Posted: October 22, 2021 Filed under: abortion rights, Afternoon Reads, Voting Rights, Voting Rights and Voter Suppression, War on Women
Still Life, Cactus, 1919
Good Day Sky Dancers!
Louisiana is a little later than most states that I’ve lived in with their State Fair Livestock Shows. It probably has something to do with the heat and peak hurricane season which occurs during the Labor Day Weekend which is when I was used to doing the Iowa State Fair, the Nebraska State Fair, and the Minnesota State Fair.
My favorite part as a kid was the kids from 4H showing off their pet livestock projects. It was always a real range of farm animals and the kids and animals seemed really close when you watched them in their pens together.
The one thing that killed all that for me was knowing that what looked like a loving pet to me was most likely going to wind up at an auction. I like the Crazy Cajun Pygmy Goat Shows though because I know they’re likely going to live a long life attending yuppy yoga goat classes, or clearing out the bramble in some backyard for a fee, or being the focus of some kid’s birthday party, or providing the basis for some cheese.
Perhaps I read Charlotte’s Web to my kids way too many times.
The point is that both the ranchers-to-be and the meals-to-be love those shows. The animals have no idea that their purpose is to ensure everyone knows their place in the food chain. It’s mostly to remind everyone that no matter how much attention they get at one point, they’re simply there to show off enough so everyone will go off and find more of their kind to slaughter.
This is about how I feel about Mitch McConnell trotting out Amy Coney Barrett and now, Clarence Thomas to represent just how much animals will preen for the camera when they’re about to sell the rights that got them there out. I wonder if he’ll trot out the white guys too? Nah, it’s all about preserving only their rights.
Saguaro Cactus at Sun Set, Gayle McGinty
The deal with livestock shows is they are always big deals to a few that lead up to mass slaughter for the innocent.
This is from The Washington Post. “McConnell lauds Thomas, says Supreme Court should not heed the ‘rule of polls’” Someone needs to tell Mitch the settled laws are not about the rule of polls. They are about the Rule Of Law.
The conservative think tank was the site of a day-long celebration of Thomas’s three decades on the court, with panels of judges, lawyers and legal analysts celebrating the 73-year-old justice’s record.
McConnell was the keynote speaker, and he urged boldness and independence from the federal judiciary he had a large hand in reconstructing. He pushed through a record number of confirmations of federal judges when Republicans controlled the Senate and President Donald Trump was making nominations.
Included in the list are three Supreme Court justices: Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
Polls have shown public approval of the Supreme Court is falling — those who say it is too conservative are growing — but McConnell said popularity is not the standard by which judges should be evaluated.
“They’re not tasked with reasoning backwards from abstract impressions about what outcome the nation supposedly needs or the court’s public standing supposedly requires,” McConnell said. “We need the rule of law, not the rule of polls.”
Thomas has provided the example, McConnell said. “For 30 years and counting, you have had the brightest possible North Star illumining the path before you, the courage and fidelity of Justice Clarence Thomas,” the senator from Kentucky said.
Thomas is the second justice to appear with McConnell in the last two months. Barrett accompanied him to the University of Louisville for a speech at the center that bears the senator’s name in September.
“My goal today is to convince you that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks,” she said. Critics said it was not a choice setting for such a nonpartisan message.
McConnell is the politician most responsible for the change on the Supreme Court and in the federal judiciary, said Donald McGahn, Trump’s White House counsel. “He’s always had an eye on the long game,” McGahn said in introducing McConnell.
Democrats remain bitter about McConnell’s role. As Senate majority leader, he refused to allow a hearing on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court choice Merrick Garland in 2016, saying it was inappropriate in an election year. Garland was nominated to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February of that year.
Landscape with Cacti, Diego Rivera, 1931
It’s always disheartening to see minorities and women welcome their overlords. It’s something I’ve never understood. At least the animals at a livestock show don’t see what’s come but, damn, what person isn’t aware of the results of selling out? We’re seeing Republicans block every attempt to provide access to voting rights. They’re gerrymandering Texas right now in a manner that over-represents white people and underrepresented Hispanic Americans. This is from The Dallas News. “Senate Democrats seem to lack votes needed to push through scaled-down voting rights bill.” Let’s face it. They want governance by white christianist men period.
Congress is preparing for a showdown Wednesday on a doomed bill to protect minority voting rights that Democrats view as critical – and that, if it were in place, would derail the gerrymandered redistricting plan just finalized in Austin.
Republicans set aside a scant 14 of 38 U.S. House seats in Texas for Democrats, leaving the rest for themselves.
That’s 37% for Democrats, 63% for Republicans – a gap of 26 points that doesn’t even come close to passing muster under the Freedom to Vote Act, which uses recent federal elections as the benchmark to determine whether a congressional map is even modestly fair.
“There are serious voting rights issues on the map,” said Michael Li, a redistricting expert at the left-leaning Brennan Center for Justice.
He noted how blatantly the Texas congressional map that Gov. Greg Abbott will soon sign violates the proposed ban on partisan gerrymandering.
Republicans carried Texas in the last two races for president and U.S. Senate – but not by anything close to 26 points.
Sahuaro, Tucson, Arizona (1940) by Maynard Dixon
This analysis is from The Texas Observer and Justin Miller. “REPUBLICANS’ GERRYMANDERED MAPS TURN BACK TIME IN TEXAS. Once again, Republicans draw the lines of power to protect their incumbents and amplify their white, conservative, rural base—and deny millions of Texans of color their due political representation.”
With a quick glance at the new redistricting maps that Texas Republicans just rammed into law, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Lone Star State’s population became a whole lot whiter, more Republican, and more rural over the past decade.
But that is a political illusion achieved through surgical lines that create donut-hole districts, gnarled fists, and land bridges, drawn by a party desperate to avoid confronting the realities of a transformed state. People of color constituted 95 percent of Texas’ population growth over the past decade, including roughly half from Latinos alone, earning the state two new congressional districts. But Republicans used redistricting to effectively turn back time, locking in the white majoritarian rule that has controlled Texas since Reconstruction.
