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Trump Legal News, Part II: Dare to Be Stupid

The last 10 songs we've used for Trump legal headlines, in order and including today, were from the Beatles, Radiohead, Taylor Swift, the Police, Brooks & Dunn, the Beatles again, Sam Smith, Anthrax, Merle Haggard and "Weird Al" Yankovic. Don't say we don't bring you some culture around here.

Anyhow, there was plenty of Trump legal news even before the situation in Georgia came to a climax. Here's a rundown:

Playing with Fire: In Washington, DC, Judge Tanya Chutkan told Trump in no uncertain terms that social media is not the place to discuss his ongoing trial. He hates being told what to do. He hates it even more when it's a woman. He hates it more still when it's a woman of color. And so, he took a bunch of potshots at Chutkan over the weekend. Thus far, the Judge has not responded, but we suspect she's going to allow Trump enough rope to hang himself, and then bring the hammer. Well, the gavel.

A Speedy Trial: Yesterday, a group of a dozen Republicans who served as judges or as attorneys in Republican administrations—most notably former judge Michael Luttig and former AG Alberto Gonzales—filed an amicus brief with Chutkan asserting that a speedy trial, on the timeline proposed by Jack Smith, is both necessary and appropriate, and that there is abundant case law supporting that position.

A Family Divided: Maybe nothing will come of it, but TalkingPointsMemo published a scoop yesterday based on text messages that came into the site's possession, and that implicate RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel in the conspiracy to overthrow the election. Uncle Mitt must be very disappointed.

No Dice: Trump is convinced that the judge overseeing his New York case, Juan Merchan, is hopelessly biased. Of course, Trump thinks that of every judge he's dealing with right now, except maybe Aileen Cannon. In any event, in view of Merchan's alleged biases, Trump's lawyers filed a motion asking the Judge to recuse himself from the case. Yesterday, Merchan said: "No thanks!"

Phew. There's so much these days, it's hard to keep up with all of it.

Also, speaking of songs, each of the nine headlines in our Friday posting had a song title, and we asked readers what the nine songs had in common. Here are a half-dozen of the more creative guesses:

  1. They are all songs on Donald Trump's playlist for Melania (M.L. in Miami, FL)
  2. Tony Bennett covered all of them? (L.R.H. in Oakland, CA)
  3. Hal Blaine on drums (D.S.A. in Parish, NY)
  4. Songs about pimps? I know I'm right for at least one of them. (F.B. in Sacramento, CA)
  5. It looks as though the common theme is that our fate awaits us. (R.F. in Eugene, OR)
  6. None of these songs have been in my kitchen (F.M. in San Francisco, CA)

Quite a few readers got in the ballpark, with guesses along the lines of "They're songs from movies" or "They're theme songs from films." While that is not wrong, per se, it's a bit broad. The answer we were going for was that they all won the Academy Award for best song. Here are the nine, along with the movie they won for, and the performer of the song:

  1. "Writing's on the Wall": Spectre (performed by Sam Smith)
  2. "Que Sera, Sera": The Man Who Knew Too Much (Doris Day)
  3. "A Whole New World": Aladdin (Brad Kane and Lea Salonga)
  4. "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp": Hustle & Flow (Three 6 Mafia)
  5. "We Belong Together": Toy Story 3 (Randy Newman)
  6. "Sooner or Later": Dick Tracy (Madonna)
  7. "The Ballad of High Noon": High Noon (Tex Ritter)
  8. "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing": Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (The Four Aces)
  9. "Things Have Changed": Wonder Boys (Robert Zimmerman, a.k.a. Bob Dylan)

Some of these songs are known by different variants of the title. For example, the song from The Man Who Knew Too Much is sometimes rendered as "Whatever Will Be Will Be (Que Sera Sera)" or "Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be Will Be)." We went with the rendering that appears in the Wikipedia article Academy Award for Best Original Song.

A great many readers hit the bullseye with their answers; here are the first 10 to get it right:

  1. J.D. in Greensboro, NC
  2. D.D. in Highland Park, IL
  3. K.M. in Olympia, WA
  4. E.H. in Donegal, Ireland
  5. S.W. in Raleigh, NC
  6. S.A. in Downey, CA
  7. S.F. in Hutto, TX
  8. B.M. in Chico, CA
  9. M.J.S. in Cheshire, CT
  10. J.B. in Nashville, TN

That post went live at 5:15 PT, and the first correct guess arrived 7 minutes later. To make the first 10, you had to be in by 5:41 a.m. PT. There's an obvious east-coast bias, though you'll note that two Californians made the cut, nonetheless. (Z)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates