Saturday: Hili dialogue

March 25, 2023 • 6:45 am

It’s CSaturday, March 25, 2023, shabbos for Jewish cats, and International Waffle Day.  (This corresponds to Vårfrudagen or Våffeldagen, “Waffle Day”, in Sweden, Norway & Denmark). Here’s a traditional Swedish waffle with cream and jam:


It’s a big day for holidays today, as it’s also Pecan Day, National Lobster Newburg Day, Tolkien Reading Day  (the date of the downfall of the evil Sauron inThe Lord of the Rings), Medal of Honor Dayi in the U.S., International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members (a United Nations day), Maryland Day (marking the arrival of the first European settlers in Maryland in 1634), International Day of the Unborn ChildEU Talent Day (European Union), Quarter day (first of four) in Ireland and England, and, finally this complicated holiday:  New Year’s Day (Lady Day) in England, Wales, Ireland, and some of the future United States and Canada from 1155 through 1751, until the Calendar (New Style) Act 1750 moved it to 1 January (and adopted the Gregorian calendar. (The year 1751 began on 25 March; the year 1752 began on 1 January.)

Got that?

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the March 25 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*If Trump’s temper tantrums and juvenile calls for violence don’t turn off so many supporters that he becomes un-electable, then we Democrats have no hope. Now, as the NYT recounts, he’s been broadcasting threats of “potential death and destruction” if he’s indicted. What a crybaby! But the NY DA isn’t budging:

In an overnight social media post, former President Donald J. Trump predicted that “potential death and destruction” may result if, as expected, he is charged by the Manhattan district attorney in connection with hush-money payments to a porn star made during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The comments from Mr. Trump, made between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on his social media site, Truth Social, were a stark escalation in his rhetorical attacks on the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, ahead of a likely indictment on charges that Mr. Trump said would be unfounded.

“What kind of person,” Mr. Trump wrote of Mr. Bragg, “can charge another person, in this case a former president of the United States, who got more votes than any sitting president in history, and leading candidate (by far!) for the Republican Party nomination, with a crime, when it is known by all that NO crime has been committed, & also that potential death & destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our country?”

“Why & who would do such a thing? Only a degenerate psychopath that truely hates the USA!” the former president wrote.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Bragg did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In an email to his staff last week, Mr. Bragg wrote that the office “will continue to apply the law evenly and fairly, and speak publicly only when appropriate.”

“We do not tolerate attempts to intimidate our office or threaten the rule of law in New York,” he added.

In connection with this, I’ve been wondering how the prosecutors can know that an indictment is likely when that decision nearly always rests in the hands of the grand jury. A friend told me that the grand jury has the power to call witnesses, and they’ve been calling witnesses right up to the top of the heap: first former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and now Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran. Corcoran can, of course, plead the Fifth, but that’s usually seen as evidence of guilt (even though it shouldn’t be). I think that’s the sign of an impending indictment..

*India, often called “the world’s largest democracy,” is moving ever closer to autocracy as the Hinduphilic but popular Prime Minister Narendra Modi shuts down opposition and dissent. His latest move is unconscionable:  he has removed Rahul Gandhi, the great-grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru (India’s first prime minister) from Parliament. Gandhi was the leader of the opposition Congress Party and a vociferous critic of Modi. But there’s also a prison term involved for Gandhi—for nothing other than political criticism:

India’s top opposition leader and fierce critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expelled from Parliament Friday, a day after a court convicted him of defamation and sentenced him to two years in prison for mocking the surname Modi in an election speech.

The actions against Rahul Gandhi, the great-grandson of India’s first prime minister, were widely condemned by opponents of Modi as the latest assaults against democracy and free speech by a ruling government seeking to crush dissent. Removing Gandhi from politics delivered a major blow to the opposition party he led ahead of next year’s national elections.

A local court from Modi’s home state of Gujarat convicted Gandhi on Thursday for a 2019 speech in which he asked, “Why do all thieves have Modi as their surname?” Gandhi then referred to three well-known and unrelated Modis in the speech: a fugitive Indian diamond tycoon, a cricket executive banned from the Indian Premier League tournament and the prime minister.

Under Indian law, a criminal conviction and prison sentence of two years or more are grounds for expulsion from Parliament, but Gandhi is out on bail for 30 days and plans to appeal.

Opposition lawmakers rallied to his defense on Friday, calling his expulsion a new low for India’s constitutional democracy.

