    Three out of how many countries-over 150? Oh my. And Pinochet was never under real threat of prosecution, as he was protected by the Chilean government:

    The Chilean Congress has approved a constitutional amendment giving all ex-presidents immunity from prosecution and guaranteeing them a financial allowance.

    The move, which would apply to the former military dictator Augusto Pinochet, was approved by a large majority in a plenary session of both houses of the Congress.
    ……….
    One hundred and eleven legislators voted in favour of the move and 29 against.

    Source

    All I attempts to prosecute Pinochet ended in failure, even before he died. And some on the anti-Communist right consider him a hero. The US helped Pinochet gain power and probably protected him once he was out of power.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  275. A criminal defendant who is found not mentally competent to comprehend the charges against him and to assist in his own defense (really, that’s the standard) is not released. He is detained indefinitely in a secure facility until he is judged competent and, if there is a judgment that he will never be competent, remanded to a long-term mental health facility also for an indefinite term.

    nk (6fcc2a)

  276. whembly (07640f) — 2/19/2024 @ 6:21 pm

    Today, no one, who can, “does without.” I’ve seen beggars on street corners, with cell-phones. Now take yer average teen to working adult. Tell them to give up, their phone, their beverages of choice, snacks, and paid entertainment, to instead make the prospect of buying a home easier by saving this disposable income, and I would say that those who will make that sacrifice, can afford a home mortgage in today’s market –somewhere. But I doubt that they will make the sacrifice.

    There have always been homes in certain markets that were out of reach for the vast majority of people. Just as today. But there are favorable markets today as well. When discussing the “good old days” the discussion is usually around the affordability of such favorable markets and not the unaffordable – “nose-bleed markets.”

    Your point is well taken, but that same point was made even back then. In the 70’s we yearned for the markets of the 40’s.

    felipe (5045ed)

  277. nk (6fcc2a) — 2/19/2024 @ 6:50 pm

    That’s from a movie I once saw – I’ve forgotten the name. They all roam free of course. Apprehended, then released. Rinse and repeat. Unless we’re talking about Raciss Florida and Texas, then its straight jackets and shock treatments for everyone – six lines with no waiting.

    felipe (5045ed)

  278. Biden throwing his support behind Hamas because the anti-American, anti-Israel left has threatened to withhold their votes from him if he supports Israel.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  279. But somehow that Bidenflation is never discussed. Why is that?

    It’s an open thread. Have at it.
    Inflation is down, but interest rates haven’t followed suit, and Biden is going to politically pay for that in November, assuming he’s still running.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  280. There have always been homes in certain markets that were out of reach for the vast majority of people. Just as today. But there are favorable markets today as well. When discussing the “good old days” the discussion is usually around the affordability of such favorable markets and not the unaffordable – “nose-bleed markets.”

    Your point is well taken, but that same point was made even back then. In the 70’s we yearned for the markets of the 40’s.

    felipe (5045ed) — 2/19/2024 @ 6:52 pm

    Cell phones are the only phone in the house now. If you want to say get a cheap one, I agree.

    The market is horrendously distorted due to the influx of illegal aliens and the employment market is suppressed as well.

    How do you think these 15 an hour baristas with 80k in college debt and no chance of owning a home are going to vote?

    For whoever gives them the freebees. That’s what happens when you destroy the market with these artificial weights on the scale of the free market.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  281. NJRob (eb56c3) — 2/19/2024 @ 7:01 pm

    That’s what Democracy looks like!

    felipe (5045ed)

  282. Inflation is sky high. Housing is brutal. Car loans are brutal. Food costs are brutal.

    But keep pretending inflation isn’t there.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  283. Kevin: “I’m sorry if you cannot see how this makes a travesty of “the rule of Law”, but it does. There are plenty of actual laws to get Trump on”

    You don’t think Trump broke laws with overvaluations and undervaluations? He cooked the books and made millions from doing it. You just don’t like that the law enables the attorney general to go after him civilly. But that is in fact the “Rule of Law”. Section 63(12) is in fact a valid law. Trump’s argument is that he should get to break the law…like his perfect call to Zelensky….like his perfect call to Brad Raffensperger. Just because it’s real estate doesn’t mean you get to cheat. Trump claimed his Trump Towe penthouse was 30,000 square feet; it’s 10,996 ft^2. If you do that, what do you think happens to you? What should happen to you?

    AJ_Liberty (2a5586)

  284. I’m not saying there’s no market distortion. There is!

    “80k in college debt”

    There’s their problem, right there. No doubt the choice of degree is also unmarketable. For that 80K they could’ve put a down payment to avoid PMI on a mortgage with lower payments, and bought a used car. Talk about opportunity cost.

    I appreciate your points about the distortions -every one of them is real and contribute to the problem, but we had illegals aplenty in the 70’s – we even educated them in the public schools. Some of those illegals even voted in local elections.

    Ive related my story of how my sister was working the Democrat phone banks in Houston, TX trying to register as many citizens to vote. She kept coming across illegal aliens on the call lists that were specifically given to her because she was fluent in Spanish. Her understanding was to encourage the citizens to register.

    A supervisor found out that she was not pushing them to register. She finally went to the media, hoping to get Marvin Zindler, but made do with who she got. Her interview aired and the phone bank shut down the next day.

