July 2, 2022 / by 

 

The Masters Of Faster Talk Of Trash

Alright Wheelies, it is Trash talk time! For the doldrums of summer, there are a lot of sports to talk about and space needed for all things “not” January 6 related. Bring it all here.

First up is the AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX. Qualifying is on right now. Stroll has already crashed his Aston Martin into the wall. Good thing his father owns the team, else Lance would not have a job. Oh no, the other Aston Martin, driven by Sen Vettel, has now gone into the wall, but seems the car is okay. Of the middle eastern races, the Baku City Circuit is actually better than most and usually provides good racing. As usual, the Red Bulls and Ferraris are up front.

Qualifying is over, and Ferrari’s Jean Leclerc is on pole, followed by Checo Perez, Verstappen and Carlos Sainz in the other Ferrari. Race coverage on ESPN at 7 am EST Sunday.

THE BELMONT. The 154th running of the last leg of the Triple Crown in Elmont New York. The shocking come from behind winner of the Derby, Rich Strike, is entered.

There will be no chance of a horse winning the Triple Crown this year, after Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike did not race in the Preakness in May. But Rich Strike will still have a chance at making history on Saturday.
….
“Obviously, with our tremendous effort & win in the Derby it’s very, very tempting to alter course & run in the Preakness at Pimlico, which would be a great honor for all our group, however, after much discussion & consideration with my trainer, Eric Reed & a few others, we are going to stay with our plan of what’s best for Ritchie is what’s best for our group, and pass on running in the Preakness, and point toward the Belmont in approximately 5 weeks.”

The 80-1 long shot at the Kentucky Derby is still not favored to win at Belmont, with that honor going to We the People at 2-1.

It is hard to tell what to make of Rich Strike, only got in the Derby field by a last minute fluke, but he really went on a tear down the stretch and looked like he could have kept going, so today should be pretty interesting. But no, wouldn’t bet the farm on him.

NBA FINALS. Last night’s game four was something. Steph Curry just flat went off, finishing with 43 points and ten rebounds, which is Jordan and LeBron land. But it seemed more than that, he was everywhere. The series is tied 2-2, and they head back to San Francisco for a Monday night game five. It sure looks like it may be a seven game series.

LIV. Rayne mentioned it previously, and she covered the background, including Phil, quite well. Here is a running blog by ESPN on the final round in London. My only real comment is that the LIV is not attracting many viewers. Which figures because it is not on TV. At all. The only way to watch this junk is by streaming it, and who wants to do that for a golf tournament? Maybe sports writers that have to cover it? Those are the only folks I know that are watching. It is just a giant cash grab by golfers, most of whom nobody has ever heard of. From brutal murderous Saudi thugs.

DESHAUN WATSON. What a mess this sordid affair is. While two separate grand juries have refused to serve up an indictment, there are 24, Twenty Four!, civil suits filed against Watson. All by one carnival barker Houston lawyer, Tony Buzbee. Buzbee now claims he will be naming the Houston Texans as a party defendant as well, apparently based upon the somewhat tangential fact that Watson obtained a generic template non-disclosure agreement for from them. Something that had been known for a while actually. But Buzbee like to make a buzz, and he is at it again. Frankly I have no idea in the world how he does not have 23 conflicts of interest. There is no way in hell all of his clients are similarly situated, or have the same ultimate interest. I am stunned the Texas State Bar has not reeled him in. From Ben Volin at the Boston Globe:

But Watson and the Browns look to be in big trouble. The New York Times’s reporting on the lawsuits, which found that Watson visited 66 massage therapists over 17 months, provided vivid details of the allegations against Watson and revealed him as a deviant who used his power and celebrity to prey on women.

Nobody comes out of this looking good. Watson could be forced to sit out yet another season. The Browns look horrible for embracing Watson and still might need to find a quarterback for this year. The Texans are now getting dragged into the lawsuit and could be found at least partially liable. And Watson may find himself in more hot water thanks to the 24th lawsuit that was filed this past week.

The Browns may be without Watson for some or all of 2022, but there should be no tears shed for Jimmy Haslam’s team. It was shameful enough when the Browns traded three first-round picks for Watson despite these allegations hovering over him. But the contract they gave Watson shields him from any sort of financial accountability.

