Category Archives: Legal Docket

The Stapling

I love old horror movies. I’ve always been a Vincent Price kinda guy, but I now find myself identifying with Boris Karloff. Here’s why:

That was probably TMI for social media but there’s never enough I for First Draft. I rarely play straight man here but am willing to do so on the Tweeter Tube. My friends may be cruel, but they’re funny. Click on this link for more merriment at my expense. My Twitter handle is Shecky, but I feel more like Rodney Dangerfield right now.

Here’s what happened. It was the stupidest accident I’ve ever had and I’m a lifelong klutz. We soaked our trash bin to remove the Debrisville Post Ida Stank from it. I flipped open the lid, then tried to lean it over to pour out the schmutz. That’s when wet grass acted as a banana peel, and I did a pratfall. My head bashed into the rim of the open bin. That’s where things got bloody.

My forehead turned into a gusher reminiscent of the scene in Giant where James Dean strikes oil on Rock Hudson’s ranch.

Since I was doing dirty work, I was wearing an old t-shirt, which I turned into a tourniquet of sorts. Still, the blood flowed like the Monty Python parody of Sam Peckinpah:

I called not Elizabeth Taylor but Dr. A who took me to an Urgent Care joint to get stapled. I already needed a tetanus shot after stepping on a roofing screw at the cemetery cleanup in honor of my late friend Will. That’s what I get for doing yard work.

I’m at the stage of life where everything reminds me of a story. This is an odd one. Long ago and far away, I worked as a paralegal on a massive anti-trust case. All the users of cement were suing all the cement companies. I was firmly on the plaintiffs’ side.

I worked on the document production at Kaiser Cement HQ in Oakland. In the pre-digital age that meant micro-filming documents. I’d sort through the paperwork and select stuff for them to shoot. It was dull, laborious work. FYI, Shapiro worked at the home office as a coder. We go back farther than either of us is willing to admit.

You’re probably wondering where this is leading. Me too.

I spent a lot of time assessing expense accounts; some valid, others dubious. There was one sales rep who used a lot of staples. I dubbed him 12-staple McGahey. I’m not quite sure if that was the name but he was a Scotsman.

I’m certainly not a Scotsman but one could call me 6-staple Adrastos right now. I cannot wait for the stapling to end and for the scabbing to commence.

A closing message in the spirit of Karloff as interpreted by Phil Hartman:

FIRE BAD!

Wet grass bad too.

The last word goes to the Staples Singers:

Justice Coney Clueless Meets The Turtle

Who said that Metry native Amy Coney Barrett has no sense of humor? The Trump appointed Supreme, hereinafter and forevermore Justice Coney Clueless, picked an odd place to declare that the Roberts Court “is not comprised of partisan hacks.”

The place is the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville best known for national championship winning hoops teams under Denny Crum and Rick Pitino. Pitino, of course, was the real crumb…

That’s McConnell Center as in Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell who is the most partisan hack to ever hack me off. As you can see from the featured image, the Turtle was there to cheer on Justice Coney Clueless as she declared that Justices must be:

“hyper-vigilant to make sure they’re not letting personal biases creep into their decisions since judges are people, too”.

Really? Even this guy?

If they named a beer after Kavanaugh, it would be Partisan Hack.

Like Justice Bro, Justice Coney Clueless is a right-wing Catholic who is bound to approve of Louisville’s mascot, which is a Cardinal, not a Turtle. It’s the bird, not a prelate but it strikes me as a significant symbol.

The McConnell Center’s ostensible mission is to:

Founded in 1991, the non-partisan McConnell Center at the University of Louisville seeks to identify, recruit and nurture Kentucky’s next generation of great leaders. Our core principles–leadership, scholarship and service–guide us as we (1) prepare top undergraduate students to become future leaders; (2) offer civic education programs for teachers, students and the public; and (3) conduct strategic leadership development for the US Army.

Something with the Turtle’s name on it non-partisan? They’re not partisan hacks like Mitch? Who knew? Sounds like the cardinal sin of lying to me.

The Turtle went on to cluelessly extol Justice Coney Clueless at the event:

McConnell, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported, praised Barrett for not trying to “legislate from the bench” and for being from “Middle America”. Barrett is from Indiana and, unlike the other eight justices, did not attend Harvard or Yale.

She’s been living in Indiana but she’s not only from Metairie, LA, she’s a graduate of St Mary’s Dominican High School. It’s a hoity-toity girl’s school in an area where you went to high school really matters. You can take the girl out of the Gret Stet of Louisiana, but you can’t expunge it from her soul, such as it is. Ya heard, Mitch?

This is my first non-Ida post since I got my internet access back. I missed the opening round of the Texas abortion ban mishigas. I have two points to make:

  1. SCOTUS acted improperly in allowing the law to take effect since it implicates constitutional rights.
  2.  Roe v. Wade has not been the controlling abortion rights case since 1992 when Justices O’Connor and Kennedy sidelined Roe in Casey v. Planned Parenthood. That case sets the current test for abortion rights.

That’s all for now. I suspect that I’ll be walking the legal beat a great deal as the summer of our discontent turns into autumn.

The last word goes to Ani DiFranco:

Just What I Needed

It had been a quiet hurricane season thus far in South Louisiana. That seems to have ended today. It’s still too early to tell as the hurricane hunters will be flying into the system this afternoon. That’s when the cone of uncertainty will replace the spaghetti models. It’s just what I needed. Oy just oy.

This is the one time of the year that I’m less hard on the New Orleans freak out set. The 16th Katrinaversary looms on Sunday so trigger isn’t just Roy Rogers’ horse right now.

 - Find & Share on GIPHY

Does that GIF qualify as a wakeup call? Maybe so.

I usually loathe colorized images but Trigger stepping out on Roy was irresistible. I hope Dale Evans didn’t mind…

No media bashing from me today. Michael F has taken care of that. What’s not to love about his Liberty Valence inspired title?

In New Orleans pandemic news, the mayor’s crackdown has borne fruit. More and more people are getting vaccinated because of the mandate. The Saints are down with it too. They had a fake home game that required either vaxx proof or a recent PCR test. I approve as I did of Jameis Winston’s performance in the fake game. It looks as if he’ll be the Saints QB. Hopefully, he’ll live down the idea that he has a million-dollar arm and five-dollar head. Stay tuned.

I’d like to hit a few high points in the news Odds & Sods style.

Get Kraken: US District Judge Linda Parker brought the hammer down on Sidney Powell and her pack of lying Trumper lawyers.

U.S. District Judge Linda Parker for the Eastern District of Michigan referred the team of lawyers — who sought to overturn the election in courts through a series bogus claims — for suspension or disbarment while granting requests for sanctions.

Parker also ordered the “Kraken” team — which included Trump-aligned lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood — to pay for legal fees for the city of Detroit and state of Michigan, and referred them for “at least twelve (12) hours of continuing legal education in the subjects of pleading standards (at least six hours total) and election law (at least six hours total).”

Parker wrote in the ruling that the “Kraken” lawyers had tried to create a “haze of confusion, commotion, and chaos” around the election.

