Tucker Carlson and his wife were looking to get their son a leg up in his college application to Georgetown University when they turned to a well-connected Washington friend who had an even better-connected father.
“I realize you don’t really know Buckley,” Susie Carlson wrote via email in 2014 to Hunter Biden, a Georgetown graduate and the son of the then-vice president. “Maybe you could meet or speak to him and he could send you a very brief resume with his interests and grades attached.”
Tucker Carlson offered that his son was a good squash player and an excellent fly fisherman. “He loves Washington for all the right reasons, I think,” Carlson added, “and really wants to go to school here.” When Biden agreed to write a letter of recommendation, Susie Carlson added a heap of praise: “Tucker and I have the greatest respect and admiration for you. Always!”
Finally Friday Reads: Into the WoodsPosted: May 20, 2022 Filed under: January 6, misogyny, Women's Healthcare, Women's Rights 13 Comments
Good Day Sky Dancers!
Things keep getting weirder this week. News broke last night that would be stunning if it was just one story. But, it wasn’t just one story. It is story after story after story including a shooting at a university I taught at while I was ABD.
I’ve been grading and working on my earth mother vibe to try to stave off that feeling that it’s going to get worse before it gets better. My neighbor drove me to get a sourdough starter. I used to work this into bread weekly when my girls were quite little. Well, I think it went bad around the time I had cancer and couldn’t keep up with anything and that would make baby daughter an actual baby daughter. This starter actually comes from Sandor Katz about 20 years ago. So it must have radical power!
This brings me to the formula shortage and the behavior of the Nasty Nine Republican Congress Critters in the House. My first daughter never had formula at all but the littlest one got weaned early because my milk just dried up at the shock of my cancer diagnosis. She was like 5 months at the time and we had to get her on soy formula because, like me, she had issues with the regular stuff. Fortunately, the soy alternative was around for her. I can’t imagine it being absent from shelves. It hurts thinking about it.
I still can’t believe anyone serving in Congress couldn’t get themselves to vote for a program to help put baby formula on shelves. Most voted to get some flexibility on formula brands for WIC recipients. But, 200 of them evidently decided that it wasn’t time for government spending on live babies. They seem to have their whitie-tighties in a bunch over the President getting the military to bring some in from Switzerland too. It’s the continuation of that forced birth notion where we forget the actual children once they’re out of the birth canal. So, this is the good and horrid news yesterday for families with fertile mothers.
The good news is that the baby formula shortage may come to an end rather quickly. From WAPO: “Baby formula plant may be open within a week, FDA commissioner says.” Maybe, I’m obsessed with this because I have two granddaughters on formula right now but it just seems like something that shouldn’t happen in a highly developed country. It’s mostly because we’ve let the industry get way too concentrated and have done a lot to stop the importation from foreign sources. The last one was when NAFTA was renegotiated and Trump was having his milk wars with Canada. I guess the one good thing is my kids are close to Canada and have resources since both are Doctors.
Congress on Thursday passed a measure aimed at helping low-income mothers more easily get baby formula, as lawmakers intensified their scrutiny of failures at the Food and Drug Administration, failures that led to a nationwide shortage of a critical food source for infants and medically fragile children.
The bill, which President Biden is expected to sign, passed unanimously in the Senate and with bipartisan support in the House. It would allow mothers in the Women, Infants and Children program — who buy half the formula in the United States — a broader choice of formulas during supply-chain crises that threaten baby food and formula.
The votes came on a day when FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf was grilled by members of a House appropriations subcommittee about failures at his agency that contributed to the shortage. The members criticized the FDA for moving too slowly to investigate a whistleblower complaint last year at a baby formula plant in Sturgis, Mich., that makes much of the U.S. supply of powdered formula. The plant was inspected and shuttered only this year after two infants were sickened and two infants died after consuming contaminated formula. Abbott Nutrition, which operates the plant, has said there isn’t clear evidence the contamination came from the factory.
Let’s hope this ends shortly before any more babies get sick or die.
This, however, keeps going on and I hope we get some frog marches before we all die of advanced age. This is from Politico: “Eastman provides new details of Trump’s direct role in legal effort to overturn election. The court filing describes the direct role of Trump himself in developing strategy, detailing “two hand-written notes from former President Trump about information that he thought might be useful for the anticipated litigation.”
John Eastman, the attorney who architected Donald Trump’s last-ditch legal strategy to overturn the 2020 election, revealed Friday that he routinely communicated with Trump either directly or via “six conduits” during the chaotic weeks that preceded the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
In a late-night court filing urging a federal judge to maintain the confidentiality of his work for Trump, Eastman provided the clearest insight yet into the blizzard of communications between Trump, his top aides, his campaign lawyers and the army of outside attorneys who were working to help reverse the outcome in a handful of states won by Joe Biden.
The filing also describes the direct role of Trump himself in developing strategy, detailing “two hand-written notes from former President Trump about information that he thought might be useful for the anticipated litigation.” Those notes are among the documents Eastman is seeking to shield via attorney-client privilege. Eastman said he would also speak directly with Trump by phone throughout his legal challenges to the election.
