I’m going to rip off the bandage over the bad news: Bill Cosby has been released from prison. He was accused by 60 women of drugging and molesting them; he even confessed, in the most chillingly reptilian way, that yeah, he doped them so he could do whatever he wanted with them, but he made that confession after a prosecutor promised him immunity, so it was obtained under false pretenses, and now he’s been set free. I think it’s good that bad lawyers get their tactics rebuked, but yikes, they let a monster out.
At least he won’t be making any more puddin’ pop commercials, I hope.
In other bad news, Britney Spears has been living under a repressive conservatorship for well over a decade (I don’t care what you think of her music, whether you love it or hate it, this is a human being we’re talking about.) Why, I don’t know. She’s a grown-ass woman, pop stars have a long history of making fools of themselves without getting all their rights stripped away, but this seems to be one of those situations where a greedy family has a grip on the one money-making talent in their midst, and are squeezing her for all that she is worth. She’s been trying to get out from under their control, and unfortunately, a judge has ruled that her father will continue as her conservator. Leave Britney alone!
Now for the happy news. Nikole Hannah-Jones has been awarded tenure after all! This should have been a no-brainer, considering her immense accomplishments and standing in the intellectual community, but it took a second closed-door meeting and tremendous public pressure to get the board of trustees to do the right thing. Opponents just needed money. It turns out that a man who donated $25 million dollars to UNC thought that gave him the power to pressure the university to deny her tenure because he didn’t like her opinions.
Some of that opposition came from Walter Hussman, a UNC donor and Arkansas newspaper publisher whose name adorns UNC’s journalism school. Hussman, who is also an alumnus, told NPR he was given pause by criticism of prominent scholars that Hannah-Jones distorted the historical record in arguing that the protection of slavery was one of the primary motivations of the Founding Fathers in seeking independence from the British. (Hannah-Jones has recently tweeted that she will be able to back up that contention in her forthcoming book.)
You know, that doesn’t even sound that controversial to me. The British had outlawed slavery in their country, and we can see right there in the US Constitution all the compromises the founding fathers had made to convince the slave-holding states to join in their rebellion. I’d be curious to see her argument that this was a primary motivation, but I don’t find it at all implausible. Also not implausible: that a rich conservative Republican would try to silence a valid criticism of the history of this country.
But wait! We need more good news! How about the beginning of the end of the Trump grifting empire?
A grand jury in Manhattan filed criminal indictments Wednesday against former president Donald Trump’s company and its longtime chief financial officer, according to two people familiar with the indictments.
The indictments against the Trump Organization and its CFO, Allen Weisselberg, will remain sealed until Thursday afternoon, leaving the specific charges against them unclear. Earlier Wednesday, people familiar with the case said the charges were related to allegations of unpaid taxes on benefits for Trump Organization executives.
Weisselberg is expected to surrender Thursday morning at the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. (D), two people familiar with the plan said. He is expected to be arraigned later in the day in front of a state court judge. The Trump Organization will also be arraigned, represented in court by one of its attorneys.
Trump himself is not indicted, yet. They’re going after the Trump hotels and golf courses, which probably hurts him more.
It’s also cute that they’re going after him on tax evasion, like Al Capone. The lesson I take from this is that when I become an evil overlord, I will be meticulous in paying my taxes. Either that, or I will buy a bunch of congresspeople and get legislation passed to give me plenty of legal loopholes.