viva laviva la's Journal
If the Shoe Fits
by Josh Marshall
From TPM Reader AC who knows quite a bit about the history of the racketeering statutes.
Can I remind people that no president in history has ever acted MORE STEREOTYPICALLY LIKE A GANGSTER than Trump? He owned casinos. He has deep connections in the New York City construction industry. His son-in-laws father did time for extortion. He calls people who inform on him rats. He bullies. He threatens to expose peoples private shame to obtain endorsements. He filled his administration with pro wrestling magnates and failed movie producers.
The Senate Finance Committee is looking into whether billionaire investor Leon Blacks $158 million payment to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein was part of a greater strategy to avoid paying over $1 billion in federal gift and estate taxes.
Hmmm... not sure it was just taxes he was hoping to avoid....
CNN: On 4/26/2023, "A lunar lander likely plummeted 3 miles before smashing into the lunar surface after a historic attempt to make a soft touchdown on the moon, the Japanese company Ispace revealed Friday....
The Hakuto-R lunar lander was aiming to make history in late April in its attempt to become the first spacecraft developed by a private company rather than a government space agency to make a controlled landing on the moon."
Consider...On 7/20/1969, 54 years ago-- decades before the internet, with the computing power of your toddler's Speak and Spell-- two Americans not only landed safely on the moon's surface, they also walked around, got pictures, picked up rocks, got back into the landing craft, and shot back up into space to reconnect with their comrade in the orbiter. And all three men arrived home to earth a few days later.
Sometimes, really, governments do it better. And sooner.
What happens if they find something classified?
Did Trump authorize this?
Can any of this be trusted?
Lawyers for former President Donald Trump recently hired a team to search four of his properties for any potentially remaining classified materials, according to a source familiar the matter.
The team of two searched Trump Tower in New York, the Bedminster golf club and two other properties amid lingering concerns from the Justice Department that not all documents had been returned to the federal government.
The four searches, which were carried out in recent weeks, were overseen by Trumps legal team, the source said. Trumps attorneys offered to let federal investigators observe the search at his Bedminster properties, but that offer was declined. Given the Justice Departments response, Trump lawyers did not make a similar offer for the search of the other properties.
It would be highly unusual for the Justice Department to observe searches that arent conducted by law enforcement. The department declined to comment.
WordHurdle 316 1/6 #wordhurdle
It was, of course, just a complete fluke. I always try to start with a new 6-letter word, and this time I wanted to start with CR and have 2 vowels, and this happened.
I know it wasn't my brilliance that caused this, but I still have to brag as if it were.
A friend reported that he was playing chess with a guy who, during a pause said with furrowed brow, "What's this about someone trying to kill Mike Pence?"
The friend paused to take in this and consider how to answer. "Uh, it happened January 6. You know, when Trump sent the mob down to the Capitol. Some of them planned to kill Mike Pence if they could get him."
No-brainer asked, "Why did they want to kill him?"
Patient pause. "Well, Trump wanted him not to ratify that Biden won the election."
"Oh. Why Pence?"
"The vice president is the one who does that-- counts the electoral votes and says Biden won. It's just a formality, but Trump wanted to stop it."
No brainer said, "Wait. Mike Pence was vice president? I thought he was governor." (They live in Indiana.)
Friend had gotten tired of explaining, but felt like he had to ask: "Who did you vote for?"
Trump, of course.
Now the no-brainer is wandering around in a fog, no doubt, unable to get it straight. I can imagine him muttering, "So... Pence beat Trump? Does that mean Pence is president now?"
My friend's point is-- perhaps many Trump voters are completely clueless, completely unread, unwilling/unable to read headlines or use google. Then again, apparently this no-brainer doesn't even watch Fox News. Alas, he was aware just enough to remember he was registered to vote, and he probably obediently went down to vote and saw Trump's name on the ballot and thought, hmm. I think I've heard that name before. I'll vote for him.
But... I guess the good news is, at least he heard enough floating in the ether to have captured a fragment of reality, that someone somewhere somehow wanted to kill Mike Pence.
This is another thing we have to deal with when saving democracy... or maybe we can just pat them on the head and say, "Yeah, isn't it weird that Trump wanted to kill someone. I don't like that, do you?"
Scary how much crime he was able to do in an official position. At one point, he (allegedly) tries to recruit a cybersecurity tech to create a ransomware virus to lock the county's information so they'd have to pay him a ransom in bitcoin.
"The Gophers are really chewing up the clock."
No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) Tweeted:
BREAKING: The FCC has fined right-wing activists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman a massive $5,134,500 for their illegal robocall scheme in Michigan that tried to intimidate voters in the 2020 election. This is the largest robocall fine in FCC history. https://twitter.com/NoLieWithBTC/status/1430289669535772676?s=20