“And this case was never about fraud — it was about undermining the People’s faith in our democracy and debasing the judicial process to do so,” Parker wrote.

Judge Parker is my new hero. These are cracking sanctions given to the Kraken shysters. Their various state bar associations will be forced to have disbarment hearings after a referral from a federal judge. This is some serious shit.

It’s time to get cracking on another segment but first a word from Nick Lowe:

They don’t call him the Jesus of Cool for nothing, y’all.

Tantrum Of The Day: It goes to the Impeached Insult Comedian who flipped out over subpoenas issued by the House Dipshit Insurrection Committee. Here’s another Garbage Pail Kid for your kollection:

I guess that was the North Korea edition.

Herschel Herschel Herschel: Herschel Walker remains the greatest player in Georgia Bulldog football history. But he hasn’t lived in the Peach State for decades. His wife is under investigation for voter fraud but Herschel is still running for Raphael Warnock’s senate seat.

Not only is Herschel running as a Black Republican, he’s running as the blackest sort of Republican: a Trumper. He used to work for the Kaiser of Chaos before the USFL was fired:

It will be interesting to see how Herschel’s GOP opponents handle what could be called his Eve-Sybil issue:

The book, “Breaking Free,” … explores his diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder, once known as multiple personality disorder, a condition he said he developed to combat the bullying he faced as an overweight child with a speech disorder.

Since then, however, reports have documented the violent threats he leveled in 2005 against his ex-wife, Cindy Grossman, which led to a judge granting her a protective order. She has said she felt “there was somebody there that was evil” when he threatened her.

Finally, I’ve long pronounced Walker’s first name with a Jersey accent as in Hoy-shell, Hoy-shell, Hoy-shell. He did play for the New Jersey Generals, after all.

The post title refers to the possible approach of possible Hurricane Ida. I had an Aunt Ida on my mother’s side. I didn’t know her well. My only memory of her is that she worked for Marlin Perkins the Wild Kingdom guy.

Beware of the Idas of August.

The last word goes to the Cars performing Just What I Needed at Live Aid:

 

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Short and sour edition

Hi, good people! There are SO many good and funny Free Republic threads each week, and I’m afraid my attempts here to document the thread paths are making my posts too long, so I’m going go try (this week, anyway) to make each one as short as possible. So – starting with:

Letters – I get letters…

Man arrested for sending threatening emails to Fauci
NY Post ^ | 07/27/2021 | Jesse O’Neill

Posted on 7/28/2021, 8:38:04 AM by ChicagoConservative27

A Maryland man was arrested for repeatedly threatening to harm Dr. Anthony Fauci and his family, along with another top doctor.

Thomas Patrick Connally Jr., 56, allegedly sent multiple emails that repeatedly threatened acts of gun violence, physical beatings, torture and arson, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday.

The profanity-laced missives were sent from an encrypted Swiss-based email account between December and last week, and were filled with conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic and homophobic comments, documents allege.

*************************

10 years in prison for emails? Yikes.

1 posted on 7/28/2021, 8:38:04 AM by ChicagoConservative27
No, you odoriferous twatwaffle, 10 years in prison for DEATH THREATS.
To: ChicagoConservative27
Not the brightest bulb in the chandelier is he?
12 posted on 7/28/2021, 8:44:26 AM by dynachrome (“I will not be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.”)
And now I’m going to skip the 30-odd “false flag” posts and get right to – the post of the thread!
To: ChicagoConservative27
What was his freeper name?
3 posted on 7/28/2021, 8:40:18 AM by DannyTN
Ba dum tss!
More after the you-know-what,

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Not Everything Sucks: Progress In Washington

I just realized that I’d dropped the Not Everything Sucks flag. It was mostly Athenae’s banner, but I helped run it up the flagpole a few times. It’s time to pick the flag up and run with it or some such shit. Holy exhausted metaphor, Batman.

I have no illusions that last night’s cloture vote means that Congress will become less constipated BUT it’s a sign of progress. 17 Republican senators acted like politicians and voted to debate sending home the bacon. It shouldn’t be that hard but unrelenting obstructionism has been the name of the GOP game since the Turtle became their leader. He actually voted for cloture, which was unexpected. Mitch McConnell can still go fuck himself.

A swell subplot to yesterday’s vote was the fact that the Impeached Insult Comedian denounced Senate GOPers as cowards and RINOs as the negotiations intensified. It does not signal a break with that malevolent moron, but any progress is welcome however incremental.

People have forgotten what legislating looks like. It’s never pretty as it involves much posturing and some prevaricating. That’s why I don’t take seriously the Sinematic senator’s announcement that she’s not voting for the Democrats only infrastructure bill, neither does Josh Marshall:

I think this is best interpreted as Sinema throwing up a flag that she’s going to continue to preen and create drama for the purpose of building a reputation as an uber-‘moderate’ and generally have everyone kiss up to her. She wants to come out of this as the person who wasn’t totally down with Democratic priorities and shaved the numbers down, at least a bit. If she really wanted to stop the process she wouldn’t vote to let it begin, which she is. That tells you the story.

The flags are really flying today. Here’s some more from Josh:

Sinema meanwhile is a preening phony. She started out as a member of the Green party. Then she was a progressive Democrat. Now she’s an uber ‘centrist’. She’s a total phony and I doubt very much that she will be able to pull any of this off if she’s there alone without Manchin. Without Manchin, she’ll fold.

Sinema’s annoying antics are just part of the legislative game. One that we could live without.

In other good news, the Justice Department announced that it would NOT invoke executive privilege in the inquiry into misconduct by Trump DOJ officials after the election. That inquiry is being conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee and another log was placed on that fire last night by a WaPo story about daily “perfect phone calls” from Trump to the Acting AG, Jeffrey Rosen. Stay tuned.

The DOJ also declined to defend Alabama wingnut Mo Brooks in the Swalwell Capitol riot lawsuit. Essentially, Brooks claimed that inciting a riot was part of his job description. DOJ disagreed. I can’t wait until he’s deposed by Swalwell’s lawyers. Stay tuned.

Finally, President Biden is expected to require federal employees to get jabbed. This common sense measure will make it easier for state governments and private sector employers to follow suit. Cassandra isn’t the only one tired of being held hostage.

That concludes this sprawling edition of Not Everything Sucks. I’m not spiking the ball, but incremental progress merits an incremental celebration. I’m not sure what that entails but it scans well.

Writing this post gave me two earworms: one inspired by the legislative gamesmanship (gamespeopleship?) and the other by more perfect phone calls by the Kaiser of Chaos. That’s why Bryan Ferry and Badfinger get the last word.

Malaka Of The Week: Michael Avenatti

Glory Days: Stormy Daniels & Michael Avenatti.

As a satirist I have a firm rule. I always kick up, never down. Kicking down isn’t funny, which is one reason my original nickname for Donald Trump, the Insult Comedian, is ironic. He always kicks down, never up. As a result, he’s not funny.

As a human being I have an analogous rule. My father taught me never kick a man when he’s down. There are exceptions to every rule. And that is why Michael Avenatti is malaka of the week.

