“But His Memory” and Other News

Do read Will Bunch’s column at the Philadelphia Inquirer, ‘But His Memory’ and the slow train wreck of American democracy.  It begins,

Some night around the year 2064, when the ragtag children of the last historians huddle around a cave fire and mix up some berries and the blood of their groundhog dinner to paint crude images of what the heck ever happened to the United States of America, they will probably render a depiction of Feb. 8, 2024 — a date which will live in infamy.

There are so many images to choose from — a corrupt and contented black-robed Supreme Court putting the last rubber stamp of cowardice on a nation’s failure to hold a coup leader accountable, or a White House press corps shouting like a pack of wild hyenas at President Joe Biden about his 81-year-old brain while ignoring the orange blob of Donald Trump as he plots the betrayal of Europe and a kind of American Kristallnacht against immigrants.

To see last Thursday unfold in real time was like watching the wreck of a slow-moving train, with democracy heading like Wile E. Coyote toward a cliff and nobody — not a Supreme Court bought and paid for by billionaires, nor a judiciary too easily gamed by inertia, nor a Congress engineered to produce only gridlock and gibberish, nor a gullible news media lacking backbone — throwing the switch to stop it. And the American people?

No one bothered to get off the couch.

Just go ahead and read the rest of it. The Inquirer usually lets you read one thing  before it puts up a paywall, but I suggest using an incognito or private window to be safe. And then see David Kurtz at TPM, On The Road To Fascism, A Pit Stop To Fuel Up On Stupid. And Judd Legum, Popular Information, Media creates Biden “fitness” crisis / And lets Trump off easy.

By now everyone in America has heard some variation of the “Biden is senile” story. How many have heard the “Trump ready to abandon our NATO allies to Russia” story? News reporting is hard work, so you’d think those at the peak of the profession would have more skill than this. But a Biden “gotcha” to the White House Press Corps is like a squirrel to a dog.

Michael Tomasky at The New Republic, The Only Mental Acuity I’m Questioning These Days Is the Mainstream Media’s.

I have written what I’m about to write here probably 20 times in the last couple years, and I’ll write it 20 more or 200 more until I see people starting to get the point. In terms of how the American political media works, we have recently crossed a dark Rubicon. We now live in a world, which I believe we entered after January 6, 2021, in which the right-wing media sets the national agenda. The mainstream media follows.

Going way back in time, we had only a mainstream media—the Times and the Post and the Associated Press and the major networks. In the 1970s, after the famous Powell Memo, wealthy conservatives began funding their own media. For most of the last 50 years, even as the right-wing media grew, it remained clear that the mainstream media set the agenda—that is, it determined what we all talked about every day.

Speaking of Trump and NATO, see Emptywheel, Call and Response: Putin Demanded Greater Russia and Trump Agreed. “Over the weekend, Putin and Donald Trump seem to have come to public agreement that, if elected in November, Trump would help Putin pursue Greater Russia.” Marcy is saying that Trump’s babbling about NATO over the weekend is a response to Tucker “Axis Sally” Carlson’s Putin interview.  I do think that most of Trump’s “ideas” about NATO came from Putin. Perhaps not directly, but Trump doesn’t have enough brain any more to think his own thoughts. Putin planted nonsense about NATO in Trump’s head at some point, and that’s what’s coming out of Trump’s mouth.

Today’s Trump’s lawyers should be filing his appeal of the “immunity” decision to the Supreme Court, but I haven’t heard yet that they have done so. It would be fun if they missed the deadline.

Update: JD Vance is a craven poser. I haven’t liked him since he wrote that book about his loser malfunctioning family and framed it as portrait of all “hillbillies.” He don’t know squat about hillbillies, but I’ll put that aside. Just look at this crap he wrote for the American Conservative.

4 thoughts on ““But His Memory” and Other News

  1. It can get mentally taxing watching and listening to all the auditions for Trump's VP.   Vance might stand a chance as a white male if stupidity and blind obeience are the determining criteria, but you have to wonder if being a female or being black gives more weight to any potential auditioner considering the demographics of what they could bring to the ticket.. I would think that Mike Pence should serve as an example that whoever the selected VP is they would know that that position under Trump is a guarantee for a trip under the bus. Trump's loyalty to his VP is as predictable as a  female black widow spider's loyalty to its mate after the mating ritual. I'm done with you, you served your purpose!

    I don't think Vance has polished up his resume with the claim for his devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. But you never know when a word from the Lord could provide that endorsement.

  2. Trump filed with the USSC to appeal the decision by the DC Court of Appeals. I skimmed over the request and it's the same old crap that two courts have forcefully rejected. Trump cites valid law regarding the exemption of sitting presidents in the course of performing official duties. What Smith charges Trump with is completely outside Trump's official duties as president while he was in office. And Trump ignores that he is no longer president and the protections from many kinds of prosecution evaporated when Biden was sworn in. 

    The addition (I think it's potentially new in this filing.) is the claim that a trial interferes with Trump's First Amendment right to campaign. IMO, the voters have rights. The trial is critical to the voters making an informed decision about whether Trump broke the law at the very end of his previous term. Voters have heard the charges and Trump's defenses. They want the facts in the structured forum of a trial do they can crank a verdict by a jury into their calculations. 

    So I clicked my stopwatch. There is no doubt what decision the USSC will make – the question is how long it takes them to make it. A month ago I read a pundit who predicted the USSC would parley the two issues – the 14th Amendment and the Absolute Immunity Defense. He suggested that the USSC would agree among themselves in advance to strike down the state's application of the 14th to disqualify Trump in exchange for a rapid denial of the Absolute Immunity argument. If true, we may see a rapid denial by the USSC to take up the appeal. 

    A decision by Judge Engoron is due any minute. At this point, there's some question how much more Trump might owe based on the perjury by the former CFO. There's a crucial piece of law that must be observed – Engoron can only decide the case based on evidence introduced in the trial. Engoron can't factor in rumors from after the case was closed. So did Engoron know that Weeiselberg committed perjury from evidence introduced during the trial? 

    Stuff is underway now for the NY criminal trial that should start next month. I think a meeting is scheduled on Thursday. Why do I think Melania won't be there for the trial? I haven't seen any reports where she is – she was in NJ (I think) when her mother was ill. If there have been any sightings of her with Donald since the funeral, I missed them.

    • Ureka!  You have stumbled upon the reason Trump is obsessed with the whereabouts of Nikki Haley's husband.   

      The missing Melania.  

      Oh the workings of the twisted mind. 


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