Home / General / A town wired for Republicans, even if they’ve gotten a touch fash lately

A town wired for Republicans, even if they’ve gotten a touch fash lately


Democracy dies in darkness, or so I have read:

The wife of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. told a Washington Post reporter in January 2021 that an upside-down American flag recently flown on their flagpole was “an international signal of distress” and indicated that it had been raised in response to a neighborhood dispute.

Martha-Ann Alito made the comments when the reporter went to the couple’s Fairfax County, Va., home to follow up on a tip about the flag, which was no longer flying when he arrived.

The incident documented by reporter Robert Barnes, who covered the Supreme Court for The Post for 17 years and retired last year, offers fresh details about the raising of the flag and the first account of comments about it by the justice’s wife.

The Post decided not to report on the episode at the time because the flag-raising appeared to be the work of Martha-Ann Alito, rather than the justice, and connected to a dispute with her neighbors, a Post spokeswoman said. It was not clear then that the argument was rooted in politics, the spokeswoman said.

The upside-down flag has long been a sign of distress for the military and protest by various political factions. In the fraught weeks before andafter the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, it had also been adopted by supporters of the “Stop the Steal” movement,which embraced Donald Trump’s false claims thatJoe Biden stole the election from him. Some of the rioters who participated in the attack had carried upside-down American flags with them.

Humbert Wolfe had this to say about the journalists of his own fair land 85 years ago:

You cannot hope
to bribe or twist,
thank God! the
British journalist.

But, seeing what
the man will do
unbribed, there’s
no occasion to.

Meanwhile, Merrick Garland’s DOJ is vigorously prosecuting one of the great crime sprees of our times (got to keep those guardrails nice and shiny — on bothsides):

Details of the turmoil in Joe Biden’s famously-insular family keep being made public by the president’s own Justice Department.

Why it matters: Some legal experts argue that the level of personal details in the filings ahead of Hunter Biden’s criminal trials are meant to embarrass rather than prosecute, a feeling shared by many people close to the president’s family.

The revelations are particularly painful for a family that prefers family matters to be guarded and can quickly exile people who break the code.
Hunter’s ex-wife Kathleen Buhle wrote in her 2022 memoir when instructing her mother not to reveal that Beau Biden was sick: “After twenty years with the Bidens, I knew that everything in the family was meant to stay private.”

In court filings this week and the original indictments, the special counsel’s office said the upcoming trials would include materials from:

Hunter’s divorce from Buhle
Text messages with family members including his daughter
Pictures and videos of him smoking crack cocaine
Receipts of money spent on clothes and “various women”
Tax documents from Lunden Roberts, a woman with whom Hunter had a child, and then he initially denied he was the father.

Zoom in: The trial in Wilmington set for June 3 about lying about his drug use on a gun form will include testimony from Buhle, his sister-in-law and ex-partner Hallie Biden, and potentially Roberts, according to the filings.

Weiss also includes texts from Hunter at the depths of his addiction around the time he is accused of purchasing a gun and claiming on the form he was not an addict.
One filing on May 20 includes a text message Hunter sent to Hallie on November 3, 2018: “I’m a liar and a thief and a blamer and a user and I’m delusional and an addict unlike beyond and above all other addicts that you know and I’ve ruined every relationship I’ve ever cherished.”

Between the lines: Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. attorney and a law professor at the University of Michigan, told the Washington Post that the filings were odd.

“If Weiss wanted to pressure Biden, he certainly could have shared all of this information with Biden’s attorneys without filing it in a public document,” she told the paper.
“Not sure what he is accomplishing by filing it publicly, other than perhaps prompting the witnesses to urge Biden to plead guilty.”

Hey, let’s find an opposing point of view from a truly respected legal scholar:

John Yoo, a Berkeley Law School professor who worked in George W. Bush’s Justice Department, disagreed and told Axios: “The details were certainly eye-catching, but they also show that he was spending money that seemed to exceed his declared income.”

I realize this international war criminal/torturer of innocent people for the crime of being Iraqi has tenure, but did Berkeley have to raise his salary from $291,000 in 2010 to $467,000 in 2022? No it did not. But we must at all costs avoid the appearance of bias, which means we must give gigantic annual merit raises to war criminals in perpetuity.

After Merrick Garland is marched off the prison a year or two from now, I hope he has enough access to literature to contemplate the esoteric as opposed to the exoteric meaning of this passage:

An overseer’s eye fell on the cage one day and he asked the attendants why this perfectly good cage should be left standing there unused with dirty straw inside it; nobody knew, until one man, helped out by the notice board, remembered about the hunger artist. They poked into the straw with sticks and found him in it. “Are you still fasting?” asked the overseer, “when on earth do you mean to stop?” “Forgive me, everybody,” whispered the hunger artist; only the overseer, who had his ear to the bars, understood him. “Of course,” said the overseer, and tapped his forehead with a finger to let the attendants know what state the man was in, “we forgive you.” “I always wanted you to admire my fasting,” said the hunger artist. “We do admire it,” said the overseer, affably. “But you shouldn’t admire it,” said the hunger artist. “Well then we don’t admire it,” said the overseer, “but why shouldn’t we admire it?” “Because I have to fast, I can’t help it,” said the hunger artist. “What a fellow you are,” said the overseer, “and why can’t you help it?” “Because,” said the hunger artist, lifting his head a little and speaking, with his lips pursed, as if for a kiss, right into the overseer’s ear, so that no syllable might be lost, “because I couldn’t find the food I liked. If I had found it, believe me, I should have made no fuss and stuffed myself like you or anyone else.” These were his last words, but in his dimming eyes remained the firm though no longer proud persuasion that he was still continuing to fast.

Kafka, “A Hunger Artist”

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