I never cared for or wrote favorably about Malaka Michael. The MSM was madly in love with him because he was colorful and quotable. Besides, he represented a porn star going after then President* Pennywise. What’s more colorful than that?

I was struck by the man’s high regard for himself. He reminded me of a law school classmate who was my friend until he made law review. Then he dropped all his 1L friends. It was a classic kick down. It was no great loss; he was an asshole anyway. There’s a character based on him in my law school novel. Tongue In The Mail. He wasn’t the murderer just your basic malaka mouthpiece wannabe.

I began to detest Avenatti when he intervened in the Kavanaugh Mess. He made an easy target for Republicans who were able to paint him as a hyper partisan jerk who was only interested in himself not SCOTUS. Malaka Michael’s posturing made it harder for undecided GOP senators to vote Kavanaugh down. Thanks, dude.

Avenatti decided that being a porn star lawyer and cable news rock star qualified him to be president:

I wrote about this creep’s brief foray into Democratic presidential politics in a post with an apt title, The Ego Has Landed: Why Not Me Avenatti 2020?

His campaign slogan was ironic given his current circumstances: Restore Integrity.

The malakatude it burns.

Stephanie Clifford DBA Stormy Daniels made Malaka Michael a celebrity. Representing her turned out to be his undoing. His ego exploded to the point that he attempted to extort money from Nike. Pro-tip: never shake down a corporation that’s worth between 15 and 25 billion dollars.

Cue Carl Sagan meme:

Avenatti called it negotiating for a client, Nike called it extortion. A Manhattan jury agreed with Nike and found him guilty of extortion last year. Yesterday, Avenatti was sentenced to 30 months in jail by a federal judge who called him “drunk with power.”

Avenatti goes on trial in Los Angeles next week for stealing money from his clients.

In his future is another federal trial for stealing Stormy Daniels’ $300K book advance. Stormy giveth and Stormy taketh away.

Avenatti is a walking cautionary tale of the perils of believing your own publicity. A bit of humility never hurt anyone. And that is why Michael Avenatti is malaka of the week.

The last word goes to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers:

The House Dipshit Insurrection Select Committee

It’s been six months since the Dipshit Insurrection. Former President* Pennywise is demanding the release of insurrectionists but Speaker Pelosi is moving forward with an investigation. See the post title.

Count me among those people who thinks that getting at the truth of what happened on 1/6 and during the Trump regime is more important than prosecuting crimes. Most aspects of the Dipshit Insurrection are clearly criminal whereas many Trump era scandals involve the violation of norms. We need to get at the truth of those norm violations, then figure out how to address them. The criminal law is a blunt instrument and cannot be used for everything.

The House Dipshit Insurrection Select Committee’s mission is to investigate what happened before during and after 1/6. The poorly led House Republican Caucus painted themselves in a corner by not supporting the commission. Congressman Katko cut a good deal, which gave them clout in the investigation. But KMac blows with the wind and the prevailing breeze comes from Mar-a-Doorn. KMac and the Turtle bowed to the Kaiser of Chaos’ wishes and are now living to regret it.

If only they could take responsibility like the guy in the Jackie Wilson song:

I find myself in the weird position of quoting Gret Stet Senator Bill Cassidy without any mockery. This is how he explained his vote for the 1/6 Commission:

“The legislation I voted for ensured Republicans had equal power over the commission and set a deadline of December 31, 2021 to prevent a needlessly drawn-out process,” he said in a statement.

“Without this commission, there will still be an investigation,” he added. “But it will be a House select-committee set up by Speaker Pelosi – the nature of which will be entirely dictated by Democrats and would stretch on for years.”

Cassidy feared a Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi style committee. That seems unlikely but the GOP shot itself in the foot by voting against the commission.

KMac got extra mad when Liz Cheney accepted a slot on the select committee. He’s running around like a headless chicken shaking blood over everything. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Dumbass.

Back to the substance of the committee’s work. There’s been talk of White House involvement in the Dipshit Insurrection. That should be a focus of the committee’s investigation. They may or may not be able to establish any violations of the criminal laws, but the facts need to come out.

I have no illusions that any of this will shake the faith of hardcore Trumpers and QAnon creeps. Frankly, I don’t care about them. They’re lost souls. I am, however, interested in keeping the GOP on defense in the House and elsewhere. The Dipshit Insurrection committee should stick the knife in slowly and let them bleed out.

Here’s the best-case scenario:

They’re not our friends but I like the funeral and bleeding stuff. Besides, I’ve gone to the Let It Bleed well too often.

As of this writing KMac hasn’t said whether they’ll participate in the select committee. They would be wise to do so. When Nancy Pelosi was confronted with the same choice over the Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi select committee, many thought Democrats should boycott, she did not. It was the right decision. Of course, KMac is not known for his judgment. I guess he’ll have to call the Impeached Insult Comedian for instructions.

Finally, if you haven’t seen the New York Times recent look at the Capitol riot, CLICK HERE. 

The last word goes to Roy Byrd DBA Professor Longhair with another fault-based song:

Trump Family Values

As I luxuriated in the Indictment Thursday coverage I found myself asking: what does Mary Trump think? I reviewed her book last year for Bayou Brief. Too Much and Never Enough made me respect her judgment and her take on her kin folks.

The most interesting moment of Mary’s interview with Rachel Maddow last night was this:

RM: Allen Weisselberg is being charged for benefitting from that scheme. The indictment says, other executives also benefitted from that scheme. And now, we`ve got solid reporting that the investigation continues. That raises the prospect that further charges could be brought against his children.

MT: Yeah, it does. And I — again, I think they should be quite anxious right now. Donald, on the other hand, will expect the same kind and level of loyalty from them, as he expects from Allen. You know, as far as Donald`s concerned, they have what they have because of him. And they should be willing to take whatever hit they are going to take.

He doesn`t understand, I guess, how these things work. Prosecutors won`t stop at my cousins. They will be going for the bigger fish, which would be Donald, who`s been running this organization for over 30 years, now.

So I think he would be surprised to learn that I don`t believe my cousins would exert that kind of — exercise that kind of loyalty towards him because his relationship with them and their relationship with him is entirely transactional. So — and conditional, I should say.

So, they`re not going to risk anything for him, just as he wouldn`t risk anything for them. So, it could get really, really interesting as these things unfold, because there are so many more documents that New York prosecutors have at their disposal.

RM: So, you have more confidence that Allen Weisselberg would — wouldn`t cooperate, than you do that the president`s — former president`s children wouldn`t cooperate?

MT: Yeah. I think, as far as I understand it, and, you know, I`m not a lawyer. But it seems that, as — as serious as these charges are, they may not end up with jail time or any significant amount of jail time. And the downside of cooperating with prosecutors, for Allen Weisselberg might be larger than the downside of going to jail if it`s for a short enough period of time.

So, again, it`s going to be very interesting to see just the — the case that can be made. And the sentencing, if it comes to that, because I think that will factor in, for sure. But I`m much less sanguine about my cousins` loyalty to their father.

