I'm movin' out. A lovely young couple have offered to buy Inner Drive World Headquarters v5.0, and the rest of the place along with it. I've already gotten through the attorney-review period for IDTWHQ v6.0, so this means I'm now more likely than not to move house next month.
Which means I have even less time to read stuff like this:
Finally, American Airlines plans to get rid of its First Class offerings, replacing them with high-tech Business Class and more premium coach seats. I'd better use my miles soon.
I've had two parallel tasks today, one of them involving feeding 72 people on Saturday. The other one involved finishing a major feature for work. Both seem successful right now but need testing with real users.
Meanwhile, outside my little world:
- The XPOTUS seems to have backed himself into a corner by lying about "declassifying" things psychically, after the Special Master that he asked for called bullshit. Greg Sargent has thoughts.
- Pro Publica reported on Colorado's halfway-house system that sends more people back to prison than it rehabilitates.
- The Navy has begun its court-martial of Seaman Recruit Ryan Mays, accused of lighting the fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard in 2020.
Finally, Ian Bogost (and I) laments the disappearance of the manual transmission.
Writing as a guest of James Fallows, former defense official Jan Lodal outlines how subparagraph (d) of the Espionage Act should be a slam-dunk in prosecuting the XPOTUS:
This paragraph makes a straightforward action a crime: namely, failing to return classified documents if properly directed to give them back. No proof of the level of classification, or the intentions of the document holder, or the content of the documents, is required. Just a simple question, did he or she give them back or not.
This section of the Espionage Act does not require that prosecutors access or cite individual documents to prove the crime. It requires only that there were any classified documents in the boxes that Trump did not return. On that there is no doubt. It was settled by the release of the Department of Justice (DoJ) Affidavit authorizing the Mar-A-Lago document seizure.
Trump’s violation of this Subparagraph (d) of the Espionage Act could not be clearer. Unlike all other crimes being considered for prosecution, Subsection (d) requires no probing of intent or consequence. It defines as criminal a clear process violation—“failing to return” classified documents when properly asked to do so.
Given our politics and our jury system, keeping the legal actions against Trump simple is better for now. Prosecution for other offenses after getting an initial conviction will then be more likely to succeed. DOJ should take this path to reduce the risk that obfuscation and assertions of inapplicable rights and privileges by a former president could override the fragile rule of law in our constitutional democracy.
Having watched the DOJ build its case, and knowing that Attorney General Merrick Garland takes things slowly and deliberately, I expect to see this charge sooner rather than later. But I also suspect that the DOJ wants to build the most comprehensive case it can. We'll see.
The Washington Post Fact Checker digs deep into the allegations of mishandling classified material against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and finds, nah, she good:
The Justice Department investigation of classified documents found at former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club has brought inevitable comparisons to the controversy over Hillary Clinton’s private email server that she used while secretary of state. The FBI investigation into her emails arguably tipped the close 2016 presidential election to Trump.
During the contest between Trump and Clinton, we wrote 16 fact checks on the email issue, frequently awarding Pinocchios to Clinton for legalistic parsing. But in light of the Trump investigation, Clinton is trying to draw a distinction between Trump’s current travails and the probe that targeted her.
As shown in an FBI photo of some of the documents seized from Trump, many have clear markings indicating they contained highly sensitive classified information. Clinton, in her tweet, suggests none of her emails were marked classified. That’s technically correct. Whether those emails contained classified information was a major focus of the investigation, but a review of the recent investigations, including new information obtained by the Fact Checker, shows Clinton has good reason for making a distinction with Trump.
In other words, [two] State Department probes under Trump knocked Clinton for maintaining a private server for State Department communications — but did not hold her responsible for mishandling classified information.
Of course, all the Benghazi and email server hearings that Clinton had to endure had nothing at all to do with their subject matters, because the current Republican Party doesn't care at all about substance. Everything they do is performance, for political points. And they've been at that so long, in fact, that many Republicans can't fathom that the probe of the XPOTUS's mishandling of classified material has nothing to do with political points and everything to do with the damage that he did to national security.
I took Friday off, so it felt like Saturday. Then Saturday felt like Sunday, Sunday felt like another Saturday, and yesterday was definitely another Sunday. Today does not feel like Tuesday.
