About Me

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Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University where he majored in history. His career in the life and health insurance industry involved medical risk selection and brokerage management. Retired for two decades after many years in NJ and NY, he occasionally writes, paints, plays poker, participates in play readings and is catching up on Shakespeare, Melville and Joyce, etc.

Friday, June 30, 2023

June 30, 2023 - The Indicted One's Salvation, Two Supreme Court Decisions, Baseball, and a Recommended Site

 

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The Only Way the Forty-fifth President Can Avoid His Sentencing is by Winning in 2024 and Pardoning Himself

There is no question that the law and the overwhelming amount of evidence are on the side of the prosecution in the government’s case against the indicted former president regarding the mishandling of documents.  Even the judge, who had ruled favorably for the defendant in an earlier phase of this litigation, will ultimately have to accept that.  

The real question is whether the public, to whom the defendant is constantly appealing, will.  And that includes the jury, one member of which can cause it to be a ‘hung’ jury.  And that jury, as of now, will be composed of residents of Florida, home of many followers of the defendant, whose messaging is difficult to avoid there. 

That’s why the prosecution may also bring charges in New Jersey where the violation of the law in regard to the documents also occurred, at the defendant’s Bedminster golf club there.  The built-in bias of a Florida jury might be absent there.  

And in addition, Federal indictments for inciting the January 6 riots and attempts to defy the Constitution’s electoral vote counting provisions, as well as charges in Georgia in regard to the defendant’s efforts to get the voting results there changed, still threaten him.  


So many arrows are flying at the indicted former president that he has given up hope of winning in Court, short of an insanity plea.  His hopes of avoiding conviction when one of these arrows squarely hit the bullseye are based entirely on convincing his gullible followers to re-elect him in 2024 so that he might pardon himself and avoid sentencing. 

If Americans are that stupid, it is time to think ‘outside of the box’ for a solution.   Some might even consider emigration.

 JL

 

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 Supreme Court Keeps Voting Rights Where They Belong

The Supreme Court came through with a great decision this week, giving great hope to those who cherish democracy in the United States.  Here’s what the New York Times had to say about it on Tuesday.

"Supreme Court Rejects Theory That Would Have Transformed American Elections - The 6-3 majority dismissed the “independent state legislature” theory, which would have given state lawmakers nearly unchecked power over federal elections.

Adam LiptakReporting from Washington

 

“The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a legal theory that would have radically reshaped how federal elections are conducted by giving state legislatures largely unchecked power to set all sorts of rules for federal elections and to draw congressional maps warped by partisan gerrymandering.

The vote was 6 to 3, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. writing the majority opinion. The Constitution, he said, “does not exempt state legislatures from the ordinary constraints imposed by state law.” In this case, that meant the legislature could not overrule State court decisions, such as those knocking down a legislature's gerrymandering.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch dissented.

The case concerned the “independent state legislature” theory. The doctrine is based on a reading of the Constitution’s Elections Clause, which says, “The times, places and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof.”

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In recognizing that the theory did not apply in Moore vs Harper (expounded upon in great length in this blog’s Dec. 10, 2022, posting), it turned out that Justices Barrett and Kavanaugh came down on the side of democracy, leaving only Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, and Alito somewhere else.  

And that ‘somewhere else’ remains a dangerous place for the nation.  On other issues that threaten democracy, there is hope for Kavanaugh and Barrett, other than in regard to abortions, to which Barrett is irrevocably opposed.  Frankly, I still feel that expansion of the Supreme Court is necessary as pointed out in the last posting of Jackspotpourri.

For those of you who watch MSNBC, the attorney who successfully pleaded the case before the SCOTUS was Neal Kaytal, a frequent commentator there.

 JL

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Affirmative Action Ditched

But the SCOTUS also this week ruled against the continuing use of affirmative action as part of colleges’ admission process.  This meant that using race as one of the criteria for admission, whereby applicants with better academic records would be turned down and replaced by less accomplished applicants, but ones whose social and educational experience had limited their level of accomplishment, would no longer be possible.