    Now, this is not to say it was as bad then as it was today. This is to say that the Democrat plan to pad the voter rolls started way before the distortion became so obvious.

    I personally know illegals who own nice houses. How did they get a nice house in today’s distorted markets without a college degree or citizenship? Same way anyone can – hard work, a fake ID (in their case), and a do without mentality. Oh, and it is not illegal for a foreigner to own property in the U.S.

    felipe (5045ed)

  285. Car loans are brutal. Food costs are brutal.

    You are absolutely right, NJRob. I blame those who funded the gain of function research in China first, then all who covered it up, and then all who voted for Biden. To be fair, I don’t know if Trump could have done better on the resultant deaths, but I am sure he would have eventually thrown Fauci out on his keister, and not have allowed two new wars to break out in the meantime.

    felipe (5045ed)

  286. @285. “You don’t think Trump broke laws with overvaluations and undervaluations? He cooked the books and made millions from doing it. You just don’t like that the law enables the attorney general to go after him civilly. But that is in fact the “Rule of Law”.

    This act is becoming a riff on “clown nose on, clown nose off.” If the subject is Trump with overvaluations and undervaluations, a civil charge, the fact that other people have done it and typically aren’t prosecuted doesn’t matter. If the subject is Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, a felony if guilty, the fact that others have done it is the only reason needed to broom the charges. The Rule of Law posturing can be turned on or off with such ease, it happens several times a day with some.

    lloyd (3a07f9)

  287. But keep pretending inflation isn’t there.

    I said inflation is down, which is a fact, but your continued fearmongering and hyperbole are noted.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  288. The domicle, itself, has gotten more expensive in comparison to those years.

    Well, maybe in your experience, but that $300K loan we got (for an L.A. house) in 1997 at 9% seemed high enough. Sure 20 years later that house had quadrupled in value, but that’s only 7% a year appreciation. And yes, we refi’d that loan over the years, but that really didn’t help as each refi reset the payoff date.

    Of course, if you demand to live in L.A. or even NJ, you are going to be paying a lot. Here in ABQ you can get a new-construction 2500sf house in a decent location for $400K. May sound like a lot, but it’s nothing compared to the big city. If you look at a $20K house 50 years ago, the appreciation rate to get to $400K today is a little over 6%.

    The claim that everything is so much higher today just doesn’t fly outside of specific high-demand areas like coastal California.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  289. I said inflation is down, which is a fact

    The official figures are largely a lie when it comes to groceries. Things that were $1.69 in 2022 are now $2.69. Package sizes have shrunk. Sales are less frequent. People notice groceries since they buy them every week.

    When they used to spend $100/week and are now spending $150 each and every week, people correctly assume that the stats have been juked.

    But BOY are TV prices down!

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  290. Reagan took food and energy and then housing out of the inflation index to keep it lower. Most democrats agree that inflation is a problem and in some areas crime. Most democrats don’t really think emigration is a problem and they add billions to the economy though msdnc says trillions. We will give them them right to vote so we can vote the republicans out. For 50 years republicans have relied on gun right supporters to keep them winning elections. Now since dobbs democrats are winning on abortion thanks to places like alabama passing laws the embryos at fertility centers our persons too! When corporate establishment democrats like Biden refuse to take direct action in southern states like texas that is making lists of pregnant women it discredits the moderates in the party and allows the left to have more control of the democrat party.

    asset (5bf994)

  291. Happyfeet is a mean drunk when she’s off her meds. IYKYK

    felipe (5e2a04)

  292. We haven’t had negative inflation, Kevin, so that $2.69 item won’t go down to $1.69.
    We’re talking about the inflation rate. It is simply true that the inflation rate is down. It doesn’t mean that I like current prices. Gas prices are down, but I’m still not thrilled to be paying $3.36/gallon at the local Indian reservation. Housing prices are still way too high, despite interest rates, which is partly a supply problem.
    It’s also factual that, but for interest rates, the economy is doing reasonably well, in terms of GDP growth, unemployment rate, employment growth and real wages.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  293. Snow fight. Trump dis, Biden dat, yadda-yadda-yadda.

    Thankfully, I don’t need to consider transgenders driving up the prices of ladies’ undies, Mexicans poisoning America’s blood, or the Pentagon fixing the Super Bowl, to detest a leprous orange cobra which thinks it should be in the White House. Who knew nausea could be liberating?

    nk (8a3c80)

  294. @294 Inflation is down like illegal immigration is down. Inflation was 1.4% when Trump left office. It’s still over 3.0% now after achieving Latin American heights just a year before. We’re paying more for a Lays potato chip bag that has less. But today’s Biden mess is better than yesterday’s so he’s doing a fantastic job.

    lloyd (3a07f9)

  295. Is a story a yarn because you spin it, or do you spin it because it’s a yarn?

    I did not go the University of Chicago, I went to the University of Illinois at Chicago, so I never learned how the government can increase or decrease inflation. Can anybody tell me?

    nk (3e85e6)

  296. @297 It’s the same old game. It the economic indicators were reversed, we wouldn’t be asking questions like how government can control inflation. The first year under Biden there was no lack of scoreboarding about how the market was up and much better than under Trump. Those comparisons mysteriously disappeared once the market dived. It was suddenly nothing anyone could do anything about. Biden’s frontal assault on our domestic energy production has consequences, so are the residual impact of the lockdowns he was a fan of, people taking government benefits rather than work, the Build Back Broke spending boondoggle, and raises in minimum wage, plus Covid in general which we’ve known for years came from a wet market.

    lloyd (3a07f9)

  297. We’re talking about the inflation rate.

    Wow. Math! Thank you for explaining that to me!

    Prices continue to rise in the supermarket. Many don’t notice prices, or use services that mask them with their own costs (e.g. delivery), but every time I go into the store, some staple now costs more. You should maybe talk to people who work off a budget and explain to them that their misunderstanding of government statistics is all in their head. They’ll thank you for it.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  298. I never learned how the government can increase or decrease inflation. Can anybody tell me?

    The same way they can alter the crime rate.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  299. “so I never learned how the government can increase or decrease inflation.”

    Sammy may disagree, but it’s usually put at the feet of the Fed: raise interest rates…but not too much to create a deep recession. This time was complicated by coming out of Covid and an economic shutdown which gummed up the supply chains. Every country had inflation because of this. Biden did one last Covid stimulus which helped some people but also exacerbated inflation (more dollars chasing fewer goods). Biden also did not convey that he was doing much about the supply chains. I think they were doing things at docks but this was not conveyed well. The idea that there is a knob in the oval office that says “inflation” and that the President must sit there and turn this knob (in the correct direction) is idiotic. Don’t get me wrong, a President “owns” the economy, rightly or wrongly. The Fed also owns its response. But at the end of the day, things are much improved from a year ago. The direction is good and the performance relative to other developed countries is good. Politics is perception….and it’s how you come across as dealing with a crisis. Biden does not score high on this…but would Trump do better? Tariffs tend to be inflationary. It’s unknown who will be advising him and what itch he will need to scratch.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  300. Biden also made it possible for people to sustain long periods of unemployment, driving up wages in an artificially-tight labor market. Suspension of rent payments added to this. His party’s state-level moves to hike the minimum wage caused rapid inflation in low-end wages, particularly in food preparation and labor-intensive retail like supermarkets.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  301. One of the weirdest inflation spikes to come out of the pandemic was in the price of collectibles, which were up 50-100% in 2022 over 2020, and crashed back down to 2019 prices in 2023. Did people repurpose their suspended rent payments to invest in collectibles, only to sell them in a rush to pay those rents back?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  302. > an economic shutdown which gummed up the supply chains. Every country had inflation because of this

    Gummed them up for at least two different reasons — shutdowns themselves resulted in a sharp fall off in production and transportation, but *demand patterns suddenly and unexpectedly shifting* resulting in unusually high demand in some sectors and unusually low demand in others.

    A great example of the unusually high demand — demand is *still* higher than normal for home remodeling projects and the cost of raw material and labor hasn’t gone back down.

    aphrael (31f892)

  303. an economic shutdown which gummed up the supply chains. Every country had inflation because of this

    This dog won’t hunt. Yes, there were supply chain disruptions, but this was transitory. There is no earthly reason why prices that go up due to disruption remain up afterwards. Competition among suppliers will correct any price bubble over time, everything else being equal.

    Take car parts, for example, which may come from Asian suppliers. The demand for car parts is pretty constant and predictable. If they jumped due to disruptions they should fall back to normal afterwards. The new price may be a bit higher, but that is due to overall inflation and exchange rates, not the car parts themselves.

    Blaming inflation on transitory disruptions is political nonsense.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  304. There are cases where demand has gone way up and prices remain high. High-end video cards were hit by supply disruptions, but also by their use as non-video DSP engines for things like Bitcoin-mining (and now AI tasks). Cards that normally would have sold in the $400 range are now selling for twice that, and this is unchanged even after the supply chain has reset.

    But CPU prices are way down as the demand for those has a normal market response.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  305. after (inflation) achieving Latin American heights just a year before.

    LOL!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  306. There is no earthly reason why prices that go up due to disruption remain up afterwards.

    Price gouging?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  307. Sad!

    The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to undo sanctions against several lawyers allied with former President Trump for filing a meritless lawsuit challenging Michigan’s 2020 presidential election results.

    Lawyers Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and others brought the lawsuit against Michigan state officials and Detroit in November 2020, one of dozens of suits filed in an attempt to prove election results were illegitimate in states where Trump had lost. The efforts failed across the board and no evidence of widespread fraud was uncovered.
    ……….
    The Trump lawyers were ordered to pay back attorneys’ fees accumulated by Michigan state officials and Detroit in seeking the sanctions — and to take legal education classes. (U.S. District Judge Linda Parker, of the Eastern District of Michigan) also referred her decision to disciplinary authorities where each attorney is admitted for “investigation and possible suspension or disbarment.”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  308. Supreme Court turns away House GOP lawmakers’ appeal over mask rule violations

    The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to revive a lawsuit from three House Republicans after their pay was docked for not complying with a pandemic-era mask requirement on the chamber floor.

