CSotD: Sentence first, verdict afterwards


 The twelve jurors were all writing very busily on slates. `What are they doing?’ Alice whispered to the Gryphon. `They can’t have anything to put down yet, before the trial’s begun.’

The Attorney General of the White House is going to hold a press conference at 9:30 to discuss a report nobody (except his BFF) will have seen until 11 o’clock, which should keep the bothersome questions to a minimum.

Particularly since, if he released it this morning and held his presser at, say, one o’clock, it would still not give anyone time to go through the hundreds of pages and understand what’s in it.

Though it would at least bear the marks of an honest effort.

In any case, this example of Queen of Hearts Justice suggests that cartoons about whatever shards of the Mueller Report are released risk becoming non-operative rather quickly, so I’ll try to get this posted before the sentence has been passed.

It highly unlikely that Ann Telnaes‘s analysis will go out of date, since the Trump administration has made a practice throughout its time in office of telling people what to think rather than letting the facts speak for themselves. Or, to put it another way, “Facts? We don’t need no facts! We don’t got to show you any stinking facts!”

Though Rudy’s been a bit quiet over the past few weeks. We’ll see if he rises up from wherever he’s been stashed.


Matt Davies provides a sneak peek, together with a review by someone whose had a pre-publication look at the book and can provide us with an honest appraisal.


And RJ Matson plays with recent reports that Dear Leader is not the most honest golfer on the links. It’s hardly a surprise that he apparently can’t get through 18 holes without cheating, given that he can’t seem to make a three-minute speech without lying.

Obviously, the Deplorables will believe whatever they’re told, and if he bogeys the hole and calls it a hole-in-one, they’ll applaud and mark the scorecard accordingly. But there’s some hope that others will evaluate the evidence with a little more candor.


Assuming, as Tom Toles puts it, that anybody gets to see what’s actually in the report.

Well, the show begins at 9:30, so I’m going to get this posted ASAP so you can see it before we’ve had sentence and verdict.

And the White House staff — which apparently includes the DOJ — will have dealt with any unfortunate disloyalty that may have ensued.

Here one of the guinea-pigs cheered, and was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court. (As that is rather a hard word, I will just explain to you how it was done. They had a large canvas bag, which tied up at the mouth with strings: into this they slipped the guinea-pig, head first, and then sat upon it.)

`I’m glad I’ve seen that done,’ thought Alice. `I’ve so often read in the newspapers, at the end of trials, “There was some attempts at applause, which was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court,” and I never understood what it meant till now.’


On a different and serious note

Mark Streeter brings a sense of fairness to a disturbing stink of anti-clericalism and anti-Catholic sentiment I’ve noted sneaking into commentary on the Notre Dame fire.

I have enough bitterness towards Holy Mother Church that it would be foolish to doubt my ability to criticize the Pope or any of his clergy or any of the Church’s many failures and shortcomings.

However, let me point out first of all that the game of Whataboutism that has burst forth in “Don’t donate to Notre Dame; Donate to the black churches” turns out to have been needlessly churlish, given that the GoFundMe for restoration of those churches has already surpassed its goal.

“Also” — as seen in Streeter’s commentary — is a lovely word that we should all use more often.

Second, you don’t have to be Catholic to view Notre Dame as a work of art on its own. People laugh at Dear Leader for calling it a “museum” and, of course, it’s a cathedral.

But, as one of the major surviving cathedrals of the western world, it is a sort of museum and a monument to a culture in which the Church provided jobs and basically underwrote the economy of its community. The multigenerational effort to build these cathedrals was — pious intentions aside — the WPA of the Middle Ages and an incubator for great craftsmanship and art.


Finally, those of us who are culturally, if not religiously, Christian had, in most cases, the perspective, taste and decency to mourn the destruction of Buddhist monuments in Afghanistan by the Taliban and the attempted destruction of the ancient library of Timbuctu by religious bigots there.

Whatever its religious connections, Notre Dame is, like those things, an historic, cultural and artistic treasure.

To see the fire used to resurrect grievances against the Church — most of which I share — is reprehensible and boorish.

There is a time and place and this is neither.


And, finally

Jeremy Banx offers the only gargoyle reference you’ll see here.

I prefer cheap humor to cheap sentiment. In fact, I prefer cheap humor to a whole lot of things.

Tomorrow is Friday Funnies. See you then.


POST PRESSER UPDATE: As was noted on NPR, the presser went very well for DOJ and the White House, but there are a few holes to be addressed. I wish the reporters had focused on those questions rather than baiting Barr over his role.

For instance, he mentioned some non-criminal activities, including “encouraging” the release of emails, and suggested that they were received but that no Americans participated in the hacking. I might have pressed on that. I’d have also asked him if there were any redactions in the introductions that, reportedly, were prepared with release in mind.

It’s not that we won’t find out in a few hours, but, if there are redactions in those intros, I’d like to have heard his reasoning on the decisions.

More to come. If everything involving Roger Stone is redacted, there may be a nothingburger being served up. We’ll see.

One thought on “CSotD: Sentence first, verdict afterwards

  1. Than you for reminding us of the sacred art destroyed by the Taliban. (the Goths,,,the Huns…the Romans…)

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