Finally Friday Reads: The Insurrectionists’ Club House

Utagawa Hiroshige, Autumn flowers in front of full moon, 1853

Good Day Sky Dancers!

I want to spend some time today talking about Trump’s latest grifts. One is basically a Trump traveling circus where you pay the Trump Family Crime Syndicate Members for access and seats to crazy talk.  There’s also that matter of Trump’s worst droogies parked out in an institute that rivals Trump University. It is a way for Trump to funnel funds to the likes of Mark Meadows and Stephen Miller and is aptly named the Insurrectionists’ Club House.

However, the assassination of Shinzo Abe, the former Prime Minister of Japan, has shaken the world. Abe was an important ally to the United States. He was gunned down in Japan where access to guns is highly restricted and regulated.  This is from The Washington Post: “Shinzo Abe, former Japanese leader, is assassinated by gunman.”

Abe, 67, was stumping for a fellow politician from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Nara, near Osaka, on Friday morning when a gunman opened fire with what police described as an improvised weapon.

Hidetada Fukushima, head of the emergency center at the Nara Medical University Hospital, said Abe had no vital signs when he arrived there at 12:20 p.m. Friday. Despite efforts to save him, including a transfusion, Abe died of blood loss less than five hours later.

The assassination of Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, and a staunch U.S. ally, sent shock waves throughout the country ahead of elections for the upper house of parliament on Sunday.

Police arrested a suspect, a 41-year-old man from Nara named Tetsuya Yamagami, and seized a gun. Yamagami was a member of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force for three years, defense officials told Japanese media.

Footage of the event showed Abe giving a speech, then a plume of smoke forming behind him as he collapsed. Officials ran to apprehend the shooter, who appeared to be positioned behind Abe.Videos showed a chaotic scene with Abe, unmoving, lying on the ground as attendees yelled for an ambulance.

Kawarazaki Shodo, Magnolia, Period: 1970s

The shooter was actually a former member of 海自 which is basically the Japanese version of its Navy. He had a collection of handmade weapons according to the BBC.

There’s a bit more detail from the press conference on what police have found at the suspect’s home.

Officials say that in addition to the handmade weapons, they also discovered a number of explosives. As a result, nearby residents have been asked to evacuate until the area can be declared safe.

On the gun, police said it was made using a mix of materials such as metal and wood, but they are unable to say whether it was made using a 3D printer.

Investigations are ongoing into whether he acted alone, they said.

And on the unnamed organisation the suspect told police he has an issue with, police say they are still establishing whether Abe has any connection to it.

The election is expected to be held as scheduled. No other election is scheduled for at least six years.  The Japanese Upper House of Parliament is somewhat akin to the U.S. Senate.  There are major initiatives at stake in the election.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has pledged to revise the constitution in this election. This includes revision of Article 9, the pacifist clause that bans Japan from having a military and taking part in warfare. Other proposed LDP changes are ones liberals fear will violate and undermine basic human rights in this country.

All the washed-up Trumpers and Tea partiers are now part of Mark Meadows’s “Conservative Partnership Institute” which has received a substantial amount of funds from Donald Trump’s Stop the Steal efforts. Jim DeMint is the Chairman of the Board.  Steven Miller lurks there in a key position.  It’s nicknamed the Insurrectionists Clubhouse. I watched The ReidOut last night and got my first glimpse into what may be the next big thing in right-wing propaganda and election interference. It appears to be a source of malfeasance already.

This investigative piece from Grid has a lot of the details that should make your hair stand on ends. “The insurrectionists’ clubhouse: Former Trump aides find a home at a little-known MAGA hub. Nearly two dozen alleged members of the Jan. 6 plot are connected to a single Capitol Hill address.”

Last summer, while most of official Washington was still reeling from the historic assault on the Capitol, a clubhouse for Trump White House exiles hosted a bash that all but toasted the insurrectionists and plotters responsible.

“Hot Gulag Summer,” held at the nondescript Capitol Hill town house leased by the Conservative Partnership Institute, advertised Jan. 6, 2021-themed cocktails, including the “Capitol Attaquiri,” “Insurrection on the Beach” and the “Mostly Peaceful Mojito.”

“We’re all going to be sent to the gulag eventually,” the invitation read. “We might as well party and get to know each other before we are all ‘reeducated.’”

Founded in 2017, CPI is little-known outside Trump circles, yet it has quickly become among the most powerful political messaging forces in the MAGA universe.The group did not respond to questions submitted by Grid for this article.

Kawarazaki SHÔDÔ
(1869 – 1973)

Yes, we hope they do go to the Gulag but right now they’re just getting into bad trouble. More from the Grid piece.