. . . Modi’s critics say India’s democracy — the world’s largest with nearly 1.4 billion people — has been in retreat since he first came to power in 2014. They accuse his populist government of preoccupying itself with pursuing a Hindu nationalist agenda, a charge his administration has denied.

“I am fighting for the voice of this country. I am ready to pay any price,” Gandhi, 52, wrote on Twitter.

Gandhi’s family, starting with his great-grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru, has produced three prime ministers. Two of them — his grandmother Indira Gandhi and father, Rajiv Gandhi — were assassinated in office.

Gandhi has projected himself as the main challenger to the Modi government, but his Indian National Congress party has fared poorly during the last two general elections. He has been trying to woo voters in recent months by raising issues of corruption and accusing the Modi government of tarnishing India’s reputation for democracy.

In America, Gandhi’s mockery of the nation’s leader would be perfectly free speech, but not under Modi. Defamation and sedition have been revived by Modi as ways to silence his opponents, and newspapers are loath to print anything critical of the government or Modi himself. He is an awful leader, a theocrat well on the way to becoming an autocrat, and he needs to go. But that won’t happen because many Indians like him.

*Daniel Ellsberg, a hero to those of us in our youth for releasing the Pentagon Papers, has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. He’s 91, and in the last months of his life gave an interview to Alex Kingsbury at the NYT. A couple Q&As:

Q. As you look around the world today, what scares you?

A. I’m leaving a world in terrible shape and terrible in all ways that I’ve tried to help make better during my years. President Biden is right when he says that this is the most dangerous time, with respect to nuclear war, since the Cuban missile crisis. That’s not the world I hoped to see in 2023. And that’s where it is. I also don’t think the world is going to deal with the climate crisis. We’ve known, since the 2016 Paris agreement and before, that the U.S. had to cut our emissions in half by 2030. That’s not going to happen.


Q. Robert McNamara, who was secretary of defense during the Cuban missile crisis, once said, “The indefinite combination of human fallibility and nuclear weapons will destroy nations.” Why haven’t we seen nuclear weapons used since 1945?

A. We have seen nuclear weapons used many times. And they’re being used right now by both sides in Ukraine. They’re being used as threats, just as a bank robber uses a gun, even if he doesn’t pull the trigger. You’re lucky if you can get your way in some part without pulling the trigger. And we’ve done that dozens of times. But eventually, as any gambler knows, your luck runs out.

For 70 years, the U.S. has frequently made the kind of wrongful first-use threats of nuclear weapons that Putin is making now in Ukraine. We should never have done that, nor should Putin be doing it now. I’m worried that his monstrous threat of nuclear war to retain Russian control of Crimea is not a bluff. President Biden campaigned in 2020 on a promise to declare a policy of no first use of nuclear weapons. He should keep that promise, and the world should demand the same commitment from Putin.


Q. How are you feeling?

A. Great. I was appreciating life even before the CT scan, and then a couple of weeks later had an M.R.I. and then an second CT and was told I have three to six months. It has been said that it’s good to live each day as though it were your last, but that’s not really practical. Living this month as though it is my last is working out very well for me, and I can recommend it. I thought it was pretentious to say publicly, you know, well, I have pancreatic cancer.

But my sons both thought I should share the news with friends, and that was also an opportunity to encourage them to continue the work for peace and care for the planet. As I said, my work of the past 40 years to avert the prospects of nuclear war has little to show for it. But I wanted to say that I could think of no better way to use my time and that as I face the end of my life, I feel joy and gratitude.

*Don’t miss Nellie Bowles’s weekly news summary at The Free Press this week called, “TGIF: Let them eat night cereal,” I’ll re-post three of her many items:

→ Night cereal: It’s hard that food corporations have only three meals a day to shovel corn and vegetable oil down our gullets. To solve for this, they have invented a new meal: bedtime cereal. “Post Consumer Brands is looking to help make your sleep dreams come true with Sweet Dreams—the first ready-to-eat cereal designed to be part of a healthy sleep routine,” the marketing copy reads. At 10 p.m., when you are watching YouTube, slack-jawed and looking like the peak of sleep hygiene, you might as well complete the scene with some Sweet Dreams Honey Moonglow.

In what can only be described as a hate crime against millennial women, they call the night cereal “self-care.” From that same press release: “ ‘More than ever, consumers are looking to embrace acts of self-care, particularly as it relates to bedtime routines and we believe a relaxing bedtime routine is key to a good night’s sleep,’ said Logan Sohn, Senior Brand Manager.” The worst part is that I ordered some.