Democrats, voting rights advocates, and everyday constituents alike protested that the maps carved apart neighborhoods and voters of color in blatantly discriminatory fashion. But Republicans rushed through the legislative process with their fingers in their ears, providing the public with only a perfunctory chance to provide input as the maps advanced at a rapid clip. GOP leaders insisted that the maps were drawn “race-blind” and that their lawyers had assured them they were not running afoul of the federal Voting Rights Act.
By spreading out the electoral power of their white base in the vast expanses of deep-red rural Texas, Republicans shored up their current hold on power. They drew majority-white districts and fewer Hispanic majority districts, making red seats redder and blue seats bluer. This was done by defusing the ascendant political power of Latino, Black, and Asian voters in the cities and suburbs of Texas.
If this all sounds familiar, it should. During the last redistricting cycle in 2010, Republicans similarly maximized their political control with districts that courts repeatedly found were drawn with intent to racially discriminate. Those legal battles lasted through almost the entire decade. Now, more examples of brazen racial gerrymandering have cropped up in the new maps, just as they did 10 years prior. Take State Senate District 10 in Tarrant County. In 2018, a coalition of Black, Hispanic, and white voters flipped the seat by electing Democrat Beverly Powell. She may not have the seat for long; the new map transforms the 10th district into a conservative stronghold that dilutes Black and Hispanic votes by way of Republican voters in several nearby rural counties.
In the Texas House map, the GOP-held 54th district in Bell County had become increasingly competitive as the Black and Hispanic population grew in Killeen, which overwhelmingly voted for Biden in 2020. To protect that seat, Republicans made the 54th into a Bell County donut that completely encircled another Republican district. Each district got a piece of the county’s two Democratic-voting cities, Killeen and Temple.
Districts like the 22nd in Fort Bend County and the 24th in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs had finally become political battlegrounds in the last election cycle as multi-racial coalitions banded together. “That was like a glimpse of the future of American politics. Very coalitional, very multi-racial,” says Michael Li, a redistricting lawyer with the Brennan Center for Justice. But Republicans chose to dismantle those seats, packing diversifying areas into new deep-blue Democratic districts or cracking them off into Republican-held seats made whiter and redder by extending out into far-flung rural counties.
“Republicans are really scared of the suburbs because they’re becoming more diverse and because white voters in the suburbs aren’t as reliable for Republicans anymore and they’re not sure they’re getting it back anytime soon,” Li says.
Yellow Cactus, Georgia O’Keefe, 1929
So, hello from the Post Roe v. Wade reality. This is from NPR. “The Supreme Court keeps Texas abortion law in place, but agrees to review it.” Mitchell has obviously been the fluffer for this. Notice he didn’t need to fluff Kavanaugh and Gorsuch.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review a controversial Texas abortion law on Nov. 1 but refused to block the law while it examines Texas’ unusual enforcement scheme and whether the Department of Justice has the right to sue to block the law.
The court will not directly consider the constitutionality of the law. Instead, in its order, the court said it would consider the following questions:
- whether “the state can insulate from federal-court review a law that prohibits the exercise of a constitutional right by delegating to the general public the authority to enforce that prohibition through civil action”;
- and can “the United States bring suit in federal court and obtain injunctive or declaratory relief against the State, state court judges, state court clerks, other state officials, or all private parties to prohibit S.B. 8 from being enforced.”
Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented with keeping the law in place.
“The promise of future adjudication offers cold comfort, however, for Texas women seeking abortion care, who are entitled to relief now,” she wrote. “These women will suffer personal harm from delaying their medical care, and as their pregnancies progress, they may even be unable to obtain abortion care altogether.”
“There are women in Texas who became pregnant on or around the day that S. B. 8 took effect. As I write these words, some of those women do not know they are pregnant. When they find out, should they wish to exercise their constitutional right to seek abortion care, they will be unable to do so anywhere in their home State. Those with sufficient resources may spend thousands of dollars and multiple days anxiously seeking care from out-of-state providers so overwhelmed with Texas patients that they cannot adequately serve their own communities. Those without the ability to make this journey, whether due to lack of money or childcare or employment flexibility or the myriad other constraints that shape people’s day-to-day lives, may be forced to carry to term against their wishes or resort to dangerous methods of self-help.”
We may all have to become flowers that bloom in a democracy desert quite soon. I’m glad BB covered the Republican cover-up of the insurrection yesterday so I can just forget it a bit here. We’re going to have to organize and show up again. Get ready. This will be a wild News Day.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Posted: October 18, 2021 Filed under: Afternoon Reads, Republican politics
1935, Pablo Picasso
Good Day Sky Dancers!
I continue to spend my life on the phone or near my roof with adjustors of all flavors. It’s extremely exhausting but my Insurance adjustor is a peach and he’s getting a mitigation company to investigate my attic where wind-driven rain got to a piece of fascia and then into the attic over my hall and bathroom. Luckily, it’s the new addition so the ceilings aren’t as tall as the old part of the house. They’re going to get an estimate from a mitigation company on what needs to be done in the attic and the ceilings. My 3-year old roof held up though which is why I didn’t get any more catastrophic damage.
Today we learned that Colin Powell has passed. He was fighting cancer and Covid-19 complications ended his life. Powell was a complex figure. He was the first black Secretary of State as a Republican under Dubya where some of his most controversial decisions included receiving faulty information that led us into the endless war in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq. He left the Republicans in the dust and became involved with the Obama campaign. He gave up on the Republican party as many moderate to center Republicans have.
Powell was a Vietnam Vet. The one lost bit of his service often overlooks his role in the My Lai Massacre. I’ll put a brief reference to that here. This is from The Nation and David Corn. It was published in May 2001. “Colin Powell’s Vietnam Fog. The war was years ago, but that does not excuse misrepresenting one’s participation in it.”
The hell of Vietnam—an unpopular war that involved hard-to-discern guerrilla combatants, brutal depopulation strategies, indiscriminate bombing and much “collateral damage,” as military bureaucrats called civilian kills—offers its distinct challenges to memory, the individual memories of many who served there and the collective memory of the nation that sent them and sponsored a dirty war of free-fire zones and destroy-the-village-to-save-the-village tactics. In reviewing Colin Powell’s military service recently, I found that Powell had his own trouble in setting the record straight on his involvement—tangential as it was—in one of the war’s more traumatic episodes.