Not only is every penny of the five-year, $230 million contract fully guaranteed — setting an NFL record for the length and total of a guarantee — but the Browns truly protected Watson from financial repercussions of a suspension.

The Texans at least had the good sense to cut loose Watson. They paid him to not come around all of last year. But the Browns and Haslem look truly horrible. There is a lot of good stuff in Ben’s article. I’ll have more to say about this mess later as it plays out, but it is truly ugly on every front. Especially Watson, the Browns and carnival barker attorney Buzbee.

I knew Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin a little in the past, and he is very, very good. He can try any kind of case, although is probably best known for criminal ones. Head to head, Rusty would likely mop the floor with Buzbee. But 24 of them? And, make no mistake, you would have to try to make sure they are all separate and attempt to keep out all the other allegations from each one. That is certainly what I would do. Ooof.

Okay then, let rip the trash talk on anything that interests you. I’ll leave this post around through Monday night so there is always a place for things not January 6. Today’s music is an extremely little known one by the great George Harrison. The song is really written about the late great Ronnie Peterson, one of the fastest and nicest drivers ever in Formula One.But there is a lot of superb F1 footage in the video, including a couple of shots of my automotive mentor Phil Hill. And, if you catch it, a cameo by the Wee Scott, the great Jackie Stewart, as George’s driver. It is absolutely fantastic, give it a listen!


The Sussman Trial

Here is the Sussmann indictment as filed by Durham. It is an absurd 27 pages long. I could have written it in 2-3 pages, including signature page.

As you can see, excepting all the run on horse manure Durham penned, the indictment is for a single count of false statement under 18 USC §1001. That is it. One lousy count. That is it.

I will save you the niceties and simply quote you the DOJ guidance on §1001, and here it is:

Section 1001’s statutory terms are violated if someone:

“falsifies, conceals or covers up by any trick, scheme or device a material fact,”
“makes any false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or representations,”
“makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry”
and, for cases arising after the 1996 amendments, the item at issue was material.
Whether the above acts are criminal depends on whether there is an affirmative response to each of the following questions:

Was the act or statement material?
Was the act within the jurisdiction of a department or agency of the United States? and
Was the act done knowingly and willfully?
[cited in JM 9-42.001]

907. Statements Warranting Prosecution. False Statement ›
Updated January 21, 2020

We all think this trial is a cutout for Trump and Trumpism. It is not. Sussman’s ass lies in the lurch. There is a live defendant. Actual jury trials are about what is charged. One count of §1001 is charged here. Keep your eye on that ball. Criminal trials are about crimes, and elements of crimes. This one will be too.


Kentucky Derby Day

Video not loading like it used to. Sorry about that. Here it is, as should be:

It is getting harder to properly embed videos from You Tube. Just imagine how bad a worthless prick like Musk can make the internet.

Okay, let’s rip it up a bit. There is nothing like Derby Day. The hats are as insane as they look. And, yet. it is one of the greatest pieces of Americana ever. I have not been in a long time, but, jeebus, it was everything as advertised. And surely is still.

This is also the weekend of the Miami Grand Prix. The course looks like painted garbage with not enough racing surface to me, but maybe it will be better racing than expected.

Draw up a mint julep and enjoy.

This is a Trash Talk thread, have at it.

 


Happy Holidays From The Emptywheel Blog: A Year To Remember, A Year To Forget And An Open Forum For Cooking, Trash And Other Talk

What a long strange trip 2021 has been. January 6 is still less than a year ago. Joe Biden’s Presidency is only eleven months old. The DOJ and 1/6 Committee are working away nicely on an unprecedented case that is multitudes more complicated and difficult than most all seem to comprehend (although we have been warning of that here from the start). So, as we reach this tumultuous Christmas and New Years’ season, amid the sudden (but quite predictable in spite of anything Biden and Harris say) emergence of Omicron, let’s chill a bit and take stock of it all.

First off, and I used to do this yearly on or about Christmas Eve, a remembrance of our dearly departed friend and colleague, Mary. Mary Perdue was not just a colleague, but a friend to both me, Marcy and most all of our contributors here. Mary left us on Christmas Eve 2011. Our long time regulars know this story, but there are a lot of new people here that should know, because this is the epitome of who we are at Emptywheel and what we have done and stood for from our beginning. I used to copy and repost the entire in memoriam, but will just link today for brevity. If you are new here, check it out.

