Thursday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Police shoot and kill Black US airman in Florida home

    Senior Airman Roger Fortson, 23, was at home in apartment when officers burst into wrong unit and shot him dead, family says

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  2. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The Okaloosa county sheriff’s office said in a statement last week that a deputy responding to a call of a disturbance in progress at the apartment complex reacted in self-defense after encountering an armed man. The office did not offer details on what kind of disturbance deputies were responding to or who called them.

    Apparently words don’t matter anymore. Police breaking, entering and shooting is now self-defense.

    How many tragedies have to happen before things change?

    I hope the Hurlburt base commander and security police don’t just leave this investigation in the hands of Florida state police.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: I think a lot of our problems with policing stems from the whole “warrior cop” mentality that is inculcated daily.

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Disease and hunger soar in Latin America after floods and drought, study finds

    The GOP thinks we have a crisis on our southern border. Just wait.

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Here’s some good news:

    A British toddler has had her hearing restored after becoming the first person in the world to take part in a pioneering gene therapy trial, in a development that doctors say marks a new era in treating deafness.

    Opal Sandy was born unable to hear anything due to auditory neuropathy, a condition that disrupts nerve impulses travelling from the inner ear to the brain and can be caused by a faulty gene. But after receiving an infusion containing a working copy of the gene during groundbreaking surgery that took just 16 minutes, the 18-month-old can hear almost perfectly and enjoys playing with toy drums.

    Her parents were left “gobsmacked” when they realised she could hear for the first time after the treatment. “I couldn’t really believe it,” Opal’s mother, Jo Sandy, said. “It was … bonkers.”

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  6. Franklin says:

    @Scott: Christ, I don’t know anymore.

    And wait, Florida is “stand your ground”, right? So wasn’t Fortson doing exactly what they wanted him to be doing? I’m so confused.

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    From arming teachers to corporate tax breaks: Tennessee’s new, extreme laws

    There are no rights in Tennessee, just wrongs.

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  8. Franklin says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: As someone with significant genetic hearing loss (and *especially* as somebody who has unfortunately passed these genes onto one of my kids), I am particularly interested in this type of good news. While the particular gene fault described in the article isn’t what we have, it does me hope that something will work for us someday. Hopefully before I’m too old to care!

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Franklin: “stand your ground”,

    No no no… You have to read the fine print. Only white men have the right to stand their ground.

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  10. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Just wait until cops shoot an armed teacher.

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  11. Scott says:

    From Air Force Times article of the Air Force Airman shooting. It wasn’t the first time.

    The Okaloosa Sheriff’s Office faced scrutiny last year after a deputy mistook a falling acorn striking his patrol vehicle for a gun shot and fired at his SUV while a suspect sat inside restrained. According to an internal investigation, Deputy Jesse Hernandez believed the shot came from inside his vehicle. The suspect, who is Black, was uninjured in the shooting. The sheriff’s office determined Hernandez’ use of force was not reasonable and he resigned in November.

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  12. Jay L Gischer says:

    All that “stand your ground” means in this instance is that nobody is going to prosecute Fortson for shooting back at the cops. If indeed he did that. So the people of Florida can be proud to have preserved that right for Airman Fortson.

    Excuse me, for the late Airman Fortson.

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  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Just wait until cops shoot an armed teacher.

    Time and again I have read of people with a CCL who witnessed a mass shooting and didn’t do anything because they didn’t want to get shot by the cops. Like that black guy in the AL mall did.

    And I don’t blame them, tho I do have to question their reasons for carrying a firearm.

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  14. becca says:

    I have two grandchildren going to school in Germantown, a Memphis suburb. Germantown is whiter and more conservative than Memphis. Even parents there are not at all happy about this. I doubt Governor Lee is enthused. After the Covenant School shooting, Lee’s wife publicly advocated for sensible gun laws. Lee made noises for a minute that he concurred, but the nut job GOP leaders and legislators shot reason down and pushed this through. Lee, being the spineless puppet he was selected by donors to be, did nothing. Tennessee GOP lawmakers are a special kind of sleazy. Meetings in strip clubs, financial corruption, drug abuse… real peaches.

