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babylonsister's Journal
babylonsister's Journal
August 31, 2023

Fani Willis bares her teeth to keep the flock together.


Fani Willis bares her teeth to keep the flock together.
Thursday, August 31, 2023 at 12:55:02p EDT

In her newest filling Fulton County DA Fani Willis has asked the court to advise the 19 defendants of the consequences a demand for a speedy trial would have for some of the rights they otherwise would have.

The Defendants cannot now argue that they are entitled to the State’s discovery responses ten (10) days in advance of trial.
The Defendants cannot now argue that they are entitled to notice of the State’s similar transaction evidence ten (10) days in advance of trial.
The Defendants are now precluded from calling any witnesses whose statements were not provided to the State at least ten (10) days in advance of trial.
The Defendants cannot now complain that they received less than seven (7) days notice of the trial date in this case.

The wording of her motion suggests that she wants to show the defendants that she sees through their tactic of trying to get an expedited trial and then having evidence excluded because it was not disclosed in time.

The State is entitled to a fair trial as well as the Defense. A defendant who does not possess discovery materials cannot file a statutory speedy trial demand and then claim that the State’s evidence should be excluded on the basis of this Court adhering to that same demand and scheduling accordingly. In other words, this Court should not be transformed into a forum for “Gotcha”.

That’s why she specifically asks the court to put them on the record.

Should the Defendants in this case desire to proceed to trial under these circumstances, then they should be required to confirm it, personally and on the record, prior to trial.

What’s not really clear for me is what consequences the speedy trial date would have for the other defendants, as Willis obviously still wants to try them all together. Would they also loose the aforementioned rights even if they didn’t ask for a speedy trial for themselves? To my knowledge there hasn’t been a ruling on severing one or more cases up until now. Perhaps someone could comment on this issue (if anyone reads this diary at all).
August 31, 2023

Ron DeSantis Warns Trespassers In Hurricane Idalia Aftermath: 'You Loot, We Shoot'

Ron DeSantis Warns Trespassers In Hurricane Idalia Aftermath: 'You Loot, We Shoot'
“People have a right to defend their property," he said. "This part of Florida, you got a lot of advocates and proponents of the Second Amendment."
Marita Vlachou
Marita Vlachou
Aug 31, 2023, 08:01 AM EDT

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Wednesday warned looters that his state’s residents could gun them down if they catch them invading their properties following the devastating impact of Hurricane Idalia.

“I’ve seen signs in different people’s yards in the past after these disasters, and I would say it’s probably here: ‘you loot, we shoot,’” he said during a press conference in Perry. “You never know what’s behind that door if you go break into somebody’s house.”

“These are people that are going to be able to defend themselves,” he continued.

DeSantis added that many people in this area of the state are supporters of gun rights, noting that trespassers will be held accountable.

“People have a right to defend their property,” he said. “This part of Florida, you got a lot of advocates and proponents of the Second Amendment.”


August 31, 2023

Jamie Raskin Asks Republicans To Subpoena Jared Kushner's Investment Firm

Jamie Raskin Asks Republicans To Subpoena Jared Kushner’s Investment Firm
A $2 billion Saudi investment "raises the significant possibility that there was a large quid pro quo" shaping Kushner's actions in the White House, per Raskin.
Arthur Delaney
Aug 31, 2023, 09:47 AM EDT

WASHINGTON — As Republicans search for evidence that Joe Biden abused his office to enrich his family, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) thinks maybe they should take a look at the Trumps.

In a letter to House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.), Raskin suggested the committee subpoena Jared Kushner’s investment firm for records related to the “extraordinary funding it received from foreign governments” in recent years.

Kushner, the son-in-law of former President Donald Trump, created the firm in 2021 immediately after leaving his job as a White House foreign policy adviser focused on the Middle East. Within six months, the company received a $2 billion investment from a fund overseen by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

The deal “raises the significant possibility that there was a large quid pro quo shaping Mr. Kushner’s official actions in the White House, where he helped dramatically recast U.S. foreign policy toward Saudi Arabia,” Raskin wrote Thursday.