→ Robin DiAngelo for segregation: The famous author of White Fragility has spent years arguing the case for racial segregation, but now people are starting to notice how creepy it is. Here’s this week’s installment from DiAngelo: “I’m a big believer in affinity space, in affinity work. I think people of color need to get away from white people and have some community with each other.” She’s asserting that it can be damaging for black people to be around white people all the time, especially during hard conversations. Reminder: DiAngelo is white. Imagine for a second that these exact words were said by a white conservative.

Anyway, Robin, just speaking Karen to Karen: if you’re gonna say things like that, you probably should give “people of color” a little space.

→ A large number of UN teachers celebrate genocide against Jews: Turns out, United Nations–funded schoolteachers around the Middle East (i.e., teachers we pay with our taxes) are super pro-genocide against Israelis. And quite open about it on social media. Here’s a great rundown of various cases from Hillel Neuer. It’s basically a bunch of UN staff teachers posting videos of Jews being slaughtered and then calling the killers heroes—also known as “just anti-Zionism.”

The UNRWA (United Nation Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees), a branch of the UN, has effectively become a cheering squad for Hamas. And you are the one paying for them.

*This week’s edition of Andrew Sullivan’s The Weekly Dish is headlined “Culture war politics and the English Language” with the subtitle “Orwell and the mind-deadening neologisms of our time.” Now how could I not read something with that title? He begins with a reference to Orwell’s classic essay, which all readers here are expected to read (the link’s below and it’s free):

The relationship between language and politics — how each can inform or derange the other — was never better explored than in George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen-Eighty-Four, and his essay, “Politics and the English Language.” After reading these in my early teens, political writing became a vocational challenge of sorts to me. How to say things as clearly and honestly as Orwell? How to “let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way about,” as he deftly put it?

Sully’s beef is about how the language involved in gender/sex activism is nebulous and variable among people, almost, he thinks, deliberately meant to make terms obscure (that was Orwell’s point):

. . . check out the new poll from the Washington Post yesterday, in which a big majority of transgender people do not consider themselves either a “trans man” or a “trans woman” at all. They prefer “nonbinary” and “gender-nonconforming” — and distance themselves from both sexes. Less than a third physically present as another sex “all the time.” The vast majority have no surgery at all.

Now read Masha Gessen’s recent interview with The New Yorker, and get even more confused. Gessen denies that transness is one thing at all. S/he says it’s a different thing now than it was a decade ago, and that “being transgender in a society that understands that some people are transgender is fundamentally different from being transgender in a society that doesn’t understand.”

S/he says that there are “different ideas about transness within the trans community … probably different trans communities.” S/he denies a “single-true-self narrative” as some kind of anchor for identity. S/he believes that transitioning can be done many times, back and forth: “Some people transition more than once. Some people transition from female to male, and then transition from male to female, and then maybe transition again.”

If gender is entirely a social construct, with no biological character, why do transgender people want hormones — an entirely biological intervention? Because “being trans is not a medical condition, but it marries you for life to the medical system.” Huh? By the end of the interview, you get the feeling that trans is whatever Gessen bloody well wants it to be, and yet at the same time it remains beyond interrogation.

In this gnostic universe, there is nothing “natural” about the human body, because nature itself is a social construction. It is a mere playground for the psyche to use and tweak, mix and match, subvert and shock.

He will get in trouble for stuff like this, but of course he’s never bridled at that possibility, and I admire him for it. A bit more:

And remember that the “+” in “LGBTQIA2S+” is utterly open-ended. Who knows what the “+” will reveal next? The consonants will keep coming, and you’ll be a bigot if you don’t keep up. Already, there is “aliagender” — “a nonbinary gender identity that doesn’t fit into existing gender schemas or constructs”; there’s “gendervoid” — “a term that describes someone without a gender identity”; and there’s “novigender” — “having a gender that can’t be described using existing language due to its complex and unique nature.” Like being a tree or a fish, I suppose. Notice, as Orwell did, that using Latinate phrases helps lend the meaningless an air of faux authority.

There will never be an end to all the oppressions, just as there will never be an end to all the nonsense genders. This is a machine for endless social revolution, not a one-off change to accommodate and protect a discrete, tiny minority. That’s why it is not a logical consequence of the marriage equality movement, as some conservative writers have claimed. It is, in fact, a riposte to the whole idea of it, which is why its leader, Chase Strangio, has described marriage equality as furthering an “inherently violent institution” and causing “significant harm” to society as a whole.

