HACKS LIKE US: Morning Joe recites, then recites some more!


This is the garbage we've chosen: Should Donald J. Trump be charged with a crime with respect to those payments to Stormy Daniels?

Imaginably, it could depend on what he actually did! For example, did he write off those "legal fees" on his tax returns, thereby defrauding the state and federal governments out of some cold, hard cash?

We have no idea if he did that! If he did, that would start to look like a recognizable crime, unlike the less recognizable crimes with which it has recently seemed that he was about to be charged.

Concerning those less recognizable crimes, Charles Coleman went rogue last night. 

By his own admission, Coleman is "a seasoned civil rights attorney and legal analyst [who] has quickly emerged as one of one of strongest thought leaders and modern voices in today's conversation on race, law, culture, politics, social justice, and civil rights. "

Coleman is also an MSNBC legal analyst. Inevitably, he's a graduate of Harvard Law School—and he's frequently seen on MSNBC's primetime TV shows.

Coleman is a good, decent person. Last night, on The Last Word, he briefly went rogue, saying this:

COLEMAN (3/22/23): I will be very honest and candid, although it is unpopular and many people may not necessarily want to hear it...

[Later today, we'll be able to complete the transcript of Coleman's remarks. For reasons which seem to be perfectly obvious, MSNBC no longer provides transcripts of its TV shows.]

In this statement, Coleman echoed the recent column by the Washington Post's Ruth Marcus, a graduate of Harvard Law School. As we noted yesterday morning, Marcus said she was somewhat concerned by the route Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg seemed to be taking.

In fact, several people within our blue tribe have voiced discomfort with the possible direction being taken by Bragg.  As Andrew Weissman noted last night immediately after Coleman spoke, we'll have to wait for Bragg's final action before we can assess what he has and hasn't done. 

As for now, it may be that Trump has committed a recognizable crime in this matter. But it may also be that he hasn't.

Maybe he has—but maybe he hasn't! Of course, as everyone surely knows by now, that isn't the way cable works.

Blue cable belongs to Hacks Like Us—to people who tell us the stories our blue tribe likes to hear.

These "hacks" appear on our TV shows, fracturing known facts and elementary logic. In yesterday morning's report, we described one such performance—the absurd performance which unfolded Tuesday night on CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront.

Blue tribe legal expert Ryan Goodman was eager to show that nothing could possibly be wrong with any possible indictment of Donald J. Trump up in Gotham.  People get criminally charged for conduct like Trump's all the time, the expert seemed to be saying. 

According to Goodman, one couple was recently charged with a crime for defrauding their insurance company out of something like three thousand dollars! That doesn't seem to resemble anything Trump is known to have done in the Daniels case, but Erin Burnett simply gazed all about as Goodman expounded, thus letting the lesson unfold.

Did Goodman's performance make any sense? We can't say that it did.

He offered four examples of regular people who have been criminally charged for a false business filing. But none of these cases seemed anything like what Trump is known to have done.

In such ways, the stupidification of modern discourse advances apace on our own tribe's TV shows. And sure enough! Eleven hours later, in yesterday morning's 6 o'clock hour, the gentleman known as Morning Joe began to recite.

Scarborough teased his recitation at 6:03 A.M. Judging from appearances, producers had directed him to the four events Goodman had cited the night before. 

Thanks to the work of The Internet Archive, you can watch him deliver the 6:03 tease and the rest of the mormning's remarks. The tease went exactly like this:

SCARBOROUGH (3/22/23): You hear one lie after another coming from Republicans who get in front of microphones and say, "Nobody gets charged with this. There's no way he'd be charged with this except for the fact that he's Trump and they hate Donald Trump and they're going after Donald Trump."

My gosh, Mika, we're going to be showing some examples coming up of how this statute has been used, this felony statute has been used for as small an item as a couch! Somebody shopping and bringing back actually goods that they didn't pay for, and getting store credit for them, getting caught for that, a couple of thousand bucks, and they get charged with this felony. 