Raskin’s letter on Thursday is a not-so-subtle suggestion by the Maryland Democrat that his Republican colleagues have been selective in their outrage over political families enriching themselves through public service.

Just as Comer and others complain that Hunter Biden had no obvious expertise in the Ukrainian energy sector, a panel that screens potential investments for the Saudi sovereign wealth fund judged Kushner’s firm lacking experience and charging excessive fees. The board overseeing the fund — led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom Kushner defended after he directed the assassination of a journalist ― overruled the panel.


August 31, 2023

US driver pulled over with huge African bull riding shotgun in car


US driver pulled over with huge African bull riding shotgun in car
Converted vehicle stopped in Nebraska with gigantic-horned Watusi bovine called Howdy Doody as passenger
Guardian staff
Thu 31 Aug 2023 08.06 EDT
Last modified on Thu 31 Aug 2023 08.24 EDT

Police in Norfolk, Nebraska, responding to calls of a man driving with a “cow” in his car were stunned to discover a local man with a huge Watusi bull riding shotgun in his vehicle.

“The officers received a call referencing a car driving into town that had a cow in it,” said police captain Chad Reiman told News Channel North-East Nebraska. “They thought that it was going to be a calf, something small or something that would actually fit inside the vehicle.”

In fact, the animal was a Watusi bull – a species of cattle famous in Africa with gigantic horns.

The driver was identified as Lee Meyer of nearby Neligh and police performed a traffic stop on his car. Meyer told them that the Watusi bull’s name was Howdy Doody.

“The officer wrote him some warnings,” Reiman told the TV channel. “There were some citable issues with that situation. The officer chose to write him a warning and ask him to take the animal back home and leave the city.”

Meyer – whose car appeared specially outfitted to have a bull as a passenger – promptly did.
August 30, 2023

"Populist" Republicans come out swinging on behalf of Big Pharma


Digby's Hullabaloo Posts
“Populist” Republicans come out swinging on behalf of Big Pharma
Published by digby on August 29, 2023

If I didn’t see it, I wouldn’t believe it:

As President Joe Biden touts the first 10 drugs subject to Medicare price talks, Republicans are searching for their own message that would resonate with voters on the downsides of his signature domestic achievement.


A new poll from nonprofit KFF shows that 58 percent of independent voters trust Democrats to lower drug costs compared with 39 percent of Republicans.

“If they want to run their campaigns based on keeping the profits of the drug companies high, welcome,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) told POLITICO. “Why don’t they go for it and see how well President Biden does because people are going to understand that seniors want to see less expensive drugs

I’m sure the cult will fall in line even if they are eating cat food because they can’t afford their prescriptions. But the GOP plan to defend Big Pharma is an utter loser for everyone else. Republicans should just STFU and whine some more about Mr Potatohead. But I actually look forward to them defending high drug prices. As Klobuchar says, “go for it.”
August 29, 2023

MSNBC Is Having Its Super Bowl With Donald Trump's Indictments

MSNBC Is Having Its Super Bowl With Donald Trump’s Indictments
The network’s mix of weighty reflection, analysis, and schadenfreude is drawing in major ratings, surpassing Fox News and CNN as the go-to network for coverage of Trump’s criminal charges.
By Charlotte Klein
August 28, 2023


MSNBC’s talking heads had been given the license to have a little fun. Even when Maddow and others were reflecting on the sheer weightiness of this newscycle—that even a former president can be held accountable under the criminal justice system—a viewer could tell: This panel was relishing every part of it. And, it seems, the viewers are relishing in it all too.

MSNBC has emerged as the network of choice for viewers looking for coverage of Trump’s criminal charges. The timing of Trump’s arrest in Georgia—Thursday night—didn’t correspond with Maddow’s regular Monday slot, but the network brought her on anyway; it was an evening ripe for the heavy hitters, after all. The tactic seems to be working. The network has seen a bump in ratings recently, reportedly beating Fox News in prime-time ratings for a full week in early June amid coverage of Trump’s second indictment, on charges related to classified documents. The network continued to bear the fruits of Trump’s legal woes earlier this month, which has been MSNBC’s most-watched in more than two years. When Trump was indicted for the fourth time, over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia, MSNBC prevailed over Fox News for the top three spots in the cable lineup, Forbes reported, citing Nielson data. More viewers turned to MSNBC from 9 p.m. through 3 a.m. than Fox News and CNN combined. Maddow’s 9 p.m. program, which happened to feature a previously scheduled interview with Hillary Clinton, drew 3.9 million viewers, and was the number one show across all of television, including broadcast. MSNBC beat Fox News in prime time again the next night. “While most of the country is experiencing some level of fatigue over Trump’s legal battles, MSNBC’s viewership has increased with each subsequent indictment,” Axios’s Sara Fischer noted.


Now MSNBC is approaching what could be the apex in Trump political coverage: his indictments, trials, and another presidential run. The network appears particularly well-positioned to take on this story with its stable of legal analysts, including former top Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, former acting US solicitor general Neal Katyal, and former US attorney Joyce Vance. It helps that NBC News has also been a central player this political cycle and appears well-sourced with both Trumpworld and Ron Desantis’s camp; NBC nabbed the first network interview with the Florida governor after he launched his campaign, and has been nabbing scoops on him as well as on the Biden administration.



August 28, 2023

DeSantis demolition law clears way for hit job on Al Capone's Miami mansion

DeSantis demolition law clears way for hit job on Al Capone’s Miami mansion
Gangster’s century-old house razed after Florida governor stripped municipalities of power to prevent leveling of historic buildings
Richard Luscombe in Miami, Florida
Sun 27 Aug 2023 06.00 EDT
Last modified on Mon 28 Aug 2023 09.28 EDT

Al Capone’s historic waterfront mansion in Florida, where the notorious gangster took his last breath in 1947, has itself been whacked, and preservationists are pointing to the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, as the hitman.

The elegant century-old property on one of Miami’s most exclusive islands was quietly razed earlier this month. The take-down followed the enactment of a law from the DeSantis administration last summer stripping municipalities of their power to prevent the demolition of certain properties, regardless of historic designation.


It last changed hands in 2021, bought for $15.5m by the Miami businessman Albert Claramonte and his wife Karise, who already owned the adjoining property on Palm Island. The couple’s reported original plan to level the Capone buildings and merge the two lots was stalled until the new law took effect.


DeSantis signed the law, formally the resiliency and safe structure act, in May of last year. With few exceptions, it removes the ability of municipalities anywhere in Florida to block the demolition of any coastal or flood zone structure deemed a hazard, or not up to code, even if it is recognized locally as historic.


August 26, 2023

Sentences Can Get Awfully Steep if Trump Becomes a Multi-Times Convicted Felon


Sentences Can Get Awfully Steep if Trump Becomes a Multi-Times Convicted Felon
by Brandon Gage | August 26, 2023 - 7:38am
— from Alternet

Former United States attorney for the Northern District of Alabama and MSNBC political analyst Joyce Vance told host Andrea Mitchell on Friday that ex-President Donald Trump's "likely" first potential conviction will lead to harsher sentences if he is found guilty of the dozens of criminal charges that were filed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith, and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

AlterNet noted on Wednesday that the prosecutors allege that Trump:

Breached campaign finance laws by "falsifying business records" to pay hush money to women with whom he had affairs;
Illegally absconded with, retained, and disseminated top-secret White House documents in violation of the Espionage Act;
Obstructed justice by refusing to return the materials to the National Archives;
Deprived American citizens of their constitutional rights by executing a failed coup to remain in power after President Joe Biden defeated Trump in the 2020 election;
Ran a racketeering conspiracy to steal Georgia's sixteen Electoral College votes.

"Joyce, we now have all ninety-one felony accounts set. The legal process is playing out. So which of these cases do you think that Donald Trump is most concerned about over the course of this next year?" Mitchell asked. "We should point out also that Alvin Bragg in New York has said he'll defer to the feds and to the others that are, you know, arguably a lot more important than the case in New York City."

