Finally Friday Reads: Professional Cult Member and wife of Supreme Sex Pest Speaks to the J6 CommitteePosted: September 30, 2022 Filed under: just because | Tags: Covid-19, Ginnie Thomas, The Patriarchy, Uncle Clarence Thomas, US Midterm Elections 2022, voting rights 15 Comments
Good Morning Sky Dancers!
Must be nice to be rich and powerful enough to live in your own private reality and be allowed on public streets. Ginnie Thomas stuck to her QAnon vision of life while testifying to the January 6 Committee yesterday. We don’t have much information on it, but it sounds delusional. This is from the New York Times: “Ginni Thomas Denies Discussing Election Subversion Efforts With Her Husband. In a closed-door interview with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, Ms. Thomas reiterated her false assertion that the 2020 election was stolen from President Donald J. Trump.” I’m just wondering how many committee members were snickering during these statements. The analysis is by Luke Broadwater and Stephanie Lai.
In a statement she read at the beginning of her testimony, Ms. Thomas denied having discussed her postelection activities with her husband.
In her statement, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, Ms. Thomas called it “an ironclad rule” that she and Justice Thomas never speak about cases pending before the Supreme Court. “It is laughable for anyone who knows my husband to think I could influence his jurisprudence — the man is independent and stubborn, with strong character traits of independence and integrity,” she added.
The interview ended months of negotiations between the committee and Ms. Thomas over her testimony. The committee’s investigators had grown particularly interested in her communications with John Eastman, the conservative lawyer who was in close contact with Mr. Trump and wrote a memo that Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans have likened to a blueprint for a coup.
“At this point, we’re glad she came,” Mr. Thompson said.
After Ms. Thomas’s appearance on Thursday, her lawyer Mark Paoletta said she had been “happy to cooperate with the committee to clear up the misconceptions about her activities surrounding the 2020 elections.”
“She answered all the committee’s questions,” Mr. Paoletta said in a statement. “As she has said from the outset, Mrs. Thomas had significant concerns about fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election. And, as she told the committee, her minimal and mainstream activity focused on ensuring that reports of fraud and irregularities were investigated. Beyond that, she played no role in any events after the 2020 election results. As she wrote in a text to Mark Meadows at the time, she also condemned the violence on Jan. 6, as she abhors violence on any side of the aisle.”
I still can’t forget how unhinged those texts were to Mark Meadows, who is likely in more trouble than anyone else. Still, I can’t believe she didn’t discuss this with her husband. I also think more will come from Thomas’ role in the fake electors’ scheme.
The GOP is pouring lots of money into primaries where gerrymandering and the pattern of the out-party in midterms should be helping. But is it? Nate Cohn of the New York Times argues that structurally, the Republicans have the momentum. But can this hold given the number of extremists on the ballots and the ongoing legal troubles of its defacto lead, Orange Caligula? Cohn offers this analysis: “Gerrymandering Isn’t Giving Republicans the Advantage You Might Expect. Yes, the G.O.P. has a structural edge in the House, but it isn’t anything near insurmountable for Democrats.”
Now, Mr. Biden won the national vote by 4.5 percentage points, so even a map that’s biased toward Republicans might still have more Biden districts than Trump districts. But the simple fact that Mr. Biden won the most districts is a clear enough indication that the Republican advantage in the House isn’t totally insurmountable.
To account for Mr. Biden’s victory in 2020, a somewhat better — though more complex — measure is needed: a comparison between how districts voted and how the nation as a whole voted. If Mr. Biden won a district by more than he did nationally, it might be said to be a district where Democrats have the advantage if the national vote is tied. On a perfectly fair map, half the districts would lean toward Democrats with respect to the nation, while half would vote for Mr. Trump or vote for Mr. Biden by less than 4.5 points. And on this perfectly fair map, the district right in the middle — the median district — would have voted for Mr. Biden by 4.5 points, just like the nation.