As Powell notes in his 1995 autobiography, My American Journal, in 1969 he was an Army major, the deputy operations officer of the Americal Division, stationed at division headquarters in Chu Lai. He says that in March of that year, an investigator from the inspector general’s office of Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) paid a call. In a “Joe Friday monotone,” the investigator shot questions at Powell about Powell’s position at the division and the division’s operational journals, of which Powell was the custodian. The inspector then asked Powell to produce the journals for March 1968. Powell started to explain that he had not been with the division at that time. “Just get the journal,” the IG man snapped, “and go through that month’s entries. Let me know if you find an unusual number of enemy killed on any day.”
Powell flipped through the records and came upon an entry from March 16, 1968. The journal noted that a unit of the division had reported a body count of 128 enemy dead on the Batangan Peninsula. “In this grinding, grim, but usually unspectacular warfare,” Powell writes, “that was a high number.” The investigator requested that Powell read the number into the tape recorder he had brought, and that was essentially the end of the interview. “He left,” Powell recalls, “leaving me as mystified as to his purpose as when he arrived.”
It would not be until two years later (according to the original version of Powell’s book) or six months later (according to the paperback version of the book) that Powell figured out that the IG official had been probing what was then a secret, the My Lai massacre. Not until the fall of 1969 did the world learned that on March 16, 1968, troops from the Americal Division, under the command of Lieut. William Calley, killed scores of men, women and children in that hamlet. “Subsequent investigation revealed that Calley and his men killed 347 people,” Powell writes. “The 128 enemy ‘kills’ I had found in the journal formed part of the total.”
Though he does not say so expressly, Powell leaves the impression that the IG investigation, using information provided by Powell, uncovered the massacre, for which Calley was later court-martialed. That is not accurate.
The transcript of the tape-recorded interview between the IG man—Lieut. Col. William Sheehan—and Powell tells a different story. During that session—which actually happened on May 23, 1969—the IG investigator did request that Powell take out the division’s operations journals covering the first three weeks of March. (The IG inquiry had been triggered by letters written to the Pentagon, the White House and twenty-four members of Congress by Ron Ridenhour, a former serviceman who had learned about the mass murders.) Sheehan examined the records. Then he asked Powell to say for the record what activity had transpired in “grid square BS 7178” in this period. “The most significant of these occurred on 16, March, 1968,” Powell replied, “beginning at 0740 when C Company, 1st of the 20th, then under Task Force Barker, and the 11th Infantry Brigade, conducted a combat assault into a hot LZ [landing zone].” He noted that C Company, after arriving in the landing zone, killed one Vietcong. About fifteen minutes later, the same company, backed up by helicopter gunships, killed three VC. In the following hour, the gunships killed three more VC, while C Company “located documents and equipment” and killed fourteen Vietcong. “There is no indication of the nature of the action which caused these fourteen VC KIA,” Powell said. Later that morning, C Company, according to the journal, captured a shortwave radio and detained twenty-three VC suspects for questioning, while two other companies that were also part of Task Force Barker were active in the same area without registering any enemy kills.
He’ll always be best remembered for that ill-begotten speech at the UN. This is from CNN: “Colin Powell, first Black US secretary of state, dies of Covid-19 complications amid cancer battle.”
In February 2003, Powell delivered a speech before the United Nations in which he presented evidence that the US intelligence community said proved Iraq had misled inspectors and hid weapons of mass destruction.
“There can be no doubt,” Powell warned, “that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more.”
Inspectors, however, later found no such weaponry in Iraq, and two years after Powell’s UN speech, a government report said the intelligence community was “dead wrong” in its assessments of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction capabilities before the US invasion.
But the damage was already done — to both Iraq, which the US went to war with just six weeks after Powell’s speech, and to the reputation of the once highly popular statesman, who was reportedly told by Cheney before the UN speech: “You’ve got high poll ratings; you can afford to lose a few points.”
Powell, who left the State Department in early 2005 after submitting his resignation to Bush the previous year, later called his UN speech a “blot” that will forever be on his record.
“I regret it now because the information was wrong — of course I do,” he told CNN’s Larry King in 2010. “But I will always be seen as the one who made the case before the international community.”
“I swayed public opinion, there’s no question about it,” he added, referring to how influential his speech was on public support for the invasion.
In his 2012 memoir, “It Worked for Me,” Powell again acknowledged the speech, writing that his account of it in the book would likely be the last he publicly made.
I am mad mostly at myself for not having smelled the problem. My instincts failed me,” he wrote, referring to the report he used that contained faulty evidence of supposed Iraqi WMDs. “It was by no means my first, but it was one of my most momentous failures, the one with the widest-ranging impact.”
“The event will earn a prominent paragraph in my obituary,” Powell wrote.
Gustav Klimt, Emilie Flöge (1902).
I liked Powell. It’s hard to be first of anything especially when you’re a woman or minority. I think both President Obama and Secretary Powell had to shoulder “the first black man to” and did so with a lot of caution. That’s a tough balancing act. He finally followed his own gut when he came out strongly for Obama. The one thing to admire about him was he was never one to avoid responsibility or apologies for leadership decisions that went awry
I’m having trouble figuring out one of my Senators who keeps showing a bit of unexpected independence from his Republican masters. This is from Axios: “GOP senator calls for senility test for aging leaders.” Both of my senators started out as liberal democrats. Maybe he’s getting a bit of his conscience back.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an “Axios on HBO” interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.
Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 … Speaker Pelosi, 81 … Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 … and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.
Cassidy, a gastroenterologist, told me during our wide-ranging interview in Chalmette, La., that in your 80s, you begin a “rapid decline.”
- Noting he wasn’t talking about specific people, Cassidy said: “It’s usually noticeable. So anybody in a position of responsibility who may potentially be on that slope, that is of concern. And I’m saying this as a doctor.”
- “I’m told that there have been senators in the past who, at the end of their Senate terms were senile,” Cassidy added. “I’m told that was true of senators of both parties.”
Cassidy said it’d be reasonable for Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, and executive branch leaders to submit to an annual evaluation in which they would have to establish cognitive sharpness.
- “We each have a sacred responsibility to the people of the United States,” Cassidy said. “It is not about me. It is about my ability to serve the people.”
- Asked if he’d favor such a test for those leaders, Cassidy said: “Of course.”