Vance replied, "They're all serious cases, but what Trump should be most concerned about is the cumulative effect of these cases. Because if he's convicted in the first case, then he'll be sentenced to someone with no prior criminal history. But that second conviction carries with it the burden of the prior conviction, and it enhances and elevates his sentence, whether he's in the state or the federal system. You know, that's a little bit, I think getting out over our skis to assume that there will be convictions. It seems likely to me though, that he will be convicted of some of this conduct. And at the end of the day, this looks a lot different than it does walking into it, because when you're a multi-times convicted felon, those sentences can get awfully steep."

August 26, 2023

A mother's mission to end Florida's 'Free Kill' law

Prior to yesterday, I hadn't heard about this. My neighbor's mom went in for appendix surgery and when neighbor (who is a nurse) went to visit, her mom was in the throes of a major stroke and no one noticed or tried to stop it. Her mom died a few days later and there's nothing the neighbor could do to get justice for this injustice. Seems barbaric to me.

A mother's mission to end Florida's 'Free Kill' law
If you die of medical negligence in Florida and are over 25, not married, and have no children under 25, your family has no right to sue for damages.
Heather Crawford
Published: 11:43 PM EDT August 2, 2023
Updated: 11:43 PM EDT August 2, 2023

Right now, in Florida if you die due to medical negligence and you’re over 25, not married, and have no children under the age of 25 your loved ones can’t sue the doctors or hospital for damages.


The law has been on the book since the 90s.

“If a doctor makes an error right on the operating table that could lead to your death, there's not really an incentive to try to save you. And the reason for that is that the living can sue but the dead cannot. And we call that a free kill because it's virtually free to let the patient expire,” Florida Representative Spencer Roach explained. “But it could potentially be very costly if you save their life. So, it's this perverse medical incentive to let someone die rather than try to save their life because you're trying to avoid a medical malpractice suit.”

For Jenkins it means she doesn’t get her day in court.

“It means that you don't have access to the judicial system to hold negligent doctors and hospitals accountable when they negligently kill your family member. So, they call them a free kill,” Jenkins said. “This doesn't just impact Floridians. There are people in the various groups I’m now in whose parents came on vacation or family members came on business trips and their family member died in a Florida hospital, not even as a Florida resident, and they learn they have no recourse.”

The law only applies to medical negligence. It prohibits claims if the person who died is over the age of 25 and has no spouse and no children under 25.

“It's the number one reason we decline medical malpractice cases,” Attorney Kevin Moore with Farah & Farah said. “There's no recourse for what that doctor did wrong or the nurse or whoever it may be. There's no recourse for that negligence.”


August 25, 2023

Why Isn't Trump in Jail?


Why Isn’t Trump in Jail?
by Mitchell Zimmerman | August 25, 2023 - 6:44am
— from OtherWords


Obviously, jurors in any of Trump’s trials risk retaliation should they decide the evidence proves him guilty.

Judges explicitly warned Trump not to intimidate witnesses or “prejudice potential jurors.” Which raises an uncomfortable question: Why isn’t he in jail already?

Federal judges take witness tampering seriously—they revoked bail for alleged cryptocurrency crook Sam Bankman-Fried for interfering with witness testimony. That’s simply the rule of law. If you violate the orders under which you’re released pending trial, you go to jail.

Yet Trump remains at liberty, seemingly determined to move the question of his criminal liability from a court of law into the court of public opinion—and get a chance to pardon himself if elected.

This spring, before the first charges against Trump were filed in New York, the former president threatened “potential death and destruction” if he was charged. Judges might well be worried about widespread violence from Trump supporters if he’s actually jailed. Moreover, some conservative commentators seem to regard the notion of locking up a former president as unthinkable.

Yes, things have come to a sorry pass when a president is charged with brazenly violating the law and threatens anyone who’d prosecute him. But if a man entrusted with the power of the presidency commits crimes against the Constitution and our democracy, that’s more reason to insist he be subject to law, not less.


Anyone else convicted of Trump’s crimes would plainly go to prison for years. And anyone else openly threatening witnesses would quickly see their bail revoked. Applying a different standard to a powerful person reflects only contempt for the rule of law.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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