i think it is pretty clear that there was a post-January 6th coup and that it is good that there was. https://t.co/IsAJezDr58
— rev. howard arson (@revhowardarson) April 2, 2023
for fourteen days in 2021 we were ruled by a triumvirate of pence, milley, and pelosi.
— rev. howard arson (@revhowardarson) April 2, 2023
BREAKING! (or at least TFG tried real hard to break… )
Thing about being able to do crimes with impunity for your whole life is that you don’t actually get good at hiding it. https://t.co/zY9YhXud6m
— The Fig Economy (@figgityfigs) April 2, 2023
Per the Washington Post, “Justice Dept. said to have more evidence of possible Trump obstruction at Mar-a-Lago” (unpaywalled gift link):
Justice Department and FBI investigators have amassed fresh evidence pointing to possible obstruction by former president Donald Trump in the investigation into top-secret documents found at his Mar-a-Lago home, according to people familiar with the matter.
The additional evidence comes as investigators have used emails and text messages from a former Trump aide to help understand key moments last year, said the people, who like others interviewed for this article spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing criminal investigation.
The new details highlight the degree to which special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the potential mishandling of hundreds of classified national security papers at Trump’s Florida home and private club has come to focus on the obstruction elements of the case — whether the former president took or directed actions to impede government efforts to collect all the sensitive records…
The Mar-a-Lago investigation is one of four separate criminal probes involving Trump, who is campaigning for another term in the White House. Trump has been indicted by a New York grand jury that heard evidence about money paid to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign. He is set to make his first court appearance in that case Tuesday. He is also being investigated by the Justice Department and a state prosecutor in Georgia over efforts to block Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election…
The Washington Post reported in October that Trump’s valet, Walt Nauta, had told investigators that he moved boxes at Mar-a-Lago at the former president’s instruction after the subpoena was issued. Smith’s team has video surveillance footage corroborating that account, The Post reported, and considers the evidence significant…
As investigators piece together what happened in May and June of last year, they have been asking witnesses if Trump showed classified documents, including maps, to political donors, people familiar with those conversations said.
Such alleged conduct could demonstrate Trump’s habits when it came to classified documents, and what may have motivated him to want to keep the papers. The Post has previously reported that Trump told aides he did not want to return documents and other items from his presidency — which by law are supposed to remain in government custody — because he believed they belonged to him…
He’s like an angry toddler who’s gotten his hands on his teenage brother’s rocket-building kit — he has no idea what to do with it, he can’t understand that mishandling it will hurt him even worse than it will the playroom, but he considers it HIS now and NOBODY CAN TAKE IT AWAY FROM HIM. If only he could be distracted with a juice box and a nap…
There are two things that are genuinely new in this WaPo piece (tho it seems to reflect what they obviously expected to get from Corcoran).
1) That they got Molly Michael's emails.
Michael is the one who ordered another aide to copy Trump's schedules.https://t.co/obeZXf18d4 pic.twitter.com/YRx0SAHMki
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) April 2, 2023
2) The other thing that wasn't obvious from earlier investigative steps is that Trump paid particular attention to docs involving Milley.
That's not a doc that was obviously in an office desk, as the compiled doc and the Stone clemency (which had a Secret doc attached). pic.twitter.com/4hMPjtW8ta
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) April 2, 2023
Another classic. Sycophant says Trump would never cross a red line. Tells Trump exactly where it is.
Trump says to his face, on camera: Sure I would.
All you dupes and cynics who still think, after all these years, that you can coach Trump not to be a criminal: That’s on you.
— Will Saletan (@saletan) April 3, 2023
Who’d be Walt Nauta, now?
Is Trump aide Natua like Nixon's Alex Butterfield or vaket Manolo?https://t.co/ejO9YlF63G
— Jill Wine-Banks (@JillWineBanks) April 3, 2023
Arson’s take is dumb.
Who is Arson?
They’re exactly alike, in that I’ve never heard of any of them before.
Pence, Milley, Pelosi, and McConnell. If at all. It’s true that Trump was completely checked out of presidenting.
Say, whatever happened to that guy, McConnell? Haven’t heard from him lately. Funny how the news media doesn’t seem a bit interested.
@Baud: Butterfield is the guy who told the world that Nixon had recording devices in the Oval Office.
I don’t remember the other guy.
Bouncing into a fresh week.
Skating nuns, high-kicking legionnaires, Bollywood and bagpipes. What’s not to like?
(No one will ever accuse Mr. Idle of not milking a shtick to the last drop.)
@Princess: They’re too busy hintimating that Fetterman should resign, for his own mental health, of course.
Am I making things up, or do these leaks in the documents case seem to be significant? Like things are being leaked deliberately? Perhaps to warn certain people that they’d better testify because there is evidence against them? Or is that wishful thinking?
He’s at home recuperating. The official statement says he’s rehabilitating his ability to walk, speak, and think. Yes, seriously. Kinda throws that in there as if it’s no big deal like he’s getting over a cold.
Brit in Chicago
@Baud: Unfair to dumb people.
Am I remembering correctly, or wasn’t Saletan one of the biggest advocates of pro-choicers coming to some ‘grand bargain’ with the ‘pro-lifers’ that would take the abortion issue off the table for the indefinite future?