🎬Watch a clip: A rare GOP smack to Trump … Cassidy says Donald Trump might lose the GOP nomination if he runs in 2024 — noting that Trump lost “the House, the Senate and the presidency in four years. Elections are about winning.”
Mickalene Thomas, Dim All The Lights (2009).
Senator Cassidy has gone rogue on several of the most Trumpy of Trumpist votes. This includes his vote for impeachment this year. This is from earlier this year and WaPo.
Sen. Bill Cassidy has been signaling for a few months that he wants to be a more independent force. After the November elections, in which the Louisiana Republican easily won a second term, Cassidy joined a bipartisan group that broke a negotiating logjam and paved the way for a $900 billion pandemic relief bill.
And on Jan. 6, as rioters supporting President Donald Trump were still being ejected from the Capitol, Cassidy condemned the attack in strong terms and demanded that Trump order the mob to stand down. “He needs to speak, because the president can speak as no one else can to these folks,” Cassidy told a Louisiana TV station that day.
But few expected Cassidy’s next bold, independent step — breaking GOP ranks and voting to declare that Trump’s second impeachment trial is constitutional and should proceed — particularly after he initially voted to essentially dismiss the case.
Don’t call him a RINO or a moderate he says. Perhaps he’s angling to just be the Republican Joe Manchin. It’s possible he sees himself as a non-partisan deal maker.
Why is doing things in moderation or being moderate a thought police crime these days? So, I had an overly exciting night yesterday having swallowed a part of a bay leaf that literally took my breath away and left me unable to speak. I finally used the old trick of a finger down the throat to get it out. Not an experience I’d want to share with anyone. I’m a bit out of sorts today. I also got my Pfizer booster on Friday plus all the adjustor stuff on Saturday. I’m going to call it a blog post and leave the chatting to you!
What’s on reading and list today?
Posted: October 15, 2021 Filed under: Afternoon Reads, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Congress, Domestic terrorism
Good Afternoon Sky Dancers!
Frida Kahlo, Niña tehuacana, Lucha María (Sol y luna) ( Girl from Tehuacán, Lucha María [ Sun and Moon ]), 1942. © 2019 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy of Di Donna Galleries.
Just got back from a very long wait for my Covid-19 Pfizer booster. I’d plan to get a flu shot too but they’d been out for over a week at my closest Walgreen’s. So, I’m way late and needed a reminder from BB. There are a lot of stories out there with one basic theme. Donald Trump and the throwback Republican Party are actively trying to dismantle our democratic republic.
Chauncey DeVega writes this for Salon: “Steve Bannon’s second act: He’s back, and he wants to bring down the curtain on democracy. Maybe you thought “Trump’s brain” was off the political stage forever. But he’s back — and now he smells revenge”
Bannon has been in the news this week: He may be charged with criminal contempt by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol assault, and he hosted an event in Virginia on Wednesday night where attendees reportedly recited the Pledge of Allegiance before a flag used in that insurrection.
It does indeed seem likely that Bannon appears to have played a key role in the events of Jan. 6 and perhaps also in Trump’s overarching coup attempt. On a recent episode of his podcast, Bannon admitted to telling Trump, prior to that date, “You need to kill this [Biden] administration in its crib.”
Bannon has also made repeated use of the technique known as stochastic terrorism to encourage right-wing violence, while disclaiming personal responsibility. As HuffPost reports, he recently told his listeners of his “War Room” podcast: “We need to get ready now. We control the country. We’ve got to start acting like it. And one way we’re going to act like it, we’re not going to have 4,000 [shock troops] ready to go, we’re going to have 20,000 ready to go.”
Bannon has said these “shock troops” would be used to destroy the federal government from within in a second Trump administration, as a way of tearing down what he calls “the administrative state,” an anti-government euphemism that also includes multiracial democracy.
Political scientists, historians and others have shown that such rhetoric is used by Republicans and their allies (and by too many “moderate” or corporate-sponsored Democrats) to justify attacks on the very idea of government itself, in large part because they perceive it as serving the interests of Black and brown people and others deemed to be “undeserving.”
Bannon’s use of violent language about “shock troops” — in a military context, this means heavily armed, fast-moving elite soldiers used to break through enemy defenses — is not necessarily hyperbole or metaphor. Rather, it should be seen as part of a larger embrace of political violence and other terrorism by the Republican fascist movement.
Alice Rahon : Gato Nocturno : Night Cat, 1942
BB wrote a lot about Bannon’s refusal to submit to a congressional subpoena and a possible criminal complaint will be voted on in the full House of Representatives shortly. This is from Molly Jung-fast writing for The Atlantic: Democrats Are Ready to Send Steve Bannon to Jail. If Democrats want answers, they’ll need to enforce their subpoenas in the face of Trump allies’ defiance. They say that’s just what they plan to do.”
Democrats want to uphold norms of interparty civility while also preventing Trump and his buddies from completely undermining democracy. But time is running out. The January 6 committee is one of Congress’s last chances to narrate the Capitol riots and the Trump administration’s efforts to subvert the peaceful transfer of power. The only way to fight fascism is with narrative, Masha Gessen, the writer and activist, once told me. The select-committee probe presents a real opportunity to do just that.
Enforcing the committee’s subpoenas isn’t a controversial idea, Representative Eric Swalwell of California told me. “We must enforce congressional subpoenas not just for holding insurrectionists accountable but to show everyone in America that we all follow the same rules,” he said. “If Bannon and company are above the law, why wouldn’t nonpublic figures toss their lawful subpoenas in the trash?”
Perhaps Bannon thinks that the committee won’t follow through, or that jail time might martyr him. He’s dodged consequences for alleged misconduct before. Last year, he faced prison for his role in the “We Build the Wall” scheme, which prosecutors said was fraudulent, but Trump granted him an 11th-hour pardon. At least he’s had some time to think about what he might have to pack.
Susan Glasser calls the Trump Presidency an “active crime scene”.
A book from the former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, “The Chief’s Chief,” is due out in December; Trump promoted it the other day as “an incredible Christmas present” that will explain how his Administration “did things that no other administration even thought they could do.”
Trump, of course, meant this as a bragging point, not as an ironic commentary on all the norm-busting and lawbreaking that occurred during his four years in office. “Remember,” he said in the statement, “there has never been an administration like ours.” In that, he’s right. The rapidly accumulating pile of books on the history of the Trump Administration is different in a crucial respect: they are not helping to explain the past so much as they are attempting to explain a present and very much ongoing crisis. Meadows, for example, is a crucial witness in the investigation by the House select committee into the events of January 6th. The panel subpoenaed him and several other Trump advisers to give testimony and hand over documents, with a deadline of Thursday. Not one has done so, setting the stage for a new and potentially protracted series of court battles. The panel announced on Thursday that it will seek to hold Steve Bannon, Trump’s fired White House strategist (the two later reconciled), in criminal contempt; it said that it is still negotiating with Meadows and the former Pentagon official Kash Patel. How many months or years will we have to wait to find out what they and others knew, and did, as a pro-Trump mob tried to stop Congress from certifying Trump’s defeat?
The bottom line is that the story of the Trump Presidency still has important unanswered questions that the forthcoming pile of books cannot answer. And they have an urgency about them that unanswered questions about past Administrations usually don’t, given the ongoing threat to our democracy: Trump is not only preparing to run again but is determined to mold the G.O.P. into a single-issue Party, the ideology of which consists solely of disputing the legitimacy of the election that turned him out of office. The Trump Presidency is not yet, alas, simply a matter for booksellers and book writers; it’s an active crime scene.
Hayv Kahraman, T25 and T26, 2017. © Hayv Kahraman. Courtesy of the artist, Jack Shainman Gallery, and White Cube.
Republican states are happily destroying the civil rights of women and minorities expecting no retribution when their actions get to the supreme court. This headline out of Oklahoma is beyond disturbing. It’s a horrific injustice and downright mean-spirited. “Native American Woman In Oklahoma Convicted Of Manslaughter Over Miscarriage. Brittney Poolaw faces four years in prison for a miscarriage she suffered less than halfway through her pregnancy.” The headline comes via Oxygen.
Prosecutors in Oklahoma successfully argued to a jury this month that a woman who had a miscarriage was guilty of the manslaughter of her non-viable fetus.
Brittney Poolaw, 21, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter by a Comanche County jury on Oct. 5 for the death of her fetus that had a gestational age of 15 to 17 weeks, reported ABC affiliate KSWO in Lawton, Oklahoma. She was charged with in the case on Mar. 16, 2020 after a miscarriage that occurred on Jan. 4, 2020.
Obstetricians determine gestational ages based on the date of the woman’s last period prior to getting pregnant — i.e., before the date of conception. The U.S. Supreme Court determined with Roe v. Wade in 1973 that legal viability is after the 28th gestational week, when fetal survival is generally above 90 percent, but medical viability is pegged at 25-26 weeks, when the fetus has more than a 50 percent chance of surviving outside the womb, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only defines a fetus as “stillborn” if it is delivered after 20 weeks gestational age; before that, it’s medically considered a miscarriage.
The Lawton Constitution reported last year that, according to police, the then-19 year-old Poolaw miscarried at home in early 2020 and was brought to the Comanche County Memorial Hospital with the umbilical cord still attached to the fetus. She told the medical staff that she had used both methamphetamines and marijuana while she’d been pregnant.
Later, in interviews with police, Poolaw allegedly confirmed that she’d smoked marijuana but used methamphetamines intravenously, including as recently as two days prior to her miscarriage. She also allegedly told them, according to the Lawton paper, “that when she first became pregnant, she didn’t know if she wanted to keep the baby or not.”
It is unclear from those reports whether she had actively decided to continue the pregnancy, given that she had been 15 to 17 weeks along, simply hadn’t made a decision or had few other options but to continue it. The nonprofit Guttmacher Institute notes that 53 percent of women in Oklahoma live in the 96 percent of counties with no facilities that offer abortion services — Comanche County among them — and the state requires a woman go to a provider twice, 72 hours apart, in order to obtain an abortion. Abortion is, by law, not covered by most private insurance plans in the state without an extra rider, and it isn’t covered by Medicaid except in extremely limited circumstances.
(In April 2021, Oklahoma’s governor signed three bills that will effectively eliminate all abortion access in the state — including a ban on any abortions after six weeks gestational age. The new laws are scheduled to take effect in November. They would not, however, have applied in Poolaw’s case.)
Technically speaking, Oklahoma state law did not criminalize women for miscarriages, stillbirths or other fetal harm for which prosecutors felt the woman was at fault until September 2020, when the state Supreme Court ruled that, despite the state’s child neglect and homicide laws making no reference to fetuses, the laws nonetheless encompassed a viable fetus whose mother used drugs.
Dorothea Tanning, Fatala, 1947. © Dorothea Tanning Foundation. Image courtesy of Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco.
The Washington Post reports that the “Justice Department will ask Supreme Court to block Texas abortion law while legal fights play out .”
The Department of Justice said Friday that it will ask the Supreme Court for an emergency halt to the Texas law that has restricted access to abortion in the nation’s second largest state to an extent not seen in 50 years.
The announcement followed a decision by a federal appeals court Thursday night that allowed the law to remain in effect. A lower court judge last week said the law was unconstitutional.
The department’s announcement meant the high court for the second time will be asked to put the law on hold while legal challenges to it continue. In a divisive 5 to 4 decision last month, the court allowed the law to take effect as the case goes forward, even though the majority said it raised constitutional concerns.
Abortion has emerged as the most dominant issue at the Supreme Court this term, as those opposed to it see a new opportunity for victory in the court’s changed membership, with three members nominated by President Donald Trump.
The court on Dec. 1 will hear a challenge to a Mississippi law that conservatives have urged the court to use to overturn the constitutional right to abortion established nearly a half-century ago in Roe v. Wade.
Mississippi’s law would ban most abortions after 15 weeks. Roe and subsequent decisions say a state may not impose undue burdens on the right to choose abortion before fetal viability, normally gauged to be between 22 and 24 weeks. The Mississippi law was put on hold by lower courts.
Texas’s law is more restrictive than that. It bars abortion as early as six weeks into the pregnancy, when many do not realize they are pregnant, and makes no exceptions for rape or incest.
And lastly, in the category of they walk among us:
All this has made me quite distrustful of a whole lot of White Americans.
A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges after prosecutors say he helped to hide evidence of a rioter’s involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The officer, Michael A. Riley, is accused of tipping off someone who participated in the riot by telling them to remove posts from Facebook that had showed the person inside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack, according to court documents.