Phillip Bump has one explanation: “A new reminder that candidate quality matters.” This opinion is in the Washington Post. The Trumpiest candidates are winning many Republican Primaries and are a way to the right and as delusional as Ginnie Thomas.
What’s apparent at this point, just over a month before voting ends in the 2022 midterm elections, is that nearly any national outcome is possible. FiveThirtyEight’s analysis of the state of play figures there’s about a 3 in 10 chance that Republicans win the House and Senate, about a 3 in 10 chance that the Democrats win both, and about a 4 in 10 chance that the parties split the two (Democrats, Senate; Republicans, House).
For all of the elevation of the importance of these elections, the field appears to remain fairly even. Or, perhaps, it’s because of the elevation of importance that it does. There are two reasons that a tug-of-war rope remains over the center point: No one is pulling at all, or both sides are pulling very hard.
This big-picture perspective, though, blurs the fact that overall patterns are dependent on individual races. And a spate of new polls conducted for Fox News by its bipartisan polling team shows, in essence, the importance of picking viable candidates in the first place.
The new polls evaluate the state of play in four states that are electing both governors and senators this year: Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The widest overall margin is in the Pennsylvania governor’s race, where Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) leads state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R) by 11 points. The closest race is in Wisconsin, where Gov. Tony Evers (D) earns the same level of support as his challenger, businessman Tim Michels (R). Generally, the picture is consistent: These races are too close to be able to identify a clear leader.
As I mentioned earlier, there’s a bump in GOP Fundraising, from GOP Billionaires. This is from CNBC: “GOP billionaire donors direct cash to Senate leaders as Trump candidates lag Dems in fundraising.”
Republican megadonors want the GOP to take back the Senate, but they don’t have confidence that some of former President Donald Trump’s top picks can catapult their party to a victory in November.
Billionaire financiers Paul Singer, Dan Loeb and Larry Ellison have so far avoided donating directly to some or all of Trump’s staunchest allies running for Senate in the midterms: J.D. Vance in Ohio, Blake Masters in Arizona, Herschel Walker in Georgia, Adam Laxalt in Nevada and Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, according to Federal Election Commission records and people familiar with the billionaires’ donations.
All of those candidates have been endorsed by Trump. And many of them have previously sided with the former president on the false claims that the 2020 presidential election had widespread voter fraud — an accusation that’s been debunked by Trump’s former attorney general, Bill Barr, federal courts and several other top Republicans who served in Trump’s administration.
One GOP fundraiser said, “They would be lighting their money on fire if they got totally swayed by these candidates.” That strategist is advising clients to, instead, give to the super PAC closely aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. — the Senate Leadership Fund — because “they have the best polls and they won’t sink money into races they know they can’t win.” The super PAC is run by Steven Law, McConnell’s former chief of staff.
Ad tracker AdImpact last week said that the Senate Leadership Fund has canceled the rest of its TV bookings in Arizona, a state where the campaign poll tracking website FiveThirtyEight shows Masters trailing Kelly by more than seven percentage points.
We have to take care of this campaign finance issue to maintain democracy. It is just one of the Republican’s fuckery with democracy. Citizens United may prove one of the biggest hurdles to full inclusion in our democracy plus all the voting rights shenanigans by the Courts has been even worse. We have Justice Roberts to thank for a lot of that.
And, of course, while the rest of us are losing access to voting and bodily autonomy, let’s pity the poor little boys. If you want one of David Brooks’ most whiny pieces yet, try this one: “The Crisis of Men and Boys” at the New York Times, of course.
Richard V. Reeves’s new book, “Of Boys and Men,” is a landmark, one of the most important books of the year, not only because it is a comprehensive look at the male crisis, but also because it searches for the roots of that crisis and offers solutions.
I learned a lot I didn’t know. First, boys are much more hindered by challenging environments than girls. Girls in poor neighborhoods and unstable families may be able to climb their way out. Boys are less likely to do so. In Canada, boys born into the poorest households are twice as likely to remain poor as their female counterparts. In American schools, boys’ academic performance is more influenced by family background than girls’ performance. Boys raised by single parents have lower rates of college enrollment than girls raised by single parents.
