50 thoughts on “Fathers, Forgive Them”

  1. any day now the supremes will hand down an edict crowning or drowning a wanna-be king.
    on the issue, here’s David Horsey’s op ed that accompanied his ‘toon:

    Founding Fathers would beg to differ on presidential immunity | The Seattle Times

    During the Supreme Court hearing considering former President Donald Trump’s assertion that presidential immunity shields him from prosecution for crimes committed while he was in the White House, conservative justices – all of whom claim to be “originalists” who do not approve of finding new rights that are not specifically outlined in the U.S. Constitution – unabashedly attempted to dredge up some sort of unwritten immunity for American presidents.
    Ignoring the Founding Fathers’ obvious intention to ensure the president would not become a lawless king, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh and, to a lesser extent, Neil Gorsuch engaged in wide-ranging speculation about the imagined perils that might befall the nation if the commander in chief is held to the same legal standards as all other citizens.
    What the conservative justices failed to acknowledge is that, for all of American history, this has not been a problem. All but one of our presidents have been held to constitutional rules and the country has thrived, not suffered. The only president who has tried to buck the constitutional order is a rogue named Trump.
    It is ridiculous that any member of the court’s right-leaning majority would contemplate giving Trump a get-out-of-jail-free card, but this is, after all, the majority he created, so maybe we should not be surprised.

  2. lest we forget what it was like four years ago when Randy noted

    a shorter version was revived a couple of weeks ago on tiktok. so far it’s still relevant… and still scary to think about.

  3. a little bit of historical background last month by Jamelle Bouie from his

    Opinion | This Whole King Trump Thing Is Getting Awfully Literal – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

    […]
    In a detailed amicus brief submitted in support of the government in Trump v. United States, 15 leading historians of the early American republic show the extent to which the framers and ratifiers of the Constitution rejected the idea of presidential immunity for crimes committed in office.
    “Although the framers debated a variety of designs for the executive branch — ranging from a comparatively strong, unitary president to a comparatively weaker executive council — they all approached the issues with a deep-seated, anti-monarchical sentiment,” the brief states. “There is no evidence in the extensive historical record that any of the framers believed a former president should be immune from criminal prosecution. Such a concept would be inimical to the basic intentions, understandings, and experiences of the founding generation.”
    The historians gather a bushel of quotes and examples from a who’s who of the revolutionary generation to prove the point. “In America the law is king,” Thomas Paine wrote in his landmark pamphlet, “Common Sense.” “For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other.”
    James Madison thought it “indispensable that some provision should be made for defending the Community against the incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief Magistrate.” The presidency was designed with accountability in mind.
    Years later, speaking on the Senate floor, Charles Pinckney of South Carolina — a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia — said outright that he and his colleagues did not intend for the president to have any privileges or immunities: “No privilege of this kind was intended for your Executive, nor any except that which I have mentioned for your Legislature.”
    What’s more, as the brief explains, ratification of the Constitution rested on the “express” promise that “the new president would be subject to criminal conviction.”
    “His person is not so much protected as that of a member of the House of Representatives,” Tench Coxe wrote in one of the first published essays urging ratification of the Constitution, “for he may be proceeded against like any other man in the ordinary course of law.”
    James Iredell, one of the first justices of the Supreme Court, told the North Carolina ratifying convention that if the president “commits any misdemeanor in office, he is impeachable, removable from office, and incapacitated to hold any office of honor, trust or profit.” And if he commits any crime, “he is punishable by the laws of his country, and in capital cases may be deprived of his life.”
    Yes, you read that correctly. In his argument for the Constitution, one of the earliest appointees to the Supreme Court specified that in a capital case, the president could be tried, convicted and put to death.
    If there were ever a subject on which to defer to the founding generation, it is on this question regarding the nature of the presidency. Is the president above the law? The answer is no. Is the president immune from criminal prosecution? Again, the answer is no. Any other conclusion represents a fundamental challenge to constitutional government.
    [continues]

  4. patd, Tim Scott’s interview with Kristen Welker over the weekend is Exhibit A in congressional impotency.

