What gag order???

Apr 23rd, 2024 12:03 pm | By

Trump is busy testing them even as we speak.



He does it anyway

Apr 23rd, 2024 7:44 am | By

Now there’s a trial within the trial. The trial has been paused while the judge and the lawyers discuss what to do about Trump’s nonstop violations of the gag order.

Trump was warned he could face sanctions if he violated the order, “and here we are”, the prosecutor says.

They are now going over each of the social media posts where Trump allegedly broke the order, including one he reposted from Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels’ former lawyer, who is now serving time in prison for extortion, tax evasion, fraud and embezzlement.

Some of the most striking moments so far have occurred when prosecutors have recited Trump’s own words back at him as he sits here in court.

Just now, lawyer Christopher Conroy recited the remarks Trump made outside the courtroom yesterday about Michael Cohen.

Trump is playing an extended game of fuck around and find out.

“He knows about the order, he knows what he’s not allowed to do, but he does it anyway,” prosecutor Christopher Conroy tells the court. Conroy argues the proximity of the posts to the events of trial, and the subjects discussed in them, make it clear what they are about. Conroy says he can’t see any “straight-faced argument” that these posts don’t relate to the trial. He also alleges the disregard for the order is “intentional”.

And a reminder for our readers, the burden of proof is on the District Attorney’s office to prove that Trump wilfully flaunted [flouted] the gag order covering the trial. That’s what Conroy is trying to prove right now.

I suppose one could make an argument that Trump is genuinely too stupid and too self-enclosed to understand that the gag order is real and applies to him and can be enforced. One could probably make an argument that he genuinely believes that he alone is allowed to ignore things like gag orders.

Trump’s defence lawyer, Todd Blanche is now arguing his case to the judge. He claims Trump is fully aware of the gag order, and did not violate it because he was not attacking witnesses in relation to the trial specifically, just in general.

Blanche adds that Trump was simply responding to attacks from the witnesses, including Cohen. “He’s allowed to respond to political attacks, your honour,” Blanche says.

Hmm. Nah. Not convincing. I’d go with “He’s too stupid to get it, your honour.”

Todd Blanche, one of Trump’s lawyers, is becoming increasingly aggravated [irritated].

His argument with Justice Merchan over Trump’s social media activity continues. At one point, Merchan asks him if he is claiming that when Trump made the social media posts in question, the former president did not believe he was violating the gag order. Blanche stands before the judge in silence for several seconds before moving onto something else.

Say yes! Say that’s exactly it: he did not believe it, because that really is how stupid he is.

Not that it would work, but it would be fun to see.



Perfectly legal views

Apr 22nd, 2024 5:42 pm | By

A tiny flicker of hope?

The Labour shadow justice secretary has said she agrees with JK Rowling that “biological sex is real and is immutable”. Shabana Mahmood, the shadow justice secretary, expressed support for women who express gender critical views, saying that they should not be “stigmatised” for saying them.

The Labour shadow justice secretary – not the Eating People’s Faces shadow justice secretary.

It comes after Wes Streeting earlier this month admitted that he had been wrong to say that “trans women are women” in the wake of the Cass review into NHS gender care.

If trans women are women then what does the “trans” in “trans women” mean? It’s double dipping, that’s what it is. They don’t get to be women twice. They have to pick one. Trans women or women; not both.

Ms Mahmood added: “I think that actually in this era of social media, that’s been a real challenge for people to hold onto what we would consider are normal legal norms. 

“That which is allowed within the law you shouldn’t be stigmatised for, or prevented from saying, and you certainly shouldn’t feel that you might lose your job for holding perfectly legal views.”

Legal and accurate and obvious.



Uncomfortable in his seat

Apr 22nd, 2024 5:05 pm | By

The public humiliation of Trump got under way this morning. It may be the only consolation we ever get.

The prosecutor, Matthew Colangelo, presented to the jury that Trump’s “catch-and-kill” scheme with the National Enquirer was entirely geared towards helping the Trump 2016 campaign.