Second, policies and programs designed to promote social mobility often work for women, but not men. Reeves, a scholar at the Brookings Institution, visited Kalamazoo, Mich., where, thanks to a donor, high school graduates get to go to many colleges in the state free. The program increased the number of women getting college degrees by 45 percent. The men’s graduation rates remained flat. Reeves lists a whole series of programs, from early childhood education to college support efforts, that produced impressive gains for women, but did not boost men.
Reeves has a series of policy proposals to address the crisis, the most controversial of which is redshirting boys — have them begin their schooling a year later than girls, because on average the prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum, which are involved in self-regulation, mature much earlier in girls than in boys.
There are many reasons men are struggling — for example, the decline in manufacturing jobs that put a high value on physical strength, and the rise of service sector jobs. But I was struck by the theme of demoralization that wafts through the book. Reeves talked to men in Kalamazoo about why women were leaping ahead. The men said that women are just more motivated, work harder, plan ahead better. Yet this is not a matter of individual responsibility. There is something in modern culture that is producing an aspiration gap.
I really didn’t want to include this but I think it’s important to understand just how entitled men are in this country. My experience in school was that the boys didn’t have to do much of anything but just show up. Maybe someone needs to tell them that participation trophies don’t count when you’ve got a lot of women and minorities motivated to succeed without them.
I thought I’d end with this Ed Yong article at The Atlantic about the legacy of the Covid -19 Pandemic. “All of this will happen again.”
American leaders and pundits have been trying to call an end to the pandemic since its beginning, only to be faced with new surges or variants. This mindset not only compromises the nation’s ability to manage COVID, but also leaves it vulnerable to other outbreaks. Future pandemics aren’t hypothetical; they’re inevitable and imminent. New infectious diseases have regularly emerged throughout recent decades, and climate change is quickening the pace of such events. As rising temperatures force animals to relocate, species that have never coexisted will meet, allowing the viruses within them to find new hosts—humans included. Dealing with all of this again is a matter of when, not if.
In 2018, I wrote an article in The Atlantic warning that the U.S. was not prepared for a pandemic. That diagnosis remains unchanged; if anything, I was too optimistic. America was ranked as the world’s most prepared country in 2019—and, bafflingly, again in 2021—but accounts for 16 percent of global COVID deaths despite having just 4 percent of the global population. It spends more on medical care than any other wealthy country, but its hospitals were nonetheless overwhelmed. It helped create vaccines in record time, but is 67th in the world in full vaccinations. (This trend cannot solely be attributed to political division; even the most heavily vaccinated blue state—Rhode Island—still lags behind 21 nations.) America experienced the largest life-expectancy decline of any wealthy country in 2020 and, unlike its peers, continued declining in 2021. If it had fared as well as just the average peer nation, 1.1 million people who died last year—a third of all American deaths—would still be alive.
America’s superlatively poor performance cannot solely be blamed on either the Trump or Biden administrations, although both have made egregious errors. Rather, the new coronavirus exploited the country’s many failing systems: its overstuffed prisons and understaffed nursing homes; its chronically underfunded public-health system; its reliance on convoluted supply chains and a just-in-time economy; its for-profit health-care system, whose workers were already burned out; its decades-long project of unweaving social safety nets; and its legacy of racism and segregation that had already left Black and Indigenous communities and other communities of color disproportionately burdened with health problems. Even in the pre-COVID years, the U.S. was still losing about 626,000 people more than expected for a nation of its size and resources. COVID simply toppled an edifice whose foundations were already rotten.
This, along with the Hurricane Ian experience reminded me that we’re not particularly forward-looking people anymore. I was happy to see Space Dart take out an astroid’s moon. However, it seems to me that were more likely to be taken down by our own hubris. Why do folks ignore climate change and still fall for developers’ promises of paradise on the beaches of Florida? We should be looking for the next big virus while learning lessons to plan for the next. We hurl from one emergency to the next without thinking about what in our system fails us? Even Democracy is failing us in significant ways. I no longer look to the Supreme Court to save us from ourselves. They now represent the worst of our political system.
