Tuesday Reads

Rain, by Edvard Munch, 1902

Rain, by Edvard Munch, 1902

Good Morning!!

Good morning Sky Dancers! I’m sorry to report that I’m having another pain flare-up and so this post will be brief. I think I’m doing better with breathing and relaxing, and that does help the pain somewhat. I’m just hoping this won’t last too long. In the meantime, here’s what I’m seeing in the news today.

This is trending on Twitter, but I haven’t seen any reporting in the mainstream media yet.

Read the letter dated December 15, 2021 at the Conservative Action Project. The letter is addressed to Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy and requests that Liz Cheney and  Adam Kinzinger be removed from the GOP caucus and attacks the January 6 committee and claims that those involved with the January 6 insurrection “have done nothing wrong.”

As you are aware, this committee has no formal representation from Republicans. Both Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger serve at the request of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). As part of Pelosi’s team, Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger have deliberately sought to undermine the privacy and due process of their fellow Republicans, and those of private citizens, with improperly issued subpoenas and other investigatory tactics designed not to pursue any valid legislative end, but merely to exploit for the sake of political harassment and demagoguery.

The actions of Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger on behalf of House Democrats have given supposedly bipartisan justification to an overtly partisan political persecution that brings disrespect to our country’s rule of law, legal harassment to private citizens who have done nothing wrong, and which demeans the standing of the House….

We ask that the GOP conference meet immediately to vote on stripping Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger from their membership in the GOP conference. We further inform you that conservative leaders are launching a nationwide movement to add citizens’ voices to this effort.

That’s the gist of it. Here’s the full list of signers.


CNN has the photos from the disaster in Tonga: First images of Tonga volcano damage show entire communities covered in thick ash.

A thick layer of ash covering entire island communities can be seen in the first images of disaster-hit Tonga to emerge following what experts believe to be the world’s biggest volcanic eruption in more than 30 years.

Aerial photos released by the New Zealand Defense Force from Tonga’s central Ha’apai islands show trees, homes and fields coated in gray ash — spewed out by the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai undersea volcano as it erupted on Saturday, sending tsunami waves crashing across the Pacific.

Satellite images show a similar scene in the capital’s Kolofo’ou district, on Tonga’s main island, with trees and homes completely blanketed by volcanic debris. Some buildings appear to have collapsed and aid workers are now concerned about water contamination and food security in the district.

An Aerial view from a P-3K2 Orion serveillance flight shows heavy ask fall in Nomuka, Tonga,on Jan. 17, 2022

An Aerial view from a P-3K2 Orion serveillance flight shows heavy ask fall in Nomuka, Tonga,on Jan. 17, 2022

See more photos at CNN.

This is from Jake Tapper at CNN: Former Trump administration officials hold call to strategize against former boss’ efforts in 2022 and 2024.

Around three dozen former Trump administration officials, disillusioned with their former boss and concerned about his impact on the GOP and the nation, held a conference call last Monday to discuss efforts to fend off his efforts to, in their view, erode the democratic process, several participants told CNN.

The only items the group seemed to agree upon in its first meeting, however, were that they’re not sure what their way forward should be, and that they are way behind the efforts of former President Donald Trump and his allies to set the stage for 2022, 2024, and beyond.

The highest-ranking participant was former White House chief of staff and retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, who told CNN that because of a prior commitment he was only able to “monitor” about 10 minutes of the call, which lasted about an hour.

Other participants included former Trump White House communications directors Alyssa Farah Griffin (now a CNN political commentator) and Anthony Scaramucci, former Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser to Vice President Pence Olivia Troye, former Department of Homeland Security official Elizabeth Neumann, and former Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Chris Krebs, among others. Stephanie Grisham, who first publicly discussed this group a couple of weeks ago on CNN’s “New Day,” was not on the call because she was sick with Covid-19, though she told CNN she is engaged with the group….