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  15. Kathy says:

    I’ve been following the Lardass election interference trial in NYC, largely through the live blog at The Guardian. The other day, historian Heather Cox Richardson had this to say in her substack:

    A number of observers have suggested that the evidence presented through documents yesterday was not riveting, but historians would disagree. Exhibit 35 was Cohen’s bank statement, on which Weisselberg had written the numbers to reflect the higher payment necessary to cover Cohen’s tax bill for the money. Exhibit 36 was a sheet of paper on which McConney had recorded in his own hand how the payments to Cohen would work. The sheet of paper had the TRUMP logo on it.

    “It’s rare to see folks put the key to a criminal conspiracy in writing,” legal analyst Joyce White Vance wrote in Civil Discourse, “but here it is. It’s great evidence for the prosecution.”

    Little gets mentioned about the documents presented as evidence. In the end, these may matter more than much of the testimony.

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  16. CSK says:
  17. CSK says:

    Barron Trump is set to be an at-large Florida delegate at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee this summer.

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  18. becca says:

    @becca: my post was meant as a reply to@OzarkHillbilly: .

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  19. JKB says:

    Wall Street Journal Opinion on the civil war in the Democratic Party

    The Democrats’ Menshevik Moment

    Got popcorn

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  20. Kathy says:

    A lot is going on today on the less political side of the news.

    A whistle blower at Spirit AeroSystems claims defective fuselages were shipped to Boeing.

    What I find striking is this statement from Mr. Paredes: “They just wanted the product shipped out. They weren’t focused on the consequences of shipping bad fuselages. They were just focused on meeting the quotas, meeting the schedule, meeting the budget … If the numbers looked good, the state of the fuselages didn’t really matter,”

    This sounds a lot like the stories you come across when reading about conditions in the Soviet economy.

    Next, Disney and WB will bundle their streaming services.

    Details are scant as yet. It’s not a merger of streaming services. It looks more like you’ll have the option to pay an extra to Disney to get Max, or to Max to get Disney+ and Hulu. This can already be done though Amazon Prime Video, with several streaming services.

    I foresaw something more like cable companies moving online. That is, some consortium of several streamers would offer packages with the content of all, and customers could choose which content they want to pay for. Not too dissimilar from today’s state of affairs, but all in one place with one subscription instead of many. We may get there yet.

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  21. gVOR10 says:

    Yesterday both Rick Perlstein in his newsletter and Pery Bacon Jr. in a WAPO column went against the dominant narrative on the college protests. Both are fairly long and detailed, but I’ll try to excerpt a taste.

    Perlstein notes any similarity to the demonstrations of the 60s and 70s are facile. The Vietnam and civil rights protests were far more serious and disruptive, yet the authorities were more reluctant to apply force. He notes protesters had burned the ROTC building at Kent State.

    Concerns for the “safety” of Jewish students has become a rhetorical commonplace in elite discussions of campus politics these days: “Jewish students of all political beliefs,” Theo Baker, son of New York Times superstar Peter Baker, tells us in The Atlantic in “The War at Stanford,” “have been given good reason to fear for their safety. They’ve been followed, harassed, and called derogatory racial epithets.”

    It makes me feel like I’m losing my mind. You know who has good reason to fear for their safety? People, many of them Jews, getting pummeled by cops and fascists. People getting high-powered rifles aimed at them from rooftops by agents of the state who surely have been told by the people giving them orders to be ready to shoot because of all the “dangerous” things that are going on amid those protesters’ tents.

    It suggests one of those Talmudic puzzlements, or perhaps the setup for a dad joke: How many Jews have to pray peacefully in a pro-peace encampment (or alternatively, to cite a scene witnessed outside the 116th Street gate of Columbia University, how many black-hatted ultra-Orthodox Jews have to chant, “Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism”) for them to stop being an antisemitic mob?

    Bacon notes:

    But I can’t ignore the over-the-top and at times antidemocratic reaction to the pro-Palestinian activism on campus. The students are making the same case as many Black pastors, Jewish activists, the majority of Democratic voters, most countries around the world and numerous international aid organizations: Israel’s retribution for the terrible Hamas attack on Oct. 7 has gone on too long and killed far too many civilians.

    We can debate some of the tactics of these pro-Palestinian protests. Occupying a building on campus is clearly an act of civil disobedience, and those taking that approach likely expected arrests and suspensions. I am deeply disappointed by the instances of activists harassing Jewish people on campus and using antisemitic language. There is no right to put up a tent on a campus lawn, so restrictions on encampments are not automatically verboten.

    But the images across the country of heavily armed police officers confronting young college students and elderly professors holding signs show we have gone too far. The counter-mobilization to the protests is far worse than the excesses of protests themselves.

