Wednesday Reads: Rise Up RevComs

Cartoon by Pia Guerra

Watch the video from the hearing below:

Cartoons via Cagle:

So…earlier this week I got this tweet sent to me when I retweeted something from Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights:

So, I looked into it.

Then last night I found this video:

Here are some more things I found:

Some of the responses from Rise Up and RevComs:

As you can see, RevComs is using the Rise Up hashtag:

I find it interesting that they are highlighting this:

As well as this tweet from RevComs:

Ugh…

In other news:

Geez…this is an open thread.

All this pleading the Fifth has me thinking of this skit:


Wednesday Reads: Kuchisabishii

Good morning…

Fucking Republicans….

A few things on the abortion front:

And one last thought on yesterday…

This is an open thread.


Tuesday Reads

Bowes, Josephine, 1825-1874; Study of Birch Trees

Bowes, Josephine; Study of Birch Trees; The Bowes Museum.

Good Morning!!

Today’s January 6 Committee hearing has now been scheduled for 1PM. As you know, the hearing will focus on Trump’s efforts to pressure state lawmakers to set up slates of fake electors. It could be a blockbuster. Politico just broke the news that Ginni Thomas’s communications with Arizona lawmakers could come up in the questioning.

From the Politico Playbook:

The logistics … Chair BENNIE THOMPSON (D-Miss.) and Vice Chair LIZ CHENEY (R-Wyo.) are expected to open the hearing, and Rep. ADAM SCHIFF (D-Calif.) will play a key role. There will be four witnesses broken up over two panels.

— The first panel features (1) Arizona House Speaker RUSTY BOWERS(2) Georgia Secretary of State BRAD RAFFENSPERGER and (3) his deputy, GABRIEL STERLING.

Bowers is expected to describe the pressure campaign from Trump, RUDY GIULIANI and VIRGINIA THOMAS, the wife of Supreme Court Justice CLARENCE THOMAS. In one phone call, Trump and Giuliani pushed Bowers to change Arizona law retroactively “to allow the Legislature to choose a different slate of presidential electors than picked by voters.”

And the Playbook also broke this news this morning:

SCOOP: The House select committee investigating Jan. 6 sent a subpoena last week to ALEX HOLDER, a documentary filmmaker who was granted extensive access to President DONALD TRUMP and his inner circle, and who shot interviews with the then-president both before and after Jan. 6. The existence of this footage is previously unreported.

Landscape with trees, Felix Edouard Vallotton

Landscape with trees, Felix Edouard Vallotton

A source familiar with the project told Playbook on Monday night that Holder began filming on the campaign trail in September 2020 for a project on Trump’s reelection campaign. Over the course of several months, Holder had substantial access to Trump, Trump’s adult children and VP MIKE PENCE, both in the White House and on the campaign trail.

According to the subpoena, which was obtained exclusively by Playbook, the committee wants three main things from Holder:

(1) Raw footage from Jan. 6.

(2) Raw footage of interviews from September 2020 to present with Trump, Pence, DONALD TRUMP JR.IVANKA TRUMPERIC TRUMP and JARED KUSHNER.

(3) Raw footage “pertaining to discussions of election fraud or election integrity surrounding the November 2020 presidential election.”

Holder is expected to fully cooperate with the committee in an interview scheduled for Thursday. Read the full subpoena

The second panel will focus on an election worker from Georgia:

— The second panel has just one witness: SHAYE MOSS, an election worker in Georgia. She and her mother processed ballots in 2020 and were targets of a smear campaign by Trump allies. David Wickert at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a deep dive on Moss, who was accused “of rigging the November 2020 election for Joe Biden with ‘suitcases’ of ballots on election night. The pair were featured in a video that Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani called a ‘smoking gun’ for voting fraud.”

A committee aide said that Moss would outline how “being targeted by the former president has upended her life and that of her mother. … They were subjected to death threats, intimidation, coercion, forced to go into hiding.”

Raffensperger and Sterling are relatively well known now, but I had not heard of Rusty Bowers before. Here’s some information about him from The Washington Post: Who is Rusty Bowers?

Arizona House Speaker Russell “Rusty” Bowers, a Republican, was pressured by Donald Trump and other members of his party to refuse to accept the results of Arizona’s election in 2020. Bowers is expected to be Tuesday’s first live witness before the Jan. 6 panel.