If he was one of those who believed the ‘pro-lifers’ would accept such a deal and stop trying to do what they’re doing now, that’s on him.
Leaving for France tomorrow for a longish (10-days) visit with our daughter, who has two weeks before she starts her new job with an even snootier French wine dealer than the one she used to work for. It’ll be nice to be in a place where Trump is like page 4 news in the paper.
Bruce K in ATH-GR
Well, TFG wasn’t exactly above-the-fold news on the Greek broadsheets when I checked over the weekend – there’s a national election brewing here – but he made it to the top of the homepage of the Greek edition of Kathimerini. (If you go to ekathimerini.gr today, 3 April at about 12pm UTC, they have a translation into Greek of an opinion piece on Trump from the FTFNYT (the two papers have been working together for years, and the English edition of Kathimerini is included in the international edition of the Times).
The Greek may be illegible to those who don’t understand the language, and TFG’s name is mangled in the way so many non-Greek names are, but the picture is in English.
Good Morning, Everyone😊😊😊
Sounds like Natua may be a hybrid of both.
I remember both of their roles. Manolo was strictly a valet, and was never remotely implicated in any of Nixon’s criming.
Asa Hutchinson (R-who cares) announces for Pres, says tRump should withdraw. This passes for bravery in today’s Rethug Party.
I’m tempted to laugh, but I remember making fun of Jimmy Carter’s run when the Allman Bros Band was donating tour $ to his original presidential primary campaign. Stranger things have happened. Also too, that was a good cautionary event that has pretty much kept me away from gambling. Pretty much 😉
Drip, drip, drip, deluge!
Wheeler’s second Tweet reminded me of how much I’m looking forward to Milley’s memoirs. Milley’s had enough shit dumped on him by Trump and his minions that he’s certain to fire back. This will be Milley’s side and can be read accordingly, but he is not the type to mince words.
I am looking forward with great joy to Trump violating the gag order to threaten both the judge and DA, and getting locked up for it. I don’t think he can stop himself, and I don’t think his aides can stop him. It’s what he does, and he’s obviously pining for Jan 6th.
You kids didn’t live that history. I know who they all are. Manolo Sanchez and Alexander Butterfield. Both Nixon stans but Butterfield testified truthfully and Sanchez never waivered in his loyalty to anything Nixon. He and his wife lived the Nixons until he retired as his valet, I think, in the 80s. Always maintained Nixon was framed.
I was reading somewhere that Lesley Stahl did an interview with MT Greene on “60 Minutes” last night during which Greene did the usual outrageous Q-infused babble (Dems are a pedo ring, etc.) and that Stahl completely normalized it. Did anyone see it?
@lowtechcyclist: Yep. Salatan pushed that bullshit for years. It disqualifies him as a serious person as far as I’m concerned.
@JMG: Sounds like a cool job! Have fun.
@Frankensteinbeck: McConnell’s Senate colleagues have been very reticent about his condition. Maybe he’ll pop up after this recess a little worse for wear. But he’s 82 years old, and at that age even moderate injuries can precipitate a downward slide.
I told a friend last night that McConnell might be taking medical cannabis, and that next time John Cornyn calls him, McConnell might say, “I ain’t coming back. You lazy fucks are on your own!”
To be fair, I don’t believe Butterfield was ever implicated in any criming either. He just testified to the existence of the taping system in the Oval Office.
@Betty Cracker: I read that Tom Nichols live-tweeted a running commentary on the Greene interview. I haven’t gotten around to reading it, but it was said to be good.
Gin & Tonic
Happy NATO expansion day, with an extra welcome to master strategist VV Putin.
I don’t begrudge McConnell his rehab, or taking some time to see if whatever is going on gets better or sticks. But I’m enraged by the media who hounded Hillary for pneumonia, and, more recently, Fetterman, who can’t even ask one question. We should know what’s going on with him and it’s the media’s job yo find out and tell us. But all they can do is soft focus puff piece interviews with MTG.
@Frankensteinbeck: That’s exactly what I think will happen, too.
They will give him a warning, and another warning, and a final warning that if he violates it again, he will go to jail for a few days civil contempt (or whatever they call it).
That will be a rude awakening. Not certain he could mentally make it through that, although having his Secret Service buddies with him might help mitigate the shock.
@NotMax: Now that would be a fun Super Bowl halftime show. The nun flashing her Union Jack undies!
@JMG: Have a great trip (what a cool 😎 job—congrats to daughter!).
@geg6: It was the typo that threw us off on Manolo.
@Gin & Tonic
Well, he dreamed of ending NATO, and now it’s Finnished.
Oooh, definitely award-worthy.
They need to indict Trump on the obstruction/documents case ASAP!
@WaterGirl: I’ve been wondering if he’s lying about voluntarily showing up for the arraignment. Every bit of his attention whore history says he won’t, but I suppose there’s some possibility his lawyers have convinced him that being hauled to jail would not actually help him.
@trnc: I read that the Secret Service has recommended Trump show up voluntarily for his arraignment. They and others argue that an arrest would create security headaches.