Such applicants usually did not come from areas with top-rated academic public high schools nor expensive private schools that traditionally best prepared students for college.  They didn't live in the right places or come from wealth.  

Because such students were typically persons of color or Latino, the result was a lack of diversity among those admitted.  Hence, affirmative action practices grew over the past half century in order to secure their admission, where academic achievement could not, and this resulted in such practices being seen by some as being racially based.  And now, the SCOTUS joins those with those who believe that they indeed are. 

The Court’s ruling took such admissions as amounting to racial discrimination turned inside-out, no worse than practices that might deny them admission because of race, and disallowed it.  Racial discrimination is racial discrimination, regardless of how it is used, the opinion suggested.  Here is an excerpt from Chief Justice Roberts' opinion.

“The Harvard and U.N.C. admissions programs cannot be reconciled with the guarantees of the equal protection clause”... “Both programs lack sufficiently focused and measurable objectives warranting the use of race, unavoidably employ race in a negative manner, involve racial stereotyping and lack meaningful end points.”

It appears to me that this decision will result in a significant increase in acceptance of applicants from Asian backgrounds, who do well academically, and fewer from those with Black or Latino backgrounds. Incidentally, colleges that primarily cater to Black students would benefit from this decision.  Although not as large as the anticipated increase in Asian admissions, there also will be an increase in the admissions of White applicants as well, but this might be somewhat balanced by the ending of existing discrimination in favor of children of faculty, alumni, and donors which is also taking place.  

Roberts

Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion left open the opportunity for those who would have otherwise qualified for admission through affirmative action to now make that point through the essays (he called it 'discussion') that usually are part of the application process.  He must have had pangs of conscience. That would mean more essays on subjects like ‘why my high school had so many shootings and pregnancies’ rather than ones describing an applicant’s collection of butterfly specimens or how they learned to swim.

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with this decision, it should make clear to all that the present Supreme Court has no qualms about disregarding precedent set by earlier cases as well as what the majority of Americans might want, and what might be best for the nation.  They did the same thing last year in dealing with abortion rights.  Like racehorses wearing blinders, they are not seeing what is around them.

In deciding whether or not to agree with this decision, this is one of those choices where liberals, at least those liberals who are not Latino nor persons of color, have to dig deeply into their consciences and decide what might be best for them personally or what might be best for a nation that seeks the diversity necessary for it to treat all persons as being created equal, even those who still suffer from the heritage of not being treated as equals for centuries.  That is the choice before them, for some, a hard choice, one that might reveal a degree of hypocrisy in some liberals.

That's what it's all about.  Until this decision, affirmative action sometimes meant that Junior didn't get into Harvard or wherever, because someone from the inner city got his place.  Really, that wasn't the end of the world though.  There are plenty of good schools in this country, ready to welcome someone who 'almost' got into Harvard.  But this decision now changes that aspect of colleges' admission practices.  From now on, the inner city kid will not be replacing the better-schooled suburban high school applicant in colleges throughout the nation.  

Justice Sotomayor

Justice Sotomayor's angry dissenting opinion, read aloud before the Court put Chief Justice Roberts' puny words to shame.   As I pointed out in the previous posting on Jackspotpourri (which may appear below, following this posting ), the SCOTUS is sorely in need of reform, involving at least expansion and term limits.  This bigoted decision strongly reinforces that need.  Here are excerpts from what Justice Sotomayor said:

“Today, this Court stands in the way and rolls back decades of precedent and momentous progress.” 

“The Court subverts the constitutional guarantee of equal protection by further entrenching racial inequality in education, the very foundation of our democratic government and pluralistic society.”

“At its core, today’s decision exacerbates segregation and diminishes the inclusivity of our Nation’s institutions in service of superficial neutrality that promotes indifference to inequality and ignores the reality of race. ”

“Today, this Court overrules decades of precedent and imposes a superficial rule of race blindness on the Nation.”

“The majority’s vision of race neutrality will entrench racial segregation in higher education because racial inequality will persist so long as it is ignored.”

