🔴 The Trump Files

 
Permalink: https://wp.me/PDKwi-6Kc
 

With Tweets, Retweets, links to articles and excerpts, I’ve tried to document this national soap opera/tragedy we’re living through. The resources at the beginning are a mixed bag of timelines and documents and I provide a clickable cast of characters (Russians, mostly).

What does this have to do with The Blacklist? A lot, actually. Russian mob figures, spies and apparatchiks. Semion Mogilevich, the Smart Don, reminds me of Red, though Red is a lot nicer and much better-looking.

Featured are drawings (she calls them “maps”) by @Jzikah, and “Mueller, She Wrote” is the best podcast I’ve ever come across. The three women who do it are comedians, though they’re all super smart and A.J. (the lead) has a PhD and is a Veteran.

Caution: You may enjoy this feature a bit more if you’re of the liberal persuasion. This is the single place on this blog where *there are politics* though I tend to stick with MSM, specialized sources (ex-Intel Community, altGov, and reputable sleuths) and other people I’ve learned to trust.

 

🇷🇺 Press Here For Recent (2021) Articles

📀 Press Here For Impeachment #2 Trial on Cspan (2021)

🇷🇺 Press Here For 2020

🇷🇺 Press Here For 2019

🇷🇺 Press Here For 7/26/2017 through 2018

📀 Press Here For Impeachment #1 Trial on Cspan (2020)

Press Here For Biden/Burisma/Ukraine Fact Checks

 
💽Recommended⋙ Mueller She Wrote Podcasthttp://bit.ly/2PgTKWs  or Press   ⇊  ⇊
 
Other Podcasts:

    All The President’s Lawyers (J Barro, R Lowry)
    The Asset (Center for American Progress) 🌟
    The Dworkin Report (Scott Dworkin)
    Gaslit Nation (Sarah Kendzior, Andrea Chalupa)
    The Lawfare Podcast (Benjamin Wittes, Brookings)
    The Josh Marshall Podcast (TPM)
    The Mother Jones Podcast (David Corn)
    Mueller Time (Eric Leval, Chris Carey)
    The Oath (Chuck Rosenberg, MSNBC)
    The Report (Lawfare)
    On Topic (Renato Mariotti)
    Skullduggery (Michael Isikoff, Yahoo)
    Trump Inc (q4- 8qProPublica)
    Trumpcast (Slate)

🔊 PlayerFM: Best Trump Russia Investigation Podcasts (2019) http://bit.ly/2MKbtV8
 
Twitter List: INVESTIGATORS: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/lists/investigators
// Investigative reporters, Trump-Russia sleuths, Intelligence Community, Legislators, “alt-gov,” and Targets
 

Russian Intelligence Services:

Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) – The Foreign Intelligence Service reports directly to the President of Russia.
GRU – Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces.
Federal Security Service (FSB) – The Federal Security Service is responsible for counter-intelligence, state security and anti-terrorist operations

 

 
🔄 ECFR , Mark Galeotti [EU] (2016): Introduction: Putin’s hydra: Inside Russia’s intelligence services http://bit.ly/2NZWN1h
// 5/11/2016, Intro
⋙ 📒 ECFR, Mark Galeotti [EU] (2016): Report: Putin’s Hydra: Inside Russia’s Intelligence Services [pdf] http://bit.ly/2NYjG5b 20p
// May 2016, Full report

 

