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☕️ TURNABOUT ☙ Tuesday, April 4, 2023 ☙ C&C NEWS 🦠
What comes next after indicting one former president?; Liz Cheney "surges"; China blimp DID gather intel; CDC officials sickened by E. Palestine; DeSantis tips nation toward Constitution; more.
Good morning, C&C, it’s Tuesday! Your roundup today includes: Trump will turn himself in for Bragg charges; New York Times guest essay raises interesting ideas for new prosecutions of other ex-presidents; the Times’ editorial board misses the point; Corporate media fantastically claims Trump’s indictment makes Liz Cheney run viable; NBC reports China got all the intel from their spy blimp after all; CDC officials sickened in East Palestine; DeSantis turns the US into a Constitutional-carry nation; another lockdown leader loses; NIH back at gain of function but Congress is on it; and rock star Marjorie Taylor Greene dishes some hard truths to 60 Minutes.
🗞💬 *WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 💬🗞
🔥 Yesterday, the UK Independent ran a story about Trump’s arrival in New York headlined, “Trump To Face 34 Felony Charges but Won’t Have Mugshot or Be Handcuffed, Report Says.”
According to reports, chubby Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg intends to charge the former President with 34 counts of … something, we don’t know yet, but don’t worry, it’s going to be epic — in TDS victims’ minds, at least.
Trump’s Secret Service detail has been negotiating with Bragg’s office and the President will not be photographed for a mugshot, handcuffed, jailed before the hearing, or anything like that. New York officials made it sound like it was their idea, since Trump is “not viewed as a flight risk.” Okay.
In other words, consummate dealmaker Trump offered to make his arraignment easy on Bragg, avoiding a New York - Florida conflict, and in return got the Presidential treatment he already deserved.
The President will appear before Judge Juan Merchan at 2:15pm this afternoon. Stay tuned.
🔥 The New York Times must have been feeling a Trump arrest hangover, running a ‘guest essay’ Friday headlined, “Trump’s Prosecution Has Set a Dangerous Precedent.” The essay was penned by former federal prosecutor Ankush Khardori.
Mr. Khardori first mused about how little it actually took to shatter the longstanding 230 years of respect and precedent in protecting former U.S. presidents and not endlessly torturing them with political lawfare for the rest of the their lives. After all, this is not a case about national election interference or fomenting insurrection or even any federal charges at all, for that matter. As far as anyone knows, the case against Trump boils down to mischaracterizing a payment on a state tax form, having deducted a settlement payment as an expense for “legal fees” when it should have been marked down as a gift or something.
The pending charges against Trump are all under STATE law. Do you have any idea just how many state criminal laws there are? Too many to count.
All the salacious details about Stormy Daniels’ so-called occupation — or her alleged relationship to the former President — are just that: salacious details. They aren’t relevant to the legal charges at all. It could just as easily have been a payment to settle a dispute with a wedding venue or something.
Mr. Khardori splashed right past the frivolity of this historic prosecution to its guaranteed outcome; in other words, Katie bar the door:
But at least one thing seems clear: Mr. Bragg may have been the first local prosecutor to do it, but he will probably not be the last. Every local prosecutor in the country will now feel that he or she has free rein to criminally investigate and prosecute presidents after they leave office. Democrats currently cheering the charges against Mr. Trump may feel differently if — or when — a Democrat, perhaps even President Biden, ends up on the receiving end of a similar effort by any of the thousands of prosecutors elected to local office, eager to make a name for themselves by prosecuting a former president of the United States.
As Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson tellingly observed over 80 years ago, “It is not a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who has committed it; it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books or putting investigators to work to pin some offense on him.”
Khardori wondered about Hunter Biden, and speculated whether some intrepid Red State prosecutor might soon find a creative way to charge Biden’s son and even other Biden family members. Maybe Hunter didn’t account for all HIS expenses the right way, or fill out all HIS state forms correctly either.
One can only hope. As Khordori helpfully suggested, both Florida and Texas have broad criminal laws prohibiting financial and business improprieties, like criminal fraud statutes prosecutors could allege were violated if there is even a suggestion that a president financially misled someone in the state, or that a president used any financial institution in those states for dealings that could possibly be characterized as questionable.
For example, say a former president opened a business or nonprofit in Florida or Texas that arguably inflated its financial condition on an application to rent some office space. That could trigger a criminal investigation into whether that former president committed a crime by “fraudulently obtaining property or credit.” It’s limited only to the prosecutorial imagination.
