Justice at a Glacial Pace

“The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine.”

— Anon

No newspaper could arrive at our advanced age without having a deep respect for tradition. By extension, then, the ancient bit of wisdom quoted above should help us calmly accept the pace of a certain trial in Manhattan. Alas, it does not.

The case itself seems solid enough. But will the jury have time to find the defendant guilty? Or will his apparent mental deterioration result in a compassionate release, on grounds of advanced senility? The first day of the trial saw the accused—who calls the incumbent President “Sleepy Joe”—nodding off at the defendants table. Some Twitter wag quickly dubbed him “Don Snorleone.”

That little gag set us to wondering: could that mid-trial nap have just been a ruse, borrowed from a former business associate? As the Village Voice’s Wayne Barrett revealed in 1992, Don Snorleone built his signature Trump Tower using ready-mix concrete from a company partly controlled by Vincent “The Chin” Gigante, boss of the Genovese crime family. Gigante avoided prison for decades by shuffling around in a bathrobe while “Fat Tony” Salerno acted as front man.

But enough about speed. Let us consider the rest of that quote. Is “exceedingly fine” really necessary or appropriate? Given the defendant’s usual deportment, we would argue that “extra coarse” would suffice.

Trump’s Schnecksville Address

“The battle of Gettysburg. What an unbelievable… I mean it was so much, and so interesting, and so vicious and horrible and so beautiful in so many different ways. It represented such a big portion of the success of this country. Gettysburg. Wow. I go to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to look, and to watch. And, uh, the statement of Robert E. Lee, who’s no longer in favor, did you ever notice that? No longer in favor.”

– Donald J. Trump, April 13th, Schnecksville, Pa.

Naming Names

The news broke on April 1st, so we suspected the headline was a gag: “Rep. Guy Reschenthaler Moves to Rename Dulles Airport After Donald Trump.”

But no, it was straight news—if that term can be applied to Breitbart.com. Pennsylvania’s Rep. Reschenthaler is being serious, or as serious as any Republican can be these days. He and a handful of others have actually filed such a bill.

Loathe to let a perfectly good farce go to waste, a group of Democratic legislators promptly filed a bill to name the Federal prison in Miami after our 45th President. Though clearly intended as a satirical rebuke, the proposed legislation also reveals the party’s characteristic inner marshmallow: should the ex-pres actually wind up in his eponymous hoosegow, his adoring wife will only have to take a 90-mile bus ride to visit her sweetheart.

Unfortunately, Dolt #45 is unlikely to get the chance to reminiscing in the rec room with his former Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy. Peter Navarro, who is currently incarcerated at that facility, will have served his sentence before his ex-boss’s first trial ends.

Plumbing New Depths of Self-Abasement

Part of a Governor’s job is to draw national spotlight to his state. That is exactly what Chris Sununu did last weekend, by appearing on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” New Hampshire would have been better served if he had stayed home.

Stephanopoulos: “Just to sum up. You support Trump for president even if he’s convicted in the classified documents case. You support him for president even though you believe he contributed to an insurrection. You support him for president even though you believe he’s lying about the last election. You support him for president even if he’s convicted in the Manhattan case. I just want to say, the answer to that is yes, correct?”

Sununu: “Yeah. Me and 51 percent of America.”

A couple of things about this exchange should be noted for the record. First, Stephanopoulos went easy on Sununu by leaving out, “even though he’s a sex offender.”

Second, Trump has never been supported by “51 percent of America.” He lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton—a woman, let’s recall—in 2016, with just 46.1 percent to her 48.2. His highest approval rating in office was 49 percent, and his average was just 41—a record, four points lower than anyone else since Gallop began tracking. He left office with 29 percent approval.

Sununu’s Pledge of Allegiance to the Cult of Trump drew immediate and well-deserved condemnation. The online pile-on was so brutal we feel compelled to record one more detail, which mitigates in his favor: After Stephanopoulos put the question, Sununu noticeably hesitated before abasing himself.

Bananas Republicans

Sununu wasn’t the only New Hampshire figure doing pratfalls on the national stage this fortnight, just the only one getting attention. But it’s hardly the fault of Trump 2024 National Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt that her boss and her governor both hog the spotlight.

“Banana Republic tactics,” Leavitt tweeted, after Judge Juan Merchan told Trump that failure to show up would result in his arrest—just like any other criminal defendant.

L’Etat, C’est Merchan?

