Patterico's Pontifications

5/17/2024

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:10 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

As Russia’s military attacks Ukraine’s second largest city, Khariv, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced an additional $2 billion military aid package, there are grim consequences when that aid is delayed by politics, as it was for 7 months:

“Every delay of supply results in setbacks on the front line. This is the general rule,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told reporters Wednesday, speaking alongside Blinken after the two met each other. “When a Ukrainian infantryman or artilleryman has everything that he or she needs, we are winning,” he said. “Every time there are delays in supplies and insufficient supplies, we are not winning. The law of war is cruel but very clear.”

Additionally, Secretary Blinken reiterated that the U.S. has “not encouraged or enabled strikes outside of Ukraine… But ultimately, Ukraine has to make decisions for itself about how it’s going to conduct this war, a war it is conducting in defense of its freedom, of its sovereignty, of its territorial integrity.”

Second news item

Trump camp laying groundwork to contest presidential election results. (dovetails with RNC co-chair’s lead):

In recent interviews, Trump has refused to commit to accepting the election results. At his rallies, he has portrayed Democrats as cheaters, called mail-in ballots corrupt and urged supporters to vote in such large numbers to render the election “too big to rig.”

He also backed a new Republican-sponsored bill aimed at keeping foreigners from voting, seeking to link his false election fraud claims with the issue of illegal immigration….Rather than being cowed by looming criminal trials over his conduct in the wake of the 2020 election, Trump is repeating the falsehoods that polls show resonate with his supporters while readying the legal firepower needed to launch a similar challenge to the validity of the vote this year…Trump has instructed the Republican National Committee, now led by his daughter-in-law and a close ally, to prioritize building out a team of poll watchers and lawyers to monitor the vote and litigate potential post-election challenges, according to a person familiar with the matter. As part of that effort, the RNC announced in April that it will recruit 100,000 volunteers and attorneys – double the figure promised during the 2020 cycle. It called the effort “the most extensive and monumental election integrity program in the nation’s history.”

Third news item

Much needed aid to Gaza delivered via newly built pier:

The first trucks carrying critical deliveries of humanitarian aid began flowing into Gaza Friday via a newly finished temporary pier, the U.S. military announced Friday.

Why it matters: The U.S.-built pier provides a desperately needed aid route into the enclave, where the Israel-Hamas war has exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation.

Fourth news item

It was bound to happen, given the increased spike in crime:

Mayor Karen Bass ordered a “surge” of law enforcement inside the region’s hundreds of buses and miles of subway system, saying Metro riders don’t feel safe after a spate of violent attacks that have roiled an agency already struggling to improve safety and increase ridership.

The move by Bass, who heads the board of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, marks a significant departure for the agency, which opted not to beef up law enforcement’s presence to reduce drug use, crime and disruptive behavior. Critics are coming from all sides. Some say the move is too little too late; others call the tactic doomed to fail and say it will only criminalize people who have drug addictions, serious mental illness and no housing.

Fifth news item

Is the West being forced to plan for worst case scenario?:

The signs coming out of Moscow are far from encouraging, with Putin sacking his combat generals to replace them with “bean counters”. Presumably to ensure the economy is on a total war footing and capable of taking on Nato and outlasting it on the battlefields and in the parliaments of Europe. If Trump comes to power, he may only need to hold tight until January 2025; not long.

At the same moment, Russia appears to be making significant gains towards the second city Kharkiv, possibly catching the defenders on the hop and no doubt trying to unbalance the Ukraine army before the US heavy weaponry and the F16s arrive in numbers. The Ukraine Security Service believes that Russian forces are also massing in the northeast for another strike into Ukraine. In the worst case scenario, Russia could make significant gains this summer and terminally unsettle Ukraine’s defence. The fact that Volodymyr Zelensky has just cancelled visits to Spain and Portugal underwrites the seriousness of the current situation for those Western leaders not paying attention.

The US and Nato’s indecision and procrastination have helped strengthen Putin and given him the confidence to go on the offensive. Putin appears undeterred by Western leadership, believing many of our politicians are not up to the fight. Yet few who study this conflict believe Putin will stop at Ukraine: in order to prevent a major escalation between Russia and Nato, therefore, Ukraine must prevail. That will only happen with Nato’s indirect and direct support now.

Sixth news item

The perfect metaphor for our dysfunctional Congress as a whole. I have watched the video of the House catfight several times and find myself in agreement with Sen. John Fetterman:

Here is what happened:

God help us.

Have a good weekend.

–Dana

457 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (8e902f)

  2. But but but I wasn’t done with the last one!

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  3. If the fall of Ukraine is an unmitigated disaster, then the West will not allow that to happen. That may require more involvement than we’d like and that choice is forced upon us by the cowardice and vacillation of our leaders.

    I expect that the incrementalist approach will continue and we will find ourselves backing into a direct confrontation that could have been avoided by resolute action earlier.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  4. Trump camp laying groundwork to contest presidential election results. (dovetails with RNC co-chair’s lead)

    Trump is on track to win the popular and electoral vote handily. He will, of course, insist he would have gotten more votes if it weren’t for all the cheating.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  5. Mayor Karen Bass ordered a “surge” of law enforcement inside the region’s hundreds of buses and miles of subway system, saying Metro riders don’t feel safe after a spate of violent attacks that have roiled an agency already struggling to improve safety and increase ridership.

    When I left LA in 2018, you could ride the Metro to downtown with some comfort. I am told that this changed and the Metro became rolling homeless housing, with all that entails. Police presence isn’t the problem; it’s the lack of willingness to let the police police.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  6. A day after announcing the return of school police to schools (what are they doing now?), the policy has been abandoned by the woke school board (which had ordered school police out of schools in 2020).

    But the plan already is being scaled back, school board President Jackie Goldberg said Thursday.

    “Basically it’s not going to continue,” she said, but “it is going to give us the opportunity to set a date — which I’m working on now with the various school board members — to actually have a public safety discussion.”

    “We’re going to talk about, ‘What is your authority, Mr. Superintendent?’ That’s what the question will be, because I don’t think board members agree with what he thought he knew. However good or bad this week was — I don’t know. I’m less worried about that than the fact that it’s going to open up this real discussion that we need to have,” Goldberg said.

    The superintendent should resign, effective immediately, and start a petition to recall the school board majority.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  7. Fox filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in October requesting the nationalities of suspects on the FBI terror watchlist arrested at the southern border entering between ports of entry by Border Patrol.

    Over six months later, CBP told Fox it will not provide the information, although it acknowledges the information is maintained in the Terrorist Screening Dataset (TSDS).

    The letter says it is applying exemptions to protect the disclosure of files that may create a “clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” and must balance a public’s right to disclosure against an individual’s right to privacy

    The privacy interests of the individuals in the records you have requested outweigh any minimal public interest in disclosure of the information. Any private interest you may have in that information does not factor into the aforementioned balancing test,” it says.

    It also cites exemptions that protect records that would disclose techniques or procedures for law enforcement investigation and those that could be expected to endanger the life or safety of any individual.

    Fox did not request personal information, only the countries from which the encounters originated.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-admin-refuses-reveal-terror-watchlist-nationalities-illegal-immigration-explodes

    BuDuh (8034c6)

  8. If Trump comes to power, he may only need to hold tight until January 2025; not long.

    The betting is that Trump will be elected. The stock market, the Europeans, everyone is making that calculation. Putin, too. It doesn’t look like he’s betting that Trump will hand over Ukraine. He seems in a hurry to get it done this year. Why is that?

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  9. there are grim consequences when that aid is delayed by politics, as it was for 7 months:

    Especially when you keep on telling them the delay won’t be long, because, after all, there’s a solid majority in Congress for more aid, so they run down their supplies.

    But any person with perception could have told that the hold up would last some time.

    And now delivery is taking awhile.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  10. The first trucks carrying critical deliveries of humanitarian aid began flowing into Gaza Friday via a newly finished temporary pier, the U.S. military announced Friday.

    This is said to have a limited capacity. Earlier, some other people delivered things by sea much quicker but anything the U.S. builds has to be perfect or at least fit a good design..

    The Keren Shalom crossing, bear or at the southeast corner of Gaza where Egypt, Israel and Gaza meet, has been re-opened by Israel to a limited extent, but the Rafah crossing, where Israel seized the Gaza side, remains closed by Egypt. There is also a crossing in the north.

    Egypt is threatening to do just about anything to Israel except tear up the peace treaty, but undoubtedly it’s got the Biden Administration scared.

    I don’t have any good guesses for why Egypt is protecting Hamas.

    And they don’t take in any refugees except those destined for third countries, international organization employees, some medical cases and those who pay (someone) a great sum of money. As it is, I think about 5% of the population of Gaza, including people with foreign citizenship, has managed to leave since October 7.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  11. The signs coming out of Moscow are far from encouraging, with Putin sacking his combat generals to replace them with “bean counters”.

    He’s changed what the top “defense” officials handle. The people planning war have other titles.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  12. Fox filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in October requesting the nationalities of suspects on the FBI terror watchlist arrested at the southern border entering between ports of entry by Border Patrol.

    Over six months later, CBP told Fox it will not provide the information, although it acknowledges the information is maintained in the Terrorist Screening Dataset (TSDS).

    Of course not. That would reveal that the list is garbage as it has always been.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  13. Let’s not forget that Europe has been hit with inflation, too, the UK included. Nine quid for two ice creams, it’s too much (I wish the video had subtitles).

    Paul Montagu (1e8339)

  14. https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/atlanta/georgia-court-appeals-allows-trump-appeal-have-willis-removed-case-go-ahead/7OAUAO4NZFHQZMKBFOKZWZOHVA/

    Georgia Court of Appeals allows Trump appeal to have Willis removed from case to go ahead

    ATLANTA — Just over a week after the Georgia Court of Appeals said it would look at the ruling that allowed Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to remain on the Georgia election interference case, it is allowing the appeal filed by former President Donald Trump to have Willis and her office removed from the case to go ahead.

    Yeah, this Atlanta case is DOA if they wanted a verdict before the election.

    whembly (86df54)

  15. Second news item

    Oh my, the Trump campaign plans to keep non-citizens from voting. That certainly sounds dastardly and nefarious. And poll watchers?! How underhanded. The rest of the “groundwork” appears to be plans to go through legal channels. Who doesn’t love that here? Unfortunately, Trump hasn’t figured out a way to farm all this work of contesting federal elections out to the government, like the Democrats did. I don’t recall Nevertrump having a problem with that “insurance policy” at the time, but that was then!

    lloyd (fa20a4)

  16. @14 Lawfare is having a bad month. As for Bragg, even CNN is dumping on him. But, he’ll always have that Manhattan jury to spackle over the gaping holes.

    lloyd (88434a)

  17. That would reveal that the (terror watch) list is garbage as it has always been.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb) — 5/17/2024 @ 12:22 pm

    Read the quote from the article more closely:

    Fox filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in October requesting the nationalities of suspects on the FBI terror watchlist arrested at the southern border entering between ports of entry by Border Patrol.

    Rip Murdock (5c27ec)

  18. Dana, regarding Congress, I suspect there is a continual infusion of goofgas.

    https://youtu.be/UUWJWRn5m6E?si=KdDceLyDgQnIFK5M

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  19. Much needed aid to Gaza delivered via newly built pier…….

    Pier gets bombed in 3……2…..1…..

    Rip Murdock (0fe8e1)

  20. NichaelCohen was cross examined and his story of having talked to Donald Trmp about the Stormy Daniel payment before ot was made destroyed (at least when he placed it)

    It seems like the prosecution was interested in tying it to documented facts -which made it WORSE. He placed it in a 1 1/2 minute or so call that was really about a 14-year old who was calling him and placed to Trump’s bodyguard There are text messages about the call.

    Bob Costello has been giving more interviews all over the place

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/former-michael-cohen-adviser-told-nothing-trump-stormy-nda-idea

    MC released attorney client privilege because he was claiming that a pardon had been offered to him. Not true. MC pressed him to ask. He finally called Giuliani, who by that time had become Trump’s lawyer so he would leave him alone. Giuliani said there would be no discussion of pardons.

    MC said he was aware of no crime he could link Trump to. He asked him 7 or 8 times in different ways.

    What MC said to him makes no sense. 1) That he didn’t believe that what Stormy Daniels said was true 2) That he wanted to hide the fact of the payment from Melania also (as reason for using a HELOC Home Equity loan to finance it)

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  21. Rip Murdock (0fe8e1) — 5/17/2024 @ 2:12 pm

    Pier gets bombed in 3……2…..1…..

    Not bombed. Israeli troops protecting it shelled or attacked in some other way. Will take some time, or aid may not be enough for it to be worth Hamas’s time. Hamas does not have truck or car bombs. Iran has the car bomb. But they may not be building them any more.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  22. suspects on the FBI terror watchlist arrested

    As I said it would reveal it is garbage. What happened to them after their arrest? Any one charged with terrorism?
    Interrogated? Any open investigation?

    Of course, anyone on the list would be detained at least at first.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  23. Granted, the Jerusalem Post may have some pro-Israel bias, but their analysis of bias at the New York Times seems spot on, especially their lack of condemnation of Hamas.

    The distribution of criticism in the headlines is a kind of mirror image to the distribution of empathy. In October, the number of articles expressing a critical tone towards Hamas reached its peak (38), but already in that first month after the massacre, the number of articles expressing criticism of Israel was more than three times higher (124).

    The first week of the war, from October 7th to 13th, stands out as the only week with a certain balance in reporting. During this week, 69 articles were published in the newsletter summarizing the main headlines. Fourteen of them criticized Hamas, 12 criticized Israel, and 14 others criticized both. That is, in the week immediately after the horrific and barbaric massacre in Israel, there was equality in the amount of criticism towards Israel and Hamas, which actually conveys equal responsibility for the situation. From there, it only deteriorated.

    The critical tone only towards Hamas dropped to 16 articles in November and continued to shrink until it almost completely disappeared, with only two articles in the last month checked (April 7th to May 7th). In that month, there were 99 articles with a critical tone only towards Israel, and another 11 articles that were critically phrased towards both Hamas and Israel (over the entire seven months, a total of 143 articles were published with a critical tone towards both Hamas and Israel).
    […]
    Iran received a total of 50 headlines that expressed criticism towards it during the war. This is not an insignificant number, but still, it does not truly reflect the fact that this multi-front war is the work of Iran. The Houthis received 10 headlines with a critical tone, and the most puzzling statistic is that Hezbollah received only five critical headlines, and six more that criticized both Hezbollah and Israel. Given the scope of this coverage, one might think that the unprecedented war eroding the north is nothing.

    In conclusion, criticism was expressed towards Israel in 641 articles, and in 801 articles where the criticism was also directed towards other entities. In contrast, criticism was expressed towards Hamas in only 81 articles (and in 258 articles when the criticism was directed towards other entities as well, but of these, 131 had shared criticism towards Hamas and Israel).

    When criticism towards Israel alone is three times greater than criticism towards Hamas, Iran, and Hezbollah combined, it is clear that the joy of “criticism towards Israel” and “empathy towards Palestinians” was the basis of the coverage, while stories with other emphases received only secondary attention. With such proportions, it is no wonder that many in the West get a mistaken picture of the balance of power in the region or the scope and nature of the war.

    Also, Hamas and Putin both have the same dynamic. If they stop fighting, they can end their wars in a day, but they’re both warmongers, so…

    Paul Montagu (1e8339)

  24. Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb) — 5/17/2024 @ 2:38 pm

    Hamas and Iran aren’t the only ones who could have a motive to destroy the pier.

    Rip Murdock (0fe8e1)

  25. …bias at the New York Times…

    Gell-Mann amnesia effect

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  26. RIP actor Dabney Coleman (92):

    ………
    The Emmy-winning actor also portrayed an irascible talk show host in upstate New York on NBC’s Buffalo Bill, but that critical favorite lasted just 26 episodes.

    He had at least three other cracks at headlining his own sitcom, but ABC’s The Slap Maxwell Story, Fox’s Drexell’s Class and NBC’s Madman of the People never made it through their first seasons before being canceled.

    More recently, the good-natured Coleman brought along his signature mustache to play Burton Fallin, the owner of a law firm and father of Simon Baker’s character, on the CBS drama The Guardian; was Atlantic City power broker Commodore Louis Kaestner on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire; and played John Dutton Sr. (the father of Kevin Costner’s character) on Yellowstone.

    Audiences got an early taste of the Texan’s cantankerous charms in 1976 when Coleman appeared as the feisty Fernwood, Ohio, mayor Merle Jeeter on Norman Lear‘s late-night soap-opera satire, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.
    …………..
    Coleman proved it again as the chauvinistic, backstabbing boss Franklin Hart Jr. in the workplace comedy 9 to 5, the 1980 cinematic paragon of women’s lib that starred Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and, in her movie debut, Dolly Parton. (For being such a rotten guy, Hart winds up getting hogtied by his secretary, Parton’s Doralee Rhodes.)
    ………….
    In Tootsie (1982), directed by his longtime friend and mentor Sydney Pollack, Coleman played the sexist TV director who’s dating an actress (Jessica Lange) on his soap opera, Southwest General.
    ………….
    Asked by Vulture in 2010 if he was proud to have helped make television “safe for jerky lead characters,” he replied: “It’s fun playing those roles. You get to do outlandish things, things that you want to do, probably, in real life, but you just don’t because you’re a civilized human being. There are no-holds-barred when you’re playing [jerks] — I couldn’t imagine anyone not loving playing those parts.”
    ………….

    Coleman also appeared in Cinderella Liberty (1973), WarGames (1983), Downhill Racer (1969), The Towering Inferno (1974), North Dallas Forty (1979), and Melvin & Howard (1980), among others.

    Rip Murdock (284d6a)

  27. The betting is that Trump will be elected. The stock market, the Europeans, everyone is making that calculation. Putin, too. It doesn’t look like he’s betting that Trump will hand over Ukraine. He seems in a hurry to get it done this year. Why is that?

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/17/2024 @ 11:32 am

    Maybe Putin is making the bet that Trump will hand over as much of Ukraine as Putin has managed to take by the time of a potential Trump second term, and that is why Putin is scrambling.

    norcal (f00777)

  28. Biden seems to think that as long as U,S. troops stay off shoren no one wil attack them,

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  29. Column about Darfur, He doesn’t mention Russia is sponsoring the guilty parties

    https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/15/opinion/darfur-sudan-genocide.html

    There’s also massacres of Christians in Nigeria and people being killed in Congo

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  30. Maybe Putin feels he can read Biden better than Trump abd he doesn’t feel he understands U,S. politics.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  31. Biden had the authority and money to continue to provide billions in aid to Ukraine and chose not to do so. Probably for political reasons.
    He could have implemented Lend Lease. He was still sitting on $3B of approved unallocated funds when the impasse came to an end

    steveg (5febb1)

  32. NATO trainers will be in Ukraine by election day. Maybe NATO aircraft.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  33. Biden seems to think that as long as U,S. troops stay off shoren no one wil attack them,

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e) — 5/17/2024 @ 3:52 pm

    Tell that to the crew of the USS Liberty.

    Rip Murdock (284d6a)

  34. Offshore, they wouldn’t be in Gaza. Maybe it’s a talking point.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  35. Given the scope of this coverage, one might think that the unprecedented war eroding the north is nothing.

    There are few people assigned to coverage of the war in the north and no day by day developments, except around April 13-15.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  36. No changes in the situation.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  37. It seems like Karen McDougal is not going to be a witness in the Trump trial

    I think Bob Costello would tend to hammer nails in the prosecution case and the jury should hear him, But they’ll call an election law witness.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  38. If not Ukraine what made the military aid bill so time dependent to Biden??

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  39. Maybe Putin is making the bet that Trump will hand over as much of Ukraine as Putin has managed to take by the time of a potential Trump second term, and that is why Putin is scrambling.

    That’s my bet, too. Oedipal Donnie will negotiate a BEAUTIFUL DEAL in which Putin keeps all he has occupied and then will whine that he did not get a Noble (sic) Prize for it. SO UNFAIR!

    nk (13c1e4)

  40. nk (13c1e4) — 5/17/2024 @ 4:53 pm

    😂

    norcal (3a285b)

  41. Offshore, they wouldn’t be in Gaza. Maybe it’s a talking point.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e) — 5/17/2024 @ 4:22 pm

    The Liberty was international waters when it was attacked and that fact didn’t matter.

    Rip Murdock (284d6a)

  42. @39 Is this like how the southern border is a mess because migrants know Trump will close the door? Do we just need to stop threatening good policy so that bad policies can be less bad? Is this how Biden fans are working through all their dumpster fires?

    lloyd (aa748f)

  43. @39 Is this like how the southern border is a mess because migrants know Trump will close the door?

    I doubt that people desperate enough to leave their homes, their relatives, their friends, the graves of their ancestors and the temples of their faiths, to come to a strange (to them) place full of drugs, abortion, and transgender bathrooms, not to mention atheists, socialists, and cancel culture, and worse of all semi-automatic firearm and high-capacity magazine bans, have the luxury of such calculations.

    nk (13c1e4)

  44. The purpose of political debate is to achieve results, not to win arguments. I doubt that I will change the mind of any Trump supporter here or that they will change mine.

    Still, we are not as bad as the House of Representatives. The only result they want to achieve is their $1 million plus per annum in salary and perks of the taxpayers’ money.

    nk (13c1e4)

  45. RIP actress and stuntwoman Susan Backlinie (77):

    ………..
    Backlinie was best known for her role as Chrissie Watkins in “Jaws,” who is dragged to her death by a killer shark in the 1975 film’s iconic opening scene. Backlinie specialized in swimming work as a stunt performer.

    Contrary to widespread belief, Backlinie’s screams of anguish in the “Jaws” opening scene were not due to her being injured by the harness that jerked her back and forth. However, no one warned Backlinie when she would be pulled underwater in order to get a genuine reaction from her.
    ………….

    Rip Murdock (2c0ecf)

  46. The purpose of political debate is to achieve results, not to win arguments. I doubt that I will change the mind of any Trump supporter here or that they will change mine.

    nk (13c1e4) — 5/17/2024 @ 7:05 pm

    If one can’t be honest about the downsides of one’s preferred candidate, one is a blind tribalist.

    And by honest, I mean more than just acknowledging Trump’s “mean tweets” or Biden’s senescence.

    Clear vision also results when one pauses on occasion to question whether maybe, just maybe, one is wrong.

    norcal (f00777)

  47. AOC “Point of order for the bleach blond1” MTG “You talking to me?” I will probably get in trouble ;but this was to good to pass up!

    asset (5c9343)

  48. The tribes won’t matter. They will vote for who they are going to vote for. Trump could call for sending troops to Ukraine and Biden could call for giant tax cuts and it WILL NOT MATTER for these folks.

    It’s the 40% that don’t drink Koolaid who will have to navigate this swamp of an election. In the end it will depend on where they see their interests and they have pretty much tuned out #NeverTrump and MAGA.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  49. I think Bob Costello would tend to hammer nails in the prosecution case and the jury should hear him, But they’ll call an election law witness.

    I thought that the judge was going to lay down the legal facts for the jury. I can’t see the jury hearing “expert testimony” on what the law says or doesn’t say. The jury is not deciding the legal theories.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  50. Tell that to the crew of the USS Liberty.

    Tell that to the Army Special Forces he’s stationed on Kinmen Island.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  51. Still, we are not as bad as the House of Representatives. The only result they want to achieve is their $1 million plus per annum in salary and perks of the taxpayers’ money.

    That’s not true. They also have a lot of interest in funneling taxpayer money to their friends.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  52. Biden has a spine!

