Maybe Biden Should Dye His Hair Darker? - The Friday AM Quickie 2/9/24

BlueSky ditched the need for invites this week, so I'll have to think of some other treat to hand out, dear readers. E-cards, maybe? Anyway, happy Year of the Dragon! - Corey

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Biden Angry and on Defense: 'My Memory is Fine'

Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Hur tried to serve two masters with his 388-page report about how classified documents wound up at President Joe Biden's residence, submitted Monday and publicly released yesterday. Hur was appointed U.S. Attorney for Maryland by Sick F*ck Donald Trump in 2018 and then tapped by Attorney General Merrick Garland in Jan. 2023 to run the Biden investigation. He preserved his standing in the legal community by claiming no equivalency between the small collection of papers mistakenly stored on Biden's property and the hundreds of classified documents Trump intentionally stole on his way out of the White House and stashed in the crannies of his Mar-a-Lago resort, the new hub of international political corruption. While Trump is facing prosecution by DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith for that crime (and others arguably even more serious), Hur recommended no charges for Biden over the documents. He did, however, repay the Republican Party that elevated him by calling attention to one of Biden's biggest electoral weaknesses: the widespread perception that he's a doddering old man. Or, as Hur put it, a "well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory."

Hur claims Biden couldn't recall the years when he served as vice president and that "he did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died" of cancer in 2015. That really pissed Biden off, as he made clear yesterday with an angry press conference intended to counter Hur's report report. "How the hell dare he raise that," Biden said of Hur's claims about his son's death. (In private, Biden said: "You think I would f*cking forget the day my son died?") I'm well-meaning, and I'm an elderly man — and I know what the hell I'm doing," the 81-year-old president insisted.

Never mind that Trump, the notorious dotard who turns 78 in June, hasn't made sense when he talks for several years, that his bragging about the cognitive tests he keeps taking (for some reason) raises more questions than it answers, or that he recently confused his Republican primary rival Nikki Haley for former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Hur's report serves up red meat for the MAGA hordes who are blind to their God-Emperor's naked incompetency. "If you turn on Fox News, they're talking about a bumbling, fumbling Joe Biden. If you go on TikTok, Instagram, there are tons of videos making fun of his age," a Democratic donor adviser tells Politico. "It's just consistently out there, so the more [Biden slips up], the more it feeds it." An anonymous House Democrat describes the double-standard around the candidates' competency as a "nightmare" for the party. A recent poll found two-thirds of Americans think Biden is too old only to be president, but only half think the same of Trump. Listen, Joe: A spray tan goes a long way in the Land of Opportunity.

Supreme Cowards Dodge the Insurrection Question

The Supreme Court is supposed to be the highest authority when it comes to interpreting the language of the U.S. Constitution. But the latest case before the court has its justices extremely reluctant to do their jobs. The Washington Post reports:

"The Supreme Court on Thursday seemed poised to allow former president Donald Trump to remain on the Colorado ballot, expressing deep concerns about permitting a single state to disqualify the leading Republican candidate from seeking national office. ...
"The justices, however, did not spend much time focused on the question of whether Trump engaged in insurrection... The primary mention of that issue came when [Justice Ketanji Brown] Jackson asked Trump's lawyer why the violent attempt to stop Congress's certification of the electoral vote count on Jan. 6 did not amount to an insurrection.
"[Jonathan] Mitchell answered by characterizing the attack as a 'riot' and said there had not been an 'organized, concerted effort to overthrow the government.'"

Ahem: bullsh*t. Multiple court-watchers report that "Justice Sonia Sotomayor appeared to be the only justice not hostile to the argument" for removing Trump from the ballot. Looking forward to her dissent!

Gross: Tucker Licks Putin's Boots for 2 Straight Hours

Ukraine's new top military commander, Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, has been nicknamed "the Butcher" by his own subordinates -- not because of how many Russians he killed, the New York Times reports, but because of how many Ukrainian soldiers died on his orders attempting to hold the eastern city of Bakhmut last winter. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's shakeup of the military command signals "a focus on ground combat," one expert explains. "Ukraine must risk an advance and the costs in lives and equipment...or be forced into a negotiation for a cease-fire or settlement on unfavorable terms." Which seems to be exactly what Aspiring Tsar Vladimir Putin wants. "We are ready for this dialogue," he told Tucker Carlson in a two-hour interview taped in the Kremlin and released yesterday, suggesting that NATO could come up with a way for Ukraine to cede territory to Russia "with dignity." Putin filibustered and rambled throughout the interview and scolded the fascist toady Carlson whenever he dared interrupt. Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., the Senate voted 67-32 to advance a bill with $60 billion more in military aid to Ukraine (as well as $14 billion for Israel), separate from the immigration crackdowns Republicans demanded, then voted against.


  • Biden Calls Israel's Actions in Gaza 'Over the Top' and Orders That Countries Receiving U.S. Weapons Must Abide International Law Meanwhile in Michigan, Deputy national security adviser Jon Finer, USAID chief Samantha Power and other top foreign policy officials held multiple meetings with Arab American and Muslim leaders. via the Associated Press and the Washington Post.
  • Shoulda Stayed in Miami: Brazil's Federal Police Accuse Bolsonaro of Plotting a Coup, Order Him to Surrender Passport, Raid His Cronies A court order authorizing yesterday's raids cites a "proposed executive decree that had been circulating among senior Bolsonaro officials [prior to the Jan. 2023 assault on Brasília by his loyalists]. The decree, which had earlier been found in the possession of the former justice minister, authorized a military takeover and the arrest of two supreme court justices and the president of the Brazilian Senate." via the Post and the New York Times.
  • CIA Fires Whistleblower Who Inspired At Least 2 Dozen Colleagues to Make Sexual Misconduct Claims "Their accusations ranged from lewd remarks about sexual fantasies at after-work happy hours to a case in which a senior manager allegedly showed up at a subordinate's house at night with a firearm demanding sex." via the AP.
  • FCC Bans Robocalls That Use AI-Generated Voice Cloning The decision follows an investigation into AI robocalls ahead of the New Hampshire primary last month, which "used a voice similar to Biden's, employed his often-used phrase, 'What a bunch of malarkey' and falsely suggested that voting in the primary would preclude voters from casting a ballot in November." via Politico.


44 percent

That's the share of "zombie" office loans in the U.S. that are underwater (meaning the properties are worth less than the amount owed). The New York Times reports that hundreds of small and mid-sized banks across the country could fail as more commercial real estate loans go delinquent.


2/9: It's Casual Friday! Sam and Emma speak with Ryan Grim, D.C. Bureau Chief at The Intercept and co-host of Counter Points, to round up the week in news.


Hannity Encourages Hate Crime Live on Fox News

Don't worry, the NYPD is on the case.

George Santos Enjoying GOP's Failures

The race to fill his Long Island seat is neck and neck.


"The last thing our children need is an elected official harassing them on social media. Sadly, this is not the first time that board member [Natalie] Cline has embarrassed the state of Utah and State Board of Education."

-- Utah Republican Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, in a joint statement this week denouncing a Granite School Board member who targeted a high school basketball player for harassment by falsely claiming the girl was transgender. A few weeks ago, Cox signed a bill limiting public bathroom access for trans people, and despite his criticism of the transphobic school board member, LGBTQ advocates in the state say his approval of the bathroom bill means "gender witch hunts" will continue against anyone who fails to conform.

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