Crooked Media - What A Day: I am the Juan who knocks

Monday, March 25, 2024

- Donald Trump, protecting his real estate properties, like any good father would.

Trump scored a temporary reprieve from his most urgent legal psychodrama—but also learned his first criminal trial will kick off in April, courtesy of Judge Juan Merchan. What today really proved is that the delays won’t last.

  • Disgraced former president Donald Trump’s fans crowed after a court knocked down the size of the appeal bond he needs to post—from $454 million to $175 million—at the last moment before New York authorities began moving in to seize his property. But… uh, is that really a victory? Perhaps only in Trumpworld. On the great, national grading curve that is Donald Trump’s life, six bankruptcies gets recorded as “successful businessman;” knocking 91 felonies down to 88 is a “legal victory;” and more than 1 million Americans dead from a pandemic he lied about and waited six weeks to counter is “better off than you were four years ago.” So, by those standards, why not: We can therefore report that Trump had a “great day” in the sprawling New York fraud judgment against him. He’ll only have to put up a $175 million bond while appealing his massive loss. Victory!

  • But first, the main reason why right-wing crowing of a “good day for Trump” had all the credibility of an Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) speech: We have a trial date! The judge in Trump’s Manhattan criminal case quashed Trump’s attempt to further delay the trial to deal with new evidence. The trial was originally supposed to start today. But mark your calendar for April 15, when jury selection begins. As a reminder: Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg charged with 34 felonies for illegally defrauding voters in 2016 by covering up hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. (Here’s a helpful visual aid explaining how the scheme worked, according to prosecutors.)

  • Now, back to the bond. To be fair, it’s true that receiving a last-minute appeals court ruling that saved Trump from having to post a bond for the full $454 million judgment against him was better for Trump than N.Y. AG Letitia James clapping padlocks on Trump Tower. (Trump’s been sending hilarious fundraising appeals urging supporters to save him from this very fate.) To be sure, that was never going to happen on today’s fraud deadline. But James was prepared to start proceedings to seize Trump’s funds and other assets. Let’s be clear: Trump is still on the hook for $454 million plus ever-mounting interest, unless he can win an appeal most experts consider a longshot. Today earned him a reprieve from that fate. Trump said he’s putting up the $175 million himself, and that he didn’t appeal to any foreign interests for his bond money, though he’s totally up for considering it next time


Trump delayed a staggering price tag. But today also spared Americans from having to consider just how much the possible next president owes to foreign adversaries or domestic interests who’ve bailed him out. That won’t last.

This week on Strict Scrutiny, hosts Kate and Leah talk to University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck about SB4, yet another extreme anti-immigration law to come out of Texas. Then, they recap oral arguments from Murthy vs Missouri, a case looking to restrict the federal government’s ability to deal with misinformation on social media. Make sure to follow Strict Scrutiny on Amazon Music, so you never miss any episode.

Need any more evidence of how much is at stake in 2024? On Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that could severely restrict Mifepristone, the most widely-prescribed abortion method used by American women. The case (actually two cases rolled into one) tests whether moves by the Food and Drug Administration took in 2016 and 2021 to expand access to mifepristone were legal. Those include allowing more practitioners to prescribe the drug, expanding use of the drug from 7 weeks of pregnancy to 10 weeks, and making mifepristone available through the mail. A group of anti-choice doctors—who don’t provide abortions but are worried they could one day have to treat a woman with very rare complications from mifepristone—are the original plaintiffs here. The court will also decide whether these doctors have any standing to sue in the first place if they’re not actually harmed by women exercising reproductive rights. 


The consequences are potentially huge here. The use of medical abortion has skyrocketed since Dobbs, for obvious reasons that are plainly evident (including, what else are you supposed to do if Republicans ban abortion in your state?). Medical abortions now account for 63% of all abortions, up from 53% before Dobbs. An outright ban likely isn’t on the table here. But if justices move to restrict access even further, they’ll put an even tighter squeeze on women’s ability to make their own health care decisions. No court in history has shown as much hostility toward reproductive rights as this one. On the other hand, conservative justices are well aware of the political disaster the Dobbs case has been for Republicans. Are they looking to make it way worse right before a presidential election? We’ll cover tomorrow’s oral arguments, and you can listen here starting at 10AM Eastern. 


The UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza during Ramadan, with the U.S. exercising a very rare abstention and allowing the vote to pass. 

Israel was furious at the vote, and reacted by canceling planned talks in Washington around Israel’s planned operation in Rafah. It’s the latest effort by the Biden Administration to distance itself from Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and a sign of the growing rift between the two leaders.  

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (remember him?) signed a bill banning children under 14 from having social media accounts in the state 

A federal judge brutally dismissed Elon Musk’s lawsuit against an online watchdog group that had tracked the rise of antisemitism and other hate speech on X. 

A bunch of Boeing executives, including the CEO, stepped down amid the aircraft giant’s ongoing safety scandals. 

After NBC personalities brought journalists’ rage down on their bosses’ decision to hire renowned liar and gaslighter Ronna McDaniel as a political contributor over the weekend, MSNBC hosts chimed in and attacked the hire Monday morning. 

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is likely to disappoint his family further with his announcement of a VP pick tomorrow. He may have also screwed up his ballot access in Nevada.

Donald Trump compared himself to Jesus Christ while sitting in a hearing to determine his trial date for illegally covering up hush money payments to a porn star. Keep it classy, Donald. 

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Tom Wilson knows what questions you’re going to ask him about being Biff Tannen from Back to the Future. So he wrote a song to make everything easier. 


Everyone knows Jack could have fit on that door with Rose and that he didn’t have to die. Anyway, the door Kate Winslet floated on at the end of Titanic just sold for $718,740.

. . . . . .

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