And so somehow lying about $130,000 to pay off a porn star, them saying this is much ado about nothing, when people are getting charged with this same thing for a couch and for a couple of thousand dollars of store credit? They're lying! But of course, that's not a shock!

So it went in the 6:03 tease.

At this extremely early hour, Joe seemed to have two of Goodman's cases mixed up in his head. He wasn't confused about Storyline, in which 1) only Republicans have voiced concern about this pending matter in Gotham; and in which 2) by obvious rule of law, the Republicans have been "lying."

Joe did seem to be confused about two of these cases. In fact, the three thousand dollars was the amount the larcenous couple had scammed from their insurance company for the couch they lost in the fire. The larcenous store credit at Lord & Taylor was for an unnamed amount.

No matter! Joe returned to this script at 6:08 A.M. By now, he had a full-sized graphic which listed three of Goodman's cases from the night before. 

"I want to get back to the Republican lie, the main Republican lie right now," the cable star thoughtfully said. As Lawrence O'Donnell has endlessly taught us, repeating the L-word is powerful!

With the graphic to work from, Joe was now able to rattle some facts about the handful of cases at issue. These cases involved baldly larcenous conduct—larcenous conduct which didn't seem to resemble Donald J. Trump's:

SCARBOROUGH: Let's give you some details on people who were charged with what Trump may be charged with...

Here's some examples:

A married couple charged for, quote, attempting to recover the cash value of various items of property that were lost in a house fire. They claimed $5,000 for a leather couch they had purchased for $1,900. You see that?

In fact, everyone could see that now, in part because he now had the graphic to work from. For the record, Joe was performing for Mika at this time, but also for a pair of sidekicks and for three other guests. 

Needless to say, none of these players said a word about the sheer stupidity of Joe's repeated presentation. Blue tribe "cable news" is built upon this baldly corrupt arrangement.

Joe ran through his puzzling examples at 6:08 A.M. His principal point seemed to be this:

$130,000 is more than $3,000.

His arithmetic was correct. But in the one case he had cited, an insurance company was being scammed out of that $3,000. An obvious theft had occurred.

No one was scammed out of any money when Stormy Daniels was handed her cash. Meanwhile, everyone agrees that payments of this kind are not illegal in and of themselves.

Joe ran through his examples during his 6:08 recitation. He ran through them again at 6:13 when he introduced an additional guest. Blue tribe viewers got to hear the recitation all over again.

This new guest was Dave Aronberg, state's attorney for Palm Beach County, Florida. Despite the importance of his public office, Aronberg can be counted on to go along with these recitations of distorted approved tribal script. 

Uh-oh! On this occasion, even Aronberg felt forced to acknowledge that he himself had been "a little bit critical" about the Gotham venture.

Instantly, though, he recovered and established his worth. The state's attorney said this:

ARONBERG (3/22/23): As far as this case, you know, I know a lot of people are saying it's small ball, and you know I've been a little bit critical, thinking maybe this isn't the one that should go first. It's the fourth out of four out there of the cases swirling around Donald Trump.

But that doesn't mean it's a weak case. The hush money payment is what sent Michael Cohen to federal prison.

"The hush money payment is what sent Michael Cohen to federal prison?" We reviewed the role played by that mandated statement in Monday afternoon's report:

As Aronberg knows, Cohen pled guilty to a total of eight (8) federal crimes. His role in the payments to Daniels was involved in only one or two of those charges, and those charges were never put to the test in front of an actual jury.

That said, the people who perform on blue tribe cable will always say what Aronberg said—that Cohen was sent to federal prison because of the hush money matter, full stop. 

This embellishment makes the story sound better to blue tribe ears. Presumably, pleasing misstatements of this type bring viewers back for more.

Starting at 6:03 yesterday morning, Scarborough played the tribal fool, as he now frequently does. He was ably assisted by Mika's occasional two-word bursts of agreement.