CPI raised $20 million last year alone, and its network of nearly a dozen affiliate groups, several headed by ex-Trump aides, likely raised more. Donald Trump himself has endorsed the group’s work, boosted its fundraising and even donated $1 million to the group from his PAC in 2021.

The network has broad reach and keeps an eye on future elections: CPI helped found and support the election monitoring nonprofit run by ex-Trump lawyer Cleta Mitchell, along with roughly a dozen other dark money and advocacy groups, virtually all of which share the address of the CPI town house on official reporting. Mitchell did not respond to inquiries from Grid for this story.

These organizations employ or assist at least 20 key operatives, reportedly involved in Trump’s failed effort to subvert the 2020 election, including Mitchell, ex-Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, and former Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark, who was the subject of both a recent Jan. 6 hearing and an FBI raid. And they help raise millions for Trump-aligned members of Congress — more than $38 million over the 2020 and 2022 election cycles, according to the nonprofit OpenSecrets.

The House Freedom Caucus, whose members were allegedly involved in planning and executing strategies to derail the certification of 2020 election results to help Trump retain power, keeps its PAC at CPI’s headquarters and holds meetings at the brownstone. The Senate Conservatives Fund also calls the building home. The group has backed Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who, according to text messages obtained by the Jan. 6 congressional committee, was involved in a pressure campaign directed by Trump attorney John Eastman to get state legislators to change election results in key states. When the effort failed, Lee voted to certify the election. The fund also supports Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, who both promoted vote fraud lies and voted against certifying the election results.

Caroline Wren, a key organizer for the “Stop the Steal” rally preceding the Capitol riot, was invited by CPI to speak at an event last year. The group made Dan Scavino, Trump’s social media guru, a CPI digital fellow and asked him to speak about “Winning Communications Strategy” at a recent conference. According to the Jan. 6 committee, Scavino wrote many of Trump’s postelection posts falsely alleging vote fraud and promoting his rally on Jan. 6. Jenna Ellis, a Trump lawyer who wrote memos attempting to justify overturning the election, records her podcast, “The Jenna Ellis podcast,” at CPI. Requests for comment to Wren, Scavino and Ellis went unanswered.

One Hundred Flower Series, Japanese Woodblock, Kono Bairei (1844-1895)

Cleta Mitchell is one to watch for future election interference.  This is from The Guardian: “Republican push to recruit election deniers as poll workers causes alarm. Training sessions in battleground states led by activists who claim the 2020 election was stolen aim to influence conduct of elections”.

Republicans and other conservative groups are undertaking a huge effort to recruit election workers, a push that could install people with unfounded doubts about the 2020 election in key positions in voting precincts where they could exert considerable power over elections.

The effort, called the Election Integrity Network, underscores how Trump and allies are capitalizing on now deeply seeded Republican doubt about Joe Biden’s victory and are targeting key election offices and jobs that play a considerable role in determining how ballots are cast and counted. The summits are a project of the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), a group with close ties to Trump’s political operation, and where Mitchell is a senior legal fellow. Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, is a senior partner at CPI.

Mitchell has described the effort as a way to take control of the apparatus of local elections, according to ABC News. CPI did not return a request for comment.

At the forefront of this push is Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who was on Donald Trump’s legal team in 2020 and played a key role in his effort to overturn the election. Over the last few months, Mitchell has held “election integrity summits” in several battleground states, convening groups and citizens who continue to believe the 2020 election was stolen. The summits offer in-depth training on how to monitor election offices and how to work elections. At a mid-June summit in North Carolina, Mitchell mocked the term “election denier” and said “whether the outcome was correct, that’s all I deny”. Voter fraud is extremely rare and there was no evidence of widespread fraud in 2020.

Republicans and other conservative groups are undertaking a huge effort to recruit election workers, a push that could install people with unfounded doubts about the 2020 election in key positions in voting precincts where they could exert considerable power over elections.

I certainly hope both the January 6th Committee and the DOJ are following this closely.  Mitchell has been subpoenaed by the Fulton County, Georgia DA for her work there to find votes for Trump.

Meanwhile, The Trump family crime syndicate continues to fleece his cult.  They can’t get on the lecture circuit for corporations or Universities like normal Presidents so this is the best they can do: “Trump’s new money-maker: Political speeches to fans. The former president makes millions appearing at events that resemble his political rallies.” This is from The Washington Post.

On a Saturday morning at an arena outside Memphis, Terri Owens joined the crowd streaming in to see former president Donald Trump.

They lined up according to how much they’d paid.

At the far end of a white entrance tent, near a bus wrapped with a photo of Trump’s head on a muscular, shirtless body, were attendees who paid $55 for a pair of tickets as “citizens,” a general admittance option. At the front, closest to the doors guarded by Secret Service agents, stood a “presidential” tier who shelled out $3,995 each.

