Trump has been indicted by a Grand Jury in New York City.

Bear in mind, the Grand Jury doesn’t determine that he is guilty of a crime, only that there is enough evidence to justify a prosecution.

Now comes the screaming.

The indictment of Trump stems from the 2018 federal conviction of his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations for facilitating the payment to Daniels. That payment came during the heart of the 2016 presidential campaign. And both Cohen and federal prosecutors have said that he acted “in coordination with and at the direction of” the former president.

The Trump Organization later reimbursed Cohen for the payment to Daniels, prosecutors said in court filings. The company’s executives authorized $420,000 in payments to Cohen in an effort to cover his original payment and tax liabilities, and to reward him with a bonus, according to prosecutors. The Trump Organization falsely recorded those payments in their books as legal expenses, prosecutors said.

Now that I’m reading up on the case, I do think it may be a little shaky, though I don’t know New York law. Cohen actually was reimbursed, so it would seem that the hush money could not be construed as an unreported campaign donation even if the money is mislabeled and dressed up to disguise it. And if his attorneys did it without Trump’s knowledge, it might be hard to tie it to him. But I assume they have the goods to tie him to the misrepresentations. Now the question is whether there was criminal intent.

I look forward to more analysis as the evidence is released to the public.

Update: Scratch my doubts! 34 counts and it’s way more involved than I thought.

The Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to ditch the Dominion machines and replace them with hand counters. Shasta County is more populous than Humboldt County. The estimate of needed counters to have any hope of meeting the state deadlines is 1200, all of whom will require a background check and require extensive training in both method and ethics. Nobody is estimating the price tag, especially if there are recounts demanded. And none of this is considering the costs of litigation with Dominion who will be suing for breach of contract (and including this loss of contract in their damages against Fox News in a trial that is coming up shortly).

My Pillow guy has promised to cover the legal costs, but will he cover the damages judgment that results? He has his own problems.

By the time it’s done, this may cost Shasta County tens of millions of dollars. I wonder if the Board will try to push for a gas tax to cover some of it.

This is just getting f—ing bizarre! All so that fragile little white kids don’t have to feel bad. Actually, it’s the parents who are fragile.

Today is the 125th Anniversary of SCOTUS confirming birthright citizenship in the case of U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark who was born in San Francisco to immigrants who were barred from citizenship by the Chinese Exclusion Act.

The first sentence of the 14th Amendment:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

The link is to information about the decision that confirmed the 14th Amendment as establishing birthright citizenship. It only took over 3 decades to confirm – our legal justice system has always been a bit slow on these issues. Some of Trump’s more fanatical anti-immigrant advisors pushed him to make an executive order cancelling birthright citizenship. I think even the corrupt SCOTUS majority would have had a hard time upholding that.

There are only three exceptions (based upon the “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”) – Native Americans loyal to a tribe (the case rendered moot by the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924), children of diplomats, and children of invading soldiers. The law clearly has jurisdiction over undocumented immigrants, or they couldn’t be arrested and charged with crimes or civil violations.

The other argument right wingers make (most of their intellectuals and scholars hate the 14th Amendment for a variety of reasons) is that the amendment was never properly ratified. Ratification nationally requires ratification in 3/4 of the states. By the time the Amendment received 3/4 of the states’ approval, two states had attempted to withdraw their ratification. However, the Constitution is silent on whether a state ratification can be revoked once set and the Courts determined that the omission was deliberate, saying that such a key provision of basic power in the Constitution could hardly have been lacking in revocation power based on an oversight (although I think a bunch of stuff was left out on “oversight” or just the fact that the Constitution was written by committees made up of people with different agendas, but that carries huge implications about Constitutional law that judicial conservatives just don’t want to deal with as it would open up floodgates of litigation on a document which actually isn’t all that well written).

Only 35 countries have relatively unrestricted birthright citizenship (there are none in Europe). It’s kind of a radical concept.

The photo captured the only moment in which MLK and Malcolm X met. It took place just a few weeks before Malcolm X took his ideologically transforming trip to Mecca, but he was already on the outs with Elijah Muhammed beginning with his “chickens have come home to roost” comment about the JFK killing in November of the previous year. Malcolm had been a harsh critic of King, even suggesting he was a “house negro” at one point, because King supported integration, non-violence, “color blindness,” etc. King wouldn’t start talking class issues in a serious way until 1966 while Malcolm would return from Mecca to flirt with Trotskyists before he was killed, so there was still a gulf of difference between the two men even if Malcolm X was in the process of mellowing a bit. This photo figured prominently in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing.

The Zinn Education Project has a little more history.

John Kennedy O’Connor has a new thing going. I wonder how the tea tastes!

No crustless cucumber sandwiches though. I lose man points whenever I tell people that I actually love those things.

Jimmy Kimmel played actual Boebert videos for people representing them as satire and then asked them if SNL was being too hard on her.

Governor Newsom is lifting the restrictions for now.

However, we do not know if the “ridiculously resilient ridge” will return next year. Also, it will take at least three years like this to restore all of the underground basins we’ve been depleting for years (some of which have collapsed because we drained them so intensely).

LoCo has the story. I’m not a fan of these awards, but if anyone deserves such recognition, it’s Judge Abinanti.

I’ve had several civil cases heard in the Yurok Court, and all three times she came down from the bench and sat us down at a table – attorneys and clients, and hammered out at least a framework for settlement. Their system allows for that flexibility, though I suppose there could be some issue with having a judge preside over a de facto settlement conference who would also preside over a trial if it came to that, but in her case I would trust her professionalism to remain unbiased by information presented in the course of discussion. In one of the cases she calmly but firmly said to all of us, “You are going to resolve this today.”

It reminds me of a San Francisco judge who held his settlement conferences after hours and would tell the attorneys, “Bring your toothbrushes, because nobody is leaving until this case is settled.”

IMO, 90 percent of trials which go forward ought to have been settled. I mean, it’s good for my bank account to go to trial, but it’s rarely the best for the clients. There are exceptions – when there is simply no other way to resolve a dispute. But I know a few attorneys who really do not push for settlement and it seems like it’s financially motivated. If it’s not a contingency case, the attorney will be paid win or lose.

Sometimes it’s not about the money, but personal issues that the legal justice system simply cannot resolve, and often in a tribal context it’s a family fight – which is the worst! Judge Abinanti is excellent at navigating these issues through the flexibility offered by the Yurok Tribal court system. Again, in other contexts it might be problematic. But the flexibility, as exercised by her wisdom and style, works for their context. I wish there were more judges like her.

The photo comes from the Office of Sen. McGuire.

Right wingers all over the internets as well as some members of Congress are claiming that the prosecution is intended to prevent Trump from running for President. I’m not even sure how that’s supposed to work. They’re even trying to summon the prosecutor to Congress to testify and produce documents – a flagrant attempt to obstruct justice. You can run for President when you’ve been charged. You can even run from jail as Eugene Debs did.

But it’s actually not in the Democrats’ interests to deter Trump from running. DeSantis is a much bigger danger not only to a Democrat’s chances of winning, but also a bigger danger to the country. He is basically Trump with a brain (although his recent moves seem uncharacteristically amateurish and he’s actually slipped in the polls). Getting Trump out of the way would only benefit DeSantis.

Trump and supporters got together and prayed to prevent the arrest. Looks like it’s worked so far.

Meanwhile, Rudy is saying that a Trump arrest will end civilization!


March 2023