Vickerman, Stanley, 1922-1997; Tree Roots

Vickerman, Stanley; Tree Roots; Kirklees Museums and Galleries

Bowers, 69, supported Trump’s 2020 campaign. When the former president lost the election in Arizona by 10,457 votes, he and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani called Bowers to persuade him to block the state legislature from certifying the results.

Bowers refused.

His decision to stand firm against Trump put him at the center of the ire of the former president’s supporters. Armed protesters gathered outside his house and screamed that he was a pedophile. Last summer, the state’s right-wing Patriot Party attempted to recall Bowers from office, complaining that he did not do enough to support an audit of the 2020 election. The effort failed, the Arizona Republic reported.

The state lawmaker, who will not be in charge of the Arizona House next year — he decided to seek a state Senate seat instead — received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in April for resisting intimidation from Trump.

Adam Schiff will take the lead in today’s hearing. From Nicholas Wu and Kyle Cheney at Politico: Jan. 6 committee to highlight Trump’s state-level pressure to overturn the 2020 election.

The select committee intends to lay out Tuesday how Trump leaned on statehouse Republicans — from Pennsylvania, to Georgia, to Michigan, to Arizona and others — to pull off a scheme that would culminate on Jan. 6, 2021, when then-Vice President Mike Pence presided over the counting of electoral votes.

Under Trump’s plan, Pence would be presented with competing slates of electors — those certified by the governors, and those certified by state legislators — and he would assert the extraordinary power to choose which slates to count. But no state legislature responded to Trump’s demand, and Pence, without any genuine controversy, rejected the scheme as illegal.

In fact, the legality of the plan will be at the heart of Tuesday afternoon’s hearing, which will be led in part by panel member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). It’s the select panel’s fourth public hearing as investigators lay out their findings.

Dancing around the large trees at Perros Maurice Denis - 1914, Bo Fransson

Dancing around the large trees at Perros Maurice Denis – 1914, Bo Fransson

Trump-aligned lawyers concocted the effort, leaning on fringe constitutional theory and the guidance of John Eastman, a primary architect of the effort to pressure Pence on Jan. 6. Eastman himself acknowledged in emails obtained by the select committee that the Pence plan would be “dead on arrival” without the backing of state legislatures — yet he pushed ahead anyway, suggesting that the confusion around alternate electors would give Pence enough cover to act.

Trump’s own White House counsel’s office also raised doubts about the plan, according to testimony released by the select panel in court filings. And in the days before Jan. 6, Pence’s chief counsel Greg Jacob engaged in an intense debate with Eastman, contending that not a single justice of the Supreme Court would back his plan — a point he said Eastman reluctantly conceded.

Select committee aides told reporters Monday that the hearing would highlight new evidence of Trump’s direct awareness and involvement in the fake electors scheme. To highlight the issue, the panel plans to hear from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, his aide Gabriel Sterling and other state and local officials. Several of Tuesday’s witnesses were subpoenaed to appear. Schiff told the Los Angeles Times Monday the panel would also highlight proof of then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ involvement in Georgia.

I don’t want to miss a minute of this!

This is from yesterday’s Washington Post: Trump campaign documents show advisers knew fake-elector plan was baseless.

The convening of the electoral college on Dec. 14, 2020, was supposed to mark the end of the wild, extended presidential election that year.

But when the dayarrived, a strange thing happened. In seven swing states won by JoeBiden, when the Democrat’s electors assembled to formally elect him president, Trump supporters showed up, too, ready to declare that their man had actually won.

“The electors are already here — they’ve been checked in,” a state police officer told the group in Michigan, according to a video of the encounter, as he barred the Republicans from the Capitol in a state Biden won by more than 154,000 votes.

In Nevada,a state Biden had won by about 33,600 votes,a photo distributed by the state Republican Party showed Trump supporters squeezing around an undersize picnic table dressed up with a bit of bunting, preparing to sign formal certificates declaring that they were “the duly elected and qualified” electors of their state.

Ellison, R.; Oak Trees

Ellison, R.; Oak Trees; Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service

At the time, the gatherings seemed a slapdash, desperate attempt to mimic President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede.