@Geminid: Yes, it was most excellent!
He’s got a sharp tongue, in the best way.
Saw the excerpt from the Lesley Stahl interview with Marjorie Taylor Greene about pedophiles. Stahl was appropriately stunned, but I really wish she had asked Greene, “do you worry that kind of language will make you look stupid for not knowing what pedophile means?”
@Shalimar: Yeah, Morning Joe played a few clips. Lesley was not near harsh enough. Lesley also could have asked if she thought that kind of rhetoric would lead to violence like that man showing up at a pizza parlor with a gun.
@Chief Oshkosh: Doh. I missed that first citation. Well, if there was a “coup,” Milley has a lot to answer for. For instance, why didn’t he hang Mango Mussolini upside down in Lafayette Square? C’mon, man! The instructions are right on his boot heels!
@Baud: Butterfield inspired “Butterfield 8.” He was often on the phone with Liz Taylor. After writing “Bangkok 8,” he mentored NYT reporter Jennifer Butterfly8.
Whatever, Nixon became an Elder Statesman. And Opie got to shoot a dullish movie about it.
So, we can lock him up now, yes?
@AWOL: Does anyone else in the class have an answer?
You can’t find a good Esso station in this country anymore.
@Betty Cracker: Well, she’s an actress now. And with the prestigious A24 industry! Why should she lower herself to indulge in knowledge and decency and actually doing the ethical things her initial job requires? That’s leftist totalitarianism!
@Baud: @Another Scott: @lowtechcyclist: read the profile on Nauta when it came out. Former (both at and after WH) body-man, which means combo aide-valet-bag-carrier. Sez he’s former military, invariably quiet, self-effacing, deferential, and quick to take blame and apologize, ie exactly the kind of guy Trump would want next to him. Alas for Trump, also apparently honest and honorable.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@JMG: Where in France are you going?
@Frankensteinbeck: trump will be fined and then he’ll raise money off of that.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
As would jail, but sometimes you have to step up and do the hard stuff.
@bbleh: Well, more that there was video of him doing what he had said he had not done. That whole “under oath” thing perhaps encouraged him to rethink his testimony.
Dr. Jakyll and Miss Deride
@rikyrah: Good morning!
As a Chicago native who left long ago, I’m afraid Paul Vallas is going to become the next mayor, for two main reasons, and I was wondering if you agreed with my take on this.
First, and most obviously, there’s the disgrunted racist voting bloc, which has been seething ever since Harold Washington’s time. I suspect they thought they had the city back for good when Daley the Younger got in, but then somehow things got out of hand again and a Black woman got to be mayor. Clearly, this trend has to be stopped.
Second, Paul Vallas has been vaguely “around” in local and state politics forever, without managing to piss anybody off much — I already knew his name, though not much else about him, when I moved away in 1985. Along with his bland demeanor, that makes him seem like a safe choice for the voters in the aforementioned seething racist bloc.
Is that how things look on the ground?
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: Bordeaux, where my daughter lives and works. Capped with a long weekend in Paris for just Alice and myself.
@Frankensteinbeck: @WaterGirl: I can see it happening, but unlike many other things, I don’t think it would be because he can’t control himself. When it comes to legal proceedings, he is typically very careful and — it’s true! — close-mouthed. However, he might still do it because he thinks it would make him a martyr for his cult, and in that he might be right. “Not gonna let ’em stop me fighting, folks, not even if they put me in jail.” Followed by massive outpouring of outrage about the Deep State and how Soros funded the jail or something.
@trnc: @Geminid: I read that the choice is still up to him — if he says I want handcuffs, the SS can’t say no — but of course they would prefer it all be done as quickly and quietly as possible. I can even see them prepping the Manhattan court house as a diversion and then quietly doing it somewhere offsite with the judge, perhaps with a small press pool &/or live-streaming it to a media room so it’s technically public.
@narya: yeah IIRC he “remembered” and “revised and extended” pretty quickly. Loyal yes, but not as dishonest (or dumb) as the lackeys who take the fall.
I’m glad we’re finally getting tough on crime.
@p.a.: hopefully Asa is moderate enough for No Labels to stand down. Only a handful of air headed Democrats would vote for a Hogan/Manchin “unity” ticket but that would be enough.
I don’t think he can stop. Threats are the only strategy he knows. They’re an outlet for his constant narcissist “Do you know who I am???” rage. They’re integral to his political appeal and always have been. As his popularity wanes, fantasizing about Jan 6th and that he’s Hitler with an army of brownshirts seems to be his method of compensating. I think he’s going to keep making at best veiled, insulting threats to the judge and DA until his ability to send public messages is physically taken away from him. I admit I could be wrong on this one, but that sure seems to be who he is.
TFG gave the game away on Hannity when he claimed Nixon was paid $18M for documents. He took the documents so he could sell them back to the Government. That explains why he didn’t simply make copies – he needed the originals to sell back.
There have been reports that a number of gifts foreign governments gave to POTUS during the Trump mal-administration are missing. Given past behavior, he probably viewed those as personal gifts and felt entitled to take them.
These leaks are certainly titillating, but the process-oriented former government lawyer in me wishes they weren’t happening.