 
Key People: Roman Abramovich, Aras Agalarov, Emin Agalarov, Rinat Akhmetov, Rinat Akhmetshin, Yulya Alferova, Anatoly Antonov, Andrii Artemenko, Arron Banks, Andrey Baronov, Vitaly Bespalov, Leonid “Len” Blavatnik, Anna Bogacheva, David Bogatin, Victor Boyarkin, Wm Browder, Mariia Butina, Carole Cadwalladr, Michael Caputo, Yuri Chaika, Igor Chekunov, Michael Cohen, George Cottrell, Oleg Deripaska, Andrii Derkach, Igor Divyekin, Kirill Dmitriev, Aleksandr Dugin, Arkady Dvorkovich, Paul Erickson, Oleg Erovinkin, Nigel Farage, Dmitri Firtash, John Fotiadis, Gene (Evgeny) Friedman, Igor Fruman, Daniel Gelbinovich, Rob Goldstone, Sergei Gorkov, Henry Greenberg, Andrew Intrater, Bidzina Ivanishvili, Brittany Kaiser, Mikhail Kalugin, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Saak Karapetyan, Eugene Kaspersky (Kaspersky Lab), Denis Katsyv, Irakly (“Ike”) Kaveladze, Michael Khodarkovsky, Konstantin Kilimnik, Sergey Kislyak, Artem Klyushin, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, Konstantin Kosachev, Aleksandra Krylova, Elena Khusyaynova, Simon Kukes, Alexander Litvinenko, Howard Lorber, Yuriy Lutsenko, Simona Mangiante, Alexander Mashkevich, Viktor Medvedchek, Josef Mifsud, Semion Mogilevich (Don Semyon), Konstantin Molofeev, George Nader, Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, Alexei Navalny, Eduard Nektalov, Konstantin Nikolaev, Vyacheslav Nikonov, Yevgeniy Nikulin, Alexander Nix, Isabel Oakeshoff, George Papadopoulos, Lev Parnas, Sam Patten, Alexander Perepilichnyy, Dmitry Peskov, Igor Pisarsky, Petro Poroshenko, Yevgeny Prigozhin, Sergei Prikhodko, Vladimir Putin, George Ramishvili, Dmitry Rogozin, Alexander Rovt, Giorgi Rtskhiladze, Dmitry Rybolovlev, Konstantin Rykov, Mikheil Saakashvili, Felix Sater, Igor Sechin, Anastasia Shevchenko, Viktor Shokin, Oleg Solodukhin, Christopher Steele, Ruslan Stoyanov, Oleg Solodukhin, Peter Strzok, Taiwanchik (aka Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov), Andriy Telizhenko, Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov (aka Taiwanchik), Aleksandr Torshin, Vyacheslav Trubnikov, Yulia Tymoshenko, Anastasia Vashukevich (aka Nastya Rybka), Viktor Vekselberg, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Vyacheslav Volodin, Curt Weldon, Andy Wigmore, Alexander Yakovenko, Viktor Yanukovych, Ivan Yermakov, Viktor Yushchenko, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, Maria Zakharova, Joel Zamel, Volodymyr Zelensky

 

 
Bios w links (Wikipedia unless otherwise noted): Roman Abramovich, Aras Agalarov, Emin Agalarov, Rinat Akhmetov, Rinat Akhmetshin, Yulya Alferova (National Compass), Anatoly Antonov, Andrii Artemenko, Arron Banks, Andrey Baranov (Bloomberg), Vitaly Bespalov (NBC), Leonid “Len” Blavatnik, Anna Bogacheva (NYT), David Bogatin (NYT), Victor Boyarkin (TrumpRussia), William Browder, Mariia Butina, Carole Cadwalladr, Michael Caputo, Yuri Chaika, Igor Chekunov, Michael Cohen, George Cottrell, Oleg Deripaska, Andrii Derkach, Igor Divyekin, Kirill Dmitriev, Aleksandr Dugin, Arkady Dvorkovich, Paul Erickson, Oleg Erovinkin, Nigel Farage, Dmitri Firtash, John Fotiadis (Archinect), Gene (Evgeny) Friedman, Igor Fruman, Daniel Gelbinovich (Daily Beast), Rob Goldstone, Sergei Gorkov, Henry Greenberg (Miami Herald), Andrew Intrater, Bidzina Ivanishvili, Brittany Kaiser (Cambridge Analytica), Mikhail Kalugin, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Saak Karapetyan, Eugene Kaspersky (Kaspersky Lab), Denis Katsyv, Irakly Kaveladze, Michael Khodarkovsky, Elena Khusyaynova, Konstantin Kilimnik, Sergey Kislyak, Artem Klyushin (National Compass), Ihor Kolomoyskyi, Konstantin Kosachev, Aleksandra Krylova (NYT), Simon Kukes, Alexander Litvinenko, Howard Lorber, Yuriy Lutsenko, Konstantin Malofeev, Simona Mangiante (Papadopoulos), Alexander Mashkevich, Viktor Medvedchek, Josef Mifsud, Semion Mogilevich (Don Semyon)

