Rico and the Man

Trump Takes the Fourth

Well, Georgia didn’t find 11,780 votes for Donald Trump. But they did find 13 counts against him, a total of 41 charges, 18 co-defendants, 30 unindicted co-conspirators, 161 separate alleged overt acts, and 98 pages of a fourth indictment that is the first legal document to broadly lay out the Trump-led scheme to overthrow an election and defraud America. AP: Trump and 18 allies charged in Georgia election meddling as former president faces 4th criminal case. From Trump, there will be a lot of bluster and lot more Tamper Tantrums. Here’s why: A president cannot pardon a person convicted of a state crime in Georgia. Neither can the governor of Georgia. All the ALL CAPS and racketeerdrops in the world can’t change that fact.

+ This is a RICO case (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act), under which Trump is accused of leading broad conspiracy to attempt to overturn the election result. As the indictment explains: “Trump and the other Defendants charged in this Indictment refused to accept that Trump lost, and they knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump. That conspiracy contained a common plan and purpose to commit two or more acts of racketeering activity in Fulton County, Georgia, elsewhere in the State of Georgia, and in other states.”

+ From the NYT (Gift Article), here’s a look at all 19 people charged. There’s almost no doubt that some of these defendants will plead out or flip. The nearterm question is who flips first. The co-defendant list includes Mark Meadows and Rudy Giuliani, who once had a reputation for the groundbreaking use of the racketeering law he now finds himself charged under. (Rudy has called for a press conference at the Four Seasons Total Georgia State Prison.)

+ “Bizarrely, there is a temptation to not even bother with the details, no matter how remarkable they may be. That which was unthinkable has now become something of a political routine: another week, another indictment.” But this is not just another political story. It’s not even just another mob story. The New Yorker: In Georgia, Trump and His Gang Get the Mob Treatment.

+ Because there’s no pardon option available to Trump and his crew in Georgia, there will be a massive legal (and otherwise) effort to get the trial moved to federal court. And there’s already Georgia’s conveniently timed creation of a “commission empowered to discipline and remove wayward prosecutors, saying it will curb ‘far-left prosecutors’ who are ‘making our communities less safe.'” But don’t underestimate Fani Willis. How Fani Willis oversaw what might be the most sprawling legal case against Donald Trump.

+ While the latest indictment lists 18 co-defendants and 30 unindicted co-conspirators, I’d argue that the latter group could number in the hundreds, if not thousands. Everyone who propped up the big lie and continues to cravenly pretend that the justice system is being weaponized against Trump is part of this ongoing crime.

+ In a sign of the times, last night NBC news interrupted their reporting of one Trump crime with breaking news about another Trump crime.


Environmental Block

“Many, conservatives in particular, chafe at the prospect of the government forcing them to buy electric cars or ditch their natural gas appliances, polls show. That’s perhaps why those pitching the technology often avoid mentioning climate change. They emulate evangelists who don’t lead with Jesus when trying to win over nonbelievers.” NYT (Gift Article) The Clean Energy Future Is a Battle for Hearts and Minds. Fine, ignore the climate and just focus on the speed, the one-pedal driving, and the avoided trips to the gas station.


A Plot Twist Everyone Saw Coming

“Streaming services like YouTube and Netflix accounted for a record 38.7% of total U.S. TV usage, the category’s largest share reported in Nielsen’s The Gauge monthly report to date.” Linear TV Viewing Drops Below 50% of U.S. Television Usage for First Time, Streaming Hits Record High.

+ Now that they have your attention… streaming TV costs are now higher than cable.


Fly Bawl

It’s a major bummer if you suffer from the stress associated with a fear of flying. It’s a lot worse if your job is to constantly fly from place to place. “San Francisco Giants star Joc Pederson is scared to fly. Outfielder Seth Brown of the Oakland Athletics, too. They are hardly the only ones.” Some athletes with a fear of flying are leaning on greater resources than their predecessors. (I don’t have a fear of flying, but I’ve always had a fear of being hit by a baseball.)


Extra, Extra

These Kids Don’t Play: “This result sets a groundbreaking precedent for climate litigation and demonstrates a new way in which green amendments can be invoked to elicit environmental change. It suggests that in other states with green amendments, state laws cannot forbid the consideration of greenhouse gas emissions and their climate impact during environmental review.” Here’s a good overview of how a Montana kids historic climate lawsuit win could set a powerful precedent.

+ Againistan: “Zahra, 20, doesn’t ride bikes anymore. Or go to school, or walk outside without covering her face, or see friends who have fled the country. All she can do, she says, is sit at home and worry about a future that has unraveled before her eyes.” Two years on from Taliban takeover, Afghan women are being ‘erased from everything.’

+ Ecuador Knock: “Ecuador was one of the calmest countries in Latin America until about three years ago. Today, criminals prowl relatively wealthy and working-class neighborhoods alike: professional hitmen, kidnappers, extortionists and thousands of thieves and robbers. Mexican and Colombian cartels have settled into coastal cities like Guayaquil and grabbed chunks of the trade shipping hundreds of millions of dollars of cocaine from neighboring Colombia and Peru to countries overseas.” The only thing that spreads faster than drugs is the violence associated with them.

+ B Best: “Cheerfully skipping past thousands, she hops onto a large, round platform in her typical uniform: a loose, black T-shirt semi-tucked into baggy black track pants, with her hair scooped into a snapback.” In other words, she’s dressed for the Olympics. Inside one B-girl’s quest for U.S. Olympic gold in break dancing.

+ Empire State of Mind: “Fans are rushing to collect all 13 of the Brooklyn Public Library’s limited-edition cards.” Wait, there’s a rush to collect … library cards? Here’s the deal. NYT (Gift Article): How Library Cards Became the Jay-Z Merch of the Moment. I got 99 problems, checking out a book ain’t one.


Bottom of the News

“As autonomous vehicles become increasingly popular in San Francisco, some riders are wondering just how far they can push the vehicles’ limits—especially with no front-seat driver or chaperone to discourage them from questionable behavior.” San Franciscans Are Having Sex in Robotaxis, and Nobody Is Talking About It. (I still don’t think we need to talk about it…)

+ Dunkin’ is releasing boozy versions of their iced coffees and teas. (No word on whether or not this is related to the fact that Georgia televises its trials…)

Copied to Clipboard