    In a brief order without any noted dissents, the court let stand a lower ruling that tossed the constitutional challenge filed by Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Ralph Norman (R-S.C.).
    ……….
    House rules fined lawmakers $500 for their first infraction with the mask mandate, and $2,500 for subsequent breaches. It would be withdrawn from their yearly pay. Greene racked up more than $100,000 in fines, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
    ………
    A federal judge in D.C. tossed the trio’s lawsuit in 2022, arguing that their case did not have any basis since then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and others enforcing the mask mandate could not be the target of legal action for choices they made in their jobs as government officials. In June, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed the ruling.
    ………
    (The House General Counsel, representing Speaker Mike Johnson) urged the justices to let the lower ruling stand, which found the lawsuit is barred by the Constitution’s Speech and Debate Clause, which provides a shield against lawsuits and questioning for things lawmakers say and do as part of their legislative work.
    ……….
    “To let the D.C. Circuit’s opinion stand would be to render the Twenty-Seventh Amendment non-justiciable in violation of this Court and the D.C. Circuit’s own precedents and to open the floodgates to unfathomable discipline,” the lawmakers’ attorneys wrote in court papers.

    “The House Rules, under this Doctrine, could impose physical punishment, flogging, or even more medieval forms of punishment, upon members and, under the D.C. Circuit’s precedent, no judicial remedy would be available, the Eighth Amendment notwithstanding,” they continued.
    #########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  309. “The House Rules, under this Doctrine, could impose physical punishment, flogging, or even more medieval forms of punishment, upon members and, under the D.C. Circuit’s precedent, no judicial remedy would be available, the Eighth Amendment notwithstanding,”

    So what’s the downside?

    nk (bb4411)

  310. The quality of Trump lawyers, even once removed, remains unaltered. A $500/day fine is what a McDonald’s gets for not keeping its bathrooms clean. As far removed from “physical punishment, flogging, or even more medieval forms of punishment” as a strong letter to your Congressman is from the January 6 Capitol invasion. Incompetence is one thing, but this is downright insulting to the practice of law.

    nk (bb4411)

  311. USA Today/Suffolk University South Carolina Poll 2/20/24

    ………..
    Among those very likely to vote in the state’s Republican primary, Trump leads Haley by close to 2-1, 63%-35%.

    “The story of this poll is the depth of strength shown by Trump,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. The former president holds double-digit advantages among men and women, in every age group, and among both high school graduates and those with a college degree.
    ……….
    (Despite Trump’s mocking Nikki Haley’s husband’s military service), Trump leads Haley among voters in military families 65%-33%, a bit wider than his standing among those who don’t have a member of the military in their family.

    Though both Trump and Haley have net favorable ratings among primary voters, the former president is more popular (64%-25%) than the former governor (47%-36%).

    ……….Ninety percent of those with a positive view of him plan to cast their ballot for the former president. In comparison, 65% of those with a favorable opinion of Haley plan to vote for her.
    ………

    Poll responses and detailed tables.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  312. “The House Rules, under this Doctrine, could impose physical punishment, flogging, or even more medieval forms of punishment, upon members and, under the D.C. Circuit’s precedent, no judicial remedy would be available, the Eighth Amendment notwithstanding,”

    So what’s the downside?

    nk (bb4411) — 2/20/2024 @ 9:32 am

    Exactly.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  313. U.S. Vetoes Proposal for Humanitarian Cease-Fire in Gaza at U.N. Security Council
    ………
    U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Council that proposals akin to the one advanced by Algeria on Tuesday aren’t conducive to a sustainable peace and would instead empower Hamas and deprive Israelis and Palestinians of the “security, dignity and freedom” they desire.
    ……….
    Washington has long rejected any resolution on Gaza that includes the word cease-fire, arguing that doing so would allow Hamas to survive to fight another day, and has advocated instead for pauses to facilitate the release of hostages and allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.

    “Demanding an immediate, unconditional cease-fire without an agreement requiring Hamas to release the hostages will not bring about endurable peace,” Thomas-Greenfield said. “Instead, it could extend the fighting between Hamas and Israel.”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  314. Price gouging?

    In a competitive world? Tell me how a gas station or a supermarket would price gouge. This is a socialist talking point only, as socialists have no clue about how markets work.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  315. So what’s the downside?

    No death penalty?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  316. Ninety percent of those with a positive view of him plan to cast their ballot for the former president. In comparison, 65% of those with a favorable opinion of Haley plan to vote for her.

    The loonier Trump cases (I’m looking at you, Bragg) have improved Trump’s standing among those who are wary of government. There’s a reason that he’s keen on the Stormy case proceeding but wants to delay the DC and GA cases. The NY “fraud” case is also helping him. I mean, when someone like me, who will rejoice when the Lord calls Trump home, thinks he’s being tried politically, what do you think #maybeTrump thinks?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  317. Price gouging?

    In a competitive world? Tell me how a gas station or a supermarket would price gouge. This is a socialist talking point only, as socialists have no clue about how markets work.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/20/2024 @ 10:21 am

    Your post said:

    This dog won’t hunt. Yes, there were supply chain disruptions, but this was transitory. There is no earthly reason why prices that go up due to disruption remain up afterwards. Competition among suppliers will correct any price bubble over time, everything else being equal.