Eastman described these contacts and records as part of an effort to prevent the Jan. 6 select committee from accessing 600 emails that describe his efforts to build Trump’s legal gambit to reverse the 2020 election outcome — and, when that failed, urge state legislatures to simply overturn the results themselves. He argues that the documents are protected by attorney-client and attorney work product privileges that Congress has no business probing, even as the panel investigates the circumstances that led a mob of Trump supporters to attack the Capitol.
Well, that’s what lawyers call “proof of intent”. (Lock him up!)
Okay, deep breaths and a poem before I go on …
by Mary Oliver
Ordinarily I go to the woods alone,
with not a single friend,
for they are all smilers and talkers
and therefore unsuitable.
I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree.
I have my ways of praying,
as you no doubt have yours.
Besides, when I am alone
I can become invisible.
I can sit on the top of a dune
as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned.
I can hear the almost unhearable sound of the roses singing.
If you have ever gone to the woods with me,
I must love you very much.
Well, it had to come to pass, and turn off the TV for the weekend unless you want to be driven nuts by tales of Hunter Biden’s laptop. I think it was leaked as a distraction because unless we get to hear about Donald Jr, Ivanka, and Jared’s forays into shaking down nations, I do not give a fuck about this. However, here’s the NBC take. (Hint: he went on a drug-fueled bender as he mentioned in HIS BOOK.) Analysis of Hunter Biden’s hard drive shows he, his firm took in about $11 million from 2013 to 2018, spent it fast. The hard drive and documents from Senate Republicans indicate few of Biden’s deals ever came to fruition and shed light on how fast he was spending his money. ” Just so, you remember, this is like Benghazi, it never goes away.
NBC News obtained a copy of Biden’s laptop hard drive from a representative of Rudy Giuliani and examined Biden’s business dealings from 2013 to 2018 based on the information available on the hard drive and the scope of the documents released by the Senate.
The Republicans on the Senate Finance and Homeland Security committees, then chaired by Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, respectively, issued their first report on Biden’s business dealings in September 2020. The 87-page report said Biden had “cashed in” on his name, but Johnson said in an interview before its release that the report included “no massive smoking guns.”
Now in the minority, the Republicans from the two committees are still reviewing and analyzing several hundred pages of financial and business documents tied to Biden and his business associates, according to a person familiar with the committee’s work.
But of course, his LAPTOP!!
And, here’s the only twist of interest to me:
I have to admit, it’s somewhat like watching two trains wreck at once. Trust Fund Tuckums just surely can grovel just as well as throw utter bull crap to an audience.
And speaking of weasely wipipo gone wild, this is from Michael Tomasky’s “Fighting Words, a weekly newsletter about what got me steamed this week. ” You may get this newsletter from TNR. It perks up my Fridays for sure!
Item two: Who is Barry Loudermilk?
Thursday afternoon on MSNBC, Nicolle Wallace asked Charlie Sykes, What do you know about Barry Loudermilk? Sykes offered that all-too-rare cable TV response: Not much, really.
Who is he? He’s a congressman from Georgia, from the 11th district, north and west of Atlanta. He co-sponsored legislation to disband the Environmental Protection Agency. He seems to be in the pocket of the credit-rating agencies, whittling away at consumer protections. He voted not to certify the presidential election results. And so on. A run-of-the-mill right-wing backbencher: hence Wallace and Sykes’s lack of information. Nothing of particular interest.
But now, the January 6 select committee has hit upon something quite interesting indeed. Loudermilk gave a tour of the Capitol to constituents on January 5, 2021. That’s, uh, one day before January 6, as you have no doubt already sussed. The Capitol was closed. He was caught on closed-circuit showing some people around.
The long-held suspicion, of course, is that some GOP members gave “reconnaissance tours” before the riot to people who’d come to town to storm the Capitol. Loudermilk insists that he did nothing wrong—that it was just one family, and they never ventured into the areas that were breached. If so, that family got a pretty crappy tour, considering that the breached areas included the halls directly surrounding the House chamber, the House gallery upstairs, and the magnificent Rotunda, the showcase of any Capitol tour, with its impressive statuary and its eight large canvases depicting scenes of the early republic.
We shall see what we shall see. But one increasingly gets the feeling from the leaks that have come out from the committee that these people know stuff. A lot of stuff. Which the rest of us will know soon enough.
As you can see, I’m trying some new tricks today to distract me from all the mass shootings, the Elon Musk Tweets, etc. But I will say that Elon Musk is such a supreme sociopath and narcissist that he could give Donald Trump a run for his money.
Okay, some pretty music before you’ll need to take another morning shower on the next one. I got to hear Bernadette Peters in concert so that’s my happy place right now. My oldest daughter wore the tape out on this one. When I was living in Minneapolis, we went to see it live at the Circle Theatre! What a treat!
Okay, I warned you.
WAPO’s Emma Brown has this headline: “Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court justice, pressed Ariz. lawmakers to help reverse Trump’s loss, emails show.” Can we PULEEZE get some FROGMARCHES in this country?
Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed Arizona lawmakers after the 2020 election to set aside Joe Biden’s popular-vote victory and choose “a clean slate of Electors,” according to emails obtained by The Washington Post.
The emails, sent by Ginni Thomas to a pair of lawmakers on Nov. 9, 2020, argued that legislators needed to intervene because the vote had been marred by fraud. Though she did not mention either candidate by name, the context was clear.
Just days after media organizations called the race for Biden in Arizona and nationwide, Thomas urged the lawmakers to “stand strong in the face of political and media pressure.” She told the lawmakers the responsibility to choose electors was “yours and yours alone” and said they have “power to fight back against fraud.”
But her EMAILS! But his LAPTOP! Lock her up!
It seems like nearly every Republican candidate is trying to outdo each other in selling out women’s bodies to the state. This is from HuffPo: “Trump-Endorsed Candidate Backs Banning Birth Control. Jacky Eubanks, who is running for Michigan state Senate, said “sex ought to be between one man and one woman in the confines of marriage.” Yes, it’s another Phyliss Schafly wannabe.
Donald Trump’s pick for a Michigan state Senate seat is promising to ban all birth control if she gets the chance.
“I guess we have to ask ourselves, would that ever come to a vote in the Michigan state legislature? And if it should, I would have to side with it should not be legal,” Republican Jacky Eubanks said in a recent interview with the site Church Militant.
“People believe that birth control — it’s better, like you said, oh, because then you won’t get pregnant and you won’t need to have an abortion,” she added. “But I think it gives people the false sense of security that they can have consequence-free sex, and that’s not true and that’s not correct. Sex ought to be between one man and one woman in the confines of marriage.”
Eubanks’ comments are some of the most explicit from a conservative candidate about going after contraception. But some other Republicans have made clear that with abortion rights likely to be struck down this summer, they’re starting to eye contraception restrictions as well.
Republican politicians have started talking about Griswold v. Connecticut as another case they’d like to see the Supreme Court overturn after Roe v. Wade. That 1965 decision said married couples have a right to contraception access based on the constitutional right to privacy. That decision could set the stage for future decisions that further restrict birth control protections, abortion and marriage equality.
Okay, I’m going to go water the squash. Set yeast. Go grade. If this country comes to a vile end then I at least want to go out with a good dinner. Church Militant? WTF is a church militant? This certainly can’t have anything to do with the Jesus of the Beatitudes. As my grandfather used to say when he cursed “Jesus wept!”
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Have a peaceful and happy weekend! I hope y’all get a break from this heatwave! It’s miserable down here!
I hope you can find ways to cool down. Saturday and Sunday are going to be well into the 90s here too.
Thanks for the post. I’ll bet Ginni Thomas was up to much more than we yet know. I can’t wait for the hearings.
I’m always afraid to try real sourdough starter…it’s keeping it going that intimidates me. I don’t know if y’all have seen this nugget:
I am totally disgusted.
I saw it yesterday but didn’t have the heart to read it. I’m so tired of these reactionary dickwads that I want to stand in front of their houses and scream at them!
Check this link out. I’ve never done the daily thing. Only the weekly … you just have to kind’ve keep an eye on it.
King Arthur’s site is very good for tips about sourdough. But…. I have never been energetic enough for all the fussy each-day-babysitting-temp-of-70.25F-throw-out-perfectly-good-starter-humidity-of-exactly– etc etc.
My aha moment was remembering that this is the way they made bread in the Neolithic. They sure as hell weren’t throwing food out and maintaining perfect temperatures, but they made bread for thousands of years. I’ve been at it for 20 years and, honestly, none of the fussing is necessary. Also, I cheated and got tips from a professional Oregonian sourdough baker whose bread is to die for.
His main point: everything is done in the fridge. The starter lives in the fridge. When you’re making the actual bread, it does all its slow rising in the fridge. It goes straight from there to your 500F oven.
My personal wrinkle: I don’t throw starter away before feeding. Throwing food out is just not on for me :S . I throw in a handful of flour, a bit of water, every 1-3 days, make sure it’s every day just before baking with it, and that’s all. (Def pour off any scummy liquid on top, though. Do not mix in as King Arthur’s suggests. Alcohol is poison for yeast.)
(Wow. I’d forgotten how much more fun it is to think about sourdough than anything else going on!)
Thanks! I’m looking forward to getting back into it. The tips are great! I’m looking through my recipe box because me instruction sheet should be in there still!!
Thanks for those tips…I’ve read about all there is on the King Arthur site. It has a wealth of information. It’s the feeding that has me. I can barely Koop my animals alive…(well they remind me to feed them.) But feeding a pot of sourdough starter?
You really have to wonder about the sex lives of people who think you need to enter into a complicated legal arrangement to have sex. I wonder what positions she deems to be permissible.
Why ANYBODY still participates in these Dark Age religions is beyond me.
I’m with you on that. Especially, these ones that can find one verse of anything and twist it until it screams,
It’s not like she hasn’t been defending abortion rights, receiving communion and living in SF since the beginning of time.