Sorry for the long quote, but I wanted everything to be put in context. Mary Trump might be wrong about her cousins but the mere possibility they *could* flip on former President* Pennywise is fascinating. We all have fickle and untrustworthy relatives, but this takes the cake.

Speaking of cake and relatives who work together, I feel a musical interlude coming on.

The current edition of Crowded House has three Finns. I don’t think Liam or Elroy would flip on papa Neil. Their Uncle Tim never did. There’s more Eighties music to come at the end of the post. It was the decade in which Donald Trump became famous, after all.

Now that we’ve had dessert, back to the main course: the Trumps. There have long been rumors of discord between the Two Donalds. Junior rebelled against his father after his mother was so publicly dumped. That’s one of the few good things I’ve ever heard about Junior.

Don Junior seems to think he can be the next John Quincy Adams or George W Bush: son of a president who becomes one himself. Adams set the bar high, but W lowered it considerably; making even grandson of a president Benjamin Harrison look good. Ratting out the Kaiser of Chaos would be bad for Junior politically, so I think he’ll stay on the sinking ship.

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Like A Summer Thursday

There’s a lot going on in the legal world today. Make that too much. My head is spinning and glistening with sweat because it’s summer. That was almost melodramatic enough to score a gig as a cable news host. I can hype things with the best of them, but I choose not to. I value my sanity. I’ll never be able to sigh as much as Rachel Maddow…

I did a search for songs with Thursday in the title. I was surprised at how many there are. I picked this Townes Van Zandt song because it’s summer and it’s Thursday:

It has nothing to do with the law, but I like it. We need something mellow on such a frantic news day.

I’m not writing this in order of importance. The SCOTUS stuff and the Trump Org indictment are clearly the top stories for this edition of the Legal Docket, but we begin in Pennsylvania.

Castor Oiled: Cassandra wrote a swell post about the Cosby case and I’m following up with a few notes on the law. While the ruling by the Pennsylvania supremes is bizarre in its reliance on a Bruce Castor press release, the Cosby prosecution fucked up.

Prosecutors should have done a better job insulating their case from Castor’s promise not to prosecute Cosby. They’re only partially to blame for this clusterfuck. The bulk of the blame goes to Bruce Castor.

We all remember Castor as the faux folksy lawyer who worked on the second Trump impeachment.  He wasn’t any more competent as District Attorney of Montgomery County, PA.

I don’t agree with the court ruling but it’s not baseless since Castor made such a mess of everything. The good news is that it didn’t exonerate Cosby. The bad news is that it freed him so he can pontificate and lecture the rest of the country. He’ll always be a convicted sex offender to me. Fat Albert can fuck off too.

There are some fine instant analysis pieces by sharper legal minds than mine:

Daniel Joseph Stern at Slate.

Harry Litman at the WaPo

Barbara McQuade at the NYT.

SCOTUS: There was a major decision in an Arizona voting rights case. Plaintiffs said the laws discriminated against minorities. The majority opinion by Justice Alito dismissed those concerns. It’s genuinely frightening that Sam Alito created a new test to be applied to voting rights cases. Shorter Alito: Republicans good, Democrats bad. I oversimplify but that’s the end result.

California had a law that forced non-profit donors to disclose their identity. Transparency is good, right? Not according to 6 supremes who struck the law down. They even compared Americans for Prosperity to the NAACP during Jim Crow. AFP is a Koch brothers group. Oy just oy.

There’s been a lot of speculation that Justice Breyer *might* retire today but nothing has happened as of this writing. I remain concerned that the pressure campaign might have backfired. As I wrote a few weeks ago: “These tactics didn’t work with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, why would they work with Justice Breyer?”

Watch this space.

Manhattan Melodrama: I wrote this segment in bits and pieces before and after the arraignment hearing. Here we go.

I wish I could augment my original nickname for Donald Trump and make it the Indicted Impeached Insult Comedian, but his head is not on the chopping block today. Since he never thinks ahead, he’s apparently celebrating that fact. The indictment of the Trump Org could doom it as a business enterprise. It owes hundreds of millions to lenders who may call in the loans. Spiking the ball prematurely is never a good idea.

I was hoping that Allen Weisselberg would flip but there’s still time. Why does he think that Trump will reciprocate his loyalty? Beats the hell out of me. Perhaps he sold his soul to the elder Trump long ago.

The indictment makes it clear that the charges involve a long-running scam to avoid taxes on the part of Weisselberg personally and the company. The amount listed is substantial: $1.5 million but the crime is not as sexy as insurance or bank fraud.

Prosecutors made it clear that the investigation continues. My hunch is that the indictment is a club to hang over Weisselberg’s head. They’re hoping he’ll flip now that he’s been cuffed and charged. If he doesn’t, it makes it less likely that Trump will be a defendant in this case.

A reminder that the law is slow.

Stay tuned.

I’ll be back if anything major happens today, but I’d rather focus on the Top Chef finale.

The last word goes to David Bowie:

 

The Law Is Slow

Charles Dickens famously wrote that “the law is an ass.” He should have added that it’s slow. 21st Century American law is not quite as slow as in Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, the interminable case in Bleak House BUT it’s still slow. The featured image is of Francis L. Sullivan as Pip’s solicitor Mr. Jaggers in David Lean’s 1946 version of Great Expectations. I used it instead of an image from Bleak House to slow things down…

This slowness is currently driving the MSM and the amateur lawyers mad. (I used the Britism to keep the Dickensian theme going.) There have been rumors that charges will soon be brought by the Manhattan DA’s office, which has left the MSM twitchy, and the amateur lawyers vexed. They seem to have forgotten how they reacted to similar slowness during the Mueller probe. Andrew Weissmann, who prosecuted Paul Manafort, has not:

… it`s fascinating now being on this side. You know, I spent two years where the press was speculating on what the special counsel investigation had and whether we had the goods and on who. And we`re doing the same thing now with respect to Manhattan.

But it`s clear something is going to happen. And to me it sounds like there may be individuals who are charged. There may be companies that are charged. And to me that`s sort of a classic case where they may build to go up and pressure people to cooperate.

But you`re not hearing that they yet have the goods on Donald Trump. There are no signs of that yet, although we could be surprised.

In addition to being slow, the law is also surprising. What shouldn’t be surprising is that rumors of impending action are often wrong. They fail to take account of the law’s slowness and the secrecy of the grand jury process.

One synonym for slow is methodical. Investigating the finances of a criminal organization must be done carefully. They have to start from the bottom and work their way up. Think of an investigation as a pyramid: you start at the bottom and build your case layer-by-layer, brick-by-brick. You need a solid foundation otherwise the case will collapse. They should not move against the boss until the underlings have been dealt with. The foundation of a case against the Impeached Insult Comedian is his company. That’s why it’s likely to be indicted first. Hopefully, the Weisslebergs and Calamaris will jump ship. The latter should land in a hot pan with garlic, onions, and olive oil. I like my calamari simple…

This brief treatise applies to Merrick Garland and the DOJ. Judge Garland is clearly a methodical, process-oriented lawyer. It’s what we should want after the Wild West shoot-from-the-hip Trump days. Think of Sessions, Barr, and the various acting AG’s as hired guns much like Jack Palance in Shane. They made a mess of DOJ and cleaning it up is going to be a slow process. New policies are in place, but the devil is always in the details. Detail work is always slow, especially when lawyers are involved.