    Take car parts, for example, which may come from Asian suppliers. The demand for car parts is pretty constant and predictable. If they jumped due to disruptions they should fall back to normal afterwards. ……

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/20/2024 @ 8:47 am

    The “earthly reason” is that manufacturers and suppliers would maintain the higher price and pocket the difference when their costs (including transportation) go down.

    Your post didn’t mention gas or food prices were never mentioned. You are moving the goal posts.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  318. Ninety percent of those with a positive view of him plan to cast their ballot for the former president. In comparison, 65% of those with a favorable opinion of Haley plan to vote for her.

    The loonier Trump cases (I’m looking at you, Bragg) have improved Trump’s standing among those who are wary of government. ……

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/20/2024 @ 10:28 am

    Or Trump’s voters are just more committed to him than to Haley. Virtually all of the polling during this campaign has shown that his voters are more certain of their choice than the supporters of the other candidates.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  319. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/20/2024 @ 10:41 am

    Donald Trump’s personal popularity among Republicans has always been high. The “hush money” indictment was released on April 4, 2023; at that time Trump’s favorable/unfavorable was 76/20, which was near his low. It’s now back up to nearly 80%; near his high of 83% on Dec. 31, 2021. His favorability among Republicans has bounced around 80% or so since.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  320. Source for post 321.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  321. Supreme Court rejects Thomas Jefferson high school (Virginia) admissions case

    The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to punt on a case about the admissions policy at a selective public high school in Northern Virginia that had the potential to further dismantle the reach of affirmative action in education.

    The justices who declined to add the case to their docket did not provide a reason for their decision to deny review in the suit asserting that Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology discriminates against Asian and Asian American applicants.
    ……….
    In a 10-page dissent, (Justices Samuel Alito, joined by Clarence Thomas), railed against a federal appeals court ruling that he called “flagrantly wrong” for holding that some discrimination against Asian Americans was legally tolerable as long as they remained overrepresented in the school.
    ……….
    In February 2022, a federal district court judge sided with parents who argued that a series of school policy changes meant to increase the odds of admitting students from underrepresented backgrounds ultimately hurt Asian Americans. But the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, reversed the lower court.
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  322. NJRob (38c8f1) — 2/18/2024 @ 1:03 pm

    just 11 percent of YouGov’s respondents said they “strongly approve” of Biden’s border policy, while 57 percent strongly disapprove.

    That 11$ reflects different points of view. as does any time a question like that is asked about anything..

    Nobody strongly approves because it is incoherent and he claims to be doing something he’s not doing maybe.

    Also he doesn’t defend anything.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  323. ……….Ninety percent of those with a positive view of him plan to cast their ballot for the former president. In comparison, 65% of those with a favorable opinion of Haley plan to vote for her.

    This probably means that Trump is considered first, or possibly considered a stronger candidate. Haley is not telling the truth about what the polls show because the latest one show Trump defeating Biden.

    Haley polls 12% in a 3-way race, but that kind of thing can change.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  324. 224. 231. 233. Rip Murdock (884e90) — 2/19/2024 @ 1:10 pm

    I provided a link to all the poll results.

    Your link is to a January 25-29 poll.

    Yahoo! News Survey – 20240129 – Trump Investigations January 25 – 29, 2024 – 1,594 U.S. Adults

    The age question (how old do you think Biden is and how old do you think Trump is was asked in a more recent YouGov poll.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  325. The age question (how old do you think Biden is and how old do you think Trump is was asked in a more recent YouGov poll.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 2/20/2024 @ 1:03 pm

    Feel free to post a link.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  326. Maybe this one:

    Americans’ Opinions About Biden and Trump Characteristics | February 2024

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  327. @311 Their are a lot of members of congress I would like to see flogged. Even a few democrats!

    asset (510c68)

  328. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/20/2024 @ 1:06 pm

    Feel free to post a link.

    I only got as far as this:

    https://today.yougov.com/topics/politics/survey-results

    You posted an upload to scribd:

    https://www.scribd.com/document/702974431/20240129-trump-tabs

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  329. Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 2/20/2024 @ 1:21 pm

    That’s not my problem.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  330. Good news tonight! George Soros is buying the second largest radio network in the country out of bankruptcy court. Seems reich wing talk is not as popular as trumpsters think. AOC and Ilhan Omar should do a national talk show.

    asset (510c68)

  331. The interesting relationship between Trump and Deutsche Bank

    The remarkably troubled recent history of Deutsche Bank, its past money-laundering woes — and the bank’s striking relationship with Trump…The German bank loaned a cumulative total of around $2.5 billion to Trump projects over the past two decades, and the bank continued writing him nine-figure checks even after he defaulted on a $640 million obligation and sued the bank, blaming it for his failure to pay back the debt.

    Deutsche Bank’s private wealth unit loaned Trump $48 million — after he had defaulted on his $640 million loan and the bank’s commercial unit didn’t want to lend him any further funds — so that Trump could pay back another unit of Deutsche Bank. “No one has ever seen anything like it,” said David Enrich, finance editor of The New York Times, who is writing a book about the bank and spoke to “Trump, Inc.”