Not only that, but last year, the Democrat National Committee and Hilary Clinton’s campaign were both fined for charges similar to Trump’s. They had obscured reporting some payments to former British spy Christopher Steele for his third-grade-level work on a salacious dossier falsely alleging Trump colluded with Russia. Instead of reporting the expense as dirt-digging or scandal-mongering, Hilary’s campaign claimed the fees were for “legal services” and “legal and compliance consulting.”
But Hilary got a FINE. Not arrested.
Apparently you don’t need anything particularly serious to charge former presidents. So get cracking, boys! Republicans who lazily fail to take advantage of the democrats’ new rules should be thrown out of office for being weak girly-men (or girly-women).
🔥 Lest you wrongly conclude the New York Times is having any second thoughts, the Editorial Board published an op-ed the day before Khardori’s, headlined “Even Donald Trump Should Be Held Accountable.” Their opinion piece is a smarmy, sanctimonious raft of rotting produce that predictably argued Trump thinks he’s above the law and that this prosecution will somehow BUILD people’s trust in government, by showing that everyone, no matter their lofty station, must one day answer to portly local prosecutors for all their black-hearted misdeeds, like filling the form out wrong.
It didn’t mention anything about selective political prosecution, of course.
Cue the circus music!
🔥 The Washington Examiner ran a startling story yesterday featuring the unlikely headline, “Liz Cheney 2024 Chances Jump After Trump Indictment.”
Citing a highly-questionable survey, the Examiner said support for Cheney “surged” — from 5% to 10% — after news of Trump’s announcement broke, placing the disgraced former Congresswoman “solidly in third place” behind Governor DeSantis. The Examiner reported — with a straight face — that Cheney “has won support from Republicans who want the party to move past Trump and who blame the former president for the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.”
I’m going to crawl out on a thick branch and predict with 100% confidence that Liz Cheney is more likely to be burned up by righteous fire from the heavens than get anywhere close to winning the Republican primary.
I’d bet money she never even files to run.
Trump’s indictment has obviously gotten democrats as giddy as schoolgirls and they are fantasizing about all kinds of wondrous scenarios. Who knows what could happen?
🔥 NBC ran a completely unsurprising story yesterday headlined, “Chinese Spy Balloon Gathered Intelligence From Sensitive U.S. Military Sites, Despite U.S. Efforts to Block It.”
Now you tell us.
Just as a reminder, at the time top U.S. general Milley soberly informed the country that the decision not to shoot down the floating Chinese spy machine was justified because he, Milley, was CONFIDENT that our electronic countermeasures stopped China from getting any useful intel.
If they weren’t allowed to lie, they’d have to just stand there mute as gravel.
NBC reported that, according to two current senior U.S. officials and a former senior administration official, China fully controlled the balloon, making multiple passes over some of our most highly-sensitive military sites — at times even flying around in figure-eight formations — and successfully transmitted the collected information back to Beijing in real time.
Yesterday, a Defense Department spokeslady denied the collected intel had anything but “limited additive value” for China, since our bases had been ordered to go quiet, and then equivocated that she could not “confirm” that the balloon had transmitted any information back to China in real time.
Republicans were not particularly impressed with the DoD’s assurances. Montana Senator Steve Daines (R) properly complained, “The administration’s explanation that the balloon had ‘limited additive value’ is little comfort to Montanans and the American people and weak spin on an issue the administration mishandled from start to finish.”
Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee spoke for many of us when he angrily noted, “We have consistently learned more from press reports about the Chinese surveillance balloon than we have from administration officials. … I intend to hold this administration accountable.”
To its credit, NBC was the first corporate media outlet to report the Chinese spy blimp was flying around the U.S. completely unmolested, which forced Team Biden to admit it had been monitoring the device for days.
🔥 The Post Millennial, God bless them, ran a shocking story Sunday headlined “CDC Inspectors Report Headaches, Nausea Amid East Palestine Clean Up.”
But don’t worry, the water is perfectly safe to drink. EPA administrator Michael S. Regan said he would even let his kids drink the East Palestine waters. “Yes, as a father, I trust the science,” Regan babbled incoherently.
All the sickened CDC officials did was go house to house conducting surveys. It’s not like they were digging in the creek or anything. Nevertheless, they quickly started to become ill, with symptoms including nausea and headaches.
In its completely reassuring statement the CDC said, “Symptoms resolved for most of the team later the same afternoon, everyone resumed work on survey data collection within 24 hours. Impacted team members have not reported ongoing health effects.”
Well, not yet anyway.
If you believe the CDC, it’s totally safe.
