My Thug Didn’t Look Anything Like the One in Your Sketch!

une pipe

Stormy has just sued The Donald in New York for defamation. Her complaint is six pages long, and you can read it here.

As I am sure you know by now, Stormy claims that a thug threatened her in 2011, demanding that she keep her trap shut about her relationship with Trump. She recently released a forensic sketch of the gentleman, causing Trump to tweet, and I quote, “A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!”

Trump has a Germanic Love for Capital Letters in Sentences, but I suppose that is the Result of his ethnic Heritage, so we will let it pass.

But, to return to the main point, Trump called Stormy a liar—and, by implication, also a criminal, saying that she is trying to bring about the prosecution of someone who never threatened her.

I think it pretty much comes down to this: did the incident happen, and did Stormy work with the forensic artist to try to produce a good sketch? Then she wins. On the other hand, if Trump can prove that she faked it, then he wins. Because, as lawyers like to say, truth is always a defense.

But how the hell would Trump prove the truth of his defamatory twitter?

Paragraphs 31 and 32 of Stormy’s complaint lay out Trump’s problem. If Trump had actual knowledge of the incident, and if he knows that the sketch is bad, or that something else said about it is off the mark, that’s not going to help Trump very much, is it?

On the other hand, if he has no knowledge of the incident, then how does he know that Stormy is making it up?

“But wait a minute,” you say, “Stormy has to prove that the incident did occur and that the sketch is a good faith attempt to depict the thug, right?”

And, yes, that’s right, as far as it goes. But the proof required in a civil defamation case is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt, it’s proof that her is account is more likely true than not—in other words, a 51-49 standard. She can take the stand and give her testimony, and that will be enough to get the case to the jury, who can decide whether they believe her.

Is Trump going to take the stand and try to rebut her testimony? I don’t think so.

But wouldn’t it be fun?

And here’s what, for me, is the really fun part: inevitably, today’s lawsuit will result in some more defamatory Trump tweets, which will lead to amendments to the complaint, which will bring about yet more defamatory tweets, leading to a further round of amendments …

Goodbye, World

U.S. Allies Brace for Trade War as Tariff Negotiations Stall:

With only days left before the exemptions expire and punitive tariffs take effect, it’s dawning on foreign leaders that decades of warm relations with the United States carry little weight with a president dismissive of diplomatic norms and hostile toward the ground rules of international trade.

To my European, Asian, and Latin American brothers and sisters, I am very sorry to say this, but we in the United States are unreliable partners. It’s time for you to go your own way.

I hope that some day we can rejoin you.

Until then, auf Wiedersehen, zai jian.

And vaya con dios.

Understanding the Base: The Dialog Continues

dixie outfitters

The Trump years have certainly been a learning experience. We have gained a great deal of knowledge about ourselves and about our fellow ‘Mericans.

The main lesson we have learned from the internet age is that human beings are actually much worse critters than we had thought, or at least than we had hoped. The main lesson we have learned from the Trump years is that ‘Mericans are considerably worse than we had thought, or at least hoped.

I, for one, am not shocked that lots of Trump supporters might think, “Well, he may be an asshole, but he’s OUR asshole.” Progressives sometimes think like that, too, It’s hardly admirable, but it’s not loony tunes. I get it that ideology and tribalism might cause you to support a bad person, a jerk, an inveterate liar, an asshole, a crook, and/or a narcissist. That point of view is sad, or, better yet, tragic, but life is full of sadness and tragedy.

But if you want to lend your support to a bad person, a jerk, a liar, an asshole, a crook, and/or a narcissist, you can find plenty of candidates to support who are not actual crazy people.

And what I don’t get—to this very hour, as I type the next word—is what perverted species of anger, what insane rage, has caused so many of my fellow ‘Mericans to think it’s a good idea to have an actual crazy person as President of the United States.

The quest for answers continue, as it must. We must peel the artichoke apart layer by layer until we finally gain some real understanding of our neighbors’ lunacy.

In a March 25 post I recommended Michael Gerson, The Last Temptation: How evangelicals, once culturally confident, became an anxious minority seeking political protection from the least traditionally religious president in living memory.

I still recommend Gerson’s article, and think there is much wisdom in it. But I also highly recommend this morning’s response by political scientist Nancy Wadsworth, The racial demons that help explain evangelical support for Trump.

Professor Wadsworth’s piece, whose title gives you the gravamen of her position, argues persuasively that Gerson’s more sanguine view of evangelical history is seriously incomplete. I commend her thoughts to your attention. In her telling, Trump’s racism is not a bug, it’s a feature. His principal virtue, in the eyes of his most rabid supporters, is simply that he pokes a thumb in the eye of the modern, inclusive, rational world. And if he threatens to bring America’s institutions down around their ears, well then, so much the better.

To get yourself in the mood for Professor Wadsworth’s history lesson, you might wish to watch this video. Please pay careful attention to the color of the dog.

Secrets and Lies

secrets and lies

Aardvark has some modest Photoshopping skills, but he did not employ them to create the above image—which, ladies and germs, is the real McCoy, conveniently located right next to the checkout at Ye Olde Piggly Wiggly.

Trump’s asshole buddy over at the National Enquirer is still covering his man with multiple layers of whitewash, for the benefit of the simpletons who buy his rag.

But they’re throwing Michael Cohen under the Greyhound.

And backing up to run over him a few more times.

Secrets and lies, indeed.

Michael, I think it’s time to come clean.

‘Cause confession is good for the soul.

And ‘cause I’m sorry to tell you, but there ain’t gonna be no pardon.