    Deutsche Bank loaned Trump’s company $125 million as part of the overall $150 million purchase of the ailing Doral golf resort in Miami in 2012. The loans’ primary collateral was land and buildings that he paid only $105 million for, county land records show. The apparent favorable terms raise questions about whether the bank’s loan was unusually risky.

    To widespread alarm, and at least one protest that Trump would not be able to pay his lease obligations, Deutsche Bank’s private wealth group loaned the Trump Organization an additional $175 million to renovate the Old Post Office Building in Washington and turn it into a luxury hotel.

    Like Trump, Deutsche Bank has been scrutinized for its dealings in Russia. The bank paid more than $600 million to regulators in 2017 and agreed to a consent order that cited “serious compliance deficiencies” that “spanned Deutsche Bank’s global empire.” The case focused on “mirror trades,” which Deutsche Bank facilitated between 2011 and 2015. The trades were sham transactions whose sole purpose appeared to be to illicitly convert rubles into pounds and dollars — some $10 billion worth.

    extracted from https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-inc-podcast-deutsche-bank-donald-trump

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  332. There’s a map for everything, including one for Median Distance From Mother.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  333. Sixty-two years ago today.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  334. Jon Stewart’s segment on Tucker Carlson was everything I hoped it would be: Hilarious and withering.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  335. Jumped up bellboy. Say what you want about George Soros, he gave away $32 billion, more than 80% of his fortune, to promote Western liberal democracy. Hand Out Donnie is peddling Chinese sneakers at $400 a pair while calumniating his critics as being pro-China.

    nk (080386)

  336. Soros is promoting Western liberal democracy like John Kerry is fighting climate change, exempt from the misery he would impose on others.

    lloyd (211346)

  337. The “earthly reason” is that manufacturers and suppliers would maintain the higher price and pocket the difference when their costs (including transportation) go down.

    So, they illegally fix prices? Because most manufacturers prefer to sell all they make, and keeping prices higher than they other guy wrecks that plan. It’s amazing how little people know about economics, and substitute their uninformed beliefs instead. You are halfway to Bernie here.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  338. Your post didn’t mention gas or food prices were never mentioned

    I flipping STARTED with food prices. Those and gas prices are the most competitive as there are numerous sellers of comparable (or identical) items and the advertising is relentless.

    And it is food/grocery prices that are the most jacked up. That’s inflation, pure and simple — costs go up and there is little leeway to mitigate that, so the rise is stubborn. It’s hard to cut the costs of your can of chili.

    And of course, the Bidenistas claim it’s collusion/gouging/Bernie-talk and they promise to “get to the bottom of it” but never do. Just like California politicians claim that the stupid high price of CA gasoline is because of greedy oil companies (who are somehow less greedy in most other states).

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  339. Biden: High prices cause inflation!
    Economists: No. They don’t.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  340. Jon Stewart’s segment on Tucker Carlson was everything I hoped it would be: Hilarious and withering.

    Dead fish. Barrel. Machine gun.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  341. nk (080386) — 2/20/2024 @ 2:40 pm

    Bill Gates gave out more to cure malaria, which may be happening. But heck, who doesn’t make Trump look bad?

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  342. There’s a map for everything, including one for Median Distance From Mother.

    My rule of thumb was “at least 100”

    But now that we have free intercontinental picture phones I wonder how meaningful this is.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  343. Sixty-two years ago today.

    Somewhere around here I have a first-day cover.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  344. There are different beneficiaries of Soros’ money in Eastern Europe and in the United States.

    I think he hates police. Maybe he thinks all police are Gestapo and NKVD.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  345. Stalin built these subways in the 1930s to look good to outsiders.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  346. Sopppping carts like lockers,

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  347. We had those kind of shopping carts in America more than 30 years ago as I recall. Now they have little transponders that lock the wheels past a certain distance. The real reason was not to keep the cart from being stolen by homeless people — even they could afford a quarter — but to chintz on cart boys to bring them in from the parking lot.

    nk (477bf1)

  348. Stalin built these subways in the 1930s to look good to outsiders.

    In Moscow at least, after WWII, they and their interconnecting workmen’s tunnels were a city level unto themselves, with pedestrians using them as thoroughfares between apartment building and homeless workers and veterans living in them.

    nk (477bf1)

  349. Kevin M (ed969f) — 2/20/2024 @ 3:57 pm

    If my buyers got used to paying higher prices caused by “supply disruptions” (a claim anyone can make without evidence), why would I lower them?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  350. There’s a map for everything, including one for Median Distance From Mother.

    In the South the distance is next door.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  351. https://nypost.com/2024/02/19/opinion/inside-mayor-adams-migrant-debit-card-boondoggle-no-bid-bank-gets-50-million-border-crossers-up-to-10000-each/

    Inside Mayor Adams’ migrant debit card boondoggle — no-bid bank gets $50 million, border crossers up to $10,000 each

    Ho hum. Nothing to see here.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  352. And before this freeloader, there was de Blasio. And we have our second in a row now, too, in Chicago. They have no idea how to run a city, but they can run their mouths well enough to get elected to the head of the public trough.

    nk (477bf1)

  353. @339 Adam smith in the wealth of nations (the capitalist bible) said he never went into a room full of capitalists where they were not conspiring to fix prices!

    asset (8a955c)

  354. The DOJ filing regarding Smirnov is something else.
    He’s now claiming that Russian spies fed him the false bribery stories about Joe and Hunter.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  355. AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 2/20/2024 @ 1:28 pm

    Too bad the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, aka the “ Bank of Crooks and Criminals, is no longer available for Trump to pay for his judgments.