Okay, on to the food! Because Mrs. bmaz is Italian at root, we always have, like at Thanksgiving, ridiculously awesome homemade spaghetti, meatballs, sausage and sauce instead of the traditional turkey and fixings. We will again. As much as I hate pumpkin pie, our daughter simply loves it, so there will be that too. That will be Christmas Day though, for Christmas Eve, probably steak, or homemade pizza, in the Ooni pizza oven. So, what are all of you eating, from where, and how? Marcy taught me long ago to seek out local and fresh ingredients, whether meat, vegetables or other, and we try to do that. Holiday food is fun!

And, now, for a bit of Trash Talk. Last night the Titans beat the 49ers and all but clinched a playoff spot and division title. Niners are still alive, but a little wounded. The Saturday game of Colts at Cardinals has all kinds of playoff implications. Both would likely still make the playoffs, but the seeding is absolutely critical. The other Christmas Day game of Cleveland at Green Bay is kind of a throwaway, hard to see the banged up and sinking Brownies going the Pack a game at Lambeau. There are too many permutations after the Sunday slate is played to go through here, but ESPN has a nice synopsis.

There is so much more going on, and let’s talk about it. In closing, I’d just like to say thank you for being part of this community, it means everything to all of us here. So, to all of you and yours, have the happiest of holidays and New Year.

This year’s holiday music is “Don’t Shoot Me Santa Claus” by the incomparable Killers. It is really a great tune. I do suggest you click on the full screen button to embiggen it.

And for Eureka, Scribe and all our Pennsylvania friends:


Pressure Drop Trash Talk

Lot of stuff in the last couple of days, and things that have people hot and bothered. So, let’s chill it out a bit with some late trash talk.

First off, a bit of credit to Fernando Alonso, who finished on the podium in Qatar for the first time in a long time. The Spaniard is still one of the fastest and best drivers in F1, the problem has long been his quality of equipment. So, that is fantastic.

In the college ranks, too many B1G teams, hi Ohio State and Michigan, won yesterday, as did those darned Domers. The Pac-12 truly sucks, and ASU is in serious need of a new head football coach and athletic director. The Cincinnati Bearcats truly deserve to be in the CFB Playoffs, and if they are not let fire engulf the entire NCAA.

In the pros, the Patriots seem to have reloaded with Mac Jones a lot faster than expected, though they are doing it against not the best competition. Their next four games are tough though, so we shall see. The Packers at Vikings may be the most interesting game of the day given that Kyler Murray seems unlikely to play as the Cards are in Seattle. Bengals at Rayduhs looks pretty interesting, though both a little flimsy right now. Lot of people taking the Cowboys over the Chefs, not sure about that. I will go with the Chefs with the game in KC. If Big Ben plays, and it looks like he will, Scribe’s Stillers at the Bolts looks to be an excellent SNF game.

That’s it. Trash this joint immediately. Music by Toots. Currently, Mrs. bmaz is playing Here Comes The Sun on her newish piano, the summer heat has broken, and I hope life is as good for every one of you.


The Rittenhouse Verdict

This will be quick, but I did not want Marcy’s thread overcome by Rittenhouse discussion. So, just as a lead in, I’ll quote a comment on the other thread by Rugger:

“Indeed, that’s been the chatter elseweb for a while especially after Judge Schroeder ditched the gun charge because of the barrel size.

However, does Rittenhouse have any liability for transporting his gun across state lines in federal court?

Somehow there is something wrong with a justice system that allows killings to be washed away, no foul. This time it’s Rittenhouse, but the Breonna Taylor case as well has a potential similar outcome (the boyfriend reasonably considered the plainclothes cops as intruders, and the cops reasonably considered themselves in danger once they were fired upon) of no one held accountable as if it were a traffic accident. That’s not right.”

I am not sure the facts support that he transported the weapon across state line. The evidence is that a friend bought it for him in Wisconsin.