    Relatively powerless college students, faculty and non-university activists may be breaking rules or even laws. But many police chiefs, mayors, university administrators and other powerful officials, while at times following the letter of the law, are violating principles of free discourse and protest and turning college campuses into police states. And they don’t have to act this way — universities across the country have reached agreements with students that have led to the end of the encampments.

    Major universities appear to have become something of a mess, but hardly because they’re hotbeds of antisemitism. University administrators have become too attached to their cockamamie jobs and overly sensitive to their endowments and donors, showing very little concern for their students*. Republicans are having way too much fun pretending antisemitism isn’t still mostly a right-wing thing. Cops may, if anything, have become more thuggish warrior-like than in the 60s. All flavors of establishment, especially the MSM, enjoy hippie punching.
    ________
    • Public K-12 officials did a much better job of standing up to GOP congress people than the Ivy presidents. Forewarned, but per the Guardian story, also much more accustomed to scrutiny than the Ivy presidents.

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  22. inhumans99 says:

    JKB, this almost feels like you are trying to make fetch happen, whatever makes you happy.

    Happy Friday eve everyone (aka, Thursday)

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  23. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I’ve killed my Disney subscription and if it was only up to me I would kill the Max one too. If I could get $10 off my Amazon Prime membership I’d kill that too especially since it now has commercials. I get great value from Netflix and adequate value from Apple+. Actually, more than adequate since I get it discounted because of a bundle of Apple services I use. I find that it takes me months or even years to finish a series unless it is fluff, and Netflix has all the fluff I need (fluff = stuff you can watch on the treadmill). Increasingly, I just buy the series I want to watch. A whole season goes for the cost of a month or a month and a half’s subscription to the streaming service currently hosting it. No commercials. No intros with pitches for other shows.

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  24. MarkedMan says:

    @inhumans99:

    you are trying to make fetch happen

    ?

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  25. Paul L. says:
  26. Matt Bernius says:

    Hey, can someone remind me which of the current two presidential candidates has made “police need more protection” and “absolute immunity needs to be extended to all law enforcement, not to mention the President, in order for us to do our jobs” a regular talking/platform point at campaign events and speeches?

    I’m drawing a blank for some reason.

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  27. JKB says:

    Trump had a good day yesterday. Judge still trying to figure out how to fix his mistake of letting Stormy and the prosecution slander Trump with irrelevant testimony.

    GA appeals court agreed to hear the appeal of the decision not to disqualify Fani Willis from the GA case. So that case is likely frozen for a few months

    Judge in FL documents case delayed trial indefinitely for the myriad of issues. Likely one is that the documents were not kept in order that they were found. And that the FBI had staged the documents on the floor photo using not the documents but fabricated cover sheets. Not to mention some question as to whether the boxes were the ones that the GSA foisted on Trump and so give a plausible argument of documents being planted.

    All up in the air, but makes the lawfare show trials less certain to smear Trump with a “conviction” which will be reversed on appeal in any case.

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  28. Paul L. says:

    @Matt Bernius:
    I am getting sick of both sides defending the Law Enforcement caste.
    Ron DeSantis signed the Protect Bad Cops and cover up their misconduct act.
    Reps Jordon, Lieu, Swalwell and Krishnamoorthi condemn a man for tweeting the deeply offensive and disturbing F*ck cops. “Believes in protecting Law Enforcement not attacking them.”
    Biden repeatedly pushed bill in Senate that critics said would have made investigating police officers for misconduct more difficult

    For more than 15 years as a senator, Biden was one of the chief proponents of a Police Officer’s Bill of Rights measure, which was supported by police unions but faced sharp opposition from the nation’s police chiefs

    The Biden campaign declined to answer whether Biden still supports a Police Officer’s Bill of Rights.

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  29. Paul L. says:

    @JKB:

    Judge still trying to figure out how to fix his mistake of letting Stormy and the prosecution slander Trump with irrelevant testimony.

    Judge Juan Merchan is trying to blame the Defense for not objecting enough.
    I can see why they didn’t object because the corrupt judge Lewis Kaplan put his thumb on the scale of justice and forbid all of Trump’s due process, defenses and evidences. “Looks at every basic element of due process in a civil case and says “Yeah, we’re going to take the under consideration” i.e ignore it. requiring Trump’s attorney to pre-vett questions to limit what he says. To limiting the questions they can ask of E. Jean Caroll. Limiting Discovery and just frankly looking at a bunch of inconsistencies that are not allowed to be pointed out in E. Jean Caroll’s story.”