Colangelo contended there were three parts to the alleged conspiracy: that the National Enquirer would run positive coverage, the National Enquirer would attack political opponents and that the National Enquirer would act as the eyes and ears for the campaign to detect and suppress negative stories.

Journalism at its finest.

During much of Colangelo’s opening statement, Trump appeared uncomfortable in his seat with his brow furrowed while the unsavory details of the alleged affair with Daniels and his boasts about grabbing women’s genitals in the infamous Access Hollywood tape were read out to the jury.

“With his brow furrowed” is a nice way of putting it. A more realistic way would be “scowling like a child.” He always scowls like a child, and very stupid it makes him look.

But part of the Access Hollywood tape that was read out verbatim – when Trump remarked he could grab women “by the pussy” – caused Trump to frown deeper and fidget in his seat.

Well, I hope he’s suffering agonies of embarrassment and shame. It’s long overdue.



Keeping the peace

Apr 22nd, 2024 12:24 pm | By

The Daily Mail three days ago:

transgender runner who outraged many by entering last year’s London Marathon as a woman has revealed she won’t list herself in the female category when she runs the race again on Sunday. 

Glenique Frank, 55, sparked controversy last year after she competed in the female category of the colossal race in the English capital last April, with Olympian Mara Yamauchi claiming it was ‘wrong and unfair’

“Glenique.”

[T]he charity runner from Daventry is again preparing to take on the gruelling 26.2-mile race on April 21, albeit in a different category than last year. 

She is expected to compete as a non-binary athlete instead, a category that was introduced by marathon organisers last year, making this the second race in which it has been offered as an option for runners. 

Although Frank does not believe she is non-binary and would have preferred to have entered into the women’s category again, she is keen to ‘keep the peace’ and not ’cause trouble’. 

Frank is right that he’s not “non-binary” – because no one is and it doesn’t mean anything. On the other hand he has zero right to “enter the women’s category again” and he’s a bad person for thinking he should be able to and for bragging about “keeping the peace” and “not causing trouble.”

Mara Yamauchi asks a question:



Correcting the past

Apr 22nd, 2024 11:08 am | By

Maximum self-determination at last:

The German Parliament, or Bundestag, passed one of the world’s most far-reaching sex self-determination policies on April 12, despite protests from women’s rights campaigners. The Self-Determination Act (SBGG) establishes ‘gender identity’ as a protected characteristic and allows parents to change the sex marker on their children’s documents from birth.

Entschuldigen sie Deutschland but that’s not self-determination. That’s the opposite of self-determination. Parents changing the sex marker on a newborn’s documents is parental determination, not self determination. Verstehen sie?

No, actually, it’s just that Genevieve Gluck Reduxx worded it confusingly. What she meant was that the law lets parents change their children’s sex marker retroactively, starting at age 5.

But arguably the most troubling aspect of the law relates to a portion of the bill which permits parents to alter the recorded sex of children [ ] beginning from birth. From the age of five years old, it allows for name and sex changes if there is “mutual consent” between the child and their parents.

The word “retroactively” is so useful for this kind of thing. Insert it between “children” and “beginning” in that first sentence and we know where we are.

Where we are is a very stupid place, where parents of children age 5 can alter their children’s records to say the children are and always have been the sex they are not.

If parents choose to do so, they may alter the identifying information of their children from birth. The SBGG stipulates that the consent of a child is necessary from the age of five, and, “from the age of 14, minors can do it themselves, but require the consent of their guardians.”

However, should parents refuse to provide legal permission, “a family court would decide based on the best interests of the child,” thus allowing the state to overrule the wishes of parents or legal guardians.

Never mind that, the dudes are happy.

During the hearing on the SBGG, two trans-identified male politicians were present to advocate for and support the bill’s passage.

Tessa Ganserer and Nyke Slawik were elected to Germany’s Bundestag in September 2021 as representatives for the Green Party, taking positions that were reserved for female political representation.

They’re male and they occupy positions that were reserved for women.



Tense confrontations on campus

Apr 22nd, 2024 10:14 am | By

There’s a situation at Columbia:

Columbia University is facing a full-blown crisis heading into Passover as a rabbi linked to the Ivy League school urged Jewish students to stay home and tense confrontations on campus sparked condemnation from the White House and New York officials.