    A Palestinian student who said she was “full of pride” after Hamas launched its attack on Israel faces deportation.

    Ooops, umm, no it’s the UK.

    Dana Abuqamar, 19, a law student at Manchester University, had her visa to stay in the UK revoked in December after she was filmed just a day after the Hamas terrorist attack saying she was “really full of joy” and “proud that Palestinian resistance has come to this point”.

    Suella Braverman and Robert Jenrick, the home secretary and immigration minister at the time, ruled that her presence in the UK was “not conducive to the public good” and revoked her visa, meaning she had no right to remain.

    lloyd (65c28b)

  53. @52 In scotland you can be arrested for saying harmful things about others. You want that here? The jails wouldn’t hold them all here.

    asset (5c9343)

  54. @53 I’m all for deporting visa holders who are harmful to their host nation. That’s not what Scotland is doing, but nice try.

    lloyd (65c28b)

  55. her presence in the UK was “not conducive to the public good”

    Heh! They probably filmed her ordering “egg, bacon, and SPAM, without the SPAM” at the cafeteria too.

    Not British, don’t you know?

    nk (13c1e4)

  56. You know who has a Bachelor of Civil Law (a post-graduate degree) from Oxford University? Senator John Neely Kennedy of Louisiana.

    nk (13c1e4)

  57. Did Trump ever renounce his British citizenship (like Cruz his Canadian one)? Or is he hoping for a KBE and the Barony of Aberdeenshire, you think?

    nk (13c1e4)

  58. I wonder if the Brits blame Trump for Meghan Markle. In 2016 she said that if Trump were elected she would leave America. She said she would move to Canada, actually, but that’s still British Commonwealth and a hop, skip, and a jump to England immigration-wise.

    nk (6c45b4)

  59. Tell that to the crew of the USS Liberty.

    Tell that to the Army Special Forces he’s stationed on Kinmen Island.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/17/2024 @ 8:46 pm

    Non-sequitur. The Chinese haven’t attacked and killed Americans on Kinmen Island, but the Israelis did attacked a US warship in international waters, killing 34 Americans. .

    Rip Murdock (284d6a)

  60. Rip Murdock (284d6a) — 5/18/2024 @ 8:21 am

    And Gaza is an active war zone while Kinmen Island is not.

    Rip Murdock (2c0ecf)

  61. Catoggio on the Alito upside down American flag…

    Not long ago, it would have been ridiculous to accuse the spouse of a Supreme Court justice of agitating for a coup.

    But it’s not so ridiculous anymore, is it?

    The shadow hanging over the Alitos is, of course, that of Clarence Thomas’ wife, Virginia. Flying an upside-down flag over one’s home could plausibly be an innocuous gesture mistaken by bystanders as something sinister. What Ginny Thomas did following the 2020 election can’t be mistaken for anything but earnest insurrectionism.

    That’s the lens through which the Times’ story is being viewed, perhaps unfairly but unavoidably. If one Supreme Court justice is in bed (literally!) with a coup-supporter, why wouldn’t two be? If Virginia Thomas cares so little for her husband’s and the court’s reputation that she would undertake political activity destined to damage both once it was found out, why wouldn’t Martha-Ann Alito?

    For a radical like Mrs. Thomas, diminished respect for the court might be a necessary evil of her political project. However ambivalent she might be about seeing her spouse and his place of business viewed suspiciously due to her activities, shaking the public’s faith in institutions is what populism is all about. The less both parties trust the judiciary, the easier it’ll be for her party to justify ignoring adverse court rulings when necessary going forward.

    It’s always been hard to believe that she did what she did after the 2020 election without the knowledge, and at least tacit support, of her husband. It’s likewise hard to believe that Sam Alito didn’t notice the upside-down flag flying outside his home for days or, if he did, that he didn’t understand what it might represent. Irrespective of the political context, one would think a Supreme Court justice would move instantly to distance himself from a strange, disrespectful public display of the stars and stripes. But he didn’t, it appears. Why not?

    Maybe he and his wife deserve the benefit of the doubt. Thanks to the Thomases, they can’t have it.

    But not just the Thomases. The reason the Times report on the Alitos hit anti-Trumpers so hard is because it distilled the brazenness of MAGA fanaticism since the insurrection. We’ve all come to accept, however uneasily, that true-believing populist radicalism long ago migrated up from the grassroots to the tippy top of the conservative establishment, even infecting the home of Justice Clarence Thomas. Yet the spectacle of a “Stop the Steal” symbol flying proudly in front the Alito home after January 6 raises the possibility that there’s no longer any shame in associating with it, even among the right’s leading intellectual lights. Including those who are duty-bound to place fidelity to the constitutional order above Donald Trump’s desires.

    It’s a microcosm of how conservatives’ accommodation of post-liberalism is happening in plain sight.

    The results of this year’s primary made that clear, but it’s worth remembering how recent it was that conservatives would scoff whenever anxious nerds like me wrung our hands about authoritarianism. Days after the 2020 election, figures like Mick Mulvaney were still insisting that Trump would concede gracefully. Eminent pundits like Ross Douthat declared in October of that year that there would be no Trump coup. In mid-November, in a story about Republicans starting to line up behind the president’s “rigged election” nonsense, the Washington Post printed this infamous quote from a senior Republican official: “What is the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time? No one seriously thinks the results will change.”

    You don’t hear much scoffing anymore.

    But why would you? Trump’s illiberal plan for a second term is happening in plain sight. Time magazine summarized the takeaways from its recent interview with him this way:

    He would, at his personal discretion, withhold funds appropriated by Congress, according to top advisers. He would be willing to fire a U.S. Attorney who doesn’t carry out his order to prosecute someone, breaking with a tradition of independent law enforcement that dates from America’s founding. He is weighing pardons for every one of his supporters accused of attacking the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, more than 800 of whom have pleaded guilty or been convicted by a jury. He might not come to the aid of an attacked ally in Europe or Asia if he felt that country wasn’t paying enough for its own defense. He would gut the U.S. civil service, deploy the National Guard to American cities as he sees fit, close the White House pandemic-preparedness office, and staff his Administration with acolytes who back his false assertion that the 2020 election was stolen.

    On Friday, no less than nine sources who are helping to prepare Trump’s agenda for a second term confessed to Reuters that he aims to turn the Department of Justice “into an attack dog for conservative causes.” The plan has two parts, they eagerly explained. “First: Flood the Justice Department with stalwart conservatives unlikely to say ‘no’ to controversial orders from the White House. Second: Restructure the department so key decisions are concentrated in the hands of administration loyalists rather than career bureaucrats.”

    Trump has been babbling about “retribution” on the campaign trail for more than a year. He salutes at rallies when a musical tribute to the insurrectionists is played. He makes no pretense that he’ll allow the criminal cases against him to continue if he’s reelected. Lately, he’s made his demagoguery of the justice system that’s trying to hold him accountable a true Republican team effort by having “respectable” members of his party show up at the courthouse and join in the fun.

    This is all happening in plain sight.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  62. @61 It’s beyond self parody for Moby Nick (after Stzrok, Page, McCabe, Clinesmith, Baker, Wolfe, et al, and the anti-Trump partisanship of Merchan’s daughter) to only get triggered by a flag flown upside down. Like all Nevertrumpers, Moby Nick isn’t concerned about partisan attack dogs in the DOJ. He’s simply concerned that the DOJ will no longer be partisan attack dogs for Democrats.

    lloyd (88434a)

  63. Upside down flag is a legitimate, non-insulting, distress signal. Whether it’s also a signal of a 74-year old man’s absent-mindedness and nearsightedness is for the Alitos to say.

    I already had my fill with someone rolling a booger between their thumb and forefinger as the Mystic Symbol of MAGA summoning Pepe the Frog. Take it to your shrink!

    nk (6c45b4)

  64. Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 5/18/2024 @ 9:03 am

    What’s pathetic is that Alito has blamed his wife for the upside down flag. He can’t take the responsibility himself.

    Rip Murdock (284d6a)

  65. This is all happening in plain sight.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 5/18/2024 @ 9:03 am

    Yes. Trump is transparent. I like transparency – so refreshing and honest. Trump is a duck being spotted by the camouflaged, described by the camouflaged, and hunted by the camouflaged; and might could possibly be retrieved by an uncamouflaged dog that just wants to do its job as bidden by its master. I understand that this is called “sport.”

    felipe (599ae5)

  66. nk (6c45b4) — 5/18/2024 @ 9:45 am

    Heh! Well done, sir. If only your audience…

    felipe (599ae5)

  67. @64 So Rip, Alito put the flag up? Source??

    He should’ve blamed Hur if he wanted to get a pass.

    lloyd (88434a)

  68. Catoggio on the Alito upside down American flag…

    Here, Nick is digging a hole. He is buying into the general Democrat attack on the Court and it is not a good look for him.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  69. If only such attention was paid to the irregularities of Democrats. We’ll never know. No one gets a high five in the newsroom for getting the goods on a Leftist.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  70. It seems that it is always duck hunting season, not rabbit hunting season.

    felipe (599ae5)

  71. Non-sequitur. The Chinese haven’t attacked and killed Americans on Kinmen Island, but the Israelis did attacked a US warship in international waters, killing 34 Americans. .

    No one has attacked anyone on that pier, either. Which was YOUR basis for the segue to the USS Liberty.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  72. This is what “Bugs” me 😉

    felipe (599ae5)

  73. People have routinely used the inverted flag to indicate displeasure with an election result. That some of them who did so in 2020 ALSO were insurrectionists does not mean that all who did so were insurrectionists or even sympathetic to them.

    But then, critical thinking is dead.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  74. No one has attacked anyone on that pier, either. Which was YOUR basis for the segue to the USS Liberty.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/18/2024 @ 10:32 am

    Not yet.

    Rip Murdock (2c0ecf)

  75. @64 So Rip, Alito put the flag up? Source??
    ………

    lloyd (88434a) — 5/18/2024 @ 10:18 am

    Here.

    Rip Murdock (2c0ecf)

  76. @64 So Rip, Alito put the flag up? Source??
    ………

    lloyd (88434a) — 5/18/2024 @ 10:18 am

    What I said in my post 64 is that Alito blamed his wife, not that Alito himself put the flag upside down. But a husband should take the responsibility himself, and not throw his wife under the bus.

    Rip Murdock (284d6a)

  77. Rip prefers Supreme Court Justices who lie.

    👍

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  78. @76 Never let facts get in the way of your partisan take.

    lloyd (743fd5)

  79. Rip prefers Supreme Court Justices who lie.

    I prefer Supreme Court justices who defend, rather than blame, their wives.

    Rip Murdock (2c0ecf)

  80. Like I said. You want them to lie. I don’t think you need to confirm this again, but you do you.

    Do you think she should be barefoot and in the kitchen as well?

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  81. BuDuh (4214e4) — 5/18/2024 @ 11:11 am

    You forgot pregnant. 😉Absolutely not, but it’s telling that Alito’s wife hasn’t publicly confirmed the Justice’s story.

    Rip Murdock (2c0ecf)

  82. It is “telling” to #ClaimingToBeFairBallAndStrikeCallers.

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  83. Rip is the anti-Harrison Butker: women aren’t independent creatures with their own opinions who have authority of their own personal decisions. In Rip’s mind, wives are subservient to their husbands and only do what they’re told.

    SaveFarris (95c2ab)

  84. A rare split between Justices Alito and Thomas:

    The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a challenge to the constitutionality of the structure used to fund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal agency tasked with enforcing consumer finance laws. By a vote of 7-2, the justices reversed a decision by a federal appeals court in Louisiana, which had ruled that the agency’s funding violates the Constitution because it comes from the Federal Reserve rather than through the congressional appropriations process.
    ………….
    In a 22-page opinion joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and Ketanji Brown Jackson, Thomas explained that when the Constitution was ratified in the late 18th century, “appropriations were understood as a legislative means of authorizing expenditure from a source of public funds for designated purposes.”

    That understanding, Thomas continued, is supported by both early English history and early American history in the years leading up to the ratification of the Constitution. And although “appropriations needed to designate particular revenue for identified purposes,” Thomas observed, legislatures in that era otherwise “exercised a wide range of discretion.”
    ………….
    The CFPB’s funding scheme falls squarely within this definition of a congressional “appropriation,” Thomas concluded: Congress specified the source – the Federal Reserve – from which the CFPB can draw its funding, and it indicated how the CFPB is supposed to use that funding. The court therefore reversed the 5th Circuit’s decision striking down as unconstitutional the CFPB’s funding mechanism.
    ………….
    In his dissenting opinion, Alito (along with Justice Gorsuch) rejected Thomas’ recounting of history, arguing that the drafters of the Constitution “would be shocked, even horrified, by” the CFPB’s funding scheme. Offering his own detailed version of history, Alito concluded that “centuries of historical practice show that the Appropriations Clause demands legislative control over the source and disposition of the money used to finance Government operations and projects.”

    But the CFPB’s “unprecedented combination of funding features,” Alito wrote, “affords it the very kind of financial independence that the Appropriations Clause was designed to prevent. It is not an exaggeration to say that the CFPB enjoys a degree of financial autonomy that a Stuart king would envy.”
    ………….

    The split between Alito and Thomas is noteworthy in that during the 2022-2023 term they voted together 89% of the time.

    Rip Murdock (284d6a)

  85. SaveFarris (95c2ab) — 5/18/2024 @ 11:28 am

    As I noted above, Mrs. Alito hasn’t made any public comments confirming her role.

    Rip Murdock (2c0ecf)

  86. The split between Alito and Thomas is noteworthy in that during the 2022-2023 term they voted together 89% of the time.

    Rip Murdock (284d6a) — 5/18/2024 @ 11:33 am

    Correction: Alito and Thomas voted together 89% of the time between 2016 and 2021.

    Rip Murdock (2c0ecf)

  87. Who’s Harrison Butker?

    Rip Murdock (2c0ecf)

  88. I see. Never heard of him until now. I don’t track commencement speeches.

    Rip Murdock (284d6a)

  89. but it’s telling that Alito’s wife hasn’t publicly confirmed the Justice’s story.

    Was she asked?

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  90. Rip only knows mediocre Hollywood celebs. Doesn’t have a clue about current Super Bowl champions sticking up for reality.

    NJRob (11c1fd)

  91. Harrison Butker Is not as nearly well known as Patrick Mahomes or Travis Kielce. Can you name all of the Kansas Coty Chief players? Kickers are among the most anonymous players.

    Rip Murdock (2c0ecf)

  92. Kansas Coty Chief= Kansas City Chief

    Rip Murdock (284d6a)

  93. but it’s telling that Alito’s wife hasn’t publicly confirmed the Justice’s story.

    Was she asked?

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/18/2024 @ 11:47 am

    Does she need to be asked-she can certainly put out a statement on her own. I’m sure she would be welcomed on Fox News, OAN, or Newsmax.

    Rip Murdock (2c0ecf)

  94. Rip only knows mediocre Hollywood celebs.

    Actually I don’t know any celebrities, mediocre or not.

    Rip Murdock (284d6a)

  95. Does she need to be asked-she can certainly put out a statement on her own.

    Maybe she doesn’t think it’s any of our business.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  96. felipe (599ae5) — 5/18/2024 @ 10:02 am

    Yes, it’s so refreshing that Trump’s fraud and corruption are so transparent.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  97. I remember when we were told that it should not matter to anyone that James Comey’s wife and daughters put on their pink pussy hats and went off to a rally. And although it was interesting and maybe even somewhat instructive, we looked past it.
    I could be persuaded we should care about Ashley Biden’s diary insofar as to keep the dirty old man from showering with the grandkids

    steveg (46c0dc)

  98. Happy Birthday!

    ………..
    (Rudy Giuliani) was tripping the light fantastic with pals in Palm Springs (sic) (actually Palm Beach) Friday night when he was intercepted outside the party at the home of top GOP consultant (and senior adviser to Kari Lake) Caroline Wren by two officials from Democratic Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes’ office, sources told The Post.

    The pair served Giuliani with a legal notice of his Arizona indictment for allegedly being involved in a plot to overturn the 2020 election in favor of ex-President Donald Trump.

    Most of the 200 guests were gone by the time the duo showed up around 11 p.m., but some of the stragglers began screaming – including one woman who cried as Giuliani was handed the papers, according to sources.
    ……………
    Giuliani seemed to be enjoying himself throughout the party – celebrated 11 days before his actual birthday on May 28 – even posing for a photo with a bevy of blonde bombshells that he posted on X while taunting Mayes.

    “If Arizona authorities can’t find me by tomorrow morning: 1. They must dismiss the indictment; 2. They must concede they can’t count votes,” wrote Giuliani in the post, which has since been deleted.

    “The final defendant was served moments ago. @RudyGiuliani nobody is above the law,” Mayes posted on X late Friday.
    ……………
    A message told guests that gifts aren’t necessary, but if you wanted to give presents to refer to the Amazon registry.

    The Amazon registry titled “Rudolph Giuliani… 80th birthday party, May 28, 2024,” shows that gifts already purchased for the former Trump advisor include a home sleeper chair convertible bed, ceiling paint, a Braun electric razor, LED chandeliers, a Shure microphone, a “cooling” comforter and an iPad.
    #########

    Rip Murdock (ca81f0)

  99. Does she need to be asked-she can certainly put out a statement on her own.

    Maybe she doesn’t think it’s any of our business.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/18/2024 @ 12:54 pm

    Or she would end up lying. Being a spouse to a public figure means whatever you do redounds to your partner.

    Rip Murdock (ca81f0)

  100. Biden’s solution to his turnstile border mess: faster turnstiles.

    ‘Exploitable Loopholes’: Biden Admin’s Latest Plan To Deal With Immigration Surge Could Have Unintended Consequences

    The Biden administration announced a new plan to expedite asylum cases for migrants illegally entering the U.S., but some experts questioned the plan’s efficacy and argued it could pose national security risks.

    “While this initiative could provide much-needed relief to the overwhelmed non-detained immigration docket, my primary concern is that it may represent an effort to expedite and approve claims without thorough adjudication,” John Fabbricatore, a retired Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field office director, said to the DCNF.

    “Speeding up the process without sufficient scrutiny could inadvertently create exploitable loopholes, potentially compromising national security,” Fabbricatore said.

    The headline has a typo — these are entirely intended consequences.

    lloyd (190c58)

  101. Boast backfire

    Rudy: “If Arizona authorities can’t find me by tomorrow morning: 1. They must dismiss the indictment. 2. They must concede they can’t count votes.”

    AZ AG: “The final defendant was served moments ago.”

    Don’t feel sorry for Rudy. He did this to himself, going all-in on Trump and staying all-in to the squalid sticky end.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  102. Hey, remember when Rip was this concerned about Bob Menendez’s wife??

    Yeah… me either.

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  103. Being a spouse to a public figure means whatever you do redounds to your partner.

    First Lady Jill Biden Compares Latinos to Breakfast Tacos

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  104. File under: open mouth and remove all doubt

    If a liberal is just a conservative who hasn’t been mugged yet, then Chris Cuomo has been mugged – long time!

    Of course I’m late to the show. I’m old and weak!

    felipe (599ae5)

  105. Text without context is pretext. Here’s the context.

    Cuomo remains Unapologetic.

    felipe (599ae5)

  106. @56 he hides it well.

    asset (65c97c)

  107. @71 you forgot “YET.”

    asset (65c97c)

  108. Being a spouse to a public figure means whatever you do some asshat will find it offensive.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  109. Being a spouse to a public figure means whatever you do redounds to your partner.

    First Lady Jill Biden Compares Latinos to Breakfast Tacos

    We all know she didn’t mean it, eh?

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  110. Hey, remember when Rip was this concerned about Bob Menendez’s wife??

    Yeah… me either.

    BuDuh (4214e4) — 5/18/2024 @ 1:19 pm

    I don’t care about criminal Democrats.

    Rip Murdock (ca81f0)

  111. First Lady Jill Biden Compares Latinos to Breakfast Tacos

    We all know she didn’t mean it, eh?

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/18/2024 @ 3:22 pm

    Again, why should I care what Jill Biden says-her comments prove my point.

    Rip Murdock (b2fc3a)

  112. Hard time::

    David DePape, the man whose embrace of right-wing conspiracy theories led him to break into Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home and bludgeon her 82-year-old husband, was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison. Federal prosecutors had asked for a 40-year term, arguing that the attack constituted an act of terrorism.
    …………..
    A jury convicted DePape in November 2023 on federal charges of trying to kidnap the then-House speaker and assaulting Paul Pelosi because of his wife’s work in Congress. ……….
    ………….
    DePape, who was 43 at the time of the trial, admitted that he broke into the home intending to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage and “break her kneecaps.” He also said he bludgeoned Paul Pelosi with a hammer after police arrived because his plan to end what he viewed as government corruption was unraveling. During the trial, other potential targets of DePape’s were disclosed, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Hunter Biden, the president’s son.

    Angela Chuang, one of DePape’s attorneys, told the jury her client was motivated by a mix of his political beliefs and was caught up in conspiracy theories. But, Chuang said, her client was not motivated to attack Pelosi because of her position in Congress, but rather because of her leadership within the Democratic Party.

    She argued that this made him innocent of the specific charges against him, of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a federal official. Chuang said DePape believed the party was part of a corrupt-ruling class cabal that promoted assault on children.
    ……………
    DePape will face another trial on state charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary, false imprisonment and threatening serious bodily harm to a public official. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.
    ##########

    The specific counts that dePape was convicted of were

    One count of assault upon an immediate family member of a U.S. official with the intent to impede, intimidate, or interfere with the official while engaged in the performance of official duties or with intent retaliate against the official on account of the performance of official duties, and

    One count of attempted kidnapping of a U.S. official on account of the performance of official duties.

    As there is no parole in the Federal prison system, dePape must serve at least 80% of his sentence, or 24 years, before he can be released. He will be in his mid-60s at that time. He can also be released earlier if his sentence is commuted or he receives a pardon.

    Rip Murdock (b2fc3a)

  113. I don’t care about criminal Democrats.

    Rip Murdock (ca81f0) — 5/18/2024 @ 4:05 pm

    We know.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  114. I haven’t seen you writing about your home state Senator.

    Rip Murdock (b2fc3a)

  115. I care about criminal democrats like cueller and melendez. throw the book at them. I expect republicans to be moral reprobates ;but it makes democrats like me angry with these scum both of which should be thrown out of congress for moral turpitude. Jessica cisneros should be in congress representing the district not slimy cueller.

    asset (3becfd)

  116. If the link works, you all will like this cartoon.

    BTW, Alito is from New Jersey. Hamilton Township, a suburb of Trenton.

    nk (a046ea)

  117. @113

    I don’t care about criminal Democrats.

    Rip Murdock (ca81f0) — 5/18/2024 @ 4:05 pm

    We know.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 5/18/2024 @ 6:38 pm

    I mean, you can’t get any more “smoking gun” than stacks of cash and gold bars in Bob’s case.

    Rip doesn’t even consider testimony under oath of the Biden’s corruption.

    whembly (a43e5a)

  118. Rip doesn’t even consider testimony under oath of the Biden’s corruption.

    whembly (a43e5a) — 5/19/2024 @ 6:46 am

    Testimony without corroborating documents are just words, not evidence. And Chairman Comer has failed to provide any. Even his fellow Republicans find it weak tea.

    Rip Murdock (ca81f0)

  119. The Menendezes’ corruption is so obvious it’s not worth mentioning. But in their cases there are documents, texts, and alleged official actions, along with co-conspirators willing to testify against them, all of which are missing from the “allegations” against President Biden made by Chairman Comer of the House Oversight Committee.

    Rip Murdock (b2fc3a)

  120. Random Russia update…
    Putin may be going on another offensive, but he’s running out of usable gear, at a time when Ukraine is starting reloading. He can’t go on forever.

    Putin’s Gazprom ran a $6.9 billion deficit last year.

    If Putin is going to seize $700 million Euros from European banks, then we should take ownership of at least that much of his assets that we’re holding.

    Eighty years ago yesterday, Soviet Russia began removing 200,000 Tatars from the Crimean peninsula, to be repopulated with ethnic Russians. Today, Putin is doing the same with Ukrainian children.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  121. I don’t care about criminal Democrats.

    Rip Murdock (ca81f0) — 5/18/2024 @ 4:05 pm

    We know.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 5/18/2024 @ 6:38 pm

    To paraphrase the line from Chinatown:

    Forget it…… It’s New Jersey.

    Rip Murdock (b2fc3a)

  122. I notice the left and establishment haven’t forced Menendez out even though he’s beyond corrupt.

    They didn’t have the same issue with the serial fabulist that was a reliable conservative vote.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  123. Helicopter Carrying Iran’s President Has Crashed, State Media Reports

    A helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi crashed on Sunday, according to Iran’s state media and the country’s mission to the United Nations, but has yet to be found by search-and-rescue workers because of heavy fog.

    The helicopter was also carrying Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Iran’s foreign minister.

    The state news agency IRNA reported that an enormous search operation involving 16 teams was underway to locate the helicopter. Inclement weather, the reports said, was hampering the effort. The teams had yet to locate the crash site after almost five hours.

    State media has yet to report on casualties or confirm the whereabouts or condition of the president. The cause of the crash is also unknown.

    “Given the complexities of the region, connection has been difficult, and we are hoping that the rescue teams reach the helicopter and can give us more information,” Ahmad Vahidi, Iran’s interior minister, told state television.

    They will blame Israel.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  124. I notice the left and establishment haven’t forced Menendez out even though he’s beyond corrupt.

    It would take 2/3 of the Senate to expel your home state senator, and I doubt that many Republicans would do so, since having him in the Senate hangs an albatross around the neck of Democrats. The Senate majority leader would need to bring up for a vote, which is highly unlikely.

    However, if the Republicans did vote to expel your home state senator, they would become the majority party in the Senate.

    Decisions, decisions.

    Rip Murdock (b2fc3a)

  125. They will blame Israel.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/19/2024 @ 8:19 am

    Could be true.

    Rip Murdock (b2fc3a)

  126. Israel would target the Ayatollah. The President is just a puppet.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  127. Rip Murdock (b2fc3a) — 5/19/2024 @ 8:23 am

    Though flying helicopters in bad weather is more likely.

    Rip Murdock (b2fc3a)

  128. However, if the Republicans did vote to expel your home state senator, they would become the majority party in the Senate.

    For the moment. He’d be replaced quickly by a party stalwart.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  129. Iranian president likely dead.
    This never happened when Trump was president.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  130. Or Obama

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  131. Throw in a few mullahs and it would have been a better day

    AJ_Liberty (b86f84)

  132. @118

    Rip doesn’t even consider testimony under oath of the Biden’s corruption.

    whembly (a43e5a) — 5/19/2024 @ 6:46 am

    Testimony without corroborating documents are just words, not evidence. And Chairman Comer has failed to provide any. Even his fellow Republicans find it weak tea.

    Rip Murdock (ca81f0) — 5/19/2024 @ 7:32 am

    Bank statements and the likes are corroborating documents Rip.

    But, hey, if Bob ‘Goldbar’ Menendez doesn’t rile you up, nothing less than an outright confession by any of the Biden’s would do it for you.

    whembly (a43e5a)

  133. Far Side cartoon for the day

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  134. LA Times doesn’t have the Iran story. Here’s their top story on the website:

    California’s first Black land trust fights climate change, makes the outdoors more inclusive

    Jade Stevens stands at the edge of a snowy cliff and takes in the jaw-dropping panorama of the Sierra.

    Peaks reaching more than a mile high form the backdrop to Bear Valley, a kaleidoscope of green pastures mixed with ponderosa pines, firs, cedars and oak trees.

    Stevens, 34, is well aware that some of her fellow Black Americans can’t picture themselves in places like this. Camping, hiking, mountain biking, snow sports, venturing to locales with wild animals in their names — those are things white people do.

    As co-founder of the 40 Acre Conservation League, California’s first Black-led land conservancy, she’s determined to change that perception.

    The nonprofit recently secured $3 million in funding from the state Wildlife Conservation Board and the nonprofit Sierra Nevada Conservancy to purchase 650 acres of a former logging forest north of Lake Tahoe. It will be a haven for experienced Black outdoor lovers and novices alike….

    Given that Black Americans historically have not enjoyed equal access to national parks and wilderness recreation areas — and have often been deprived of the chance to steward large open spaces because of discriminatory land policies — the purchase carries immense cultural importance too….

    This is also an ideal spot for Stevens to envision all that the 40 Acre group wants to do on this land, from helping to protect species such as southern long-toed salamanders and foothill yellow-legged frogs to helping humans who don’t see themselves as nature or wildlife lovers develop a new appreciation for California’s fragile ecosystem.

    “These plants, everything here, they all rely on each other,” she says. “I haven’t brought my family out here yet, but just from them seeing what I’m doing, it’s already sparking conversation.”

    Not the Bee. I’m not sure how such a project gets funded by government money, but then this IS California.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  135. Bank statements and the likes are corroborating documents Rip.

    Comer: “Ah got statements!”
    Q: But what’s in those statements?
    Comer: “Ah’m a tellin’ ya, ah got statements!”

    The pertinent issue is the contents of these “corroborating documents” that show a crime was committed. Comer’s got diddly and squat in that department, which is why hearings crashed and burned.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  136. @135 Ah, the “diddly squat” standard. Is that higher than the “pulling stuff out of our a$$” standard of 2017?

    lloyd (a9f059)

  137. Most congressional hearing, by whichever party is in control, are for fund-raising purposes and to keep their tribe engaged.

    Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  138. After Michael Cohen Testimony, Trump Trial Prosecutors File Motion For A Do-Over

    The Lawfare Cheer section seems to be muted lately. Were there any inspiring developments this week?

    lloyd (a9f059)

  139. @129 To think with all the billions of $$ Biden handed over to them, they still skimped on copter maintenance. Must’ve all went to Hamas.

    lloyd (a9f059)

  140. Mashallah

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  141. Lloyd, I’d been following the trial fairly closely and was shocked that I’d not seen the prosecution filing you were referring to. Then I clicked on the link and saw it was a joke.

    As to your follow, up: from following the trial, I think:

    A) a hung jury is most likely, followed by a conviction.

    B)The prosecution has been fairly compelling in showing that DJT is an piece of garbage who definitely committed business records fraud, although the “in order to conceal an underlying crime” part seems a little stretched to me. The prosecution’s argument isn’t bad or wrong, and I think if the defendant is anyone other than DJT it’s a clear conviction, and

    C) I guess to bring it back to your link, Cohen’s testimony stood up pretty well and wasn’t very effectively challenged by the defense (and I think they should have been able to do a much better job tearing that lowlife apart), and was highly corroborated by other witnesses/hard evidence. At the point where the reasonable doubt the defense is looking for depends on them needing the jury to believe that tapes of DJT talking might actually be digitally faked (without providing any evidence or testimony that it was) the prosecution’s case stands up well, but

    D) I don’t think this trial gets brought in the way it does if the defendant isn’t DJT, which is problematic at best, and sets a terrible precedent. I feel similarly about the Hunter Biden case (almost certainly broke the law; would not be being prosecuted if his dad were not Joe Biden).

    Nate (cfb326)

  142. Bank statements and the likes are corroborating documents Rip.

    But, hey, if Bob ‘Goldbar’ Menendez doesn’t rile you up, nothing less than an outright confession by any of the Biden’s would do it for you.

    whembly (a43e5a) — 5/19/2024 @ 9:06 am

    Bob Menendez is the Democrats problem; impeaching Biden is the Republicans problem. The fact that Menendez is corrupt is hardly news.

    I don’t believe that Comer has released bank statements that show payments to the President, outside of personal loans between him and his sons. A confession to Biden’s corruption by someone other than Alexander Smirnov or one of the other convicted felons that have appeared before the House Oversight Committees would be a good start.

    Rip Murdock (db1a35)

  143. lloyd (a9f059) — 5/19/2024 @ 9:39 am

    You got nuthin’, lloyd.
    Take the L.

    Paul Montagu (cd77aa)

  144. Comer has made two mistakes: he’s over promised and under delivered; and he’s talked too much. He should have let the evidence (such as it is) speak for itself through hearings.

    Rip Murdock (db1a35)

  145. “Man, don’t be flyin’ those choppers in heavy fog.”
    —Kobe Bryant’s Ghost

    Paul Montagu (cd77aa)

  146. I feel similarly about the Hunter Biden case (almost certainly broke the law; would not be being prosecuted if his dad were not Joe Biden

    They don’t prosecute tax evaders?
    Or crack users?
    Or people who buy guns illegally?

    Or people who buy guns while using crack with money that should have paid taxes?

    This dog won’t hunt.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  147. Cohen’s testimony stood up pretty well and wasn’t very effectively challenged by the defense

    Sure…

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  148. Repaired link, I hope.

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  149. Looks like the party that is spending its time complaining about the occupation of the daughter of a New York judge and its influence on her father can’t understand why the actions of the wife of a Supreme Court judge in hanging an upside down US flag might be deemed to reflect her husband’s sentiments after January 6.

    Lloyd and whembly will be on shortly to tell us why these two things are very very different and why the actions of the daughter are so much worse.

    Appalled (88a1a3)

  150. “I don’t think this trial gets brought in the way it does if the defendant isn’t DJT”

    Did AMI or Cohen claim the $150k paid to Karen McDougal or the $130k paid to Stormy Daniels as a campaign contribution? Have both testified that Trump knew about it. Catch-and-kill was a conspiracy to pay for negative stories following the Access Hollywood tape that would confirm Trump was in fact a douche-bag. Spiking those stories were worth gold to Trump in the final weeks, as Evangelicals rationalized “locker room talk”. Had he used his own money, he is likely free and clear, but he’s cheap and maybe paranoid. So, would other people have their business fraud elevated because of an election conspiracy? Probably not, right, because the overwhelming majority of people don’t run for office….and have a “grab them by the p*ssy” problem. This is karma…and why he’s so desperate for jury nullification….or a mistrial

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  151. Lloyd and whembly will be on shortly to tell us why these two things are very very different and why the actions of the daughter are so much worse.

    Since you are hear, and so well informed, why don’t you break out the similarities and differences?

    Thoroughness is a plus.

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  152. …here…

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  153. @149

    Looks like the party that is spending its time complaining about the occupation of the daughter of a New York judge and its influence on her father can’t understand why the actions of the wife of a Supreme Court judge in hanging an upside down US flag might be deemed to reflect her husband’s sentiments after January 6.

    Lloyd and whembly will be on shortly to tell us why these two things are very very different and why the actions of the daughter are so much worse.

    Appalled (88a1a3) — 5/19/2024 @ 11:56 am

    Ya mean, something that happened three and half years ago?

    Okay, let’s discuss this then… Justice Alito did address it to Shannon Bream:
    https://x.com/ShannonBream/status/1791483561675022624

    I spoke directly with Justice Alito about the flag story in the NYT. In addition to what’s in the story, he told me a neighbor on their street had a “F*** Trump” sign that was within 50 feet of where children await the school bus in Jan 21. Mrs. Alito brought this up with the neighbor. According to Justice Alito, things escalated and the neighbor put up a sign personally addressing Mrs. Alito and blaming her for the Jan 6th attacks.

    Justice Alito says he and his wife were walking in the neighborhood and there were words between Mrs. Alito and a male at the home with the sign. Alito says the man engaged in vulgar language, “including the c-word.” Following that exchange, Mrs. Alito was distraught and hung the flag upside down “for a short time.” Justice Alito says some neighbors on his street are “very political” and acknowledges it was a very heated time in January 2021.

    Seems like is a very localized personal spat.

    Whereas Judge Merchan’s daughter is a high-ranking Democratic political operative who has raised millions in campaigns against Trump and the GOP.

    If you’re unwilling to delineate the two, then there’s no point in going further.

    whembly (a43e5a)

  154. Did AMI or Cohen claim the $150k paid to Karen McDougal or the $130k paid to Stormy Daniels as a campaign contribution?

    Are you really asserting that using campaign funds to pay hush money would be OK? Really?!

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  155. In the case of Gaza, the war zone does not extend offshore. But it may be mostly a talking point.

    About 150 trucks a day are going through the pier (they get transferred to another boat to be taken closer), Before the war there were some 500 trucks, including commercial ones, coming through a day, and farming has been disrupted too.

    The economy of Gaza has been severely damaged. There is an unemployment rate of 85%, compared to about 45% before October 7 (I suppose these are official figures)

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  156. Whembly,

    What about Mrs. Thomas, who seems to have the very same job as the daughter?

    Appalled (88a1a3)

  157. @156

    Whembly,

    What about Mrs. Thomas, who seems to have the very same job as the daughter?

    Appalled (88a1a3) — 5/19/2024 @ 1:01 pm

    Except Merchan’s daughter arguably has a financial interest in the outcome of the Trump case.

    You’re going to have to show me that not only Mrs. Thomas is a political advocate, which I’ll stipulate, but is also in position to reap financial interests on cases Justice Thomas’ decides.

    Can you do that?

    whembly (a43e5a)

  158. What about Mrs. Thomas, who seems to have the very same job as the daughter?

    One of the many reasons I don’t get into this kind of crap. Where do we stop?

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  159. Did AMI or Cohen claim the $150k paid to Karen McDougal or the $130k paid to Stormy Daniels as a campaign contribution?

    AMI didn’t, but its lawyers concluded that to accept reimbursement b b(which MC wanted Trump to do in some unspecified convoluted way that he was in the process of talking Trump into in the partially recorded conversation) would amount to an acknowledgment that that the contract with Karen McDougal was not made for normal business reasons but instead was an illegal corporate campaign contribution or loan without collateral.

    It is the prosecution’s contention that Michael Cohen’s payment to Stormy Daniels amounted to an illegal over the limit and unrecorded campaign contribution by himself to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to that.

    But that is only true if it was coordinated with the candidate or his campaign, and MC has claimed that 1) Trump approved the payment in advance and 2) that Trump agreed he wanted it done for purposes of the election but that contention has been destroyed under cross examination!

    Not to mention it would be irrational for Trump to do things in an illegal way when he could do it in a legal way, and he wasn’t short of money. As long as Trump had other motives besides electoral it doesn’t have to be and in fact may be illegal to, run the payment through his campaign. Cohen, presumably doesn’t have that personal motive.

    But the prosecution has it that if you don’t like that as the underlying crime being covered up, well, he’s got some other crimes.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  160. @154, No I’m claiming if Trump used his own money, there wouldn’t have been any legal problem. But once he chose not to, then it creates campaign fund raising problems. He hatched the scheme with Cohen…and he allowed the bookkeeping fraud. I’m not bending over backwards to excuse it. He won’t get any time, but he will be a felon…and maybe that will be enough to sway a few votes.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  161. @149 I can tell you all about similarities, Appalled. As for differences, and why one is worse than the other, best ask yourself or Moby Nick or any NeverTrumper. Do some of the heavy lifting.

    lloyd (8f046c)

  162. If Iran believes Israel did it, even if false, there is some hope the Ayatollah may “swallow poison” and end all the wars and that Netanyahu may meet all the conditions that Benny Gantz has set for not leaving the government ny June 8.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  163. 160. AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 5/19/2024 @ 1:20 pm

    I’m claiming if Trump used his own money, there wouldn’t have been any legal problem. But once he chose not to,

    Why would he do that? And especially expect Michael Cohen,and not somebody rich, to lay out the money? And I think Cohen claims that he expected to be reimbursed.

    . He hatched the scheme with Cohen…

    That’s just what he did not do. As crazy as it may make Michael Cohen appear to be/

    and he allowed the bookkeeping fraud.

    On that, the DA has a good casem except that sorts of “debt” was folded into the payments to Michael Cohen (reimbursement for the $130,000 paid to Stormy, reimbursement for something else, a $60,000 bonus, and enough extra to cover taxes)

    I’m not bending over backwards to excuse it. He won’t get any time, but he will be a felon…and maybe that will be enough to sway a few votes.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  164. I’m not bending over backwards to excuse it. He won’t get any time, but he will be a felon…and maybe that will be enough to sway a few votes.

    If convicted, the main effect will be that he won’t be able to vote for himself in Florida.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  165. In the case of Gaza, the war zone does not extend offshore.

    I’d like to see the Israeli reaction if Iran tried landing supplies by sea.

    Rip Murdock (db1a35)

  166. And being unable to own a firearm.

    Rip Murdock (db1a35)

  167. If convicted, the main effect will be that he won’t be able to vote for himself in Florida.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e) — 5/19/2024 @ 1:43 pm.I

    And being unable to own a firearm.

    Rip Murdock (db1a35)

  168. Weird how the Jews are so easily able to circumvent the protection of Allah

    steveg (db3e28)

  169. Odd how even though most if not all of the drones and missiles shot from Iran at Israel were blessed in the name of Allah, most were easily shot down.
    Clearly the only option is to blame the Jews and hate them more

    steveg (e81d76)

  170. Or how His servants are so easily sent to Paradise.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  171. And being unable to own a firearm.

    Rip Murdock (db1a35) — 5/19/2024 @ 2:11 pm

    Give me a lifetime of Secret Service protection, and I’ll gladly surrender ownership of my firearms.

    norcal (f79d63)

  172. Hamas supporter, Pedo Joe, called for an immediate ceasefire during his commencement speech at Morehouse College. Then as an afterthought he remembered to also say that Hamas should release the hostages.

    Guess the anti-Americans/anti-Jewish contingent who run the Democrat left have him running scared.

    NJRob (3fb09c)

  173. Shouldn’t the Jews and the US be praised for all those they’ve sent to an early Paradise?
    I’m clearly not understanding the logic tree

    steveg (db3e28)

  174. From Gabriel Noronha on twitter (X)

    My thoughts are with the
    @washingtonpost
    obituary team in this difficult time as they fiercely debate whether to call Ebrahim Raisi an “austere religious scholar”, a “patriotic anti-Zionist leader” or a “zealous anti-corruption crusader”.

    steveg (db3e28)

  175. Israel’s war leadership is in disarray:

    In a televised address Wednesday, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (a member of the war cabinet) told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he must take “tough decisions” to advance non-Hamas governance of Gaza, whatever the personal or political cost, because the gains of the war are being eroded and Israel’s long-term security is at stake.
    ……..
    Gallant specified that failing to find a replacement for Hamas in the Gaza Strip will undermine Israel’s military achievements, as the terror group would be able to regroup and reassert control. “As long as Hamas retains control over civilian life in Gaza, it may rebuild and strengthen, thus requiring the IDF to return and fight in areas where it has already operated.

    We must dismantle Hamas’ governing capabilities in Gaza. The key to this goal is military action, and the establishment of a governing alternative in Gaza,” he said.

    “In the absence of such an alternative, only two negative options remain: Hamas’s rule in Gaza or Israeli military rule in Gaza,” Gallant warned. “The meaning of indecision is choosing one of the negative options. It would erode our military achievements, reduce the pressure on Hamas, and sabotage the chances of achieving a framework for the release of hostages,” he said.

    “The end of the military campaign must come together with political action. The ‘day after Hamas’ will only be achieved with Palestinian entities taking control of Gaza, accompanied by international actors, establishing a governing alternative to Hamas’s rule. This, above all, is an interest of the State of Israel,” he said. “Unfortunately, this issue was not raised for discussion, and worse, no alternative was brought up in its place.”

    “Indecision is, in essence, a decision. This leads to a dangerous course, which promotes the idea of Israeli military and civilian governance in Gaza,” he warned. “This is a negative and dangerous option for the State of Israel — strategically, militarily, and from a security standpoint.”

    “[Should this be the decision], military rule in Gaza would become the main security and military effort of the State of Israel over the coming years, at the expense of other arenas. The price paid would be bloodshed and victims, as well as a heavy economic price,” Gallant argued.

    “I will not agree to the establishment of Israeli military administration in Gaza. Israel must not exercise civilian control in Gaza,” he stated bluntly.
    ……….
    Gallant said: “I call on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make a decision and declare that Israel will not exercise civilian rule in the Gaza Strip because no Israeli military administration will be established in Gaza and that an alternative government to Hamas in the Gaza Strip will be advanced immediately. That is our obligation and responsibility in order to lead the state to a better place.”
    ………
    Netanyahu and his government have long faced criticism over their refusal to make a plan for the management of the Strip after the war, and the prime minister has refused to hold substantive cabinet discussions on the matter due to concerns they could collapse his coalition amid opposition from the far-right.
    ……….
    Responding to Gallant, Netanyahu adamantly declared that neither Fatah, the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s party, nor Hamas, would be responsible for Gaza after the war.
    ………..
    “I am not prepared to switch from Hamastan to Fatahstan,” he said, referencing the Fatah-dominated PA.
    ………..
    “The Palestinian Authority supports terror, educates for terror, funds terror. And so the first condition for preparing the ground for another party is to eliminate Hamas and to do so without excuses,” Netanyahu added.

    Netanyahu has rejected efforts to include the PA in postwar planning, arguing that the more moderate foil to Hamas, which publicly backs a two-state solution, is no different from the Gaza-ruling terror group in that it too refuses to accept Israel’s existence and promotes hatred of the Jewish state.
    ………..
    “Until it becomes clear that Hamas doesn’t rule Gaza militarily, no actor will be ready to accept upon himself the civil rule of Gaza out of fear for his own safety,” Netanyahu argued (in an earlier statement).

    He said that any discussions of the “day after” are meaningless until Hamas is defeated.
    …….
    “There is no alternative to a military victory,” Netanyahu said. “The attempt to bypass it with all sorts of claims is simply detached from reality. There is only one alternative to victory — defeat. A military and diplomatic defeat, a national defeat. My government will never agree to this.
    …………

    More disarray:

    A key member of Israel’s war cabinet said Saturday he would quit the government in three weeks if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not advance a plan to replace Hamas in Gaza.

    The ultimatum by Benny Gantz, a former army chief and current minister in Israel’s three-member war cabinet, reflects growing discontent among Israel’s leadership about the protracted war in Gaza and Netanyahu’s far-right political partners. The move could pose a significant challenge to the stability of Netanyahu’s government.
    ……….
    In his speech and in a letter to Netanyahu on Saturday, Gantz presented a six-point plan he demanded the prime minister adopt by June 8: Prioritizing the return of Israeli hostages from Gaza; returning Israeli civilians displaced by fighting near the restive Lebanon border to their homes by September; advancing a normalization deal for diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia; creating a governing body, overseen by the U.S., European and Arab parties, and unspecified Palestinians, to manage Gaza’s civilian affairs after the war; and agreeing to a law for equal military and national service including ultra-Orthodox Jews who have long been exempt.
    ………
    Gantz, a centrist, said if Netanyahu did not agree to his plan, he would quit the government and seek an agreed-upon date for early national elections.

    Netanyahu relies on the support of far-right politicians for his governing coalition, many of whom have a different vision for Gaza’s future: to encourage Palestinians to leave and to claim the territory as Israeli by building Jewish settlements there. Some of them also say Israel’s military campaign in Gaza takes precedence to a negotiated deal with Hamas for the return of Israeli hostages.
    ……….