Like most Mondays, I had a lot of catching up at the office, including mandatory biennial sexual harassment training (prevention and reporting, I hasten to point out). So despite a 7pm meeting with an Australian client tonight, I hope I find time to read these articles:
Finally, the Hugo Awards were announced in Chicago over the weekend, and now I have a ton more books to buy.
Meteorological summer ends in just a few hours here in Chicago. Pity; it's been a decent one (for us; not so much for the Western US). I have a couple of things to read this afternoon while waiting for endless test sessions to complete on my work laptop:
And via Bruce Schneier, a group of local Chicago high schoolers will never give you up and never let you down.
So I'm going to have to postpone reading all of these:
And Cassie, who has not actually had much patience the last few minutes, will now get a walk.
The XPOTUS can't seem to attract effective legal counsel for some reason:
“Everyone is saying no,” an anonymous source told the Washington Post. Alan Dershowitz, the former Harvard Law School professor who has advised Trump in the past, didn’t seem too encouraging either, telling the Post that “good lawyers should have been working on this case for months.”
But clearly, such “good lawyers” have eluded Trump as he sinks further into a legal hot mess. Perhaps lawyers aren’t touching the case with a 10-foot pole in order to avoid the fate of Trump’s former personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, whose own role in the Big Lie now has him embroiled in the criminal investigation into election interference in Georgia. Let’s also recall that Giuliani’s deeply problematic television interviews were reportedly central to his firing from his own law firm. He eventually got his license suspended by the New York Bar last year.
Matt Ford imagines the job description; look for it on LawJobs.com:
Working on the Trump legal team is an exciting, fast-paced experience. You never know whether you will receive a 3 a.m. telephone call that the FBI is searching your client’s Florida resort for the nation’s nuclear secrets, or that the House January 6 committee has obtained testimony from a former employee who says your client knew the mob was armed when he sicced it on Congress last year, or if local prosecutors in Georgia and New York will bring indictments against the family business and its longtime employees.
Applicants must also be willing to accept some permanent reputational damage within the legal community for their work. Until 2020, John Eastman was a fairly run-of-the-mill conservative law professor and former Clarence Thomas clerk. He has since left his teaching position and his chairmanship of a Federalist Society committee and been widely denounced by his former peers for trying to orchestrate a coup d’état. Joining the Trump team should be seen as the capstone to a long and distinguished legal career, mainly because more than a few of his current and former lawyers are now facing disbarment proceedings.
Ever since John Adams defended British soldiers after the Boston massacre, America has had a strong tradition of giving vigorous legal representation to even the most loathed and least popular defendants. American lawyers have often defended the indefensible, worked pro bono for those who couldn’t pay them back, and kept their commitments to clients who were indifferent and sometimes even hostile to their legal advice. Rarely, however, have all of these challenges been found in a single person. For most people, working as Trump’s lawyer will be the first line in their obituary and the final thing for which they are remembered. It is stunning that more lawyers aren’t leaping at the chance to do it.
Maybe I should apply? I mean, I am a lawyer, in the sense that I have a JD from a good law school. Do I even need to take the bar exam?
If Cassie could (a) speak English and (b) understand the concept of "future" she would be quivering with anticipation about going to Ribfest tonight after school. Since she can't anticipate it, I'll do double-duty and drool on her behalf. It helps that the weather today looks perfect: sunny, not too hot, with a strong chance of delicious pork ribs.
Meanwhile, I have a few things to read on my commute that I didn't get to yesterday:
Finally, as I ride on the UP-N commuter line in an hour or so, I can imagine what it will be like when the train gets a battery-powered locomotive in a few years.
The South's misfortune is Chicago's benefit this week as a hot-air dome over Texas has sent cool Canadian air into the Midwest, giving us in Chicago a perfect 26°C afternoon at O'Hare—with 9°C dewpoint. (It's 25°C at IDTWHQ.) Add to that a sprint review earlier today, and I might have to spend a lot more time outside today.
So I'll just read all this later:
Finally, the leader of the Westminster city council in London really wants to close down the "American" candy stores opening up all up and down Oxford Street.