The MSM and amateur lawyers have a hard time accepting how much of the spadework for legal investigations is done in secret. For example, the public did not learn that the FBI was investigating the Trump-Russia mishigas until well after the election. They were building a case. The DOJ’s Inspector General is already investigating Trumper misconduct, and the FBI may be at it as well. Whatever they’re doing it will be slow.

Larry Tribe recently admonished two Never Trump former Republicans for conclusion jumping:

The Salon headline in the second tweet is clearly click bait. Even if the Kaiser of Chaos had been charged, he’d be out on bail annoying wedding parties at Mar-a-Doorn.

Shorter Larry Tribe: The law is slow.

Finally, the wheels may grind slowly, but tomorrow is supposedly the day indictments will be handed down by the grand jury. I’ll believe it when I see it.

The last word goes to The Beatles:

Saturday Odds & Sods: Strange Magic

My Brother Imitating Scherzo by Andre Kertesz.

You’ve probably noticed by now that I like themes that tie my posts together. This week’s theme is book and movie magic, music magic. and today Strange Magic.  I even included Jeff Lynne’s interpretation of Bewitched in this week’s Friday Cocktail Hour. One could say that this week has been magically delicious, which is the untrue ad slogan for the disgusting cereal Lucky Charms.

This week’s theme song was written by Jeff Lynne in 1975 for ELO’s Face The Music album. As if by magic, the single and album were strangely successful.

We have three versions of Strange Magic for your listening pleasure: the studio original, ELO live, and a 2012 remake.

As if by magic, it’s time to jump to the break, strangely enough.

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The Chauvin Sentencing Hearing: 270 Months

I couldn’t resist posting my favorite picture of convicted murderer Derek Chauvin and his annoying defense attorney, Eric Nelson. I have not missed Nelson, but I’ve covered this case extensively, so I didn’t want to miss the finale.

I’m writing this bit right before Judge Cahill calls the hearing to order. It’s somewhat anti-climatic. The Judge has already ruled that there are aggravating circumstances so the chances of Chauvin getting a light sentence seems low. Nelson asked for probation: never gonna happen, my friend.

Consider this live blogging even though it’s being posted at once.

I was hoping to see Chauvin in a prison jump suit, but he wore a suit. He did, however, sport a prison-style haircut along with his suit, which hung loose on him. He looks pale and thin. Good.

Four relatives of George Floyd made victim impact statements.

The video made of George Floyd’s young daughter Giana was heartbreaking. It’s unclear if she completely understands what happened. Poor baby.

The Floyd family wants the book thrown at Chauvin; preferably a thousand-page hardback.

Both Floyd brothers called it an execution. I concur.

It was good to see prosecutors Matthew Frank and Jerry Blackwell. A reminder that good lawyering helped win the case.

The four aggravating circumstances are some serious shit that should lead to a serious sentence. #fingerscrossed

I didn’t expect as this much argument from the lawyers. The Judge has likely made up his mind. It’s all in the briefs.

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On Justice Breyer

They haven’t learned anything. The they in this case are progressive pressure groups determined to bully, browbeat, and guilt Justice Stephen Breyer off the court. These tactics didn’t work with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, why would they work with Justice Breyer?

I, too, hope that Justice Breyer retires at the end of the current term. Despite some of the patronizing voices on the left, Justice Breyer is aware that Mitch McConnell has vowed to stop any Democratic nominee from getting through a Republican controlled Senate. FYI, Breyer used to work in the Senate as an aide to Ted Kennedy. He gets it. He’s neither naive nor stupid.

As a Supreme Court Justice, Breyer has tried his level best to be an apolitical technocrat and dealmaker. There’s nothing wrong with that: every court has such a justice. Because of this role, Breyer is uniquely resistant to political pressure. The louder people yell at him, the more likely he is to resist. He does not want to appear to have resigned under pressure.

Slate legal wizard Dahlia Lithwick who knows Breyer discussed him with Rachel Maddow last night:

MADDOW: In terms of the closed court session as we look towards the end of next week, and the court issuing its rulings. A lot of people around the country are looking at the court and wondering if Justice Breyer is going to retire so he can leave on his own terms, and it gives not only the Democratic president but the Democratic-controlled — narrowly Democratically controlled Senate a chance to replace him.

What do you think of all the strum und drang around that?

LITHWICK: It`s such a funny situation, Rachel, because the only person in the end who is the determinant of what he`s going to do is Stephen Breyer and he`s made clear time and again, including in an interview he gave me at Christmastime that he just doesn`t think that court justices are political, and that this is a political question, and it will retire when he wants to retire. But all of these swirling questions about we have a 50/50 Senate. We have Mitch McConnell announcing this week that he`s not going to ever confirm a Biden nominee if he gets control of the Senate. None of that seems to be part of Justice Breyer`s calculus.

And I would say paradoxically, the more he`s pushed, there is a bunch of ads coming out in the next couple of days. A whole bunch of liberal scholars, 18 scholars signed a letter saying please get off the court. The more he is pushed, the more, in some sense, he is persuaded that this all looks really political, so he better stick around.

I’m delighted that Rachel removed her ill-fitting amateur lawyer hat and talked to a legal expert. She should try it more often.

Each generation of justices has their own reasons for retiring. Earl Warren and Richard Nixon had been enemies in California politics, so Warren retired to allow LBJ to appoint his successor. That didn’t work out, so Tricky appointed the pompous Warren Burger to replace the Super Chief.

Bill Brennan and Thurgood Marshall watched Hugo Black and Bill Douglas cling to the bench despite deteriorating health. That led Brennan and Marshall to retire even though Poppy Bush was president. The good news was David Souter. The bad news was Clarence Thomas.

Breyer and RBG watched Sandra Day O’Connor retire earlier than expected because of her husband’s failing health. He died before she left the court. She always regretted that decision. That’s the backdrop to RBG and Breyer’s reluctance to retire while they still thought they could still do the job. Breyer’s majority opinion in the ACA case shows that he can still do the job.

It’s up to Justice Breyer to decide when to retire. I hope it’s at the end of this term, but that’s his choice. He’s a proud man who has accomplished much in life. The louder people yell, the less likely he is to do the right thing. The pressure campaign reeks of ageism, which seems to be the last acceptable prejudice on the left.

Repeat after me: If pressure tactics didn’t work with RBG, why will they work with Justice Breyer?

In other news, the tropical system in the Gulf is finally getting its shit together. It’s likely to be mostly a rain event and hopefully New Orleans will dodge the worst of it. #fingerscrossed

If it becomes a named storm, it will be Claudette like the movie star and the Roy Orbison song. That’s why Roy and Dwight Yoakam get the last word:

Yogi Terror?

I have a positive impression of people who do yoga. They’re normal people who live normal lives. Their namaste rarely turns nasty.

