Tuesday News Bits

Before going into the outrages du jour, I want to point to a couple of recommended articles. First is Suicide Mission: What Boeing did to all the guys who remember how to build a plane by Maureen Tkacik at The American Prospect, and the other is The Boeing Nosedive: A once-venerable company turned its soul over to shareholders and courted disaster by Jeff Wise at New York magazine. Truly a disaster fable for the days of late-stage capitalism. What’s worse, I doubt the captains of industry who run everything will learn a thing from this. And the Ayn Rand libertarians still believe that government regulation is the root of all evil, I’m sure. More inspections/regulations might have saved Boeing’s ass, not to mention some lives.

The Florida Supreme Court made some moves yesterday that may or may not impact the November election. They upheld a 15-week abortion ban and cleared the way for a six-week abortion ban to go into effect on May 1. But the Court also allowed an abortion rights initiative to go on the November ballot, along with a legalizing marijuana initiative. Democrats are hopeful this gives them a shot a winning some elections in Florida, particularly the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Rick Scott. Scott won by a whisker in 2018. The Dem primary is in August, so we don’t know who will be running against him yet. Trump won Florida by 1.2% in 2016 and 3.4% in 2020, which is not too intimidating.  I hope some of you Floridians will comment on this.

I understand that in Florida a referendum needs 60 percent of the vote to pass, which may be too heavy a lift. But we’ll see.

House Republicans are pushing to rename Washington D.C.’s Dulles International Airport after Trump. Give me strength. I dimly remember there was an effort to rename it after Reagan some years ago, and we dodged that bullet. Not that I’m a big fan of John Foster Dulles. But anything but Trump.

Yesterday Judge Juan Merchan expanded the gag order he had placed on Trump to include the families of the judge and prosecutor. Judge Merchan said,

[T]his pattern of attacking family members of presiding jurists and attorneys assigned to his cases serves no legitimate purpose. It merely injects fear in those assigned or called to participate in the proceedings, that not only they, but their family members as well, are “fair game” for Defendant’s vitriol.

Further,

The average observer, must now, after hearing Defendant’s recent attacks, draw the conclusion that if they become involved in these proceedings, even tangentially, they should worry not only for themselves, but for their loved ones as well. Such concerns will undoubtedly interfere with the fair administration of justice and constitutes a direct attack on the Rule of Law itself.

Trump was put on notice that that “he will forfeit any statutory right he may have to access iuror names if he engages in any conduct that threatens the safety and integnty of the jury ot the jury selection process.”

The judges don’t want to put Trump in jail right now, even thoughhe belongs there. I understand that. But Rolling Stone is reporting that Trump isn’t taking these gag orders seriously.

According to two people who have recently spoken to Trump about the upcoming criminal trial, one of the reasons the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee has been convinced he can get away with attacking Merchan’s daughter without punishment is because, as he’s privately boasted, he has tested judges and prosecutors on gag orders before — without any serious repercussions. 

This included a time late last year when Judge Arthur Engoron threatened Trump with a possible night in jail for his behavior during his New York civil fraud trial. Every time, Trump has gotten away with it. So far, judges have not moved to rein in or punish Trump the way they would with virtually any other U.S. citizen, had they behaved in the same manner that the ex-president has.

So now, the former — and perhaps future — president seems emboldened to bring that aggressive, taunting approach to his history-making criminal trial.

“A criminal trial is different than a civil one, so this could turn out differently,” one of the sources tells Rolling Stone. “But from talking to [Trump] about this … you can tell he thinks these guys have tried to be tough guys, tried to rattle him, and then, it was all talk. He’s said this time it’s the same: He has to show he’s not afraid of these people, simple as that.”

I haven’t heard that he’s badmouthed anybody covered by the gag order today. But I’m not watching that closely.

10 thoughts on “Tuesday News Bits

  1. OT: A California billionaire is a major stockholder in the company that provided TFG with the $150Million appeal bond. Since TFG himself has intentionally merged his indictments with his campaign, I think it's clear that the California billionaire has made an illegal campaign contribution. Am I wrong?

