Wednesday: Hili dialogue

July 19, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to a Hump Day (“Горбатый день” in Russian): Wednesday, July 19, 2023, and National Daiquiri Day.  Here’s Papa and friends enjoying some in Havana:

It’s also National Raspberry Cake Day, National Flitch Day (the part of the pig where we get bacon), and Stick Out Your Tongue Day (there, I just did it).

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the July 19 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Yep, the Trumpster has received word that he’s likely to be indicted for his refusal to accept the election results that gave Biden the Presidency, and then Trump’s incitement of Americans that promoted the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

Former President Donald J. Trump has received a so-called target letter in connection with the criminal investigation into his efforts to hold onto power after he lost the 2020 election, Mr. Trump and people familiar with the case said on Tuesday, a sign that he is likely to be indicted in the case.

It was not clear what aspects of the sprawling investigation the letter may be related to. The investigation has examined an array of schemes that Mr. Trump and his allies had used to try to stave off defeat, including the events surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, riot by his supporters at the Capitol.

The letter was the second Mr. Trump received from the special counsel, Jack Smith, notifying Mr. Trump that he is a target in a federal investigation. The first, in June, was in connection to the inquiry into Mr. Trump’s handling of national defense material after he left office and his alleged obstruction of efforts to retrieve it.

Days after that letter became public, Mr. Trump was charged with 37 criminal counts covering seven different violations of federal law.

Mr. Trump disclosed his receipt of the latest target letter in a post on his social media platform, Truth Social, that assailed Mr. Smith, calling him “deranged.” He wrote that he had received the letter on Sunday and been given four days to report to a grand jury — an invitation he is expected to decline.

. . .The former president spent weeks after the 2020 election publicly insisting that he had won and looking for ways to remain in power, at one point considering whether to use the apparatus of government to seize voting machines. Ultimately, he encouraged a crowd at a rally near the White House to march to the Capitol as Joseph R. Biden’s electoral victory was being certified. Members of the mob stormed the building, some chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” and others hunting for Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Federal grand juries in Washington have been hearing evidence in the criminal investigation into Mr. Trump’s efforts to reverse his election loss. That suggests that any charges would be tried in the nation’s capital, where the Justice Department has won guilty pleas or convictions in hundreds of cases related to the assault on the Capitol.

But what will the charges be? Inciting insurrection, illegal manipulation of election results? This is one of at least four Trump investigations that I know of, and several of those have indictments already or indictments pending. Yet a friend of mine told me this morning that she never thought Trump will go to jail–ever. At most, she said, he would be sentenced to house arrest and have to wear an ankle bracelet.

I say that if America stands for anything (regardless of whether the stand is fulfilled) it stands for equal justice under the law.  Ergo, if he’s convicted he should do time. With a Secret Service agent sitting in a chair outside his cell.

Let’s have a poll, and please fill in your answer.

Will Trump ever go to jail?

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*On Sunday the heat index (a combination of temperature and humidity) reached 152ºF in Iran—a level incompatible with human survival. What that means is that if you were out in that weather, it felt as though the temperature was 152ºF. You would die! Here’s a tweet, and snippets from the WaPo article are below

In recent days, China set an all-time high of nearly 126 degrees Fahrenheit, while Death Valley hit 128 degrees, two shy of the highest reliably measured temperature on Earth. Phoenix was expected to observe a record-breaking 19th consecutive day at or above 110 degrees Tuesday. And in the Middle East, the heat index reached 152 degrees, nearing — or surpassing — levels thought to be the most intense the human body can withstand.

. . . Research has shown the human body loses its ability to cool itself via sweating at 95 degrees (35 degrees Celsius) on a scale known as the wet bulb global temperature, which factors in a combination of temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover. Unlike the heat index, which rises above the air temperature based on humidity, the wet bulb globe temperature is not designed to be interpreted as a measure of how hot it feels outside.

