Paris, Paris, What Are a Boy and His Laser to Do?
I promised the French National Police I wouldn't project on the Russian embassy in Paris again. I said nothing about what would happen if they draped the Palais Du Luxembourg with a movie screen.
I came back to Paris 14 months after nearly getting arrested here in connection with #SpecialMilitaryOperation: Paris in October of last year.
I came in peace.
I mean, sure, I had #SpecialMilitaryOperations on the mind for other cities. I won’t lie to you. If I’m coming to Europe, I not gonna not fire up my embassy Tinder and make some dates with Russian diplomatic facilities. This is me, after all.
But as God andare my witnesses, I did not come to Paris intending to do an #SMO here. I came to Paris to visit Kate, her husband Jon, and their new baby.
But then, Paris, you taunted me. I arrived. I looked out the window. And there—staring back at me—was the Palais Du Luxembourg, the seat of the French senate, wrapped in what can only be called a giant movie screen. And what’s more, behind the movie screen—as though built to frame a shot of a projection onto the palace—are the Hôtel des Invalides, where Napoleon is entombed, and the Eiffel Tower.
So put yourself in my shoes. What was I to do?
All of yesterday, I was committed to restraint. I contented myself with reposting the videos and stills from #SMO: Paris:
But by this evening, it was just too much. #LordLaser was screaming reproaches at me from inside his case. And over dinner, the estimable Minna Ålander confidently informed me that I would regret for the rest of my life passing up the moment—and nobody else at the table disagreed.
So, without admitting anything about my conduct after dinner, I present you with this video with the observation that it now appears to exist:
#LordLaser apologizes for the fact that he still has a bit of trouble rendering apostrophes in French; they sometimes come out looking a bit like, well, rectangles. He reminds you that French pronunciation is hard, begs your indulgence, and promises to do better tomorrow night in, well, some other French-speaking European capital which, embassy Tinder informs me, has swiped right on #LordLaser.
If you happen to have friends in this particular French-speaking European capital, you might tell them to keep an eye on the embassy of the murderous motherfuckers this evening.
The latest from the estimable Windsor Mann and the estimable Ruthie Windsor-Mann:
My Jewish soul was today years old—which is to say 54—before I ever participated in the acquisition of a Christmas tree.and I were trudging through a downpour in Paris with the baby and we stopped to pick up Kate’s tree, which I proceeded to carry through the streets of Paris. Kate documented the occasion for posterity, including the tree’s entry through the smallest elevator I have ever been in.
Just how small is this elevator? Well, it turns out it can hold four people if they really like one another:
Today’s #BeastOfTheDay—nominated by, is the escargot, aka lunch.
Trump Trial Diary, December 13, 2023has a read-aloud version of the brief for those who want to read it while running or commuting or taking a shower. And the Lawfare team will discuss the matter on Thursday at length with the estimable on this week’s “Trump Trials and Tribulations.” So I am going to defer discussion most discussion of the brief’s legal aspects for now. Instead, I want to focus here on an aspect of the brief central to the democracy protection theme of this diary.
For those not familiar with the terminology “certiorari before judgment” or the procedural posture of this case, a brief word of explanation of both law and history. The Jan. 6 federal case is currently scheduled for trial before Judge Tanya Chutkan on March 4. Trump moved to dismiss the case on grounds that he is immune from prosecution because the conduct in question took place while he was president. Judge Chutkan denied the motion, and Trump appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The government here is doing what bridge players might call a jump shift. Instead of allowing the appeal to play out in the D.C. Circuit, with the loser then going to the Supreme Court, the motion is asking the Supreme Court to skip the D.C. Circuit step and take the case up immediately.
This is a highly unusual request, but it has a very particular historical resonance.