Riley, 50, appeared virtually in federal court in Washington and was released with several conditions, including that he surrender any firearms and not travel outside the U.S. without permission from a judge. He was ordered to return to court later this month.
Riley, who responded to a report of a pipe bomb on Jan. 6 and has been a Capitol Police officer for about 25 years, had sent the person a message telling them that he was an officer with the police force who “agrees with your political stance,” an indictment against him says.
The indictment spells out how Riley sent dozens of messages to the unidentified person, encouraging them to remove incriminating photos and videos and telling them how the FBI was investigating to identify rioters.
I hope you have a good weekend. I seem to have no soreness or anything on my arm. I’m hoping this holds. Meanwhile, Blow up your TV, Throw away your paper …
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Posted: October 9, 2021 Filed under: Afternoon Reads | Tags: Chuck Schumer, debt limit, Donald Trump, executive privilege, January 6 Committee, Michael Flynn, Mitch McConnell, QAnon, Senate Judiciary Committee report
Lightning Cloud, by Chiakiro
Politico “Playbook” has a good brief summary of where things stand right now with the January 6 Committee investigation: The Jan. 6 committee drama gets serious. (I’ve added a few links to longer articles.)
JAN. 6 INVESTIGATION STEAMROLLS FORWARD — Over the last 24 hours, we’ve seen major developments in the ongoing investigation into the pro-Trump Jan. 6 riots that sought to overthrow democracy in America.
1) Executive privilege waived: “President JOE BIDEN will not invoke executive privilege to shield an initial set of records from DONALD TRUMP’s White House that’s being sought by congressional investigators probing the Jan. 6 Capitol attack,” report Nicholas Wu, Kyle Cheney, Betsy Woodruff Swan and Meridith McGraw.
— What comes next: Trump has 30 days to challenge the decision in court, after which time, the National Archives will release the documents to the Jan. 6 panel. The former president is already asserting privilege over 45 specific documents requested from the committee, and indicated in a letter that he wants to bar the release of additional documents “potentially numbering in the millions.”
2) Committee subpoenas hit deadlines: The first wave of high-profile subpoenas from the Jan. 6 committee have been served, and not all of the subjects are cooperating, as Nicholas, Kyle, Betsy and Meridith detail:
- STEVE BANNON claims that Trump’s invocation of executive privilege means that he doesn’t have to participate. (That strikes legal experts as dubious, seeing as at the time of the 2020 election, Bannon hadn’t worked in the White House for several years.)
- MARK MEADOWS is “engaging with the Select Committee,” per a statement from the panel.
- KASH PATEL issued a statement Friday confirming that he “responded to the subpoena in a timely manner” and is engaging with the committee.
- DAN SCAVINO was officially served with his subpoena on Friday.
— What comes next: In a statement from Jan. 6 Committee Chair BENNIE THOMPSON (D-Miss.) and Vice Chair LIZ CHENEY (R-Wyo.), the panel said it “will not allow any witness to defy a lawful subpoena or attempt to run out the clock, and we will swiftly consider advancing a criminal contempt of Congress referral.” If they’re serious, a criminal referral would require a full floor vote in the House.More from NYT’s Maggie Haberman and Luke Broadwater
— Something to watch:“Congress’ Jan. 6 investigators face an inevitable reckoning with their GOP colleagues,”by Kyle Cheney and Olivia Beavers
By Ophelia Redpath, 1965
Also from Politico: Capitol Police whistleblower delivers scathing rebuke to two of its senior leaders on Jan. 6, by Daniel Lippman and Betsy Woodruff Swan.
A former high-ranking Capitol Police official with knowledge of the department’s response to the Jan. 6 attack has sent congressional leaders a scathing letter accusing two of its senior leaders of mishandling intelligence and failing to respond properly during the riot.
The whistleblower, who requested anonymity for privacy reasons and left the force months after the attack, sent the 16-page letter late last month to the top members of both parties in the House and Senate. His missive makes scorching allegations against Sean Gallagher, the Capitol Police’s acting chief of uniformed operations, and Yogananda Pittman, its assistant chief of police for protective and intelligence operations — who also served as its former acting chief.
The whistleblower accuses Gallagher and Pittman of deliberately choosing not to help officers under attack on Jan. 6 and alleges that Pittman lied to Congress about an intelligence report Capitol Police received before that day’s riot. After a lengthy career in the department, the whistleblower was a senior official on duty on Jan. 6.
The whistleblower’s criticism went beyond Capitol Police leaders to Congress. Without naming specific lawmakers, his letter accuses congressional leaders of having “purposefully failed” to tell the truth about the department’s failures.
POLITICO obtained the letter detailing the allegations, which is circulating among Capitol Police officers, and is publishing portions of it here. To protect the whistleblower’s identity, POLITICO is not publishing the letter in full.
Click the Politico link to read the rest.
By Evelina Oliveira
This morning the Washington Post Editorial Board posted this in response to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s report on Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election at a meeting three days before the January 6 attack on the Capitol: Opinion: Without these changes, U.S. democracy will remain vulnerable to Trump and other bad actors.
The Senate report details how Mr. Trump tried persistently to enlist the Justice Department in his scheme to overturn the 2020 election results. His pressure campaign, after Attorney General William P. Barr resigned in December, featured calls and meetings with Mr. Rosen and other top Justice Department staff. It continued as Mr. Trump sent them a preposterous petition he wanted them to file with the Supreme Court asking the justices to void Joe Biden’s victory. It reached its zenith in a cockamamie plot to force Mr. Rosen to pressure state governments to cook the results or be replaced by Jeffrey Clark, a lower-ranking Justice official who would go along with the scheme.
Mr. Trump failed because Mr. Rosen and other officials in key positions refused to cooperate and threatened to resign. But they could not stop Mr. Trump from forcing the resignation of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta and replacing him with a lawyer the then-president thought would pursue the fraud investigations he wanted to see.
The editors argue:
The seriousness of Mr. Trump’s effort to nullify an election, his continuing lies about the results and the willingness of so many Republicans to indulge those lies call for several responses.