He had been equipped with script which came live and direct from the previous evening's gong-show on CNN. Today, you can see his early recitations thanks to the Internet Archive.

As Scarborough staged his recitations, he tried to say the words "porn star" as many times as possible. None of his sidekicks and none of his guests asked the world's most obvious questions:

In what way does a fraudulent insurance claim about a couch relate to whatever it is that Trump will turn out to have done? 

In what way is Trump's conduct, whatever it turns out to be, comparable to the act of stealing merchandise from Lord & Taylor, then "bringing it back" for a "refund?"

Those were examples of recognizable crimes—but in what way were those criminal acts comparable to whatever it is that Trump is known to have done?

Joe was surrounded by corporate clowns. As "MSNBC contributors," they all know they're paid not to ask.

This is the way the game is now played by the tribe which is good and honest and just extremely smart! Or at least, so the self-flattering story goes, thanks to our blue tribe's vastly disordered sense of self and our vastly disordered logic.

Go ahead—watch Joe's early recitations, thanks to the Internet Archive! He started at 6:03 A.M., then kept reciting the material his producers had fed him.

Except by the logic of tribal war, none of it actually made any sense. If we might borrow from Don Corleone, this is the moral and intellectual breakdown we've chosen. 

Tomorrow: This bullsh*t never ends


  1. tl;dr

    So, your brain-dead tribe is brain-dead; is that your point, dear Bob?

    Sure, dear Captain Obvious. Also: the sky is blue. Tell us something new, please.

    ...still, thanks for documenting this portion of the recent liberal atrocities. This tiny, the most boring portion of the recent liberal atrocities...

  2. "Maybe he has—but maybe he hasn't!"

    Maybe it is totally normal for a presidential candidate to have affairs with multiple women while his wife has just given birth to their son. Maybe it is totally OK to try to cover up those activities, to prevent his wife and prospective voters from knowing about them, by engaging in "capture and kill" payments via the National Enquirer and by coercing a porn star into an NDA. Maybe it is OK to conceal those payments by asking an accomplice to set up a shell company to route the funds through, then repay him by pretending to be paying for legal services rendered to one's campaign. Maybe it is perfectly normal to then allow that accomplice to go to jail for those activities, while denying any contact with the women and calling them con artists. And after all that, maybe it is normal to accuse the District Attorney investigating you of having a vendetta and being out-to-get you, all while continuing to mock the woman you had sex with (who happens to be a porn star and porn movie producer).

    All that sounds perfectly innocent and normal to me. How about you? Does this seem like the behavior of someone with the stature to be our president? Does it sound like it is OK to have let Michael Cohen take the fall for one's own actions? Is strong-arming women into NDAs normal and innocent (he did that with his campaign staff too).

    How on earth can Somerby suggest that Trump may be innocent of wrongdoing? The concealment of the payment is certainly fraudulent record-keeping. The question of further crimes involving tax fraud is additional to that. Somerby seems to be pretending that only the tax fraud matters and not the crimes that Cohen and Trump are caught red-handed doing involving campaign funds and fake services not rendered to the campaign.

    Somerby pretends that there is no crime unless he, Somerby, were personally there in the hotel room witnessing the sex between Trump and Stormy, because hos be lying and women cannot be trusted. He seems to think the DA would waste staff time and a grand jury investigating something fictional simply because they are Democrats and Trump is a former president. (Even though that is exactly what Republicans would be doing, and are doing through their fake investigative committee in the House, as a political stunt ahead of the 2024 election.) Psychiatrists would call that projection -- Democrats don't do the same stuff they do, because we think it is wrong.

    The rest of us, who do not demand impossible levels of proof, think it is likely that Trump is not only guilty of sleeping with Stormy but also of the cover-up, and think it highly likely there is more criminal activity to be discovered by Bragg's investigation, since that is what has happened with the other activities Trump has engaged in, from 1/6 to Georgia to every fraud he has perpetrated. They are always worse than they seem, not better.