 

Cover: KyivPost (10/18/2019): Shady Cast of Characters: Engineers of Trump-Ukraine Scandal http://bit.ly/2MZCilW
 
Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, Alexei Navalny, Eduard Nektalov (NYMag), Konstantin Nikolaev, Yevgeniy Nikulin, Vyacheslav Nikonov, Alexander Nix, Isabel Oakeshoff, George Papadopoulos, Lev Parnas ,Sam Patten, Alexander Perepilichny, Dmitry Peskov, Igor Pisarsky (RIM), Petro Poroshenko, Yevgeny Prigozhin, Sergei Prikhodko, Vladimir Putin, George Ramishvili (Bloomberg), Dmitry Rogozin, Alexander Rovt, Giorgi Rtskhiladze (CNBC), Nastya Rybka (aka Anastasia Vashukevich) (WaPo), Dmitry Rybolovlev, Konstantin Rykov, Mikheil Saakashvili, Felix Sater, Igor Sechin, Anastasia Shevchenko (Amnesty Intl), Viktor Shokin, Oleg Solodukhin, Christopher Steele, Ruslan Stoyanov, Peter Strzok, Taiwanchik (aka Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov), Andriy Telizhenko (BuzzFeedNews), Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov (aka Taiwanchik), Aleksandr Torshin, Vyacheslav Trubnikov, Yulia Tymoshenko, Anastasia Vashukevich (aka Nastya Rybka) (WaPo), Viktor Vekselberg, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Vyacheslav Volodin, Curt Weldon, Andy Wigmore, Alexander Yakovenko, Viktor Yanukovych, Ivan Yermakov (Moscow Proj), Viktor Yushchenko, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, Maria Zakharova, Joel Zamel, Volodymyr Zelensky

 

By @WendySiegelman
 

Key Documents

 
🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 LawfareBlog: Litigation Documents Related to the Mueller Investigation http://bit.ly/2OVch6n
// new November 2018, to be continually updated

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 JustSecurity: Public Document Clearinghouse: UKRAINE Impeachment Inquiry http://bit.ly/2CEsQ2F ‼️ Links to ALL documents ‼️

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 AmericanOversight: Trump-Ukraine Key Figures and Documents http://bit.ly/2C24bES
AmericanOversight: The Trump Administration’s Contacts with Ukraine http://bit.ly/2BYSY89 from FOIA requests

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 JustSecurity, Andy Wright: Just Security Launches the Russia Investigation Congressional Clearinghouse http://bit.ly/2L21uHz
// 8/22/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 Lawfare: Full Text of the Mueller Report’s Executive Summaries http://bit.ly/2IFLewq
// 4/18/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 Lawfare: Document: The Mueller Report http://bit.ly/2vcgNpN
// 4/18/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: The Whistle-Blower Complaint: Read the Document [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2nq4FAD
// 9/26/2019

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo: Trump impeachment inquiry: Latest news and updates http://wapo.st/2P09WuE [Continually updated]

🔆 This❗️⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo, Kate Rabinowitz and Kevin Schaul: Who’s involved in the Trump impeachment inquiry http://wapo.st/2W673dg
// orig published 10/21/2019

 

By @jzikah has a new book! Cartoon President http://amzn.to/2QUeZhk @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 Court Filing (1/17/2019): Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-03501 [pdf] http://cnn.it/2CBddZy (111p) Democratic National Committee v.: Russian Federation, DJ Trump For President, Inc (and others)
// 1/17/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheAtlantic, Yoni Appelbaum: Impeach Donald Trump http://bit.ly/2FykFIP
//March 2019 cover story

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Politico Mag, Darren Samuelsohn: The Only Impeachment Guide You’ll Ever Need http://politi.co/2QHcJGi
// 1/11/2019, As talk of the I-word heats up, here’s POLITICO Magazine’s soup-to-nuts answers to all your questions about the politics—and the practical realities—of removing a president.

⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo, Max Boot: Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset http://wapo.st/2D7IJQ9
// 1/13/2019
 

By @Jzikah
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheAtlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg (Editor): UNTHINKABLE: 50 Moments That Define an Improbable Presidency http://bit.ly/2RvDFOn
// Jan 2019; Donald Trump’s 50 Most Unthinkable Moments ~ 50 Articles

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Wikipedia: Timeline of investigations into Trump and Russia (2018) http://bit.ly/2Bh12jP

⋙ 💙💙🔄 Axios: Timeline: Every big move in the Mueller investigation http://bit.ly/2Euh3H9
// 12/12/2018
 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 Moyers&Co: Interactive Timeline: Everything We Know About Russia and President Trump http://bit.ly/2uVHc9j
// continually updated

⋙ 💙💙🔄📒 DocumentCloud: Steele Dossier [pdf] http://bit.ly/2y5ZhnF 35p

⋙ 💙💙🔄📒 FBIRecordsVault: Records Between FBI and Christopher Steele http://bit.ly/2KqLoF1

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ AP: Mueller Investigation documents http://bit.ly/2ihbK0l

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ CitJourno: Trump/Russian Mob Connections http://www.citjourno.org
 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ CNN, Marshall Cohen, Tal Yellen & Liz Stark: Tracking the Russia investigations (documents) http://cnn.it/2hVCpU5

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Russian Hacking and Influence in the U.S. Election http://nyti.ms/2NqFXeY

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ BrennanCenter: Trump-Russia Investigations http://bit.ly/2yRKcu6

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Politico: The people connected to the Russia probes [ Interactive ] http://politi.co/2FUDhz2 //➔ Democrats, Prosecutors, Law Enforcement/Lobbyists/Media,Team Trump, Foreign Nationals

⋙ 💙💙🔄 TheMoscowProject: Trump’s Russia Cover-Up By the Numbers http://bit.ly/2ycY959
// Center for American Progress; 80+ contacts with Russia-linked operatives https://themoscowproject.org/about/ http://bit.ly/2ycY959
 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NBCNews: Russia timeline: Key players, meetings and investigation details http://nbcnews.to/2vtR3YW

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ DailyBeast: Democrats Release the Fusion GPS Testimony on Trump and Russia http://thebea.st/2qMmH1d w attachment [pdf] ⋙ via Dianne Feinstein http://bit.ly/2FjtlPP

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Justice Department Gives Congress Comey’s Memos on Trump http://nyti.ms/2HdLe2Z
// 4/19/2018 ➔ DocumentCloud: http://bit.ly/2HOGC4z

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ DOJ: Indictment of Internet Research Agency LLC et al … [PDF] http://bit.ly/2CqdHzD 37p //➔ Mueller Investigation
// 2/16/2018
 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Amy Siskind: The Weekly List ~ “This is How Democracy Ends” https://theweeklylist.org

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Mueller Has List of Questions for Trump http://nyti.ms/2rfDuqK + http://nyti.ms/2HExEKi
// 4/30/2018, Majority Relate to if Trump Obstructed Inquiry on Russia

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: The Trump Lawyers’ Confidential Memo to Mueller, Explained [ Document ] http://nyti.ms/2kKPgq9
// 6/2/2018, NYT article about document: http://nyti.ms/2swIZSc

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ TIME: The Arguments President Trump Has Made Against the Mueller Investigation http://ti.me/2MdeARX
// 6/8/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ TIME: Wikipedia: Links between Trump associates and Russian officials http://bit.ly/2K42VDF

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ WaPo: Who has been charged in the Russia probe and why http://wapo.st/2toNwH2
// continually updated; WaPo Russia page

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ ForeignAffairs Anthology: A New Cold War? Russia and America, Then and Now 1947- http://fam.ag/2KEA4dF

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Justice.gov: Mueller Indictment of 12 Russians in the GRU for Election Hacking [pdf] http://bit.ly/2NbphV6 29p
// 7/13/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ FactCheck.org: Timeline of Russia Investigation http://bit.ly/2KZ4qaQ
// posted 6/7/2018, updated 7/13/2018; Key moments in the FBI probe of Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election; Readable