    Arab countries, including those on the Gulf, have rejected participating in any governing organization over Gaza; and certainly there is no chance the US would also would do so. Ruling a post-war Gaza is Israel’s problem.

    And

    IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi tore into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during security consultations over the weekend for failing to develop and announce a so-called “day after” strategy for who will rule Gaza after the war, according to a Saturday evening Hebrew news report.

    “We are now operating once again in Jabaliya. As long as there’s no diplomatic process to develop a governing body in the Strip that isn’t Hamas, we’ll have to launch campaigns again and again in other places to dismantle Hamas’s infrastructure,” Halevi was quoted by Channel 13 (in Israel) as saying. “It will be a Sisyphean task.”
    ……….
    Separately, Channel 12 (Israel) news reported that Netanyahu also recently tussled with Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar over the issue of strategic planning, after the latter told the prime minister that he had met with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for talks “that took into account all the fronts and considerations.”

    “What?! You are holding strategic deliberations with the defense minister?” Netanyahu reportedly responded, interrupting Bar.

    The report said that Netanyahu then noted that both the Shin Bet and Mossad are subordinate to him, not Gallant, who in turn hit back at the premier.

    “You’re preventing the defense minister from holding strategic deliberations? Who else will hold them if not us?” Gallant was reported to have said.
    ……….
    The IDF is currently operating again in the northern Gaza city of Jabaliya, having already captured it during the first months of Israel’s ground offensive in the territory following Hamas’s October 7 invasion and atrocities. The new campaign was launched after the IDF said it identified attempts by Hamas to regroup in the city.

    The IDF is also operating once again in Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood, after similarly identifying Hamas regrouping there. Five soldiers were killed battling Hamas in Zeitoun on Friday.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (9d17d9)

  176. Whembly —

    If the financial interest is “I get more business if my side wins”, then Ms. Thomas has the same set of incentives in play if Trump gets his cases delayed by a Supreme Court majority.

    Also, do you allege a kickback from the daughter to Dad. (Sort of like the Hunter Biden allegations)? That actually makes the situations equivalent, because if Mrs Thomas does well, Justice Thomas does well.

    Just wondering the nature of mud you are willing to throw, and the kind you are willing to ignore.

    Appalled (07f6f5)

  177. Wouldn’t it be more remarkable if the 3 of them were in lock step?
    They are conducting warfare in a densely populated urban area, during a US election year, under a world microscope, the lens of which is tinted with sophisticated propaganda.
    Given the circumstances, I expect them to disagree vehemently at times.
    The Democrats started stabbing GWB in the back before all the ash was done falling

    steveg (db3e28)

  178. Here is a Ginni Thomas story. Don’t you think this Highly Comflicted judge with the highly conflicted wife needs to step away from the Supreme Court?

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/how-troubling-are-the-payments-and-gifts-to-ginni-and-clarence-thomas

    Appalled (07f6f5)

  179. 2020 was a strange election with COVID and the massive changes involved in how we conducted that election.
    Lots of people thought it was sketchy. Some people took it too far on J6. Even if Mrs Alito did fly a flag upside down in protest over how the elections were conducted, so what?
    My wife does stuff I don’t agree with all the time and I just let it play itself out. She does the same for my dumbasseries

    steveg (db3e28)

  180. Hours later, and after nightfall, there is still no word on what is the status of the people aboard the Iranian plane – it is not even clear whether they found the plane. There is said to have been a cellphone that answered, The Foreign Minister and other cabinet officials were said to have been aboard the plane, which was returning from a visit to Azerbaijan.

    There was heavy fog and it is described as having sustained a hard landing (but not a crash landing) The president of Iran is described as a hard liner and a possible successor to Khamenei.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  181. steveg (db3e28) — 5/19/2024 @ 3:48 pm

    I assume that you’re not a high government official; correct me if I’m wrong.

    Rip Murdock (015f6e)

  182. In his speech and in a letter to Netanyahu on Saturday, Gantz presented a six-point plan he demanded the prime minister adopt by June 8: Prioritizing the return of Israeli hostages from Gaza; returning Israeli civilians displaced by fighting near the restive Lebanon border to their homes by September; advancing a normalization deal for diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia; creating a governing body, overseen by the U.S., European and Arab parties, and unspecified Palestinians, to manage Gaza’s civilian affairs after the war; and agreeing to a law for equal military and national service including ultra-Orthodox Jews who have long been exempt.

    He knows that getting the first four is, for now, impossible, and even getting the first two can be achieved only by agreeing to Hamas’s terms – maybe. He’s just trying to fool Israeli voters.

    As Netanyahu says you’ll only know what Arab countries will agree to AFTER a military defeat of Hamas.

    “Until it becomes clear that Hamas doesn’t rule Gaza militarily, no actor will be ready to accept upon himself the civil rule of Gaza out of fear for his own safety,” Netanyahu argued (in an earlier statement).

    He said that any discussions of the “day after” are meaningless until Hamas is defeated.…….

    The only way all of that is possible is for Iran to agree to it.

    . And the draft law is another way to split Netanyahu’s coalition

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  183. I assume that you’re not a high government official; correct me if I’m wrong.

    Rip Murdock (015f6e) — 5/19/2024 @ 3:55 pm

    We aren’t privy to the state of their marriage. Maybe he didn’t want to risk divorce by getting into it over her upside-down flag.

    Now, one can make the country-over-wife argument, but there are many men who wouldn’t be willing or even capable to take a stand like that.

    norcal (f79d63)

  184. The economy of Gaza has been severely damaged. There is an unemployment rate of 85%, compared to about 45% before October 7

    The correct figure is a 74% unemployment rate, and a 86% decline in GDP in the last quarter of 2023, 45% unemployment before the war. From a report by the World Bank, European Union and United Nations,

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  185. An upside down flag can be prompted by manyn things and we don’t have the date it waas put up

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  186. Here is a Ginni Thomas story. Don’t you think this Highly Comflicted judge with the highly conflicted wife needs to step away from the Supreme Court?

    No.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  187. An upside down flag

    I had a flag decal upside down on my car after Clinton escaped impeachment.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  188. Clinton escaped impeachment.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/19/2024 @ 4:23 pm

    I think you mean conviction.

    norcal (f79d63)

  189. As for the trial, I reiterate that after 230 years of this Constitution, this is the first such trial and it’s hardly high crimes. In fact all the crimes had to be boosted up from low ones by legal malarkey.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  190. I think you mean conviction

    He was impeached, but he escaped.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  191. If Mr. Justice Alito himself walked out of his house today in front of cameras and put the upside down flag up, that would certainly appear inappropriate. I imagine he’d be treated like this judge was, wet noodle and all. Let’s get real folks, this has nothing to do with politically flammable gestures by a family member of a high government official. This is about who’s making the gesture and whether they have a D or R after their name, and how much hypocrisy one can flaunt and still be taken seriously. Give it up.

    lloyd (9f3531)

  192. I wonder if there has ever been a case of a judge’s wife giving him hell at home over a decision.

    steveg (db3e28)

  193. Given the amount of taxes I paid last year, I should at least carry a minor local title similar to viscount of insert defunct monarchy here

    steveg (db3e28)

  194. Given the amount of taxes I paid last year, I should at least carry a minor local title similar to viscount of insert defunct monarchy here

    steveg (db3e28) — 5/19/2024 @ 5:00 pm

    Don’t you live in Santa Barbara? Paradise tax.

    norcal (f79d63)

  195. Don’t you live in Santa Barbara? Paradise tax.

    Is that where Ebrahim Raisi is going?

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  196. @122 we agree on this. Also clinton should not have survived impeachment and mtg should have had her bleach bottle taken away.

    asset (0273a1)

  197. @177 you mean like voting for dubya’s hair brain scheme to invade Iraq and allowing him to fire gen. shinseki who complained about invading a country on the cheap and still voted for the war. Ted kennady said it was the best vote he ever made when he voted against it as did viet nam vet sen. chuck hagel.

    asset (0273a1)

  198. Shinseki pre-announced retirement and then did so

    steveg (db3e28)

  199. I do live there, and I do pay. I hope not to see Ebrahim Raisi here in any state. Most of the Iranian people here are not fans of the current leadership

    steveg (db3e28)

  200. Hi Kevin M,

    My question was directed at Whembly, because he’s the guy who thinks the job Judge Merchan’s daughter is important and offensive. I’m curious how far he wants to take that principle.

    Appalled (b75930)

  201. Appalled,

    I wasn’t sniping at you, but on the whole conspiracy logic suggesting offspring, neighbors, friends or pets influencing the actions of a public figure.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  202. Anyone who’s been married knows that Justice Thomas or Alito are probably not in full control of their partners actions, beliefs or emails. Jeez, my wife buys 1:1,000,000,000 homeopathic solutions when she knows I’m not looking.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  203. we agree on this. Also clinton should not have survived impeachment and mtg should have had her bleach bottle taken away.

    asset (0273a1) — 5/19/2024 @ 5:42 pm

    Are you wearing fake eyelashes in solidarity with your squadette?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  204. A bleach blond, a bimbo and a opportunist walk into a bar. The bar tender says hello congresswomen green and boebert is that gov. noem behind you?

    asset (0273a1)

  205. Iran crash: It was a helicopter, not an airplane, and they’ve now said he’s dead. It haad 9 passengers, and it crashed outside of Iran (probably sideways)

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  206. Defined areas of hatred. If you try to keep a foot in both camps, they run the barbed wire through you.

    Is this the plan of both parties? To motivate their respective wings, demoralize the middle, and have the election decided only by the partisans?

    nk (9a7590)

  207. @178

    Here is a Ginni Thomas story. Don’t you think this Highly Comflicted judge with the highly conflicted wife needs to step away from the Supreme Court?

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/how-troubling-are-the-payments-and-gifts-to-ginni-and-clarence-thomas

    Appalled (07f6f5) — 5/19/2024 @ 3:44 pm

    No.

    And you should feel bad for using the New Yorker as a source.

    whembly (b00359)

  208. @200

    Hi Kevin M,

    My question was directed at Whembly, because he’s the guy who thinks the job Judge Merchan’s daughter is important and offensive. I’m curious how far he wants to take that principle.

    Appalled (b75930) — 5/19/2024 @ 7:07 pm

    Hi Appalled.

    My principle is solid.

    Good day sir.

    whembly (b00359)

  209. It is repugnant to use a child’s affiliations to impeach the parent. It’s the kind of thing that only arises in the fevered swamps of the inner tribes, right and left.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  210. @209

    It is repugnant to use a child’s affiliations to impeach the parent. It’s the kind of thing that only arises in the fevered swamps of the inner tribes, right and left.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/20/2024 @ 7:53 am

    Is it though?

    You have to be a democrat operative to even get a set in NY state court.

    The issue is this: Can this Judge show that he can set aside his bias and adjudicate in a non-partisan manner?

    So far, he’s doing a poor job in convincing me that.

    whembly (b00359)

  211. So, whembly, you argue that there are literally no legitimate judges in this country, as all are appointed or elected in a partisan process.

    When people talk about an attack on the Rule of Law, this is the kind of crap they are talking about.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  212. Your principle is that Biden is awful, Trump is less so, and all else takes second, third, fourth priority. Thought I’d get confirmation that you are done with intellectual honesty for the duration.

    Too bad. Makes you far less persuasive or interesting.

    Appalled (88a1a3)

  213. @211

    So, whembly, you argue that there are literally no legitimate judges in this country, as all are appointed or elected in a partisan process.

    When people talk about an attack on the Rule of Law, this is the kind of crap they are talking about.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/20/2024 @ 8:04 am

    No. I’m saying in this case, the judge should not be presiding.

    whembly (b00359)

  214. https://nypost.com/2024/05/20/world-news/benjamin-netanyahu-seeks-arrest-warrant-for-gaza-war-crimes/

    Here’s what international socialism gets you. Choose wisely

    NJRob (b8c78c)

  215. @212

    Your principle is that Biden is awful, Trump is less so, and all else takes second, third, fourth priority. Thought I’d get confirmation that you are done with intellectual honesty for the duration.

    Too bad. Makes you far less persuasive or interesting.

    Appalled (88a1a3) — 5/20/2024 @ 8:05 am

    Likewise.

    Ta.

    whembly (b00359)

  216. Appalled,

    you are so blinded by your hatred of Trump that you’ve gone whole hog on supporting the left. You claim you don’t support their policies, but every word you write is defending their actions because “Trump tried to steal my vote.”

    You have lost the plot.

    NJRob (b8c78c)

  217. No. I’m saying in this case, the judge should not be presiding.

    Because he was appointing in a political process. Or do you have other arguments based on other factors?

    The problem in this case is mostly not the judge. It’s the DA being overtly political and the state laws being such that a DA can turn eating a ham sandwich into a felony.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  218. #216

    I didn’t lose the plot. The GOP has lost the founders.

    Appalled (6f687e)

  219. That person can’t represent my core beliefs because they are non committal when cornered about Trump therefore I shall vote for the Democrat.

    Trump is amazing. He’s made peoples “rock solid core conservative beliefs” into tradable fungible commodities.

    I have this odd semi-religious belief that people are imperfect, often very much so. But they can still carry on my core beliefs. For example, from Sunday School I learned about Moses the murderer who beat someone to death on Fifth Avenue back in Egypt who came down from a mountain carrying ten of my core beliefs. My people picker doesn’t screen for perfect anymore and I blame Mrs. Marble at the Baptist church. (my right earlobe is still quite a but longer from her grabbing it and dragging me into sunday school. She’ll probably ne in heaven, which I find unfair)

    steveg (ecfc25)

  220. “be in heaven” which I find unfair, but would still like to go given the alternative

    steveg (ecfc25)

  221. I guess my view is “very religious not semi religious.

    I’m serious about the comparison of heaven. I’m confident there will be people there who I think are rat bastards. Their opinion of me of course will be stellar

    steveg (ecfc25)

  222. Did I just see right that Cohen, on the stand under oath, admitted to stealing $30,000 from Trump?
    There’s probably more nuance to the story but..

    steveg (ecfc25)

  223. @222

    Did I just see right that Cohen, on the stand under oath, admitted to stealing $30,000 from Trump?
    There’s probably more nuance to the story but..

    steveg (ecfc25) — 5/20/2024 @ 9:21 am

    I suspect the grand larnecy statute of limitation has already expired for Cohen.

    whembly (86df54)

  224. I didn’t lose the plot. The GOP has lost the founders.

    If only it was that simple. The problem is that, somewhere around 2010, both the Democrat and Republican parties had similar goals: increase the value of stocks and the corporations they were based on. The Clintons, Bushes, Romneys and such all favored open trade and open borders and really only differed in how they would regulate corporate activity. Sure they differed markedly on social rules, but to the capitalists those are just eyewash.

    As the corporations got richer and shuttered high-cost plants in the US and moved their manufacturing to China and India, the people who used to have those jobs — mostly in what are now “red” states — began hurting. This had been going on more slowly before but the crash of 2008 stepped up the bleeding. They even started bringing in low-cost labor from abroad when they could ship the jobs themselves.

    And the band played on.

    “Trump” is simply the guy who stood up and said “No mas!” Everyone else had fumbled the ball. He could have easily done that in the Democrat Party, with some changes to social rhetoric. And he caught a populist wave that could no longer be repressed.

    What we are seeing is a political realignment. What it will turn into is unclear, and will be until Trump leaves the scene, but it won’t ever be 2010 anymore. Even Biden has co-opted much of Trump’s economic agenda, increasing tariffs on China, using federal clout to return manufacturing and shorty will return to his immigration policies and “save” Trump’s tax cuts.

    Biden’s whole campaign is to paint Trump as a monster while using Trump’s policies in Democrat clothing. The difference between the two parties now is 1) social attitudes and 2) mild vs robust statism.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  225. whembly

    I realize the prosecution has to use what they’ve got, but Cohen is becoming unhelpful

    steveg (ecfc25)

  226. @225

    whembly

    I realize the prosecution has to use what they’ve got, but Cohen is becoming unhelpful

    steveg (ecfc25) — 5/20/2024 @ 10:33 am

    I mean, Cohen just testified under oath (ha!) that he stole $30,000 from Trump organization.

    I mean, what is that going to do to the jury?

    whembly (86df54)

  227. So, Red Lobster files for Chapter 11, and it seems that their massive promotion of bargains on shrimp was a prime culprit. After a number of changes over the last few years, guess who is owner of privately-held Red Lobster?

    Thai Union, their shrimp supplier.

    In 2014, Darden sold off Red Lobster to Golden Gate Capital, a private equity firm, for $2.1 billion. Since 2020, seafood distributor Thai Union Group, based in Thailand, has been the largest Red Lobster shareholder. Thai Union owns 49% of the company….

    Former Red Lobster employees say Thai Union’s cost-cutting efforts and strategy mistakes hurt the chain.

    “Thai Union forced huge cost reductions, including many that were penny wise and pound foolish because they hurt sales,” a former Red Lobster executive who spoke under the condition of anonymity because of a non-disclosure agreement with the company told CNN earlier this month. Thai Union did not respond to requests for comment on that article.

    Red Lobster executives began to run for the doors under Thai Union’s management, resulting in a huge amount of C-suite churn. Red Lobster has had five CEOs since 2021. In 2021 and 2022, Red Lobster brought on a new CEO, chief marketing officer, chief financial officer and chief information officer. All were gone within two years.

    Last summer, under Thai Union, Red Lobster turned $20 endless shrimp into a permanent item on the menu for the first time, instead of its traditional limited-time offer deal. The change cost the company $11 million and cut into Thai Union profit. In its bankruptcy filing, Red Lobster said it is investigating the circumstances of that promotion, which the company’s management opposed.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  228. To that jury? Probably nothing

    steveg (ecfc25)

  229. Hey, if we are talking about spouses and their politics, just last week George Clooney hosted a fundraiser for President Biden.

    Today we hear that his wife, Amal Clooney (a British and UN barrister) was one of a panel that unanimously recommended ICC arrest warrants for Benjamin Netanyahu and Yoav Gallant. She is also a professor at Columbia Law School.

    Biden should return all the money that George Clooney collected for him!

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  230. “The change cost the company $11 million and cut into Thai Union profit” Did it?
    Did Thai Union get paid for their shrimp or are they amongst the unpaid vendors who will get paid pennies on the dollar- years later- out of the bankruptcy settlement?

    Thai Union seems to be good at running ocean going sweat shops and for some reason thought that skill set would translate into the hospitality industry… sometimes vertical integration is harder than it looks on paper

    steveg (ecfc25)

  231. Michael Cohen confirms he wants to run for Congress
    Should be seamless

    steveg (ecfc25)

  232. Nate,

    Do you still think Cohen’s testimony is great for the prosecution and everything is above board?

    NJRob (b8c78c)

  233. RIP (sort of) stock trader and inspiration for Gordon Gekko, Ivan Boseky (87):

    ………..
    The son of a Detroit delicatessen owner, Boesky was once considered one of the richest and most influential risk-takers on Wall Street. He had parlayed $700,000 from his late mother-in-law’s estate into a fortune estimated at more than $200 million, hurtling him into the ranks of Forbes magazine’s list of the 400 richest Americans.

    But once implicated in insider trading, Boesky cooperated with a brash young US attorney named Rudolph Giuliani in a bid for leniency, uncovering a scandal that shattered promising careers, blemished some of the most respected US investment brokerages and injected a certain paranoia into the securities industry.

    Working undercover, Boesky secretly taped three conversations with Michael Milken, the so-called “junk bond king” whose work with Drexel Burnham Lambert had revolutionized the credit markets. Milken eventually pleaded guilty to six felonies and served 22 months in prison, while Boesky paid a $100 million fine and spent 20 months in a minimum-security California prison nicknamed “Club Fed” beginning in March 1988.
    ………
    Boesky was an arbitrageur, a risk-taker who made millions by betting on stocks thought to be the target of corporate takeovers. But some of his tips came from within the mergers and acquisitions departments of Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. and Kidder, Peabody & Co.

    Dennis Levine of Drexel and Martin Siegal of Kidder, Peabody fed Boesky confidential information in return for promised cut of profits of either 1 or 5 percent.

    Boesky paid Siegal $700,000 in three installments, with a courier delivering briefcases full of cash at three clandestine meetings on a street corner and in the lobby of the Plaza Hotel. Boesky had made millions on Siegal’s tips, which included word that Getty Oil and Carnation Co. were ripe for a takeovers.
    ……….
    Levine was arrested before his payout could come, tripped up by his own insider trading. Facing harsh penalties under the government’s racketeering statutes, Levine told everything. And Boesky sang as well, providing information leading to convictions or guilty pleas in cases involving former stockbroker Boyd Jefferies, Siegel, four executives of Britain’s Guinness PLC, takeover strategist Paul Bilzerian, stock speculator Salim Lewis and others.

    The biggest fish was Milken, the pioneering financier who had transformed the capital markets in the 1970s with a new form of bond that allowed thousands of mid-sized companies to raise money.
    ……….
    At his 1987 sentencing Boesky’s lawyer quoted his psychiatrist as saying Boesky “has begun to recognize that he suffered from an abnormal and compulsive need to prove himself, to overcome some sense of inadequacy or inferiority that is rooted in his childhood.”
    ……….

    Nobody likes a rat.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  234. nk (9a7590) — 5/20/2024 @ 5:10 am

    It certainly feels that way to me, sir.

    felipe (599ae5)

  235. I keep a basket of biotech stocks that I think are future takeover targets. I skew the odds in my favor by choosing companies that have heavy interest by activist hedge funds.
    I’ve hit a couple home runs but have also had more than a few go Red Lobster on me. Nothing like waking up on a Monday and seeing I’m wiped out.
    So I see why people want to cheat. I’m glad I’m not in a position to be able to because the pull of money (and simple winning) can be insidious. Sometimes I wonder which of the activists is cheating, not if one is. Hundreds of millions at stake.
    There are a couple of guys in the business I really admire. Are they clean or are they Barry Bonds? I really hope they are doing it clean

    steveg (ecfc25)

  236. I see Ukrainians are being very public about pushing to use US weapons inside Russia. So far they have not mentioned Belarus. Taking it out into public this loudly puts US in a bad spot. Plausible deniability is now out the window.

    steveg (ecfc25)

  237. Maybe I’m late to the story, but isn’t it kinda unnecessary to point to Merchan’s daughter when Judge Merchan himself donated to the Biden campaign and some outfit helpfully called “Stop Republicans”? But what triggers us is an upside down flag put up by a spouse dealing with an unhinged neighbor?

    lloyd (8f046c)

  238. Standard range of Russian 152mm artillery means they can sit safely in Russia and shell Ukrainian positions in Kharkiv
    https://x.com/StateOfUkraine/status/1792432476540801151/photo/1

    steveg (ecfc25)

  239. @146 Kevin, my point isn’t that H. Biden didn’t break the law. He did. I have no problem with him going to jail for it. My point is that were he not the president’s son, his laptop wouldn’t have become public knowledge, his crack smoking, his tax issues, none of it would have come to light. He was gone after because he is attached to a public figure.

    I think it’s very analogous to the current Trump in NY trial, in which Trump broke the law, but none of it would have come to light if he hadn’t been a public figure. I think going after family members of politicians (not inventing charges, but shining a spotlight on them) is a problem, just as much as going after a politician on charges that would not have otherwise been brought is a problem.