🔥 The Hill ran a predictable story yesterday headlined, “White House Calls DeSantis’s Signing of Concealed Carry Law ‘Shameful’.”
The White House was responding to yesterday’s news that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill allowing Florida residents to carry concealed firearms without a permit. Before yesterday, Florida already allowed concealed weapons, but required a permit involving an application process including fingerprinting, official photos, and background checks.
Florida has long been criticized for its pro-gun environment. But you know what Florida doesn’t have? Any Antifa problems. Those particular boils on society’s backside seem pretty much reserved for blue states. For some reason.
Fox News had a different take on the news, headlining its story about the bill’s signing as, “DeSantis’ Signature Tips US Into Majority ‘Constitutional Carry’ Nation With New Florida Gun Rights Law.” Fox correctly noted that Florida just became the 26th state providing permitless concealed carry, meaning DeSantis just turned the country into a Constitutional-carry nation.
It also put Joe Biden’s White House in the minority.
“Constitutional Carry is in the books,” DeSantis said in a press release yesterday. Last month, State Representative Chuck Brannan (R) explained, “This bill is a big step, a big step to help the average law-abiding citizen, to keep them from having to go through the hoops of getting a permit from the government to carry their weapon.”
Great work by Florida’s legislators and Governor DeSantis.
🔥 Another one bites the dust. CNBC ran an uplifting story yesterday headlined, “Finland’s Sanna Marin, A Global Progressive Icon, Loses Out on Second Term After Right-Wing Surge.”
Finland’s prime minister and good-time party girl Sanna Marin set records in the icy country and the world, both by being the youngest woman ever to be made prime minister anywhere (she was 34), but also became the only female PM to be caught living it up in circumstances that can modestly be called “extremely sketchy.”
Marin, who championed Finland’s pandemic lockdowns, became a one-term PM yesterday, disgracefully losing the Finnish elections in third place. She joined other pandemic leaders who got the political boot, like New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, with whom Ms. Marin was often compared, Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon, and Britain’s Boris Johnson.
Buh bye! I guess Time’s not too good at predicting the up-and-comers, huh?
You think all these leaders’ losses predict anything about Biden’s re-election chances? Let hope live.
In related news, Finland was admitted to NATO yesterday, which should teach the Russians a thing or two. We dare them to start a war!
🔥 They will never learn and we are going to have to take their privileges away. Saturday, Fox News ran an article headlined, “House Republicans Accuse NIH of ‘Stonewalling’ on ‘Supercharged Monkeypox Experiment’.”
Late last week, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a strongly-worded letter to the NIH about Fauci’s department’s latest great idea, I mean project, to develop a monkeypox variant that is 1,000 TIMES MORE LETHAL:
Now don’t start. It’s not “gain of function,” because the NIH re-defined that term on its website last year. All the NIH is doing is adding genes to a virus to make it more deadly. For YOUR safety.
In their letter, the Republicans drily wrote:
Based on the available information, it appears the project is reasonably anticipated to yield a lab-generated monkeypox virus that is 1,000 times more lethal in mice than the monkeypox virus currently circulating in humans and that transmits as efficiently as the monkeypox virus currently circulating in humans. The risk-benefit ratio indicates potentially serious risks without clear civilian practical applications.
The Republicans want NIH officials and employees to testify about the appalling project and related matters. They gave NIH until April 13th to respond to the inquiry.
Well, at least if killer monkeypox breaks out somewhere, we’ll know right where it came from this time. Probably the same place as last time.
The gay community could not be reached for comment.
🔥 The Guardian UK ran a heartening story yesterday headlined, “CBS Faces Backlash Over 60 Minutes Interview With Marjorie Taylor Greene.” The sub-headline explained, “Far-right, pro-Trump congresswoman uses appearance on flagship current affairs show to defend calling Democrats paedophiles.”
Was that wrong?
By “backlash,” the Guardian meant the blue-on-blue outrage that erupted yesterday against reliable liberal anchor Leslie Stahl after her Sunday night interview with MTG on 60 Minutes. Stahl is catching Hades even though the anchor challenged Greene, scoffed, and rolled her eyes in a most virtuous way after Greene held to her opinion.
For example, Mother Jones editor David Corn whined, “It’s a failure on CBS and Stahl’s part to give [Greene] such an unimpeded platform to spread such garbage.”
In other words, Shut her up! Silence that wrongthink!
MTG was upbeat. The Guardian reported that when asked how she thought the interview had gone, Greene told Semafor: “I thought it was pretty good.”
Have a terrific Tuesday, and I’ll see you guys back here tomorrow for even more Coffee & Covid.
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