*In its efforts to liberalize, or at least show the world that it’s pretending to be liberalized, Saudi Arabia has removed substantial anti-Semitic material from its school textbooks.  (h/t David)

A sign of things to come? It turns out that the revolution being carried out by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is also reflected in the reform of the country’s textbooks since he came to power.Among other things, references to Jews as monkeys and pigs who worship the devil, and descriptions of them as traitors by nature and sworn enemies of Islam have been removed. Anti-Israeli materials also have been removed, including reports about the Zionists’ use of women, drugs and the media in order to achieve their goals and conspiracies according to which Israel has plans to expand its borders from the Nile River in Egypt to the Euphrates in Iraq.

A new study, which examined changes made this year in the Saudi curriculum, in relation to the last five years, found a continuation of the trend of positive changes in textbooks with regard to anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic content. Progress also was made on gender issues, content was added against Hezbollah and the Iranian-backed Houthis and against the Muslim Brotherhood movement, as well as more tolerant content that promotes peace.

The research carried out by the international research and policy institute IMPACT-se in London, which investigates and analyzes the contents of textbooks in the world to encourage contents of peace and tolerance according to the standards of UNESCO, included an analysis of 301 textbooks published in the last five years by the Saudi Ministry of Education.

The most significant change that has been made is in the negative attitude toward Jews, with almost all the antisemitic examples in the books completely removed this year. For example, a song about the opposition to Jewish settlement in Palestine was deleted. A task that asked the students to refute Zionist claims about their connection to Palestine was also removed. A high school history book no longer includes a lesson on the positive results of the first intifada and referring to Israel as a “fraudulent democracy.” A blood libel accusing Israel of setting fire to Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969 was also removed from one of the books, as well as an example that claimed that Israel’s reasons for starting the Six-Day War were its desire to take control of holy sites for Islam and Christianity in Jerusalem and oil wells in the Sinai Peninsula.

Well cut off my tail and call me a great ape! What’s happening here?  Bin Salman is a nasty piece of work, head of one a country that’s one of the world’s biggest violators of human rights and, of course, the man who ordered the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.  Yet now he makes nice with the Jews?

But I don’t see a real conflict: Saudi Arabia has figured out, as have other Arab states, that they’re better off aligned with Israel than with the Palestinians (whose state textbooks, by the way, are a famous exemplar of anti-Semitic hatred). This will tick off the Palestinians big time, who regularly teach their kids that Jews are apes and pigs, but I’ll take what I can get.

*You’ve heard of the “nuclear football,” a satchel always carried by a military aide to the President when he travels, and which contains everything needed for the Prez to push the button. But do you know what’s in that satchel? The AP explains, but first an AP photo by Andrew Harnik showing an aide to, yes, Donald Trump schlepping the Presidential Emergency Satchel aka “The football”.

Officially called the “ Presidential Emergency Satchel, ” the “nuclear football” is a bulky briefcase that contains atomic war plans and enables the president to transmit nuclear orders to the Pentagon. The heavy case is carried by a military officer who is never far behind the president, whether the commander-in-chief is boarding a helicopter or exiting meetings with world leaders.

Beyond those basic facts, however, not much is known about the satchel, which has come to symbolize the massive power of the presidency.

. . . William Burr, a senior analyst at the nonprofit National Security Archive at George Washington University, published a report Tuesday detailing his recent research into the presidential pigskin. Among the tidbits Burr unearthed: The football once contained presidential decrees that some in the U.S. government came to believe were likely illegal and unnecessary (there would be nobody left alive to implement them in the event of a nuclear holocaust).

Part of an interview with Burr:

The idea of a military aide following the president, carrying a locked bag with secret nuclear information, is a routine for the modern U.S presidency that has intrigued journalists and historians and the public. The idea that the president needs to be able to make speedy decisions in a perilous moment conveyed the ultimate danger of nuclear weapons. That the football system has lasted since the late 1950s adds to the mystery.

. .  .But its contents remain as inscrutable as they were 50 years ago. The Archives’ new posting includes photos of the military aide carrying the football, sometimes with the president in different situations. From some of the photos, you can see what looks like a little antenna projecting from the bag, suggesting that it includes communication devices. As far as the contents go, some details have been leaked and some general information has been declassified — but very little in the way of specifics.