The atmosphere is so charged that Columbia officials announced students can attend classes and even possibly take exams virtually starting Monday – the first day of Passover, a major Jewish holiday set to begin in the evening.

Tensions at Columbia, and many universities, have been high ever since the October 7 terror attack on Israel by Hamas. However, the situation at Columbia escalated in recent days after university officials testified before Congress last week about antisemitism on campus and pro-Palestinian protests on and near campus surged.

The latest crisis has opened Columbia President Minouche Shafik up to new attacks from her critics, with Republican US Rep. Elise Stefanik demanding she step down immediately because school leadership has “clearly lost control of its campus.”

Shafik was president and vice chancellor of the London School of Economics from 2017 to 2023 and is a member of the House of Lords. She’s originally from Egypt; I can’t tell from the headlines whether she’s Muslim or ex-Muslim or secular or for that matter Jewish. It shouldn’t matter, of course, but on this subject, also of course, it does.

At any rate, anti-Semitic bullying and worse is an issue at Columbia right now.

“While every American has the right to peaceful protest, calls for violence and physical intimidation targeting Jewish students and the Jewish community are blatantly antisemitic, unconscionable, and dangerous,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement shared with CNN on Sunday. The statement did not include examples of those incidents.

President Joe Biden similarly said Sunday, “Even in recent days, we’ve seen harassment and calls for violence against Jews. This blatant antisemitism is reprehensible and dangerous – and it has absolutely no place on college campuses, or anywhere in our country.”

In response, organizers of the protest — Columbia University Apartheid Divest and Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine — said in a statement, “We have been peaceful,” and distanced themselves from non-student protestors who have gathered outside the campus, calling them “inflammatory individuals who do not represent us.”

And yet they choose to turn up outside the campus. Why might that be do you suppose?

In a statement, New York Mayor Eric Adams said the city’s police department has an “increased presence of officers” in the area around Columbia’s campus “to protect students and all New Yorkers on nearby public streets.”

The Democratic mayor said he was “horrified and disgusted with the antisemitism being spewed at and around the Columbia University campus.”

The rabbi sent the message [quoted in the lede] after videos circulated showing a man outside the university saying, “Never forget the seventh of October,” and “that will happen not one more time, not five more times, not 10 more times, not 100 more times, not 1,000 more times, but 10,000 times!”

A video taken on the university’s campus Saturday night also shows a small group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators chanting, “Fuck Israel. Israel is a bitch,” while waving the Palestinian flag.

Over and over they said it. I watched the clip. Isn’t it fascinating the way the worst most degrading insult is “woman” and the worst threat is rape? Isn’t it fascinating the way fights among men deploy hatred of women as a weapon?



Guest post: Much of the fervid proselytizing has been recruitment

Apr 21st, 2024 11:55 am | By

Originally a comment by Artymorty on There’s no shame, no apology.

I have a sickening feeling that one reason the medical interference has been seen as okie doke is because so many people were doing it at the same time. There’s a “community” being built, and when there’s a “community,” well at least you won’t be lonely with your ruined body, you’ll be able to find other people in the same boat. Once that stops being the case, the interference stops looking quite so progressive. What does this mean? That much of the fervid proselytizing for medical interference has been recruitment – so that people who have already trashed their bodies will have a pool of potential fellow-miserables. A circle of horror.

That’s the flawed premise at the heart of the Cass review: you can’t really tell how well gender medicine “works” if you don’t even try to address the mechanism through which it supposedly operates. It’s not enough to just look at mental health outcomes over the short and medium term. (And the Cass report wasn’t even able to do that, because the culprit clinicians banded together to withhold the follow-up data, which is where we’d expect to find the really incriminating evidence.) There’s no clear hypothesis to test!

I know that the subject of FGM is very sensitive to some because it’s so awful. But there’s an apt comparison here. The practice is, per UNICEF (via Wikipedia):

usually initiated and carried out by women, who see it as a source of honour, and who fear that failing to have their daughters and granddaughters cut will expose the girls to social exclusion.