Self defense is what led Breona Taylor’s boyfriend to be a free man. This case was about one defendant in one set of facts. It is not about anything else, and should not be painted as such. A serious jury deliberated, reached a verdict and delivered it. It should be respected and not made a stalking horse for the brazen claims of either side.

Have at it.


Rocky Racoon, NFL, NCAA and F1 Trash Talk

Okay, the big news at Casa de Bmaz is that a full blown giant raccoon has taken up residence somewhere in our front. We have always had families of little ground squirrels living in some of our cactus patches, but this thing is huge. Our 92 pound Doodle, MissCue, has discovered it and is close to breaking through the front window to get to it. We, of course, call our new friend Rocky. It is pretty amusing so long as giant doodle doesn’t break through the window.

Some excellent NFL games this weekend. The Rams already clobbered the SeaSquaks, and Seattle has lost Russell Wilson in the process from a hideous middle finger injury on his throwing hand. But, wait, there’s more! The Cardinals, shockingly the only unbeaten team left in the league, travel to face the San Jose 49ers, who will be without Jimmy G already. Young Trey Lance takes over, and it could be a very interesting game.Pack goes to the Bungles, but Cinci is starting to maybe gel for once. Denver at Steelers is interesting. Steelers are flailing a bit, and if Bridgewater plays, this could be a great game, as could Cleveland at the Bolts. Then there is the Sunday Night game on NBC, the Buffalo Wagon Circlers at the Chiefs. The Chiefa have struggled, but think I’ll take the Chefs with some home cooking.

In the junior pro football league, which is all that the NCAA is after adoption of the NIL insanity, The Sun Devils dispatched the Trees of Stanford in the PAC-12 after dark game in Tempe. If you don’t watch PAC-12 after Dark, you are missing out, it is usually very good. The best game today is arguably number 4 Penn State at number 3 Iowa. Go Hawkeyes! LSU at Kentucky could be a real sleeper, but nobody ever made money betting on Kentucky Football. Same for the ND Domers at West Virginia. Georgia at Auburn looks interesting, but I’ll take the Dawgs.

That leaves F1 of the major sports. Hamilton is on pole, but has a ten place grid penalty, so will start eleventh. Verstappen will start in P2 alongside Hamilton’s Merc teammate, Bottas.There are not a lot of great passing opportunities in Istanbul, so we shall see how the race plays out. This has turned into a pretty interesting F1 season.

In other sports, the WNBA playoffs have been simply spectacular. Last night, the Phoenix Mercury beat out the Las Vegas Aces, in Vegas, behind timeless performances by Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner. Griner has a last second block that sealed it with less than a second to go. Really good stuff. The Mercury will face Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot and the Chicago Sky in the finals.

Also, too, the MLB playoffs are ongoing. Jim Whie’s Tampa Bay Rays looked to be world beaters until the Sawx lit them up toward the end of the game, and now the series is tied up. Giants beat the Dodgers in their first playoff meeting ever.

So, there is the sporting scene. It has been a while since we have done Trash Talk, so let your hair down and chat it up about anything. Today’s music is All Along The Watchtower. Most people think it is a Hendrix song, but it originally is a Bob Dylan song. And if you have never seen Dylan play it electrified, you are in for a treat, and it also includes Highway 61. Rock this joint.


There Is Going To Be A Game Tonight

Some former New England Patriot QB is going back to Foxbvorough. No, it is not Jacoby Brissett. It’s the other guy.

Gronk is out with fractured ribs, which really sucks. But Antonio Brown is back from Covid, the Bucs are not without weapons on offense.

The football talkers are all gabbing about hoe Bill Bel will know how to defend Brady. And that may be true. But having had the opportunity to watch Bruce Arians a few years, he can game plan on offense pretty well too.

It will be interesting to watch.

The Cinci Bearcats took out the Domers, UK beat Florida and ASU trashed UCLA.

Weird week, and have at anything and everything.