Getting Donald Trump off the Public stage is vital but the preparations for the next big trouble start with revitalizing our democratic institutions and shoring them up. Also, getting the damn money out of politics would help too. Anyway, sorry to be Debbie Downer today. Maybe I’m just more somber today because the heat of summer has broken. Also, I had my first training class in community organizing yesterday. I’m sitting here relationship mapping who I’m going to nag into to voting. So, I started with my beloved community here. Drag your ass and everyone you know to the polls! I got granddaughters now!
This election is important. Please, get everyone you know to vote blue. A lot is at stake.
What’s on your blogging and reading list today?
Friday Reads: You Shouldn’t go Back HomePosted: March 25, 2022 Filed under: just because | Tags: @repeate68, Ginnie Thomas, January 6 2021 was an Insurrection!, Republican Crazy, Treason Party, Uncle Clarence Thomas 29 Comments
Good Day Sky Dancers!
BB talked to me about how I’d probably be writing about this today. I was in the fetal position because I knew it would take me right back to when I had to deal with people like her all the time.
Anyone who knows me knows I consider my time in Omaha to be in service to a Lost Cause. I must’ve done something horrible in a previous life because the entire time there was like some sadistic penance. It took me about one year into high school to beg my parents to let me graduate early and head to university in someplace civilized with better food, entertainment, and just about everything you could name. I hung out with a very small group of people that graduated and immediately left. I should’ve and could’ve but that’s another story.
An illustration of this and probably also in service to whatever karmic debt forced me to spend time there, I have to be the one to cover one of my high school classmates who probably best represents why I felt miserable being there and traveled a lot to get some reprieve. Yes, Daughter of absolute raging John Birchers and scorned even by those of us that were in the Young Republicans Club at my school which included me at the time went to my High School. She was a year behind me. Today, she is married to Judge Uncle Clarence Thomas and spreading her special form of crazy to the District. The tales of her from the debate club were just unfortunate. However, she hooked on to one of my least favorite politicians wife-beater Hal Daub, former congressman, and mayor. And yes, I knew him and he knew me. I’d just like you to know I always felt like I needed to take a bleach shower after being around him. He mainstreamed her.
I also knew Kurt Andersen because he was the darling of the Journalism Teacher and I was just about to start my sophomore year studying it. Here’s a confluence of the Good and The Bad and Evil of what my high school could turn out in all its white privilege. “How Ginni Thomas, wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, influences the Supreme Court” from Dave Davies and Fresh Air at NPR. This is from the end of January of this year. It’s an interview with Journalist Extraordinaire Jane Mayer.
DAVIES: This is FRESH AIR, and we’re speaking with New Yorker, staff writer and chief Washington correspondent Jane Mayer. Her latest article examines the conservative activism and influence of Ginni Thomas, wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Let’s just talk a little bit about Ginni Thomas’ background. She grew up in Nebraska. What do we know about her family?
MAYER: Well, she grew up in a kind of upper-middle-class family in Omaha, Neb. Her father was a engineer and a developer of sort of housing complexes. And her family was very conservative and very active in politics. And one of the people I interviewed is the journalist Kurt Andersen, who grew up exactly across the street from the Lamp family. Her name before she got married was Virginia Lamp. And he said that his parents were actually Goldwater Republicans. But even they thought the Lamps were – what he said was crazy. They were – he looks at them as kind of the beginning of the modern, crazy right wing. They believed in things like the John Birch Society, and they were afraid that there was fluoridation in the water that was somehow poisoning people’s minds – that kind of thing.
DAVIES: She makes her way to Washington. How does she get there and – I don’t know. Her life took some interesting detours there; didn’t they?