Is this not also a circle of horror? Compare that sentiment to this one about “gender medicine,” quoted in the Guardian, and cited here at B&W last week:

I would much rather my child was growing up in a way in which [she] wasn’t sticking out like a sore thumb and potentially going to end up dead.

With the benefit of an outside perspective we can see very clearly that there’s no direct medical necessity to remove parts of women & girls’ clitorises and labia, and that whatever supposed mental health benefits this practice confers to such victims — I will never call them “patients” or “subjects” or any other word besides victims, no matter how “medicalized” these atrocities are presented to be — it’s entirely dependent on the cultural/social landscape: the domain of social hierarchies and taboos and superstitions and rituals, and the foul effluvium of woman-hatred that enshrouds the senses of those within it.

Now, imagine there was a report that analyzed the efficacy of female genital mutilation strictly in terms of short-to-medium term self-reported mental health outcomes without ever addressing the question of why the practice had begun in the first place. Outrageous! To be clear, I’m not trying to say that the Cass report is outrageous — far from it; I think it’s a powerful and necessary report, which is already proving to be greatly beneficial to the struggle to put this scandal behind us. But it’s a sign of how outrageous our current social climate is, how mired in the bog we are, that such a report can’t be allowed to step all the way back to show us the true horror of the big picture.

No human female is born with an innate medical condition in which she is doomed to suffer unless otherwise healthy parts of her genitals are sliced off of her body. This is self-evident.

Likewise, no human of either sex is born with an innate medical condition in which they will suffer from such dire psychological distress they might die of suicide unless their otherwise healthy breasts and reproductive organs are removed, their puberty suppressed, a host of other cosmetic medical treatments are given, and all of society is compelled to band together and suppress all evidence of the sex of these poor innocents. Again, this is self-evident.

The gender mess is ultimately a battle on cultural grounds, and as much as systematic reviews of mental health outcomes are one piece of evidence we can use to put an end to it, they will never be the smoking gun, because the guilty party is the cultural climate that fosters mental distress in vulnerable people who don’t medicalize their bodies, and which (at least temporarily) showers those who do go under the scalpel with praise and social rewards.

The supposedly “positive” mental health outcomes of victims of gender medicine are as dubious and precarious as the supposedly “positive” outcomes of the victims of FGM: if the circle of horror ever stops, the fog that dulls the senses will lift and the pain will be acute.

Here’s a report about FGM in the Guardian from last month:

Reports have also emerged recently of resurgences in the central Kenya region of Murang’a, where women over 30 are opting to undergo the cut as a ‘return to culture’.

See again how clearly the Guardian is able to report on these “procedures” as a cultural phenomenon instead of medical treatment — and a tragic and terrible one — because Kenya is way over there.

If only they could see clearly enough to report that the resurgence of sex stereotypes, in large part due to the rise of social media, is why so many women — and men, too — are choosing to undergo their own version of “the cut” right here in the Guardian readership’s own backyard, in Europe and North America.



Guest post: You plug in your good friend Pat

Apr 21st, 2024 10:45 am | By

Originally a comment by Sastra on But I want to, he said.

@Sonderval #10:

Very insightful, and clearly expressed. This misapplied attitude of “look below the surface, it’s almost always more complicated than it appears to the simple-minded” is I think one of the main motivators for an atheist/skeptic/humanist embrace of gender ideology. It’s a sort of forced-teaming with the theory of evolution to go with the forced teaming with homosexuality and gay rights. The combination leads to a very comfortable, smug certainty that they can’t possibly be wrong. A science-oriented person ought to be just as wary of that.

YNNB #8 is undoubtedly correct about the different motivations. I’ll add in the natural human tendency to think small and personal. Say you have a friend or relative who is trans (or have emotionally bonded with a famous or fictional character you feel you know.) You see no harm in letting this particular person, Pat, be considered to be the gender they believe themselves to be. You even try very hard to see them as they see themselves.