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      • I doubt it would hold up in court. The question really just reinforces how strange this whole series of events is. We have a man who is running for POTUS whose entire campaign is basically "All these indictments against me are SOOO unfair!! So, please vote for me so I can stay out of jail."
        He then uses every event in court as a campaign opportunity for free press coverage. He lies to everyone, and all money is fungible to him. Legal expenses, judgments and fines, campaign fund raising emails, selling bibles as if they are veg-a-matics, he makes it all one big jumble.  Too bad our courts play as fast and loose as he plays.

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  2. The outrage of the day was headline news on CNN this morning. It's completely fallen off the CNN web site tonight. If one was cynical, one would suspect political pressure.

    The IDS killed seven aid workers in a convoy. They had dropped off tons of foodstuffs in Gaza at the World Food Kitchen. Following the strike, the charity suspended operations. Again, if one was cynical, one might suspect the IDF achieved its objective by preventing food from reaching starving Palestinians. 

    Israel is not apologizing for a strike on the Iranian Consulate in Syria which killed members of Iran's military, probably not nice people. But it was a violation of international law which may provoke Iran into more direct conflict with Israel. If one was cynical, one might suspect Netanyahu is willing to risk thousands of Israeli citizens if Iran strikes Israel. Such an attack might save his regime as citizens do rally round the flag in war. What's happening in Gaza is murder coupled with starvation and it's not preventing serious protests against Bibi.

    In the US, we will be in a similar situation if Trump wins. He will do anything to prevent going to jail. Motives of self-preservation by the chief executive don't work out well for the country, as Israel may discover by paying a high price. 

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    • I agree Bibi staying out of jail is a motivating factor in the war but I really think it is designed to get Stump elected. Everyone of these civilian strikes (though Arab civilians are killed hourly without any ink) chips away at Bidens support particularly with those the left and amongst Arab and African American voters. What Bibi wants is to stay out of jail and have Stumped as his reliable sugar daddy here in the US.

      "If one was cynical, one would suspect political pressure."

      I'm not sure our corporate media really needs political pressure to sugar coat Israels war crimes, they do it instinctively, it is part of their business model. The attack was intentional, hell one European paper quoted the IDF saying in effect: " yeah we killed all seven aid workers because we suspected a "terrorist was riding in one of the cars". They followed the convoy with a drone seven hellfire missiles were used about 3 miles apart. Our media of course wouldn't report such a thing. This whole thing stinks of corruption so deep that killing tens of thousands of Palestinians and American and European aid workers is just part of the process. I said it the day Biden went over their and embraced Bibi he fucked up, this is how Stump gets back to the WH.

  3. I've heard that to skirt his gag order, he’s no longer writing horrible screeds about anyone connected to the courts.

    Instead, he's forwarding the comments from his psycho followers about people who irk King Dumbass!

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  4. In Wisconsin yesterday, Trump fell short of 80% of the GOP vote. A real vote, even a primary vote, is more significant than polling. I can't reconcile losing 20% of the GOP vote with being even with Joe Biden. My very biased gut feeling is that Trump's numbers are higher in polls than they are in reality with real voters. The only justification I have is the 2022 election and damn near every special election that's happened since.

    As Maha pointed out, FL might be in play since abortion is on the ballot here. Trump is not going to support a 6-week ban. I think he's on the verge of announcing he wants a FEDERAL ban with a 16-week limit and "exceptions." I do NOT think Trump will make the longer ban binding on TX or the states that have effectively banned abortion. The idea of a federal limit is to go after California and New York. When Trump makes a proposal, he will start with vague platitudes – "Everybody's gonna love it."

    At some point the Evangelicals AND progressives will demand details, the fetus people to ensure that the bans hold in red states, and progressives to find out  who would be gored in blue states and how badly. I hope Trump goes there because he might energize the women's vote against him at the same time he convinces the Evangelicals he's betrayed them. Abortion is NOT an issue where there's a safe middle ground, which Trump thinks he can carve out because he's a genius. The Evangelicals don't love Trump but they anticipate Trump will help them crush the godless masses. (The godless masses outnumber the Evangelicals – the math has dawned on Trump.) It's inevitable somebody is going to be unhappy in November – handled badly, Trump can piss off both sides.

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