“Despite the Court’s unjustified exercise of power, the opinion today will serve only to highlight the Court’s own impotence in the face of an America whose cries for equality resound.”

You, as well as President Biden, may now have some hard choices to make, motivated by this decision.  It comes down to being on the side of diversity, inclusion, and equity in our society, or being in the midst of that 'somewhere else' where some Supreme Court Justices are.


JL

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Baseball Update

Something strange is going on in baseball.  Pitching is becoming dominant over hitting.  More and more box scores are starting to look something like this:                          

Visiting Team  0 0 0  1 0 0  0 2 0  -  3 6 2

Home Team     1 0 0  0 0 0  2 2 0  -  5 7 0 

Starting pitching is getting much better but bullpens are becoming inconsistent, except for closers most of the time.  It’s the relief pitchers who are giving up the winning runs.  Or is it my imagination.  

And speaking of baseball, I still prefer all of its interdependent mechanics, sparkling fielding plays, running the basepaths, battles between pitchers and batters, juggling mound rotations, to the sports in which winning simply depends on getting a ball across a goal line (football) or getting it into a net (basketball or soccer) or doing the same with a puck (hockey). 

And as for expansion of the sport, when political problems are resolved, and ultimately they will be, I envision major league teams in Mexico City, Caracas, and Havana. 

Finally, the presence of wagering sites on most online sports programming is disconcerting.  It is not healthy for any sport, professional or college, including baseball.  Much more about that will appear in the next blog posting.

JL

 

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Readers of Jackspotpourri might enjoy, and learn from, the daily postings of  Heather Cox Richardson, Professor of American History at Boston College.  Find them at https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/ or just CLICK HERE TO GET THERE.  

Richardson
The site is called ‘Letters From an American’ and is free unless one chooses to be among those making comments to it.  That costs $5 a month.  (The name of the site is inspired by the name of a famous 1782 publication, ‘Letters From an American Farmer.’)

JL

 

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 Housekeeping on the Blog 

Email Alerts If you are NOT receiving emails from me alerting you each time there is a new posting on Jackspotpourri, just send me your email address and we’ll see that you do.  And if you are forwarding a posting to someone, you might suggest that they do the same, so they will be similarly alerted.  (You can pass those email addresses to me by email at   jacklippman18@gmail.com .)  

Forwarding Postings: Please forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it 

If you want to send someone the blog, exactly as you are now seeing it, with all of its bells and whistles, you can just tell folks to check it out by visiting https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com or by providing a link to that address in your email to them.   I think this is the best method of forwarding Jackspotpourri. 

There’s another, perhaps easier, method of forwarding it though!   Google Blogspot, the platform on which Jackspotpourri is prepared, makes that possible.  If you click on the tiny envelope with the arrow at the bottom of every posting, you will have the opportunity to list up to ten email addresses to which the blog will be forwarded, along with a comment from you.  Each will receive a link to the textual portion only of the blog that you now are reading, but without the illustrations, colors, variations in typography, or the ‘sidebar’ features such as access to the blog’s archives.

Either way will work, sending them the link to https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.comor clicking on the envelope at the bottom of this posting, but I recommend sending them the link. 

Again, I urge you to forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it.  

Have a nice day!

 

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Monday, June 26, 2023

June 26, 2023 - Packing the SCOTUS, Russia, Right-Wing Email, and More on Sir Thomas More

 

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Let's Clean Up the Mess in the Supreme Court


. . . by appointing four additional Justices to it.  Senator Markey (D. Mass.) is introducing such legislation. All it takes is nomination by the President and a simple majority in the Senate. Then the Court could properly go about monitoring the ethics of its members, something it fails to do effectively now.  

The latest news about very generous unreported gifts over the years to Justices Thomas and Alito by friends who, coincidentally, have cases before the Supreme Court, demands serious investigation, and it is up to the other Justices to see that that takes place.  Corrupt Justices can be impeached.

The Constitution grants Congress the power to determine how many justices sit on the Supreme Court. This number has ranged between five and ten, the number that it was by the end of George Washinton’s second term.  Since 1869 the number has been set at nine. 