And, by gum, you won’t get an idea of what’s in there from the article. The link to the National Security Archives gives us a bit more, but still not enough:

Among the revelations in Gulley’s book was that the “White House Emergency Procedures” manual “sets out exactly what’s supposed to happen in the event of a sudden attack,” including the steps that the Pentagon will “take to notify the White House and how the White House will respond.” In a crisis, it was the task of the White House Military Office to ensure that the President gets the Football “because it’s only the President who can issue the orders.” Nevertheless, Gulley found that the “entire retaliatory strike capability is vulnerable” because the President is “scandalously underprotected against a full military attack.”

*As a foodie, I couldn’t resist the NYT article, “Meet the chefs who serve Beyoncé and Lizzo on tour.” What do these megastars and their entourage eat on the road?

Yes, Beyoncé is one of the world’s biggest stars, but traveling with a cadre of chefs isn’t just a flex. Many touring artists now take several professional cooks, not to mention entire mobile kitchens, on the road with them for efficiency, health and morale.

While idiosyncrasies like Van Halen’s ban on brown M&Ms have become familiar lore, the suspension of concerts during the Covid years has prompted an industrywide reset, with a focus on wellness. Many tours now include a vegan chef, for instance, and place a priority on physical and mental well-being as well as lessening environmental impact.

Before, back in the early ’80s and ’90s, it was more of a party — cocaine and whatever they wanted. And now it’s just a business,” said Gray Rollin, Linkin Park’s longtime chef, who has also cooked on tours for Prince, Madonna and Tori Amos. “We have one job to do, and that job is to put that talent onstage. Make sure that the show goes flawlessly. And then do it again the next day.”

. . .Regardless of the cuisine, the production demands are significant. The industry standard for a sizable tour requires four meals on setup and show days: breakfast, lunch, dinner and an after-concert meal, often eaten on a bus.

“An army marches on its stomach, so you’ve got to feed the troops,” Mr. Digby said. By troops, he meant the band, the backup singers and dancers, stage builders, the pyrotechnics crew, security guards, managers, bus drivers and all the other people involved in the high-stakes business of live entertainment.

At a recent Lizzo show at Acrisure Arena in Palm Desert, Calif., lunch featured a juicing station with a blender-ready basket of vegetables. There were corn dogs, fried chicken sandwiches and plant-based Impossible sliders, as well as couscous, squash, carrots and cookies.

. . . . One thing that may not have changed much over time is the pickiness of the artists, who certainly have their idiosyncratic likes and dislikes.

“Gene Simmons used to like a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato and pickles on the side,” said Mr. Rollin, who cooked for the Kiss bassist in 2008 and 2009. “But then he would never touch the lettuce, pickles and tomatoes, ever.” Jared Leto would want organic purple popcorn with every meal.

. . . As for Beyoncé, Mr. Bird sent fruit platters and cookies to her dressing room. And while he couldn’t say for sure what the pop star’s favorites are, he did note: “As far as I’m aware, the ones that are particularly eaten are the Reese’s cups cookies” — a specialty of Mr. Bird’s that have a vanilla base with Belgian milk chocolate and bits of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups folded throughout.

Good for Beyoncé. I’m not a fan of her music, but fruit platters and especially those cookies denote good taste. (I’d prefer sliders too, though.)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, in a colorful scene, Hili comments on the summer activities in the yard, but Andrzej quashes her enthusiasm:

Hili: Roses are shedding blossoms, bees are working busily among hollyhocks.
A: A normal course of events.
In Polish:
Hili: Róże przekwitają, pszczoły uwijają się wokół malw.
Ja: Normalny bieg rzeczy.


From Merilee (yes, it’s real, but it’s ten bucks for a 12-ounce package). Look at all those shapes!

From Nicole:

From Beth:

From Masih, an Iranian woman, sans hijab, vehemently argues that “I will wear what I want.” These men are intolerable!

From Elon, but that’s a great hat!

From Malcolm, a careful d*g plays jenga. Could you bet this good boy?