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  30. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I’ve a complex relationship with the streaming services. Some are paid through third parties at a discount. Max offered a lifetime discount as long as the account is active, and they kept it even after raising prices. Plus, I usually have something to see on it at least once a week (and they have John Oliver).

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  31. just nutha says:

    @Franklin: The key word in Ozark’s hot link was black. When has anyone anywhere ever heard anyone other than Malcom X support black men “standing their ground?”

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  32. inhumans99 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Mean Girls reference that fell flat since I needed to explain, lol.

    I could swear this is at least the second time in the past 2 weeks where JKB has tried to declare the Democratic party is engaged in a Civil War.

    I like to think that if this were the case, that James or Steven would already have a post teed up and ready to publish about this brewing Civil War.

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  33. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: They concealed carry out of a yearning to someday be the “good guy with a gun.” The fact that the police always show up before they can spring into action is simply a positive happenstance (and I mean positive more than you can realize in this case).

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  34. Matt Bernius says:

    @Paul L.:

    I am getting sick of both sides defending the Law Enforcement caste.

    I know you say that. As I have expressed before, I agree that both sides are not great. But given your constant unwavering and, more importantly, unquestioning support of a Candidate that continually promises to extend immunity, I just feel there is something rather performative about “I really care about qualified immunity” as an issue.

    I mean, I work on criminal legal system reform and I don’t virtue signal as much as you do on the topic.

    Also, something striking about the cases below:

    Ron DeSantis signed the Protect Bad Cops and cover up their misconduct act.

    Yeah, Republicans have been passing a lot of state-level legislation like this. So actually changing words.

    Reps Jordon, Lieu, Swalwell and Krishnamoorthi condemn a man for tweeting the deeply offensive and disturbing F*ck cops. “Believes in protecting Law Enforcement not attacking them.”

    Loathe as I am to support this activity, it seems like speech acts are a fundamentally lesser form of support than passing new laws to protect police.

    This just feels a little bit of a both sides exageration. I’m sure Democrats have passed dumb laws (in fact, being in NYS I know that happened). It’s just not the best comparison.

    Which gets to:

    Biden repeatedly pushed bill in Senate that critics said would have made investigating police officers for misconduct more difficult

    Yes, during his time in the Senate… which ended in 2009 (as the article notes). Biden has a poor legislative record on Criminal Legal System topics.

    However during his Presidency, he hasn’t directly advanced any similiar legislation. In fact, he reenacted some of the Obama-level police controls and oversight that were gutted by… checks notes… Trump.

    And again, I can’t remember which of the two candidates is actively making promises of increasing immunity and protecting police?

    I mean, look, I think it’s great to advocate for revisiting qualified immunity. So I don’t want to get in the way of that…. But if I were doing that while constantly supporting someone who actively and proudly wants to extend it… I would, I dunno, find a less absolutist way of doing it.

    Again, not saying either political party is particular great on police protections. I can also say that one of the two parties has made those reforms (and other key CLS reforms like record clearance and bail reform) really difficult since 2020, and it isn’t the Democrats.

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  35. Jen says:

    OMG, there is literally another post TODAY, on THIS site, talking about the how and why of Freedom Works’ collapse, and here JKB is yapping about the Democratic Civil War.

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  36. just nutha says:

    @Kathy: The situation you describe is what I got buying my Roku television 3 or 4 years ago except for the one price part. I had a similar situation when I had Peacock and a couple of services where I stream for free will sell me subscriptions for pay streaming services. It’s not unusual at all.

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  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB:

    Judge in FL documents case delayed trial indefinitely for the myriad of issues. Likely one is that the documents were not kept in order that they were found.

    Ummmm no. It’s because she apparently doesn’t know how to make timely rulings on motions.

    And that the FBI had staged the documents on the floor photo using not the documents but fabricated cover sheets.

    Jeebus, you’re an idiot. The cover sheets were the ones the documents came in and they couldn’t publish a photo of the actual documents because… wait for it…. They were classified.

    Not to mention some question as to whether the boxes were the ones that the GSA foisted on Trump and so give a plausible argument of documents being planted.

    Right. Sure. Pray tell, Qwhere did you hear this?

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  38. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @just nutha: I’d feel better if they did as I do and leave it at home.