    So why is Somerby working overtime to create the merest shadow of a possibility that Trump may not have committed a crime? Because that is what MAGA shills do on behalf of Dear Leader. That is what right-wing disinformationists do with their time. But as we've been hearing, those guys don't really believe the manure they spread. Most likely Somerby doesn't either. So why is he trying to mislead us here? He is certainly not one of us -- no one believes that here except the right-wing fanboys. I doubt Somerby is lying and shilling without pay. It is sad that a person has to stoop so low in his old-age, that his relatives won't take care of him so that he has to sell his former reputation on the street for a creep like Trump. But the world may be a cruel place for fomer talentless standup comedians. Or perhaps the answer is easier -- perhaps this is just the onset of dementia for Somerby. Maybe Mary Trump can tell him.

    1. Permit me to point out that Somerby was not questioning whether Trump's actions were 'normal' or 'OK' or even 'innocent'. He was questioning whether they were illegal.

    2. And sometimes, Hector, that is why we have trials. If the case is weak, it will be thrown out, like Barr trying to nail Hillary Clinton. Hard not to conclude the idea of Billionaire white bullies, always allowed to game the system, isn't something Bob finds just fine and dandy.

    3. "Hard not to conclude the idea of Billionaire white bullies, always allowed to game the system, isn't something Bob finds just fine and dandy."

      Actually, I find it quite easy to conclude that Somerby does not like the idea that billionaire white bullies are allowed to game the system, and I'm wondering why you find it so difficult to do so.

    4. Mr. Dogface George,

      Your problem is apparent: you rely on the plain meaning of the words Bob writes on the page.

      You lack the acumen, the perception, the je ne sais quoi, of those who see through Bob’s clumsy ploys to the true understanding that, despite his many criticisms of Trump, Somerby is a cynical MAGA shill. We must rely on these textual sleuths to interpret Bob for us.

    5. Somerby says "maybe he hasn't". He says this in response to whether or not Trump committed a recognizable crime. I then listed the things that Trump is being accused of having done -- not the ones that we don't know about, such as what he claimed on taxes or reported to the FEC.

      The strongest evidence that Trump most likely committed "recognizable" crimes is that his associate Michael Cohen went to jail for things he did on Trump's behalf. Cohen was working for Trump, not vice versa. There is no universe where Trump is being hoodwinked by bad company. Trump has a history of operating a particular way and this situation with Stormy Daniels is like so many others that are documented.

      Somerby's level of doubt is implausible and not justified by the facts on the ground, no matter how much fun Somerby pokes at the idea that Trump's affair with Stormy was like stealing clothing from a department store. The common denominator is fraud involving fake business records.

    6. The post above (3:00) is quite a bit more constrained than the one made at 11:42, which I believe you're claiming authorship of.

      The 11:42 post seems to say Bob's questioning of Trump's guilt made Bob guilty of spreading "disinformation". And of being a cynical MAGA shill. Those are the ideas I was writing in response to.

    7. Everything that Somerby writes about Trump adds up to being a cynical MAGA shill. Somerby's questioning of Trump's guilt in the way he has been doing does add up to disinformation. Somerby today pretends that Coleman's list of crimes has nothing to do with Trump's alleged crime. That is misinformation and so incredibly stupid that it is hard to see how anyone can believe it, but I'm sure some of the fanboys will be supporting Somerby in his enduring faith in Trump's innocence.

    8. No one here is claiming authorship of any anonymous comment.

    9. Cohen had lied on past income tax filings and lied on the application for a home equity loan that he used to pay off Stormy. Cohen should have told the bank that he wanted to give the money to a porn star and let the lender decide where or not that was a reasonably preface for a home equity loan.

      Evidently, there are no rules that say you can’t give the loan money to inconvenient women; it’s up to the bank to decide.

      Stormy was not under duress to sign a NDA. She shopping her story around to the highest bidder, as was Karen McDougal, who had “ deep feelings” for Trump and was very hurt by the doubling crossing she got from the National Enquirer after they paid her for her info.