You think the leaks are from DOJ?
I don’t know, but I hope not and I would be surprised and disappointed if they are. The indoctrination about Rule 6(e) begins about five minutes after your photo is taken for your ID badge, and there are refreshers at every in-house CLE. And that’s true even at agencies that are only occasionally involved in grand jury matters, like IRS Chief Counsel and SEC Enforcement Division.
@Bruce K in ATH-GR:
OK, so I’m a little confused: does the “Nt” (nu-tau, I assume) now approximate the “D” sound? Does delta not get used? Or does an initial delta have a different sound?
Obviously, my knowledge of Greek is, shall we say, rudimentary.
Hogan as already said he will not run in 2024 as it will only help drumpf. I did not like him as my governor, but he isn’t an idiot.
Btw I know it’s That Paper but this is good: Republicans Can’t Find A Path Out of the Debt Ceiling Problem They Created
@PAM Dirac: um…
Dr. Jakyll and Miss [email protected]: That’s something like what I fear. Holding out slim hope because in the first round not-Vallas got twice as many votes as Vallas; in the last polls I saw, undecided was still large. But it’s all too likely that you have the underlying sentiment right, and some endorsements he’s got from local Democratic mainstays have ranged from dismaying to disgusting. Gov. Pritzker, a Chicago resident, is sitting this one out. No vibe filter is perfect, but I really don’t like the guy (Vallas, if that wasn’t clear).
Foldovers in garlic sauce (with beef or chicken) should be on the McDonalds menu all year, instead of just being seasonal items. They’re way better than Mickey D’s burgers.
@Jeffro: Joe Manchin has an active fantasy life, doesn’t he?
Good morning, jackals.
In modern Greek, the delta is pronounced like the “th” in “breathe”. The nu/tau has been introduced as the orthography for the hard “d” sound.
BC in Illinois
AL: Your title is correct. “A Busy Week.” And I don’t want too much focus on Tuesday.
Tuesday is not the big event. Tuesday is only the tip-off for game one of a 5 to 7 game series.
It’s a sigle-elimination tornament.
In what universe is Joe Manchin a serious presidential contender?
@BC in Illinois: It would be really funny to do brackets for this……what will ultimately bring him down?!
@Elizabelle: I’d like to see No Labels’ proposed budget almost as much as I’d like to see House Republicans’ proposed budget.
@Dr. Jakyll and Miss Deride: I’m more optimistic about Johnson’s chances than I was after the run off but I agree a Vallas win is more likely. In the Johnson column, it may help that Chuy Garcia endorsed him. SEIU was all over my neighbourhood on the weekend for him. On the other side, Duck Durbin endorsed Vallas, wtf. And a Bernie guy named Jamal Green who came 6th in the primary is slandering Johnson on Twitter. Vallas must have offered him a job. I’m curious about how other Chicagoans see it. My corner of the city will go for Johnson.
@Dr. Jakyll and Miss Deride: I’m in Chicago, and am afraid you’re right that we may have to deal with Vallas as mayor. From the beginning of the campaign, the media has been doing the usual drumming up of panic over crime, and Vallas, who promises to be a tool of the police union, has presented himself as the quintessential lawnorder tough guy.
His opponent, Brandon Johnson, is supported by the teacher’s union, where there is no love lost for Vallas, who was previously CEO of the school system. Johnson’s campaign seems to have shifted the narrative somewhat by digging up quotes of Vallas saying that he is deep down more Republican than Democrat, and that he is fundamentally opposed to abortion.
As a result we’ve had a war of slick flyers coming through the mail slots with Johnson’s flyers repeating these allegations, and Vallas’ flyers saying no no no, I really am too a Democrat and pro-choice (really, really!), and also very woke.
It was a smooth move by Johnson’s campaign, but probably not enough. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of institutional power behind Vallas, including endorsements from well-known and respected Democrats like Jesse White, the long-standing Secretary of State.
Election day is Tuesday (big day!) so we’ll soon see.
@Amir Khalid: I think Manchin just wants attention. There is little demand anywhere for a “Centrist” ticket.
I am more interested in whether Manchin runs for another Senate term. He says good things about one potential opponent, Governor Jim Justice. He says the other Republican, Rep. Mooney, only cares about himself and not West Virginians. I get the impression that if Manchin would not run if he knew Justice would be the Republican nominee.
One where he’s getting paid to be.
The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion
@NotMax: (Non-gender specific) Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuude!
@Amir Khalid:In what universe is Joe Manchin a serious presidential contender?
I think it’s Earth-1950, something like that.
More seriously, it’s in a universe where Manchin is likely to finally lose his Senate seat in deeply red WV if he runs again, and he’s not done being an attention whore, so yeah, why not run for president and be in front of the cameras 24/7? Why not have people nod thoughtfully as you blather on and on about how you’re so ‘moderate’ and awesome?
Regardless of the risk to the country, of course. What’s important here is Joe Effin’ Manchin. (eyeroll)
@Betty Cracker, @Geminid:
Tom Nichols did live-tweet it. He didn’t threadle-ize it; you have to start here and read upward in his timeline.