Owens, a 53-year-old nurse, bought a pair of VIP tickets for $800. She wasn’t clear on where the money was going — nor did she care.

“I really wanted to do my part in contributing to where he can keep doing what he’s doing, traveling around,” Owens said. “I know he probably doesn’t need financial help by any means, but just to do my part in supporting him because I believe in what he’s doing.”

In fact, the fees aren’t going to Trump’s political action committee, his $100 million war chest. This event was not a Trump rally, where attendance is free.

Instead, it was a for-profit show, more like a rock concert. The proceeds benefit Trump personally as part of a multimillion-dollar deal to speak at the events, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

The program, the “American Freedom Tour,” is the work of a longtime motivational-speaker promoter with a trail of bankruptcy filings and business disputes across the country. A Trump adviser said very little vetting was done on the organizers.

A spokesman for the tour, Republican media consultant Larry Ward, said the 2020 election inspired the new business venture. “The tour was inspired by a nation of disappointed voters and a love for President Donald J. Trump,” he said. Ward declined to discuss Trump’s financial deal.

Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797–1858)
Spring Morning at the New Yoshiwara, from the Famous Places in Edo series, 1843–1853

You can also pay to get access to Trump Celebrities who also get huge fees.

The speaker series has attracted more than two dozen Republican luminaries, such as former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, talk radio host Dan Bongino and right-wing influencer Candace Owens. One speaker who has participated in the program said they negotiated a deal through a speakers bureau and agreed to do the speech because it was so lucrative.

Those who pay more are granted access to backstage events, such as photos and private Q&As. Top dollar garners a “patriot” experience with a private after-party and access to Trump — though the site doesn’t list how much this costs. The group declined to specify the rate, only that it was more than $4,000.

So, let’s hope next week’s Public Hearings from the January 6 Committee out the activities of the Insurrectionist’s Club and the Trump Family Crime Syndicate Tour.  Just remember, Abe warned us.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

22 Comments on “Finally Friday Reads: The Insurrectionists’ Club House”

  1. dakinikat says:

    He’s been in there for over four hours now!!!

  2. dakinikat says:

    • dakinikat says:

      The Biden administration considered declaring a public health emergency to preserve broad access to abortion services following the US Supreme Court’s decision last month to overturn Roe v. Wade, but officials decided against the move at the time, according to people familiar with the matter.

      The possible declaration was discussed between top officials at the Health and Human Services Department and the White House ahead of a June 28 news conference by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, the people said. But officials set aside the idea due to concerns the impact wouldn’t justify an inevitable legal battle.

      • dakinikat says:

        • quixote says:

          Right. Fine. Something. Anything is better than nothing. I’m glad they’re making some kind of motions at the problem.

          But maybe because I’m so furious in general, everything makes me angry.

          So I immediately trip over “Moms.”

          Honestly? Women have just been told they don’t have a basic human right and we’re going to use terminology straight out of kindergarten?

          Way to make it sound trivial, folks! It’s just women, innit?

  3. dakinikat says:

  4. bostonboomer says:

    This is a very scary post. I had no idea Meadows was doing all this. Is there any real hope for U.S. democracy?

    • dakinikat says:

      Well, there’s some sunlight now coming from MSNBC so hopefully, other media picks up on it. There’s the DOJ, most of the folks already on the list for the Fulton County DA, and then there’s the January 6th, committee. That all better work really well.

    • dakinikat says:

      • dakinikat says:

  5. dakinikat says:

    • bostonboomer says:

      Twitter is fighting it in court though.

    • quixote says:


      I seem to remember he was to pay some kind of fee if he reneged. So that’s probably what the court case is about. He’s not paying, or not paying enough. You’d think in general Twitter would have enough sense to quit while it was ahead!

  6. dakinikat says:

  7. dakinikat says:

    I’ll just leave this here.

    • quixote says:

      Come on. Now you’re just pulling my leg. Right? Right??

      Nobody, not even Doocy, could be that far out in the bozone.

      If he’s gone all meta and is doing three levels of irony, he’ll get fired, given who employs him, so it can’t be that.

      • dakinikat says:

  8. dakinikat says:

    • quixote says:

      Very good piece. Bit shocking, once you add in all the costs (hotel, etc), how the expenses mount up closer to $2000 than the approx $300 of getting the pills themselves.

      Telling line: “I feel like my body is being used as a punishment.”

      Indeed. That’s why they explicitly don’t care (at least up till now, when they may feel they better be “consistent”) about embryos lost during IVF. No woman to torment? Then there’s no problem.

  9. NW Luna says:

    Lovely artwork, Kat!