(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To The Last Post Of The Week From The Blog’s Favorite Living Canadian)
OK, Judge Aileen Cannon. Mission accomplished. On Thursday, the judge completed the assignment for which she was chosen, namely, mucking up the very straightforward investigation into the Pool Shed Papers down at Mar-a-Lago, what they were and how they got there, and especially why they ended up there. From Vox:
The Constitution provides several safeguards against unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement. The FBI must have probable cause to justify a search of a private residence, and it must obtain a warrant issued by a neutral magistrate. Although DOJ complied with these constitutional requirements, Cannon issued an order earlier this month arguing that Trump is entitled to special protections that are rarely afforded to any criminal suspect, in large part because of Trump’s “former position as President of the United States.” Specifically, Cannon ordered the Justice Department to halt its criminal investigation into Trump until a court-appointed official known as a “special master” reviews the seized documents.
Ever since Cannon first came tramping into this case as the result of clever forum-shopping by the Trump side, the Department of Justice had been conducting an examination of 103 classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago. On Thursday, Cannon ordered that examination to cease, appointed a senior judge named Raymond Dearie as the “special master” whom nobody except Cannon considered necessary. Further, Cannon seemed to indicate that the former president* had a right to possess some of the documents, and that she didn’t trust the FBI and the DOJ to be honest in their representations to her court.
“The Court does not find it appropriate to accept the Government’s conclusions[…]all of the approximately 100 documents isolated by the Government (and “papers physically attached to them”) are classified government records.”
From the start, Cannon has evinced little or no comprehension of the law regarding government records, let alone the law regarding the possession and storage of classified material. And her entire argument seems founded on the constitutional heresy that a former president* has some legal immunity not possessed by any other citizen. This is bizarre; the Nixon people tried this gambit with the Watergate tapes and history never has stopped laughing about that.
The Trump people have a gift for shopping, I’ll give them that.
A tip from an aging journo: For everyone covering the human-trafficking activities of Southern governors like Greg Abbott of Texas and Florida’s Ron DeSantis, make one brief reference to the political utility of their actions and then get on to reporting on the deeply inhumane nature of the policy itself. This is not a political “stunt,” no matter how loudly the scurvy pack of bastards supporting these two cackle at their own cleverness.
This is stochastic human trafficking and, arguably, stochastic kidnapping, actions that have as their historical antecedents the actions of the White Citizens Council in the 1960s when some local racists lured black families onto buses with promises of jobs and housing and dispatched them northward. One bus from Arkansas deposited its passengers in front of the Kennedy compound in Hyannis. They called these “Reverse Freedom Rides” to mock the protests against segregation that had met with savage racist violence in Alabama.
A proud American tradition that Abbott and DeSantis seem unashamed to uphold.
Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: “Fifty Cents,” Charlie Halloran and the Tropicales. Yeah, I pretty much still love New Orleans.
Weekly Visit To The Pathé Archives: Here, from 1936, is the funeral of King George V of England. Pathé really went whole hog on the opening credits on this one. And the narrator turns the rhetorical purple up to 11. And I have to say, this ceremony has the same strong headgear game as the funeral of Pope John Paul II back in 2005. George V came through the 1910s a lot better than did his cousin Nicholas in Russia or his cousin Wilhelm in Germany. His granddaughter, Elizabeth, used to call him “Grandpa England.” History is so cool.
There’s a scandal in the world of high-level chess, and it is one I am just as glad I am not covering, truth be told. From euronews:
Indeed, 19-year old chess grandmaster Hans Niemann is currently at the heart of a scandal that is rocking the chess world. Or should that be, making the chess world vibrate.
Oh, for the love of god, get to it, will you?
Niemann has been hit with accusations on social media which state that the only reason he won against the world’s top grandmaster Magnus Carlsen earlier this month is that the young player cheated using wireless vibrating anal beads.
Of course, they’re wireless; would you wear wired anal beads? (Would you believe that I just typed “anal beads,” again?)
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “But how does Elon Musk fit into this story?” Glad you asked.
The issue was already proving to be one of the biggest chess scandals in years, especially because it concerns Niemann, who is notorious in the chess community for his difficult behaviour. Then, somewhat predictably when it comes to rumour mongering and drama stirring, Tesla CEO Elon Musk waded in.
Musk shared a video on Twitter of an influencer discussing the rumour that Niemann used a vibrating sex toy during the competition in order to cheat.
All of these people are terrible, awful bastard people and I never want to think about them ever again.
Last seen in the details.
Speaking of awful bastard people that I never wanted to think about ever again, guess what’s allegedly back in the news (at least according the NBC)? Satanic ritual child abuse!
Yes, that blockbuster hit of a moral panic that raced up the charts in the 1980s, ruining hundreds of lives and traumatizing almost everyone who got sucked into its insatiable media maw, is coming around again, thanks to wingnut politicians and the Q-cult on the Intertoobz.
While the current obsession with Satan was boosted in part by the QAnon community, partisan media and conservative politicians have been instrumental in spreading newfound fears over the so-called ritualistic abuse of children that the devil supposedly inspires, sometimes weaving the allegations together with other culture war issues such as LGBTQ rights. Those fears are powering fresh accusations of ritual abuse online, which are amplified on social media and by partisan media, and can mobilize mobs to seek vigilante justice.
Lovely. Just what the country needs: another arena for violent paranoia.
This kind of participatory ferreting out of Satan from the popular culture and “raising awareness” of myriad threats to children — real and imagined — were a hallmark of the 1980s’ panic, said Sarah Hughes, author of “American Tabloid Media and the Satanic Panic.” The public service announcements, after-school programs, sitcoms, round-the-clock news networks, courtroom coverage and new “infotainment” specials hosted by news-adjacent hosts like Geraldo Rivera and Oprah Winfrey all fueled the hysteria, Hughes said. As issues surrounding children gained national attention, an emerging section of 1980’s media obsessed over child safety issues, including kidnapping, pedophilia, child abuse and cult membership.
We just never learn.
Hey, USA Today, is it a good day for dinosaur news? It’s always a good day for dinosaur news!
The two exposed fossils, a foot and part of a tail clad in fossilized skin, are believed to belong to a juvenile duck-billed Hadrosaur dinosaur that died somewhere between 77 million to 75 million years ago, roughly 10 million years before dinosaurs went extinct, researchers said. Scientists began excavation of the site to remove the entire remains from the hill.
“It’s so well preserved you can see the individual scales, we can see some tendons and it looks like there’s going to be skin over the entire animal,” Brian Pickles, a paleontologist and ecology professor at the University of Reading, told USA TODAY. “Which means, if we’re really lucky, then some of the other internal organs might have preserved as well.”
“Lucky,” I guess is a word that means different things to different occupations. For me, it means somebody left their change behind in the soda machine. To these guys, it means finding intact 75-million-year-old dinosaur guts, which makes them happy now because the dinosaur lived back then.
I’ll be back in Monday to see whether the former president*’s lifeboats are taking on any water. (Row, Judge Cannon! Bail!) Be well and play nice, ya bastions. Stay above the snake-line. Wear the damn mask, get the damn shots, especially the damn boosters, and most especially the newest one. Spare a moment to think about the people of Ukraine, of Jackson, Mississippi, and of East Africa. And of Pakistan, too.
Damn, this list gets longer every week.
Charles P Pierce is the author of four books, most recently Idiot America, and has been a working journalist since 1976. He lives near Boston and has his three children.
This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.