Then there’s this abnormal guy:

A retired California police chief-turned-yoga instructor and five others in his crew are the latest defendants charged with conspiring to disrupt the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory on Jan. 6.

The conspiracy charges in the indictment against the Alan Hostetter and five others, which was filed online Wednesday and unsealed Thursday, are more serious than the typical trespassing or disorderly conduct charges faced by most defendants in the Jan. 6 attack.

Conspiracy allegations are reserved for those who prosecutors believe planned their actions ahead of time and worked together. They’ve also been lodged by feds against members of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. In this case, the indictment against the crew noted several indications of ties to the Three Percenter militia movement, which so far has been largely absent from Jan. 6 case dockets.

The indicted men allegedly participated in the riot at the Capitol with the intent of preventing the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral win.

Hostetter founded the group American Phoenix Project last year to protest COVID-19 public health orders, and his presence in D.C. on Jan. 6 was the subject of a late January Washington Post column on support for Trump among the “wellness community.” TPM has covered Hostetter and the American Phoenix Project’s intimidation tactics aimed at local officials.

Wellness is definitely NOT the Impeached Insult Comedian’s bag. These creeps should rebrand themselves as Fit Folks For The Fat Fuck.

Incitement is Pennywise’s art form. It’s depressing how many people have fallen for the BIG LIE and Trump’s entire shtick. To paraphrase a better Republican president from New York, the Kaiser of Chaos talks loudly and carries a small stick. He leaves that to others.

What is it with Trumpers and Teutonic symbolism? That eagle logo resembles avian imagery used by Prussian militarists and their Nazi successors. It’s ironic given that America helped defeat the Two Hs: the Hohenzollerns and Hitler. In fact, imagery is one of the few things the Nazis were good at: genocide and propaganda being the others.

Speaking of Teutonic symbolism, when I dubbed Trump the Kaiser of Chaos, I had no idea how perfect the nickname would be, especially in exile. I wish I could claim premonitive powers, but I cannot. I’m no Kreskin, I’m not even a Carnac:

It’s depressing but unsurprising how many members of law enforcement participated in the Dipshit Insurrection. The same goes for people from Orange County in Southern California. The yogi terrorist, Alan Hostetter is the former chief of the La Habra police department in the OC.

Orange County may be better known for reality teevee shows in 2021, but it has long been a hotbed of right-wing political activism. Orange County *has* changed and become a more diverse place but it remains hospitable to teabaggery and Trumpism. The OC’s airport is named for bigoted chicken hawk movie star, John Wayne, after all.  FYI, one of my favorite social media moments in recent years was when the kids “discovered” the Duke’s racist Playboy interview. They cried, I laughed,

This post is title driven. Yogi Terror came to me in a flash after reading Matt Shuhan’s marvelous TPM article. It should have come to me when Alabama lifted its bizarre ban on yoga in schools. Better late than never.

I should thank these guys for inspiring such a punny title:

One could even say that Alan Hostetter is dumber than the average bear.

Finally, now that the head Yogi terrorist is in the pokey, the American Phoenix Project should change the slogan on its logo from the melodramatic, “Let hope rise like the Phoenix from the ashes of a suffering nation” to “Fit Folks For The Fat Fuck.”

The last word goes to the Beatles with John Lennon’s scathing song about an earlier false prophet, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It applies equally to Alan Hostetter and his hero, Donald Trump:

The Ghost Of Roy Cohn

The Don McGahn quest finally succeeded last week. The right-wing former White House counsel who looks like a liberal was subpoenaed two years ago but fought it and kicked the can down the road until it was seriously dented.

The transcript was released this week. It’s all over the interweb but I checked it out at the Lawfare blog because it’s searchable.

Most of McGahn’s testimony confirms what was written about him in the Mueller Report. No surprise there, he was one of the primary sources for Team Mueller, which is why he’s about as popular at Mar-a-Doorn as Adam Schiff or Jerry Nadler.

The most interesting bits of the transcript to me at least are the parts about Roy Cohn who Trump considered a great man and I consider one of the worst people to come out of New York City. Something he has in common with the Kaiser of Chaos, but Donald never worked for Tailgunner Joe McCarthy. They were both, however, Democrats when it aided whatever grift they were running at a given time.

I hereby present the passages about Roy Cohn with some commentary. Somebody had to do it, so why not me? I still have my lawyer hat on, after all.

It turns out that McGahn’s father was a lawyer who attended NYU Law School. Guess who one of his profs was:

McGahn:  My dad also had Roy Cohn as a professor in law school, if you must know, but that’s a separate issue.

I wonder what Cohn taught: Redbaiting 101 or Mob Lawyering? Enquiring minds want to know even if David Pecker does not. If that were my last name, I’d change it in a heartbeat just like Peter Marshall of Hollywood Squares fame changed his last name from La Cock. Imagine the fun Paul Lynde would have had with that.

McGahn: And then as the report indicates, his response is in the report, and he invoked, you know, Roy Cohn apparently didn’t take notes.

Q:  So was it your understanding that he thought great lawyers like Roy Cohn did not take notes?

McGahn:  He said that, yes. Not only did I think that, I heard him say that, yes.

Q: And what was your reaction to that?

McGahn: I didn’t really have one. My recollection is I didn’t really respond. And this was not the first time that Roy Cohn has sort of — the ghost of Roy had come into the Oval Office, so it didn’t seem to be a point worth responding to and, you know, he’s the President, he gets the last word.

The Ghost of Roy Cohn? A genuinely terrifying thought. As far as I know the only president who allowed Cohn to darken the White House door was Ronald Reagan. He was a redbaiting witch hunter himself in his Hollywood days. I wonder if Cohn ate any jellybeans. Ronnie had a sense of humor so maybe he gave Cohn some red ones. Oh, sweet mysteries of life.

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Of Scams, Perfect Phone Calls & Nomenclature

It’s time to put on my lawyer hat.  It’s too hot to wear a fedora and I’ll skip Rudy’s favorite tinfoil hat. I don’t want to attract lightning.

The Lesser Trump Scam: This is one of my favorite stories in quite some time. It combines Trumper gullibility and avarice:

A 22-year old Pennsylvania man raked in thousands of dollars by impersonating various members of the Trump family, Manhattan federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Joshua Hall is facing charges of wire fraud and identity theft after allegedly creating fake social media accounts of lower-profile Trump family members like Barron Trump, Robert Trump, and Elizabeth Trump Grau to collect money.

<SNIP>

Hall allegedly created a fake political organization to receive funds. The plot allegedly started off in September 2019, with Hall creating several social media accounts impersonating famous people who then endorsed what prosecutors describe as Hall’s political organization.

Hall allegedly did this through a crowdfunding platform that media reports have identified as GoFundMe, used to send money to Hall’s group Gay Voices for Trump.

Gay Voices For Trump? Really? Somebody fell for that? Of course, they did. There are thousands of idiots who think Trump is the real president. They’re ripe for the taking.

Hall had to drop Robert Trump after he died but Barron lives. The other name belongs to Trump’s shy sister. Yes, I said shy. Somebody in that family has to be.

