Quotations from Chairman Joe

In the video below Chairman Joe hobbles over to respond to a reporter who asks him about the Democrats’ discontent with him. He’s defensive and angry in his familiar fashion about the question and the discontent — “Read the polls, Jack” — but reassured by the Democrats’ support for him versus Trump. Biden could have noted that, if the reporter thinks Democrats might prefer another nominee to him, he seems to be doing better than Kamala Harris in that department. He’s got that going for him (or not).

When Bill Threw Down a Monster Dunk

In the wake of his passing on Monday, Bill Walton’s basketball exploits have been extolled far and wide. But check out the UCLA and NBA great last year throwing down on San Diego mayor Todd Gloria, “a liar and a fraud” and the “worst mayor” in the city’s history. What Bill had to say about San Diego may apply in your city, your state, or the entire country.

This video is 27 minutes long, but offers evidence that even an old hippie can acquire common sense with age. Walton supported a police officer and ex-Marine (Larry Turner) in a challenge in the fall election to the left-leaning incumbent. That would be a monster dunk everyone will cheer for.

As We Await the Verdict

The jury is out in the Democratic Party’s New York prosecution of Donald Trump. We should have a verdict by the weekend. In the meantime, here are some thoughts.

This prosecution is a political act, intended to disable Donald Trump and help win the 2024 election for Joe Biden. It is not even in the ballpark of being legitimate law enforcement. I think that most pundits who have commented on the case have given it too much credit. It is an outrage that such a ridiculous prosecution has been brought, and the only things that can explain it are the insane hatred that liberals feel toward Trump and the win-at-all-costs mentality of the Democratic Party.

This is often referred to as the “hush money case,” but paying hush money is perfectly legal. Based on press accounts, I wonder whether the jury even understands that there was nothing wrong, legally, with Trump paying Stormy Daniels to keep her mouth shut. The alleged “crime” was characterizing the Trump organization’s payments to Michael Cohen’s law firm, reimbursing Cohen for making the payment to Daniels, as “legal services” in corporate records.

This is about as absurd an excuse for a crime as one can imagine. To begin with, it is trivial. Moreover, it is not at all clear that the characterization was wrong. Cohen paid Daniels, and the Trump organization reimbursed Cohen’s firm. Reimbursements of expenses paid by law firms on behalf of their clients are commonly included on bills for “legal services.” So what?

But all of that is moot, since filing a false corporate document is a misdemeanor on which the statute of limitation ran long ago. It can be revived as a felony only if the false filing was made in order to cover up another crime. This is where things get truly ridiculous.

With the trial now complete, we all should know what the “other crime” was that the Cohen filing supposedly covered up. But the prosecution still hasn’t made up its mind, and Judge Merchan has helped them out by telling the jury that if they agree that Trump was covering up a crime–any crime!–they can find him guilty, even if they don’t agree on what the supposed crime was. That is absurd. More fundamentally, from press accounts, I can’t even tell whether the jury has been instructed on the elements of whatever “other crimes” the prosecution wants to talk about, so that they can at least take a shot at deciding whether Trump violated them.

The prosecution has suggested that the allegedly incorrect Cohen invoice was intended to cover up a campaign finance violation, i.e., paying Daniels to keep quiet. Here again, I think that most pundits have given this theory too much credit. In my opinion, it is ridiculously bad. It simply isn’t true that spending your own money–not campaign funds–to discharge a personal liability violates any campaign finance law. The federal government, not New York State, is responsible for enforcing federal campaign finance laws, and it has not asserted a violation here, nor could it.

So in legal terms, the Democrats’ prosecution is a joke. That said, what is the jury likely to do with it?

I have no idea. I have tried quite a few jury cases, over 100. Some of them were large, involving hundreds of millions of dollars, and got a lot of local publicity. But I never tried a case where passions ran so high, where one party was hated by a large majority of potential jurors, and where political loyalties outweighed everything else. And, of course, my experience is all civil, not criminal.

That said, any trial lawyer, civil or criminal, will tell you that the most important thing he does is pick the jury. The number one variable in any case is, who decides it? The Democrats brought this shameful prosecution in New York because they knew they would get an overwhelmingly anti-Trump jury.

So we can only hope that on that jury, there are a couple of men or women who not only understand that they are being played for political pawns by the Democratic Party–I suspect that all of the jurors know that–but are willing to stand up against the Democrats’ attempt to turn the United States into a banana republic, whatever the risk to their own personal safety might be.