    @CSK: Yeah well, I talk to Judge Cannon all the time. I give her lots of free legal advice and look at the bang up job she’s doing!

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  39. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    Oh, you know, the party that ousts a speaker, then takes a long while to pick another, then tries to oust this one again, and meantime their Representatives and Senators who hold differences with the leadership keep quitting Congress, is clearly not the one with a problem.

    Oh, no. Not at all. never. It’s the party that tries to hash out a consensus. Those people are really screwed

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  40. Paul L. says:

    @Matt Bernius:
    Hopium/Copium.
    As with Red Flag laws and Bump Stock, I hope will the backlash will stop Trump.
    I hope Trump will not pick a DOJ stooge as AG again.
    Remember the heroic police obeyed the Democrats unconstitutional orders to lockdown.

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  41. DK says:

    @JKB:

    Trump had a good day yesterday.

    A reference to Joe Biden losing 20% of the Indiana primary vote to a candidate that dropped out two months ago?

    Oh, wait, nevermind. That was Trump.

    Wall Street Journal Opinion on the civil war in the Democratic Party

    A reference to yesterday’s failed attempt by some Democrats to oust their House leader, replete with Democrats booing and threatening each other?

    Oh, wait, nevermind. That’s the Rethuglikkklans.

    I understand why you and Paul L. are terrified and having a meltdown today. Criminal and pedo Trump cussing and snarling in court while Stormy Daniels testified about how she was Trump’s sexual stand-in for his daughter
    Ivanka. Moscow Marjorie and House Republicans at each others’ throats. 20% of Republican primary voters still rejecting perverted sore loser Drowsy Don.

    Tough week for the deplorables lol

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  42. Paul L. says:

    @Kathy:
    Joyce White Vance is a hack as bad as Glenn “Executive order to ban all guns except government officials” Kirschner.

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  43. Matt Bernius says:

    @Paul L.:

    Hopium/Copium.

    That’s incredibly rich coming from someone who IMMEDIATELY, like the next two lines are both specifically are framed in “hope”.

    As with Red Flag laws and Bump Stock, I hope will the backlash will stop Trump.
    I hope Trump will not pick a DOJ stooge as AG again.

    The best part of that is after picking *checks notes* three DOJ-stooges when he was President, you somehow think Trump will do something different this next time around. But hey, its only the Dems who are blinded by partisanship and/or ideology.

    If that’s not “Hopium/Copium” I’m not sure what is. But what do I know.

    Perhaps your point is that we’re both the same or both hypocrites. If so it would be great to understand that.

    Anyway, it’s been fun as always Paul. Talk to you in a few months.

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  44. Paul L. says:

    @Matt Bernius:
    That is my Hopium/Copium. I was not projecting it on you.
    I suspect you support Red Flag laws and Bump Stock bans/ATF can do as it pleases and write law.
    I would love qualified immunity to be part of the 2024 campaigns.
    I expect nothing from Jill Biden who is running the country just like Edith Bolling Galt.

    Wilson was second wife of the 28th President, Woodrow Wilson. She served as First Lady from 1915 to 1921. After the President suffered a severe stroke, she pre-screened all matters of state, functionally running the Executive branch of government for the remainder of Wilson’s second term.

    How did the truth get to Whitehouse website?
    As opposed to the “truth” commissars at Wiki.

    Edith Wilson played an influential role in President Wilson’s administration following the severe stroke he suffered in October 1919. For the remainder of her husband’s presidency, she managed the office of the president, a role she later described as a “stewardship”, and determined which communications and matters of state were important enough to bring to the attention of the bedridden president.

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  45. Jax says:

    I can’t get this song out of my head today. Basically every time I refresh the page I want to scream it. 😉 😉 😉

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th4Czv1j3F8

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  46. Matt Bernius says:

    @JKB:

    Trump had a good day yesterday. Judge still trying to figure out how to fix his mistake of letting Stormy and the prosecution slander Trump with irrelevant testimony.

    I will say that Blanche is doing a really good job as a defense attorney. He and the rest of Trump’s team have definitely been preserving everything they can for appeal. That said, they could have definitely been objecting more [as they did today]. The bigger problem is they have a really challenging client (who doesn’t understand not to attack the witness in court barely under his breath). Interesting note: On Serious Trouble they get into the fact that Trump continues to deny the affair it’s actually making the defense’s job much harder.

