Here Comes Another Year

I am hopeful for the new year, but I was hopeful about 2020 also. So don’t go by me.

Here’s some stuff to read. I’m sure you remember the gun totin’ lawyers Mark and Patricia McCloskey. Back in 2021 they pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of assault and harassment for pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters. As part of the plea deal they surrendered an AR-15 rifle and a .380-caliber pistol and paid some fines. Then the governor, Mike “Absolutely Useless” Parson, pardoned them. The McCloskeys sued to get their guns and money back, but this week a circuit judge said nope. They get no guns and no refund.

The best thing I’ve read so far about Trump’s taxes is this bit by David Cay Johnston at Daily Beast. There’s a lot of useful information about why the IRS operates as it does and useful suggestions for reform. So do read the whole thing. And then he closes with this,

Perhaps most glaring in the tax returns is that they include 26 Trump businesses—or imaginary businesses—with zero revenue and hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax deductions for expenses.

Unless Trump can produce records showing the expenses are real and meet other standards to be deductible, that’s fraud. That Trump did it 26 times as a candidate and as president is powerful evidence that he qualifies for prosecution by the federal government and New York State for criminal tax fraud.

Watch to see if Attorney General Merrick Garland, New York State Attorney General Letitia James, or Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg pursue what looks to me like a slam-dunk prosecution—or continue to enable Trump’s lawless conduct.

Here’s another one from the Daily Beast, by Matt Lewis. The MAGA Right Would Have Called Winston Churchill a ‘Welfare Queen.’

RIP Barbara Walters and Pope Benedict.

By a bunch of people at the New York Times, no paywall, The ‘Red Wave’ Washout: How Skewed Polls Fed a False Election Narrative. This is about how the news media still get sucked into right-wing narratives that are flatly nonsense, and also how the fake right-wing polls predicting a “red wave” caused Democrats to waste campaign dollars on campaigns that were already way ahead.

Paul Krugman, no paywall, How to Destroy a Brand, Musk Style. See also Fidelity slashes Twitter value by 56%.