    @232 Yes? I mean, he’s a central figure to the prosecution, and they were able to corroborate most of the important things he testified to with other means. Did the defense muddy him? Yes. Cohen is a dirt bag, and it’s easy to make a dirt bag seem like a dirt bag. But they never contradicted his testimony or even provided a viable alternative to the facts at hand he testified to.

    Nate (cfb326)

  240. Russian antiair gunfire goes horizontal. They get a hit, but maybe a good idea to get into a cast iron bath tub on the bottom floor

    https://x.com/i/status/1792114546875973835

    steveg (ecfc25)

  241. Would YouTube do this if it were the US government asking?

    https://x.com/JayinKyiv/status/1792580265203638350/photo/1

    steveg (ecfc25)

  242. Get out the pitchforks- Alito crosses the Rubicon

    “Alito sold between $1,000 and $15,000 of AB InBev’s stock, and bought Molson Coors in the same price range on the same day, according to a financial disclosure filing for the justice.”

    So he sold “Budweiser” at the beginning of a boycott and bought Molson Coors instead.

    steveg (ecfc25)

  243. In the cross-examination today Michael Cohen admitted that the bill he gave to Donald Trump was padded. In redirect, he said that Trump really owed him the money, so that only the itemization was wrong.

    The prosecution rested its case (the missing witness, whom they might have calked, but dropped awhile ago, was Karen McDougal.)

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  244. https://today.yougov.com/politics/articles/49109-many-dislike-both-biden-trump-polls-vote

    This close race among voters who have unfavorable opinions of both candidates is a change from the 2020 contest between Biden and Trump, when Biden had a consistent lead among voters who disliked both candidates.

    I think this is a meaningless statistic, as people can have a dislike for all sorts of different reasons and the strengths when people use that word, or a similar word (unfavorable opinion) are not the same every time that opinion is agreed to.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  245. Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/20/2024 @ 10:30 am

    Biden’s whole campaign is to paint Trump as a monster while using Trump’s policies in Democrat clothing.

    The Trump policies that poll well, or enough of them so that it can be seen as no different.

    he difference between the two parties now is 1) social attitudes and 2) mild vs robust statism.

    There’s another element. He endorses things that Trump does not where those things he endorse poll well, `or at least poll well among people who might vote for him:

    Abortion, less carbon dioxide emissions, student loan forgiveness, and “jobs”

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  246. I think that the verdict in the Trump trial will depend greatly on the jury instructions.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  247. Trump, if convicted, is almost certain to have the verdict overturned on the basis that the jury instructions were wrong.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  248. 241. steveg (ecfc25) — 5/20/2024 @ 12:44 pm

    Would YouTube do this if it were the US government asking?

    No, because Russian law is different from U.S. law. They are not doing this because they want to.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  249. @237, from the article you linked it doesn’t look like evidence of bias…if this is a measure of his partisan zeal.

    Merchan made a $15 donation to Biden’s election campaign in 2020, a $10 donation to a group called “Stop Republicans” and a $10 donation to a “Progressive Turnout Project,” according to data from the Federal Election Commiss

    Time123 (72794c)

  250. https://www.newser.com/story/350572/michael-cohen-yes-i-stole-from-trump-organization.html

    Cohen acknowledged that he sought a $50,000 reimbursement for a payment he made to a tech company, even though his outlay was only $20,000.

    “You stole from the Trump Organization, right?” Blanche asked. (The amount stolen was actually $60,000 because the money was doubled to cover taxes Cohen might owe.)

    “Yes, sir,” Cohen replied.

    This is what this is about:

    On a bank statement he happened to have handy, Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg wrote down an itemization of the amount of money he agreed that Donald Trump should give Michael Cohen in the guise of legal fees.

    This was:

    $130,000 that he paid Stormy Daniels
    $050,000 that Michael Cohen said he paid the tech company
    ————-
    $180,000 total
    x2 (to cover taxes)
    ————–
    $360,000
    +$60,000 (Bonus MC claimed he should have gotten in 2016)
    ————
    $420,000

    This $420,000 was (later?) divided by 12 to constitute 12monthly payments of #35,000 each.

    The payments for January and February 2017 were combined because this started late.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  251. @249 Time123, I didn’t see a comment of yours upthread pouring water on the Alito upside down flag being a trigger worthy gesture. To turn a flag upside down doesn’t cost a cent, so I guess you agree it’s ridiculous to get uptight about it and you just forgot to comment on it.

    lloyd (20b847)

  252. Attorney Susan Hoffinger asked Cohen, whose annual bonus had been reduced, why he took the extra money. “I was angry because of the reduction in the bonus, and so I felt it was almost like self-help,” Cohen said, per the Hill.

    But then, he got the bonus also!

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  253. And it’s good to know Alito can contribute $15 to the Stop the Steal campaign without being accused of bias.

    lloyd (20b847)

  254. https://www.newser.com/story/350573/biden-move-against-netanyahu-outrageous.html

    President Biden has been walking the line between supporting Israel and criticizing its Gaza attack, but on Monday he came down firmly on Benjamin Netanyahu’s side. Biden called the decision by the top prosecutor at the International Criminal Court to seek an arrest warrant for the Israeli leader “outrageous,” reports Fox News. “And let me be clear: whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence—none—between Israel and Hamas,” Biden said. “We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement with similar sentiments, notes the Washington Post

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  255. @252

    Attorney Susan Hoffinger asked Cohen, whose annual bonus had been reduced, why he took the extra money. “I was angry because of the reduction in the bonus, and so I felt it was almost like self-help,” Cohen said, per the Hill.

    But then, he got the bonus also!

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb) — 5/20/2024 @ 1:44 pm

    So Grand Larnecy is inapt.

    It’s technically embezzlement… and the cherry on top is that he told the prosecution team about that.

    The prosecution not only put a convicted perjurer on the stand… but, someone who admitted to an embezzlement scheme that the prosecution chose to overlook.

    whembly (86df54)

  256. @255 The prosecution knows what sort of jury they have.

    lloyd (8f046c)

  257. Robert Costello as been called as a witness (their second witness) by the Trump defense and now Judge Marchan says closing arguments might be next week Tuesday. He got admonished by the judge for improper decorum (openly letting it be known that he disagreed with rulings by the judge) and the jury and even the press was sent out of the courtroom.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  258. whembly (86df54) — 5/20/2024 @ 2:03 pm

    someone who admitted to an embezzlement scheme that the prosecution chose to overlook.

    Well, it’s technically not embezzlement (or whatever padding your expense account would be) if the amount paid to Michael Cohen – by Donald Trump not the Trump Organization) were properly categorized as legal fees and legally had no connection for whatever reasons Michael Cohen gave for asking for that amount.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  259. There’s an argument to be made that if MC billed for legal fees(and he sent bills every month) then that’s what they truly were.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  260. Legal fees don’t have to be reasonable.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  261. if only things were always as simple and clear-cut as when mr. former president donald trump stormed the winter palace with melania’s grandfather

    i wonder if he misses those days

    nk (c17192)

  262. The Mexican presidential election is on June 2, 2024, and almost nobody knows.

    There was also a presidential election (first round) in the Dominican Republic sunday, with many US residents voting.

    Sammy Finkelman (e0dccb)

  263. @251, I haven’t followed the flag story as it does seem silly. But so was your comment. If you want to do a “whatabout” at least pick something serious.

    Time123 (2ebb8f)

  264. “Legal fees don’t have to be reasonable.”

    My fees aren’t either but the demand for my time exceeds the supply

    steveg (ecfc25)

  265. Crime is down
    DC Police Capt. shot in apparent carjacking attempt at high noon
    https://thenationalpulse.com/2024/05/20/d-c-police-captain-shot-five-blocks-from-his-district-station/

    steveg (ecfc25)

  266. Out:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Martin Gruenberg bowed to pressure to resign from the bank regulator after an external investigation found widespread sexual harassment at the agency and lawmakers of both parties berated his leadership.

    In an email to staff Monday, Gruenberg said he would resign once a successor had been confirmed, avoiding a scenario that would leave FDIC Vice Chairman Travis Hill, a Republican, as the agency’s acting chairman.
    ……….
    Gruenberg’s announcement comes hours after the Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee called for new leadership at the FDIC, becoming the most powerful Democrat to seek Gruenberg’s ouster after a report, commissioned in response to a Journal investigation, found allegations of widespread sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying.
    ……….
    On May 7, the law firm Cleary Gottlieb released a 234-page report that described a “patriarchal, insular, and risk-averse culture” at the agency, where management responses to misconduct have been “insufficient and ineffective.” It included examples of egregious misconduct. For example, one employee said she was sexually harassed for six years by a more senior examiner who sent her text messages of partially clothed women, including one with the words “get naked B*tch.”
    ……….
    Investigators also confirmed the Journal’s reporting that multiple employees, including senior leaders, had experienced “extremely difficult and volatile” interactions with Gruenberg and that the chairman was perceived as “someone who was angry and upset and who could not control his temper.”
    ……….
    Lawmakers in both parties last week called for additional hearings focused exclusively on the agency’s culture. The GOP-led House Financial Services Committee has been conducting its own investigation into the allegations.
    ………
    In one sign of FDIC employees’ discontent, the agency fell to No. 25—from No. 17—in the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service’s ranking of best places to work, a metric the FDIC follows closely. That ranked it the second-to-last agency in its size category.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  267. Whammy, Cohen is a dishonest scumbag who’ll say anything if he thinks it’ll help him. That’s why Trump liked him. We’re not going to find many active members of a criminal conspiracy who are honest upstanding ppl. You should see the sort of horrible ppl that prosecutors call in gang cases. The jury should discount anything he says that isn’t corroborated by other evidence.

    Time123 (2ebb8f)

  268. Has there ever been a company valued at $6.6 billion (as of today) but had only $770k in revenues and a $12 million operating loss in the previous quarter?
    It smells like a world-class stock scam to me.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  269. I understand that the U.S. Attorney for SDNY investigated this case before Bragg did, and decided not to swim in the sewage.

    The other thing is that this is not a gang case, or murder, or robbery or even theft except that committed by Cohen. It is purely a malum prohibitum because “it’s the law”.

    You don’t prop up the Rule of Law with a trollop and a convicted shyster as your tools.

    nk (c17192)

  270. @270

    I understand that the U.S. Attorney for SDNY investigated this case before Bragg did, and decided not to swim in the sewage.

    The other thing is that this is not a gang case, or murder, or robbery or even theft except that committed by Cohen. It is purely a malum prohibitum because “it’s the law”.

    You don’t prop up the Rule of Law with a trollop and a convicted shyster as your tools.

    nk (c17192) — 5/20/2024 @ 3:01 pm

    But if you squint really hard nk… you should be able to see the ‘but Trump’ exception for stealing the 2016 election from Hillary.

    Its. Right. There!!

    Whycan’tyouseeitsilly?

    /sarc

    whembly (86df54)

  271. Good to see student can do things besides protest

    “the students added an ostensible balance of several million dollars into one of their laundry accounts”

    https://techcrunch.com/2024/05/17/csc-serviceworks-free-laundry-million-machines/

    steveg (ecfc25)

  272. nk (c17192) — 5/20/2024 @ 3:01 pm

    Why Did Federal Prosecutors Drop Trump’s Hush Money Case?

    ………
    ………(I)n July 2019, a bit less than a year after Cohen’s guilty plea, SDNY acknowledged in a court filing that its investigation into the campaign finance issue had “effectively concluded.” At the time, this seemed to suggest that SDNY had made an affirmative choice not to charge the president—a “declination decision,” in the language of the Justice Department.
    ………
    Without more information, it was hard to know what might have motivated SDNY not to bring the case. But there is at least one very simple explanation for why the department didn’t move forward: it couldn’t. The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel has long taken the position that a sitting president may not be criminally prosecuted. Recall, too, that SDNY announced the shuttering of the investigation just months after the publication of the Mueller Report, meaning that prosecutors in the Southern District had just watched as Special Counsel Robert Mueller contorted himself over the problem of how to describe potential criminal violations by a sitting president that nevertheless couldn’t be charged. After watching those contortions, why would SDNY want any part of that?
    ………
    (In his book “Untouchable,” former SDNY prosecutor Elie Honig) points to a number of factors that the office reportedly considered, including the “politically explosive” nature of bringing charges against a former president. Some of the other factors at work, though, might have been more workaday considerations speaking to the underlying strength of the case. Chief among them was the problem of witnesses.

    A federal prosecution of Trump on the hush-money charges would have relied heavily on Michael Cohen as a star witness—just as Bragg’s prosecution of Trump has done. ……..

    This decision may well have been shaped by the Southern District’s unusual approach to dealing with potential cooperating witnesses. Geoffrey Berman, who led the office from 2018 through 2020, describes SDNY’s practice in his memoir on his time in the office: SDNY will offer a cooperating agreement only if a would-be witness agrees to share details about any and all other criminal activity in their past, even on matters unrelated to the case at hand. Cohen, though, would not agree to this arrangement……… All this meant that the Southern District wouldn’t have been willing to put Cohen on the stand during any federal trial of Trump, making the case even more difficult to bring.
    ………..
    When it comes to the problem of absent or unreliable witnesses, though, Bragg’s office is differently situated than SDNY in important ways. Unlike the Southern District, the district attorney’s office has no policy requiring that cooperating witnesses air all their dirty laundry with prosecutors ahead of time, meaning that Bragg apparently had fewer compunctions about putting Michael Cohen on the stand. ………
    ……….
    In charging Trump under the Federal Elections Campaign Act (FECA), (SDNY) prosecutors would need to have shown that Trump “knowingly and willfully” violated the statute—that, as the Justice Department describes it, he “acted with knowledge that [his] conduct was against the law.” ……. They also would have needed to convince a jury that the hush-money payments were made specifically because of the election, rather than covering up Daniels’s and McDougal’s stories to spare Trump’s family embarrassment.
    ………
    Compare this to the structure of the New York charges against Trump under New York Penal Law § 175.10, falsifying business records in the first degree. This is a sweeping statute that, under rulings by New York courts, gives prosecutors wide leeway when it comes to the burden of proof. Despite the convoluted structure of Bragg’s legal theory, perhaps a case charged under § 175.10 simply looked easier to prove to Bragg’s team than the FECA case did to the Southern District—and, crucially, less reliant on the jury’s judgment as to the credibility of Michael Cohen.
    ……….
    The final consideration at play has to do with the different challenges faced by federal and local prosecutors. For good or for ill, the district attorney’s office is free from any direct influence by Justice Department leadership. But SDNY struggled with interference by this leadership from the beginning. Berman writes that the office had to fight back against a series of efforts by Justice Department leadership in Washington, D.C. to squash the hush-money investigation—including by stripping out references to Trump in the initial charging documents against Cohen and an aborted quest by Attorney General Bill Barr to retroactively undo Cohen’s plea deal.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  273. I think it’s very analogous to the current Trump in NY trial, in which Trump broke the law, but none of it would have come to light if he hadn’t been a public figure.

    There are points of analogy, but there are also marked differences.

    Hunter Biden was never targeted — the laptop just appeared. The thing started as an election embarrassment which Biden attempted to quash through Clintonian tactics and that backfired badly once he forced his opponents to make good their claims. Kind of the Streisand Effect — keeping an issue in the public eye rather than letting it die a natural death.

    Trump, on the other hand, was targeted for finding some crime, and they found this. Cohen was caught out in the Russia investigation lying to prosecutors and then cheating on taxes once they looked for leverage. He rolled over on Trump to get out from under.

    But even this is a weak case.

    Hunter’s illegal gun purchases and his tax evasion would be prosecuted no matter who he was (although the penalties might not have been what is no sought had the WH not been so ham-handed in its attempts at corrupt influence). Trump’s case would generally not be prosecuted as a felony and the “underlying crime” is only theoretically a crime at all — hush money as a campaign expenditure is a reach.

    Additionally, given a two-century-plus history of never prosecuting ex-presidents, this as a first-ever case is really reprehensible. So, it really is only because it was Donald Trump AND he was running to be elected again.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  274. My favorite line from this case is Cohen’s “I Violated My Moral Compass.” I expect it will be in the first paragraph of his obituary.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  275. Additionally, given a two-century-plus history of never prosecuting ex-presidents, this as a first-ever case is really reprehensible.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/20/2024 @ 4:00 pm

    If only Trump hadn’t worked to delay his federal cases so well……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  276. The Mexican presidential election is on June 2, 2024, and almost nobody knows.

    I’ve already voted.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  277. This is a sweeping statute that, under rulings by New York courts, gives prosecutors wide leeway when it comes to the burden of proof.

    Which is why the federal courts, now that they see it work, should strike the law down as unconstitutional, depriving citizens of substantive due process.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  278. Additionally, given a two-century-plus history of never prosecuting ex-presidents, this as a first-ever case is really reprehensible.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/20/2024 @ 4:00 pm

    If only Trump hadn’t worked to delay his federal cases so well……..

    This was the first case charged, so “first-ever” is correct. Or are you arguing it should be a proxy for those other cases? “Let’s hang him. He must be guilty of murder somewhere!”

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  279. So, Cohen’s attorney in 2018 testified that, after the special prosecutor searched his home and office looking for information about Trump, Cohen told him that he had nothing on Trump and all their attempts at leverage were going to fail. But apparently Cohen later remembered stuff.

    Defense attorney Emil Bove asked what Cohen said. “He made the same statement he made 10 to 12 times that day,” Costello said. He quoted Cohen saying, “I swear to God, Bob, I don’t have anything on Donald Trump.”

    Costello said Cohen was pacing and manic throughout the two-hour meeting and also discussed the payments made to actress Stormy Daniels. “He said President Trump knew nothing about those payments” to Daniels, Costello said. “He repeated this numerous times.”

    Note that you have to drill down past a lot of Merchan vs Costello stories to get to these nuggets.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  280. I disagree on the gun case-it’s rarely prosecuted as a stand alone charge for lying on the federal form. It’s usually tied to other crimes. Prosecutions for lying to a federal firearms dealer average less than 300 per year.

    In the 2019 fiscal year, when Hunter Biden purchased his gun, federal prosecutors received 478 referrals for lying on Form 4473 — and filed just 298 cases, according to data extracted from the U.S. attorneys’ case management system. That’s out of approximately 27 million background checks undertaken in a 12-month period.

    The numbers were roughly similar for fiscal 2018 (444 referrals and 271 cases) and fiscal 2020 (433 referrals and 243 cases). The data does not indicate the success rate of the prosecutions.

    And some lower courts have said that the law at issue (18 USC 922 (g) (3)) is unconstitutional as “inconsistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” As recently as a week ago an appeals court panel in Ninth Circuit found that the blanket prohibition on convicted felons from possessing firearms is unconstitutional. The majority consisted of GWB and Trump appointees.

    If Biden hadn’t written about his addictions no one would have ever known.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  281. I disagree on the gun case-it’s rarely prosecuted as a stand alone charge for lying on the federal form. It’s usually tied to other crimes.

    They shot Randy Weaver’s wife for less.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  282. This was the first case charged, so “first-ever” is correct. Or are you arguing it should be a proxy for those other cases? “Let’s hang him. He must be guilty of murder somewhere!”

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/20/2024 @ 4:15 pm

    The initial date for Trump’s January 6th trial was set for March, but Trump successfully worked the courts to delay delay delay his day in court, with the help of friendly appeals (and Supreme Court) rulings. This case may never go to trial, even if Trump loses the election.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  283. I disagree on the gun case-it’s rarely prosecuted as a stand alone charge for lying on the federal form. It’s usually tied to other crimes.

    They shot Randy Weaver’s wife for less.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/20/2024 @ 4:35 pm

    Irrelevant. Randy Weaver’s tragedy has nothing to do with prosecuting Hunter Biden.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  284. Irrelevant. Randy Weaver’s tragedy has nothing to do with prosecuting Hunter Biden.

    You say that any time someone points out our arguments are full of sh1t.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  285. The initial date for Trump’s January 6th trial was set for March

    The first charges FILED were in New York.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  286. The first charges FILED were in New York.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/20/2024 @ 5:19 pm

    So if the first charges were filed by New York, you would then expect that case to go forward first. What are you complaining about again?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  287. You say that any time someone points out our arguments are full of sh1t.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/20/2024 @ 5:19 pm

    Because they are irrelevant to the topic. What happened to Randy Weaver’s family (which no one was discussing) is irrelevant to the firearm prosecution of Hunter Biden.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  288. RIP NFL Hall of Fame center and “Mr. Raider” Jim Otto (86):

    ……….
    Otto joined the Raiders for their inaugural season in the American Football League in 1960 and was a fixture on the team for the next 15 years.

    He never missed a game because of injuries, competing in 210 consecutive regular-season games and 308 straight total contests despite undergoing nine operations on his knees during his playing career. …….

    He was believed to have undergone more than 50 operations, most because of football-related injuries. Those dealt with multiple joint replacements, arthritis, and debilitating back and neck problems. His right leg was amputated in 2007.
    ………
    Wearing his famous No. 00 jersey — a play on his name, “Aught-oh” — Otto played in nine AFL All-Star games and the first three AFC-NFC Pro Bowls before being inducted into the Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  289. You say that any time someone points out our arguments are full of sh1t.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/20/2024 @ 5:19 pm

    Rather than referencing something that happened 31 years ago that has no relevance to what I had argued, why don’t you explain why my arguments are “full of sh1t.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  290. “If Biden hadn’t written about his addictions no one would have ever known.”

    And one could argue that if Hunter Biden hadn’t written what amounted to a confession of a crime, he would not have found himself charged with that crime. But he did. Supposedly while sober.
    Out of the 300 people charged, almost one per day, per year for the crime Hunter Biden committed, how many of those had spontaneously produced what amounted to a written confession, meaning it was a slam dunk of a prosecution?
    Which one came wrapped in a giant bow? This one

    One could also argue that if they did not prosecute Hunter for this, then they should never prosecute anyone

    steveg (ecfc25)

  291. One could also argue that if they did not prosecute Hunter for this, then they should never prosecute anyone

    steveg (ecfc25) — 5/20/2024 @ 5:41 pm

    I agree, and so do some courts.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  292. Randy Weaver had the decency to admit that his failure to appear had triggered a cascade of consequences.
    That is rare

    steveg (ecfc25)

  293. Oh.
    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/michael-cohen-admits-to-stealing-30000-from-trump-organization/


    Cohen, whose credibility has been attacked by the defense, confirmed that in 2017 he requested $50,000 from the company’s CFO Allen Weisselberg to reimburse tech firm RedFinch.

    In 2014, Cohen hired John Gauger, who owns the I.T. consulting firm RedFinch Solutions LLC, to write computer code that would artificially elevate Trump’s ranking in a number of online polls ahead of his presidential campaign. After Trump had gone months without fulfilling the bill to Gauger, Cohen said he gave RedFinch $20,000 cash to pacify them, asked the Trump Organization for the full $50,000 reimbursement, then pocketed the $30,000 difference.

    Cohen testified that he stole the money because he felt slighted after his annual holiday bonus was reduced from the typical $150,000 to $50,000.

    “I was angered because of the reduction in the bonus and so I just felt like it was self-help,” Cohen said.

    Cross-examining Cohen Monday, Defense attorney Todd Blanche asked: “You stole from the Trump organization, right?”

    “Yes, sir,” Cohen said.

    “You did steal from the Trump Organization based upon the expected reimbursement, correct?” Blanche asked.

    “Yes, sir,” Cohen testified, according to MSNBC.

    This case is pathetic…

    whembly (86df54)

  294. #293
    Lets jump off that bridge when we actually get there.
    I’m not willing to fight for the right of crack addicts to bear arms. Seems counter intuitive

    But
    https://www.change.org/start-a-petition?started_flow=true
    If you want to create and sign that petition go ahead.