Now — every single time you hear or read about problems with either the application of gender ideology or the claims of gender ideology itself, you plug in your Good Friend Pat. Should Pat be allowed to run? To use the restroom? To change a birth certificate? Forget the statistics, forget the specifics of a case or situation, forget the big picture or the women inconvenienced or worse. Answer as if it’s Pat, just Pat, and you’re accountable to Pat …harmless, friendly Pat who simply wants to be themselves. The side to be on will always be that which places you next to your friend. The pat answer is always Pat.



Trans epistemology

Apr 21st, 2024 10:37 am | By

“I’ve seen far too many criticisms of it so far to be able to say that.”

Derp.

Of course he has: because he sought them out, and because his mates and allies are all firmly trapped in the ideology.



Guest post: Extrapolating the lessons of science to a “credo quia absurdum”

Apr 21st, 2024 9:39 am | By

Originally a comment by Sonderval on But I want to, he said.

What do they see that I don’t see???

They “see” the same thing we all see. But they do know that if you are smart you look deeper than the obvious, and that looking only at the surface is what stupid and bigoted people do.

Smart people (having read Kant) know that “I think therefore I am” is not as convincing as it looks on first sight.

Smart people know that species, despite looking clearly distinct, actually evolve.

Smart people know that space and time are not what they seem.

Smart and non-bigoted people know that despite looking different, members of all races are just human.

So this allows one simple conclusion: reality is always deeper and more complicated than we think. Therefore if you are smart, you should never accept a simple thing at face value. The fact that trans women are usually obviously male just confirms how deep and well-reasoned believing trans ideology actually is. To prove this, you can point to people having DSD or at clownfish etc.

It is exactly the fact that it looks so absurd that makes it attractive to at least some intellectual people and this is probably also part of the reason why so many so-called sceptics fall for it: they have (correctly) become wary of things looking simple and of believing that things are what they look like and so they conclude (incorrectly) that things are never simple and that it is always wrong to believe it could be. So telling them “but this is obvious” only shows how shallow and bigoted you are.

In a sense it is extrapolating the lessons of science to a “credo quia absurdum”.



That student

Apr 21st, 2024 9:30 am | By

CBS is less dishonest than NBC, which is damning with faint praise indeed. They do manage not to say the assault was an assault, not an “altercation.”

A 13-year-old is facing charges after a student at one Montgomery County middle school was assaulted at lunch with what students describe as a Stanley cup. Upper Gwynedd Township police said the teen will be charged as a juvenile with aggravated assault and other charges.

Less deceptive, but still pretending nobody involved has a sex.

Superintendent Todd Bauer started the meeting with a statement about the attack, which took place at lunchtime Wednesday afternoon. He said a seventh-grade student was assaulted by another student in an alarming attack. As a result, that student was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, and the school was put on lockdown for eight minutes.

“That” student. Which “that” student? All this deception plays hell with reporters’ writing skills. More to the point, it matters that the victim is a girl and the perp is a boy. Physicality is relevant here.

The superintendent sent everyone a letter.

As a school district, we aspire to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for our students and staff. A student sustained serious injuries as a result of another student’s actions. I have been in contact with this student’s family and will continue to work with them throughout the recovery process. The family has requested and deserves privacy as the student recovers.

Which student is “this” student? Has the family requested “privacy” about which sex their child is? And about which sex the other student is?

Pathetic.



That was no altercation

Apr 21st, 2024 9:11 am | By

NBC Philadelphia lies and conceals and deceives in its shockingly dishonest reporting on the Pennbrook school assault. Aren’t there any professional regulatory bodies that discourage lies and deception in journalism? Are they toothless?

A seventh grader is recovering in the hospital after a physical altercation between students during the lunch period at a Montgomery County middle school.

Liar! It wasn’t an altercation, it was an assault. It was a crime. Call it an alleged assault if you have to for legal reasons, but don’t call it an altercation. Don’t mislead the readers.

A female student was attacked from behind with a 40-ounce Stanley brand mug, according to a source who spoke with NBC10. The attack is alleged to be unprovoked.

So don’t call it an altercation. An attack from behind is not an altercation!

“The girl who got attacked didn’t see it because she was faced backwards and all the sudden you just hear these terrible, loud bangs of the Stanley bouncing off her head,” one student who witnessed the assault said.

One of the students involved in the incident was taken to a nearby hospital for their injuries. They are back home continuing to recover.

The student who was assaulted was taken to a hospital for her injuries. She is back home. What right does NBC think it has to conceal the sex of the victim? Let alone refer to her as “one of the students involved in the incident”?

H/t Mostly Cloudy



But I want to, he said

Apr 20th, 2024 4:53 pm | By

Oh oh oh says the man, running is so important to me.

“Running is so – such a crucial part of my like my being” he says – not pausing for a single second, of course, to remember that the same is true of the women he runs “with” and that therefore he should stop competing with them.

They never do. They never ever do. They tell us self-pityingly how much the cycling football running swimming rugby yadda yadda means to them and never ever ever stop to think about anyone other than their precious selves.



Guest post: Still Another New Academic discipline

Apr 20th, 2024 11:42 am | By

Guest post by Jonathan A. Gallant

An Inside Higher Education article on “Critical Studies” announced another triumph of this modern academic approach to socially constructed categories:  “For instance, critical childhood studies investigates how childhood is socially constructed, understood and experienced cross-culturally and trans-historically.  It challenges the notion that childhood is a natural and universal stage of life...”  

  Permit me to announce the new, related approach of Critical Mortality Studies.  This field will interrogate the social construction of death, challenging the notion that those who are assigned to the category of “deceased” are any different from you, me, or the Associate Dean for DEI.  They are just on their own position along the spectrum of vitality, and should therefore be referred to as “vitalistically challenged” or alternatively as “trans-living”.   We believe that members of this marginalized community should never have to feel unsafe on campus, and deserve protection from the harm they suffer when disparaged by unkind words like “deceased”, “the late”, “departed”, “defunct”, or “dead”.  



Blunt force trauma

Apr 20th, 2024 10:47 am | By

Meanwhile in Pennsylvania…

– The boy maintained a “hit list” of girls to assault.

– The school was well aware of the boy’s violent tendencies, and reportedly had him solo-escorted into school every day.

– The victim was bludgeoned in the head repeatedly with a Stanley tumbler.

– School administrators had been warned repeatedly about the boy’s violent tendencies, but appear to have never intervened.

The girls he bludgeoned is of course out of school with a concussion.



No bus no tube

Apr 20th, 2024 10:04 am | By

The Times on the bullying of Hilary Cass:

Dr Hilary Cass has criticised the spread of “disinformation” around her report, including from a Labour MP, as she revealed she had been told not to travel on public transport over safety fears.

In an interview with The Times, the paediatrician behind last week’s landmark review on the treatment of transgender children said that young people were being put “at risk” by the spread of false information.

At risk of ruining their lives, at that.

Following publication of her 388-page report, figures including the Labour MP Dawn Butler repeated claims that Cass had not included 100 transgender studies in it. Calling the assertion “completely wrong”, Cass said that it was “unforgivable” for people to undermine her report by spreading “straight disinformation”.

Of her critics, Cass said: “I have been really frustrated by the criticisms, because it is straight disinformation. It is completely inaccurate. It started the day before the report came out when an influencer put up a picture of a list of papers that were apparently rejected for not being randomised control trials.

That list has absolutely nothing to do with either our report or any of the papers. If you deliberately try to undermine a report that has looked at the evidence of children’s healthcare, then that’s unforgivable. You are putting children at risk by doing that.”

For what? For the sake of adamantly defending and propping up an ideology that says people can change their sex.

Cass’s NHS review found that an entire field of medicine aimed at enabling children to change gender had been “built on shaky foundations”. She found there was no good evidence to support the global clinical practice of prescribing hormones to under-18s to pause puberty or transition to the opposite sex.

Welllllllll let’s do it anyway, for shits and giggles.

Cass said: “There are some pretty vile emails coming in at the moment. Most of which my team is protecting me from, so I’m not getting to see them.” Some of them contained “words I wouldn’t put in a newspaper”, she said.

She added: “What dismays me is just how childish the debate can become. If I don’t agree with somebody then I’m called transphobic or a Terf [trans-exclusionary radical feminist].”

We all are! All day every day. It’s the new heresy.



Progressive bullying

Apr 20th, 2024 9:23 am | By

Dr Cass can’t take a bus any more.



Out of the cocoon

Apr 20th, 2024 9:14 am | By

If nothing else, we get the satisfaction of knowing Trump had to listen to a bunch of people saying what a pile of ordure he is.

He seems “selfish and self-serving,” said one woman.

The way he carries himself in public “leaves something to be desired,” said another.

His “negative rhetoric and bias,” said another man, is what is “most harmful.”

Way too mild, but better than nothing.

It’s been a dramatic departure for the former president and presumptive 2024 GOP nominee, who is accustomed to spending his days in a cocoon of cheering crowds and constant adulation. Now a criminal defendant, Trump will instead spend the next several weeks subjected to strict rules that strip him of control over everything from what he is permitted to say to the temperature of the room.

And when he gets to bounce up from his chair.

“He’s the object of derision. It’s his nightmare. He can’t control the script. He can’t control the cinematography. He can’t control what’s being said about him. And the outcome could go in a direction he really doesn’t want,” said Tim O’Brien, a Trump biographer and critic.

Many days, Trump heads to his nearby golf course, where he is “swarmed by people wanting to shake his hand, take pictures of him, and tell him how amazing he is,” said Stephanie Grisham, a longtime aide who broke with Trump after the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

When he returns to Mar-a-Lago in the afternoon, members lunching on the patio often stand and applaud. He receives the same standing ovation at dinner…

See, a more normal person wouldn’t want that. It would get embarrassing. A more normal person would realize how pathetic and needy it looks and is.

Grisham, who spent long stretches traveling with Trump and at Mar-a-Lago during his 2016 campaign and as White House press secretary, described staff constantly serving as cheerleaders and telling Trump what he wanted to hear. To avoid angry outbursts, they requested motorcade routes that avoided protests and they left a stack of positive press clips every morning on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.

Again. Normal person? No thanks; tell me the truth, tell me your real opinion. Treat me like an adult. No press clippings thank you.

Court rules require Trump to be present throughout the trial. He can’t storm out of the courtroom like he did during a recent defamation trial. He is also barred by a gag order from attacking any of the jurors, including on his Truth Social platform.

He has already been admonished by Merchan for audibly uttering something and gesturing while one juror was answering questions. “I will not tolerate any jurors being intimidated in this courtroom,” said Merchan, who previously warned Trump he could be sent to jail for engaging in disruptive behavior in court.

Tiny crumbs, but we take what we can get.



Like unto a dog

Apr 20th, 2024 8:52 am | By

Trump got told to sit the fuck down yesterday. Got told it and had to take it.

New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan was wrapping up a contentious hour of debate with lawyers on both sides Friday afternoon, when he clarified that a contempt hearing—where he might punish Trump for repeatedly ignoring a gag order and continuing to publicly speak threateningly about witnesses and jurors—would commence Tuesday morning.

But just as the judge neared the end of his sentence, Trump abruptly stood up—apparently thinking the day was over. Immediately, Merchan turned his face to the former president and said in a firm voice: “Sir, can you please have a seat.”

His long, black robes dangled from beneath his right hand as he waved it down, like a man addressing his dog.

Or a woman addressing her dog for that matter. When I’m nannying my dear friend Cooper I often have to add the Downward Facing Hand because he’s playing dumb.

Cooper never has a tantrum about it though. He’s not a tantrum kind of guy.

Trump went and plopped straight back down into his maroon leather chair at the defense table—and remained for another minute, fuming as the judge gathered his paperwork and strolled toward his chambers.

As the judge exited the courtroom, Trump shot up and made straight for the back, furious. He looked straight toward the wooden double doors in back, ignoring reporters in the pews and clicking his tongue as he approached the EXIT sign.

How dignified.