But internal campaign emails and memos revealthat the convening of the fake electors was apparently a much more concerted strategy, intended to give Vice President Mike Pence a reason to declare that the outcome of the election was somehow in doubt on Jan. 6, 2021, when he was to preside over the congressional counting of the electoral college votes.

The documents show that Trump’s team pushed ahead and urged the electors to meet — then pressured Pence to cite the alternate Trump slates — even as various Trump lawyers acknowledged privately that they did not have legal validity and the gatherings had not been in compliance with state laws.

Adam Schiff spoke to The Los Angeles Times about Mark Meadows’ role in interfering in the Georgia election: House Jan. 6 committee to reveal Meadows’ pressure on Georgia election officials.

The House Jan. 6 committee plans to show in its fourth hearing Tuesday that President Trump’s then-chief of staff Mark Meadows “had an intimate role … in this plot to put pressure on [Georgia] state legislators and on elections officials,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), a member of the panel, told The Times in an interview.

Among other things, Schiff said the committee investigating the 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol will release new information about Meadows’ appearance at a key election meeting in Georgia and text messages revealing that he wanted to send autographed Make America Great Again hats to people conducting the audit….

With the Jan. 6 probe, Schiff and House Democrats have a powerful tool they lacked in the previous investigations: Some of Trump’s closest allies have spelled out in sworn testimony the details of the former president’s actions leading up to Jan. 6 and, in many cases, how they advocated against such moves.

In the interview, Schiff, a former prosecutor, expressed surprise that the House committee got so many people to speak on the record.

“I’m glad these people are coming forward,” he said. “I’m glad they’re speaking out. It took a long time for [former Atty. Gen.] Bill Barr to do the right thing. It took a long time for many others who enabled Donald Trump to say ‘I can’t go any further.’”

But he added, if they had spoken out earlier, “we might have been spared all the trauma we went through.”

Bough, Samuel, 1822-1878; Entrance to Cadzow Forest, near Glasgow

Bough, Samuel; Entrance to Cadzow Forest, near Glasgow; York Museums Trust.

I’ll end with some Ginni Thomas news that The Washington Post broke last night: Speaker at meeting of Ginni Thomas group called Biden’s win illegitimate long after Jan. 6, video shows.

Two months after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to help President Donald Trump stay in office, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, attended a gathering of right-wing activists where a speaker declared to roaring applause that Trump was still the “legitimate president,” a video recording of the event shows.

“There is a robbery that is going on in this country right now,” pastor and conservative radio personality C.L. Bryant told the crowd, according to video posted to Facebook by an attendee. “In fact, I say it to you and I’ll say it loud and clear, and I’m not ashamed to say it. I won’t bite my tongue. I do believe that Donald John Trump is the only legitimate president.”

The event on March 6, 2021, was a meeting of Frontliners for Liberty. The group vaulted from obscurity to national attention last week with the disclosure that Thomas had invited pro-Trump lawyer John Eastman to speak to its members in December 2020.

The revelation, originating from emails that a judge ordered Eastman to turn over to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, showed that Thomas was in contact with Eastman, a key legal architect of the attempt to subvert the election. The judge, David O. Carter of the Central District of California, wrote in a June 7 opinion that the emails, including two in which the group’s “high-profile leader” invited Eastman to speak — were relevant to the committee’s work.

While text messages and emails unearthed in recent weeks have shown that Thomas was involved in those efforts before Jan. 6, her attendance at the Orlando gathering indicates that her alliance with election deniers continued even after Joe Biden was inaugurated. Frontliners has hosted hard-right lawmakers, insisted on strict secrecy and proclaimed that the nation’s top enemy is the “radical fascist left,” according to social media posts, court filings and interviews with several people involved in the group.

I can’t wait for 1:00! If you’re watching the hearing, please share your thoughts in the comment thread.


Juneteenth Monday Reads

It’s fitting, then, that Juneteenth is often referred to as Jubilee Day. In January 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation abolished chattel slavery, declaring “all persons held as slaves” to be “forever free.”

Happy Jubilee Day!

Today we recognize our newest national holiday!  I’m still hoping we kick Colombus Day to the curb and replace it with one that celebrates our Indigenous peoples rather than that mass murderer that even his enablers eventually refused to pay for his horrifying time somewhere in the Caribbean.  He was an enslaver and rapist.

