The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Monday afternoon and the days are shorter

From around now through the middle of October, the days get noticeably shorter, with the sun setting 2 minutes earlier each day around the equinox. Fall is almost here—less than 8 days away, in fact. But that also means cooler weather, lower electricity bills (because of the cooler weather), and lots of rehearsals and performances.

Before any of that happens, though, I'll read these:

Finally, some ace developers at Hyundai secured one model's in-vehicle infotainment system with an encryption key published in a programming example in many online tutorials of how to use that particular kind of encryption.

Exciting job opportunities for an up-and-coming lawyers

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?

Baby's first Ribfest

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.

Amazing late-summer weather

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.

Lunchtime links

Happy Monday:

I would now like to take a nap, but alas...

Can you direct us to the nuclear wessels?

The former president's stooges have no idea how to deal with the Justice Department's allegations that he essentially stole highly classified nuclear secrets from the White House:

We should not lose ourselves in the logic of this inane claim – a fake claim of authority (in pectore declassification) wrapped in a demonstrable lie (the standing order). What is more noteworthy is that these are the claims of someone who is not getting any legal advice. Not bad legal advice. No legal advice. At present Trump is represented by two women, one an unknown lawyer from New Jersey and another former OAN host. But I don’t think this is even coming from them. These sound like panicked claims of someone improvising without the benefit of legal counsel. What I draw from this is the real facts of the case are likely worse than they appear.

This doesn’t mean necessarily that the President is in grave legal peril. What it tells me – pulling all these indications together – is that the President’s actions are simply impossible to defend. Why was he refusing to relinquish material the US government thought so sensitive and secret that they had little choice but to seize them at the first opportunity?

The other measure of this is the reaction from Republican elected officials over the last 48 hours, which as near as I can tell is total silence. It’s hard to march without marching orders and Trump is giving them very little to go on about what the facts are and what the bases are for defending him.

The Atlantic's Tom Nichols tries to wrap his head around what the actual fuck:

Perhaps the former president is worried about documents mixed in among other materials that could implicate him in various kinds of wrongdoing; this is my working theory, based on the fact that the search warrant cites three criminal laws, two referring to the unlawful removal and retention of records (including information that could harm the United States or aid a foreign adversary) and one regarding the destruction or concealment of documents in order to obstruct government investigations or administrative proceedings. (Interestingly, none of these laws require the information involved to be classified.)

Nothing can ever be ruled out where Donald Trump is concerned, and it’s certainly possible that Trump—whose history suggests that he never does anything for reasons other than profit or to service his debilitating narcissism—thought he could use America’s secrets for his own financial or political gain. But there’s no point in trying to pin this kind of intent on the former president, thus setting up impossibly high expectations of prosecution that will likely be dashed in the near future—especially when Trump may have already committed severe violations of a law that he himself signed in 2018 that makes his current actions a potential felony.

The short-term danger that the U.S. government had to avert comes from the possibility that Donald Trump as a citizen is as incompetent and lazy as he was when he was president, and that he could lose control of the materials he was keeping in his house.

The more indefensible his actions, the more his supporters defend him. It took certain European countries 12 years of extremist rule and several million allied troops to snap out of their delusions. I hope the Republican Party snaps out of theirs with less bloodshed.

Extremism looks like this

A man attacked and seriously injured author Salman Rushdie at a lecture in upstate New York this morning:

The author Salman Rushdie, who spent years in hiding and under police protection after Iranian officials called for his execution, was attacked and stabbed in the neck on Friday while onstage in Chautauqua, near Lake Erie in western New York, the state police said.

The attack, which shook the literary world, happened at about 11 a.m., shortly after Mr. Rushdie, 75, took the stage for a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution, a community that offers arts and literary programming during the summer.

Mr. Rushdie was taken by helicopter to a local hospital, the state police said in a statement. His condition is not yet known. His agent, Andrew Wylie, said in an email Friday afternoon that Mr. Rushdie was undergoing surgery.

It was not clear what motivated the attacker.

[Rushdie] was there for a discussion about the United States as a safe haven for exiled writers and other artists who are under the threat of persecution.

While it's technically true that we don't know "what motivated the attacker," we can make a guess. If this wasn't religious extremism I'll post a public apology to religious extremists everywhere. And not for nothing, when our own home-grown Christianists get into the book-banning habit, they don't have far to go before this sort of thing happens. Fundamentalists of all kinds need to be removed from politics.

Meanwhile, as the Department of Justice reveals more details about just what TS-SCI documents related to our nuclear arsenal the XPOTUS stole from the White House, Republicans have used the warranted search as a fundraising talking point. Because they are the party of law and order. As Josh Marshall said today, "It is probably best to say that we are back in one of those fugue windows Trump Republicans have, much like January 7th-9th 2021, in which there’s a period of relative silence while a story is devised to explain why something inexplicable and indefensible is in fact awesome and totally fine."

Mar-a-Lago searched

How many sign-offs do you need to execute a no-knock raid on the former president's house?

Former president Donald Trump said Monday that the FBI had raided his Mar-a-Lago Club and searched his safe — activity related to an investigation into the potential mishandling of classified documents, according to two people familiar with the probe.

One of the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss its details, said agents were conducting a court-authorized search as part of a long-running investigation of whether documents — some of them top-secret — were taken to the former president’s private golf club and residence instead of sent to the National Archives when Trump left office. That could be a violation of the Presidential Records Act, which requires the preservation of memos, letters, notes, emails, faxes and other written communications related to a president’s official duties.

The inventory of unclassified items in the boxes that were recovered earlier this year from Mar-a-Lago is roughly 100 pages long, according to a person familiar with that document. Descriptions of items that were improperly taken to Mar-a-Lago include a cocktail napkin, a phone list, charts, slide decks, letters, memos, maps, talking points, a birthday dinner menu, schedules and more, this person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss details of the ongoing investigation.

There is a separate inventory for just the classified materials that were taken to the former president’s Florida residence, this person said. If the unclassified version of the classified inventory were organized in the same way as the inventory of nonclassified items, it would be about three pages long, according to this person.

Of course this is unprecedented, just like so much of the XPOTUS's administration. I do like the irony of the FBI executing the search warrant on the anniversary of Nixon's resignation, though. Pity the XPOTUS didn't see the connection.

Stuff to read tomorrow morning

In just a few minutes I will take Cassie to boarding, then head up to Northwestern for a rehearsal (I'm in the chorus at Ravinia's upcoming performances of La Clemenza di Tito.) I'll then have to pack when I get home from rehearsal, then head to a hotel by O'Hare. Ah, how much fun is an 8:30 international flight!

As I'll have some time at the airport in the morning, and no time now, I want to queue these up for myself:

All right, I'm off. After I pack.

Thursday afternoon round-up

A lot has happened in the past day or so:

Finally, let's all congratulate Trumpet, the bloodhound who won the Westminster Kennel Club's dog show last night. Who's a good boy!