    (I was going to send you to the Whitehouse.gov site the Obama Administration created, and that Trump continued, but Biden scuttled it)

    steveg (ecfc25)

  295. Everyone on that NYC jury believes that Trump authorized the Daniels payment and how it got recorded in the business ledger.

    Trump is too much the control freak. He cashed a check for 50 cents. He oversaw everything. No way that he let’s some assistant decide how his hush money coverup shakes out.

    In the end, each jury must tell himself a coherent story that explains the facts. Why the receipts? Why the text messages? Why the payoff? Why if Cohen was such a terrible corrupt individual did Trump keep him around for 10 years…and give him a sizable gross up on the reimbursement?

    The truth screams out. The side theatrics just show that Cohen is just like Trump. Peas in a pod. If you want to learn about fraud, you talk to a fraudster. The jury will see through the side show.

    AJ_Liberty (95f988)

  296. @296 “Everyone on that NYC jury believes that Trump authorized the Daniels payment”

    Odds are that everyone on that jury is a Democrat who voted against Trump.

    lloyd (d466fc)

  297. I agree, and so do some courts.

    So, there is a law on the books but because they don’t prosecute everyone who violates it, they shouldn’t prosecute anyone? What a precedent that would make.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  298. “Everyone on that NYC jury believes that Trump authorized the Daniels payment”

    Everyone on the jury knows that Cohen would lie about what he had for lunch if it gave him an angle. Trump might too, but Trump isn’t bearing witness.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  299. Aj doesn’t care about the facts or the law. Just keep banging that table.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  300. CNN even

    “I want to refocus everyone on what the government has to prove and why this is such a bombshell as we’ve been talking about,” CNN legal analyst Lauren Coates said. “They have to prove that there was an intent to defraud … Here is the biggest part of this. If you are the defendant in this case, this is what they have to prove. You made and caused a false entry in the business records. If Michael Cohen was the one to falsify the number of documents there, that he was not aware of what he was actually spending or what he was actually paying, well, then you’ve got an issue. Remember this is all coming down to 11 checks to Cohen, 11 invoices submitted by Cohen and then 12 entries in Trump’s ledger.”

    Honig said it was “prosecutorial malpractice” and a “failure” by Bragg’s team to not bring up Cohen’s theft on direct examination.

    “If you’re a juror even if you think well, I think he probably knew what he was paying for Michael Cohen, there has to be reasonable doubt now because I mean, Michael Cohen has given them this huge gift,” host Jake Tapper said.

    lloyd (d466fc)

  301. No, I don’t want a “unified Reich” if Trump wins. They’re not even hiding it anymore, it’s in two places in the ad.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  302. AJ,

    You do know that the jury cannot consider their outside knowledge of Donald Trump in their deliberations, don’t you? So your argument, which rests on “Everyone knows Trump is a greedy, vain, controlling lying sack of sh1t” is inadmissible.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  303. Evidence was presented that he micromanages his business affairs. Obviously it was admissible.

    AJ_Liberty (95f988)

  304. Good or bad news? Communist china has developed car battery that recharges in under 10 minutes. (DU)

    asset (d1e3f1)

  305. > because “Trump tried to steal my vote.”

    You’d think that openly trying to steal an election and peddling nonsense lies about how the other side stole the election would be an absolute bar to consideration for *any* public office.

    The fact that it isn’t is horrifying me and it’s a big part of the reason I now firmly believe that one way or another the Republic will fall in my lifetime.

    aphrael (ec5f0d)

  306. Good or bad news? Communist china has developed car battery that recharges in under 10 minutes

    Toyota had that three years ago. Some assembly required.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  307. The jury may, but is not required to, consider anything that is generally known, unless they are specifically instructed not to, whether it was formally presented in court or not. For example, that Trump is a husband, a father, and a grandfather.

    Under the Napoleonic Code*, instead of a pre-sentence report, they have a pre-trial report where they investigate as much as they can of the defendant’s background. We don’t do that because we consider it prejudicial; they consider it less dehumanizing.

    *Also known as the Civil Law in Europe, but that’s confusing over here. Louisiana still has s lot of it (and a lot of it has been struck down as unconstitutional).

    nk (c17192)

  308. The fact that it isn’t is horrifying me and it’s a big part of the reason I now firmly believe that one way or another the Republic will fall in my lifetime.

    aphrael (ec5f0d) — 5/20/2024 @ 9:21 pm

    The fact that there are people deluded enough to believe it’s true, just like those that believe socialism works, is why our nation will eventually collapse. Just because you believe it in your bones doesn’t make it reality.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  309. @306, I’m not as pessimistic as you are but I share your concerns.

    Time123 (c05e86)

  310. You don’t prop up the Rule of Law with a trollop and a convicted shyster as your tools.

    nk (c17192) — 5/20/2024 @ 3:01 pm

    Trump is a dishonest scumbag who cheated on his wife with a porn star and had his fixer try to cover it up. What sort of witnesses do you expect to have first hand knowledge of what went on? At this point I don’t think there’s a lot of doubt about the events, it’s more a question of Turmp’s motives and if this is in fact illegal.

    But maybe I’m wrong. NJrob, Lloyd, Steve or Whembly are any of you disputing the fact that Trump cheated on his wife with a porn star and had his convicted shyster/fixer deliver hush money to cover it up?

    Not trying to argue with you, just looking to understand your point of view on the events.

    As I’ve asked yours I’ll share mine:

    From my side I’m still not sure that what Trump did in NY was illegal. If it was it’s more about him being bad at following the arcane rules of the political game then anything else. But, just like with Hunter Biden, if one of the elite colored outside the lines I’m happy to see the book thrown at them. Lord knows I’d get no special consideration if it were me.

    I think the documents case has real merits and is substantially different then other cases such as Biden and Pence. I think that much of the ‘news’ on it is more noise then signal and is intended to entertain through outrage. I think the case is complicated, the judge is sympathetic to Trump and inexperienced and that it will work itself out in the end.

    I think the Georgia case also has merit, but Fani Willis is so incompetent and self interested it may be moot at this point.

    Not trying to persuade, but i asked for you views in good faith and wanted to share my honest opinions out of fairness. I’ll be grateful if you take the time to honestly answer my question.

    Time123 (c05e86)

  311. Trump is a pig. His personal life, like way too make Hollywood celebs and politicians, is filled with things that would nauseate normal people. It’s yet another reason why a committed husband and conservative like DeSantis was the better choice.

    But as we see here, the media and the government establishment will keep going after Trump and try and hold him to account in any way possible while a pedo Joe gets a free pass to sniff children and smear half the country while destroying our economy and flooding the nation with invaders.

    Trump’s policies are better for the country than Biden. I can separate the personal from the professional. Too many excuse Biden and his horrid presidency because they cannot and will not do the same.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  312. @311, our host has written extensively about the case and I’m curious when he will revisit it now that it’s wrapping up.

    It’s a misdemeanor to falsify business records. It can get elevated to a felony if the fraud is used to hide another crime. Here, the other crime is conspiring to commit election fraud by paying off individuals with negative stories. You do not need to prove the details of the other crime.

    It was shown in testimony that Trump’s campaign team was worried that stories of sexual misdeed on the heels of the Access Hollywood tape would sink Trump’s chances with undecided women…and lose the 2016 campaign. So, both Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels needed to be paid off. Trump’s defense was that Daniels invented the encounter to shake him down and enrich herself. In the end, it doesn’t matter. A payoff was shown to have happened and the machinations were purportedly hidden by a fraudulent business entry.

    Trump’s signature was on checks and notes indicating how Cohen’s fees were determined. Trump was also shown to be meticulously involved in all business matters, but especially in one’s involving pay outs. This payout was unusual due to the plus-up in consideration given to Cohen. Nothing has come to light that in this unusual and especially sensitive matter that Trump would suddenly not care about the details or know what was going on. Cohen seems like a habitual liar because that was what was required of his dealings for Trump, but it’s unclear to me how else to make the other facts make sense. It’s implausible that Cohen invented the whole matter.

    It’s still interesting to me that neither side has subpoenaed Allen Weisselberg as he figures prominently on many of the documents. One would think even if it’s another convicted perjurer, his story would be wanted by one of the two sides.

    There are two lawyers on the jury. I think it will be interesting how their background will play in unpacking Cohen’s role. I can see it going either way. Cohen worked for Trump for 10 years. You use people with checkered pasts precisely for these types of unscrupulous activities. Yeah, he’s a dirtbag. Does it change the other facts and what is a reasonable interpretation of those facts? I put conviction at 50/50.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  313. > because “Trump tried to steal my vote.”

    You’d think that trying to steal the election, and loudly pushing fabricated stories about election fraud (stories which have failed in every court they’ve been brought to) so as to destabilize the legitimacy of the Republic, would be an absolute bar to consideration for *any* public office at *any* level.

    The fact that it obviously isn’t is the primary reason I am now convinced that the Republic will fall within my lifetime.

    Ya’lls hatred of the left is going to result in an incompetent corrupt dictatorship that will last the rest of most of our lives.

    Congratulations.

    aphrael (1797ab)

  314. You don’t need to prove the details of the crime you are claiming exists to trump uo the case and make it a felony.

    You must he a huge fan of star chambers.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  315. He didn’t try and steal an election. Your assertions are not evidence.

    If you think denying election results should disqualify you, I hope you have proof you’ve demanded every leftist that has done the same be removed from office.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  316. The jury may, but is not required to, consider anything that is generally known, unless they are specifically instructed not to

    Yes, but they should not consider things that would have got them booted off the jury during voir dire had they mentioned the belief. Such as “Trump is a flaming assh0le” even if it’s true.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  317. Trump is a dishonest scumbag who cheated on his wife with a porn star and had his fixer try to cover it up. What sort of witnesses do you expect to have first hand knowledge of what went on?

    Which is why prosecutors often do not bring cases that rely on such witnesses.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  318. Testing; i’ve tried posting two comments to this thread and neither have gone through.

    aphrael (1797ab)

  319. Second test, from a different computer.

    aphrael (1797ab)

  320. But maybe I’m wrong. NJrob, Lloyd, Steve or Whembly are any of you disputing the fact that Trump cheated on his wife with a porn star and had his convicted shyster/fixer deliver hush money to cover it up?

    No one disputes that. What is disputed is that a crime was committed. Hush money is actually legal. What would be illegal is paying hush money to cover up a crime (and adultery is not a crime any more), or that it was accounted for illegally (e.g. claiming a tax deduction), or that the way it was paid was chosen to hide another crime.

    The state alleges only the latter, and the “other crime” is that 1) the payment was a campaign activity, 2) Cohen’s payment was an illegal contribution, and 3) bookkeeping was fudged to hide that illegal contribution.

    All of those points are what is disputed. It wasn’t a campaign activity. But if it was, showing that Trump directed Cohen’s payment and/or the bookkeeping to hide it has not been done beyond a reasonable doubt.

    “Cohen might be lying” is a reasonable doubt.

    Does this clear anything up for you?

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  321. Huh, all of a sudden these have gone through. Apologies for the spam; i was trying to debug!

    aphrael (1797ab)

  322. @311 Time123, to answer your question, yes there’s no doubt that’s what Trump did. Whether it’s illegal or not and a felony are two other totally separate questions.

    “Lord knows I’d get no special consideration if it were me.”

    No, you would not have the book thrown at you if you were a Democrat who did what Trump did in NY. That’s precisely the point. So, having answered your question, here’s mine to you: Is there any doubt that a Democrat candidate who did exactly what Trump did would avoid prosecution by Bragg? I know you will offer an honest answer.

    As for Hunter, yes if Don Jr did what he did he would certainly be prosecuted just like Hunter is. And, neither you nor I would get a sweetheart deal like Hunter did. Do you dispute this?

    lloyd (4e395c)

  323. Neither of those tests came thought, aphrael.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  324. *through

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  325. The fact that it obviously isn’t is the primary reason I am now convinced that the Republic will fall within my lifetime.

    It fell in 1933 with the rise of the Imperial Presidency and the idea that Congress had no bounds.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  326. > I notice the left and establishment haven’t forced Menendez out even though he’s beyond corrupt.

    Yeah, they absolutely *should* have done so, and the fact that he was re-elected last time is a massive indictment of New Jersey politics.

    aphrael (1797ab)

  327. It would be interesting if Merchan rules that the state hasn’t made a case and dismisses it.

    Video

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  328. The broke down butch body shot from Crockett at MTG gets a response
    https://x.com/i/status/1792557434541596962

    Power cleans are a great workout

    steveg (aac6d1)

  329. Hi Time.

    This case is a great piece of Americana.

    We have Michael Avenatti weighing in from prison saying that Stormy Daniels was extorting Trump. Dueling lying disgraced grifting attorneys.
    Point being we do not 100% know Trump and Daniels consummated their affair because unlike previous works from Daniels, there is no film. And thank Jesus for that.

    steveg (aac6d1)

  330. Time123 (c05e86) — 5/21/2024 @ 7:56 am

    311.

    But maybe I’m wrong. NJrob, Lloyd, Steve or Whembly are any of you disputing the fact that Trump cheated on his wife with a porn star and had his convicted shyster/fixer deliver hush money to cover it up?

    I do, as to the second point.

    I think he did have atryst with Stormy Daniels even though Trump is still denying it It explains why his lawyers did not agree to let him take the witness stand and why they made no attempt to refute her story. She has witnesses that he kept calling her afterwards.

    But I don’t think he agreed in advance to pay her off, Trump thought $150,000 was too much money (and also therefore he never promised to reimburse Michael Cohen). Michael Cohen bargained her down to $130,000 but he still wouldn’t agree. He didn’t think it would affect the election much. Michael Cohen kept promising Keith Davidson that the money would be coming soon but he was having no success in getting Trump to agree,. Michael Cohen told Bob Costello (at a time when he was desperate to find a way out but, on the other hand, hadn’t broken with Donald Trump) that Donald Trump did not know he had paid when he did, as they both were saying (Michael Cohen had gota thank you from Trump’s lawyers for saying that he made the payment on his own, which is consistent both with that statement being tue ir false)

    Michael Cohen had to do quite a bit of arguing and getting people to lobby on his behalf to get reimbursed.

    By the way the money he paid Red Finch (which he delivered in cash) could maybe be described as a campaign expense. It was for stuffing the ballot box of a CNBC poll about who was the best known businessman. This must have happened very early.

    He claimed to them, he said, that Donald Trump only wanted to pay $20,000 instead of the previously agreed upon $50,000, because he’d only risen to 9th place in the poll. Reporters seem confused as to whether or not he laid out the money. When did he pay them? And is this now the truth? Maybe Red Finch did nothing.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  331. Being Trump’s “fixer” is a job description Michael Cohen gave himself when he was first coming under investigation, probably at the suggestion of his then lawyer(s?)

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  332. Time
    for you apropos of nothing
    https://x.com/i/status/1792651508862841150

    steveg (aac6d1)

  333. Biden has a fixer, too. Kevin Morris, who paid Hunter Biden money in 2019. In 2021 he paid Hunter’s IRS bill. Why were these not illegal campaign contributions? Cleaning up Hunter’s many legal problems clearly was of benefit to Biden’s campaigns as much as paying off a trollop was (and he may have done that too).

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  334. Whenever I hear criticism from Europe of our immigration policies, I am going to remember this:

    With Europe’s support, North African nations push migrants to the desert

    “There is Algeria, follow the light,” the Tunisian official barked at the Black migrants. “If you’re seen here, you’ll be shot.”

    François, a 38-year-old Cameroonian, obeyed, jumping off the bed of a pickup truck near the desolate Algerian frontier. A day earlier, the rickety boat attempting to carry him and other hopeful sub-Saharans to Europe — including his wife and 6-year-old stepson — had been interdicted by the Tunisian coast guard in the cobalt blue waters off the coast. Still wet and cold, the group of 30 migrants, including two pregnant women, now walked toward their punishment: the desert….

    A year-long joint investigation by The Washington Post, Lighthouse Reports and a consortium of international media outlets shows how the European Union and individual European nations are supporting and financing aggressive operations by governments in North Africa to detain tens of thousands of migrants each year and dump them in remote areas, often barren deserts.

    * European funds have been used to train personnel and buy equipment for units implicated in desert dumps and human rights abuses, records and interviews show. Migrants have been pushed back into the most inhospitable parts of North Africa, exposing them to abandonment with no food or water, kidnapping, extortion, sale as human chattel, torture, sexual violence and, in the worst instances, death.

    * Spanish security forces in Mauritania photographed and reviewed lists of migrants before they were driven to Mali against their will and left to wander for days in an area where violent Islamist groups operate, according to testimony and documents.

    * In Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia, vehicles of the same make and model as those provided by European countries to local security forces rounded up Black migrants from streets or transported them from detention centers to remote regions, according to filmed footage, verified images, migrant testimony and interviews with officials.

    * European officials held internal discussions on some of the abusive practices since at least 2019, and were flagged to allegations in reports by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Frontex, the E.U. border agency.

    “Remain in Mexico” might be harsh, but not nearly as harsh as “cross the Sahara or die”

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  335. So, there is a law on the books but because they don’t prosecute everyone who violates it, they shouldn’t prosecute anyone? What a precedent that would make.

    Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/20/2024 @ 7:39 pm

    There are plenty of laws on the books that aren’t enforced (for example, the Comstock Act). In Hunter Biden’s case it does reek of selective prosecution, given the fact that so few are charged with only violating 18 USC 922 (g) (3), let alone convicted of just that charge. As I have mentioned before there are several cases at the district and appeals court levels that are challenging the constitutionality of 18 USC 922 (g) under Bruen. The categorical prohibitions against firearm possession are way too broad, prohibiting those convicted of non-violent as well as violent offenses.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  336. (Trump) didn’t try and steal an election. Your assertions are not evidence.

    …………
    Shortly after election day, the Defendant (Donald Trump) also pursued unlawful means of discounting legitimate votes and subverting the election results. In so doing, the Defendant perpetrated three criminal conspiracies:

    a. A conspiracy to defraud the United States by using dishonesty, fraud, and deceit to impair, obstruct, and defeat the lawful federal government function by which the results of the presidential election are collected, counted, and certified by the federal government, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371;

    b. A conspiracy to corruptly obstruct and impede the January 6 congressional proceeding at which the collected results of the presidential election are counted and certified (“the certification proceeding”), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(k);and

    c. A conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 241.
    ……….
    The Defendant’s conspiracy to impair, obstruct, and defeat the federal government function through dishonesty, fraud, and deceit included the following manner and means:

    a. The Defendant and co-conspirators used knowingly false claims of election fraud to get state legislators and election officials to subvert the legitimate election results and change electoral votes for the Defendant’s opponent, Joseph R. Biden, Jr., to electoral votes for the Defendant. That is, on the pretext of baseless fraud claims, the Defendant pushed officials in certain states to ignore the popular vote; disenfranchise millions of voters; dismiss legitimate electors; and ultimately, cause the ascertainment of and voting by illegitimate electors in favor of the Defendant.

    b. The Defendant and co-conspirators organized fraudulent slates of electors in seven targeted states (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), attempting to mimic the procedures that the legitimate electors were supposed to follow under the Constitution and other federal and state laws. ……

    c. The Defendant and co-conspirators attempted to use the power and authority of the Justice Department to conduct sham election crime investigations and to send a letter to the targeted states that falsely claimed that the Justice Department had identified significant concerns that may have impacted the election outcome…….

    d. The Defendant and co-conspirators attempted to enlist the Vice President to use his ceremonial role at the January 6 certification proceeding to fraudulently alter the election results. First, using knowingly false claims of election fraud, the Defendant and co-conspirators attempted to convince the Vice President to use the Defendant’s fraudulent electors, reject legitimate electoral votes, or send legitimate electoral votes to state legislatures for review rather than counting them. …….
    ………
    The Defendant, his co-conspirators, and their agents made knowingly false claims that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the 2020 presidential election. These prolific lies about election fraud included dozens of specific claims that there had been substantial fraud in certain states, such as that large numbers of dead, non-resident, non-citizen, or otherwise ineligible voters had cast ballots, or that voting machines had changed votes for the Defendant to votes for Biden. These claims were false, and the Defendant knew that they were false. In fact, the Defendant was notified repeatedly that his claims were untrue—often by the people on whom he relied for candid advice on important matters, and who were best positioned to know the facts— and he deliberately disregarded the truth. For instance:
    ………

    This is a good start in determining whether Trump tried to steal the election.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  337. @337 nothingburger tears are flowing

    lloyd (4e92f3)

  338. Biden has a fixer, too. Kevin Morris, who paid Hunter Biden money in 2019. In 2021 he paid Hunter’s IRS bill. Why were these not illegal campaign contributions?……

    Probably not because (as far as we know, due to lack of evidence) the money wasn’t paid explicitly at the behest of President Biden or his campaign, unlike John Edwards (and of course who was acquitted).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  339. Trump shares video suggesting his victory will bring ‘unified Reich’

    Former President Donald Trump’s account shared a video on social media Monday that referred to a “unified Reich” among possible developments if he were to win re-election in November, drawing criticism from the Biden campaign.

    Trump’s account posted a 30-second video to his Truth Social platform on Monday afternoon that asked, “what happens after Donald Trump wins?” and “what’s next for America?”

    The background is made up of hypothetical newspaper front pages with headlines including “BORDER IS CLOSED — 15 MILLION ILLEGAL ALIENS DEPORTED” and “ECONOMY BOOMS.” Twice in the clip, slightly blurred text appears beneath the headlines that reads: “Industrial strength significantly increased … driven by the creation of a unified Reich.”

    The post of the video had been deleted from Truth Social on Tuesday morning.
    ………..
    Trump’s campaign dismissed the allegation and said the former president — who is on trial in New York — was not aware the word appeared in the video.

    “This was not a campaign video, it was created by a random account online and reposted by a staffer who clearly did not see the word, while the President was in court,” Karoline Leavitt, Trump campaign spokeswoman, said in a statement.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  340. 335. Kevin M (a9545f) — 5/21/2024 @ 10:42 am

    “Remain in Mexico” might be harsh, but not nearly as harsh as “cross the Sahara or die”

    Increasing the risk of death is a likely outcome of attempting to prevent people from reaching the border.

    This is likely the reason that some people are not attempting to get into Europe but instead aiming for the United States.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/05/us/africa-migrants-us-border.html

    African Migration to the U.S. Soars as Europe Cracks Down

    …“Getting into the United States is certain compared to European countries, and so I came,” said Sekuba Keita, 30, who was at a migrant center in San Diego on a recent afternoon after an odyssey that took him by plane to Turkey, Colombia, El Salvador and Nicaragua, then by land to the Mexico-U.S. border.

    Mr. Keita, who spoke in French, was at a cellphone charging station at the center among dozens more Africans, from Angola, Mauritania, Senegal and elsewhere, who had made the same calculus.

    Of course, Trump’s busy claiming today outside the courthouse (in order to get people to side with him) that the migrants are criminals, terrorists, come from mental institutions etc. Democrats don’t want to argue with him.

    Trump’s thinking of deporting people to Panama or some other countries willing to accept asylum applicants or a fee, emulating the UKs proposed Rwanda policy. Also wants to employ internal enforcement, which would require totalitarian methods to work.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  341. The New York Times has obtained early drafts of each side’s proposed jury instructions, which were filed with the court in recent days and will underpin their arguments to the judge, Juan M. Merchan. That conference will take place outside the presence of the jury.

    The prosecutors’ proposed instructions, among other things, ask the judge to give the jury what legal experts said was unusual flexibility in determining whether Mr. Trump had a role in the creation of the false records at the center of the charges.