But today we celebrate the official end to those practices in the USA.  Today’s first read is from Teen Vogue‘s political writer Braxton Brewington.  It is also the source for the quote at the top.

Dating back millennia, the Jubilee was a momentous celebration, a year when land was to be returned, debts forgiven, and enslaved people were to be set free. Announced by the loud blast of a ram’s horn, biblical scholars note, the Jubilee year was grounded in the idea of freedom, orchestrating an economic, cultural, and moral reordering of society. It’s fitting, then, that Juneteenth is often referred to as Jubilee Day.

In January 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation abolished chattel slavery, declaring “all persons held as slaves” to be “forever free.” But it wasn’t until two years later, on June 19, 1865, that news of liberation finally reached enslaved people in Galveston, Texas. Juneteenth, sometimes called Black Independence Day or Freedom Day, honors this actual ending of slavery.

In a way, the Emancipation Proclamation functioned as Black Americans’ first and only Jubilee — in fact, “Jubilee” is what formerly enslaved people called the phase that followed the Civil War. Abolition put an end to an entire economy of exploited labor that essentially built the modern capitalist world. But the Emancipation Proclamation went further than requiring Confederate states to simply recognize slavery’s abolition — it also instructed the United States government to “maintain” the freedom of formerly enslaved people, and to do “no act or acts to repress such persons” or any “efforts they may make for their actual freedom.” Today, in a stark deviation from President Abraham Lincoln’s instructions, the government is still sanctioning and facilitating the oppression of Black people.

1864 illustration of croowds of people, recently freed from enslavement, carrying the Emancipation Declaration

Juneteenth is a Federal Holiday, but it is still not gaining traction in some states as a day off.  This is from The New York Times. “Juneteenth Is a Federal Holiday, but in Most States It’s Still Not a Day Off.  One year after President Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday, 26 states have not authorized the funding that would allow for state employees to take the day off.

Last June, President Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday, proclaiming it as a day for all Americans to commemorate the end of slavery.

One year later, only 24 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation or issued executive orders that would provide funding to let state employees observe the day as a paid state holiday, according to the Pew Research Center, which describes itself as “a nonpartisan fact tank.”

Opponents of bills that would create funding for the permanent holiday have complained of the costs associated with giving workers another paid day off. Some have said that not enough people know about the holiday to make the effort worthwhile.

For supporters, such arguments are painful to hear, especially as more Americans said they were familiar with Juneteenth. In June 2022, nearly 60 percent of Americans said they knew about the holiday, compared with 37 percent in May 2021according to a Gallup poll.

“This is something that Black folk deserve and it was like we had to almost prove ourselves to get them to agree,” said Anthony Nolan, a state representative in Connecticut, where legislators argued for hours earlier this year before passing legislation to fund the holiday.

Juneteenth commemorates the events of June 19, 1865, when Gordon Granger, a Union general, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African Americans of their freedom after the Civil War had ended.

The day has been commemorated by Black Americans since the late 1800s. Though all 50 states have recognized Juneteenth by enacting some kind of proclamation celebrating it, its full adoption as an American holiday has yet to take root.

You can read about Republican resistance to the holiday in the rest of the article. It’s disgusting as expected.

 

It would be nice to think the traditional application of American Freedom, Justice, and Liberty for all was at the center of our attention rather than the white nationalist paranoia that is driving what’s left of the Republican Party.

We’re about to see the next set of evidence surrounding Donald Trump and his seditious enterprise. This is from The Guardian and is reported by Ramon Antonio Vargas. “Kinzinger: Trump’s actions surrounding January 6 amount to ‘seditious conspiracy. Republican member of the Capitol attack panel also says Trump’s actions surrounding the deadly riot had ‘criminal involvement’”.

A Republican member of the congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol said on Sunday that he believes Donald Trump’s actions surrounding the deadly riots amount to “seditious conspiracy” and “criminal involvement by a president”.

Illinois congressman Adam Kinzinger’s remarks on ABC’s This Week came after three hearings held by the House January 6 committee presented searing testimony and mounting evidence about Trump’s central role in a complex plot to overturn his defeat at the hands of Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

While he was only one of at least four committee members scheduled to appear on the national news network’s Sunday talkshows, Kinzinger’s comments stood out for their candor and because they came from within the ex-president’s own political party.

