Democracy Has Prevailed.

May 29, 2024

Today, The Jury Gets The Case

From The NYTimes:

Jurors in Donald J. Trump’s criminal trial will begin deliberations on Wednesday after hearing hours of closing arguments that portrayed the case in stark and irreconcilable terms.

And:

A prosecutor, Joshua Steinglass, meticulously described a scheme on the eve of the 2016 election to muzzle a porn star’s account of a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump. The woman, Stormy Daniels, kept quiet after Mr. Trump’s onetime fixer, Michael D. Cohen, bought her silence with a $130,000 hush-money deal.

The machinations crossed a legal line, prosecutors say, when Mr. Trump reimbursed Mr. Cohen for the hush money and falsified records to cover the whole thing up.

“All roads lead to the man who benefited the most, Donald Trump,” Mr. Steinglass said, adding that it was done to “hoodwink the American voter.”

Lock him up! 

Meanwhile:

A defense lawyer, Todd Blanche, said in his summation that Mr. Trump’s actions were not crimes, but merely business as it is commonly practiced. The felony charges of falsifying business records, he said, were a lie-riddled sham without “a shred of evidence.”

Nope.

Lock him up! 

LOCK HIM UP!

 

May 28, 2024

Closing Arguments

From The NYTimes:

Former President Donald J. Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial will enter its final stage Tuesday as defense lawyers and prosecutors deliver their closing arguments in a last attempt to sway the 12 New Yorkers who will decide his fate.

Lock him up!

Lock him up!

LOCK HIM UP!


May 26, 2024

He Got Booed. TRUMP GOT BOOED.

From The NY Times:

Early in his speech at the Libertarian Party’s national convention on Saturday, Donald J. Trump told the party’s delegates bluntly that they should nominate him as its candidate for president. He was vigorously booed.

That was the first paragraph.

It was followed by this:

When the jeers died down, Mr. Trump, visibly frustrated with the rowdy reception he had received ever since taking the stage, dug in and went a step further, seeming to insult the very group that had invited him.

“Only do that if you want to win,” he said of nominating him. “If you want to lose, don’t do that. Keep getting your three percent every four years.”

The boos began anew, only louder.

He got booed. 

And this is the first paragraph of the coverage from The Washington Post:

Former president Donald Trump encountered an unusually tough crowd at the Libertarian National Convention on Saturday night as the audience loudly booed him and used noisemakers to drown out his speech.

He got booed.

Reuters:

Presidential candidate Donald Trump was booed and heckled by many in a raucous audience at the Libertarian National Convention on Saturday night, a marked change from the adulation he receives at rallies from his fervently loyal supporters.

Again that's the first paragraph.

He got booed. 

AP:

Donald Trump was booed repeatedly while addressing the Libertarian Party National Convention on Saturday night, with many in the crowd shouting insults and decrying him for things like his COVID-19 policies, running up towering federal deficits and lying about his political record.

 And, just like all the others, this was the first paragraph.

He got booed.

And now the first paragraph from the reporting from Fox:

Donald Trump addressed the Libertarians’ National Convention on Saturday night in an effort to win over activists who are skeptical of the GOP frontrunner, and turn them away from independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Is it surprising that Fox makes no mention of any booing? 

The closest they got was paragraph three:

The former president addressed a rowdy crowd, seemingly split 50-50 between his supporters and Libertarian skeptics. 

No mention of booing.

Donald Trump got booed.


May 24, 2024

Something, Evidently, You CAN NOT SAY on the Floor of The People's House

Evidently, facts can be offensive to the "rule of law" party that they must never ever be uttered.

For example this:

We have a presumptive nominee for president facing 88 felony counts, and we’re being prevented from even acknowledging it. These are not alternative facts. These are real facts. A candidate for president of the United States is on trial for sending a hush money payment to a porn star to avoid a sex scandal during his 2016 campaign and then fraudulently disguising those payments in violation of the law. He is also charged with conspiring to overturn the election. He is also charged with stealing classified information. A jury has already found him liable for rape in a civil court and yet in this Republican controlled  it is OK to talk about the trial but you have to call it a sham. It is OK to say the jury is rigged but not that Trump should be held accountable. It is OK to say the court is corrupt but not that Trump is corrupting the rule of law.

Was stricken from the House record recently.

In a MAGA world, criticizing the orange vulgarity is verboten.

Lawrence O'Donnell has the story:


Remember, in a Unified Reich - Das ist verboten!

May 23, 2024

Doug Mastriano and the Appeal to Heaven Flag

So much happening.

Let's start here:

Last summer, two years after an upside-down American flag was flown outside the Virginia home of Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., another provocative symbol was displayed at his vacation house in New Jersey, according to interviews and photographs.

This time, it was the “Appeal to Heaven” flag, which, like the inverted U.S. flag, was carried by rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Also known as the Pine Tree flag, it dates back to the Revolutionary War, but largely fell into obscurity until recent years and is now a symbol of support for former President Donald J. Trump, for a religious strand of the “Stop the Steal” campaign and for a push to remake American government in Christian terms.

Alito should recuse. 

But that's not why we're here.

This is:


You can watch the video here. See what's over Doug's left shoulder?  An "Appeal to Heaven" flag.

BTW, at about 2:50 in, Doug calls the events of January 6 "a form of terrorism" and "un-American."

He also says (3:28 in) that the violence was "a threat to the men and women in blue." He also said that instigating violence to push a political agenda is never acceptable.

Good to have heard him say it at some point, I suppose.

