The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Belly laugh of the day

Sorry, I'm still wiping the tears from my eyes after laughing so hard:

In a court filing Thursday, Trump's attorneys recommended starting the [election interference] trial in April 2026, more than two years after prosecutors are seeking to get the trial underway.

U.S. District Judge Tonya Chutkan — who warned Trump that he is a "criminal defendant" who has "restrictions like every other defendant" — had asked each side to propose trial dates.

In a filing last week, [Special Counsel Jack] Smith's team requested that jury selection begin in December and that the trial start just after the holiday break, on Jan. 2, 2024. That date, senior assistant special counsel Molly Gaston wrote, "would vindicate the public’s strong interest in a speedy trial—an interest guaranteed by the Constitution and federal law in all cases, but of particular significance here, where the defendant, a former president, is charged with conspiring to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election, obstruct the certification of the election results, and discount citizens’ legitimate votes."

I'd say "it never hurts to ask" but the XPOTUS's lawyers already have a credibility problem with the court. Anyone want to do an over/under on the date Judge Chutkan actually sets for the trial? I'm guessing next spring, not 2½ years from now.

Pigeons roosting, etc.

A few of them have come home or are en route:

Finally, climate change has made your favorite hot sauce more expensive, and will continue to do so until pepper farmers adapt their vines to the new reality, or move them.

End of day reading list

The XPOTUS continuing to get indicted for trying to steal the 2020 election wasn't the only bit of authoritarian fuckery this week:

Finally, Michael Oher, the subject of the book and film The Blind Side, says the white family that he lived with not lied to him about adopting him, but also used their positions as his conservators to screw him out of compensation from the story of his own life. Which, if you remember, put the white folks up as the heroes. I wish I'd been more surprised and shocked, but no, it tracks.

It's XPOTUS indictment day...again...

An Atlanta grand jury charged the failed fascist and 18 of his mooks with another 41 counts, including orchestrating a "criminal enterprise," following his attempts to steal the election in Georgia:

The 41-count indictment, an unprecedented challenge of presidential misconduct by a local prosecutor, brings charges against some of Mr. Trump’s most prominent advisers, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, his former personal lawyer, and Mark Meadows, who served as White House chief of staff at the time of the election.

Mr. Trump, who is running again for president in the 2024 election and is the early favorite to win the Republican nomination, has now been indicted in four separate criminal investigations since April, including a federal indictment earlier this month over his attempts to cling to power after losing the 2020 race.

Although that case covers some of the same ground as the one in Georgia, there are crucial differences between state and federal charges: Even if Mr. Trump were to regain the presidency, the prosecutors in Georgia would not report to him, nor would he have the power to attempt to pardon himself if convicted.

The 13 counts against the XPOTUS bring his total charge sheet to 84 items, most of them felonies, and most of them with the potential of jail time.

The defendants include Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Ken Chesebro, Jeffrey Clark, and Sidney Powell.

I thank the editors of Politico for keeping track of all of the XPOTUS's criminal cases. We have only 448 days until the 2024 election. We are unlikely to see any of these cases resolved by then. That said, I agree with Josh Marshall: in these dominance contests between the XPOTUS and the People of The United States, the People of Georgia, and the People of New York, the People must win.

Temperature 26, dewpoint 22

I just got back from walking Cassie for about half an hour, and I'm a bit sticky. The dog days of summer in Chicago tend to have high dewpoints hanging out for weeks on end, making today pretty typical.

Our sprint ends Tuesday and I still have 3 points left on the board, so I may not have time to give these more than a cursory read:

Finally, Andrew Sullivan adapts a column he wrote in August 2001 asking, "why can't Americans take a vacation?" One reason, I believe: all the time and money we spend in and on our cars.