MAYER: Yeah, it did. She went to Washington with the local congressman when he was elected. Her family knew him, and she got a job in his office. But it looks like she had sort of some rocky years. She was a law student. She flunked the bar exam, the state bar exam in Nebraska, and she sort of fell in with a self-help sort of self-actualization kind of cult called Lifespring in Washington, where the members kind of got into ritual humiliation of each other. They’d strip down out of their clothes and then mock each other’s body fat. And it sounded grim and kind of scary. But anyway, she was then deprogrammed, got out of it, became anti-cult. But that was a phase of her life before she met Clarence Thomas.
Yes. She belonged to a cult AND she flunked the Nebraska Bar Exam, which ranks 46 out of 50 of the hardest bar exams. It has about a 90% passage rate. So, in other words, she’s no Rhodes Scholar. Those of us who watched the Anita Hill testimony in horror also remember her crazy-go-nuts phone call to Professor Hill demanding an apology. If you want to read about LifeSpring you can see this on Psychology Wiki. I’ll defer to Dr. Boomer for anything that needs explaining. She’s just plain crazy in my book and hangs around with the least ethical individuals I’ve ever known about. Plus, she’s absolutely convinced she’s one of the few who get everything right.
I’m also using another one of my classmate’s political cartoons today! Just so you know, we did turn out a lot of decent and talented people that I still call friends. John Buss got out too! His political cartoons rock! (@Repeat1968).
Let’s say she’s a horrifying example of white privilege. Her husband is now out of the hospital and facing mounting ethics scrutiny. This is from The Hill.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was discharged from the hospital earlier today, a court spokesperson said, a development that comes amid mounting ethical scrutiny of the conservative justice.
Thomas, 73, was admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington on March 18 after experiencing “flu-like symptoms.” He was diagnosed with an infection and treated with intravenous antibiotics. A court spokesperson did not respond to a request for additional details on his health status.
Thomas faces growing ethics questions after recent reports of his wife’s aggressive effort to overturn former President Trump’s electoral defeat and participation in the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally have renewed scrutiny of the justice’s refusal to step aside from related disputes that have come before the Supreme Court.
And now let’s get straight to Ginnie’s latest antics. This is from The Washington Post and may the wisdom beings bless whoever leaked it to them. “Virginia Thomas urged White House chief to pursue unrelenting efforts to overturn the 2020 election, texts show. In messages to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in the weeks after Election Day, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called Biden’s victory “the greatest Heist of our History” and told him that President Donald Trump should not concede.” The bylines go to Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. The story broke at suppertime yesterday. I had to let my sushi settle before reading knowing full well it would be stomach-churning in terms of crazy and lack of ethical awareness.
The messages — 29 in all — reveal an extraordinary pipeline between Virginia Thomas, who goes by Ginni, and President Donald Trump’s top aide during a period when Trump and his allies were vowing to go to the Supreme Court in an effort to negate the election results.
On Nov. 10, after news organizations had projected Joe Biden the winner based on state vote totals, Thomas wrote to Meadows: “Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!!…You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America’s constitutional governance at the precipice. The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.”
When Meadows wrote to Thomas on Nov. 24, the White House chief of staff invoked God to describe the effort to overturn the election. “This is a fight of good versus evil,” Meadows wrote. “Evil always looks like the victor until the King of Kings triumphs. Do not grow weary in well doing. The fight continues. I have staked my career on it. Well at least my time in DC on it.”
Thomas replied: “Thank you!! Needed that! This plus a conversation with my best friend just now… I will try to keep holding on. America is worth it!”
It is unclear to whom Thomas was referring.
The messages, which do not directly reference Justice Thomas or the Supreme Court, show for the first time how Ginni Thomas used her access to Trump’s inner circle to promote and seek to guide the president’s strategy to overturn the election results — and how receptive and grateful Meadows said he was to receive her advice. Among Thomas’s stated goals in the messages was for lawyer Sidney Powell, who promoted incendiary and unsupported claims about the election, to be “the lead and the face” of Trump’s legal team.