    And I also agree that the judge seems to think the testimony had issues. However, having a lot of vicarious experience in this area, the level of crossover to have something declared a mistiral is VERY, VERY high. Whether or not you agree with that standard is a separate issue. However, on both days of Daniel’s testimony the Judge doesn’t think it’s reached that level. Most commentators who are not named Turley, including past defense attorneys, seem to agree. BTW, this week’s “Serious Trouble” does a solid deep dive in on this issue.

    As far as how the trial is going, given that this is a jury trial, who knows. That said, I don’t think it’s gone particularly well for Trump so far–in particular, Hope Hick’s testimony and the document trail they are creating to provide substantive proof of mindful intent (which is going to be critical).

    One the plus side for you, the prosecution’s theory is still rather complex. So proving it could still be a challenge. Just because they prove that Trump knowingly made the payment, it’s still going to be a walk to get to the felony.

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  47. Kathy says:

    How is this not soliciting bribes? Lardass says he’ll scrap all environmental regulations, and wreck the planet while he’s at it, if oil industry donors give his campaign $1 billion

    To paraphrase the king of Numidia in his dealings with Rome: A country for sale, and doomed to quick destruction if it should find a buyer.

    Of course, it would be hilarious if several oil execs and shareholders donated that much, and then watched as Lardass wasted it on canned tuna and cigarettes in prison after he loses in November.

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  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’d feel better if they did as I do and leave it at home.

    So would I, but I can’t fix stupid and am unwilling to use my crazy wild psychic powers to control people’s minds. Free will may be the most important thing we have because it’s what makes our decisions matter.

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  49. Kingdaddy says:

    Sure, let’s re-rename schools back to honoring Confederate generals.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-68985412

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  50. Kathy says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    How about “Stonewall Jackson Traitor to the Country High”?

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  51. CSK says:

    @Kingdaddy: @Kathy:

    I recall my late father saying something to the effect that so many army bases were named after Confederate general as a sop to the South, so they’d feel less bad about being clobbered during the Civil War. He put it more elegantly than I just did.

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  52. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Paul L.:

    Joyce White Vance is a Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Law. She served as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 2009 to 2017. She was nominated for that position by President Barack Obama in May of 2009 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate in August of 2009. Professor Vance served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and was the Co-Chair of its Criminal Practice Subcommittee. As U.S. Attorney, she was responsible for overseeing all federal criminal investigations and prosecutions in north Alabama, including matters involving civil rights, national security, cybercrime, public corruption, health care and corporate fraud, violent crime and drug trafficking. She was also responsible for affirmative and defensive civil litigation on behalf of the government and for all federal criminal and civil appeals.

    Before becoming U.S. Attorney, Professor Vance served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Birmingham for 18 years. She spent ten years as a criminal prosecutor, before moving to the Appellate Division in 2002. She became the Chief of that Division in 2005. Prior to her work as a federal prosecutor, she spent six years as a litigator in private practice, first at Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn in Washington D.C., and then at Bradley, Arant, Rose & White, now Bradley, Arant, Boult & Cummings, in Birmingham. Professor Vance received a B.A. from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, magna cum laude, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of law.

    Professor Vance recently received the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health’s Lou Wooster Public Health Hero Award for her leadership in creating a community-engaged initiative that included partners from law enforcement, the medical and business communities, and educators to address the heroin and opioid epidemic in northern Alabama. She is a frequent legal commentator on MSNBC and other news outlets.

    And your credentials are?

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  53. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Free will may be the most important thing we have because it’s what makes our decisions matter.

    Well, the fly in the ointment here is the fact that other people’s free will are what make our decisions not matter.

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  54. Jax says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: He went to the school of “Did My Own Research”, duh. 😉

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  55. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB:

    Ron Filipkowski
    @RonFilipkowski

    Imagine being a lawyer for Trump who didn’t object to Stormy Daniels testifying that they had sex without a condom after the Judge just said he would not have allowed it if she had.

    IANAL but it seems to me you have a lot of egg on your face. Especially because I have read a # of lawyers who have explained that if they don’t object to the testimony at the time of it, it is not appealable.

    As always do as I do and remember that neither I nor you are lawyers.

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  56. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jax: shakes my head in sadness at the stupidity of mankind…

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  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB: By the way, as I read Ron Filipkowski , the prosecution has decided not to call Karen McDougal to the stand.