  5. Judge just ruled Trump violated gag order a tenth time: “As much as I do not want to impose a jail sanction,” Merchan says, “I want you to understand that I will, if necessary, and appropriate.”

  6. White House hits back at Trump calling Biden Administration the “Gestapo”:

    “Instead of echoing the appalling rhetoric of fascists, lunching with Neo Nazis, and fanning debunked conspiracy theories that have cost brave police officer their lives, President Biden is bringing the American people together around our shared democratic values and the rule of law — an approach that has delivered the biggest violent crime reduction in 50 years.” — White House spokesperson Andrew Bates

  7. From Judge Merchan’s order: 

    “… Because this is now the tenth time that this Court has found [Trump] in criminal contempt, spanning three separate motions, it is apparent that monetary fines have not and will not suffice to deter Defendant from violating this Court’s lawful orders.”
    “… if appropriate and warranted, future violations of its lawful orders will be punishable by incarceration.”

  8. Prosecution, as expected, now moving toward the actual charges, the false filings. Now on stand:  Jeff McConney, the Trump Organization Comptroller. Cohen sent his first reimbursement “invoice” to McConney, then forwarded it internally for payment, writing “post to legal expenses. Put “retainer for the months of January and February 2017.

    Comptroller McConney just said Trump “was in charge of everything” — not good for Pumpkin! Goes to the indictment charge that defendant “made or caused” a false entry. McConney is linking Trump directly to the Cohen payments.

  9. Judge Merchan’s approach might be working. Trump actually has not violated gag order banning attacks on witnesses since the first violation ruling.

    But today’s order is clear — another violation and Merchan has left himself no option but jail, which could be as little as a few hours. There is a holding cell near the courtroom.

  10. Something different – for several decades the personal computer has become a household product, similar to a television or telephone, if not a replacement of those.  And, there has been little change in how those tools or entertainment devices run.  Windows, Apple and Android made those devices do what they do. 

    Computers and other things also can be run using other operating systems, such as Linux.  Long taunted as the replacement for Windows, it never has been.  As hard as Windows is to most people to understand, Linux was beyond comprehension.  A goal some Linux teams, there are different flavors of Linux, was to create that Windows replacement.  Many of the issues were from all the patents that Microsoft, Apple and other companies had on software and hardware. Many of the issues were from how Linux functions.

    Those teams working on being a Windows replacement kept to the task, year after year.  The last four or five years started to yield results.  Installing and maintaining became easier, no need to understand how the operating system works.  The issue of lack of ways to make the computers work, drivers, is being closer to being resolved.  More software programs are designed for Linux. 
    This week I installed the latest Linux Mint and am happy to say that for many people a replacement for Windows is now here.  No need for fiddly The office applications function without strange issues. Speed is very good. You can run MS Office on the web, not installed on the computer though. MS has some applications for Linux. The installed office programs are very good as a replacement. Everything is free too.

    The reason I installed Linux on a laptop is the computer suffered a cup of coffee causing some damage to the screen.  It came with Windows 7 then updated to Windows 10.  It could never be a Windows 11 machine.  Once I realized how damaged the machine was I decided to turn it into a Linux computer.  That was in 2016. Since then I have put different versions of Linux on it.  No version was a replacement for Windows, until now.  Linux Mint Cinnamon does work very good.  If you have an old laptop you can install Linux and it will be usable for school or home or working on websites.

  11. McConney identifying Weisselberg handwritten notes is going to be a HUGE piece of evidence, confirming the reimbursement amounts, and that a witness independent of Cohen identifies it as Weisselberg’s notes specifying the precise amounts Cohen needs to be reimbursed (including the $130,000 hush money payment).

  12. Step closer to the Boss This witness says Cohen checks written on Trump’s personal account, not the business account used for other legal services.

  13. McConney confirms that $130k was to be reimbursement to Cohen for the Stormy Daniels payment and $50k was a reimbursement for a payment to Red Finch for tech services.

    Weisselberg then wrote down that Cohen should be “grossed up” to cover his state, federal, and city taxes for NYC residents.

    Weisselberg also wrote $60k for additional bonus, which McConney understood was to “make up for what [Cohen] thought he was owed” for the prior year’s bonus.

    PEOPLE’S EXHIBIT 35 is shown to McConney:

    “Simplified business checking”

    “First Republic Bank”

    “Essential Consultants LLC”

    “C/O Michael Cohen”

    “TOTAL WITHDRAWALS AND DEBITS: “130,035.00”

    Weisselberg’s handwriting on the document:

    “Grossed up to $360,000”

    “ADD: Add’tl bonus $60,000”

    The two amounts are added together for 420,000

    35,000 person/ month

    Effective 2/1/17

  14. Seems to me “grossing up” the Cohen payment to include taxes proves it was disguised as income on which Cohen would have to pay taxes. Prosecutors today have produced written notes by Weisselberg and McConney demonstrating this.

  15. Interesting sidebar: This witness says Melania has her own “assets” — ONLY IN HER NAME — including stock holdings, cash “instruments” and real estate. Not too surprising but that’s more detail than I have ever heard along those lines.

  16. Another Trump lawyer screw-up: elicits from McConney that Weisselberg told him the money was for some sort of reimbursement. That is the DA’s position, that the paperwork disguised it as legal fees. Trump argument is it was really legal fees and not a reimbursement.

  17. On cross, Trump counsel correctly points out that McConney did not get instructions from Trump himself, or talk to him, about the payments to Cohen.

  18. “… Melania has her own “assets” — ONLY IN HER NAME — including stock holdings, cash “instruments” and real estate.”

    so unlike Cohen who was afraid his wife would question a large withdrawal on their shared (as the case for most couples) bank account and had to go around the bush getting a loan, this was not a case of having to worry about wifey finding out.  there goes the “family embarrassment” motive for falsifying records.

  19. Here is what we know so far from prosecution witnesses and evidence:

    Donald Trump signed checks (drawn on his personal checking account) intended to reimburse Michael Cohen for the hush money payment Cohen made to adult film star, Stormy Daniels, to hide her story from voters in the 2016 presidential campaign. All that’s left is Cohen’s testimony that Trump knew what was going on and directed the whole scheme. I predict prosecution rests this week, verdict next week.

  20. Can’t imagine defense case taking long. They only listed two witnesses: an FEC expert and Trump, and he’s not expected to testify.

  21. exactly 6 years ago

    May 6, 2018
    With the FBI listening in, Michael Cohen (Ben Stiller) fields calls from Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin), Rudy Giuliani (Kate McKinnon), Melania Trump (Cecily Strong), Ivanka Trump (Scarlett Johansson) and Jared Kushner (Jimmy Fallon) and Stormy Daniels.

  22. So Deborah Tarasoff testified that Dumbass used his own money drawn from his own checking account to repay Cohen for most of the Daniels payoff money?  Jesus H. What a friggin’ moron. Not sure how all the pieces fit together, but it doesn’t sound good.

  23. Republican former lieutenant Governor of Georgia Geoff Duncan says he’ll be voting for Joe Biden in November: “Unlike Trump, I’ve belonged to the GOP my entire life. This November, I am voting for a decent person I disagree with on policy over a criminal defendant without a moral compass.”

  24. “voting for a decent person I disagree with on policy over a criminal defendant without a moral compass”

    — Precisely what swing voters are going to conclude when they reject Donald Trump AGAIN

  25. Craig,

    I think that decision is one that voters from both parties are making.  I’m not the biggest Biden fan on the planet and the current fed interest rates are killing credit card holders nationwide.  Still, Biden’s age concerns me and I’m not all that convinced Kamala is ready to step up to the big job.  Even with all that there is no way I could vote for a GOP anything until some future date when they regain some semblance of sanity.

