Today’s News Bits: Republican Follies

So what’s with the merger of the PGA and the LIV? Not that I pay any attention to golf, but I thought they were bitter enemies. I bet golf fans are not going to be happy.

There’s a lot of speculation that Jack Smith will bring indictments this week on the documents case. One complication is that he’s had a Florida grand jury looking at the  case as well, it was revealed in the past several hours. I understand some of Trump’s Secret Service detail have testified.

Trump’s lawyers met with Jack Smith yesterday. I wonder how that went?

And then there’s the one about how water from the Mar-a-Lago swimming pool was accidentally drained into the room where the surveillance videos were stored. Sure.

Mark Meadows testified to one of Jack Smith’s grand juries, the New York Times is reporting, but which grand jury and when isn’t clear.

Ron DeSantis’s Florida is still flying migrants to blue states, most recently to California.At least two chartered jets carrying migrants from Florida landed in Sacramento recently. And Gavin Newsom isn’t having it. Newsom is threatening to bring kidnapping charges against DeSantis. From the Los Angeles Times:

Documents carried by the migrants appear to show that the weekend flight was arranged through the Florida Division of Emergency Management and that it was part of the state’s program to relocate migrants, mostly from Texas, to other states, California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said.

He doesn’t have enough migrants in Florida so he’s still borrowing them from Texas?

Sixteen migrants from Venezuela and Colombia were transported from Texas to New Mexico and flown on a chartered jet to Sacramento, where they were dropped off Friday at a church, Newsom said.

On Monday, a plane carrying 20 migrants arrived in Sacramento. Both groups were flown by the same contractor and were carrying documents indicating that their transportation involved the state of Florida, according to officials with the California Department of Justice.

Florida’s anti-migrant efforts have had several unintended consequences. Recently Florida passed a law intended to make it harder for undocumented people to remain in Florida without getting caught. Then some Republicans realized that might be a bad idea. 

“This bill is 100 percent supposed to scare you,” said Roth. “I’m a farmer, and the farmers are mad as hell. We are losing employees. They’re already starting to move to Georgia and other states. It’s urgent that you talk to all your people and convince them that you have resources, state representatives, and other people that can explain the bill to you,” he added, essentially begging Florida’s labor force to not leave the state that cares little for them.

Yeah, who’s going to pick the oranges? Whose going to clean all those luxury resort beachfront hotel rooms? The article goes on to say that Farmer Roth is a big-time Trump supporter who also loves Ron DeSantis. But this new bill intended to drive undocumented migrants out of Florida is just to scare people, Roth says. Nobody means it.

The pleading by Republicans who are reaping what they sowed comes after Latin American truck drivers began rallying behind calls to strike and not enter Florida, while thousands of workers and families have marched across the state protesting the bill and threatening to leave the state.

Oh, and remember the flight that was arranged by Florida that took migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vinyard? A Texas sheriff wants to file criminal charges about that.

I agree with Charles Pierce that these little stunts cry out for federal intervention. We really shouldn’t have the governor of one state filing charges against the governor of another state.

7 thoughts on “Today’s News Bits: Republican Follies

  1. None of the reporting today about Mark Meadows testifying can identify WHEN he testified to the Grand Jury.  Sooner or later we will learn the when and I will be surprised if it was not a good while ago.

    I do not understand why anyone is surprised that Meadows testified.  Surprise about how long the testimony was kept quiet – maybe; but Mark Meadows has no reason to be in a hurry for it to become known.  The surprise I would experience would be if Jack Smith had not asked Meadows the "Will" question some number of months ago.  As in, 'Will' you cooperate fully and truthfully or 'Will' you go to prison?"

    Added news:  Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center added the Florida group "Moms For Liberty" to their hate groups list.  Plus another dozen or thereabouts similar groups across the country.

  2. Look at Gov. DumbSantis, flying undocumented immigrants to MA and CA, trying to be cute!

    Note to Gov. DumbSantis:  Thugs can't do "cute."

    Thugs be thugs.

    And there ain't nothin' cute about a thug.

  3. This gives me hope. Students from an Indiana high school put on an LGBTQ-themed play after it was canceled. The well-spoken high schooler who appears in the interview called out the fascists by what are: bullies. Everyone understands what a bully is. It should be the term of choice.

    Joyce Vance, quoting Orwell wrote

    “Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathizers,” George Orwell wrote in 1944, “almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.” Although political scientists have crafted more precise definitions in the ensuing years, the enduring image of fascism is that of the hate-fueled bully.