Experience has given me a lot of faith in the basic fairness of juries, although, as I said, I have never tried a case remotely like this one. So I rate the odds of conviction close to even.

Texas Turns Right

There are a number of states that we think of as conservative, and that are dominated politically by Republicans, but that are not, in policy terms, as much to the right as one might expect. For quite a while, Texas has been on that list. It has been effectively governed by a handful of political insiders who are not, for the most part, particularly conservative.

But that appears to be changing. This site has detailed results of yesterday’s runoff election:

We have the results of yesterdays runoff election, and it’s a mixed bag. Sitting Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan survived Dave Covey’s challenge by less than 400 votes. Evidently a ton of gambling special interest money an encouraging Democrats to vote Republican pulled him over the line. However, almost all Phelan’s political allies pulled into a runoff went down:

Results of a number of specific races follow. Governor Greg Abbott is on the side of the conservative rebels:

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is cheering the results a vindication for school choice.

“While we did not win every race we fought in, the overall message from this year’s primaries is clear: Texans want school choice,” Abbott said. “Opponents can no loner ignore the will of the people.”

The governor’s electoral crusade for school choice came to a head this week, as eleven out of the 15 Republican challengers Abbott backed this cycle defeated House incumbents in their primaries. Abbott also worked to boot seven anti-voucher Republicans off the ballot in the state’s March Republican primaries.

This means that Speaker Dade Phelan, one of the two most powerful Texans along with Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, is unlikely to be re-elected as Speaker. A friend from Texas writes:

Long and short: House Speaker Dade Phelan managed to squeak by (325 vote margin), thanks to tons of out-of-state $$$ that helped him get a couple thousand of Dems to crossover and vote in the runoff (no Dem candidate in the Fall). But while he survived, just about all of his RINO machine got massacred, and being associated with Phelan is now the kiss of death. (Paxton is already warning GOP House members that if they vote for Phelan as Speaker, “YOU’RE NEXT.”) It’s truly open season on RINOs in Texas right now.

So hopefully, the days of the Strauss/Bonnen/Phelan RINO machine are over, and we’ll start seeing some real action on things like school choice, higher ed reform, etc.

Maybe Texas will now join Florida as a state that doesn’t just vote red, but also gets solid conservative policies.

Hurray for Haley

I am not as big a fan of Nikki Haley as a lot of Republicans, but this was well done:

Nikki Haley wrote “finish them!” on the side of a fresh Israeli artillery shell during a visit to Israel.
***
Despite other politicians from both sides denouncing the country’s aggressive offensive in Gaza, including democrat and fellow Israel supporter Chuck Schumer, Ms Haley has repeatedly rushed to Israel’s defence.

On Tuesday, she visited an artillery post on the country’s northern border and wrote on a shell: “Finish them! America [loves] Israel. Always. Nikki Haley.”

Also this:

“I want Israelis to know you’re doing the right thing. Don’t let anybody make you feel wrong because Israel is not wrong in this,” Ms Haley said in a press conference on Monday.

At a time when many politicians are equivocating between good and evil, it is good to see clarity from Haley.

The Daily Chart: White-Out

We recently spoke on the podcast with Jeremy Carl, author of The Unprotected Class: How Anti-White Racism Is Tearing America Apart. Please buy a copy if you haven’t already! Anyway, fresh evidence for Jeremy’s thesis that “anti-whiteness” is now the ruling ideology of America is offered this week by, of all sources, Bloomberg news:

Corporate America Promised to Hire a Lot More People of Color. It Actually Did.

. . . The overall job growth [in 2020 and 2021] included 20,524 White workers. The other 302,570 jobs — or 94% of the headcount increase — went to people of color.

Here’s the chart:

Think there wasn’t any discrimination on the basis of race going on here?

A Working Writer in a Working Library

As a handful of readers or podcast listeners know, I have finally finished a very long wholesale renovation of my house, which only took about three years longer than planned (Covid had a lot to do with that). During this time most of my library was packed away in storage, while some of my library has been packed away in storage for more than a decade.

By a circuitous route I’ll skip over now, Joel Miller, a former book editor for Thomas Nelson and how proprietor of Miller’s Book Review, asked if I would share some thoughts (and photos) with him about the organization (or lack thereof) of a personal library. And here is the result, and here is the tweet and some pics: