Lazy Caturday ReadsPosted: June 18, 2022 Filed under: just because, morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: Brad Raffensperger, Donald Trump, Gabriel Sterling, Georgia, Ginni Thomas, January 6 Committee hearings, John Eastman, Mike Pence, Renaissance cat art, Willow the White House cat 18 Comments
Today’s art work is from the European Renaissance period, around the 15th and 16th centuries, when people apparently liked to treat their pet cats like babies–spoon-feeding them and sometimes even swaddling them. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the artists’ names.
In honor of Caturday and to give you a brief respite from the insane news of the day, here’s an article about Willow, the White House cat. Kate Bennett at CNN: As presidential cat, Willow Biden has privileges.
In the dog days of summer, Willow the cat rules the roost.
On Friday, Willow’s crate was spotted being carried by a staff member from the White House residence to Marine One, the presidential helicopter that will ferry the feline – along with President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden – to Rehoboth, Delaware, and the family’s beach house…
“Willow often spends the weekends with the First Family, including in Rehoboth, Wilmington, and Camp David,” the first lady’s press secretary Michael LaRosa told CNN.
When she is not being whisked away for the weekend, Willow has privileges to roam the White House. She is predominantly restricted to the White House executive residence’s private second and third floors, where CNN is told Willow particularly enjoys the solarium, a bright space above the South Portico, where she “receives lots of attention from the Executive Residence staff.” In Wilmington and at Camp David, “she often sits on the porch in the sun,” says LaRosa.
Back home, Willow also likes to visit working staff in the East Wing, taking leisurely naps on the desk of the press secretary, chasing her toys in and out of offices and generally being open to scratches. Once or twice, Willow has explored beyond her domain, making it as far as the chief usher’s office on the main floor, just next to the North entrance.
The East Wing staff has made a sign to alert when Willow is out and about, which features of photo of her face and reads: “Willow is on the prowl! Please keep these doors closed.”
I didn’t know the story of how Willow came to be adopted by Jill Biden until I read this story. They met when Jill gave a speech in rural Pennsylvania, where Willow lived in a barn.
“Willow made quite an impression on Dr. Biden in 2020 when she jumped up on the stage and interrupted her remarks,” LaRosa said several months ago. “Seeing their immediate bond, the owner of the farm knew that Willow belonged with Dr. Biden.”
She named her Willow after her hometown of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. Though it wouldn’t be until January that Willow actually moved into her digs at the White House, she enjoyed staying with Biden acquaintances in Washington, DC, until the timing was right to officially add her to the Biden home.
Willow sounds like a very clever cat. She knew what she wanted and made it happen.
It seems that Trump has been closely following the January 6 hearings, and he’s not at all happy about them. Justin Baragona at The Daily Beast: Trump Slams ‘Human Conveyer Belt’ Pence for Lacking ‘Courage’ to Steal Election.
Former President Donald Trump lashed out at Mike Pence on Friday for not having the “courage” to overthrow President Joe Biden’s election victory—just a day after the Jan. 6 committee hailed the ex-veep as a hero for not participating in Trump’s failed coup attempt.
Additionally, the twice-impeached ex-president denied that he ever called Pence a “wimp” for not going along with his crazy theory to steal the 2020 election. At the same time, though, Trump repeatedly called Pence a “human conveyer belt” and a “robot” for certifying Biden’s electoral votes….
After railing about the “sham” and “unselect” committee during his speech at the Faith and Freedom Coalition on Friday, Trump turned his attention to Pence and other “RINOs” he felt were insufficiently loyal to him following the election.
“One guy got up and said that he heard me calling Mike Pence a ‘wimp,’” Trump stated. “Now honestly, I’m the president of the United States. I’m sitting, I think they said at my desk. ‘He’s a wimp.’ How many people listen to me—I don’t even know who these people are! But I never called Mike Pence a wimp. I never called him a wimp.”
From there, however, the ex-president took aim at his former running mate for failing to assist in illegally keeping him in office—and he basically called Pence a wimp in so many words.
“Mike Pence had a chance to be great,” Trump exclaimed. “He had a chance to be, frankly, historic. But just like [former Attorney General] Bill Barr and the rest of these weak people, Mike—and I say it sadly because I like him—but Mike did not have the courage to act.” [….]
Regarding the legal consensus that Pence had “no choice” but to certify Biden’s victory, the disgraced ex-president likened Pence to a “human conveyer belt.”
After claiming he never wanted Pence to “decide” the election but rather just wanted him to send votes back to state legislatures for them to decide, Trump seemed to confirm that he pushed Eastman’s garbage theories in conversations with his vice president. (Though, according to Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short, this particular encounter never happened.)
“So, I said, ‘Mike, if you do this, you can be Thomas Jefferson,’” the ex-president boasted. “And then, after it all went down, I looked at him one day and I said, ‘Mike, hate to say this, but you’re no Thomas Jefferson.’”
Trump also attacked Pence on his fake Twitter social media outlet “Truth Social.” The Independent: Trump claims he never asked Pence to overturn the election on Truth Social after dramatic Jan 6 hearing.
Mr Trump’s words come a day after the House select committee investigating the riot at the US Capitol held its third public hearing, where Mr Pence’s former White House Counsel Greg Jacob testified about the pressure campaign the former vice president sustained at the hands of the president and his legal team.
Multiple video depositions, including from former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann, showed how Mr Trump knew his plan to overturn the election results were illegal.
But Mr Trump pushed back on the allegations on his social media platform Truth Social.
“Such LIES & MISREPRESENTATION by the Unselects, and absolutely nobody allowed to challenge what is being said”, Mr Trump posted. “As an example, I never asked V.P. Pence to ‘overturn’ the election (although Thomas Jefferson ‘took’ the Georgia votes), but that he send the votes back to the Legislatures so that they could determine if the irregularities and Fraud were as widespread and signficant [sic] as they seemed.”
Dementia Don’s family needs to stage an intervention and get this man some professional help. He’s likely to get even more enraged on Tuesday, when the January 6 Committee hearing will focus on Trump’s efforts to “find” enough votes to overturn Biden’s 2020 win in Georgia. Georgia Public Broadcasting News: Raffensperger, Sterling will headline Tuesday’s Jan. 6 hearings.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his top deputy Gabriel Sterling will testify at Tuesday’s hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, to shine more light on one of the more brazen attempts to overturn the 2020 election….
Raffensperger famously rebuffed former President Donald Trump’s pressure to “find” enough votes to reverse his narrow election defeat, and Sterling was a frequent figure on televised news conferences debunking false claims of fraud and fellow Republicans’ attacks on election workers.
In last month’s primary elections, Raffensperger defeated Trump-backed challenger Rep. Jody Hice.
Tuesday’s committee hearing is expected to highlight the pressure campaign that Trump and his allies exerted on local elections officials in Georgia and other states to reverse the presidential election results, and comes on the heels of a hearing Thursday that outlined attempts to get former Vice President Mike Pence to reject the Electoral College results.
The Georgia officials’ public testimony comes after Raffensperger appeared recently in a closed-door special grand jury investigation in Fulton County that is seeking to determine if Trump and others violated several state laws in their efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Raffensperger and others have also provided hours of testimony privately to the committee, including discussion of the unprecedented call from Trump, leaked to GPB News, The Washington Post and other outlets in the runup to Georgia’s dual U.S. Senate runoffs.
Read more at the link.
The Committee has also requested testimony from Ginni Thomas, after it came out that she exchanged emails with nutty Trump attorney John Eastman during his efforts to overturn the election. NPR reports that Thomas claims she’s looking forward to answering questions:
Ginni Thomas told the right-wing news site The Daily Caller in a story published after the start of Thursday’s hearing that she would “look forward” to speaking with the committee.
“I can’t wait to clear up misconceptions. I look forward to talking to them,” The Daily Caller reported. Thomas has worked with the Daily Caller in the past, including producing an interview with her husband.
I can’t wait either.