This seems to be for real. I don’t care about Snow White being Hispanic, but the dwarves, except for one, don’t appear to be dwarves. So is it “Snow White and the Six People of Size”?

From the Auschwitz Memorial, an eighteen year old who made it about three weeks before dying:

Tweets from the indefatigable Dr. Cobb. First, one of his, and he’s too smart for his ripoff insurance company:

From Ziya:

Amira goes up brother by brother, and winds up with. . . INFINITE brothers! Read the thread; it’s hilarious.

Nope. . . . .


41 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

    1. Trump’s past and future indictments and possible convictions have at last four extremely important implications for the American nation.

      1. They will show that the rule of law can prevail.

      2. They will harden the polarization of the nation. For his cult, Trump is the messiah, the only person that can redeem the nation from its sin and iniquity. If Trump is convicted, the cult will be permanently alienated from its re-incorporation into the mainstream American tradition, which has been largely middle-of-the-road. This is very dangerous to social stability.

      3. His conviction could incite a significant uptick in violence as the more militant members of the cult may very well reach their breaking point. Invoking the revolutionaries of 1776, they will conclude that violence is the only alternative to “save” the country from tyranny.

      4. In the political realm, his conviction could seal a Democratic victory in the 2024 election if Trump is the Republican nominee (which I consider highly likely). Very few votes will be changed by a conviction, but the few that will be could make the difference in the election’s outcome. This is because the only votes that really count will be cast in the battleground states. A swing of one or two percent in these states could determine the winner. If just a tiny number of independent voters that normally lean Republican conclude that Trump is unfit to be president because he is a criminal and thus vote for the Democrat (presumably Biden), the election will be decided.

      1. What typically happens to cults when the wannabe Messiah is disgraced in public? Don’t many adherents just go back to their regular lives, embarrassed by what they got tangled up in, and unwilling to talk about it?

        Anyway, giving the man a free pass because convicting him would be politically too dangerous is not an option. Might as well burn the constitution and hand him the lifetime dictatorship directly instead.

        1. Donald Trump must be held to account, through the institution of federal criminal charges, for attempting to remain in office, via an attempted coup, following his loss in the 2020 US presidential election. Otherwise, what possible incentive will there ever be (save potential personal moral compunction) for a losing incumbent US president voluntarily to accede to the will of the voters by leaving office rather than attempting to remain in office by any means available?

          Donald Trump attempted to do so by leaning on Republican officeholders in swing states to change their states’ vote totals, by engaging in a conspiracy to submit slates of fake electors for congress to certify in his favor, by attempting to browbeat his vice-president — the most obsequious vice-president in US history — to tally these slates of fake electors as though they were authentic, and by fomenting a violent attack on the US Capitol building. Trump also plotted to decapitate the US Justice Department in search of an acting attorney general (environmental division assistant AG Jeffrey Clark) to aid Trump in these efforts by making false assertions of widespread voter fraud, by declaring martial law, and by having the Department of Homeland Security seize voting machines. Trump did not follow through with these last plots not out of concern that they they would have been immoral or unethical, but solely because he became convinced that they would have been counterproductive to his goal of remaining in office.

          Imagine the havoc that would have ensued had the incumbent president been someone more politically adroit that Donald Trump, or had Trump had a narrower target to aim for during his coup attempt — say, for example, the electoral-college votes of a single state, rather than those of a handful of swing states.

          This nation narrowly averted its greatest constitutional crises since the Civil War during the window between election night November 3, 2020, and congress’s certification of the electoral college results late on the night of January 6, 2021. Unless Trump is prosecuted for his crimes, another losing incumbent president is likely to try them again, this time with an increased likelihood of success.

    2. Mind telling us whether you think he’ll actually serve time? I think your opinion is worth at least 10,000 times mine. 😊

      1. I voted “yes” just because I voted what I want to happen. Though I think it more likely if he is convicted, he gets house arrest, not actual prison-time. But I’m with Jerry, put him in prison and have a secret service agent sit outside his cell.