. . .The language is being re-written in order to make actual, informed debate harder and harder; to obfuscate and numb. In the face of all the neologisms, euphemisms and deceptions coming at you, I can only offer you Orwell’s admonition: “The worst thing one can do with words is to surrender to them.”

That’s why Hitchens called his book on the author Why Orwell Matters. His essay on the English language is pretty timeless.  And Chase Strangio is an embarrassment to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, editor Hili is really critical of Andrzej! (I took the photo.)

Hili: I don’t think that what you write is especially important.
A: The issue interests me so I’m trying to organize my thoughts.
(Photo: JAC)
In Polish:
Hili: Nie sądzę, żeby to co piszesz było specjalnie ważne.
Ja: Dla mnie sprawa jest ciekawa, więc próbuję uporządkować myśli.
(Zdjęcie J.A.C.)


I heard from reader Lou Jost, who, along with the EcoMinga Foundation, is saving the Ecuadorian rainforest and its species (including the rare Atelopus coynei) in Ecuador. He sent a page from a children’s book aimed at helping kids appreciate biodiversity:

Here is the book page with your frog, It’s not a coloring book but rather a book with paste-in photos that kids are supposed to collect and put in the book where there are spaces for different species and reading material about the species. The page with your frogs is a “Spot-the-__” for kids.
And MY FROG, which I’ve circled:

More from Lou:

I also attach a picture of the new city government truck, completely devoted to advertising our [EcoMinga’s]Dracula Reserve where your frog lives. It seems your frog is not among the ones painted on the vehicle, but it is still neat. Amazing that the local government is so supportive of the reserve! This is due largely to Tulcan’s wondeful mayor Cristian Benavides (and his staff member Gabriela Puetate, who previously was part of EcoMinga).

Click screenshot to go to original species description of MY FROG (be sure to read the part about how it got its name). Ken Miyata was my closest friend in grad school, but drowned in a fishing accident a few years after he graduated.

Isn’t the frog (below) lovely? (I’m self-aggrandizing today.) It appears to be hanging on in the area where it was first found, but Lou reports that there’s a pretty good crop of this frog in the Dracula reserve that EcoMinga has acquired. Photo by Jordy Salazar:

Two memes from Nicole:

A tweet from Masih; a revolution in Iran is still brewing. Sound up:

From Barry, who says it took him too long to get the reference. I’m not sure I do even now unless the water’s supposed to shake when there’s a dinosaur stomping nearby.

From Simon, a great headline:

From Malcolm:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a girl gassed on arrival at the age of ten:

Tweets from Dr. Cobb. I’ve shown this first one recently, but I do love it. It’s a women helping her cat to chatter (I call it “machine-gunning,” and we still don’t know why they do it:

Another cat post, with weird medieval cat stuff going on. Note again that the cat is poorly drawn, looking like a human:

Is this for real? They’re too good!

34 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    421 – Italian city Venice is founded with the dedication of the first church, that of San Giacomo di Rialto on the islet of Rialto.

    1584 – Sir Walter Raleigh is granted a patent to colonize Virginia.

    1655 – Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is discovered by Christiaan Huygens.

    1807 – The Swansea and Mumbles Railway, then known as the Oystermouth Railway, becomes the first passenger-carrying railway in the world.

    1811 – Percy Bysshe Shelley is expelled from the University of Oxford for publishing the pamphlet The Necessity of Atheism.

    1919 – The Tetiev pogrom occurs in Ukraine, becoming the prototype of mass murder during the Holocaust.

    1931 – The Scottsboro Boys are arrested in Alabama and charged with rape.

    1948 – The first successful tornado forecast predicts that a tornado will strike Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

    1957 – United States Customs seizes copies of Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” on obscenity grounds.

    1965 – Civil rights activists led by Martin Luther King Jr. successfully complete their 4-day 50-mile march from Selma to the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama.

    1881 – Béla Bartók, Hungarian pianist and composer (d. 1945).

    1906 – A. J. P. Taylor, English historian and academic (d. 1990).

    1908 – David Lean, English director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1991).

    1920 – Paul Scott, English author, poet, and playwright (d. 1978).

    1920 – Patrick Troughton, English actor (d. 1987).

    1928 – Jim Lovell, American captain, pilot, and astronaut.

    1934 – Gloria Steinem, American feminist activist, co-founded the Women’s Media Center.

    1942 – Aretha Franklin, American singer-songwriter and pianist (d. 2018).

    1942 – Richard O’Brien, English actor and screenwriter.

    1947 – Elton John, English singer-songwriter, pianist, producer, and actor.