Monza, US Open, NFL And Other Sports Trash Talk

I’ve been tempted to effectively repost the entire piece on the ten year anniversary of my 2011 50 year anniversary post on the 1961 Italian Grand Prix, first American Champion in history (there have only ever been two), on the weekend of the 60th anniversary of the same. But we often scold people for wasting electrons and column inches needlessly. So, here is a link to my September 10, 2011 post “Italian Grand Prix 1961-2011: Monza, Death of von Trips & A Yankee Champion”. Everything is there. If you like F1 and have not seen it before, think you will like it. Tomorrow may be the 12th of September, but it is truly the 60th anniversary for the Italian GP at Monza. Qualifying was lackluster, but Monza truly is the Temple Of Speed on the F1 circus.

The NFL kicked off Thursday night with a fantastic game between the ‘Boys and Bucs. Both teams played really well, but never give the ball back to Brady with 1:20 left on the clock. Lot of great games on tap for Sunday.

Talk about anything and everything, sports or not. The relentless 9/11 hagiography is mind numbing. Thanks goodness for college football and the absolutely amazing Women’s Final at the US Open that is about to, in minutes, come off between two amazing and captivating teenagers, Leyla Fernandez, a 19 year old (only by less than a week!) takes on former Canadian and current Brit, Emma Raducanu. They are truly amazing players and young personalities. Captivating is actually an understatement. Take a look at them, you will not be sorry.


The End Of Roe v. Wade

Is the title of this post alarmist? No, not really. That is effectively what the new Texas law has done, and has now been fulsomely endorsed by the Supreme Court, without even the courtesy of full briefing, oral argument and a merits decision. It was known this was coming when SCOTUS let this bunk take effect yesterday morning without action, it was just a question of what the backroom dynamics were in that regard. Now we know.

Here is the “decision”. As anti-climatic as it is, it is important. This is decision on a law, and the words count.

It is madness upon not just in Texas, but the entire country. These earth shattering decisions used to come only after full briefing and argument. No longer, now the shadow path is supreme.

Agree with Mark Joseph Stern in Slate when he says this:

At midnight on Wednesday, in an unsigned, 5–4 decision, the Supreme Court effectively overturned Roe v. Wade. The five most conservative Republican-appointed justices refused to block Texas’ abortion ban, which allows anyone to sue any individual who “aids or abets” an abortion after six weeks, when the vast majority occur. There is no exception for rape or incest. The decision renders almost all abortions in Texas illegal for the first time since 1973. Although the majority did not say these words exactly, the upshot of Wednesday’s decision is undeniable: The Supreme Court has abandoned the constitutional right to abortion. Roe is no longer good law.

Texas’ ban, known as SB 8, constitutes a uniquely insidious workaround to Roe. It outlaws abortion after six weeks, but does not call on state officials to enforce its restrictions.
Instead, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in dissent, the law “deputized the state’s citizens as bounty hunters, offering them cash prizes for civilly prosecuting their neighbors’ medical procedures.” Random strangers can sue any “abettor” to an abortion anywhere in Texas and collect a minimum of $10,000, plus attorneys’ fees. The act’s language is incredibly broad, encompassing any friend, family member, clergy member, or counselor who facilitates the abortion in any way. Every employee of an abortion clinic, from front-desk staff to doctors, is liable as well. And when an individual successfully sues an abortion provider, the court must permanently shut it down.

What other questions does this action, really inaction, by SCOTUS generate? A lot. Peterr asked this elsewhere:

Next up, perhaps, in the Texas legislature, now that SCOTUS has affirmed (5-4) their new approach to enforcement of state laws . . .

Texas declares that black and hispanic people shall not be allowed to vote, and delegates enforcement to any citizen, allowing them to sue for at least $10,000 if they can prove a black or hispanic person voted.

Texas declares that marriage is reserved to one man and one woman, and delegates enforcement to any citizen, allowing them to sue any same-sex couple who presents themselves in any form or fashion as “married” for at least $25,000 . . .

etc. etc. etc.

Again, not hyperbole. For now though, it is crystal clear that Roe is gone. There will be different laws in different states, at best. That is it.

What happens when states like Texas/their citizen plaintiffs start trying to enforce their craven law as to conduct occurring in other states? I don’t know, but that is the next horizon.

At any rate, this is going to be a problem for a very long time. If SCOTUS will do this though, given their clear previous precedent contrary to today’s order, means you can kiss voting rights cases goodbye.

It is a not so brave, nor honorable, new Supreme Court world.

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Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/author/bmaz/