It’s pretty clear, both from Nichols’s comments and others’, that Stahl gave Greene a ton of free publicity, if not an outright tongue-bath. “Lesley Riefenstahl” should be trending.
Gin & Tonic
@Amir Khalid: I must have missed them on the McDonald’s menu; a real shame.
@lowtechcyclist: Yes–he didn’t see that Roe was a compromise, that Casey moved it toward the anti-abortion position already, that any Grand Bargain that was possibly available had already been tried and the anti camp had a maximalist position and would not be mollified by anything.
Or that, by establishing delays with waiting periods and mandatory ultrasounds and “informational” and parental-consent requirements, they were already trying to push abortions into the realm where fewer people were comfortable with them being legal–a kind of political squeeze maneuver. These are not people you can find any common ground with.
The Moar You Know
@Geminid: cannabis is good for a lot of things but would be one of the absolute last things you’d want to be taking while dealing with a brain injury.
I have a feeling McConnell won’t be coming back.
First, when you tell your voters for decades that most of their taxes are being spent on Those People, those voters expect you to stop spending on Those People, but keep spending on the Deserving. Second, a whole lot of people have been resting comfortably in their belief that Republicans can’t possibly be as evil as they are
Nancy can. Easily. Go on, Kevin. Let there be a clean debt ceiling vote and watch what happens. All that’s going on is you’re dragging your feet to avoid that humiliation.
Sounds like Kevin is starting to see a deadline looming on that dragging his feet thing. While I’m confident that there are plenty of crossovers to make a vote go through, Republican cowardice means they’ll procrastinate as long as they can and hope for… well, there’s really no goal other than procrastination.
In a newsletter piece reacting to MTG’s “60 Minutes” appearance, Steve Schmidt brilliantly summarized Greene’s position vis-à-vis her establishment Repub handlers:
LOL! He’s a shit, but I appreciate Schmidt’s ability to produce a vivid turn of phrase.
In her blog post on the WaPo article emptywheel mentions something that has always figured in to my reasoning as part of why the charges are taking a while:
James E Powell
Sometime in the summer of 2003, I wrote, with the supreme confidence of a dumbass, that John Kerry should withdraw. He & his meandering, straddling type of politics were finished.
Game recognizes game.
...now I try to be amused
It wasn’t a coup so much as a “soft 25th Amendment”. But whatever you want to call it, Trump was quietly cut out of the loop, and that was for the best.
@smith: Yeah, my corner of the city is very (but not exclusively) Johnson, which is absolutely no surprise at all. It’s basically the cop “union” against the teachers’ union. Johnson seems to have enough money to run ads, which is good–the Vallas ads are all crime-crime-he-wants-to-defund-the-police-CRIME. I voted last week, and am keeping my fingers crossed. (I voted for Johnson in the primary, too.)
@Gin & Tonic:
Around the world, there are a lot of Mickey D items that are specific to a country or region, but will never be seen on an American menu. Be glad that durian shakes were never sold in the USA.
Deputinize Eurasia from the Kuriles to St Petersburg
@Bruce K in ATH-GR:
That spells about like I would expect in Greek. The transliteration of Donald is …. something.
WaPo has a front page story about a potential No Labels spoiler campaign. I think that possibility was discussed here recently, but this article quotes Joe Lieberman, who disappointingly reemerged to remind me that he’s still alive. It sounds like Repubs are as nervous about a spoiler campaign as Dems. Arguably, they should be MORE worried since their base will likely nominate a far-right extremist, possibly one under multiple indictments, one who was pantsed by Mickey Mouse, one who worked for and constantly praised a crooked loon, etc.
@narya: Also, and I have NO clue how this plays in general, but Johnson actually appears in his own ads. Vallas just has folks like White talking about how he’s so dreamy.
Deputinize Eurasia from the Kuriles to St Petersburg
There’s a strong case for ankle-monitored home confinement in New York (thank you, Ron DeSantis), along with a broad prohibition on social media participation and virtual appearances.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
@Shalimar: How are these media figures stunned at this point? MTG is a true believer and one of many. She’s made that abundantly clear for years. The ignorance of who she is would be reasonable if this interview was years ago, but at this point? What bubble do the media live in?!
Two questions for the lawyers in the audience:
Do the documents charges require showing criminal intent?
And the obvious followup, is the above (televised!) statement sufficient to show criminal intent?
@Betty Cracker: Like you, I had no idea Lieberman was still alive.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
… as “Tramp”? That seems OK to me.
BC in Illinois
One observation from this past weekend.
I have been interested in indictment news. Mrs BC and I did finish off the sangria in honor of the announcement, but we would have done that anyway. We’ll pull out the Bailey’s when the full list of charges comes out. And then the many more to come.
My observation, however, is that in getting together this past weekend with various family people, church people, dinner with friends, etc., Trump was *never* mentioned.
If there were going to be a call for St Louis area street demonstrations in support of the indictment, I would be on the Facebook pages to hear of it. Nothing.
I don’t sense a groundswell of anything.
Bruce K in ATH-GR
@SFAW: In modern Greek, “delta” has more of a “th” sound, like “that” or “the”. “Beta” is another weird one – pronounced like “v” instead of “b”, so the English “B” gets translated into “mp”. For a great example, see how Greek bureaucrats changed Giannis Antetokounmpo’s name from his family name of “Adetokunbo”.
