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May 14, 2024 08:22 AM UTC

Tuesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

–Abraham Lincoln


18 thoughts on “Tuesday Open Thread

  1. Performative chrisofascist Speaker Mike Johnson showed up at trump's trial today and spoke outside the courthouse about the "unfairness" of the proceedings.  Nothing like being a toady lickspittle for a criminal defendant.  Thought the law and order party was against that kinda thing.  When the convictions come down, let's hope Mike has an epiphany.  Wouldn't bet on it 

    1. So, the end is in sight with Cohen being the last batter up for the DA.  The fat lady may not be singing yet, but she is clearing her throat.

      Assuming that Trump puts on his election law expert as well as the other guy he's endorsed as defense witnesses on Thursday after the motion for judgment of acquittal is denied, evidence should finish on or before Friday. I cannot imagine that even Trump would be stupid enough to testify. (Although nothing should surprise any of us after the last eight years.) 

      With instructions and arguments on Monday, and assuming a couple of days for deliberations (given the complexity of the legal theory which elevates this from a misdemeanor to a felony), we should have a verdict by the end of next week.

      Emphasis on the word "should." Trump could act out in court in a yuge and bigley way (think Charles Manson waving that newspaper headline in 1970 which read, "Nixon Says Manson Guilty" in front of the jury). Jury tampering is always a possibility. (Is anyone keeping an eye on Roger Stone's whereabouts?) And of course, his bone spurs could act up or he could suffer a relapse of the "China Virus Hoax."  

      While the legal theory may not be simple, there are two lawyers on the jury. Even though the jurors are not supposed to give added weight to what they say, sometimes they do. Other times, the opposite could happen. So, that could cut either way, or not at all.

      What would be a real kicker is if there is a guilty verdict, then what are the chances that sentencing will occur during the week of July 15?   <EWG>

      1. Trial calendar is going to be a bit longer. 

        • Wednesday – no court, allowing the Judge to deal with other matters.
        • Thursday – cross-examination of Cohen will continue, and defense attorney Blanche apparently indicated the cross will go at least much of the day.  Court session is shortened somewhat due to a juror having a conflicting commitment.
        • Friday — no court.  Trump is going to go to Barron's graduation (presumably) and then on to a fundraiser in Minnesota. 
        • Most attorneys I read this afternoon says the prosecution is going to re-direct Cohen.  Nobody really wants to commit that the defense cross-examination has had a great deal of impact [and some are openly mocking a few of the lines of questioning], so length of the re-direct is uncertain.  If there are no more witnesses and the prosecution rests, the jury may be excused and the judge will hear the expected motion to dismiss. 
        • Defense case may wait until Tuesday.
        1. I had forgotten about the famous graduation. Didn't he also add a fundraiser in Minnesota for the same day? Or maybe he's simply going to ask for money AT the graduation….

          Most private schools hit up the families of the students for money. Barron's high school's development department has to compete with Barron's father hitting up the families of the other students for money.

          Hope he brings a stack of applications for Trump University with him.

          1. Yep … Trump's going to have some mileage on Friday.  Barron's HS graduation in Florida is 10 EST.  The fundraiser is 5 CST in Minnesota.  Trump's plane will cover the distance in about 3 hours,

            I suspect there will be an effort to get photos showing the distance between DJT and Melania and reports on whether she allows any sort of touch. 

            1. Aren't the number of public displays of affection per annum clearly set out in one of the numerous amendments to the prenuptual agreement?

               Assuming he hasn't already exceeded that number, we may see a brief embrace between the couple.

  2. Old "Honest Abe" knew things, didn't he? What would he make of his party, were he alive today? The Speaking Johnson and his profound hypocrisy might be a disappointment to President Lincoln, who was, by all accounts, a God-fearing man.


  3. From what I can tell the Trump prosecutors have screwed up the description of the $420,000 smoking gun payments to Cohen.  They needed to make clear the following:

    1) Cohen was paid $60,000 for his legal services (aka, a prior year bonus) that he didn't receive.  This was not "grossed up".  He would receive a Form 1099 showing income of $60,000 and would pay taxes on that amount and the Trump Organization would deduct as legal expense. All very legitimate.