The number of justices on the Supreme Court has been politically manipulated over the years. Its brief reduction from ten seats to seven after the Civil War was to weaken the appointive powers of Abraham Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson, whom Congress feared because of his Southern sympathies. That was quickly revised up to eight, and once Johnson was out of office in 1869, it was increased to the present nine.  And Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s threatened expansion of the SCOTUS during 1930’s were enough to sway the Court in the direction of his New Deal reforms. 

Since its present number was established, the nation's population has increased tenfold, as has its case load, so the four more Justices are indeed needed to get its work done, and many feel that the SCOTUS is out of step with where the majority of the American stand, a condition four more Justices might remedy.  As you can see, a nine seat Court is not engraved in stone. 

Don’t be spooked by Republican charges that this would amount to ‘packing’ the Court!  They are experts at such things.  In regard to the Supreme Court, the Republican Party epitomizes hypocrisy. 

Led by Mitch McConnell in 2016, they refused to even consider President Obama’s appointment of Merrick Garland to fill the seat of the deceased Antonin Scalia for over nine months under the pretense of it being an ‘election year.’ This was a ‘bullshit’ excuse.  It took them only a few days to appoint Justice Neil Gorsuch to that post, quickly nominated by the new president, right after he took the oath of office.  This was a ‘stolen’ seat on the SCOTUS that rightfully belongs to a progressive Obama appointee rather than to a conservative Justice. 

If Republicans actually believed in their ‘bullshit’ reason for not even considering Garland for the Court in 2016, the appointment of Justice Amy Barrett, approved by the Senate just ten days before the 2020 elections, which the incumbent president who appointed her lost, was another ‘stolen’ seat.  

These two ‘stolen’ seats made possible decisions limiting a women’s right to choose to have an abortion, caused legislation to reduce gun violence to languish, and allowed State laws making voting more difficult to grow.

This Republican ‘packing’ of the Court’ represent positions out of step with those of the majority of the Americans people!   Therefore, Americans should not have any hesitation about appointing four additional justices to the SCOTUS right now. 

JL

 

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 Russia Matters


Vladimir Putin and the Belarus President

David Leonhardt wrote in Sunday’s New York Times that ‘Putin evidently lacks the military strength or political consensus to arrest somebody who started an armed mutiny against him.’  In my opinion, I see his having turned to a puppet, Belarus' Lukashenko, to bail him out as a tactic that would not emphsize this personal weakness on his part. 

This is a continuing story, in which for every action, there is a reaction, and the actions are still taking place.  The motives of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner Group leader, are really unclear at this point. He could not have seriously contemplated overthrowing Putin.  In any event, particularly because the parties involved have nuclear weapons, what happens in Russia really matters. 

To read Leonhardt’s full column, CLICK HERE or copy and paste this on your browser line:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/WhctKKXxCwjfdltqcTXBxQfNlpMNzzDxhTvnvfWGcqBzQpGHsDLScxqhqCNVSccNzvThXSg 

One lesson for us is that dependence upon independent militias by any group that governs or aspires to govern compromises that group. Vladimir Putin has just learned that.  Some right-wing Republicans might wish their ‘Proud Boys’ and similar groups were as strong as Russia’s ‘Wagner Group’ while most others, regardless of party, see that as a danger of its own.

 JL

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 Know Thy Enemy

I occasionally get email from one of the extreme right-wingers in my community.  To illustrate what a piece of garbage this particular person is, here is a relatively mild email I received from him Thursday evening concerning the submersible that imploded in exploring the Titanic wreckage, killing its occupants.  He was passing it on from the sewer of extremist sites from which he gets his news.  I do not routinely delete his emails because it is important to be aware of the levels to which these people sink.  I do make it my business to look at some of them, like this one. Know thy enemy. 