The rabbit hole of the XPOTUS's broken brain

Author Michael Wolff believes the prosecution in all three of the XPOTUS's trials has to climb a steep epistemological hill to secure any convictions:

It is precisely this behavior, unconcerned with guardrails or rules, unmindful of cause and effect, all according to his momentary whim — an overwhelming, almost anarchic instinct to try to invert reality — that prosecutors and much of the political establishment seem to most want to hold him accountable for. The chaos he creates is his crime; there is, however, no statute against upsetting the dependable order. Breaking the rules — often seemingly to no further purpose than just to break the rules as if he were a supreme nihilist or simply an obstreperous child — is not much of a grand criminal enterprise, even though for many, it’s infuriating coming from someone charged with upholding the rules.

His prosecutors will try to use his words against him: among them, his exhortations that arguably prompted the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, his admission — on tape! — that he still had classified documents, his various, half-baked plots about how to game the Electoral College system, his relentless and unremitting insistence that he won his lost election and his comments to his bag man, Michael Cohen, before he paid off Stormy Daniels.

There’s an asymmetric battle here, between the government’s precise and thorough prosecutors and Mr. Trump’s head-smacking gang of woeful lawyers. The absolute ludicrousness and disarray of the legal team defending Mr. Trump after his second impeachment ought to go down in trial history. Similarly, a few months ago, a friend of mine was having a discussion with Mr. Trump about his current legal situation. A philosophical Mr. Trump said that while he probably didn’t have the best legal team, he was certain he had the best looking, displaying pictures of the comely women with law degrees he had hired to help with his cases.

As someone who has studied law, I believe the prosecutors only need to show that the XPOTUS intended the harms he caused, even if he didn't understand them. Regardless, it's clear that he's batshit crazy, and must never hold public office again.

Lunch links

I love it when something passes all the integration tests locally, then on the CI build, and then I discover that the code works perfectly well but not as I intended it. So while I'm waiting for yet another CI build to run, I'm making note of these:

Finally, WBEZ made me a shopping list of locally-produced hot sauces. First up: Cajun Queen—apparently available about a kilometer away.

More punditry about the indictments

Just a couple this morning as I have another long day of Die Zauberflöte rehearsals today:

It strikes me that the opera I'm in tomorrow seems less fantastic than the XPOTUS's supporters coming around to reason. Where's our Sarastro?

The Big Kahuna

Yesterday evening, Special Counsel Jack Smith presented a grand jury indictment of the XPOTUS on 4 counts yesterday, including conspiracy to defraud the United States government. This is the most serious indictment yet, and a serious judge will oversee the trial.

I don't have time to excerpt or even read this material until I come home from rehearsal this evening. But here are the analyses on my list:

Obviously many pundits and news organizations will have a lot to say about this over the next few days. But remember: at the moment, nobody knows nothin'. And it's not the only news story of note today.

Wait, it's August?

While I fight a slow laptop and its long build cycle (and how every UI change seems to require re-compiling), the first day of the last month of summer brought this to my inbox:

  • Who better to prosecute the XPOTUS than a guy who prosecuted other dictators and unsavory characters for the International Criminal Court? (In America, we don't go to The Hague; here, The Hague comes to you!)
  • After the evidence mounted that Hungary has issued hundreds of thousands of passports without adequate identity checks, the US has restricted Hungarian passport holders from the full benefits of ESTA that other Schengen-area citizens enjoy.
  • The US economy continues to exceed the expectations of people who have predicted a recession any day now. (Of course, every dead pool has a guaranteed winner eventually...)
  • After an unprecedented 31 consecutive days enduring temperatures over 43°C, Phoenix finally caught a break yesterday—when the temperature only hit 42°C.
  • Jake Meador explores why about 40 million fewer Americans go to church these days than in 1995.
  • Remember how we all thought Tesla made cars with amazing battery ranges? Turns out, Elon Musk can't do that right, either.
  • American car culture not only gives us unlivable environments, but also discourages the exploration that people in other countries (and I when I go there) do all the time.
  • We should all remember (and thank) USSR naval Captain Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov, who vetoed firing a nuclear-tipped torpedo at an American destroyer during the Cuban Missile Crisis 71 years ago.

Finally, Chicago historian John Schmidt tells the story of criminal mastermind Adam Worth, who may have been Arthur Conan Doyle's inspiration for Professor Moriarty.