    2). He was paid $130,000 to reimburse his payments to Stormy Daniels plus another $50,000 to pay a company that provided paid actors to attend the Trump "escalator" announcement and some fake polling.  Cohen received a Form 1099 for $180,000 in income.  Both of these items were campaign related and non deductible as a business expense by Cohen. Since he couldn't deduct $180,000 in expenses Cohen would have paid about $90,000 in taxes leaving him with only $90,000 after tax.  So, they doubled this amount to $360,000 and gave him a Form 1099 = $360,000.  He showed this as income and paid $180,000 in taxes leaving him with $180,000 after tax (I.e., fully reimbursed).  
    It is so clear that they knew the $180,000 was illegal because they handled it differently than the $60,000 legal services bonus.  I hope the jury understands this because none of the TV pundits seems to have a clue.


  4. Iranian Mullahs Republican's Want Menstruation Police. H/T Heather Cox-Richardson

    More Opportunities for Moms to Succeed (MOMS) act. Britt—who is best known for her disastrous response to Biden’s State of the Union speech from her kitchen—said the measure would provide a federal database of resources for pregnant women and women parenting young children, but that information excludes anything that touches on abortion.

    The measure is clear that it enlists the government in opposition to abortion, but more than that, it establishes that the government will create a database of the names and contact information of pregnant women, which the government can then use “to follow up with users on additional resources that would be helpful for the users to review.” 

    A government database of pregnant women would give the federal government unprecedented control over individuals, and it is especially chilling after the story Caroline Kitchener broke in the Washington Post on May 3, that a Texas man, Collin Davis, filed a petition to stop his ex-partner from traveling to Colorado, where abortion is legal, to obtain an abortion. Should she do so, his lawyer wrote, he would “pursue wrongful-death claims against anyone involved in the killing of his unborn child.” Now Davis wants to be able to depose his former partner along with others he says are “complicit” in the abortion. 

  5. Detroit is Cooked Fucked

    China's EV technology is 10 years ahead of US car makers. I'm betting against Tesla also. Buy Volvo? (Chinese owned.)

    • EVs with 500 mile range.
    • BYD models available for $12,000
    • High-tech, 40 inch touch screens.
    • Glut of batteries due to huge government investment
    1. Nobel Prize-Winning Economist, and expert on international trade, Paul Krugman agrees that Biden's China tariffs are necessary.  China is artificially inflating their economy by dumping excess production on the world market.  They should be investing in domestic consumption instead which will raise not only their own standard of living, but the world's economy as well.

      What’s wrong with cheap Chinese imports? A couple of things, it turns out.

      Why can’t the United States just accept cheap goods from China? The concerns about community disruption caused by the first China shock still apply. But there’s also a new issue: climate change. The goods being subjected to new or increased tariffs are mainly products associated with the transition to green energy; electric vehicles have been getting the most press, but giant batteries — which are now starting to play a crucial role in solving the problem of renewable energy intermittence (the sun doesn’t always shine, the wind doesn’t always blow) — are an even bigger deal.

      Why not just buy cheap Chinese batteries? Political economy. Given the existential threat posed by climate change, the political coalition behind the green energy transition shouldn’t be fragile, but it is. The Biden administration was able to get large subsidies for renewable energy only by tying those subsidies to the creation of domestic manufacturing jobs. If those subsidies are seen as creating jobs in China instead, our last, best hope of avoiding climate catastrophe will be lost — a consideration that easily outweighs all the usual arguments against tariffs.

      So in imposing these new tariffs, Biden’s people are doing what they must. I don’t see any alternative.

      1. Not exactly.  The price in China’s domestic market is actually about $12,000.  But if they tried to meet US safety standards, it would add a few thousand dollars more, not including transportation costs.  It is definitely a city car — tiny battery and it is 15 inches shorter than the now-discontinued subcompact Chevy Bolt.  The real competition are the larger models BYD make – direct competitors to Tesla, et al.

        But as with China’s vast ghost cities and empty apartments, their misguided excess factory production of vehicles has led to unsold auto graveyards.

        Such is the risk of a “planned” economy, reminiscent of the “Great Leap Forward” mindset

  6. Rudy Giuliani, fugitive from the law?

    Rudy Giuliani still hasn’t been served his Arizona indictment

    The day after a grand jury handed down the indictment, Taylor said two agents for the state attorney general traveled to New York City, where they hoped to hand-deliver the summons to Giuliani. The agents determined that Giuliani was in his New York apartment because he had recently video streamed from his residence, he said. The agents matched the setting of the video stream with pictures of the interior of his residence from an old real estate listing that is still online.

    A person at the building’s front desk told the agents that they were not allowed to receive service of documents. The person did not dispute that Giuliani lived there, Taylor said.

    “We were not granted access,” Taylor said.

    The attorney general’s office has also made multiple attempts to try to contact Giuliani by calling various phone numbers for him, “and none of them were successful,” Taylor said.

    "Come and get me coppers!"

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