It looks like Joe Biden will end up fourth or worse in the New Hampshire primary, and if he does, it will all be over but for the shouting, or in Joe’s case, the blathering. This was pre-ordained from the second Joe entered the race: how anyone knowledgeable and paying minimal attention could see Joe was a shell of his former self, and his former self was never anything to get excited about in the first place. I have never believed that President Trump thought Biden was a threat to defeat him; if his determination to unravel the Biden’s influence peddling in the Ukraine had a personal component, it was that he just wanted to stick it to Joe and expose his hypocrisy. We will never know, I guess. But I assume trump knew he didn’t need to “cheat” to beat Biden.
It’s amusing and somehow fitting that Joe’s inexplicable “Lying dogfaced pony soldier” outburst is serving as a tipping point, with a lot of people suddenly smacking their heads “I could have had a V-8!” style and thinking, “Hey! This guy really is an idiot!” Yes, he really is. The fact that the bland Amy Klobuchar is surging as the new moderate (relatively) savior of the party shows just how bad Biden has been, and also just how unforgivably incompetent and unattractive a field the Democrats have offered America in 2020. On the hopeful side, at least Democratic voters have recognized Senator Warrren as the manipulative, untrustworthy demagogue she is. If a Massachusetts leftist Senator can’t beat Buttigieg and Sanders in New Hampshire, she’s not going to win anywhere.
All of this couldn’t happen to a more deserving party.
1. The President thinks Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame. Of course he does. Our President has an unhealthy tolerance for liars and rogues. There has been a depressing outbreak of renewed sympathy for Rose, the game’s all-time hits leader who was banned from baseball for life after being proved guilty of betting on baseball games while a manager, betting on games his own team, the Reds, was playing, and lying about both over many years. The reason is the recent sign-stealing scandal, because, of course, one cheating scandal mitigates a completely different offense that didn’t have anything to do with cheating.
Naturally, there’s a tweet…
It’s a very dumb one. Gambling almost destroyed baseball in 1919, so that activity by players and team staff is the “third rail” of the game: automatic lifetime banning, strict liability, no exceptions, no mercy. Everyone in the game knows it, yet Pete Rose, a baseball genius who is an idiot everywhere else, decided to rely on a), not getting caught, b) lying, and c) the King’s Pass. (The President is a fan of the King’s Pass, having benefited from it so often.) His argument shows Trump’s ignorance of baseball and gambling. Since Rose bet on his own team intermittently, every time he didn’t bet on the Reds, gamblers had reason to suspect there was a reason, and it changed the odds. There’s no character requirement for the White House, but there is for the Hall of Fame, and Rose fails it spectacularly, A true low-life, Rose broke baseball’s #1 law, lied over and over about it, to the media, to the Commissioner, to everyone; he cheated on his taxes, and went to prison for it. Pete Rose doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame any more than Joe Jackson or Barry Bonds.
2. Wait! MORE baseball ethics! A theme in the aftermath of the Astros scandal is that there were pitchers whose careers were ruined because the cheating Astros made them look less than MLB-worthy. Now one of those pitchers is suing.
32-year-old Bolsinger blames Houston for the collapse of his big league dreams. His last MLB appearance, in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform, was a disastrous August 4, 2017 outing in the same game where the trashcan banging scheme became undeniable. Bolsinger released by the Jays the day after the Astros seemed to be taking batting practice off his pitches.
To prevail, Bollinger’s lawyers will have to show direct causation, a tough standard. The pitcher is trying every theory he can think of, including unfair business practices, negligence, and intentional interference with contractual and economic relations.
I think the suit is a long-shot at best, especially since Bolsinger’s career was hardly thriving with or without cheating batters. Before that beating by the Astros,he had already been demoted by the Jays twice that season.
We shall see.
3. What’s going on here? It’s impossible to tell. Roger Stone is a long-time Trump ally who was convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election. last evening, prosecutors asked that Stone be sentenced to between 87 and 108 months in federal prison, which they said would be consistent with federal guidelines. Such a sentence, they argued, would send a message to deter others who might consider lying or obstructing a congressional probe or tampering with witnesses.
Today, the Justice Department official called the original recommendation “extreme” and “grossly disproportionate” to Stone’s crimes, and said it would file a new sentencing memo. The President had also weighed in with a tweet hours before, saying that the sentence recommendation was “very horrible and unfair.” Justice said that its decision to challenge the prosecutors’ recommendation had been made before the tweet, and the President denied that he has spoken to anyone at Justice about his objections. Of course, his tweet made his wishes known.
Following all of this, the prosecutors in Stone’s case resigned en masse. Two of them had been on Mueller’s team. Of course, Adam Schiff has called for an investigation.
The decision regarding Stone’s sentence still rests with the judge, who can follow the original recommendation.
I can’t figure this out until…
- I know whether Stone was targeted as a Trump ally, and how much of this, if any, was politically motivated.
- What the sentencing guidelines are, and exactly what Stone did.
- What the reasoning of the Justice Department was in opposing its own prosecutors’ judgment.
- To what degree the President influenced the decision.
Nobody else can, either, but that won’t stop them from taking sides. I can say, however, that this is just one more example of the President’s tweeting addiction getting him in trouble needlessly.