    I’m glad you’ve landed OK, have plugged in & wi-fi is operational! It’s going to be a good summer…

    I feel like we all have seats at the Olympics and the games are going begin any moment now.

    Newsom is spoiling for a fight with DeSantis, and I hope he and his team can make good on the California penal code – a copy of which he texted to DeSantis after calling him a “pathetic small man”. Gavin isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but this could really catapult him onto the national stage, a sideshow while we watch Trump get slowly shredded.

  4. IMO, PGA sold out to LIV. From what I can tell, LIV people are going to occupy the top spots in the new company. How much the senior people in PGA get paid to retire to advisory positions won't be disclosed. LIV will never recoup the investment costs, so look to what they intend to get politically. What might that be? The Saudis will own pro golf in the US and anybody "important" spends time on the golf course. It's indirect and subtle access to the millionaire class. 

     The surveillance video that was 'lost' may not be as important as the obstruction if Smith can prove the flood was deliberate. Far more damaging is the notes of Trump's lawyer if they do prove Trump intended to obstruct. Remember, the judge cited the crime-fraud exemption to compel Trump's lawyer to give up what's normally sacred and forbidden. Obstruction is the key angle, not the documents. I think they have Trump on that if the public reporting is true.A retired Air Force officer in Tampa just got sent to federal prison for secret documents that he had in his home – three years. (And that was without obstruction.) 

    I fly out of an airport in central Florida, about an hour drive. That takes me past a lot of agricultural land and a lot of migrant workers. It's a seven-billion per year industry, not the core industry, but not peanuts either. On Sunday, thousands showed up in Tampa to protest the law. I saw a LOT of Puerto Rican flags – and they can vote. So migrants are taking the law seriously. A lot of Florida crops are labor-intensive at harvest. (That's where all the old school busses go to die – shuttling migrant crews.) 

    The flight to Sacto and the new law to harass migrants are linked. They're about getting publicity for DeSatos. That's ugly, punching down to hurt the most vulnerable people (poor migrants) to entertain the MAGA base. I suspect DeSanos welcomes charges and trials for the publicity – I really do not know if there's any way to make criminal charges stick. Republicans like messing with people on the bottom rungs almost as passionately as they protect people at the top rungs. Good luck getting anything passed at the federal level. Blue states might pass laws that made any organization that "dumps" people across state lines becomes financially responsible for those people for a period of time. 

  5. We will see if this golf merger holds.  The house of Saud is buying out professional golf.  To some extent professional golf is a democracy and in control of the members.  It is no secret that this is an attempt to buy respectability by an oil monarchy with a horrid record of human rights violations which includes the near certain murder of a writer they silenced who worked for the Washington Post.  Such an association is certainly not in the best interest of the sport.  At the least it shows contempt for those who write for a living and stand for press freedom.  The outcome will depend on the members and supporters of the game.  This story has legs.  

  6. Trump has been notified that he is a "target" in the MAL documents investigation. That means that, based on evidence and testimony so far, it looks like Trump is in violation of a law or several laws. This has about as much drama and surprise as the statement, "Water is wet." 

    I suspect the letter also offers Trump the opportunity to testify to the Grand Jury if he wants to. My understanding of these clambakes is that it's a "no lawyers" party for Trump. Trump could go – testify under oath – and take the fifth when he wants but tho only reason to testify os to convince the Grand Jury that there is no crime.. Taking the fifth kinda undercuts that. 

    I don't expect Trump will testify but Trump was given an invitation (I suspect) with a deadline to respond. Allowing the target to testify is optional but to head off the protests that Trump was never allowed to give his side, I'm pretty sure, that was the objective of the letter. After the deadline expires, like about five minutes after the offer expires, Trump's team will be notified that Trump can turn himself in to prevent being arrested. 

    The decision to charge Trump has been made. At this point, Trump is trying to lay the groundwork for an appeal. Smith has his case. He's now playing the game to close any legitimate avenue for an appeal. 

    Gym Jordan is trying to interfere by demanding information about the special counsel. 

    It's 517 days to the 2024 election. I'd say the strategy of delaying the trial until after the election is in real trouble. This will come to full maturity in the general election. The centerpiece will not be Trump's possession of the documents – it will be the lies and duplicity behind the retention of documents and what Trump's actions say about his warped perception of his status as an exalted aristocrat. This drama will unfold in the trial of the century in an election year. 

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