  1. The pictures from Disney’s live-action re-make of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” are indeed real. Disney initially dissembled and said they were fake, but modified its statement to indicate they were not official photos. It does seem that the dwarfs are out, following broadly shared criticism of the entire concept of the story by actor Peter Dinklage’s, himself a person of modest stature. Disney has stated that Snow White companions will not be dwarfs, but “magical creatures.” No word, yet, on what the hell that means. Looks like another loser for Disney.

    1. They just have to be trans, and then they can all be dwarves in blackface for all anyone will object.

      1. If the rules of progressive authoritarianism were consistent, Disney would be called out for sizedivergent erasure.

      2. In the original story – as far as I understand, and from Tolkien – the dwarves are not “men”, or human. Just like elves, satyrs, or other “faerie” (see Tolkien) creatures are not human.

        At best, Dinklage has a grievance with the ancient genesis of fairy tales as it reports on human prejudice or phobias. But he doesn’t write a new story, he is actually effacing an ancient one but keeping the world-famous title.

        Dinklage is a great actor. But apparently that’s all.

    2. Consider this easily-missed question:

      Why not just make a new movie with a new princess from wherever* and the new characters, and a new whole new thing?

      Because the point is to “punish the past to warn the future” (Zedong) while getting rich off past successes, and Disney is an utter failure at successful modern creativity. This is fact – simply look at their newest output – live-action remakes of successful popular entertainment, or life-support of yet-another-installment of a successful franchise.

      Utterly cynical, Disney is (As Yoda would say).

      The dwarves are not human. There is no moral import to import.

      See The Critical Drinker on YouTube for more ranting.

      *BTW Rachel Zegler is described on Wikipedia as “an American actress” (New Jersey), “Her mother is of Colombian descent. Zegler’s maternal grandmother immigrated from Colombia to the United States in the 1960s.[8] Her father is of Polish descent.[9][10]”

      So if there is some credentialing by identity here, I do not know what it is.

      1. Why not make a new story? Because Disney is rapidly losing it’s ability to come up with new ideas. All these remakes fly in the face of Walt’s own observation “You can’t top pigs with pigs” after he made a sequel to “The Three Little Pigs.”

        1. Today, the pigs would be animated with massive computational work and end up looking literally like talking pigs.

          They do this with every animal from their past successes – lions, birds, crabs, fish-

          It’s almost as if they don’t get it.

          Cartoons have an obviously caricatured impression, almost humorous. But a real crab, lion, fish talking English – or perhaps engineered for other languages – looks utterly bizarre.

  2. I don’t think Trump will spend any time in jail, because I believe that the charges against him are, if you will excuse, trumped up, and entirely political, intended to politically incapacitate him.

    1. If he doesn’t it will probably mean the legal/political system has weaknesses that can be exploited by a practice con artist.

    2. 1. You obviously don’t understand how a grand jury works.
      2. If this is entirely political, then why have pretty much all the witnesses in his major investigations been Republican? The Jan. 6 committee was also bipartisan. But you probably think that investigation was purely political too, because Jan. 6 was just a tourist event, right?

  3. Re. Snow White: apparently, the dwarves are now “magical creatures” and no longer dwarves, after Peter Dinklage (who made a pretty penny playing a dwarf in a certain TV series) complained that having dwarves in a fairy tale called “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” was offensive. We ARE living in the wrong timeline.
    While we’re at it: is it too much to ask to cast a pale-skinned actress for a role where her being pale-skinned is LITERALLY in the title of the tale?

    Re. the heat wave: I wonder what it will take to shake the confidenceof climate-change deniers. This is not normal. And the next couple of decades will be a long, drawn-out desaster for many countries that are borderline overpopulated and at the limit of their natural resources right now, and will be pushed way over the edge by more droughts, heat waves and floods. We’ve had a pretty good run fighting global poverty and hunger, but it’s over now.
    Also, it is time to look seriously into geoengineering methods to cool down the planet and bring precipitation patterns under control. Yeah, things could go wrong… but can it get much worse than we’re doing now?