Bruce K in ATH-GR
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: Transliteration can be hell on names. For over a decade, my Greek ID name didn’t match my US passport, which actually caused problems when I tried to use a credit card with my properly Latin-spelled name on it. And don’t even get me started on whether the surname or given name comes first – they’re not even consistent about that within the same document.
That is a good, solidly reasoned piece. You highlighted the nut graf. (“The ceiling is a useless legislative construct [. . .].”)
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@SFAW: Yeah, I just learned that transliteration.
My knowledge of the Greek alphabet came from years of physics and math and all the Greek letters they use. I knew the names of all the letters and so it was a short leap to be able to read Greek phonetically, even though the words I actually know can be counted on one hand.
Modern Greek actually pronounces delta with a voiced TH sound, as in THEY or THIS. So they have to use some other letter combination to represent the D sound, and apparently NT is what they use.
There are a couple others like that. I think MP represents the B sound, as beta has a different sound (maybe V?)
I still get the feeling something BIG is about to hit on the documents matter.
Trump thinks he’s going home tomorrow night to have one of his bitch fests; I’m guessing the judge hits him with a gag order tomorrow, coupled with a warning of “don’t fuck with me”, and, of course, Trump being a stupid motherfucker, will fuck with him the first night possible. He’ll be daring the court to cut off his balls and, by tomorrow night, he might lose the jewels.
But I keep coming back to the documents thing; there is some serious shit about to hit the fan there. Republicans might be about to have lots of Easter Eggs on their faces (damn, I hope they remember to NOT use the hard boiled ones).
Two “stars” from the talented House Class of 2018 are featured in separate articles. Yesterday Politico published a “wide-ranging interview” of Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez titled, “From agitator to insider: the evolution of AOC.”
And today, the New Republic has a long article about Rep. Katie Porter by Grace Segers, titled “Katie Porter Will Tell You What She Thinks.” My friend Joan really liked it. She’s a big Porter fan.
@Dangerman: My fantasy is that they’ve uncovered solid evidence that he gave or sold information to foreign agents. Espionage would be a hard rap to beat.
@James E Powell: Well, Kerry lost the general election, so I guess in a sense you were right. Don’t know if anyone else could have done better in that cycle though–it was kind of impressive that he got it close.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
I agree, but that means we still have to be patient. Jack Smith is reportedly moving with lightning speed, but as the law apparently works in geological time, legal “lightning speed” is more like a very slow walk.
There are lots of I’s to dot and T’s to cross to make sure they assemble evidence that will stand up in court, and getting the right witnesses in to provide that evidence.
Anyway, the latest document thing that legal commentators are getting all excited about is that a staffer has provided direct evidence that TFG personally handled the documents and decided which ones to keep and which ones to let the government have back. This is apparently a Very Big Deal and pretty much seals the deal on some very serious charges.
(Note: Apparently I use “apparently” a lot. It’s a bad habit but apparently one that is deeply embedded.)
...now I try to be amused
@Ceci n est pas mon nym:
Did you pick up the habit from a parent? ;)
Trump is all about the spectacle — his one real talent is hyping up bullshit and staying at the center of it. He allegedly told cronies he wanted to do a handcuffed perp walk, and at first that seemed strange to me because, as a somewhat normal person, I would consider such an experience to be humiliating.
But maybe Trump senses that dry indictment announcements and low-key court appearances won’t juice the base. Same with when the FBI served a warrant on his Florida dump in a low-key way — he had to hype that up into a RAID wherein deep state goons rifled through the Third Lady’s undie drawer.
If the judge does impose a gag order, I agree with those upthread who say he’ll violate it immediately and repeatedly. Not only because he can’t resist running his big fat mouth but because he needs to create a spectacle and persecution drama with himself at the center.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym:
Allegedly is a very good word in this context.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
@Amir Khalid: They are also not available in the States, which makes me sad. I want to try them.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: And a partridge in an apparently pear tree?
From the FTFNYT:
1) Trying to negotiate with these bozos would be like trying to negotiate with the French taunters in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. “Is there someone else up there we could talk to?” “No. Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time.” Biden knows how it would go, and he’s not gone anywhere near their castle.
2) May I ask who wrote this? It’s actual honest reporting! It couldn’t possibly be Peter Baker or Maggie Haberman; we know what their drivel is like.
I was primed to hate ChatGPT until I read this:
I welcome our new AI overlords…
@Amir Khalid: Sliced beets and fried eggs on the burgers in New Zealand. Some of the time. I’ve never seen a place so mad for beets as New Zealand. I even learned to like filaments of beet on top of nachos.
@Bruce K in ATH-GR:
Thanks (to you and the others who have helped).
But that transliteration of Giannis’s family name is really interesting. [Being serious.] It also helps me pronounce his (family) name. Not that I have a lot of call to do that, of course, but I hate getting people’s names worng.
@Amir Khalid: this foldover sounds terrific…is this done in something like a roti/chapati?
It would be irresponsible NOT to speculate on whether Turdley DID sexually harass his students, his protestations being too much, methinks.