“I certainly think the president is guilty of knowing what he did, seditious conspiracy, being involved in … pressuring the [justice department], vice-president [Mike Pence], et cetera,” Kinzinger said. “Obviously, you know, we’re not a criminal charges committee, so I want to be careful in specifically using that language, but I think what we’re presenting before the American people certainly would rise to a level of criminal involvement by a president.”

Kinzinger also said that Trump’s actions, as portrayed by the committee, show he “definitely” failed to maintain his oath to uphold the US constitution.

“The oath has to matter here,” Kinzinger said. “Your personal demand to stand for the constitution has to matter.”

 

What Juneteenth Means to Me: a Photo Essay
The BU community’s reflections on the holiday’s significance: “Juneteenth, for me… is equal parts celebration and remembrance”

It’s still rather amazing to me that we have a slice of our country that deliberately remains ignorant of the facts. Texas was, of course, the last place in the country that held enslaved people after the proclamation. Its existence was basically another example of white men grabbing land from other countries.  This is dangerous and it’s leading to dangerous situations in Republican-held state governments. This is via Reuters. It also demonstrates how clearly they believe their religious views should dictate the lives of others.

Republicans in Texas formally rejected President Joe Biden’s election in 2020 as illegitimate and voted in a state-wide convention that wrapped up this weekend on a party platform that calls homosexuality an “abnormal lifestyle choice.”

The party’s embrace of unfounded electoral fraud allegations in a bedrock Republican state came as a bipartisan congressional committee seeks to definitively and publicly debunk the false idea that Biden did not win the election.

Biden received 7 million more votes than rival Donald Trump. Biden also received 306 votes from the Electoral College, more than the 270 needed to win.

The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol is building a case that Trump’s efforts to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election — including by denying he lost — amounted to conspiracy to illegally hold onto power.

Trump, the 45th U.S. president, has denied any wrongdoing.

“We reject the certified results of the 2020 presidential election, and we hold that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States,” the Texas party said in a resolution, passed in a voice vote at its convention.

Texas is a major player in U.S. national politics, with 38 electoral votes, the second highest after California. Voters there have backed Republican presidents for the past four decades.

Congressman Kinzinger also had this to say via HuffPo. “Adam Kinzinger Warns Next Presidential Election ‘Is Going To Be A Mess’.   “Wake up, Republicans, because this is not going to be good for you if you think it is,” Kinzinger said.” This is reported by Marita Vlachou.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said Sunday he is “very worried” about the next presidential election, warning that 2024 “is going to be a mess,” citing a recent example of voting conspiracy theories taking hold.

Speaking to ABC’s “This Week,” Kinzinger mentioned New Mexico, where a GOP-led county’s governing commission refused to certify the local election results because of unsubstantiated concerns over voting machines before a judge stepped in.

The case echoes voting conspiracy theories in the 2020 election when right-wing personalities and networks accused voting software companies of using technology to skew the election in favor of Joe Biden.

“This is the untold thing. We focused so much on what goes on in D.C. and Congress and the Senate,” Kinzinger said. “But when you have these election judges that are going to people that don’t believe basically in democracy, authoritarians, 2024 is going to be a mess.”

“And wake up, America. Wake up, Republicans, because this is not going to be good for you if you think it is,” Kinzinger continued.

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection has reportedly argued over whether to refer Trump to the Department of Justice for criminal charges over his efforts in overturning the results of the 2020 election.

The next public hearing will be tomorrow.  It will center on Trump’s interference in state elections including Georgia.

So, I’ll leave you to picnic and celebrate one of our Country’s finest moments, President Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Declaration.  Tomorrow we restart our path of dealing with our Country’s worst President and the cult and racists that define one of our Country’s worst moments.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Sunday Reads: High Five

Hey baby…

So yeah, it turns out the she kitten has a set of balls…go figure! When she was told it was a female…we all took it for granted that the kitten was just that, a girl. We never checked up on this…it was only at the vet when we were informed, it’s a boy. So my daughter has decided to call him Philip aka Pip, from Dickens’ Great Expectations. Of course she didn’t learn about Pip from school …they never read Dickens. She learned about Pip from South Park.

Pip

Now for cartoons via Cagle website:

Oh yeah…

This is my favorite one of the bunch, because I’m a history major…

This is an open thread.

Happy Father’s Day