Miles Taylor, the former DHS chief of staff who became a leading anti-Trump voice after writing an op-ed and book as “Anonymous,” helped lead the call and described participants as “overflowing with ideas” on how to be most effective. They ranged from “shining a light” on Trump’s corporate contributors to targeting for defeat in the primary or general election each individual Trump has endorsed for state and local races, although Kelly is reluctant to do anything that involves specifically endorsing any candidate.

“We’re still trying to figure out what it is” that we want to do, one participant told CNN. “Outcomes are key.” This individual said there was unanimity on the call, from those who spoke, that “this cannot just be a professional trolling operation, putting out ads like the Lincoln group.” The Lincoln Project was a group of so-called never-Trump GOP consultants who banded together to oppose the 45th President’s reelection, often running ads in the Washington, DC, area targeted to Trump.

From the CBS article:

Prosecutors granted immunity to an ex-girlfriend of Representative Matt Gaetz before she testified last week in front of a federal grand jury hearing evidence in the investigation of the congressman, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Gaetz has been under investigation to determine if he violated sex trafficking laws and obstructed justice in that probe. Gaetz has previously denied all wrongdoing, and has said he has never paid for sex nor had sex with an underage girl. 

The woman, who CBS News is not naming to protect her privacy, testified in front of a federal grand jury in Orlando last Wednesday. She is viewed as a potential key witness, according to two sources familiar with the investigation. One of the sources said she has information related to the investigation of both the sex trafficking and obstruction allegations.

“This may be a willing participant who has a smart lawyer who sought an immunity deal from the government,” said former prosecutor and CBS News legal analyst Rikki Kleiman. “The government does not give immunity blindly, they know what they’re getting in exchange.” [….]

A source told CBS News last week that as a part of an obstruction probe, investigators are looking into whether Gaetz had a phone call with the ex-girlfriend, and another woman, who was already a witness in the federal investigation. 

Multiple sources told CBS News that the ex-girlfriend and the other woman traveled to the Bahamas with Gaetz in 2018, along with a third woman with whom Gaetz was in a sexual relationship. That third woman was 18 at the time of the Bahamas trip, but investigators are also looking into whether she was 17 when the sexual relationship began.

The Washington Post: Florida governor proposes special police agency to monitor elections.

A plan by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would establish a special police force to oversee state elections — the first of its kind in the nation — and while his fellow Republicans have reacted tepidly, voting rights advocates fear that it will become law and be used to intimidate voters.

The proposed Office of Election Crimes and Security would be part of the Department of State, which answers to the governor. DeSantis is asking the GOP-controlled legislature to allocate nearly $6 million to

hire 52 people to “investigate, detect, apprehend, and arrest anyone for an alleged violation” of election laws. They would be stationed at unspecified “field offices throughout the state” and act on tips from “government officials or any other person.”

DeSantis highlighted his plan as legislators opened their annual 60-day session last week.

“To ensure that elections are conducted in accordance with the rule of law, I propose an election integrity unit whose sole focus will be the enforcement of Florida’s election laws,” he said during his State of the State address. “This will facilitate the faithful enforcement of election laws and will provide Floridians with the confidence that their vote will matter.”

Voting rights experts say that no state has such an agency, one dedicated to patrolling elections and empowered to arrest suspected violators. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) announced the formation of a “2021 Texas Election Integrity Unit” in October, but that office is more limited in scope, has fewer than 10 employees and isn’t under the governor’s authority.

That’s all the news I have for you today–another insane news day with the ongoing pandemic and GOP coup in the background. What stories are you following?

25 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

  2. bostonboomer says:

  3. dakinikat says:

  4. dakinikat says:

  5. dakinikat says:

  6. dakinikat says:

    The Republican Justices have all kinds of conflicts of interest and still refuse to recuse themselves.

  7. dakinikat says:

    I just ordered four at-home Covid 19 tests free from the US Government! Here’s the link! Very easy to do!! It is delivered via USPS within 7 -10 days.


  8. dakinikat says:

    Crenshaw got owned by a girl!!!

  9. dakinikat says:

  10. NW Luna says:

  11. Minkoff Minx says:

    I hope you feel better BB…

  12. djmm says:

    What a great post! I hope you start to feel better soon!