    Prosecutors argue that even if Mr. Trump did not create the records himself, the jury can find him responsible if the creation of the false records was “a reasonably foreseeable consequence of his conduct.”

    The defense’s request drilled down on a variety of other issues that they already sought to raise at trial.

    One such issue is their suggestion that Michael D. Cohen, the prosecution’s star witness, improperly deleted data from his phone. In their request for jury instructions, they asked the judge to tell the jurors that they can infer that anything Mr. Cohen may have deleted would have been unfavorable to him.
    ……….
    To convict Mr. Trump of the felonies he is charged with, prosecutors must show that he falsified business records in order to commit or conceal another crime. The prosecution’s proposed instructions say that other crime is the violation of an election law statue that makes it illegal to conspire to promote or prevent a candidate’s election by “unlawful means.”

    But what are those unlawful means? Prosecutors want the judge to instruct the jurors that they can choose any of three options: a federal election law violation; the falsification of other business records; or a tax crime.

    The jurors must unanimously agree that Mr. Trump conspired to promote his own election by unlawful means. But prosecutors are asking the judge to instruct jurors that they do need not need to reach a unanimous conclusion about what the unlawful means were.
    ………
    In their proposed instructions, Mr. Trump’s lawyers asked the judge to remind jurors that Mr. Cohen had served as a lawyer for Mr. Trump while he worked at the Trump Organization. That could suggest to jurors that the former fixer’s role as Mr. Trump’s lawyer should affect the way they view the case as a whole.

    This appears to be something of an end run around Justice Merchan’s earlier decision that Mr. Trump could not pursue a so-called advice-of-counsel defense, which argues that someone is not guilty of a crime because they acted based on a lawyer’s advice.
    ##########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  342. @311

    But maybe I’m wrong. NJrob, Lloyd, Steve or Whembly are any of you disputing the fact that Trump cheated on his wife with a porn star and had his convicted shyster/fixer deliver hush money to cover it up?

    Time123 (c05e86) — 5/21/2024 @ 7:56 am

    Nope, not disputing that at all.

    I just don’t think “hush money”, aka NDAs, are illegal.

    whembly (86df54)

  343. No one has claimed NDAs are illegal. The claims are:

    1. It is illegal to pay money to influence federal election campaigns and not report it, as Cohen did and as Trump and his company did when reimbursing Cohen.

    2. It is illegal to maintain company records and file tax reports (State snd federal) that show payments are for legal fees/retainers when they were for other reasons.

    DRJ (7cdd25)

  344. Looks like Judge Cannon has more evidence for her sit on and drag out, at least more evidence than we were aware of.

    Four months after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago estate, Donald Trump’s attorneys discovered four documents marked “classified” in his personal bedroom.

    That revelation was among several cited by U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in a newly unsealed 2023 opinion that found prosecutors had presented compelling evidence that Trump knowingly stashed national security documents in his home and then tried to conceal them when the Justice Department tried to retrieve them.

    In her 87-page opinion, Howell said the likelihood that Trump committed crimes was a basis to permit special counsel Jack Smith to question the former president’s attorney Evan Corcoran on topics that would normally be shielded by attorney-client privilege. Prosecutors, Howell said, had demonstrated that Trump knew Corcoran had been tasked in June 2022 with informing the government that all classified materials had been returned, “a representation that the former president … knew to be wrong.”

    The FBI’s August 2022 search of Mar-a-Lago confirmed that dozens of other classified documents remained on the property — but as Howell notes, there were at least two more rounds of classified materials found on Trump’s property following additional searches.

    Throughout the opinion, Howell — who was chief judge of the Washington, D.C. federal district court at the time — described with varying degrees of incredulity how four documents with classification markings could have been discovered in Trump’s private quarters months after prosecutors had subpoenaed them and the FBI conducted its own exhaustive search of the property.

    “Notably, no excuse is provided as to how the former president could miss the classified-marked documents found in his own bedroom at Mar-a-Lago,” Howell, an Obama appointee, wrote.

    In a footnote, Howell also noted that another Trump adviser connected to his Save America PAC had acknowledged scanning the contents of the box that contained the classified materials in 2021 and storing them on a personal laptop provided by the PAC.

    Yet this mental case was still nominated by my party and is neck-and-neck in the polls. JFCOAPS.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  345. Pecker and AMI could have been charged under 1 but they agreed to testify for immunity. The NDA wasn’t the problem. The failure to report campaign donations was.

    DRJ (7cdd25)

  346. Meantime, Tucker Carlson is literally on Putin’s payroll. I have no words.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  347. @345

    No one has claimed NDAs are illegal. The claims are:

    1. It is illegal to pay money to influence federal election campaigns and not report it, as Cohen did and as Trump and his company did when reimbursing Cohen.

    Counter-claim: NDAs, even *if* it influences an election, is still not illegal as NDAs cannot be categorized as something you can *only* spend on for an election.

    2. It is illegal to maintain company records and file tax reports (State snd federal) that show payments are for legal fees/retainers when they were for other reasons.

    DRJ (7cdd25) — 5/21/2024 @ 2:13 pm

    Counter-claim: I think this is the weakest argument in that “legal expenses” is a generic descriptor in the ledger that should satisfy whatever services Cohen provided.

    Fundamentally, the prosecution failed to secure credible evidence that Trump knew that these transactions ought to be documented as campaign expenses and sought to obfuscate that fact.

    whembly (86df54)

  348. The NDAs are irrelevant to the case.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  349. No offense meant to anyone who wants to stipulate anything to time123, but it is not a proven fact beyond a doubt that Trump cheated on his wife with Stormy Daniels no matter how strongly I may believe that to be true. So I am disputing the assertion that is a proven fact for the simple reason that it is not.
    Cohen did act in a fixer role and I believe that was well established. The details of that role here in this case may be murky enough that some in the jury may find a degree of doubt in there.

    steveg (aac6d1)

  350. @350

    The NDAs are irrelevant to the case.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407) — 5/21/2024 @ 2:31 pm

    No, they’re central to the case.

    It’s what Cohen plead guilty to, in hopes to get a favorable sentencing for his bank/tax fraud convictions.

    whembly (86df54)

  351. This is a good start in determining whether Trump tried to steal the election.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 5/21/2024 @ 11:12 am

    Assertion is not evidence. Try harder.

    NJRob (544830)

  352. They’re irrelevant, whembly.
    Cohen pled guilty to several things on his plea deal, none of which had to do with NDAs.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  353. I use accounting software that has payments to my attorneys memorized as being “legal fees”. I’d have to remember to have my book keeper physically change the way a particular payment is accounted for. That is different than if my attorney was memorized as “slush fund” and I went in and had the accounting changed to “legal fees”

    The second scenario is the only one where one can clearly divine intent although the first is probably still technically a crime

    steveg (aac6d1)

  354. @351, the fact that she was on Trump’s speed dial is highly suggestive that there was more there than a chance meeting. BTW Karen McDougal was also on the speed dial. absolute proof? No, but absent a camera feed or eyewitnesses…or someone being told immediately after, hard to 100% substantiate sex. I suppose a used condom or DNA material could work too. Still, the actual sex doesn’t legally matter. It just shifts it from a shakedown to a preemptive spiking. There was enough concern at Trump campaign central to fear an accusation…so there must be enough contact to make it plausible.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  355. Are you back yet?

    asset (e28d1b)

  356. I’ve dealt with the IRS about how items were categorized, or miscategorized because I was not careful to give my book keeper immediate instructions and forgot.
    The IRS makes a huge bunch of noise about how each check to that one entity that was miscategorized that I see as a lazy stupid but honest mistake is actually each 1X count illegal this and that with a penalty of xy +z and my lawyer says “the [IRS] guy is just hyperventilating in order to lock you into penalties and interest so they look good on their next performance review. Don’t worry about it. Not worth fighting over, cut them a check for full amount including penalties and interest, and I’ll stop charging you for my time and we will all happily move on.”

    steveg (aac6d1)

  357. AJ
    You, in fact, make a good point
    And again, praise Jesus, we did not have to examine a spent condom on MSNBC.

    The other day I was watching TV, browsing through the channels and saw a live cop show promo with a cop checking pockets of Florida man and, yup, used condom

    steveg (aac6d1)

  358. You’re going to have to show me that not only Mrs. Thomas is a political advocate, which I’ll stipulate, but is also in position to reap financial interests on cases Justice Thomas’ decides.

    Can you do that?

    whembly (a43e5a) — 5/19/2024 @ 1:09 pm

    Ginni Thomas on potential conflicts impacting her husband’s job:

    “We have our own separate careers, and our own ideas and opinions too. Clarence doesn’t discuss his work with me, and I don’t involve him in my work,”

    The same applies to Merchan’s daughter, right?

    DRJ (ab11a6)

  359. The last two paragraphs of the WaPo’s breathless “unified reich” story:

    The anonymous person who made the clip, who uses the handle @ramble_rants, has since posted multiple times that the background imagery came from a template they did not create and was “not a secret hidden message.” Other members of the meme team have noted the template came from a company, Envato, that offers dozens of downloadable templates with images of newspapers that can be used as video backgrounds.

    The template in the video made by the meme team appears to be one that comes with headlines such as “Man Arrested,” “World War II Begins” and “Cold War Over?” Those headlines, and accompanying photos, can be changed by the person who downloads the template, but most of the background — including the “unified reich” language — is not customizable.

    Kinda lets the air out if you read that far.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  360. The same applies to Merchan’s daughter, right?

    More so, I’d say. Also George Clooney and his antisemitic wife.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  361. RIP former GOP Congressman and Presidential candidate Pete McCloskey (96):

    …………
    Mr. McCloskey, who represented an area south of San Francisco for 15 years, from late 1967 to early 1983, was a liberal Republican who admired President John F. Kennedy, voted for environmental causes with Democrats and believed that the Republican Party had veered too far to the right.

    In July 1971, with the nation divided over the war and Nixon heavily favored for re-election, Mr. McCloskey, a 43-year-old Korean War hero and two-term congressman best known for defeating Shirley Temple Black in a special election, launched his quixotic quest for the Republican nomination.
    ……….
    A square-jawed man with a military bearing, Mr. McCloskey joined the Marines in 1950, when the Korean War broke out. The next year, he was wounded leading a rifle platoon in a bayonet charge to capture a strategic hill, an exploit detailed in his 1992 book, “The Taking of Hill 610: And Other Essays on Friendship.” He won the Navy Cross, two Purple Hearts and the Silver Star and served for many years as a Marine reserve officer.
    ……….
    ……….He was elected to Congress from San Mateo County to fill a vacancy created by the death of Representative J. Arthur Younger, upsetting Ms. Black and other candidates. He went to Washington as a fiscal conservative but as a liberal on racial, antiwar, environmental and other issues. He was the first House member to call for Nixon’s impeachment in the Watergate scandal.
    ……….
    In 1987, Mr. McCloskey was sued for libel by the television evangelist Pat Robertson, then running for the Republican presidential nomination. After Mr. Robertson claimed that he had been a combat Marine in the Korean War, Mr. McCloskey, who had been in his unit, contended that Mr. Robertson’s father, U.S. Senator A. Willis Robertson, a Virginia Democrat, had used his influence to keep his son out of combat.

    With many other former Marine officers willing to testify that Mr. Robertson had avoided combat duty, Mr. Robertson dropped his $35 million suit in 1988 and agreed to pay Mr. McCloskey’s court costs, saying he could not pursue the suit and run for president at the same time.

    But it was a clear victory for Mr. McCloskey, who said he had unmasked Mr. Robertson as “the fraud he is.” (Mr. Robertson, who quit the presidential race, did serve in Korea, but chiefly as a supply officer far from combat duty.)
    ……….

    In the military you don’t “win” medals, you earn them.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  362. It is illegal to pay money to influence federal election campaigns and not report it

    You keep asserting this as if that was Trump’s goal, yet he had made a practice of this kind of payoff before he ran for office. At best you can show it had an effect on the campaign. To say that it “influenced” voters is prettyy much belied by subsequent events (e.g. J6) not denting his support noticeably.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  363. McCloskey also ran for US Senate in 1982, coming in a respectable second (25%) to Pete Wilson (37%), in a crowded field that included Barry Goldwater Jr, Bob Dornan and Maureen Reagan.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  364. RIP legendary aviator Dick Rutan (85):

    …………
    Rutan flew 325 combat missions in Vietnam, part of an elite group of fighter pilots with the callsign “Misty” and the unenviable assignment of loitering for hours over enemy antiaircraft units, and enemy fire on one occasion forced him to eject from his North American F–100 Super Sabre. A second successful ejection was necessitated by mechanical failure over England. Rutan retired from the U.S. Air Force as a lieutenant colonel, having been awarded medals including the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross (twice), and Purple Heart, though he was by no means finished flying.

    (Dick and Burt Rutan) worked together on many projects, including Voyager—Burt designing cutting-edge aircraft in bunches, Dick flying them. On December 14, 1986, Dick Rutan and copilot Jeana Yeager, who helped build the aircraft with the Rutan brothers and crew chief Bruce Evans, launched Voyager from Edwards Air Force Base in California at 8:01:44 a.m. Pacific time, and flew west, nonstop, for nine days, three minutes, and 44 seconds, returning to land at Edwards, shattering the record for unrefueled flight and earning a Presidential Citizens Medal, presented to the two pilots and the aircraft’s designer by President Ronald Reagan.
    ………..
    ……….In 2005, he set another record in a 10-mile flight in a rocket-powered aircraft launched from Mojave, California, which held the distinction of being the first such aircraft to carry the U.S. mail…….
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  365. Meantime, Tucker Carlson is literally on Putin’s payroll. I have no words.

    I have a few: You had better register as a foreign agent, Tucker.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  366. Yet this mental case was still nominated by my party

    Strictly speaking, not yet.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  367. Nor, for that matter, is Biden the Democrat nominee.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  368. Meantime, Tucker Carlson is literally on Putin’s payroll. I have no words.

    This may be fake news. Apparently Russia is using Carlson’s videos and repurposing them without permission.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  369. Dick Rutan and Jeanna Yeager also hold the world’s record for longest unrefueled flight, both on an open course and a closed course.

    Fun fact: several years later Dick Rutan ran for Congress as a Republican against a long-serving Democrat. It looked like he might win, but Jeanna Yeager came out in support of the Democrat and he lost.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  370. Fulton County DA Fani Willis wins Democratic primary; Scott McAfee, the presiding judge in the Georgia election case, is reelected.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  371. Why does God hate green energy
    https://x.com/i/status/1793021420156395663

    steveg (aac6d1)

  372. I note the windmills aren’t turning. At least not as intended.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  373. The WSJ on the ICC warrants for Bibi and that other guy…

    The defects in the ICC’s allegations against Israel are many. Prosecutor Karim Ahmad Khan alleges “starvation of civilians as a method of warfare.” Hamas lists 31 Gazans whom it claims died of malnutrition and dehydration in seven months of war. That’s out of 2.3 million whom Egypt won’t let out over its border.

    Israel has facilitated the entry of 542,570 tons of aid, and 28,255 aid trucks, in an unprecedented effort to supply an enemy’s civilians, even while Hamas steals the aid and tries to frustrate delivery. Israel has begged Egypt for two weeks to let in aid at Rafah, while Egypt refuses. Is this the behavior of an Israeli government bent on starving Gazans?

    The ICC claims Israel is “intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population,” another allegation that’s upside-down. “Israel has done more to prevent civilian casualties in war than any military in history,” John Spencer, chair of urban warfare at West Point, has said, “setting a standard that will be both hard and potentially problematic to repeat.” If nations can’t wage just wars, evil prevails, meaning the ICC isn’t giving a win only to Hamas.

    While Gaza is a war zone and ICC staff are busy in Ukraine, the prosecutor has had no way to conduct a serious investigation. Mr. Khan had assured U.S. Senators that an inquiry would take months, and it would hear from the Israelis. ICC staff were supposed to land in Israel for preliminary discussions on Monday. Instead, Mr. Khan announced his move on CNN.

    The ICC also lacks jurisdiction. Israel, like the U.S., never signed the treaty that created it. To permit prosecutions of Israel, the court twisted its rules to summon a State of Palestine, with borders defined by fiat, which it could call a member state.

    The ICC is supposed to intervene as a “court of last resort,” in the absence of national judiciaries able to hold leaders to account. Think of Hamas, whose courts are rubber stamps. Israel has an independent court that is renowned for its activist, antigovernment tilt.

    The ICC’s disregard for procedure exposes its bias, and if the warrant request is an effort to undermine Mr. Netanyahu’s government, it won’t work. The opposition leader has already rallied to condemn the ICC’s “complete moral failure.”

    Like with Trumpists creating a bogus equivalency between Trump’s criminality and Joe Biden’s, the ICC is doing the same with Israel, and it shouldn’t stand.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  374. The US and Iran are said to have been having back channel talks with Iran that were interrupted by Raisi’s death. One point of agreement was the shared wishes of the two countries for governmental change in Israel.

    Iran would probably prefer a leadership that won’t fight back and also sends cash like the Americans do.

    steveg (aac6d1)

  375. Excellent rebuttal to Tucker’s claim that Russian public transport is better

    https://x.com/i/status/1792148095066689860

    steveg (aac6d1)

  376. Did you know that criminal background checks in employment are racist?

    Just one day after the president’s [photo-op at a Sheetz station], the Biden administration hit the privately held convenience store chain with a federal lawsuit in which federal officials say the company discriminated against minority job applicants. The theory, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, is that because the company uses criminal background checks to screen job seekers, somehow that’s a violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    The Civil Rights Act prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion and national origin. EEOC attorney Debra M. Lawrence wrote that criminal background checks “cause a disparate impact because of race or other protected classifications.”

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  377. 375.

    The defects in the ICC’s allegations against Israel are many.

    Plain and simple, they’re based on lies and slander (Hamas inspired complaints)

    None of the charges have the slightest credibility. They are “willful killing” – stress willful, and as a matter of high policy;”starvation of civilians as a method of warfare” and “willfully causing great suffering.” We’re not talking about stupidity or doing things for other reasons (like destroying houses in order to create an enemy free zone) that have the effect of causing suffering. And even these charges do not amount to accusations of genocide.

    ICC staff were supposed to land in Israel for preliminary discussions on Monday. Instead, Mr. Khan announced his move on CNN…The ICC is supposed to intervene as a “court of last resort,” in the absence of national judiciaries able to hold leaders to account.

    Israel is investigating lesser charges, or charges against lower ranking individuals. If they went to visit Israel, they’d probably be told why there was absolutely no basis for an investigation of these charges. Surely there must be some prima facie basis for investigating something.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  378. They picked accusations that are not being investigated at all. If they went to visit Israel, they’d probably be told either “give us your evidence and we’ll look into it” or “we know that isn’t so.” And that would be enough to prevent charges being filed.

    They had clear evidence against Hamas for months, since the beginning, They may have filed this request to “balance” charges against Hamas with charges against the government of Israel, That is not what an impartial court does, nor does it give the ICC, as they claim, more credibility. Not among honest people, and not among dishonest or biased people,

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  379. Backend fetch?

    nk (872e7d)

  380. https://nj1015.com/atilis-gym-ian-smith-claim-win-with-dismissed-charges/

    Some small wins from the totalitarian lockdowns in NJ. The fines and arrests were posted here. Seems the dismissal of charges needs to be as well.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  381. @360

    You’re going to have to show me that not only Mrs. Thomas is a political advocate, which I’ll stipulate, but is also in position to reap financial interests on cases Justice Thomas’ decides.

    Can you do that?

    whembly (a43e5a) — 5/19/2024 @ 1:09 pm

    Ginni Thomas on potential conflicts impacting her husband’s job:

    “We have our own separate careers, and our own ideas and opinions too. Clarence doesn’t discuss his work with me, and I don’t involve him in my work,”

    Per article:
    Even so, watchdogs say such documents may not entirely reveal who she’s represented and whether those groups have ties to any cases before the court, raising increasing calls for more transparency.

    Still don’t see any actual conflict.

    The same applies to Merchan’s daughter, right?

    DRJ (ab11a6) — 5/21/2024 @ 4:42 pm

    Merchand’s daughter is legit making money based on Trump’s legal issues.

    So, no, not the same thing.

    whembly (86df54)

  382. That is not what an impartial court does, nor does it give the ICC, as they claim, more credibility. Not among honest people, and not among dishonest or biased people

    Wait until Hamas gets the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  383. All this whaddaboutism is fueled, I think, by the press only looking critically at one side. An actually independent press would find as any lizards on the D side, but they don’t. Probably not good for the career.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  384. *as many

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  385. Whembly, Rob, and Lloyd, Thank you for answering my question. I appreciate it.

    Steve, I’m curious what quality of evidence you would need to see to conclude that Trump had sex with Stormy Daniels?

    Lloyd, I think that if there were a Democrat that was similar to Trump in almost every other way they would likely have been charged for similar misdeeds. Hillary was heavily investigated, but is apparently very good a just barely not breaking the law, or at least maintaining reasonable doubt. Trump appointees reviewed the evidence and didn’t recommend prosecution, which isn’t equivalent to saying she did nothing wrong.

    John Edwards was charged with very similar crimes, but (IIRC) the jury found him innocent because they thought his hush money payment was done to keep it secret from his wife more then for his presidential campaign.

    Time123 (280a6b)

  386. Merchand’s daughter is legit making money based on Trump’s legal issues.

    So, no, not the same thing.

    whembly (86df54) — 5/22/2024 @ 6:24 am

    I know his daughter is active in paid politics working Dems but I haven’t seen anything to support the claim that she’s making money directly from Trump’s legal issues.

    Lots of Judges kids are active politically. Scalia’s son worked for the Bush Administration as Solicitor of Labor but I don’t think that means that Scalia couldn’t hear any cases involving the Bush white house.

    Time123 (280a6b)

  387. I believe Stormy, who testified under oath and, two, wouldn’t pay her $130k for any other reason, and Trump didn’t testify under oath.

    Paul Montagu (40b0d6)

  388. Megan McArdle drawsour attntion to a little problem:

    The release of the annual Social Security trustees’ report is usually the occasion for some dolorous lament that we have inched another year closer to disaster. This year, however, I have good news! The industrious actuaries at the Social Security Administration, having ground through all the data, now think our nation’s looming entitlement meltdown looks slightly less catastrophic than it did last year.

    They now forecast that the combined Social Security Trust Funds won’t be exhausted until 2035, a year later than they expected in 2023. They also see some improvement in the program’s long-term finances, primarily because of more favorable assumptions about productivity growth and disability rates — though that happy news is, they write, “partially offset by a decrease in the assumed long-term total fertility rate,” which has now gone from 2 children per woman to 1.9.

    source: https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/2024/

    The last time the TFR was that high? 2010:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States
    And the trend is not encouraging.

    Jim Miller (0d0b39)

  389. @388 “Lloyd, I think that if there were a Democrat that was similar to Trump in almost every other way they would likely have been charged for similar misdeeds.”

    Time123, I asked you specifically about Bragg and the NYC case and you morphed it into a question I didn’t ask. I don’t think that’s the honest response I expected from you, but thanks anyway.

    lloyd (85bebf)

  390. Brilliant, funny and brutal Daily Show segment on Kamala.
    https://youtu.be/KcLP1dqHthI?si=oNZkDaF3dvc_Orjx

    Paul Montagu (40b0d6)

  391. Sorry Lloyd, I didn’t read your question closely enough. I think Bragg went looking for a crime to charge Trump with and that some of his motivations were political, both partisan as well as personal to raise his profile and thus help his career. If there were a Dem that did the same thing and was similar to Trump in other ways I could see him charging them, but I feel that would be less likely for Bragg.