@Betty Cracker: Maybe ChatGPT can predict the future.
My junior high English teacher would call this wordy. Fixed.
I’m not sure what kind of flatbread they use. McDonalds doesn’t say. It’s on the soft and fluffy side, and doesn’t look, taste, or chew like any Indian flatbread or tortilla I’ve ever tried.
I can’t stand Turley, but if someone were falsely accused (of any serious offense), exactly how much protestation would be enough? Too much?
So the AI is also (too) writing articles accusing faculty of sexually harassing their students? Oh goody! What could possibly go wrong?
The Kropenhagen Interpretation
Well, he could always seek votes from Democrats. And it would be simple. Their only demand would be “no demands.”
@Betty Cracker: As many people have pointed out, it’s a problem that ChatGPT will just make things up*, but it’s a much bigger problem that it presents its fantasies** with just as much confidence** as the accurate info.
* I’m anthropomorphizing ridiculously, but “make things up” is shorter than explaining how predictive models work.
** See previous footnote.
Randy Rainbow’s new video is a fun little bop, and shows off his vocal chops quite well. That’s some good breath control near the end! Grumpy Trumpy Felon From Jamaica in Queens (to the tune of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, LOL)
The author is David Firestone, a member of the Times editorial board.
@Betty Cracker: The Marsha’s Plate podcast hosts had a little fun with ChatGPT on their last episode asking it questions about Transgender Rights (the focus of their show) and the answers were actually really good!! Like much better than the answers you would get from an average person. Very detailed and nuanced and really never said anything sketchy or misleading. It actually did a damn good job of illustrating the scientific and medical consensus on Gender-Affirming Care and Gender Identity. I was impressed and surprised since I would’ve expected some NYTimes/BothSides/TERFy bullshit would have seeped in somewhere, but nope. None of that, at all.
Like many of us, he’s a legend in his own mind. Most of us have the sense to not act on the basis of our own legends, though.
No Labels is such bullshit. My recollection from past years is that they do their best to weasel out of answering any questions about how their platform would differ from those of the two real political parties.
And of course, No Labels is even dumber now than it’s ever been, as the GQP, on a descent into a bizarre anti-intellectual end state, doesn’t really have a platform anymore, beyond opposing CRT and “wokeness,” implementing ever more draconian restrictions on anything that might possibly be medically described as an abortion, and passing state laws to try to make life as horrible as possible for trans persons.
No Labels is what, then – an attempt to split the difference between reality and insanity? It boggles the mind.
@Ken: So not any different than actual human communication, even by prestige trusted media sources then.
I see it as at worst a lateral shift vs social media, though I think people are generally more trusting of humans so possibly a little less bad, and at least one that might get fixed or at least improved on. We’ll always have at least some level of a garbage in garbage out problem with AI, as long as it’s based on humans.
We already can’t agree on what’s accurate and what the truth is. How the machines are supposed to be able to figure that out better than we do is a bit of a mystery to me.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
It’s just extrapolating the Dick Cheney model. Anonymously source an article, then quote that article as an independent source for your claim.
Thanks! But how did a person who actually tells the truth about our politics, rather than trying to equate the two parties and bothsides everything, get on the FTFNYT editorial board?? My mind is boggled.
I mean, I’m sure a clear majority of the board has their brains exactly where you would expect (IOW, about as far up their asses as the width of their shoulders will allow), but I would have expected that condition to be unanimous.
...now I try to be amused
Which is to say, ChatGPT is a bullshit generator.
No Labels doesn’t have to be smart or serious. They merely need to get on ballots and draw 10k-20k votes in closely contested states like WI, AZ or NV, which given the stupidity of the American electorate at large, isn’t that big of a reach.
@Amir Khalid: What the Malaysian McDonald’s, Batman?
@Princess: Voting for Johnson later today.
@lowtechcyclist: it says
@The Kropenhagen Interpretation: I think that’s how this nonsense ends. McCarthy tells 10-12 of the less nutty House GOP members (maybe the ones in Biden/swing districts) “go ahead and vote for the increase”.
And then he’s immediately pelted by poo from the poo-flinging monkeys in the Freedumb Caucus, but whatever. He won’t be Speaker too much longer anyway.
*Looks like a bastardized pita (i.e., no pocket in pita but more like a thick lavaash/flatbread).
*Have never seen one in person
Late to the party, but now it’s Lesley Riefenstahl forever. Thank you Steeplejack, perfect.
One thing about the Dem primary campaign of 1976 was that it was wide open; there really was no front runner going into 1976. It was a crazy field, there were a dozen candidates worthy of being taken at least somewhat seriously. George Wallace and Jerry Brown were both running. There was no reason to think a Carter win was out of the question.
Carter was one of a few candidates who spoke at my college in the fall of 1975. He was impressive and I took him seriously from that point on.
The mental states are different for the various offenses. For 793(e) (the Espionage Act) and 2071 (unlawful possession), the mental state is “willful.” For 1519 (obstruction), the mental state is “knowing,” which is generally considered to be easier to prove.
@Sean: yup. It’s a real problem. (It’s also telling that they seem to be aiming strictly at swing states, too. Why not run in red states, No Labels, hmm??)
