Donald Trump Bear Hugs Sam Alito At Height Of Flag Flap

INSIDE: Martha Alito ... Stormy Daniels ... Elon Musk
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23 : President Donald J. Trump greets Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Samuel Alito as he departs from a ceremony to swear in Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in the Oval Office at the Whit... WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23 : President Donald J. Trump greets Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Samuel Alito as he departs from a ceremony to swear in Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in the Oval Office at the White House on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Congratulations, For Not Recusing Yourself From My Cases!

In his singular way, Donald Trump managed to undermine Sam Alito at the very moment the flag-whipped Supreme Court justice was trying to extricate himself from his ethics morass.

In his usual grandiose style, Alito not only refused to recuse, but in a letter to Democratic senators engaged in a paucity of real legal analysis and suggested there was no possible good faith argument for recusal, which is of course silly, reductive, and self-serving.

Nonetheless, Alito baldly asserted there was no basis for recusal, used the Supreme Court’s weak self-enforcing code of conduct as an imperative to do the wrong thing as opposed to rigorous standard to meet, and thumbed his nose at his naysayers with typical relish.

To which the man whose cases Alito is compromised on rose up in his defense, even as a jury in Manhattan deliberated on criminal charges against him:

It was a marvelous distillation of the corrupt conservative-supermajority Supreme Court that Trump helped to create and which he sees as his ultimate salvation against the four – count ’em, FOUR – ongoing criminal prosecutions he faces.

Nevertheless, She Persisted?

Justice Alito’s letter contained one of the most remarkable lines in recent political history: “My wife is fond of flags. I am not.”

That bit of misdirection and minimizing came as he recounted in evolving fashion the upside-down American flag incident at his Virginia home.

His latest version is that he didn’t know about it until he did and then he asked her to take it down (he doesn’t say why but implicit in the request is that it was inappropriate to have the insurrectionist symbol flying in front of his home) and … she REFUSED!

Alito proceeds to offer a pre-law-caliber legal defense of Martha Alito’s joint ownership interest in their Virginia home and her right to exercise her constitutional freedoms independent of him, an irony so excruciating coming from the justice who authored the Dobbs decision that it’s hard not to view it as a deliberate troll of his critics, even though his account in its entirety casts him as small, powerless, and clueless.

A Benign 18th-Century Foam Finger

Dahlia Lithwick, bringing the withering scorn even before Alito’s comical letter surrendering the flagpoles at his homes to his wife:

When the New York Times reported last week that Samuel Alito, an associate justice of the Supreme Court, had been flying an “Appeal to Heaven” flag at his vacation home on the New Jersey shore last summer, the legal world was confronted with yet another classic case of how to deal with the current warring textual methodologies for interpreting the law. One could either “read” this obscure-to-some pine-tree flag in the way the New York Times and its experts did—as a signifier of insurgent Christian nationalism. Or you could read it as a kind of benign 18th-century foam finger: “Gooooo George Washington!”

Jury Digs In On Its Trump Deliberations

A lot of speculation, attempted tea leaf reading, and bloviating about how to interpret the first two notes from the Trump jury yesterday. Journalists abhor a vacuum and so they will fill it, but there was in fact very little to go on from what transpired. Just chill. Juries are notoriously hard to predict.

TPM’s Josh Kovensky is at it again today, with a liveblog going. You can check in periodically to see if anything has happened.

We expect the judge to respond to both jury requests this morning: re-reading his instructions to them and reading some key trial testimony from the court transcript. This will happen in open court and take a while to complete. I doubt we’ll see a verdict this morning, but by afternoon we should be back on verdict watch.

Trump Trial Misinformation On Overdrive

A new round of furious spinning from the right commenced as soon as the jury got the case. You can safely ignore the substance (or lack thereof) of it, but between Fox News and at least one sitting Republican U.S. senator, there was a brain-eating level of dumb misinformation flying around.

This Didn’t Make It Into Evidence At Trial

The Daily Beast: “Donald Trump boasted about having sex with adult film star Stormy Daniels at the 2006 golf tournament where the two met, a celebrity athlete who played the tournament has said.”

The Price Of Resisting Trump

The mother of former police officer Michael Fanone, who was nearly killed defending the Capitol on Jan. 6, was swatted at her Virginia home on Tuesday, just hours after her son made a campaign appearance for Joe Biden outside the courthouse where Donald Trump’s trial is being held, NBC News reports.