    I hope that was more on point to your inquiry. If not let me know what I missed and I’ll try again.

    Time123 (955f04)

  392. The US and Iran are said to have been having back channel talks with Iran that were interrupted by Raisi’s death. One point of agreement was the shared wishes of the two countries for governmental change in Israel.

    Iran would probably prefer a leadership that won’t fight back and also sends cash like the Americans do.

    steveg (aac6d1) — 5/21/2024 @ 8:36 pm

    Source?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  393. Glitches on the forum: Main page says 205 posts in this current thread; on this page it has 221 posts, last one 9:10 am 5/20/24

    Angelo (d39085)

  394. After posting the above, everything became current, nevermind

    Angelo (d39085)

  395. News from Georgia.

    https://apnews.com/article/fani-willis-scott-mcafee-trump-georgia-indictment-6e55b3a7eafd66c6ae3dae3a50d3187a

    I wouldn’t mind Fani having faced a serious challenge in the primary — given that she personally booted the case by dating her co-worker. But the GOP challenge — coming from a persn who was part of the 2020 TRump campaign — is a non-starter.

    So, maybe in 2025, the Georgia case can get rolling again.

    #392 asks about whether Bragg would prosecute a Democrat given similar facts to what we see with Trump. That’s a hard question — google doesn’t have him prosecuting any Democrats. His predecessor did go after Harvey Weinstein, who was a big Democratic fundraiser. My suspicion is that if the Democrat’s name was Cuomo, he might. Otherwise, I am just cynical enough to believe there would be no prosecution.

    The right charges against Trump are the two Federal suite of indictments that have been bogged down for various (and in my opinion, spurious) reasons. This is why the partisan tilt in New York has not given me as much pause as perhaps I should have. I don’t believe these charges should have been brought. I’m not bothered that Trump has been spending days in a cold courtroom. I don’t mind the reminder that Trump acts like no laws apply to him — and society needs to remind him that they do. I think the DA may end up getting himself som misdemeanors and miss out on the felonies — which makes all of this a wate of everyone’s time.

    The emotions here are very, very mixed.

    Appalled (aa0edd)

  396. Time if this was a civil case he said, she said, he’s got her in his contacts- its over 50%. Trump is a minor celebrity, he had a TV show where they no doubt screened hundred of characters for being characters, she is definitely that. So 50%-75% based on the evidence absent the used extra small condom. So imagine if you will Trump naked from the waist down, belly hanging over his flaccid junk, still wearing his black socks, peeling off an extremely soiled condom and flushing it, then washing his hands for half an hour with some ghastly woman in the backdrop. Why do I want you to imagine that? Because by belaboring the point, I had to, so thought I’d spread the pain around.

    steveg (c7df5c)

  397. Time

    I’m actually the belaborer here but it felt better to blame you

    steveg (c7df5c)

  398. Here is a Dana-type piece that suggests why fascist and nazi sounding inconography keeps showing up in Trump and right leaning material:

    https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-nightly/2024/05/21/the-rights-fascism-problem-00159265

    It’s not exactly what you guys think I’d suggest.

    Appalled (aa0edd)

  399. KevinM this is for you re: Taiwan, China and Japan you don’t need to click its just an excerpt of a PLA document that says Japan’s maritime lines of communication will fall if Taiwan becomes a PLA base

    I don’t think anyone is still alive who experienced the “Rape of Nanjing” but I guarantee that the history surrounding that is remembered by Chinese and not forgiven.
    What interests me most about the Chinese military in this context is its disconnects in professionalism. It is one thing to firehouse a Filipino fishing boat, another to kill some Filipino fishermen while doing so.
    They are more careful with the US but still go too far by professional standards of harassment. I think the Japanese should be very wary that the retaliation for near 100 year old sins would be ferocious upon citizen we would consider civilian non-combatants.
    I think of the Russian killings in Ukraine that made/make My Lai look like collateral damage. Do the Russians care? No. Brutality is a core competency. China has a veneer of organization but as the Maoist showed, they are still brutal humans.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/GOJOG7saoAAFK5z?format=jpg&name=medium

    steveg (c7df5c)

  400. @400 LMAO

    Also, you missed your calling at writting short horror pieces

    Time123 (955f04)

  401. Colorado GOP calls for all children to be pulled from public schools

    The Colorado Republican Party is issuing a call to its members to pull their children from public school, saying Democrats are using schools to “turn more kids trans.”
    ………
    “All Colorado parents should be aiming to remove their kids from public education,” read the directive from Darcy Schoening, director of special initiatives for the Colorado GOP.

    Schoening is a former leader of the El Paso County chapter of the conservative activist group Moms for Liberty.

    Under the leadership of Colorado GOP Chairman Dave Williams, the state Republican Party has tacked to the hard right despite holding less electoral power than at any time since before World War II.
    ……….
    Colorado Republicans’ 2022 nominee for Governor, Heidi Ganahl, issued a similar call for families to abandon the public education system last year.

    Speaking to the Truth and Liberty Conference in Woodland Park, which mixed anti-LGBTQ rhetoric with calls for Christian dominance of government, Ganahl said children should be removed from public schools and placed in church-run schools.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  402. Steve, I’m curious what quality of evidence you would need to see to conclude that Trump had sex with Stormy Daniels?

    A stained blue dress.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  403. I’m not sure (outside of prurient interest) why it is important that Trump had sex with Stormy Daniels. I think Bragg overplayed his hand with her testimony, it certainly wasn’t relevant to his false business records case and it clearly irritated the judge.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  404. And the trend is not encouraging.

    GenX was one of the smallest generations in history, comparatively speaking, and was cause for great alarm. What happened? Immigration coupled with Reagan’s amnesty brought the GenX cohort back into line. Their children, the millennials, were a second baby boom.

    The real problem is that the system as designed did not account for longevity, courtesy of Medicare, and the benefits paid prior to Dole’s retrenchment were extravagant and unsustainable. Dole’s massive increases in the tax rate were such that no one wanted to go there again. But we will have to and the longer we wait the worse it will be. There is NO WAY that benefits will be cut. Those folks ALL vote, even for school board.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  405. the state Republican Party has tacked to the hard right despite holding less electoral power than at any time since before World War II.

    Interesting use of the word “despite.”

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  406. I think the Japanese should be very wary that the retaliation for near 100 year old sins would be ferocious upon citizen we would consider civilian non-combatants.

    The way things are going, I fully expect Japan to have nuclear weapons and missiles able to hit, um, North Korea, in the near future. Non-proliferation is dead.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  407. https://www.democracydocket.com/news-alerts/ohio-republicans-wont-pass-legislative-fix-to-allow-biden-on-november-ballot/

    The Republican majority in Ohio’s Legislature won’t pass special legislation to allow President Joe Biden to be on November’s general election ballot, Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens (R) said on Tuesday.

    The statement comes amid pressure for Ohio lawmakers to amend a state law that sets strict deadlines for certifying presidential candidates for the November ballot. Ohio has a deadline of Aug. 7 for each political party to certify their presidential candidates to appear on the state’s general election ballot on Nov. 5. But the Democratic National Convention — the party’s procedural event where they officially settle on a nominee — isn’t until Aug. 19. That would mean, in order for Biden to appear on Ohio’s ballot, lawmakers would have to amend the law to allow Biden, who is the presumptive Democratic nominee, to be on the ballot.

    I think it’s a massive mistake by Ohio GOPers by refusing to legislatively fix this.

    This should be an easy fix.

    whembly (86df54)

  408. Did you raise your eyebrows at me?

    After the defense called their key witness, former Cohen legal adviser Robert Costello, Judge Merchan made ruling after ruling denying Costello the ability to speak – inexplicably dismissing his testimony as hearsay and irrelevant.

    I was shocked, along with the other lawyers watching in the audience. Under the 6th Amendment, a defendant has a right to confront his accuser and that is done through the testimony of others. Judge Merchan denied Trump that right by unfairly limiting Costello’s testimony.

    But the judge truly revealed his apparent unhinged prejudice against Trump when he exploded after Costello, a lawyer himself, expressed his surprise over the mystifying rulings. Merchan lost control over the perceived slight and angrily ordered the court police to clear the room.

    I was never asked to leave, so I stayed. I wish that the public could have seen what I witnessed – because I believe the judge’s bias against Trump came through loud and clear.

    ‘Do you raise your eyebrows at me?’ Merchan shouted at Costello. ‘Did you stare at me?’ He sounded like a paranoid schizophrenic. A nut on the street. The psycho in the film Taxi Driver.

    Then Merchan threatened to exclude all of Costello’s testimony against Cohen from the trial. I was flabbergasted. For one, Costello’s behavior wasn’t egregious and he is allowed to act surprised. But more than that, the idea that a judge would punish Trump by denying him an opportunity to present evidence over the actions of a witness is preposterous. It’s unethical. It’s unconstitutional.

    lloyd (680066)

  409. @394 Time123, it was a Yes/No question just as the one you posed to me @311 was, to which I responded straight up Yes. I won’t press it further.

    lloyd (680066)

  410. @380 I mean, how bad do things have to be in Portland for them to elect a Republican DA?

    lloyd (680066)

  411. Lloyd, I’m not trying to play games or avoid the question. I’m saying “Yes” with the assumptions I’m making that weren’t in the question and explanations to support my answer.

    Time123 (832941)

  412. Costello’s testimony was a disaster. Not just because of his obvious contempt for the judge…who jurors normally have the most respect for in an adversarial court room…but because his own emails eviscerated his credibility.

    The emails showed Costello was a key cog in a shadow pressure campaign on Cohen stemming from the White House. Prosecutor Hoffinger pointed to a May 15, 2018 email in which Costello told his law partner that “our issue is to get Cohen on the right page.” This is astonishing. It’s also remarkable to end a trial with an eye-rolling, obnoxious witness…but to also leave the impression that he was pressuring Cohen to not leave the reservation…at the direction of Giuliani and the White House…is extraordinary.

    It’s believed that Costello testified at the urging of Trump. Alan Dershowitz is 85 and appears desperate for attention…and Fox will gladly use him. It’s curious that no one else saw it his way….

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  413. @411, so the judge yelled at him for being disrespectful and let him testify? What’s the problem here? If you’re a jerk to the judge it’ll go badly for you.

    Time123 (832941)

  414. @380 I mean, how bad do things have to be in Portland for them to elect a Republican DA?

    Except he’s not a Republican. He left the party in 2017 and registered in the Independent Party. Bottom line, his “tough-on-crime” message made the difference.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  415. Told you so…….

    Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said on Wednesday that she’ll vote for former President Trump over President Biden this fall.

    “As a voter, I put my priorities on a president who’s going to have the backs of our allies and hold our enemies to account, who would secure the border, no more excuses. A president who would support capitalism and freedom, a president who understands we need less debt not more debt,” Haley said at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank.

    “Trump has not been perfect on these policies. I’ve made that clear, many, many times. But Biden has been a catastrophe. So, I will be voting for Trump,” Haley said.
    ………..

    I’m shocked!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  416. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 5/22/2024 @ 2:02 pm

    Angling for Secretary of State in the next Trump Administration. The only thing more important than what is best for the country is what is best for Darling Nikki.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  417. “If you mock the service of a combat veteran, you don’t deserve a driver’s license, let alone being President of the United States.”
    –Nikki Haley, February 2024

    I didn’t need one more reason to hate my party, yet Nikki gave me one anyway.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  418. @417 His opponent used his party affiliation history In campaign ads, so voters knew of his Republican leanings. Anyone who has aspirations to be DA in a place like Portland is going to distance himself for show if for no other reason.

    lloyd (680066)

  419. I was shocked, along with the other lawyers watching in the audience. Under the 6th Amendment, a defendant has a right to confront his accuser and that is done through the testimony of others. Judge Merchan denied Trump that right by unfairly limiting Costello’s testimony.

    Alan Dershowitz is citing the wrong provision of the 6th amendment. The important thing is not the right to confront his accuser but to call witnesses on his behalf.

    Sixth Amendment
    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

    Alan Dershowitz also did not understand why he was allowed to stay in the courtroom It was obviously, he was not a member of the general pubic but part of the entourage of the defendant.

    What Alan Dershowitz said he never saw before was a judge threatening to strike the testimony of a witness because the witness was disrespectful. It’s the defendant’s right to have a witness. The judge may have been bluffing he said.

    Also he actually said that to the Trump’s lawyers.

    It is not clear to me what was brought out. Bob Costello was talking about his initial contact with Michael Cohen when he said Michael Cohen told him he had nothing criminal on Trump.

    If he was co-ordinating with Trump (and hoping to get him a pardon?) that was later.
    .

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  420. “unified reich”

    That is a reference to Imperial Germany. Remember, 193301945 was the Third Reich. (the second, in this categorization, being the Weimar Republic)

    The unified bit as to do with the unification of Germany 1871.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  421. The upside down US flag was put up after January 6 (after Trump had finally conceded, I read)

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  422. Stormy Daniels testified that Donald Trump did not use a condom – and I don’t believe he ever did. That’s the meaning of his saying his promiscuity before he married Ivana was his Vietnam War.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  423. One MAGA flag at a Supreme Court Justice’s could be seen as a one-off.
    A second MAGA flag at the judge’s other house appears to be a pattern.
    It seems coincidental that Mrs. Alito would be name-called a cvnt at both places by obnoxious neighbors and then reacted by raising a different Capitol Riot flag in protest, but the vacation house is in New Jersey, so…

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  424. @426 LOL, that nonsense again. If Merchan flew a flag saying “Stop Republicans”, I’m sure the concern would be off the charts. Good thing he hasn’t done anything like that.

    lloyd (e21bb0)

  425. lloyd, if a hypothetical is the best you got, well, it’s not good.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  426. It’s not a hypothetical Paul. That’s who the traitor Merchan donated to.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  427. Newsweek did update its story on Tucker and Russia, as reported by The Dispatch.

    What remains un-updated and unamended and unretracted is Tucker’s rooting for Russian victory over the victim, Ukraine.

    In November 2019, Carlson was discussing the impeachment of President Donald Trump, which involved U.S. military aid to Ukraine meant to assist in its fight with Russia in Crimea and the country’s east. “Why do I care what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia?” Carlson asked. “And I’m serious. Why do I care? Why shouldn’t I root for Russia? Which I am.”

    Just before that show concluded, Carlson issued a retraction: “Earlier in the show, I noted that I was rooting for Russia in the contest between Russia and Ukraine. Of course, I’m joking. I’m only rooting for America.” Several days later, however, he clarified where his allegiances stood: “I don’t think that we should be at war with Russia. And I think we should probably take the side of Russia if we have to choose between Russia and Ukraine. That is my view,” said Carlson.

    Tucker reinforced his views last September when he said Zelenskyy was “sweaty and rat-like”I’ve never him insult Putin in this fashion, ever, not even close.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  428. OK Paul, great to know Alito can contribute $10 to Stop the Steal and you wouldn’t have a cow over it.

    BTW, what does a real conservative like you want Alito to do? Resign? Recuse himself? Take down the flags, stomp on them and light them on fire? Seriously, what would please you? What is the point of this obsession with his choice of home decor?

    lloyd (e21bb0)

  429. It’s not a hypothetical Paul.

    Rob, lloyd said “If Merchan flew a flag saying ‘Stop Republicans'”. That is literally a hypothetical, by definition.

    imagined or suggested but not necessarily real or true

    I’ll add a codicil…if it has come to using dictionary definitions in a debate, you’ve lost the plot.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  430. Paul, if semantics games are all you’ve got, well, it’s not good.

    lloyd (e21bb0)

  431. $10 doesn’t even buy two coffees in DC, lloyd. Unserious.

    Since you asked questions, I’ll answer your first: Alito should stop doing stupid sh-t, especially the kind of stupid sh-t that gives a political opening to the Left, especially the kind of stupid sh-t that gives an appearance of judicial bias, especially when there’s going to be a ruling around the corner on an ex-president who invited tens of thousands of his flag-carrying cultists to the Capitol on J6, flags that include upside down American flags and Appeal to Heaven flags.
    Should he recuse? Maybe his colleague, Clarence Thomas, should advise Alito, who recused from deciding on John Eastman’s appeal.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  432. Semantics? Bullsh-t.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  433. Paul’s put up fake links in the past where he alleges they say something bad about Democrats, but only actually accuse Republcians of bad behavior. It’s how he rolls. “True conservatives” only attack conservatives and excuse and give passes to leftists.

    It’s how they roll.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  434. I did it one time, Rob, to make a point, which you apparently whooshed on. Boo hoo.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  435. How many coffees does turning a flag upside down buy?

    True conservatives like Paul reserve their ire for justices appointed by Bush presidents. And, give a pass to leftist judges who Stop Republicans.

    lloyd (e21bb0)

  436. Habitual lying liar Jen Psaki calls Gold Star families liars, gets exposed as a liar

    Even though Psaki’s “useless ass wasn’t even there” on the tarmac at Dover Air Force Base, she confidently asserted that “the president looked at his watch only after the ceremony had ended… Moments later, he and the First Lady headed toward their car.” According to the testimony of the families present, this is an outright lie.

    While Psaki ultimately caved following pressure from the Gold Star families, who successfully forced a mild correction, her impulse to disregard what everyone knew to be true stands not only to condemn her character but the character of the administration she once worked for. After-all, dishonesty has been the hallmark of the Biden administration ever since its failed withdrawal that saw Afghanistan turned over to the Taliban.

    In announcing her slight update, she made no actual apology to the parents and families she slandered, in much the same way that Biden has never said out loud the names of the servicemen and women killed in Afghanistan when he decided to pull up stakes and surrender to the Taliban. Her publication company Simon and Schuster did not respond to request for comment.

    lloyd (e21bb0)

  437. Communist China has produced car battery that recharges in 10 minutes. Good or bad? (AP)

    asset (1fba3e)

  438. True conservatives like Paul reserve their ire for justices appointed by Bush presidents. And, give a pass to leftist judges who Stop Republicans.

    Which pass did I give to “leftist judges”? Did any of them go on raise a hammer-and-sickle? Or go on vacations on the private jets of billionaires?

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  439. Friendly reminder: Keep you seatbelt fastened, however loosely, while flying.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  440. @426

    One MAGA flag at a Supreme Court Justice’s could be seen as a one-off.
    A second MAGA flag at the judge’s other house appears to be a pattern.
    It seems coincidental that Mrs. Alito would be name-called a cvnt at both places by obnoxious neighbors and then reacted by raising a different Capitol Riot flag in protest, but the vacation house is in New Jersey, so…

    Paul Montagu (d4d407) — 5/22/2024 @ 2:54 pm

    le horror!

    Next outrage is that the Alitos also flies the same flag that MAGA protestors used on 1/6…

    The flag in question?

    Old Glory!

    Yup, you heard it… what the absolute gall for a Supreme Court justice to fly the old red-white-blue flag with 50 stars!

    Jeez louis, what is it with ya’ll?

    You do realize what’s happening here Paul?

    It’s an intimidation tactic, likely because someone’s talking behind the scene how the court is going to rule at the end of the session in June.

    I wonder what case that would cause this much intimidation (ala, the Dobbs leak)???

    whembly (86df54)

  441. One MAGA flag at a Supreme Court Justice’s could be seen as a one-off.

    Always able to hear the dogwhistles. An American flag flown upside down is a symbol only of displeasure. That some who do it have a particular beef does not mean that all who do it have the same beef.

    Similarly, when you echo the leftist criticisms, it does not mean you are of the Left, but you should be willing to accept the criticism you so freely throw at others.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  442. One other thing about this manufactured flag story…

    I never even equated the upside flag, (a traditional distress signal) as some symbol supporting the J6er…

    I’m not the only one, who has never even heard of this till now.

    whembly (86df54)

  443. Many people who did not accept that “the election was stolen” were still unhappy with the election outcome. Calling everyone who was displeased with Biden’s victory an election denier is so clearly wrong it’s slanderous.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  444. I never even equated the upside flag, (a traditional distress signal) as some symbol supporting the J6er…

    I’m not the only one, who has never even heard of this till now.

    whembly (86df54) — 5/23/2024 @ 7:01 am

    Me, too, and still less that other flag raised in Justice Alito’s home in New Jersey in 2023 (two years later) although use of Revolutionary War iconography
    associated with the far right. And it’s being treated like it just happened. This is ahit job.

    The New York Times also ran ahit piece today on Nicole Shanahan, Robert F. Kennedy’s choice for vice president focusing on her personal life. I would assume that it’s probably all true, and where there is some uncertainty they say it.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  445. The supreme court is helping to discredit corporate establishment democrat stooges like biden who have no answer when party base asks them what are you going to do about it. AOC and the squad asks better question what is to be done about them! Biden and the other stooges are barely hanging on by their finger nails and if trump wins AOC and the left can’t be stopped from taking over the democrat party!

    asset (bd2091)

  446. The transcripts of the trump trial that the New York Times is publishing (behind a paywall) are better than those that can be read on the New York State court system website, because you can see all pages for one day at the same time.

    Like this for example:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2024/05/22/nyregion/trump-hush-money-trial-transcript-may-20.html

    Page containing links to all days:

    https://www.nytimes.com/article/trump-hush-money-trial-transcripts.htm

    Still in ALL CAPSl

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  447. No, not ALL CAPS.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4ef09)

  448. Atari buys Intellivision. FINALLY!

    The longest console war is finally ended. I guess we can all look forward to uniting our”golden age” game consoles.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  449. Back circa 1980, I worked for Atari and a close friend worked for Intellivision. Lots of snark back and forth. I wish he was still around to see this, he would have found it hilarious.

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  450. No, not ALL CAPS.

    I expect to see, someday, a MAGA Little Red Book with “TRUMPS WORDS IN CAPS”

    Kevin M (a9545f)

  451. I find this concerning:

    Visegrád 24
    @visegrad24
    ·
    7h
    BREAKING:

    Last night, Russia removed the light buoys delineating the border between Russia and Estonia in the Narva river.

    This happened after previous reports stating that Russia intends to unilaterally change its maritime borders with Finland and Estonia.

    Usually this type of thing is just the petty bullying that is periodic but normal behavior from the bad neighbor who drinks vodka from the 4L plastic jug

    steveg (524b76)

  452. Jake Sullivan is a parsing weasel

    max seddon
    @maxseddon
    ·
    May 22
    US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the US has not seen China directly provide weapons to Russia, despite what the UK said.

    “We have not seen that to date. I look forward to speaking with the UK to make sure that we have a common operating picture.

    Here is what Grant Shapp Defence Minister UK said that triggered Jake Sullivan “US and British defence intelligence can reveal that lethal aid is now flying from China to Russia and into Ukraine.
    “And this is new intelligence, which leads me to be able to declassify and reveal this fact today. I think it’s quite significant.”

    Sullivan seems to be parsing the word “direct” and/or allowing the weapons might not be in Ukraine. Yet.

    Sullivan is in way over his head and has been for some time. Probably since he was elevated to National Security Advisor to VP Biden. I will say his actions are completely on brand for a lawyer with a Master of Philosophy from Oxford, and he is probably smart as hell. “smart as hell” and “doing it wrong” are a horrible combination

    steveg (524b76)

  453. Maybe it’s being assembled in North Korea, or shipped through Iran.
    Anyway, Shapp said it was new intelligence,

    There will be a general election in the UK on July 4 and soon thereafter, a new defence (British spelling) Minister.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  454. The UK also didn’t give condolences to Iran, I think.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2484 secs.