Bird Song, Bragg Trial, Biden Debating Trump, and More

Orchard Oriole (Orchard), Hamilton – Royal Botanical Gardens (Princess Point), Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Young male, photographed, audio recorded. Continuing.

Highway roar, I think, but a pretty song.

In Case You Might Have Missed… (1) North Carolina legislature bails for the weekend without passing the anti-masking bill, so there's still time to call (2) New Cohen's testimony in the Bragg trial, plus theories of the case (3) Biden and Trump debate (4) The Impressionists and the Paris Commune

Politics

“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” &ndquo;Classification Struggles”

2024

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

National results now moving Trump's way. All of the Swing States (more here) are now in Trump's column, including Michigan and Wisconsin. Pennsylvania leans more Trump this week than last. Of course, it goes without saying that these are all state polls, therefore bad, and most of the results are within the margin of error. Now, if either candidate starts breaking away in points, instead of tenths of a point…

Trump (R) (Bragg/Merchan): “Michael Cohen pressed on his crimes and lies as defense attacks key Trump hush money trial witness” [Associated Press]. “Cohen is prosecutors' final witness - at least for now - as they try to prove Trump schemed to suppress a damaging story he feared would torpedo his 2016 presidential campaign and then falsified business records to cover it up.” Scheming to “suppress a damaging story” is not per se illegal, and is standard fare in any campaign; certainly this is not the object offense. More: “Over several days on the witness stand, Cohen placed Trump directly at the center of the alleged scheme to stifle negative stories to fend off damage to his White House bid.” Ditto. More: “Trump's tone changed when, months later, Cohen pleaded guilty to federal campaign-finance charges and implicated him in the hush money scheme. Trump was not charged with a crime related to the federal investigation.” • Cohen's guilty plea to federal campaign charges seems to be the only untethered crime floating about, so possbily Bragg intends to make that the object offense that converts the putative business records violations into felonies. If so, (a) does a state really get to enforce Federal law, (b) why on earth didn't the Feds charge Trump when they had the chance, and (c) the business records violations tool place after the campaign finance violations, so isn't this theory a reversal of cause and effect? Seems like Bragg is reaching.

Trump (R) (Bragg/Merchan): “Trump New York hush-money trial is far from a slam dunk” [BBC]. From April: “Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal campaign violations as part of the alleged cover-up, which he said was directed by Mr Trump.” • As above, but note this helpfully erases the timeline (point (c)).

Trump (R) (Bragg/Merchan): “Almost end times for Trump trial spectacle but there's still room for fireworks: 3 things to watch” [Andrew McCarthy, FOX]. “It is undoubtedly true that, to convict Trump, the jury must believe Cohen's

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