    As Ron explains,

    You could argue the Harvey Weinstein reversal was a factor in not calling McDougal. If so, it was only a minor part of the consideration. I just think she isn’t necessary at all the prove this case and the DA wants this as clean as possible.

    Not a good sign for trump.

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  58. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    It’s been depicted in several lawyer shows.

    Past that, I face something similar at work. When a government agency requests proposals for acquisitions, they must hold a meeting to answer questions about the rules and requirements. Here participants can raise objections to specific requirements. These may be technical or legal. For the latter, if you can prove they violate some existing law or regulation, the agency has to remove or modify them. If they don’t, then you can appeal the result, assuming you don’t get the contract*, and a clear violation of the law is about 100% a guarantee of a successful appeal.

    BUT (you knew this was coming), if you didn’t object to the requirement, nor asked it be modified or removed, your appeal is 100% guaranteed to fail. And that’s written in the federal acquisitions law. By not objecting, you’re implicitly accepting it, even if it violates a law or a regulation (or several).

    *Because why would you appeal if you won, right? Still, “not get the contract” can also mean you didn’t submit a proposal because you couldn’t satisfy the improper requirement the agency would not remove or modify. So, you’d still be seeking redress.

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  59. Beth says:

    @Kathy:

    *Because why would you appeal if you won, right?

    Because you discover that the deal is actually terrible after you win and you need to get out of it some way some how.

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  60. Kathy says:

    @Beth:

    This happened to us twice, that I know of.

    One was our mistake, and we just rode the losses out because we wanted to keep the contract for the following years, and we could adjust the prices then.

    The second was our mistake in not thinking the logistics through (meaning it was the high executives’ blunder, but they must never know we know). We negotiated an early termination by mutual agreement, and paid a penalty. An appeal would engender ill will from the customer, and having them void the contract for cause would get us disqualified for years and liable for a hefty fine.

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  61. Beth says:

    @Kathy:

    Oh yeah, it’s not a great idea, but sometimes that’s all you got.

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  62. just nutha says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Can’t fix that either. 🙁

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  63. JKB says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Whether the “affair” or sex happened is not an element of the supposed crime. It’s an accounting issue that so far, the prosecution has offered no evidence toward. Stormy Daniels’ testimony was not relevant and like the testimony that just got Harvey Weinstein’s conviction thrown out.

    You guys just want the headline before the election. That any conviction will not withstand appeal doesn’t matter in a political prosecution to influence an election.

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  64. Kathy says:

    Korean Air is selling 5 of its nine passenger B747-8s, to be converted to E-4B “Doomsday” planes. These are planes meant to serve as an airborne command post for the US during a nuclear war (ergo the nickname). More info here

    What I find of particular interest is the buyer. You’d think it would be the Air Force, or even Boeing. No. It’s the Sierra Nevada Corporation, an aerospace firm that’s been trying to get into the private space industry among other things. They were awarded a $13 billion contract to modify these planes to spec.

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  65. Matt Bernius says:

    @JKB:

    Whether the “affair” or sex happened is not an element of the supposed crime. It’s an accounting issue that so far, the prosecution has offered no evidence toward. Stormy Daniels’ testimony was not relevant and like the testimony that just got Harvey Weinstein’s conviction thrown out.

    It’s awesome that you don’t fundamentally understand the “element of crime” or the concept of proving a state of mind.

    If you actually read legal analysis that didn’t confirm your priors, you would understand how and why it’s important to the case (Lawfare or JustSecurity are both OK places to start… of for that matter Serious Trouble). You’d also understand exactly why the comparison to Weinstein doesn’t hold.

    But we know none of that will happen. And more importantly there is no universe where you would ever admit that perhaps Trump did something wrong.

    Instead, you’ll cling to Jonathon Turley’s analysis and keep waiting for his prediction that NY City will self-destruct because of how they are treating Trump. And since your position is completely faith-based, the fact that the destruction never actually happens is only proof it’s about to happen.

    Any day now.

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  66. Paul L. says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    defensive civil litigation on behalf of the government

    So Qualified Immunity

    She is a frequent legal commentator on MSNBC and other news outlets.

    So any U.S. Attorney is above criticism? I can’t call Preet Bharara a Piece of Crap for the Reason Magazine subpoena and gag order.

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  67. Paul L. says:

    @Matt Bernius:
    and most here will instead cling to Glenn Kirschner’s analysis
    Folks let’s talk about that because Justice Matters.

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