‘‘Navy knew the sub was lost last Sunday....they heard it implode with their detectors in the Ocean....Biden held the news back so he could control the news cycle for his retarded son. Criminal”

Some suspect items like this to be of foreign origin, intentionally designed to create dissent in this country by planting it on social media sites.  Those who spread them are the people that the Republican Party depends upon for their margins of victory in many Congressional and local elections. 

There are millions of these misguided folks in the United States, depending on sources like this to get their news.  It is pointless to try to reason with them.  They are too far gone.  They are democracy’s Achilles heel.  Until the G.O.P. denounces such right-wing supporters, including those in Congress who think at this level, the nation is in great danger. 

The only immediate solution that I see is to vote for Democrats, who often are not without blemishes themselves, for national, State, and local offices whenever you have the opportunity.  At a minimum, they are not out to destroy our system of government, an accusation applicable to many Republicans.

Try to keep up with what these foes of democracy are saying.  Know thy enemy.  Misinformation and outright lies are their tools.  Under the guise of phony populism, they are dedicated to contradicting the bipartisan message stating that our government is ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people,’ principles clearly stated by Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg.

 JL

 

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More on More

The June 8 posting of Jackspotpourri featured a piece about Sir Thomas More, sixteenth-century English statesman and politician, centering on his book ‘Utopia.’  (You can access that posting through the Archives off to the right of your screen.)  That posting indicated that further comments on ‘Utopia,’ not an easy read, would follow.  

(Despite More’s high government position, Lord High Chancellor, somewhat analogous to a combination of the roles of our Attorney General and that of our Supreme Court Chief Justice, his independent way of thinking was climaxed by his beheading by King Henry VIII in 1535.  Henry had divorced Catherine of Aragon because she had failed to produce the male heir he wanted, defying the Roman Catholic Church’s prohibition of the divorce.  More refused to acquiesce to Henry’s action, died for it and was eventually sainted by the Church.  His writing of ‘Utopia’ predates that phase of his iife and is totally non-religious in nature, although in 2000, the Pope designated him as the patron saint of statesmen and politicians.) 

At one point in ‘Utopia,’ I find More saying that when political matters are not going one’s way, and cannot be changed, going along with things as best you can, ‘not forsaking a ship in a storm because you cannot command the winds,’ may not be a wise approach.  If you cannot make things go well, trying to manage them to do as little ill as possible is not such a great idea because in doing this, the ‘ill company’ one must work with to accomplish this will sooner or later corrupt those who engage in it. 

This amounts to an argument against compromise and wrong or right, is a common position among extremists of all stripes today. We see it every day in our Congress.  Right-wing Republicans call ‘corrupted’ Republicans who are open to compromise ‘Rinos’ and Democrats who don’t hew to their party’s line such as Senators Manchin and Sinema are also condemned.  More was way ahead of his time, or perhaps it is times that have not changed.

Thomas More had a left-wing perspective that becomes clear when one of the characters in ‘Utopia’ states that “Though to speak plainly my real sentiments:  I must freely own that as long as there is any property, and while money is the standard of all other things, I cannot think that a nation can be governed either justly or happily:  not justly, because the best things will fall to the share of the worst men; nor happily, because all things will be divided among a few, the rest being left to be absolutely miserable.” 

I believe More’s referring to ‘property’ in this quote means ‘private property.’  Karl Marx, who came along three centuries later could not express such ‘socialist’ ideas any better!  And Adam Smith was not yet around to argue with Thomas More.  In any event, Thomas More then goes on to explain how and why such problems were non-existent in Utopia, which I will get to the next time we again include commentary on More’s ‘Utopia’ in our postings.

 JL

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Housekeeping on the Blog

Email Alerts If you are NOT receiving emails from me alerting you each time there is a new posting on Jackspotpourri, just send me your email address and we’ll see that you do.  And if you are forwarding a posting to someone, you might suggest that they do the same, so they will be similarly alerted.  (You can pass those email addresses to me by email at   jacklippman18@gmail.com .) 

Forwarding Postings: Please forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it

If you want to send someone the blog, exactly as you are now seeing it, with all of its bells and whistles, you can just tell folks to check it out by visiting https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com or by providing a link to that address in your email to them.   I think this is the best method of forwarding Jackspotpourri. 

