A Certain Fatalism Sets In

Bird Song of the Day

The Fulvous-crowned Scrub-Tyrant is a common breeding species in Venezuela and nearby countries. It is also heard prominently in areas with Synallaxis albescens and "Oficialito?"

On the news front: (1) New Swing state summary (2) Hillary Clinton on the ignorance of youth (3) Trump will love jail (4) Potential nasal spray, and you'll never guess from whom

So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital

Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles.

2024: Less than a half a year to go! RCP Poll Averages, May 10:

State Trump Biden
National 47.8 52.2
Arizona 46 54
Florida 49 51
Michigan 47 53
New Hampshire 40 60
North Carolina 53 47
Pennsylvania 44 56
Wisconsin 47 53

Trump (R) (Bragg/Merchan): "Stormy Daniels delivers shocking testimony about Trump, but trial hinges on business records [Associated Press]. But despite all the talk over what may have happened in that hotel room, despite the discomfiting testimony by the adult film actor that she consented to sex in part because of a "power imbalance," the case against Trump doesn't rise or fall on whether her account is true or even believable. It's a trial about money changing hands -- business transactions -- and whether those payments were made to illegally influence the 2016 election. [Daily Mail]

Trump (R) (Bragg/Merchan): "Judge denies motion for a mistrial in Donald Trump hush money case after defense lawyers claim Stormy Daniels' 'spanking' testimony and no condom claim were 'prejudicial' [Daily Mail]. Judge Merchan tore into the defense lawyers while delivering his decision to deny the motion for a mistrial. He said he had gone back through the testimony transcript and made sure no one had violated his guidelines for questioning the witness. He said he was satisfied with his review but he did not stop there. Merchan pointed out that Blanche had denied there had ever been a sexual encounter between Trump and Daniels in his opening statement, and by bringing it up, Blanche had put the jury in position to have to choose who they would believe. The judge basically blamed the defense, saying the more Daniels could provide specific details about the encounter, the more the jury could weigh whether to give her credit. Merchan agreed some of the details of the testimony by Daniels did not need to come out and specifically referenced her claim Trump did not wear a condom, but he slammed Trump's lawyers for not objecting. Before denying the mistrial motion, Merchan also rejected the defense's motion for the gag order to be modified. Blanche had argued against the gag order in light of Daniels' testimony stating Trump "needs an opportunity to respond to the American people." He noted Daniels was no longer a witness. But prosecutor Chris Conroy argued that modifying the gag order mid-trial would signal to future witnesses that they could "be at risk as well." Merchan dismissed the gag order request that Trump be allowed to talk about Daniels. "My concern is not just protecting Ms. Daniels, but my concern is protecting the integrity of these proceedings as a whole." [Reuters]

Trump (R) (Smith/Cannon): "Unredactions Reveal Early White House Involvement in Trump Documents Case [Julie Kelly, RealClearInvestigation]. Top Biden administration officials worked with the National Archives to develop Special Counsel Jack Smith's case against Donald Trump involving the former president's alleged mishandling of classified material, according to recently unsealed court documents

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