Sorry, no, not a smoking gun

Donald Trump

Robert Reich, it should be noted, is not a lawyer, let alone a constitutional one, and he is trying to pull something that not a single one of my professors would ever have let me get away with:

On Friday, the House oversight committee released notes of a 27 December telephone call from [Donald] Trump to then acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen, in which Trump told Rosen: “Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R congressmen.” The notes were taken by Richard Donoghue, Rosen’s deputy, who was also on the call.[9]

Rest of what? Okay, you know, Reich knows,[10] and I know. There’s little reason to doubt that knowledge and what I’m saying here does not change that knowledge. But, alone, this statement—and Reich should know this damn well—is not, as Reich claims, tantamount to an insurrection. It is not, no way, no how, a smoking gun. And if Reich thinks he’s going to get a ruling from a conservative Supreme Court,[11] which has already decided that originalism applies when and only when it thinks it should[12] and is similarly selective in evaluating the context for anything, saying so, well, that’s just pretty damn pathetic. In fact, it’s Rachel Maddow echo chamber pathetic.

Robert Reich, “A Trump bombshell quietly dropped last week. And it should shock us all,” Guardian, August 3, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/03/donald-trump-memo-election-corrupt-justice-department


Pandemic, Allegheny County

What a difference a day makes (figures 1 and 2):

Fig. 1. Screenshot by author on August 2, 2021, of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 transmission map. Fig. 2. Screenshot by author on August 3, 2021, of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 transmission map.

There’s a lot more red (“high transmission”) and orange (“substantial transmission”) in figure 2, including in southwestern Pennsylvania, yes, including Allegheny County.

Natasha Korecki, Erin Banco, and Adam Cancryn, “Tensions rise within Biden team over mask reversal,” Politico, August 2, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/08/02/coronavirus-mask-policy-biden-502026

Erin McCarthy and Justine McDaniel, “Philly region seeing a ‘substantial’ spread of COVID-19, expanding the area where indoor masks are recommended,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 2, 2021, https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/covid-mask-philly-cdc-bucks-montco-delco-20210802.html

Jimmy Vielkind and Zusha Elinson, “Louisiana and San Francisco Area to Reinstate Indoor Mask Mandates,” Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-officials-recommend-masks-indoors-as-covid-19-cases-rise-11627925181

Joseph Ax and Nathan Layne, “Delta variant surges across U.S. South; political leaders clamp down again,” Reuters, August 3, 2021, copy in possession of author

Alexis Benveniste, “New York City will require vaccines for entry to restaurants and gyms,” CNN, August 3, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/03/business/new-york-city-vaccine-requirements/index.html


Evictions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a moratorium on evictions for 60 days for U.S. counties with “substantial and high levels of community transmission” of the coronavirus, according to an agency news release. About 90 percent of the country will be covered by the ban as the virus’s delta variant spreads quickly throughout the country, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.[13]

See above (figure 2). But given the Supreme Court ruling,[14] it’s likely courts will throw this out pretty quickly. Joe Biden knows this and has even all but said so.[15] So this is just performative bullshit.

Matt Stieb, “What Happens Now That the Eviction Moratorium Has Expired?” New York, August 2, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/08/what-happens-now-that-the-eviction-moratorium-has-expired.html

Sean Sullivan, Marianna Sotomayor, and Tyler Pager, “Liberals erupt in fury at White House over end of eviction moratorium,” Washington Post, August 2, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/liberal-democrats-biden-anger/2021/08/02/d048fefa-f39d-11eb-a49b-d96f2dac0942_story.html

Jeff Stein et al., “Biden administration moves to block evictions in most of U.S. following liberal backlash,” Washington Post, August 3, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/08/03/white-house-evictions-democrats/


Lyft

The ride-hailing company said Tuesday that it has achieved profitability, at least on the basis of adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. It has done so a quarter earlier than it had most recently forecast and intends to maintain that state, expecting it will now be profitable for the full year on that basis. Lyft’s stock rose in after-hours trading immediately after the report.[16]

Any accountant will tell you that “interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization” are real costs and this—they call it “adjusted Ebitda”—is not a profit.

Laura Forman, “Lyft Makes Its Move in Race for Profits,” Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/lyft-makes-its-move-in-race-for-profits-11628029254


  1. [9]Robert Reich, “A Trump bombshell quietly dropped last week. And it should shock us all,” Guardian, August 3, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/03/donald-trump-memo-election-corrupt-justice-department
  2. [10]Robert Reich, “A Trump bombshell quietly dropped last week. And it should shock us all,” Guardian, August 3, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/03/donald-trump-memo-election-corrupt-justice-department
  3. [11]Robert Reich, “A Trump bombshell quietly dropped last week. And it should shock us all,” Guardian, August 3, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/03/donald-trump-memo-election-corrupt-justice-department
  4. [12]David Gans, “Selective originalism and selective textualism: How the Roberts court decimated the Voting Rights Act,” SCOTUSblog, July 7, 2021, https://www.scotusblog.com/2021/07/selective-originalism-and-selective-textualism-how-the-roberts-court-decimated-the-voting-rights-act/
  5. [13]Jeff Stein et al., “Biden administration moves to block evictions in most of U.S. following liberal backlash,” Washington Post, August 3, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/08/03/white-house-evictions-democrats/
  6. [14]Associated Press, “Supreme Court rejects plea by landlords to lift federal eviction moratorium,” Los Angeles Times, June 29, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2021-06-29/supreme-court-leaves-cdc-eviction-moratorium-in-place
  7. [15]Jeff Stein et al., “Biden administration moves to block evictions in most of U.S. following liberal backlash,” Washington Post, August 3, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/08/03/white-house-evictions-democrats/
  8. [16]Laura Forman, “Lyft Makes Its Move in Race for Profits,” Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/lyft-makes-its-move-in-race-for-profits-11628029254

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