There’s another, perhaps easier, method of forwarding it though!   Google Blogspot, the platform on which Jackspotpourri is prepared, makes that possible.  If you click on the tiny envelope with the arrow at the bottom of every posting, you will have the opportunity to list up to ten email addresses to which the blog will be forwarded, along with a comment from you.  Each will receive a link to the textual portion only of the blog that you now are reading, but without the illustrations, colors, variations in typography, or the ‘sidebar’ features such as access to the blog’s archives.

Either way will work, sending them the link to https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.comor clicking on the envelope at the bottom of this posting, but I recommend sending them the link. 

Again, I urge you to forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it.  

Have a nice day!

JL 

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Thursday, June 22, 2023

June 22, 2023 - Imprecise Language, a Post Editorial, a Visit to a Mar-a-Lago Bathroom, Mi Vicino, and the Words of New York Times' Brooks and Kristoff

 


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Ominous Clouds Over Mar-a-Lago



Imprecise Language Will Sink Him

In an interview on Fox News with Bret Baier the other day, the defeated and indicted former president was imprecise in his language, most charitably reflecting the confused state of whatever is in his head.  Here are some direct quotes … shown in red … from that interview. I see them as his intentional efforts at obfuscation and see no way of his getting away with such imprecise language in a courtroom, unless of course, he pleads insanity as a defense, or if a distant cousin of Marjorie Taylor Greene is slipped onto the jury.   

Baier asked him about the document referred to in Counts 33, 34, and 35 of the indictment (see last two jackspotpourri postings for a link to a copy of the full indictment) dealing with sharing classified information with others.  Here is his reply to Baier: 

“There was no document. That was a massive amount of papers and everything else talking about Iran and other things. And it may have been held up or may not but that was not a document. I didn't have a document per se. There was nothing to declassify. These were newspaper stories, magazine stories and articles.” 

Elsewhere in his interview with Baier on Fox News, Trump claimed to have no more classified records and falsely cited the Presidential Records Act as giving him permission to take the government records with him when he left office.  

Further on in his interview on Fox News, Trump said he took the documents, at last admitting that there were ‘documents’ after all because he was rushing during his move from the White House and wanted to go through his personal items.  Apparently, this also referred to the subsequent moving of the material from Mar-a-Lago to Bedminister in New Jersey. 

“So, like every other president, I take things out. And in my case, I took it out pretty much in a hurry, but people packed it up and we left and I had clothing in there. I had all sorts of personal items,”

"Because I had boxes — I want to go through the boxes and get all my personal things out," 

Asked about his combative attitude toward the press by Baier, Trump said I find the press is extremely dishonest.  And if I'm not combative, I don't get my word across. If I'm not combative, I don't know. I don't think you could win.’ 

So that means he is aware that if he is not combative, he cannot win an election, solely based on facts.  In a courtroom, that spells ‘Guilty,’ or as Trump's former Attorney General Bill Barr said, ‘he’s toast.’

Of course, the indicted former president was oblivious to or simply ignored the fact that his even having the documents was illegal.  But he must have at least suspected that.  That’s why he initially denied their existence.  He is not as dumb as he appears. 

The use of pronouns (that, it, these, etc.) without making clear what they represent, self-contradiction (may or may not), and general terms (everything else, things, documents, 'talking about') without further explanation is just his way of minimizing his acts and confusing viewers or listeners.  Such imprecise language works at a campaign rally but will sink Trump in a courtroom.

Any verdict other than guilty would be a miscarriage of justice, but certainly, the prosecution will succeed in at least one of their cases, regardless of how corrupted the jury selection process might be.

JL

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Here’s an editorial from Wednesday’s Palm Beach Post. It is well worth reading. (You might want to subscribe to the Post, even just the inexpensive digital version.  They have an excellent 'opinion page' every day except Mondays and Tuesdays.)  Here it is:

Focus on What Trump Did, Not What GOP Says

Let’s set the record straight: There’s no evidence of federal government 'weaponization.' Aside from being the latest Republican talking point running up to the 2024 elections, it’s just not a thing.