Rudy’s Perfect Phone Call: What’s a news cycle without a Rudy story? This time, CNN scored the recordings of Giuliani’s call to the right-hand man of the Ukrainian president. It laid the groundwork for the call that caused the first impeachment. Heckuva job, Rudy.

If you want to hear Rudy extorting Andiry Yermak, CLICK HERE.

More and more Rudy resembles a turd swirling about the terlet bowl on its way to the sewer. Correction: Rudy was already in the sewer. In any event, he’s in deep shit and sinking fast.

I eagerly await to see who flips first on Trump: Rudy or Allen Weisselberg. The latter at least has the good sense to say, “No comment.” Rudy never met a camera he didn’t try to hump.

Nomenclature: Here’s the deal. I too disagree with some of the early decisions made by the Department of Justice, but it’s NOT the Biden DOJ. If the MSM must append a name to it, call it the Garland DOJ. The administration is trying to remove DOJ from politics after the previous president treated it as his personal plaything.

I’m withholding judgment on Merrick Garland. It’s too early to say where the DOJ is headed. I prefer not to get lost in the weeds over individual issues. On balance, I thought Eric Holder and Janet Reno were good Attorneys General but I had substantial areas of disagreement with both.

Hot takes are for the birds as is allowing former President* Pennywise to live rent-free in one’s head.

I opened talking hats, let’s circle back and give Lyle Lovett the last word.

Malaka Of The Week: Stanford Law Federalist Society

The Federalist Society was founded in 1982 by conservative law students. I attended one meeting as a student at Tulane Law just for the hell of it.  I was immediately outed as a pro-Brennan, anti-Bork type. That branch thought it was funny for a liberal law student to attend one of its meetings. The Stanford Law Federalist Society does NOT have a sense of humor. And that is why it is malaka of the week.

I’ll let Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern tell you what happened:

On Jan. 25, Nicholas Wallace, a third-year student at Stanford Law School, sent a satirical flyer to a student listserv reserved for debate and political commentary. The flyer promoted a fake event, “The Originalist Case for Inciting Insurrection,” ostensibly sponsored by the Stanford Federalist Society. It advertised the participation of two politicians who tried to overturn the 2020 election, Missouri Sen. Joshua Hawley and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. “Violent insurrection, also known as doing a coup, is a classical system of installing a government,” the flyer read, adding that insurrection “can be an effective approach to upholding the principle of limited government.”

Wallace’s email was designed to mock the Stanford Federalist Society for refusing to disavow the many Federalist Society luminaries who fomented the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, including Hawley and Paxton. It worked: The flyer went viral, prompting USA Today to confirm that it was, indeed, satire. But the Stanford Federalist Society was not amused. In March, one of the group’s top officers filed a complaint against Wallace with Stanford’s Office of Community Standards. (This person’s name has been redacted from all documents.) The student alleged that Wallace’s satire “defamed” the Stanford Federalist Society, causing “harm” to the student group and to the “individual reputations” of the officers.

Wallace’s graduation was placed on hold for 11 days. The hold was lifted by Stanford Law after it determined that the email was protected speech under the First Amendment and that the Stanford Federalists were a bunch of humorless silly billies.

I feel Nick Wallace’s pain. He was notified of the hold on the last day of classes. It hung over his head like a Scalia dissent during exams. Finals are bad enough without dealing with that sort of bullshit, especially for a 3L. I’m not speaking for Wallace but in my third year of law school, I was not as diligent a student as in previous years, so I had to cram for finals.

I slapped the Federalist Society logo on the post because of the ironic 3 words thereon. Uh oh, that’s a lawyer word. I’m relapsing…

Debate: There seems to have been none.

Discuss: Like a bunch of rich entitled preppies, the Stanford Feds got all whiny and went to daddy. Nobody likes a tattletale.

Decide: Mercifully, the decision went against them, but it shouldn’t have taken that long since it didn’t pass the either the laugh or smell test. Malakatude is stinky.

They should change that slogan to Denounce. Defame. Deny.

That’s James Madison’s silhouette on the Federalist Society logo. I seem to recall Little Jemmy being in favor of free speech in between fleeing the White House in terror. I’ve always found it odd that a slave owner who opposed the Federalist Party is on this logo. I guess that qualifies as originalist humor. They couldn’t very well use Hamilton or John Marshall since they favored a robust central government. So did Madison until his mentor Jefferson returned home from France.

I’m about to use a term that I vowed never to use but it fits the egregious malakatude displayed by the Stanford Federalist Society. Who knew it favored cancel culture?

The Federalist malaka’s informal faculty advisor is Michael McConnell who defended the flyer posted in this stern Stern tweet:

I guess it only qualifies as satire if you agree with it. Some call that cancel culture. I call it malakatude.

This incident shows the creeping authoritarianism of today’s right even among the educated and privileged. That’s why I stopped calling them conservatives. Suppression of free speech, especially in an academic setting, is as radical as it gets. And that is why the Stanford Law Federalist Society is malaka of the week.

The last word goes to Graham Parker:

One Year

George Floyd was murdered by Derek Chauvin one year ago today. Floyd didn’t ask to be a movement martyr and hero. He wanted to live. His life was callously snuffed out by a police officer who ignored his cries for help. Chauvin’s colleagues were cowed by the chain of command and didn’t stop it. What stopped was George Floyd’s life.

One year later there are signs of progress as well as backsliding. Change never comes all at once. It takes patience and persistence. Some people possess those qualities, others do not.

Obviously, Black folks have no choice but to persist. It’s their lives that are threatened by police stops. Mine is not as long as I keep my sharp tongue sheathed. George Floyd tried politeness with his murderer. It did not work.

The randomness of police violence is one thing that makes it so frightening. Some people with power will always abuse it. It’s the dark side of human nature.

On the legal front, in some jurisdictions there are signs of change in how police violence is prosecuted. In other jurisdictions, they continue to back the police no matter how outrageous the misconduct. Change is never easy, nothing worthwhile in life ever is.

On the day after Derek Chauvin was convicted and led away in cuffs I wrote:

I made a mistake yesterday and spent too much time on Twitter before the verdict. The amateur lawyers and jurors were doing their thing, insisting that Derek Chauvin would be acquitted because that’s how it’s always gone. Each criminal case is different, a discrete and insular universe of its own. Precedents are for appellate courts; trial courts are all about verdicts. Each case stands alone.

That’s true in reverse as well. There will be times that the criminal justice system will fail; sometimes spectacularly. Few cases have such overwhelming evidence as the Chauvin trial. It’s easy to give in to despair and cynicism when the system fails. Repeat after me: Change is never easy, nothing worthwhile in life ever is.

I’d like to recommend a couple of articles about the state of the Black Lives Matter movement. First, Michael Harriot at The Root: It Turns Out, All Those ‘Woke’ White Allies Were Lying. He’s right about the flurry of corporate support. That was bound to be ephemeral. Corporate America follows the money. They were lying but most of the “woke white allies” were not. They lacked persistence and attention span. Repeat after me: Change is never easy, nothing worthwhile in life ever is.