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Legal Process Server: DNC Lawsuit vs Russia, Wikileaks, et al http://bit.ly/2KIOhBq

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT, Linda Qiu: Truth-Testing Trump’s 250-Plus Attacks on the Russia Inquiry http://nyti.ms/2MY609E
// 8/18/2018

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ Justice.gov: Manafort Plea Agreement [pdf] http://bit.ly/2CZiVb7 17p
// 9/14/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄💽 NYT: Opinion | Operation Infektion: A three-part video series on Russian disinformation http://nyti.ms/2OHqSSV
// 11/12/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ PasteMag, Jacob Weindling: A Year of Trump and Russia: The 75 Stories That Defined the Mueller Investigation in 2018 http://bit.ly/2QWN1SU
// 12/28/2018

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ LawFareBlog: Document: Indictment of Roger Stone [pdf] http://bit.ly/2UdQgmj 24p
// 1/25/2019

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄📋 NYT: Trump and His Associates Had More Than 100 Contacts With Russians Before the Inauguration [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2MAZCps
// 1/26/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄 BuzzFeedNews: These Secret Files Show How The Trump Moscow Talks Unfolded While Trump Heaped Praise On Putin http://bit.ly/2DWQ2ed
// 2/5/2019; ⏳TIMELINE ⌛️

⋙ 💙💙🔄 WaPo: What we learned about Trumpworld outreach to Russia since Mueller’s investigation began http://wapo.st/2twkXYE
// 2/19/2019, And what we still don’t know.

⋙ 💙💙🔄 ◕📋 NYT, Larry Buchanan and Karen Yourish: Trump Has Publicly Attacked the Russia Investigation More Than 1,100 Times http://nyti.ms/2T2HSsN
// 2/19/2019

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
  ;
⋙ 💙💙🔄 ◕📋 WaPo, Philip Bump: The 81 people and organizations just looped into the Trump probe — and why they were included http://wapo.st/2SJrw41
// 3/4/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: Full Document: Trump’s Call With the Ukrainian President [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2lfBkbC (Annotated)
// 9/25/2019″

⋙ 💙💙🔄≣ NYT: The Whistle-Blower Complaint: Read the Document [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/2nq4FAD
// 9/26/2019

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ HPSCI: Trump-Ukraine impeachment inquiry report http://bit.ly/2LlnJsX
// 12/3/2019; House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Report: House Judiciary Committee report on their articles of impeachment against President Donald John Trump http://bit.ly/2Ek2rIa 658p
// 10/15/2019

⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Lawfare: House Releases Impeachment Trial Brief http://bit.ly/2ucCo3Y document 111p
// 1/18/2019

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Trial Memorandum of the US House of Representatives in the Impeachment Trial of President Donald J Trump http://bit.ly/2uePNsc
// 1/18/2020

⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Trial Memorandum of President Donald J Trump http://bit.ly/2NGi2XK 171p
// 1/20/2020

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ Vox, Matthew Yglesias and Andrew Prokop: The ultimate guide to the Donald Trump impeachment saga http://bit.ly/2SoXpkm
// Updated: Feb 5, 2020, 8:06pm EST, Published: Nov 5, 2019, 8:06am EST

⋙ 💙💙🔄 📔 This❗️⋙ 📀 Press Here For Impeachment Trial on Cspan
// 1/20/2020-2/5/2020

⏳WaPo: The full Trump-Ukraine impeachment timeline http://wapo.st/35odsUl

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y

 
⭕ Feb 2021 Second Trump #Impeachment Trial

Day One: Rules etc

Day TWO: C-SPAN: U.S. Senate Impeachment Trial Day 2, Impeachment Managers’ Constitutionality Arguments http://bit.ly/3aa1CCQ
// 2/9/2021;

Day 2 of the impeachment trial of former President Trump for incitement of insurrection began with senators voting 89-11 in favor of the trial organizing resolution. Lead Impeachment Manager Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) then made opening remarks followed by a 13-minute video showing footage of former President Trump’s January 6, 2021, speech and of the actions of those who stormed the U.S. Capitol that day. Afterward, impeachment managers Representatives Raskin, Joe Neguse (D-CO), and David Cicilline (D-RI) presented their arguments for the constitutionality of impeaching a former president. Representative Raskin in his arguments talked about bringing his daughter and son-in-law with him to the Capitol on January 6.