    Rip Murdock (884e90)

  356. Regarding inflation:

    WSJ: It’s Been 30 Years Since Food Ate Up This Much of Your Income (free link)

    The last time Americans spent this much of their money on food, George H.W. Bush was in office, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” was in theaters and C+C Music Factory was rocking the Billboard charts.

    Eating continues to cost more, even as overall inflation has eased from the blistering pace consumers endured throughout much of 2022 and 2023. Prices at restaurants and other eateries were up 5.1% last month compared with January 2023, while grocery costs increased 1.2% during the same period, Labor Department data show.

    Relief isn’t likely to arrive soon. Restaurant and food company executives said they are still grappling with rising labor costs and some ingredients, such as cocoa, that are only getting more expensive. Consumers, they said, will find ways to cope.

    “If you look historically after periods of inflation, there’s really no period you could point to where [food] prices go back down,” said Steve Cahillane, chief executive of snack giant Kellanova
    , in an interview. “They tend to be sticky.”

    In 1991, U.S. consumers spent 11.4% of their disposable personal income on food, according to data from the U.S. Agriculture Department. At the time, households were still dealing with steep food-price increases following an inflationary period during the 1970s.

    More than three decades later, food spending has reattained that level, USDA data shows. In 2022, consumers spent 11.3% of their disposable income on food, according to the most recent USDA data available.

    Food inflation has raised the ire of President Biden, who took to Instagram during the Super Bowl to blast food makers that he said were providing less bang for consumers’ buck—putting fewer chips in each bag or shrinking the size of ice-cream containers.

    “The American public is tired of being played for suckers,” Biden said. “I’ve had enough of what they call shrinkflation. It’s a rip-off.”

    Food companies said they are feeling pinched themselves. While commodities such as corn, wheat, coffee beans and chicken have gotten cheaper, prices for sugar, beef and french fries are still high or rising.

    Oreo maker Mondelez said in January it would continue raising prices on some of its products this year, largely because of cocoa prices, which earlier in February surged past a 46-year record. Hershey said this month it expects more expensive cocoa to cut into the company’s profit this year. Kraft Heinz said inflation is moderating but that its costs are still higher, driven in part by pricier tomatoes and sugar.

    Companies are set to pay more for staffing, after 22 states in January lifted the minimum wage for hourly workers. Hiring skilled workers like mechanics to replace employees who retired during the pandemic is particularly expensive, said Henk Hartong, CEO of Brynwood Partners, which owns 17 food and beverage plants that make Pillsbury cake mixes and other product

    s.

    And food is what people buy often, so telling them that overall prices are down just makes them think you are lying. As for Biden’s conspiracy theory …

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  357. but to chintz on cart boys to bring them in from the parking lot.

    Well, with minimum wage going up to $20, you may see more of those coin-op carts.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  358. If my buyers got used to paying higher prices caused by “supply disruptions” (a claim anyone can make without evidence), why would I lower them?

    Maybe your inventory is piling up due to price resistance. Or your competitor wants to reduce his inventory. The customers may have gotten used to the higher price, but they may also have gotten used to using less of it.

    When a Big Mac, fries and a coke at McDonald’s is $15, people go to McDonald’s less.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  359. There’s been a problem with the Hugo Awards for years:

    https://www.wired.com/2015/08/won-science-fictions-hugo-awards-matters

    With so much at stake, more people than ever forked over membership dues (at least $40) in time to be allowed to vote for the 2015 Hugos. Before voting closed on July 31, 5,950 people cast ballots (a whopping 65 percent more than had ever voted before).

    But were the new voters Puppies? Or were they, in the words of George RR Martin—the author of the bestselling epic fantasy novels that HBO adapted into Game of Thrones—“gathering to defend the integrity of the Hugos”? On his blog, Martin predicted: “This will be the most dramatic Hugo night in Worldcon history.” He wasn’t wrong.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  360. 353. They seem to be charging that fraud is easier (cards being given to non-existent or duplicate people) with debit cards than with mass feeding

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  361. Stalin built subways in Kiev and Kharkov too, I didn’t know about the extra tunnels. In Ukraine they are ow used as bomb shelters.

    Shopping carts cost $100. I think they get retrieved when the store closes or if a delivery truck notices them.

    Aren’t there escalators that shopping carts can ride on in every Target store?

    Jon Stewart is right on point that Tucker Carlsen knows his price comparisons for groceries are very misleading.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  362. Proctor and Gamble engages in shrinkflation completely without any inflation going on. They reduce the size and then introduce anew bigger size with a new name.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  363. David French on MAGA Mike…

    “Johnson, a devout Christian, attempted to rally the group by discussing moral decline in America — focusing on declining church membership and the nation’s shrinking religious identity.”
    It’s truly hard to take lamentations about our culture from Johnson, who also asks us to vote for a sex abuser who cheats on his wives, lies as easy as he breathes, and is facing multiple credible felony counts.
    That’s one source of moral decline, and Johnson is part of the problem.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  364. Alabama stops intro fertilization as state claims sperm/egg are human beings.

    asset (d80031)

  365. Tommy Tuberville: The US Senate’s dimmest bulb, speaking at CPAC, where they have a commemorative J6 pinball machine and human fascist in Jack Posobiec.