     

  26. Interesting how prosecutors kept emphasizing with these Trump financial execs that Trump was signing and discussing the pay-off checks in the Oval Office. Like many Americans I’m sure the jurors respect if not revere the Oval Office and will find it repulsive he was conducting his dirty business there. My hunch is that’s what prosecutors were up to.

  27. He wants to be locked up so he can spin it for his cult members, which is beyond stupid because he already has them. However, he may be thinking it’ll look good to black voters, like he did when he turned himself in for the initial indictment in GA, which is beyond the pale.
     
    If Melania has her own accounts, but they have residences in multiple states, could anyone attach her assets since they are married?   I’m not sure which state is considered their primary residence.   Separate accounts, so I guess no commingling of funds, but are her assets in any jeopardy? 

  28. John Dean says prosecutors have made their case without Cohen:

    “For what few unanswered questions that are left the jury can easily draw inferences that Trump is guilty” (CNN)

  29. Jamie – Project 2025 is the Republican playbook going forward.  Nobody affiliated with the Republican Party, MAGAt or not, can be trusted not to take us down that road in dribs and drabs. 

  30. Much credit to the prosecuting team. They are brutally efficient. Of course we got to remember this is the same team that won 14 felony counts against the Trump company.

  31. If it looks like he’s losing ;it does to us, be SFB is delulu) will he pull a stunt like fake an I’ll Ed’s to gain sympathy, try to flee the country, put in a call to Moscow or SCOTUS for help? 

  32. So the jury did see the signed checks today. I remember when Wall Street Journal first published these the polls shifted to most people believing the affair and hush money payoff happened. I’m guessing the same effect on this jury.

  33. After court, tRUMPsky said of his gag order/First Amendment, that he would go to jail as a “sacrifice.” He wants to get thrown in the clink. He wants to play martyr.

    WTF happened to that last post? I swear it’s changing words after I’ve moved beyond them.

  34. https://www.newsweek.com/trump-lawyers-larocca-hornik-aj-delgado-lawsuit-manhattan-1895983

    “Donald Trump’s Law Firm Doesn’t Want to Represent Him Anymore”

    “In a filing to a Manhattan court, the law firm—LaRocca, Hornik, Greenberg, Rosen, Kittridge, Carlin and McPartland—said there had been an “irreparable breakdown in the attorney-client relationship.”

    “The firm, which has represented Trump and his election campaign for several years, had been defending the former president in a lawsuit filed by A.J. Delgado, Trump’s former senior advisor who said she was fired after she became pregnant by her supervisor during the 2016 presidential campaign. She was Trump’s director of Hispanic outreach at the time.”

    “Delgado is suing the Trump campaign and Trump’s former advisers Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer, claiming gender and pregnancy discrimination. All the defendants have denied any wrongdoing in the case.”

  35. WTF happened to that last post? I swear it’s changing words after I’ve moved beyond them.

     
    blue, we figured you knew what you meant, as did we.

  36. After a nearly two-hour meeting with Speaker Mike Johnson, far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., emerged from his office and said the two will continue their discussions on Tuesday morning… “I have been patient, I have been diligent, I have been steady, and I have been focused on the facts. And none of that has changed,” Greene said, surrounded by a phalanx of photographers and reporters.

     
    sometimes the therapist lets the patient rant for the whole session, getting everything off their chest, before saying, that’s all the time we have today, see you next time.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/marjorie-taylor-greene-meet-speaker-johnson-threatens-vote-oust-rcna150841

  37.  
     
     
    https://apnews.com/article/ai-trump-campaign-2024-election-brad-parscale-8c25c16a50a15fd1959ffe95b73f1d66
    “Brad Parscale was the digital guru behind Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the 2016 election and was promoted to manage the 2020 campaign. But he didn’t last long on that job: His personal life unraveled in public and he later texted a friend that he felt “guilty” for helping Trump win after the riot at the U.S. Capitol.”