Day THREE: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 3, Part 1 http://bit.ly/374q3zm
// 2/10/2021;

The first part of Day 3 of the impeachment trial of former President Trump for incitement of insurrection began with House impeachment manager Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) asserting that the former president had “surrendered his role as commander in chief” and become “the inciter in chief.” He played the January 6, 2021, video Mr. Trump posted on Twitter in which he told his supporters who attacked the U.S. Capitol to “go home.” Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO) then outlined impeachment managers’ plan for arguing their case. In the final segment of part 1, Representatives Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) described the former president’s actions leading up to and after the 2020 election

Day Three: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 3, Part 2 http://bit.ly/3tYOS9Y
// The Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump continued with House managers presenting video and tweets they say indicate that former President Trump incited the deadly January 6 riot.

Day Three: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 3, Part 3 http://bit.ly/372bYSY
// Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) Entire remarked on the breach of the Capitol and attacks on police officers.

Day Three: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 3, Part 4 http://bit.ly/3aZ82DV
// An effort by Sen. Mike Lee to remove remarks by the House impeachment managers from the official record sparked confusion on the Senate floor.

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
Day FOUR: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 4, Part 1 http://bit.ly/3rXW1pf
// 2/12/2021

Former President Donald Trump’s defense lawyers made their case that Mr. Trump was innocent of charges of inciting an insurrection. They compared speeches by Democrats and others to the former president’s remarks in their defense, and stated that “the article of impeachment now before the Senate is an unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance.”

Day Four: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 4, Part 2 http://bit.ly/3ddmmeG
// After a recess, Former President Donald Trump’s defense continued to make their case that Mr. Trump was innocent of charges of inciting an insurrection. In this portion of the impeachment trial, attorney Bruce Castor spoke.
Day Four: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 4, Q&A http://bit.ly/3jLkwD0
// In this portion of the second impeachment trial of former President Trump, senators asked questions of both the House managers and Mr. Trump’s defense lawyers. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) then announced that Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman would be receiving the Congressional Gold Medal, due to his actions during the January 6 riots.

Day FIVE: C-SPAN: Senate Impeachment Trial Day 5 http://bit.ly/3b2haHL
// 2/13/2021

The Senate acquits former President Trump of inciting an insurrection, 57-43. Earlier, the House managers and the defense made closing arguments. Also, House Manager Raskin (D-MD) read a written statement from Rep. Herrera Beutler (R-WA).

Majority Leader Schumer on Impeachment Acquittal of Former President Trump http://bit.ly/2OFAT8V
// Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) delivered remarks after the Senate voted to acquit former President Trump, 57-43. Seven Republicans joined all Democrats in voting to convict Mr. Trump.
Minority Leader McConnell on Impeachment Acquittal of Former President Trump http://bit.ly/3djH5NM
// Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered remarks after the Senate voted to acquit former President Trump, 57-43. Seven Republicans joined all Democrats in voting to convict Mr. Trump.

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y

 

Twitter Threads

⭕ 9 Feb 2021 Impeachment #2: Day 1
💙 🧵 RT @atrupar Rep. Raskin’s opening impeachment trial statement: “Their argument is that if you commit an impeachable offense in your last few weeks in office, you do it with constitutional impunity.” 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1359206921039974406?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar Here is the entire video timeline of the January 6 insurrection as presented by the House impeachment managers 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1359216739054190593?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 10 Feb 2021 Impeachment #2: Day 2
🔄 💙🐣🧵 RT @jentaub It’s on. Day 2 of the Trump Impeachment Trial 2.0. February 10, 2021. We will have a dinner break at 6 p.m. ¤ 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1359548695038087169?s=20
🔄 💙🐣🧵 RT @atrupar Raskin: “This case is much worse than someone who falsely shouts fire in a crowded theater. It’s more like like a case where the town fire chief, who’s paid to put out fires, sends a mob not to yell fire in a crowded theater, but to actually set the theater on fire.”
🔄 💙 WaPo: See all the evidence presented in Trump’s impeachment trial http://wapo.st/3qeb1ii