      Contrary to your suggestion, as far as we know, Trump didn’t sleep with Stormy while he was a candidate for office. I’m fairly sure that she would have let us know otherwise.

      It has certainly been the case that presidents have dilly dallied while in office. Kennedy and Clinton spring to mind.

      The other day, someone here was dissing Monica Lewinsky.

      Though Monica was taken by Vernon Jordan to sign a false affidavit and Vernon was also on the board Revon when Lewinsky was offered a position at that company, Monica declined the job.

      Ambassador to the U.N. Bill Richardson, personally offered Lewinsky a job during that time. She refused.

      Lewinsky protected Clinton at every turn. She was never a Stormy or a Karen.

    10. Funny how the right has made a hero out of Lewinsky.

    11. Monica isn’t a hero. She wasn’t a gold digger.

      Everything isn’t black or white.

    12. She was a celebrity chaser, like a political groupie. Look up the plaster casters.

    13. She knew Clinton was married and had a child but she chased him anyway. We used to call that being a homewrecker, back when Republicans had family values. Why did she keep the dress?

    14. Anonymouse 5:45pm, there’s no doubt she chased him until he caught her.

      Why are you acting as though she seduced a high schooler?

      Lewinsky didn’t sell him out or rat him out.

    15. @Cecelia 6:25 PM

      "there’s no doubt she chased him"

      No doubt, really? How do you know? This is Demigod Bubba you're talking about. The fella who took Lolita Express 26 times. 'Chasing' him was probably as easy as being in the same room with him for 30 seconds.

      "Lewinsky didn’t sell him out or rat him out."

      She did not, but we don't really know why. The motive could be simply self-preservation.

    16. I don’t admire what she did, the way you seem to.

    17. Anonymouse 7:10pm, I don’t admire Bill Clinton or Monica Lewinsky. That doesn’t mean I’ll accept any inaccurate characterization of either of the two, as long as it’s a negative one.

    18. You characterization is inaccurate.

    19. Anonymouse 7:25pm, no, it’s an accurate statement that Lewinsky did not shop her story around to the media and that she did not accept job offers from influential people that were made after Linda Tripp went public.

    20. Lewinsky told Linda Tripp, who recorded her conversation and passed it along to Republican operatives. She did refuse some job offers but that wa because, as she herself said in her deposition, she wanted to work in the White House near the president. That was, of course, the last thing Clinton wanted. She was demanding a better job -- she said that herself too. Your attempt to whitewash her motives resembles the way you try to clean up after Somerby.

    21. Not sure why Hector is so proud of his lack of critical thinking skills. Being as credulous and naive as Hector presents himself is what makes a perfect mark for right wing cons like Somerby and his minders.

  3. "[Later today, we'll be able to complete the transcript of Coleman's remarks. For reasons which seem to be perfectly obvious, MSNBC no longer provides transcripts of its TV shows.]"

    Somerby, lacking integrity, thinks it is OK to fake quote Coleman and then blame MSNBC for not telling us anything that Coleman said, while attacking him without providing any evidence whatsoever. Did Coleman express any discomfort at all? We don't know because Somerby won't tell us what Coleman said to indicate that.

    I don't take Somerby word for anything like that. He has been dishonest too many times in the past to be given the benefit of the doubt.

    All we know for sure is that Coleman said something that Somerby doesn't want to quote, because he could if he wanted to. Just like he quoted Coleman's first sentence and then stopped. For all we know, Coleman may have said the opposite of what Somerby attributes to him.

    1. Somerby is willing to consider Trump innocent but he has no doubt why MSNBC provides no transcripts, considering it perfectly obvious. Yesterday he said they are trying to foil critics. Does that seem likely to anyone here? To me, it seems paranoid and grandiose to think that MSNBC is even aware of flyspecks like Somerby.

    2. 11:48 It seems like grasping at straws, and Bob uses the same ones over and over....