President Biden didn’t indict Donald Trump. The federal government has not gone 'rogue,' and the U.S. Department of Justice isn’t coming after you. That is, unless you showed every indication that you broke the law by taking highly classified documents and obstructed government efforts to retrieve them, while lying to just about anyone who would listen. 

Those are the facts that led to the indictment and arrest of former President Trump. But, facts rarely get in the way of a good rant. Instead of talking about what Trump did, Republican politicians are on a misinformation tear, hoping their constituents will see government 'weaponization' instead of the Trump’s apparent criminal wrongdoing. Unfortunately, those politicians include some of our most prominent elected officials here in Florida:

 

Three guys on a misinformation tear.  Don't believe a word they say!

'The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society,' Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted. 'We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation.'

 

'What it looks like to the American public is the fact that Joe Biden is taking the opportunity as president using his Department of Justice to target his No. 1 opponent,' Sen. Rick Scott said during a press conference in Miami.

 

'This is a sad and terrible day, I know there are people in the press that are giddy about it, Democrats and partisans that are giddy about it but this is really bad for America, this indictment,' Sen. Marco Rubio told Fox News. 'It was a bad decision to bring it. I don’t think it was justified or merited and we are going to pay a terrible price for it.'

So much to unpack here. So many half-truths and outright distortions to correct.

Criminal justice might get ugly, Gov. DeSantis. But, taking a case to court after uncovering evidence that points to apparent violations of federal laws, including the 1917 Espionage Act, which had its penalties made even harsher under former President Trump. Current President Biden didn’t sic the Justice Department on Trump, as Sen. Scott would have you believe. Sen. Rubio, on the other hand, got some of it right. The arraignment is indeed a sad and terrible day but you’d think the ranking member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence would be more concerned about the 'terrible price' the United States might pay over the pilfered classified documents. 

House Republicans went so far as to form the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. The panel is investigating allegations of federal abuse of power and the Biden administration but hasn’t come up with much. The subcommittee hearings have produced more far-right grievances that lack evidence for criminal charges. 

This misdirection, misinformation and lying shouldn’t divert attention from Trump’s actions. Evidence abounds that a crime was committed. Felony charges have been filed and the former president will have his opportunity in court to rebut the allegations.

Sensitive national secrets involving advanced weaponry, spy networks and troop deployments shouldn’t fall into the wrong hands. They did with Trump but you’d never know it, given all the noise coming from those who still believe that publicly siding with the ex-president remains the best way to gain political power.”

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Here’s a bonus for you!  On that same page as that editorial, in a ‘Your Turn’ column, the following appeared under the headline ‘I Went to the Bathroom at Mar-a-Lago.’  (contributed by Mike Vogel, Guest Columnist.) Here it is:

“I have to confess, I was at Mar-a-Lago. I stood by the pool and chatted with Halle Berry. I ate a three-course meal in one of the dining rooms. And yes, I even used the opulent restroom. But alas, I found no top-secret documents to browse through. Maybe it’s because I chose the wrong bathroom. Or maybe because it was 20 years ago. 

This was when I was a writer associated with a trade association that rented the place out for a large party. Since then, tns of thousands of people have traipsed through Donald Trump’s Florida home. Perhaps you are one of them or know one. When the media says 'Trump brought the stolen documents to his Mar-a-Lago home,' you might think of your own home, a private domain. 

You couldn’t be more wrong. 

'The Mar-a-Lago Club is the epicenter of the social scene in Palm Beach,' is how a sales blurb about the club leads off on Google, which ends: 'As a member of the Mar-a-Lago Club, members have access to explore the World of Trump.' 

Do they ever. 

And that’s only one of many realities that makes it beyond ridiculous to compare Trump bringing highly classified documents home, to Joe Biden and Mike Pence doing the same.