The first U.S. President ever to have been let out on bail recently requested that court proceedings not be held on May 17th. That’s the day his son Barron will celebrate his graduation from Oxbridge Academy, a private school in Palm Springs, Fla. Oxbridge was founded in 2011 by Bill Koch, the oleaginous oligarch.

Merchan replied, according to AP, that “he was not prepared to rule on [the] request, but that if the trial proceeds as planned he’s willing to adjourn….”

For Trump and his cult of Magamaniacs, this was the most heinous act of official repression since August 24, 1669, when King Louis XIV jailed the Man in the Iron Mask.

Press Secretary Leavitt tweeted “WITCH HUNT,” inexplicably refraining from adding a few exclamation points. She made up for that lack with a screen shot from Breitbart.com, which ran the headline, “Judge May Force Trump To Skip Son Barron’s High School Graduation.”

Among Magamaniacs, this alleged act of cruelty will no doubt live in infamy. Among the reality-based, it triggered a host of freelance fact-checkers. If Trump does make it to Barron’s graduation, the boy may want to prepare for some sibling envy. The old man is said to have missed Junior’s big day in 1996, Ivanka’s in 2000, Eric’s in 2002, and Tiffany’s in 2012.


No Wonder They Hid His File…

Our readers are probably as tired of reading about the former guy as we are of writing about him. That is not a problem. This is New Hampshire, where startling events spring up as predictably as rocks in the cow pasture.

One such story appeared at InDepthNH.org, two weeks ago today. A dogged reporter turned over a Stone, and what he found was shocking: a cop who “threatened to kill fellow police officers in a shooting spree, and murder his chief after raping the chief’s wife and children.”

Reporter Damien Fisher had struggled for several years to get access to records of an internal investigation into former Claremont police officer Jonathan Stone, who is now a State Representative for Claremont. After Fisher’s story became public, it was clear why Stone had fought so hard against their release.

In February, 2006, Claremont Police Captain Mark Chase began investigating Stone over allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year old girl. Stone, who was doing drug investigations on the night shift, claimed she was a source. There was no sign, however, that she had actually provided any information.

Fisher relates that the investigation, by now deceased Claremont Detective Colby Casey, “brought out a violent and deranged side of Stone that had other officers scared….”

“‘If he gets fired, people are afraid he will go postal,’ then Claremont Detective Jesse Vezina told Casey. ‘He makes me nervous as far as after a confrontation with him, he may try to do something to my wife or family. Generally people think he is crazy and wonder why he is a police officer.’

“Vezina told Casey he started staying up late with a loaded shotgun in case Stone ever came to his house.”

According to the website for his business, BlackOp Arms, in Claremont [see inset for logo], “Jon Stone is a professional firearms trainer. He and his staff at BlackOp Arms provide services to military, law enforcement, private security and students interested in basic and intermediate firearms self-defense.”

Predictably, Democrats are perturbed by Fisher’s revelations, but Republicans not so much. The last paragraph of Fisher’s article begins, “Stone currently sits on the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.…”

Does Ayotte Endorse Stone’s Message?

Never shy about delving into its northern neighbor’s piquant politics, the Boston Globe ran an item on Stone by Steven Porter, one week ago today:

“[Kelly] Ayotte,” Porter wrote, “who is running in a contested GOP primary for New Hampshire governor, has touted Stone’s endorsement and posted photos on social media from her visit to Stone’s gun store while on the campaign trail. Her spokespeople did not respond to requests for comment from the Globe, and Democrats have been criticizing her for remaining silent.

“Aside from the endorsement, Ayotte has another potential connection to this case. She was New Hampshire attorney general from 2004 to 2009. In that capacity, she served on the Police Standards & Training Council. Her spokespeople did not respond to questions about whether authorities took adequate steps in 2006 and 2007 to hold Stone accountable.”

Dark Horse Democrat in Gov. Primary

With Sununu out of the running, the corner office is wide open. On the Democratic side, former Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington seem to be getting all the coverage. There is another Democratic candidate: Newmarket businessman Jon Kiper: votekiper.org.


RiverRun Bookstore Recommends …

… Bad Blood, by John Carryrou.

Not related to Taylor Swift, this is the story of Elizabeth Holmes, the wunderkind of Silicon Valley until it was revealed by Carryrou, a Wall Street Journal reporter, that her company, Theranos, was lying. Despite the fact that the tech she was selling never worked, Holmes assembled a high-profile board of non-medical people and raised over one billion dollars in venture capital. Spoiler alert: She’s in prison now.

Readers: Because we love and depend on RiverRun Bookstore, we signed up for membership at riverrunbookstore.com/Patreon. We hope you will, too. – The Ed.

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