    3. Anonymouse 11:48am, is Bob arguing that Trump is “innocent” or that it’s a very real possibility that the charge won’t bring a felony conviction?

    4. No, Somerby says it depends on what he did, then says it is possible he didn’t do illegal stuff. See paragraphs 2 and 3 at the beginning of Somerby’s post. He is very clear.

    5. Anonymouse 4:38 pm, what Trump did may not rise to the level of a felony conviction.

      “Should it” is different from “could it”.

    6. That isn’t what Somerby said at all.

    7. Anonymouse 5:41pm, Bob hasn’t argued that Trump is “innocent”, he’s said that the media is acting like it’s a slam dunk and brooking no descent from that take.

    8. That isn’t what Somerby said either. You are putting words in his mouth again, but you don’t speak for him. This may be what you wish he had said, but he didn’t say it.

    9. Bob has expressly argued that MSNBC has panel discussions on this topic where everyone is in agreement.

      Panels were “seldom is heard a discouraging word” about Trump having committed a slam dunk felony offense.

      Bob has pointed out the brush-off treatment from Nicole Wallace towards a couple of guests who managed to suggest such a thing.

    10. Rather- commenters who have managed to suggest that it will be a tough case to win.

    11. Exactly, Somerby is complaining because a mainstream media cable news show doesn't express enough of his right wing opinions. That is as goofy as if I were to watch Tucker Carlson and complain because he never expresses the liberal point of view on anything.

      It seems obvious that the case might be tough to win, especially if Trump manages to fix the jury. Why does that need to be expressed by anyone, from Wallace to guests? It is more important to discuss other aspects of this situation, such as what did Trump do that was potentially illegal, since Somerby keeps pretending not to understand that part himself and you obviously either don't know or don't care what Trump did that was illegal.

      Today, Somerby isn't making any of your personal arguments, Cecelia. He said he doesn't think Trump did wrong. He says that explicitly in paragraphs 2 & 3 above, which you seem to want to rewrite for him. Somerby is a big boy -- he can write his own essays.

  4. "As Aronberg knows, Cohen pled guilty to a total of eight (8) federal crimes. His role in the payments to Daniels was involved in only one or two of those charges, and those charges were never put to the test in front of an actual jury."

    Aronberg didn't say that the hush money was the ONLY thing that sent Cohen to jail. Somerby suggests fatuously that Cohen would have pled guilty to crimes that a jury would not have convicted him on. Somerby also ignores that Cohen got a reduced sentence for cooperating with authorities -- that his time in jail was much shorter than it might have been had he refused to talk. Perhaps Somerby thinks that Trump is innocent, but that Cohen would have made hush money payments to Daniels anyway, out of the goodness of his criminal heart, without any involvement by Trump. But why would that ever happen?

    Somerby today is rube-running, conning his readers. His fanboys may find what he says plausible (if they bother to think at all), but no one else will. Somerby's suggestions today are a gross insult to the intelligence of a wombat.

    1. "Somerby today is rube-running, conning his readers. His fanboys may find what he says plausible (if they bother to think at all), but no one else will. Somerby's suggestions today are a gross insult to the intelligence of a wombat."

      That's what I call persuasive writing! Now I realize I'm nothing but a fanboy, a fanboy who doesn't think, whose intelligence is less than a wombat's, and so I'm compelled to agree with you because of your obviously superior reasoning abilities!

    2. I'll explain it slowly. Somerby is pretending that because Cohen went to jail for eight crimes, nothing Trump did in connection with one of those same crimes is likely to be illegal. Does that make sense to you? If it does, you just might be a wombat.

  5. Rather reminds me of when in the impeachment of Bill Clinton Republicans felt it necessary to elicit the testimony of four other individuals who had been convicted of a similar crime. Yet none of the four crimes were actually similar to Clinton's.