    “I just wanted to say welcome to the end of democracy. We’re here to overthrow it completely, we didn’t get all the way there on January 6th, but we will endeavor to get rid of it and replace it with this right here, we’ll replace it with this right here.”

    My party is a clown show and a cult.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  366. Boy… aren’t you glad that we have the Adults™ and the defender of Norms™ back in the Whitehouse:
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2024/02/bidens-student-loan-lawlessness-must-not-go-unanswered/


    It is Biden who has been attracted to the rank politics of the thing, having first taken the opportunity to demagogue the judiciary for having had the temerity to do its job, and then having engaged in an attempt to make Americans believe that he is bravely defying that judiciary’s order. “The Supreme Court blocked it,” Biden said this week. “But that didn’t stop me.” Ah.

    Biden must be channeling his inner-Andrew Jackson: “The Supreme Court has made its decision…now let the court enforce it.”

    whembly (5f7596)

  367. whembly (5f7596) — 2/22/2024 @ 1:53 pm

    IF Biden was defying the Supreme Court (he’s not) you would think conservative public interest law organizations would be challenging his subsequent student loan programs in court (but they’re not). That’s because the Department of Education has been using existing rulemaking authority to grant the relief. The Supreme Court ruled that the Biden Administration could not use the HEROES Act (Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003) to grant student loan relief, but it didn’t forbid the Administration from using other laws and programs to do the same thing, only on a smaller scale.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  368. Biden has $4B in available drawdowns to send munitions to Ukraine but he won’t. He could send 1200 expired ATACMS missiles to Ukraine without talking to Congress and on Presidential Authority tomorrow but he won’t.
    Biden backed the new Dutch Secretary General of NATO. The Dutch are one of the nations that spend less than 2% of GDP on defense. They are also big proponents of a Korea- like solution for Ukraine.
    Both parties are screwing the Ukrainians and both have been doing so for over a year. One of the arguments against sending long range munitions to Ukraine was that Russia might retaliate by expanding its mid range missile arsenal with more weapons that could reach Western Europe. This didn’t work, because Russia is buying hundreds of missiles from Iran and contracting with North Korea for more regardless.
    Western anti tank weapons, Ukrainian will, Russian incompetence rolled back some Russian advances, but Russians are learning and producing, they are still bigger and more powerful. Russia (and Iran) also used Central Asian nations to bypass sanctions. European trade with Central Asia skyrocketed post sanctions. Central Asian companies made a lot of profit buying sanctioned western goods and marking them up and selling them to Iran and Russia so their weaponry is improving.

    The US (both sides) want the war in Ukraine to wind down and for that to happen, the Ukrainian military needs to run out of steam and become amenable to peace before Russia rearms and possibly retakes more territory. Ukraine is being managed into a place where it has to hold its nose and take a deal that will leave Russian in position to hold Odessa “hostage” from both east and west

    2024 is looking bleak for Ukraine and they should look at Georgia and remember John McCain’s “we are all Georgians now” and measure that against the current reality in Georgia

    steveg (596647)

  369. Good luck right to life republicans defending that a fertilized egg at a fertility center is the same thing as a child when they run in 2024.

    asset (21ab58)

  370. That stuff only flies in the Alabamas and Mississippis, asset. Even Trump knows better than to push for it nationwide.

    norcal (1d2eca)

  371. I have no doubt that decent, moral, Christian women across the country, and especially in Alabama and Mississippi, and Texas and Utah too, will volunteer to adopt the surplus embryos from the clinics, have them implanted in their wombs, bring them to term, and raise them as their own children.

    nk (0a7479)

  372. Worth reading: This interview with DavidPetraeus on the war in Ukraine.

    Two years into the Ukraine war, the tide has shifted, and Russian forces have some momentum, according to retired US General David Petraeus.

    But he said the Russians have suffered staggering casualties and Ukraine can still hold its own in fighting off Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion if it gets the support it needs from the United States.

    Jim Miller (885286)

  373. #374 Families have been doing exactly that, for years, now.

    The programs haven’t received much publicity from the “mainstream” media, oddly enough.

    Jim Miller (885286)

  374. I did not know that, Jim @376. Thank you!

    But I am not surprised. Americans are a good and decent people. Better than we think.

    nk (1d1513)

  375. Make that “Better than we are told.”

    nk (1d1513)

  376. nk – You’re welcome.

    Jim Miller (9f5c90)

  377. @377

    I did not know that, Jim @376. Thank you!

    But I am not surprised. Americans are a good and decent people. Better than we think.

    nk (1d1513) — 2/23/2024 @ 6:10 am

    I live in Missouri, and it’s a huge thing here.

    Jim’s right in that, it’s not really publicized in media, but we all know “someone” here who has done this.

    whembly (5f7596)


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