Jim Newell and Jordan Weissmann have questions for her: Ginni Thomas: Were you sending emails about a criminal f***ing conspiracy?
Just how deeply involved was Ginni Thomas in plotting to overthrow the results of the 2020 election? The Jan. 6 committee may be poking around to try and find out. After Trump’s loss, Thomas—wife of Justice Clarence Thomas—texted extensively with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about overturning the outcome and pushed Arizona lawmakers to do the same with their state’s vote. This week, the Washington Post reported that the panel is examining emails between Thomas and the lawyer John Eastman, who was Trump’s apparent point man on all things coup-related (and who will now forever be associated with the words “I believe I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works”). After the Post story broke, Eastman posted his email correspondence with Thomas on his Substack in a post titled: “OMG, Mrs. Thomas asked me to give an update about election litigation to her group. Stop the Presses!” It mostly just seemed to confirm that, yes, the two were in contact. The committee is now planning to interview Thomas, who says she is looking forward to clearing up any “misconceptions.” Here’s the key context for all this: At one point, Eastman told another Trump ally in an email that there was “a heated fight underway” at the Supreme Court over the election. It’s not clear where he got that idea. Was he fed this information by his friend Ginni? And what would that tell us, exactly, about Clarence Thomas’ activities at the court? Inquiring minds would like to know what the queen of Boomer texters, and her wildly powerful husband, were up to.
Also see Jamelle Bouie at The New York Times: Ginni Thomas Has a Lot of Explaining to Do.
This is from CNBC: Ginni Thomas-tied Facebook group ‘FrontLiners for Liberty’ could be a new focus in Jan. 6 investigation.
A Facebook group that appears to be run by Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, could become a new point of interest in the U.S. House Select Committee’s investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Congressional investigators said they planned to ask Ginni Thomas to testify before the committee hours after Trump attorney John Eastman on Thursday publicly posted a Dec. 4, 2020 email from Thomas asking him to speak to a gathering she called “Frontliners,” which she described as featuring “grassroots state leaders.” Ginni Thomas is listed as an administrator of a Facebook group that goes by a similar name and description: “FrontLiners for Liberty.”
The private group, which listed more than 50 members, was created in August 2020, just two months before the November elections, according to the page’s description.
The group, which CNBC reviewed before it was removed from public view, described itself as “a new collaborative, liberty-focused, action-oriented group of state leaders representing grassroots armies to CONNECT, INFORM and ACTIVATE each other weekly to preserve constitutional governance.” Although Thomas’ personal Facebook page isn’t verified, it contained numerous photos ofJustice Thomas.
The group’s pages were removed from public view after CNBC reached out to Thomas about the organization. It now shows a notice from Facebook saying that it’s either been deleted or the privacy settings have been changed.
CNBC also tried to get answers through Facebook messenger to Stephanie Coleman, who is also listed administrator of the group and the wife of the late Gregory Coleman who was Texas’ solicitor general. Greg Coleman was once a clerk for Justice Thomas.
Coleman and Thomas are repeatedly pictured together on Coleman’s personal Facebook page, including a photo of the two together in December 2016 with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
More news, links only:
Just Security: 8 Top Former Prosecutors, Senior DOJ Officials on Key New Evidence in Effort to Pressure Pence.
The Washington Post: Supreme Court could soon make it easier to carry guns in six states.
Vice: Uvalde Hires Private Law Firm to Argue It Doesn’t Have to Release School Shooting Public Records.
The Guardian: The ‘big rip-off’: how Trump exploited his fans with ‘election defense’ fund.
HuffPost: The Far-Right’s Assault On An Idaho Pride Event Was Meticulously Planned.
The New York Times: Proud Boys Led Major Breaches of Capitol on Jan. 6, Video Investigation Finds.
David Von Drehle at The Washington Post: A new ‘National Conservative’ manifesto sounds a lot like fascism.
Garry Kasparov at The Wall Street Journal: Awakened to Putin’s Threat, Biden and the West Nod Off Again.
Have a nice Juneteenth weekend everyone!!