    1966 – Jeff Healey, Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2008).

    When the Duck of Death comes to call, words fail- they’re just too small: [With apologies to Dixie Lyle aka Don DeBrandt.]
    1736 – Nicholas Hawksmoor, English architect, designed Easton Neston and Christ Church (b. 1661).

    1857 – William Colgate, English-American businessman and philanthropist, founded Colgate-Palmolive (b. 1783).

    1918 – Claude Debussy, French composer (b. 1862).

    1931 – Ida B. Wells, American journalist and activist (b. 1862).

    2002 – Kenneth Wolstenholme, English journalist and sportscaster (b. 1920). [He thinks it’s all over…]

    2022 – Taylor Hawkins, American drummer and singer (b. 1972).

      1. Agree, I watched the last one on a transatlantic flight in November, truly terrible. I failed to recognize the sunk cost fallacy and watched it to the end, although at 2am at 38,000 feet there were not a lot of appealing options!

            1. Well that’s interesting – when I hit “post comment” they both put up a note that “your comment has gone to moderation”. I’ll post this and then check if it’s there on a different browser.

              1. OK, again it says “Your comment is awaiting moderation” and it’s not there if I look on chrome.

  2. I’ve been wondering how the prosecutors can know that an indictment is likely when that decision nearly always rests in the hands of the grand jury.

    I suspect that there have not been any leaks, rather it’s all a probably accurate prediction, coming from Boss Tweet’s degenerate psychopathic brain, and broadcasting it is an effort to mobilize his looneys to fend off the eventual warrant.

    And now he’s apparently going to declare for 2024 in Waco. It’s one thing to suppose that there are plenty of people who would resonate with some place of significance to the Confederacy, but it’s quite another thing to think that the Branch Davidians still resonate.

    1. This CNN article explains how a grand jury works. It is very different from a petit jury that decides guilt or innocence. The grand jury determines whether an individual should be indicted (the laying out of a bill of charges) and the prosecutor totally controls the process. Only the most incompetent of prosecutors cannot get a grand jury to indict an individual when that’s what she wants. Thus, it is highly likely that Alvin Bragg knows exactly when the grand jury will indict Trump. I think also that Bragg wants to make sure that the case against Trump is airtight as possible. The last thing he wants is the embarrassment of Trump being acquitted in a jury trial. The other prosecutors in D.C. and Georgia undoubted feel the same way.

  3. “the date of the downfall of the evil Sauron inThe Lord of the Rings”

    Indeed, in the Third Age.

    Interestingly, “The last year of the Third Age was year Shire Reckoning (S.R.) 1421. In the New Reckoning of King Elessar, the year Fo.A. 1 began on March 25, old style. The Hobbits mostly ignored the change and so for them the first year of the Fourth Age was just S.R. 1422.[2]”

  4. Great dialog today, as always. Regarding the new genders, lately I’ve been thinking about identifying as a gefilte fish.

  5. Re: self-care cereal
    My grandpa rose before dawn, ate a huge breakfast, worked outdoors until dinner at noon when he ate meat, vegetables, bread, and a dessert, all washed down with iced tea, and for supper at six he had a bowl of Wheaties with whole cream skimmed from the top of the milk pail. I never realized he was involved with self-care.

  6. “Why & who would do such a thing? Only a degenerate psychopath that truly hates the USA!”

    The former president, talking about himself, once again.

  7. Andrew Sullivan’s argument regarding the increasingly broad and flabby definition of what it means to be “transgender” is further elucidated by Colin Wright, who points out that major organizations now explicitly use it as an umbrella term which includes all gender nonconformity. Because of the sloppy definition of “gender” (sometimes it means sex; sometimes it means stereotypes; sometimes it means both & neither) any male who isn’t strictly masculine or any female who isn’t feminine can now count themselves trans.

    From what I can tell the far Left is promoting the same message as the far Right: femininity and masculinity is baked right into the sexes with no overlap. If you don’t conform, you’re not a “real” or legitimate member of your sex.

    He writes:

    The definition of “transgender” currently used and embraced by our largest and most prestigious scientific, medical, and human rights organizations is literally synonymous with common gender nonconformity.

    We can call this the definitional expansion hypothesis or the widening umbrella hypothesis.…
    this is the main reason so many children are now claiming to be transgender.

    He gives many examples. Interestingly, this definition creep may explain why the statistics have flipped so that more girls than boys now identify as trans. It’s more common for girls to exhibit masculine traits than for boys to have feminine ones.