    1. Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future starts with just such a heatwave – it’s an interesting near-future fictional take n what is to come and what we should be doing.

      1. KSR’s “Mars Trilogy” is one of the best sci-fi series I’ve read. He writes a lot about environmental destruction, manipulation and improvements, via human activity. He’s good at mixing reality, near future events and science-fiction with dazzling results; a gifted writer to be sure. I haven’t read The Ministry… thanks for the heads up.

    2. “I wonder what it will take to shake the confidence of climate-change deniers.” These are by and large die-hard Trump voters, so the same mental gyrations that make them inflexible about Trump will also make them inflexible about climate change.

    3. To understand what Disney is doing, consider this Rachel Zegler Variety interview at 1:48 :

      She says “it’s no longer 1937”, “[Snow White] is not going to be dreaming of true love”. Instead, “[Snow White] is dreaming of becoming a leader she knows she can be […]”.

      The effect is to intimidate modern parents to reject the original Disney film from 1937 in favor of the new film for those reasons. Zegler does not say anything about the origin of the fairy tale itself, from 1812, but it seems not to matter.

      Bizarre – but consistent with a desire to unmake Disney’s past. More insidious is perhaps a desire to rewrite the 1812 story, but that is my own theory. In particular, Zegler’s erasure of love from Snow White … I just don’t know where to start except again, why can’t they call it a new story? Because they are punishing the past to warn the future (Mao Zedong). The cultural redefinition / dismantling of love is disturbing trend – but I digress.

      BTW found this old WEIT link on Snow White :

  4. Good for Beyoncé. I’m not a fan of her music, but fruit platters and especially those cookies denote good taste.

    I thought Bey did a bang-up job portraying Etta James in Cadillac Records:

  5. On this day:
    AD 64 – The Great Fire of Rome causes widespread devastation and rages on for six days, destroying half of the city.

    1545 – The Tudor warship Mary Rose sinks off Portsmouth; in 1982 the wreck is salvaged in one of the most complex and expensive projects in the history of maritime archaeology.

    1553 – The attempt to install Lady Jane Grey as Queen of England collapses after only nine days.

    1588 – Anglo-Spanish War: Battle of Gravelines: The Spanish Armada is sighted in the English Channel.

    1843 – Brunel’s steamship the SS Great Britain is launched, becoming the first ocean-going craft with an iron hull and screw propeller and the largest vessel afloat in the world.The

    1845 – Great New York City Fire of 1845: The last great fire to affect Manhattan begins early in the morning and is subdued that afternoon. The fire kills four firefighters and 26 civilians and destroys 345 buildings.

    1900 – The first line of the Paris Métro opens for operation.

    1903 – Maurice Garin wins the first Tour de France.

    1934 – The rigid airship USS Macon surprised the USS Houston near Clipperton Island with a mail delivery for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, demonstrating its potential for tracking ships at sea.

    1963 – Joe Walker flies a North American X-15 to a record altitude of 106,010 meters (347,800 feet) on X-15 Flight 90. Exceeding an altitude of 100 km, this flight qualifies as a human spaceflight under international convention.

    1969 – Chappaquiddick incident: U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy crashes his car into a tidal pond at Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts, killing his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne.

    1977 – The world’s first Global Positioning System (GPS) signal was transmitted from Navigation Technology Satellite 2 (NTS-2) and received at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at 12:41 a.m. Eastern time (ET).

    1979 – The oil tanker SS Atlantic Empress collides with another oil tanker, causing the largest ever ship-borne oil spill.

    1980 – Opening of the Summer Olympics in Moscow.

    1983 – The first three-dimensional reconstruction of a human head in a CT is published.

    1814 – Samuel Colt, American businessman, founded the Colt’s Manufacturing Company (d. 1862).

    1834 – Edgar Degas, French painter, sculptor, and illustrator (d. 1917).

    1846 – Edward Charles Pickering, American astronomer and physicist (d. 1919).

    1860 – Lizzie Borden, American woman, tried and acquitted for the murders of her father and step-mother in 1892 (d. 1927).