There's also this:

Whah??  But isn't "threaten(ing) the New Yorker journalist" um instigating violence to push a political agenda?

Then there's this:

In the prayer, he mentions an "Esther moment" and in his testimony to the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 attach, Andrew Seidel explains Doug's use of the phrase:

Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano is a front- runner for governor in the 2022 race, having answered "God's calling" asking him to run. Mastriano and Saccone posed for a photo together outside the Capitol on January 6th. First elected in 2019, Mastriano humbly compared his political motivations to the biblical figure Queen Esther, who stopped the ancient Persians from massacring the Israelites. Mastriano reportedly stated that "if we get the call, we're not going to stand away from our Esther moment." The story of Esther ends with sons impaled on poles, 300 executions, and 75,000 enemies slaughtered, shading Mastriano's "Esther moment" with bloody violence. A day before the insurrection, Mastriano noted that Republicans "were in a death match" with Democrats. Nothing suggests that he personally entered the Capitol, but he was just outside the building and declared that he was "really praying that God will pour His Spirit upon Washington, D.C., like we've never seen before." He joined several public prayer calls after the election, including one to "pray that we'll take responsibility, we'll seize the power that we had given to us by the Constitution and as well by you providentially. I pray for the leaders also in the federal government, God, on the sixth of January that they will rise up with boldness."
But wait, Doug. I thought that using violence for a political end was never acceptable?

If you believe that, then what the hell are you going on about our "Esther moment?"


May 22, 2024

It's All There. Right In Front Of Us.

As a frame, let's start here

Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, plans next month to fast-track a Senate vote on a bill to protect access to contraception nationwide, the start of an election-year push to highlight Republicans’ record of opposing reproductive rights that voters view as at risk of being stripped away.

The Right to Contraception Act is expected to be blocked in the closely divided Senate, where most Republicans are against it. But a vote on the bill is a crucial plank of Democrats’ strategy as they seek to protect their majority in the Senate, in part by forcing G.O.P. lawmakers to go on the record with their opposition to policies with broad bipartisan support.

Access to contraception is a constitutional right regarded by many voters as possibly the next to go after the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. Recent moves by conservative state houses and governors have added to a sense of urgency about addressing it at the federal level.

One of those moves was made right here in Pittsburgh:

Donald Trump signaled in an interview with a local Pittsburgh TV station that he is open to restricting access to birth control.

KDKA aired an interview with the former president shortly after his defense team rested its case in his criminal hush-money trial in New York.

“Do you support any restrictions on a person’s right to contraception?” host Jon Delano asked.

“We’re looking at that, and I’m going to have a policy on that very shortly and I think it’s something that you’ll find interesting,” Trump replied. “You will find it very smart. I think it’s a smart decision.”

Of course, the stable orange genius backpedaled

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he did not support restricting birth control after saying earlier in the day he was “looking at” contraceptives when asked if he supported any restrictions to the right to contraception.

“I HAVE NEVER, AND WILL NEVER ADVOCATE IMPOSING RESTRICTIONS ON BIRTH CONTROL, or other contraceptives,” Trump posted on Truth Social. “I DO NOT SUPPORT A BAN ON BIRTH CONTROL, AND NEITHER WILL THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!”

Trump’s post comes after the Biden campaign seized on comments the former president made in an interview with Pittsburgh TV station KDKA-TV when asked if he supported restricting access to contraception.

“We’re looking at that, and I’m going to have a policy on that very shortly and I think it’s something that you’ll find interesting,” Trump said. 

But here's the thing - no matter how back the backpedaling can go, restrictions on birth control are already part of the GOP discussion in the run-up to the 2024 election:

Allies of former President Donald J. Trump and officials who served in his administration are planning ways to restrict abortion rights if he returns to power that would go far beyond proposals for a national ban or the laws enacted in conservative states across the country.

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

This is what the MAGA GOP is looking to enforce. A ban on:

Every obscene, lewd, lascivious, indecent, filthy or vile article, matter, thing, device, or substance; and

Every article or thing designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion, or for any indecent or immoral use; and

Every article, instrument, substance, drug, medicine, or thing which is advertised or described in a manner calculated to lead another to use or apply it for producing abortion, or for any indecent or immoral purpose; and

Every written or printed card, letter, circular, book, pamphlet, advertisement, or notice of any kind giving information, directly or indirectly, where, or how, or from whom, or by what means any of such mentioned matters, articles, or things may be obtained or made, or where or by whom any act or operation of any kind for the procuring or producing of abortion will be done or performed, or how or by what means abortion may be produced, whether sealed or unsealed; and

Every paper, writing, advertisement, or representation that any article, instrument, substance, drug, medicine, or thing may, or can, be used or applied for producing abortion, or for any indecent or immoral purpose; and

Every description calculated to induce or incite a person to so use or apply any such article, instrument, substance, drug, medicine, or thing—

Is declared to be nonmailable matter and shall not be conveyed in the mails or delivered from any post office or by any letter carrier.

Whoever knowingly uses the mails for the mailing, carriage in the mails, or delivery of anything declared by this section or section 3001(e) of title 39 to be nonmailable, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail according to the direction thereon, or at the place at which it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, or knowingly takes any such thing from the mails for the purpose of circulating or disposing thereof, or of aiding in the circulation or disposition thereof, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both, for the first such offense, and shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both, for each such offense thereafter.

That's what they're discussing when they're discussing Comstock.

Tell me again how there's not a dime's bit of difference between the two parties?