    The essay can be found here:

    1. Yes, I have noticed the same, especially the phrasing “transgender and gender nonconforming” and its acronym TGNC. Those seem to be used in every article, publication, etc over the past few years. And, of course, every push for affirmation and medicalization is for everyone under the whole umbrella.

  8. … the grand jury has the power to call witnesses, and they’ve been calling witnesses right up to the top of the heap: first former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and now Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran.

    Corcoran testified not before the Manhattan grand jury investigating Trump’s hush-money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, but before the federal grand jury in Washington, DC, investigating the presidential documents seized from Mar-a-Lago last August. Corcoran was involved in the sworn certification, signed under penalty of perjury by another lawyer on the Trump team, Chritina Bobb, purportedly verifying that all documents responsive to the federal grand jury subpoena served on Trump had been turned over to the FBI. Contrary to that sworn certification, hundreds of documents sought in the subpoena were subsequently found during the execution of the search warrant, some in Trump’s private office at Mar-a-Lago.

    Corcoran originally resisted testifying before the DC federal grand jury, asserting the attorney-client privilege regarding his communications with Donald Trump. District of Columbia federal district judge Beryl Howell rejected Cororan’s assertion of the privilege, finding that the Trump-Corcoran communications were subject to the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege, and the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia upheld Judge Howell’s findings regarding the crime-fraud exception.

  9. sentenced him to two years in prison for mocking the surname Modi in an election speech.

    Authoritarian regimes are notoriously thin skinned and for good reason, humour is one of the tools used to push back against autocrats.

    For example Mr. Xi is quite sensitive to comparisons to Winnie the Pooh to the point where they have been heavily censored.

  10. Being a legal ignoramus, I would like to know what the legal basis for prosecuting the payment of “hush money” to a porn star might be (even if taken from campaign funds, as the “nondisclosure agreement” was done for the sake of the campaign).

    1. This is one for our resident legal eagle Ken.

      As I understand it any illegality will relate to how the payments were accounted for and recorded by the organisation(s) that the payments were made via. It’s worth noting that Michael Cohen has already done jail time in relation to the payments so there must have been one or more laws broken, and Cohen’s claims to have been acting on behalf of Trump seem credible since it wasn’t Cohen himself who was the main beneficiary of Stormy Daniel’s silence.

    2. It would also be interesting to know the pertinent (nonpartisan) distinctions between this case and that of Hillary Clinton’s, who was fined last year by the Federal Election Commission for falsely categorizing paid work for the Russia dossier as “legal services”. Well, aside from the distinction that Trump was apparently f@cking a porn star and Hillary was trying to f@ck Trump.

      1. The Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign was fined $113,000 by the Federal Election Commission for misclassifying campaign funds spent for opposition research as legal fees. This is the type of clerical error that occurs routinely during the heat of a national presidential campaign and that is routinely handled by sanctions imposed by the FEC.

        Are you truly incapable of seeing the distinction between this type of routine clerical error and funds (never claimed as a campaign contribution) paid as hush-money to a porn actress to salvage a presidential candidacy and laundered through a lawyer’s operating account?

        1. Ken, appreciate the response. No, I am not incapable of seeing the distinction. Nor am I so credulous or partisan as to readily accept that a possible attempt to coverup one of the dirtiest political tricks of our era was a “routine clerical error”. Possible, yes. Probable? Hmmm. I’ll cheer the day when we are rid of both protagonists in these dirty affairs.

    3. In New York, it is a crime (a misdemeanor) to falsify corporate records. Donald Trump falsified the records of his hush-money payments to make those payments appear to be legal fees paid to his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen. Some of those payments were reimbursed to Cohen through corporate checks signed by Trump in the Oval Office while Trump was president.

      In New York the misdemeanor of falsifying corporate records is enhanced to a felony offense where the corporate records were falsified as part of a scheme to commit another crime. Here, the hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels were made while Trump was a candidate for president. (Indeed, the payment to Daniels was made right after the release of the Access Hollywood hot-mic tape, when many Republicans were calling for Trump to step down as a presidential candidate.) As such, the money used to fund the payments constituted campaign contributions, and had to be reported as such, although they were not.

  11. What is the title or author of the children’s book with the your frog? I would like to find a copy. Thanks.

    1. Title:
      “Album Tulcan Megadiverso”

      “Alcaldia del Canton Tulcan, Fundacion EcoMinga, y Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad”

      These were printed and distributed by the city of Tulcan and were never sold., nor released to the public outside of Tulcan. I only have one copy….


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