The top-secret documents that Trump took from the White House would most likely not have led to his indictment if he had simply returned them as Biden and Pence did, former federal prosecutor Robert Mintz told the Washington Post. 'This is not about which documents were taken,' said Mintz, 'but what former president Trump did after the government sought to retrieve these boxes.'

Instead, many of the documents were subsequently found at Mar-a-Lago in a ballroom, a storage room, a bedroom and stacked up in a bathroom next to a toilet and shower, and in the shower.

Trump also showed some of the documents to those who had no clearance to see them, prosecutors allege. 

Speaking of which, remember that woman who strolled into Mar-a-Lago uninvited a few years ago? Her name was Yujing Zhang, and she turned out to be a Chinese national who said she was just there to 'take a swim.'  Zhang also was found to have in her possession two passports, four cellphones, a laptop, an external hard drive and a thumb drive containing some type of malware.  Many believe this was an attempt by Chinese intelligence to infiltrate the club.

She was caught.  How many haven’t been? 

At any given time at Mar-a-Lago, you have club members, hired help, business associates, assorted visitors and family.

You also have neo-Nazis, Russian spies and Saudi princes. With documents revealing such things as U.S. vulnerabilities to enemy attack piled up all over the club, whose members, as they put it, all 'have access to explore the World of Trump.' 

Why does that give me the shivers?”

 JL

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 Brooks and Kristoff Sound Off

And if that isn’t enough for you, even fence-sitter David Brooks in a New York Times column a few days ago climbed down from his usual intellectual high horse and let the indicted and defeated former president have it with both barrels. Coming from Brooks, that’s almost like the Pope having a six-shooter under his papal robes.  

Check it out at https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/15/opinion/trump-indictment-president.html    or Just Click Here .

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Similarly, the Times’ Nicholas Kristoff, recognizing that almost anything can happen in an American election, describes how the indicted former president, if victorious in 2024, would run his presidency from a prison cell.  Lotsa Laffs!  (But really not so funny because if elected, the first person he would pardon would be himself.   Right now, the Vegas bookmakers have his chances of nomination and winning the presidency at about 22%.  Ever bet on a 4 to 1 horse that ended up in the winner's circle?) 

Check that out at https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/14/opinion/trump-prison-convicted.html or Click Here.


JL

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Mi Vicino – My Neighborhood

In an effort to mobilize the Latino and Latina vote, Democratic activist Alex Berrios is working with 'mivicinoflorida' to do exactly that.  In past elections, Democrats have forgotten about such minorities, much to the pleasure of Republicans like Marco Rubio and the Cuban √©migr√© community of Miami, a group that blames everything on the Democrats since the Bay of Pigs, regardless of the facts.  Check what is happening at www.mivicinoflorida.com 

I am waiting for a similar mobilization to appear, other than speeches by legislators and ministers, aimed at persons of color.

 JL

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Housekeeping on the Blog

Email Alerts If you are NOT receiving emails from me alerting you each time there is a new posting on Jackspotpourri, just send me your email address and we’ll see that you do.  And if you are forwarding a posting to someone, you might suggest that they do the same, so they will be similarly alerted.  (You can pass those email addresses to me by email at   jacklippman18@gmail.com .)  

Forwarding Postings: Please forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it 

If you want to send someone the blog, exactly as you are now seeing it, with all of its bells and whistles, you can just tell folks to check it out by visiting https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com or by providing a link to that address in your email to them.   I think this is the best method of forwarding Jackspotpourri. 

There’s another, perhaps easier, method of forwarding it though!   Google Blogspot, the platform on which Jackspotpourri is prepared, makes that possible.  If you click on the tiny envelope with the arrow at the bottom of every posting, you will have the opportunity to list up to ten email addresses to which the blog will be forwarded, along with a comment from you.  Each will receive a link to the textual portion only of the blog that you now are reading, but without the illustrations, colors, variations in typography, or the ‘sidebar’ features such as access to the blog’s archives.

Either way will work, sending them the link to https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.comor clicking on the envelope at the bottom of this posting, but I recommend sending them the link. 

Again, I urge you to forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it.

Have a nice day!    

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