I suspect they will draw at least some votes from Never Trumpers, but they’ll draw at least as many from air headed libs, and that’s a problem. We need bigger margins, not another nail-biter!
@…now I try to be amused: You don’t sound amused.
Nope. In fact, if I were defending Trump I would argue that the statement shows a lack of willfulness. As I understand it, and I would be happy for somebody who deals with this shit on a regular basis to correct me if I’m wrong, an essential part of willfulness is knowledge that the action at issue is wrongful. The gist of Trump’s statement is “ I believed I was in the right.”
I don’t think you are wrong. He’s lived his entire live yelling from the dumpster. He’s a one note moron, with a big mouth and a brain of mush. And he’s an old fart who has been, once in his useless existence a major player. That he can’t play well or by the rules or stay in bounds is because he’s a moronic boof. A person whose major image of life is him as the best in the world. He just doesn’t understand that best dipshit on the planet isn’t a good thing.
@…now I try to be amused: Well yeah, of course it is, its training data is human communication.
Confidently making shit up is like our thing as a species.
@Nelle: Beets have filaments?
The universe that is Joe Manchin’s mind, such as it is.
Which means that it is likely that you or I stand a better chance and we have zero name recognition. Our chance is likely better because of that.
he needs to create a spectacle and persecution drama with himself at the center.
This is always the first order of business with SFB. Always is, always has been. It’s also the only order of business that he actually knows.
@Jeffro: Joe Biden or another Dem could benefit from those Never Trumper votes in a close race, so losing them to No Labels bullshit could be fatal, especially if turnout lags or suffers amongst any other part of the dem coalition. Of course, Manchin, Hogan, et al could never win. They aren’t trying to win, they’re trying to fuck the rest of us and gain whatever spoils they can in the process. Not to mention the shit show of senate races where No Labels balloteers can vacuum up the votes of fence sitter types on an already horrible 2024 map.
@Princess: Yes, I have been saying the same thing but you and I seem to be the only ones. When Biden wasn’t campaigning during the pandemic and Hillary had pneumonia, they had both of them with one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel, along with heavy health speculation.
McConnell’s been missing almost a month and seems to be getting a total pass.
That fucker gleefully danced on RBG’s grave. He would never miss an opportunity to kick a democrat when they are down.
They should be staking him out 24 hours a day “just asking questions” and fucking speculating. At the very least. It would be irresponsible not to, right?
@Jeffro: They can easily find a path out. Just accede to reality and vote a clean limit increase with no shenanigans. They just don’t want to because they want to play hostage taker in vain hopes their terrorist demands are met. Then they plan to kill the hostage anyway.
Not trying to defend McConnell – at least not specifically. First as a not quite as old as him geezer my own self (who seems to be in quite a bit better health than most my age) he’s lived with polio only one year less than his entire life. As a person born before the vaccine arrived I’ve known personally 4 people with this disease. One I push around in a wheelchair rather regularly, one I went to school for 12 yrs with and haven’t seen since the late 70s and 2 friends mothers, both of whom had iron lungs in their front rooms and both of whom passed decades ago. This disease, if you don’t know is rather physically debilitating. The fact that he’s still breathing and walking at 82 yrs old is actually quite amazing. And I’ve known a hell of a lot of people that didn’t even make it to 70, and they didn’t have polio. Sure, he’s had pretty decent healthcare for most of his adult life, he still lives with a very debilitating disease. I imagine that his health isn’t as good as he lets on and that if he is still mentally as good as he was a month ago, he may still not be back because I’d bet that he does not want to live in a wheelchair. And I’d bet that he is at the very least, at that point. This wasn’t his first fall in the last 10 yrs, but it may be his worst. We all get old, till we don’t. He’s done pretty damn good, physically, given his disease and it’s lifetime consequences, and especially as he’s on the shitty side of politics.
@Dr. Jakyll and Miss Deride: I live in Chicago, and I think Johnson will get smashed. Just a few days ago, Black Men United endorsed Vallas, and I’m not surprised at all. Not only does Johnson have to deal with his “defend the police” stuff, I think his ties to CPU are hurting him, too. Also, I believe that older, black voters are a lot more conservative than is generally understood by the media.
@Pennsylvanian: Don’t you know only Democrats deserve to get hounded about their health? :)
@Ruckus: Lots of people live with both chronic conditions and disabilities. I get it, but there is a legitimate public interest in the ongoing survival and condition of the Senate Minority Leader, who has been missing for nearly a month.
I get that. I’m with you on this. And I don’t think that our congress should be mostly old farts or that they should stay till they are carried out. But that isn’t the way it is at this moment. Also they are as human as we all are and they get sick and sometimes can’t show up. We would like them all to be great, to be present every day they are in session but that’s not reality. And if you add in the age/medical history of some, they likely shouldn’t be there at all. But all of our wishes are not the laws and rules that guide and bind them. And we do not get to pick and choose who other citizens vote for. We get to vote for the the ones who run in our state and district. As has been said many times life is messy, unpredictable and never perfect. Ya get what ya gets. This is what we get. You want it changed, work at getting it changed and good luck with that.