Quote Of The Day

What would’ve happened if Black Americans had stormed the Capitol? I don’t think he’d be talking about pardons. This is the same guy who wanted to tear gas you as you peacefully protested George Floyd’s murder. It’s the same guy who still calls the ‘Central Park Five’ guilty, even though they were exonerated. He’s that landlord who denies housing applications because of the color of your skin. He’s that guy who won’t say Black lives matter and invokes neo-Nazi, Third Reich terms.

President Joe Biden, in a campaign speech to Black voters in Philadelphia

Oligarchs Of The World, Unite!

WSJ: “Donald Trump and Elon Musk have discussed a possible advisory role for the Tesla leader should the presumptive Republican nominee reclaim the White House, the latest sign that the once-frosty relationship between the two men has thawed.”

New Eruption In Iceland

REYKJANES, ICELAND – MAY 29: Another volcanic eruption is seen from a helicopter flight Landhelgisgasla Islands for the fifth time since December on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwestern Iceland on May 29, 2024. Shortly after authorities evacuated the nearby town of Grindavik. Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) reported that an eruption has started near Sundhnuksgigar, north of Grindavik. Following an earthquake in the area, a state of emergency had been declared leading to the evacuation of the famous geothermal Blue Lagoon spa and the small fishing town of Grindavik, according to Icelandic Public Broadcaster RUV. (Photo by Almannavarnadeild/Anadolu via Getty Images)

The ongoing series of eruptions on Iceland’s Peninsula resumed Wednesday morning with the most intense lava flow yet:

Although there was a more abundant level of magma, the eruption followed the pattern of previous ones, with an initial surge of magma followed by a gradual slowing of the rate of flow. The new lava mostly stayed with in the confines of previous flows in recent months:

Here’s a time-lapse video of the initial unzipping of the ground:

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Notable Replies

  1. Alito claims that he didn’t know the upside-down flag was a symbol of the J6 movement (riiiiiiiight…) at the same time he claims that as soon as he saw it, he asked the missus to take it down.

    Asking her to take it down kinda tells us you DID know the flag’s connotation, Sammy Stoopid! Clearly, the MSM will be all over this logical inconsistency and demand an explanation! [crickets]

  2. Funny how Alito’s wife “has a right to make her own decisions” that he “always respects her for” & he won’t try to control her… Yet, he is the architect of the govt having complete control of every other woman in the US. Alito is a farce!!! #Reidout #wagnertonight #lastword

    — G-Barb ☮🐾🎼📚🎬🐶⚖️💙🇺🇦💛🌻💜🐾 (@wilycyotee) May 29, 2024
  3. Conservatives are plotting the demise of health care entitlements and health insurance subsidies ahead of the potential return of Donald Trump to the White House.

    Republican sources told Axios there was more planning underway ahead of this year’s election than there was in 2016, when Trump scored a surprise win, and a chaotic transition period and the lack of a replacement plan doomed efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act in his first year in office.

    “Several GOP lobbyists told Axios they’ve received intensifying requests from health care clients in recent weeks to game out the beginning of a new Trump term and build relationships with Trump world,” Axios reported. “Insiders say they’re generally skeptical that Republicans would pursue a major ACA overhaul or full repeal of new Medicare drug pricing negotiations, but conservative-preferred changes to those programs are possible.”

    If Republicans also win the House and Senate, they’re planning to fast-track a reconciliation budget to extend the 2017 Trump tax cuts and push through partisan health care cuts.

    GOP majorities would not renew enhanced insurance subsidies that caused ACA enrollment to surge, and Republicans see this as an opportunity to crack down on Medicare Advantage overpayments to insurers and cutting back on Medicare payments for outpatient care at hospitals.

    They’re also looking at cuts to Medicaid and pushing through GOP-favored work requirements in a reconciliation package, and Trump-aligned groups Paragon Health Institute, America First Policy Institute and the Heritage Foundation are already fielding calls from the health care industry.

    “You don’t want to get ahead of your skis and give industry a chance to start figuring out what they’re going to do and what actions are going to reduce government subsidies to industry,” said Paragon president Brian Blase, a former Trump health official.

  4. Glad to see Alito defending women’s rights.

    Oh, wait. Check that. This is the same guy who was happy to send women back to the 1950’s when overturning Roe v Wade.

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