    1894 – Percy Spencer, American physicist and inventor of the microwave oven (d. 1969).

    1896 – A. J. Cronin, Scottish physician and novelist (d. 1981).

    1921 – Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2011).

    1946 – Ilie Năstase, Romanian tennis player and politician.

    1947 – Brian May, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and astrophysicist.

    1965 – Evelyn Glennie, Scottish musician.

    1970 – Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish lawyer and politician, First Minister of Scotland.

    1976 – Benedict Cumberbatch, English actor.

    1982 – Jared Padalecki, American actor.

    All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain… Time to die.
    1374 – Petrarch, Italian poet and scholar (b. 1304).

    1814 – Matthew Flinders, English navigator and cartographer (b. 1774).

    1850 – Margaret Fuller, American journalist and critic (b. 1810).

    2002 – Alan Lomax, American historian, scholar, and activist (b. 1915).

    2009 – Frank McCourt, American author and educator (b. 1930).

    2013 – Mel Smith, English actor, director, and screenwriter (b. 1952).

    2013 – Bert Trautmann, German footballer and manager (b. 1923). [Named FWA Footballer of the Year for 1956, Trautmann entered football folklore with his performance in the 1956 FA Cup Final. With 17 minutes of the match remaining, Trautmann suffered a serious injury while diving at the feet of Birmingham City’s Peter Murphy. Despite his injury, he continued to play, making crucial saves to preserve his team’s 3–1 lead. His neck was noticeably crooked as he collected his winner’s medal; three days later an X-ray revealed it to be broken.]

    2014 – James Garner, American actor (b. 1928).

    2019 – Rutger Hauer, Dutch actor, director, and producer (b. 1944).

  6. From the Auschwitz Memorial, an eighteen year old who made it about three weeks before dying:
    He lasted a year and three weeks. I’m not sure if that’s better or worse for the poor guy.

  7. “But what will the charges be?”

    A good question. Any conviction hinges on establishing intention–never an easy task. If Trump genuinely believed that votes were stolen (and to thnk otherwise is to underestimate the man’s narcissism), his attempt to find (hold the scare quotes) such votes could be seen as an attempt to preserve rather than undermine the system. Barring political railroading (always a strong possibility where Trump is involved), I don’t see that a conviction has a chance in hell.

    1. So he’ll be let off the hook because he was too narcissistic to understand he was doing something completely wrong and without justification? I doubt that defense will stand up anywhere, let alone hell.

    2. Among much other information already made public is the recording of a phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which Trump tells Raffensperger to find him some more votes. In context, how much more “direct from the horses mouth” would you find convincing?

      Also, given all the people involved in this that have already been rolled up it seems very likely to me that there is clear evidence that we, the public, have not seen yet. That is pretty much always the case.

    3. What Trump believed is basically irrelevant. The primary issue is: did he break the law, and did he intend to break the law. I think it is fairly obvious that he did break the law, and that he intended to break the law. Now he could raise the necessity defense: I broke the law to prevent a greater harm. [The classic example is you swerve over the double yellow line to prevent hitting a child. Did you break the law? Absolutely yes. Did you commit a crime? No, because of the necessity defense.] Trump could claim he broke the law to prevent the wrong person from claiming the Presidency, but given that the courts had declared that the right person won, I don’t see much chance of that succeeding. The harm you avoid must be real, not imagined.

    4. Once Trump had exhausted his legal remedies in the courts, and once each state’s duly elected members of the electoral college met in their respective state capitals (on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December) to cast their electoral college votes, Donald Trump had no legal means whatsoever by which to try to change the outcome of the 2020 US presidential election. This is the whole point of the “safe-harbor” provision of the Electoral Count Act.

      It does not matter whether Trump believed the baseless voter-fraud conspiracy theories espoused by Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani and other election deniers — anymore than a belief in the QAnon “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton and other prominent Democrats were running a Satanic childhood sex cult out of the non-existent basement of the Comet Ping-Pong pizzeria provided a defense for the perp who fired three bullets from an AR-15 into the building housing the pizzeria in an effort to save the child sex-ring victims.

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