And now back to Jane Mayer writing for The New Yorker: “Legal Scholars Are Shocked By Ginni Thomas’s “Stop the Steal” Texts. Several experts say that Thomas’s husband, the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, must recuse himself from any case related to the 2020 election.”
Several of the country’s most respected legal scholars say that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas must immediately recuse himself from any cases relating to the 2020 election and its aftermath, now that it has been revealed that his wife, Virginia (Ginni) Thomas, colluded extensively with a top White House adviser about overturning Joe Biden’s defeat of then President Donald Trump. On March 24th, the Washington Post and CBS News revealed that they had obtained copies of twenty-nine text messages between Ginni Thomas and Mark Meadows, the Trump White House chief of staff, in which she militated relentlessly for invalidating the results of the Presidential election, which she described as an “obvious fraud.” It was necessary, she told Meadows, to “release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down.” Ginni Thomas’s texts to Meadows also refer to conversations that she’d had with “Jared”—possibly Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who also served as a senior adviser to the Administration. (“Just forwarded to yr gmail an email I sent Jared this am.”)
Stephen Gillers, a law professor at N.Y.U. and a prominent judicial ethicist, described the revelations as “a game changer.” In the past, he explained, he had supported the notion that a Justice and his spouse could pursue their interests in autonomous spheres. “For that reason, I was prepared to, and did tolerate a great deal of Ginni’s political activism,” he said. But “Ginni has now crossed a line.” In an e-mail reacting to the texts, Gillers concluded, “Clarence Thomas cannot sit on any matter involving the election, the invasion of the Capitol, or the work of the January 6 Committee.”
One more before I have to return to therapy. This is from The New York Times: “Ginni and Clarence Thomas Have Done Enough Damage”. It’s an OpEd by Jesse Wegman.
Ms. Thomas had already acknowledged some involvement in the fight over the 2020 election count, recently confirming that she attended the Jan. 6 Stop the Steal rally in Washington, but she said she went home before Mr. Trump spoke to the crowd and before a mob of hundreds stormed the Capitol in a violent attempt to block the certification of Mr. Biden’s Electoral College victory. The texts reveal that her efforts to subvert the election were far more serious than we knew.
Now recall that in January, the Supreme Court rejected Mr. Trump’s request to block the release of White House records relating to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Mr. Meadows had submitted a brief in the case supporting Mr. Trump. The court’s ruling came as an unsigned order, with only one noted dissent: from Justice Thomas.
Perhaps Justice Thomas was not aware of his wife’s text-message campaign to Mr. Meadows at the time. But it sure makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
And that’s precisely the problem: We shouldn’t have to wonder. The Supreme Court is the most powerful judicial body in the country, and yet, as Alexander Hamilton reminded us, it has neither the sword nor the purse as a means to enforce its rulings. It depends instead on the American people’s acceptance of its legitimacy, which is why the justices must make every possible effort to appear fair, unbiased and beyond reproach.
That may seem naïve, particularly in the face of the crippling assaults on the court that Mitch McConnell and his Senate Republicans have carried out over the past six years in order to secure a right-wing supermajority that often resembles a judicial policy arm of the Republican Party — starting with their theft of a vacancy that was President Barack Obama’s to fill and continuing through the last-second confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett while millions of voters were already in the process of casting Mr. Trump out of office.
And yet the public’s demand for basic fairness and judicial neutrality is not only proper but critical to the court’s integrity, as the justices, whoever nominated them, are well aware. Partly in response to the court’s tanking public-approval ratings, several of them have grown increasingly outspoken in defense of their independence. (Though not all of them.)
The most obvious way for justices to demonstrate that independence in practice, of course, is to recuse themselves from any case in which their impartiality might reasonably be questioned. It does not matter whether there is, in fact, a conflict of interest; the mere appearance of bias or conflict should be enough to compel Justice Thomas or any other member of the court to step aside.
Just more shit from the Treason Party.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?