Claire McCaskill's song sung Blue!


Crystal Blue persuasion: On Tuesday, seven jurors were selected to serve on the "hush money" trial.

As of an hour ago, the number had been bumped back to five. Yesterday morning, the New York Times reported a widely discussed incident from Tuesday's selection session:

PROTESS ET AL (4/17/24): While of different ages and ethnicities, the chosen seven had one thing in common: They vowed to give Mr. Trump a fair shake.


Other potential jurors presented red flags for the former president. Mr. Trump’s lead lawyer, Todd Blanche, quickly sought the dismissal of several for their online activity. One woman, he noted, had heralded a court decision overturning a travel ban Mr. Trump enacted as president and had at one point written “Get him out, and lock him up.” The juror was excused.

When another potential juror was being interviewed about her old Facebook posts, Mr. Trump began to mutter and gesture, drawing a rebuke from the judge, Juan M. Merchan.

“I won’t tolerate that,” the judge said, raising his voice once the potential juror had left the room. “I will not have any jurors intimidated in this courtroom.”

According to the Times report, the defendant began to mutter and gesture when one potential juror was being interviewed. After the potential juror had left the room, Judge Merchan told the defendant and his attorneys that such conduct wouldn't be tolerated.

The timing of the admonishment had been widely reported and discussed. For a more detailed confirmation of the timing from CNBC, you can just click here

(“I will not tolerate that,” the judge said after that would-be juror left the courtroom. “I will not have any jurors intimidated in this courtroom. I want to make this crystal clear.”)

On Morning Joe, Willie had already described the timing, with this report from Politico offered as the source

("After Trump attorney Todd Blanche questioned a prospective juror and she left the room, the judge admonished Trump for muttering.")

It had been discussed a million times, but one expert had apparently skipped prep. 

There she was, on yesterday's Morning Joe, with her apparent sense of entitlement hanging out. She had a picture in her head, and that was close enough.

First, Willie embellished the reported facts about what the defendant had done. Then, he threw to his expert guest, and his expert guest said this:

EXPERT GUEST (4/17/24): Interestingly, he cautioned Trump in front of jurors [plural], instead of having the jurors leave the room and then talking to him about it. I don't think this judge is dumb enough to put Trump in jail for acting out in court because, frankly, I think that's what Donad Trump wants... 

I do think it hurts Trump, in front of the jury, to have the judge doing that. So if he keeps cautioning him in front of the jury, that might be enough to get him to stop because I know his lawyers are telling him, "This hurts you with the jury. Inside this court room, you don't want those jurors to see you as the big jerk you kind of are. 


Do you ever get tired of these lazy, privileged mother-frumpers walking through their citizenship this way? Speaking quite frankly, we do.

One hour earlier, Willie had reported the timing correctly. Knowing the basic laws of the clan, he didn't correct what his expert guest now said. 

Jonathan Lemire hurried past the misstatement too. His nickname is "The Echo." 

These expert guests today! On Tuesday afternoon, one of Nicolle Wallace's first guests didn't seem clear about the fact that Trump is required to attend this "porn star" trial. 

On that occasion, Wallace asked her expert to clarify what he'd said. When his statement was still weirdly unclear, an awkward pause occurred, and then Susanne Craig stepped in.

Do you ever get tired of the lazy, super-privileged members of this lazy, upper-class clan? Do you ever wonder if there's a chance their laziness and sense of entitlement might end up helping Trump win?

They've behaved this way for the past thirty years. At one point, they frequently tilted toward the Red. 

The ascension of Donald J. Trump has made them crystal Blue. But it hasn't changed who these democracy-frumpers are or what they're inclined to do.


  1. Somerby wasn’t in the courtroom either. His account differs from some of the reports (by people who were there) too. For example, Somerby says Trump was muttering to his lawyer whereas some reports say Trump looked at and spoke at or to the juror who was 12 feet away. Does the world turn on this detail?

    The worse description of Trump’s behavior says he refused to stand snd face the prospective jurors when introduced to them, as everyone else stood. That is a form of disrespect experts are saying they’ve never seen displayed, given that the defendant’s fate is in the jury’s hands. Crickets from Somerby on that one.

  2. I am very tired of Somerby’s lazy borrowing of Guthrie or Homer without bothering to explain what he finds relevant about them.

    I find the ratio between trivial errors and truth to be acceptable on MSNBC.

    1. Speaking of Wood Guthrie:

      "Old Man Trump" is a song with lyrics written by American folk singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie in 1954. The song describes the racist housing practices and discriminatory rental policies of his landlord, Fred Trump (the father of the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump). Although the lyrics were written in 1954, it was never recorded by Guthrie. In January 2016, Will Kaufman, a Guthrie scholar and professor of American literature and culture at the University of Central Lancashire, unearthed the handwritten lyrics while conducting research at the Woody Guthrie Archives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.[2]

      I suppose
      Old Man Trump knows
      Just how much
      Racial Hate
      He stirred up
      In the bloodpot of human hearts
      When he drawed
      That color line
      Here at his Beach Haven family project[5]

    2. Thank you for finding this.

    3. Fascinating. You know what they say, like father like son.


  3. "Do you ever get tired of the lazy, super-privileged members of this lazy, upper-class clan?"

    Never! I adore the lazy, super-privileged members of this lazy, upper-class clan! My clan leaders are my heroes! My only concern is that they are not super-privileged enough!

    1. They’re certainly not as privileged as Donald Trump, that’s for sure. If only…

    2. They’re certainly wouldn't be as privileged as Donald Trump if he was a well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory.

    3. Look how Somerby tries to evoke negative stereotypes of wealthy or even middle class people using his words (lazy, super-privileged).

      I do find Trump lazy based on his daily work schedule while president -- all that executive time, his early quitting time, his refusal to participate in traditions that are part of the job. But then I wonder whether he has health issues that preclude harder work. And if that is true of Trump, how do we know it isn't true for others who appear to be working less energetically than ourselves.

      If I were privileged, would I even know it? More to the point, would I give away any of my privilege? I'd be more inclined to use my wealth and privilege to try to benefit others, not disadvantage myself (I'm not Gandhi after all). Using that standard, what does Trump do with his wealth and privilege to help other people? I'd say he does nothing at all, except perhaps to hire undocumented workers at Mar a Lago and in his construction projects in NYC. But he could be doing so much more.

  4. The implication is that McCaskill is lying? It’s probably just a mistake. This level of anger over this triviality is bizarre.

    1. I don't see any implication that McCaskill was lying. (As we know, Our Host is quite reluctant to assert such behavior.) However, McCaskill herself assigned meaning to her erroneous account. That's sloppy work.

  5. In general, in all trials for which I have been summoned as part of the jury pool, the potential jurors are all in the courtroom and are questioned in front of the defendant. There are no one on one interviews with individual jurors.

    1. I have seen one-on-one sidebars between the judge and a prospective juror when the juror or judge need to clarify a response on their questionnaire. The other potential jurors, attorneys and defendant remained in the room but couldn't hear what was being said.

  6. Somerby’s much vaunted logic must have been snoozing while he was composing this post.

    Just because the admonishment from the judge came AFTER that particular juror had been dismissed and left the room, the REMAINDER of the selected jurors and the REMAINDER of the jury pool were still in the courtroom.