The investigations must continue. The House’s Jan. 6 committee should compel Mr. Clark, who did not cooperate with the Senate Judiciary panel, to testify. The House and the Justice Department must enforce the committee’s subpoenas, which several Trump confidantes appear prepared to flout on the former president’s say-so. The National Archives should turn over documents immediately. If courts are involved, judges must act with urgency….
Most urgently, Congress must reinforce elements of the nation’s democratic infrastructure vulnerable to exploitation by bad actors such as Mr. Trump. It should revamp the ancient Electoral Count Act to limit partisan interference in presidential vote tallying, and it should impose federal election standards that insulate state election officials from political pressure.
The Committee needs to get right to work on enforcing the subpoenas and Steve Bannon should immediately be arrested and jailed. I hope they do something quickly, but I’m not holding my breath.
After he backed down and allowed a vote to avert a U.S. default and a global financial crisis, Mitch McConnell is now threatening to let it happen in December. His excuse is that Chuck Schumer made an
“inappropriate” speech after the vote. Here’s the speech:
Behind Schumer, you can also see Joe Manchin having a hissy fit over the speech. He agrees with his pal McConnell, apparently.
The Guardian: Schumer ‘poisoned well’ over debt limit, McConnell says in insult-laden letter.
Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, sought to fight his way out of a corner on Friday by releasing an angry letter in which he blamed Democrats for the impasse over the debt ceiling he broke by ending a refusal to co-operate he had said was absolute.
In the letter to Joe Biden, McConnell complained about a speech in which the Democratic majority leader, Chuck Schumer, attacked Republicans for their behaviour.
Lamenting Schumer’s lack of civility – which prompted angry scenes in the Senate – McConnell levelled a string of insults at his opposite number.
Paradise Cat, by Hans Ruettimann
“Last night,” the minority leader wrote, late on Friday, “in a bizarre spectacle, Senator Schumer exploded in a rant that was so partisan, angry and corrosive that even Democratic senators were visibly embarrassed by him and for him.
“This tantrum encapsulated and escalated a pattern of angry incompetence from Senator Schumer … this childish behavior only further alienated the Republican members who helped facilitate this short-term patch. It has poisoned the well even further.”
Democrats argue it was McConnell who poisoned the well by refusing to co-operate with raising the debt limit, a step they took repeatedly with Donald Trump in power. Experts say a US default would be catastrophic for the global economy.
McConnell insisted: “In light of Senator Schumer’s hysterics and my grave concerns about the ways that another vast, reckless, partisan spending bill would hurt Americans and help China, I will not be a party to any future effort to mitigate the consequences of Democratic mismanagement.”
Suddenly being partisan is a bad thing because a Democrat did it? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
Finally, a little comic relief: it appears that the Q-Anon nuts have turned on Michael Flynn. Will Sommer at The Daily Beast: Michael Flynn to QAnon Believers: I’m Not a Satanist!
Former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has been on a relentless media tour since his pardon last year, sitting for interviews with even the most obscure right-wing media outlets to promote the MAGA agenda.
But on Tuesday, Flynn appeared on a little-known YouTube channel called Truth Unveiled TV for a very different reason: rebutting the idea that he led a church congregation in a Satanic ritual borrowed from a nuclear doomsday cult.
In a video entitled “Some Have Said That General Flynn Prayed to Satan in a Recent Prayer,” host Paul Oebel gave Flynn a chance to rebut the growing right-wing controversy alleging he’s signed on with Lucifer.
Steampunk cat lady, by Jeff Haynie
“I even saw a show the other day saying ‘Michael’s flipped on the side of the devil,’” Oebel said. “Can you please explain what happened there?”
“All of these people that talk about turning to whatever…” Flynn said. “People need to stop overthinking what everybody is saying.”
The bizarre YouTube interview marked Flynn’s latest attempt in a weeks-long campaign to convince his one-time fans in the QAnon conspiracy theory movement that he isn’t a Satanist.
Prior to the unusual controversy, Flynn had embraced his position as a hero to supporters of QAnon, taking a QAnon oath, raising money from QAnon believers, and selling QAnon T-shirts. In May, Flynn even appeared at a QAnon conference and endorsed the idea of a military coup.
But QAnon fame is a fickle thing. After promoting QAnon for more than a year, Flynn now finds himself on the business end of the conspiracy theory. Like QAnon targets before him, Flynn is now struggling to persuade angry QAnon believers that he isn’t a secret Satan-worshipper.
Read the rest at The Daily Beast.
That’s all I have for you today. Have a great weekend!
Posted: October 8, 2021 Filed under: Afternoon Reads, Insurection, January 6, January 6 Committe, Right Wing Angst
Good Afternoon Sky Dancers!
We’re six months past a soft coup d’etat that investigations show was way worse than we thought. It came after months of careful, planning, changes in staffing at DOJ and the Pentagon, and many attempts to manipulate state officials. The brutality to Capitol Hill Officers during the insurrection was terrifying. However, there was a clear, cynical lead-up for planners in the White House–clearly led and encouraged by Trump–as shown by a Senate Committee investigation. This post follows up on BB’s post yesterday as more information becomes available.
From CNN: “Senate Judiciary Committee issues sweeping report detailing how Trump and a top DOJ lawyer attempted to overturn 2020 election”. Trump “relentlessly” sought to overturn the election.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday released a sweeping report about how former President Donald Trump and a top lawyer in the Justice Department attempted to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Trump directly asked the Justice Department nine times to undermine the election result, and his chief of staff Mark Meadows broke administration policy by pressuring a Justice Department lawyer to investigate claims of election fraud, according to the report, which is based on witness interviews of top former Justice Department officials.
The Democratic-led committee also revealed that White House counsel Pat Cipollone threatened to quit in early January as Trump considered replacing then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ lawyer who supported election fraud conspiracies.
After the eight-month investigation, the findings highlight the relentlessness of Trump and some of his top advisers as they fixated on using the Justice Department to prop up false conspiracies of election fraud. The committee report, the most comprehensive account so far of Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, described his conduct as an abuse of presidential power.
The massive plot to overturn the election that eventually led to the January 6 soft coup is laid out bare at the CNN link. You may watch the coverage and continue reading there. This intersects nicely with the 1/6 Commission’s work. They’ve issued subpoenas and Donald Trump has asked four big players to ignore them. From The Independent: “Four of Mr Trump’s associates were sent subpoenas by House select committee investigating 6 January”
Confirming that Mr would not be cooperating, The Washington Post reported the text of a letter from Mr Bannon’s lawyer to the committee citing the former president’s executive privilege.