  6. Tucker Carlson explains cable news:


  7. "Maybe he has, and maybe he hasn't!"
    So, maybe the intelligent thing to do would be to
    wait and see if he is charged with anything. Bob
    has no more patience than Trump's critics.
    Donald Trump has referred to Bragg as
    an "animal." This may make Bob want to defend
    Trump even more, but he finds it beyond
    comprehension not everyone feels that way.

  8. Bob, who is too bored and lazy to watch more two or
    three shows in a day, seems to hit the same ones as
    part of his sad routine.
    Yet he always seems to find exculpatory opinions
    he likes on the station he hates. It's almost something
    you can bet on.
    The woods are lovely, dark and deep, and a
    Somerby shits in them.

  9. Trump should have enjoyed a prosty toot instead of Stormy.

    1. He did, her name is Melania, but she was busy with their son.

  10. The excitable Joe is obviously correct
    on the important point: Trump’s sicko
    partisans in Congress have zero
    business mucking around in this.
    But perhaps Bob sees Bragg as
    an Animal too.

  11. "He had been equipped with script which came live and direct from the previous evening's gong-show on CNN. "

    Why would MSNBC steal scripts from CNN, a station that is struggling in ratings and no longer even liberal?

    Maybe this is why MSNBC is no longer producing those transcripts. They don't want anyone to notice their script theft.

    But if Somerby has no transcript to read, how does he even know that Morning Joe is stealing its scripts? And how can Somerby be so sure this crime is taking place, when he won't believe what Trump has done, even with evidence? Trump gets the benefit of the doubt, but not Morning Joe? And Somerby claims to be liberal!

    None of this is making any sense. But maybe Somerby just throws words at the page and doesn't care if any of them stick, since he just needs enough rubles to buy catfood each day.

    1. I think this is a variation of Bob’s standard put down that something is “scripted.” That, say MSNBC, provides responsive
      coverage that is predictable and
      somehow canned. Perhaps it’s not
      an outrageous insult, but could
      anyone be more scripted than
      The Daily Howler?

    2. TDH isn’t a news organization.

  12. "No one was scammed out of any money when Stormy Daniels was handed her cash. Meanwhile, everyone agrees that payments of this kind are not illegal in and of themselves."

    Here is the illegal part. Trump had Michael Cohen set up a shell company to pay Stormy Daniels. He then reimbursed Cohen for that outlay by creating a fraudulent contract for legal services to his campaign. He then paid Cohen monthly for services that Cohen never provided. That part is fraud involving business records, the crime Coleman had been describing. There are additional questions about whether Cohen had provided an unreported in-kind donation to Trump's campaign by paying hush money to Stormy, something that benefitted Trump's election, and whether the payments to Cohen were deducted as business expenses on Trump's taxes or the Campaigns records. That might be tax fraud. The involvement of Trump's campaign may be what changes Trump's business record fraud from a misdemeanor to a felony, which is important for sentencing purposes.

    Why does Somerby so obstinately refuse to see the whole picture of what Trump and Cohen did? Does he think that if he ignores it, it didn't happen? Why does Somerby think Michael Cohen went to jail, if none of what he did was illegal? Has Somerby never heard the term money laundering?

    Somerby can play as dumb as he wants. He makes a fool of those who agree with him when he puts on this dumb act. Coleman's examples were intended to show that Trump's fraud is not a rare or exotic crime, but is routinely charged when the perpetrator is not a former president.

    1. Think about how big Alvin Bragg's dumps must be. They must be the size of small suitcase. Every day.

  13. Reciting what is written for them is what cable news hosts do. Even Tucker does that. He doesn’t make up his rants live. This is a really stupid criticism of the media — that it isn’t spontaneous enough!

  14. Somerby thinks someone who watches cable news is going to need “fraud” defined for them. I doubt that’s true. It should be obvious to all watching that fraud can take different forms in different situations. But Somerby suggests that if Coleman presented no examples of presidential fraud, it must not be fraud because it doesn’t superficially resemble all the everyday examples, like insurance or tax fraud. Even so, this grift with Cohen does sound like his attempt to launder Russian loans through Truth Social, now under investigation.