Second, Imani Perry at The Cut: Stop Hustling Black Death. Perry profiles Samaria Rice who prefers to be thought of as Tamir’s mother, not a  “mother of the movement.” It’s a scathing reminder that individual lives have been devastated by police violence. It’s not an abstraction to Ms. Rice. She lost her baby to police violence and has no patience with those “who make a living hustling Black death.”

Harriot and Perry’s articles have wildly different perspectives on the state of the #BLM movement one year after George Floyd’s death. What they have in common is anger. I cannot blame them.  All I can do is empathize with Black Americans. I cannot walk in their shoes; I can only feel their pain.

“Wokeness” is a fad. I’m immediately suspicious of anyone who calls themselves “woke.” I call them the Hipster Twitter Left instead. They’re committed as long as it isn’t too hard or doesn’t require too much of their time. It’s also called human nature; some people are trend hoppers in search of the next big thing. So it goes.

It’s unclear what George Floyd’s death will mean in the long run. I think he’s destined to be the Emmett Till of his generation. But what George Floyd really wanted was to live. That beats the hell out of martyrdom any day.

Repeat after me: Change is never easy, nothing worthwhile in life ever is.

The last word goes to Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions:

 

Andrew, Andrew, Andrew

I’m not talking Prince Andrew, Andrew Cuomo, Andrew Yang, or even Andrew Jackson, I’m talking Andrew Giuliani. He was previously known to me as a low-level Trump aide who mostly played golf with the boss, and as the subject of a SNL sketch about Rudy’s 1994 inauguration at which the kid could not sit still. Chris Farley played Andrew Giuliani who is now 35 years old. Rudy’s spawn says he enjoyed being played by Chris Farley.

Here’s a different sketch wherein Chris Farley played young Andrew:

Why am I writing about Andrew Giuliani? He says he’s running for the GOP nomination for New York Governor against the Other Andrew with a famous father.

You gotta give young Andrew credit for making a bold statement: “I’m a politician out of the womb.”

That’s nice.

He may be running so he can pardon Rudy, Rudy, Rudy or Donald, Donald, Donald if either is convicted of a state crime. That’s a possibility now that Tish James and Cy Vance are tag teaming the Impeached Insult Comedian. Is Rudy next? Only the Shadow knows and he’s a character nobody knows any more…

New Yorkers are known to have a sense of humor. Why else would Andrew Yang be polling so well in the race for Rudy’s old job? But Governor Andrew Giuliani? The same job held by TR, Al Smith, FDR, Tom Dewey, Herbert Lehman, Nelson Rockefeller, and Mario Cuomo? Oy just oy.

The whole thing makes me miss Chris Farley. I wonder if there’s a QAnon theory that he’s really alive and living in that van down by the river.

I bet Andrew G can’t dance like Chris F.

The last word goes to Frank Zappa with a song about a famous Andrew who went by Andy. That would be paunchy Western movie sidekick Andy Devine.

FZ’s opening lines seem to apply to both Giuliani father and son: “Is there anything good inside of you. If there is, I really wanna know.”

I do too, Rudy and Andrew.

Since we’re talking fathers and sons, here’s Dweezil Zappa’s version:

 

Quote Of The Day: Dipshit Insurrection Defenses Edition

The legal system is busy processing the Dipshit Insurrectionists. They have some novel defenses. The “Trump told me to do it” defense is the most popular but is unlikely to succeed since the Impeached Insult Comedian denies inciting the white riot. Besides, does anyone really think he cares about the likes of the self-styled Q-Shaman, Jacob Chansley?

Speaking of that cultural appropriating ninny, his lawyer said something, well, colorful to TPM’s Matt Shuham:

Albert Watkins, the “Q Shaman” Jacob Chansley’s attorney, said his client had Asperger’s syndrome and indicated that Chansley’s mental state — and the impact of Trump’s “propaganda” efforts — would play a role in his case.

“A lot of these defendants — and I’m going to use this colloquial term, perhaps disrespectfully — but they’re all fucking short-bus people,” Watkins told TPM. “These are people with brain damage, they’re fucking retarded, they’re on the goddamn spectrum.”

“But they’re our brothers, our sisters, our neighbors, our coworkers — they’re part of our country. These aren’t bad people, they don’t have prior criminal history. Fuck, they were subjected to four-plus years of goddamn propaganda the likes of which the world has not seen since fucking Hitler.”

Mr. Watkins should clean up his language and I’m not referring to the f-bombs. It’s the, uh, colorful terms he uses to describe the Dipshit Insurrectionist’s issues. Short-bus people is a new one on me, but I try to avoid slurring the mentally challenged. Kicking down is not my style.

Back to the Dipshit defender’s quote. Diminished capacity is a novel argument that *could* have some legs if a judge allowed it. They would, of course, have to prove mental incapacity and some defendants will never go along with that. This idiot defense is not idiot proof but it’s intriguing even if it’s unlikely to fly. You gotta argue something, after all.

The propaganda defense is a first cousin once removed to the notorious Twinkie defense used by Douglas Schmidt in the Dan White case. White was the defrocked San Francisco supervisor who murdered George Moscone and Harvey Milk at City Hall in 1978. Schmidt claimed that junk food made his client do it. The judge allowed it and the jury used it in mitigation of his crime to let White off easy.

The propaganda defense is also kin to the “Trump made me do it” defense but it’s an intriguing way to defend the less culpable among the cosplay “patriots” who stormed the Capitol on 1/6. Again, it’s unlikely to accepted as a full defense but it might be considered in mitigation. The good news is that it won’t help the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys who engaged in planning and premeditation after the so-called Stop The Steal rally was announced.

Along the same lines, there’s another cool passage in the TPM article:

One particularly remorseful defendant, Anthony Antonio, was sick with a novel disease, “Foxitis,” when he entered the Capitol through a broken window on Jan. 6, his attorney Joe Hurley argued during an initial appearance earlier this month.

For months, stuck home due to the pandemic, he watched endless hours of the cable television station and eventually came to accept Trump’s bogus claims of a stolen election, Hurley told TPM.

Antonio is currently out of detention. In an interview, Hurley said the “Foxitis” claim wasn’t a defense in itself, but rather crucial context — an explanation of why his client marched to the Capitol in the first place.

“I want to separate him out from that herd of thugs that belong behind bars to set an example for the rest of the thugs that are out there,” Hurley said.

The “Foxitis” remark, he said later, “is not a defense — it’s pointing the finger of accusation where it belongs: to the slithery snake.”

There are many slithery snakes in Florida, but I think we all know who Hurley is talking about. This guttersnipe:

Pennywise, too, has Foxitis. Overexposure to Steve Doocy has made him douchier than ever.

For all we know, Pennywise’s lawyers may trot out some of the defenses that I test drove in this post when he’s in the dock in Manhattan or Atlanta. He’ll never let them use the diminished capacity defense because this slithery snake is a “very stable genius” whatever the hell that means.

Let’s close things down with a veritable snake-a-palooza. The last word goes to Big Joe Williams, The Doors, and The Black Keys. I skipped John Lee Hooker because I didn’t want to overexcite the Kaiser of Chaos.