“It is therefore clear to us that since the executive privileges belong to President Trump and he has, through his counsel, announced his intention to assert those privileges … we must accept his direction and honour his invocation of executive privilege,” attorney Robert Costello wrote.
Mr Bannon’s response was also confirmed by another source who told CNN that a second of Mr Trump’s inner circle asked to cooperate with the investigation, former chief of staff Mark Meadows, has responded, but it is as yet unknown whether he will or will not cooperate.
Four of Mr Trump’s associates were sent subpoenas by the House select committee. It is not yet known if the other two, Karsh Patel and Dan Scavino, have responded.
Lawyers working for the former president sent letters to the four men on Wednesday saying that Mr Trump viewed the subpoenas as an infringement of executive privilege and that they should not cooperate.
Trump continues to push the false narrative that he has some kind of blanket executive privilege after office. He clearly does not as witnessed by the flurry of documents released to both committees by the real President.
Susan B Glasser has penned this for The New Yorker: “The Battle of January 6th Has Just Begun. Nine months after the storming of the Capitol, Trump is more popular with the G.O.P. and his Big Lie is more widely believed.”
But look at where our politics are, nine months after the insurrection, and they tell a radically different story. Trump is, per Pew and other recent polls, both the overwhelming favorite among Republicans for 2024 and their continuing spiritual leader. (Two-thirds of the Republicans and Republican-leaning independents that Pew surveyed wanted Trump to continue to be a major national figure, a total that’s gone up by ten points since January. Yes, that’s not a typo—it’s gone up.) Just as important, he has succeeded in selling his party on his Big Lie about the 2020 election, on January 6th revisionism, and on taking a series of specific actions—from changing how states certify elections to purging state Republican officials who did not go along with his 2020 coup attempt—that will affect American democracy for years to come, whether or not Trump runs again.
Consider one metric I’ve been obsessed with: the increase in the percentage of Republicans who believe Trump’s falsehoods about the election. In January, a CNN poll found that seventy-five per cent of Republicans said that Biden was not legitimately elected President. In April, that number declined to seventy per cent, but now, according to the most recent CNN survey, it has risen to seventy-eight per cent. Yes, more Republicans believe that the 2020 election was stolen now than did when the pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.
On January 7th, it was still possible to anticipate a different outcome. But, on October 7th, we have to acknowledge that this didn’t happen. Nine months ago, in the immediate aftermath of the insurrection, enough Republican leaders and Trump White House officials viewed the Trump-inspired attack on the democratic transition of power as an event of such horrifying excess that it was difficult to imagine them normalizing, justifying, and rationalizing it as they had the Trumpian excesses of the previous four years. Yet that is exactly what has taken place in the intervening months. “Republicans initially started down the road to a post-Trump party, as opposed to a Trump party . . . and they backed up in record time,” Larry Sabato, the director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, told me, on Thursday. “They have missed the historic opportunity to put Trump in the past.” The result is that the political crisis today is worse than it was, not better. The unacceptable has been accepted by a shockingly large part of the population and its political leadership.
Krishen Khanna, News of Gandhiji’s Death (1948). Oil on canvas.
This long form analysis is shocking, indeed! But this viewpoint is very on point!
The survey, which is worth reading in its entirety, shows that this is not a problem of ideology or policy or the other markers of conventional American politics. It is something much deeper and more intractable: two parties whose members now hate one another with a fierce, anti-democratic, Constitution-threatening passion. Eighty-four per cent of Trump voters said that Democratic officials are a “clear and present danger” to society; seventy-eight per cent of Trump voters also said that Americans who strongly support Democrats are a “clear and present danger.” This level of antipathy is fully reciprocated by Democrats; eighty per cent of Biden voters surveyed said that Republican officials represent a “clear and present danger,” and seventy-five per cent of them said the same about Americans who strongly support Republicans. Things are so bad that fifty-two per cent of Trump voters and forty-one per cent of Biden voters said that they would favor seceding from America. January 6th may not have been the end of Trump so much as the beginning of something even worse.
Which is time to discuss today’s events.
Let’s dive deeper into that. From HuffPo and Sara Boboltz: “Trump Told 4 Officials To Ignore Jan. 6 Committee Subpoena: Report. The House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol wants to hear from Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, Dan Scavino, and Kash Patel.”
Select Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) wrote in each of his Sept. 23 letters to the witnesses that the panel is “investigating the facts, circumstances, and causes of the January 6th attack and issues relating to the peaceful transfer of power, in order to identify and evaluate lessons learned and to recommend to the House and its relevant committees corrective laws, policies, procedures, rules, or regulations.”
Thompson’s committee has already taken steps to get its hands on communications from the Trump White House relating to the attack. In August, it sent a sweeping records request to the National Archives, which handles presidential records, and to several federal agencies asking for documentation.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki indicated last month that President Joe Biden was unlikely to block any Trump-era records from making their way onto committee members’ desks, but the administration later issued a clarification saying it would evaluate such requests individually.
The Game 1, the early 1980s
Thompson additionally made comments to press on this matter and has indicated that all options are on the table. He did say that Criminal Referrals will be issued on October 1st. Today is basically the first day that contempt of congress charges are applicable. Newsweek reports this information.
Patel issued a statement to The Washington Post on Thursday before the deadline, pointing to his website where he is seeking to raise $250,000 “to fund a top-notch legal team.”
“I will continue to tell the American people the truth about January 6, and I am putting our country and freedoms first through my Fight with Kash initiative,” he told the newspaper.
The committee had been unable to physically locate Scavino in order to serve him with a subpoena as of Thursday.
It’s not entirely clear what steps the select committee will take if the four former aides refuse to cooperate, but Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin, who sits on the committee, suggested on Thursday that they could face contempt charges.
“I believe this is a matter of the utmost seriousness and we need to consider the full panoply of enforcement sanctions available to us, and that means criminal contempt citations, civil contempt citations and the use of Congress‘s own inherent contempt powers,” Raskin said.
I’m willing to give the Congressman the benefit of the weekend. And, do have a good weekend!!!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?