    “Parscale was replaced as campaign manager not long after a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, drew an unexpectedly small crowd, enraging Trump.”
     

    But it looks like Brad didn’t feel all that guilty, and he’s showing loyalty to a monster.  
     
     
    “He’s since become an evangelist about the power of artificial intelligence to transform how Republicans run political campaigns. And his company is working for Trump’s 2024 bid…”
     
    ”Pascale says his company, Campaign Nucleus, can use AI to help generate customized emails, parse oceans of data to gauge voter sentiment and find persuadable voters. It can also amplify the social media posts of “anti-woke” influencers…”
     
    “Soon, Parscale says, his company will deploy an app that harnesses AI to assist campaigns in collecting absentee ballots in the same way drivers for DoorDash or Grubhub pick up dinners from restaurants and deliver them to customers.”
     
    “I pretty much used Facebook to get Trump elected in 2016,” Parscale said in a 2022 podcast interview…”
     
    “Trump has called artificial intelligence “so scary” and “dangerous,” while his campaign, which has shied away from highlighting Parscale’s role, said in an emailed statement that it did not “engage or utilize” tools supplied by any AI company.”

    “Parscale-linked companies have been paid to host websites, send emails, provide fundraising software and digital consulting, campaign finance records show.”
     
    “Last year, Parscale bought property in Midland, Texas, in the heart of the nation’s highest-producing oil and gas fields. It is also the hometown of Tim Dunn, a billionaire born-again evangelical who is among the state’s most influential political donors.”

    “In April of last year, Dunn invested $5 million in a company called AiAdvertising that once bought one of Parscale’s firms under a previous corporate name.”
     
    “AiAdvertising added two key national figures to its board: Texas investor Thomas Hicks Jr. — former co-chair of the RNC and longtime hunting buddy of Donald Trump Jr. — and former GOP congressman Jim Renacci.”

    “In January, Parscale told a crowd assembled at a grassroots Christian event in a Pasadena, California, church that their movement needed “to have our own AI, from creative large language models and creative imagery, we need to reach our own audiences with our own distribution, our own email systems, our own texting systems, our own ability to place TV ads, and lastly we need to have our own influencers.”
     

    https://nypost.com/2024/05/06/tech/ex-trump-aide-brad-parscale-who-targeted-facebook-ads-now-has-ai-platform/

    Look at Parscale using the nasty, little yt power symbol.  Brad is such a Chad, and not a Christian at all.

  38. Craig – I tend to give the judge the side of not trusting sfb for anything.  In this case the orange blob wants to go to the graduation of some kid, but really will not.  What will happen is judgie will ask stupid how was the graduation. Any response is wrong.  It also means the no matter what request the idiot asks Judge M can tell him to pound sand, “you lied so no more asks”.

  39. The media will report on it, proving he is a whiner, a liar, and a bad father if he doesn’t go to graduation.  He only understands family as it pertains to the mob. 

  40. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/the-wa-gop-put-it-in-writing-that-theyre-not-into-democracy/

     
    “The WA GOP put it in writing that they’re not into democracy
    resolution called for ending the ability to vote for U.S. senators. Instead, senators would get appointed by state legislatures, as it generally worked 110 years ago prior to the passage of the 17th Amendment in 1913.”

    “We are devolving into a democracy, because congressmen and senators are elected by the same pool,” was how one GOP delegate put it to the convention. “We do not want to be a democracy.”

    “But curtailing our own vote? The GOPers said they hoped states’ rights would be strengthened with such a move.
    Then they kicked it up a notch. They passed a resolution calling on people to please stop using the word “democracy.”

    “We encourage Republicans to substitute the words ‘republic’ and ‘republicanism’ where previously they have used the word ‘democracy,’ ” the resolution says. “Every time the word ‘democracy’ is used favorably it serves to promote the principles of the Democratic Party, the principles of which we ardently oppose.”

    The resolution sums up: “We … oppose legislation which makes our nation more democratic in nature.”
     
     

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