Open Thread for Friday, July 28, 2023

Meant to do this earlier, but got sidetracked. Oh, well. Nobody reads blogs on Friday afternoons, anyway. Here you go:

  1. New Charges in Documents Case Add to Trump’s Legal Peril — Here’s where one of my readers “there you go again, obsessing about Trump.” Personally, I don’t recall the last time I said anything about his indictments and so forth. Usually, I ignore it — how is it news that this guy’s a crook? But at this point, I sort of feel like I have to take note of the avalanche, you know? And of course, there’s likely more to come. Which of course raises the next question…
  2. GOP support for Trump softens as the former president’s legal troubles mount — Yeah, I’ll believe that when I see it. This seems pretty thin to me. Of course, in the relatively sane world in which we lived before 2016, this is what you would expect to happen (back then, he would have fallen off the radar at the time of the Access Hollywood revelations, way before these “legal troubles). Today, I’d have to see more than what’s in this story to convince me the sanity effect is kicking back in in the GOP.
  3. Harvard “legacy” tradition should end — That’s what Jennifer Rubin said, but I say it, too. But to me, this is not because of the affirmative action policy that was struck down. The legacy policy never, ever made sense, and that was long before anyone ever thought about affirmative action. I see no point to legacies, beyond courting the money of the kids’ affluent parents — which short-sighted and even shameful. This is supposed to be the nation’s best university, and it should be admitting the nation’s best students (and of course, finding a way to help them pay for it). Of course, a lot of the best students would be the children of former best students. But plenty would not. Ditching the “who’s your daddy?” consideration would be fair, it would be good for Harvard, and I suppose it would be good for the nation’s intellectual gene pool, because the smartest would have a fairer chance to get into the best school.
  4. The war in Ukraine is spurring a revolution in drone warfare using AI — This is a good story in the Post, and I know a lot of you can’t read it. But basically, it says, “Drones empowered with artificial intelligence hold huge promise for Ukraine’s military but could also benefit nefarious non-state actors like terrorists and drug cartels.” And this is very true. It gives an advantage to Kyiv, but does the same for a lot of bad guys out there. Which is something that has worried me for some time. There are tradeoffs with everything, I guess…
  5. Tim Scott’s amendment passes key vote. But he didn’t vote on it. This is where he was. — This one isn’t about Tim Scott. It’s about the headline itself. This is a particularly egregious case of abandoning the basic journalistic value that you tell a reader all you can cram into a headline. That has been replaced by heds that tell you little, and entice you into clicking. How would the Old School, inform-the-reader-style hed have been different? Well, instead of “This is where he was,” it would have said “He was in Iowa.” It’s not only shorter, but it tells readers the main thing they want to know. Which means, of course, that they wouldn’t click. This is how the world has changed. Well, one of the ways…
  6. The IT Crowd is coming to Britbox — I get WAY too many promotional emails from all the streaming services to which I subscribe, but this one excited me today. I had been watching this over and over on Netflix for years, and while that might not be the healthiest, best practice for someone who knows he needs to work on his time management, I always got a kick out of it. But then suddenly it quit working. Netflix had dropped it. And I couldn’t get it to play anymore, even when I turned the Netflix app off and turned it back on again. So I’m looking forward to Thursday. You say you’ve never seen The IT Crowd? Well, you should remedy that. Personally, I’d consider the subscription fee to be worth it, just to see this one series.

5 thoughts on “Open Thread for Friday, July 28, 2023

  1. Doug Ross

    Got to balance out the Trump news with the latest reporting on Hunter and Joe:

    ” Hunter Biden paid his father’s phone bills, house repairs, and monthly expenses and told his daughter that he “paid for everything for this entire family for 30 years… But don’t worry unlike Pop I won’t make you give me half your salary.”

    Emails show Hunter and his business partner Eric Schwerin paying Joe Biden’s bills at the then-Vice President’s Wilmington estate.

    This included $2,600 to contractor Earle Downing for a “stone retaining wall,” $1,475 to a painter for work on the “back wall and columns” of the house, and $1,239 for repairs to air conditioning at the cottage of the president’s late mother.

    “FYI, there are a few outstanding bills that need to be paid and I am not sure which ones are a priority and which should get paid out of ‘my’ account and which should be put on hold or paid out of the ‘Wilmington Trust Social Security Check Account,'” Schwerin wrote in the email to Hunter.

    He then says there is “about $2,000 extra in ‘my’ account beyond what is used for monthly expenses.”

    A few days later, Schwerin wrote to Hunter again that one of the contractors was “hassling me so I am paying a couple of the smaller things since I haven’t heard from your Dad. Know he’s busy — so it’s OK.

    “But if you think he has a moment or two to review the email I sent you let me know,” he continued.

    Other documents on the laptop suggest a mingling of Joe’s finances with Hunter’s.

    In a text on April 12, 2018, to his assistant Katie Dodge, Hunter complains that he has been “shut out” of one his Wells Fargo bank accounts.

    “Too many cooks in the kitchen. Too many profile changes and such. Happened 10 days ago too . . . My dad has been using most lines on this account which I’ve through the gracious offerings of Eric have paid for past 11 years.”

    Additional evidence supporting Joe Biden’s anticipated share in his son’s income was presented by Tony Bobulinksi, a former business partner of Hunter in a company called Oneida.

    The firm was established as a joint venture with the Chinese energy conglomerate CEFC.

    According to Bobulinski, Joe was referred to as the “big guy” in a 2017 email, and he was supposed to receive a 10% equity stake in the company with Hunter getting another 10%, as the email stated: “10 [percent] held by H [Hunter] for the big guy.”

    According to the FBI’s FD-1023 form, Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma, allegedly paid a $5,000,000 bribe each to Vice President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden.

    This suggests that Joe Biden and Hunter Biden divided the Ukrainian bribe and the CEFC China Energy deal equally, exactly like Hunter mentioned to his daughter, “But don’t worry unlike Pop I won’t make you give me half your salary.”

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I found it hard to read any of that beyond the astounding intro… “Got to balance out the Trump news with the latest reporting on Hunter and Joe.”

      That kind of blew my mind, that Doug thinks that way, and that he thinks ANY unattributed gossip about Joe could “balance,” in some silly, partisan “what about..” way, an actual indictment charging that a president of the United States did everything he could to retain power by preventing millions of legitimate votes from being dutifully confirmed and certified by the core institutions of our government…

    2. Barry

      From Mr. Archer’s testimony

      Mr. Schwartz: “Are you aware of any wrongdoing by Vice President Biden?

      Mr. Archer: “No. I am not aware of any.”

      Mr. Schwartz: “The report also found no evidence that any action of the U.S. Government or any U.S. official was taken to benefit Burisma, or Hunter Biden. Do you have any evidence or knowledge that contradicts this conclusion?”

      Mr. Archer: “No”

    3. Barry

      “According to the FBI’s FD-1023 form, Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma, allegedly paid a $5,000,000 bribe each to Vice President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden.”

      For clarification purposes for other readers of this blog

      A 1023 form is not evidence. It’s not meant to be evidence. It’s not represented as evidence. It’s not even represented to be true.

      A 1023 form is note taking of claims- no weight is given to the claims. It’s simply what someone says happened and they write it down. it’s mean to be the possible basis of investigation if one is carried out.

      Further note: The 1023 forms were all known to the Trump administration and Trump’s own handpicked Attorney General led Justice Department. They investigated and took no action on any of it- which is also true of many of the CLAIMS Doug copy and pasted above.

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