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y
 
⭕ 11 Feb 2021 Impeachment #2: Day 3
🔄 💙🧵 RT @jentaub 🇺🇸 It’s on. Day 3. The Trial of Donald Trump 2.0 continues at 12:04 p.m. on February 11, 2021 📌 https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1359911216588685317?s=20
// Defense
🔄 💙🧵 RT @atrupar The Thursday installment of Trump’s #ImpeachmentTrial begins with a Baked Alaska clip 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1359914413709492232?s=20

⭕ 12 Feb 2021 Impeachment #2: Day 4
🔄 💙 🧵 RT @jentaub We have begun. It’s Day 4 of the Trump Impeachment Trial 2.0. The defense is putting on their case. The first lawyer is Van Der Veen. 📌 https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1360274181510807556?s=20

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y

🔄 💙 🧵 RT @atrupar “Lord, infuse them with the spirit of nonpartisan patriotism” — Senate Chaplain Barry Black’s prayer begins the Trump defense portion of the #ImpeachmentTrial 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1360275280775028740?s=20
⋙ 🔄 💙 🧵 RT @atrupar [Q&A] Lindsey Graham, Kevin Cramer, and Roger Marshall use an impeachment trial question to own the libs 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1360337066215804930?s=20

⭕ 13 Feb 2021 Impeachment #2: Day 5
🔄 💙 🧵 RT @jentaub Day 5 of the Donald Trump Impeachment Trial 2.0. February 13, 2021. Wonderful! They are going to debate whether to subpoena witnesses and documents ¤ 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1360605971198967809?s=20
🔄 💙 🧵 RT @atrupar “Lord, touch and move them to believe that end does not justify the means” — Senate Chaplain Barry Black’s prayer begins the Saturday portion of the #ImpeachmentTrial 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1360607971055656962?s=20

 

@Jzikah’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/3tUTM6Y


 
⭕ 25 Sep 2021

⭕ 24 Sep 2021

🐣 RT @SecretaryHobbs The presentations we have heard today lack both expertise and overall understanding of election administration. Their conclusions are not only inaccurate, but dangerous. My statement on the Senate’s partisan ballot review of Maricopa County’s 2020 general election: Text Block: https://twitter.com/SecretaryHobbs/status/1441523368579125250?s=20/photo/1

💽 MSNBC, Maddow: Schmidt: Republicans are driving chaos, promising order with easy scapegoats http://on.msnbc.com/3o3avoY
// Steve Schmidt, political consultant, talks with Rachel Maddow about the ominous radicalization of the Republican Party as it turns against democracy and is swept up in an autocratic movement beholden to Donald Trump.

🐣 RT @ KyungLahACNN House Oversight Cmte “requests” Cyber Ninja’s Doug Logan to testify. Letter reads: “As a result of your obstruction, your participation in a Committee hearing is necessary for the Committee to advance the investigation of the questionable audit your company performed” #azaudit Text Block [letter]: https://twitter.com/KyungLahCNN/status/1441395241102180358?s=20/photo/1

🐣 📋 ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1441632413667450880?s=20/photo/1
// OccupyDemocrats: Neil DeGrasse Tyson: ‘Every 10 days in the US, 8000 (unvaccinated) Republican voters are dying of COVID-19. That’s FIVE TIMES the rate for Democrats’

🐣 RT @kyledcheney PSAKI says Biden has decided he will NOT invoke executive privilege on Trump’s behalf to shield any of his White House records from the Jan. 6 committee.

💙🐣 ✅ RT @ maricopacounty NEW: Here’s round two of our #FactCheck on several of the claims Cyber Ninjas identified as the most serious in their report: 🧵 https://twitter.com/maricopacounty/status/1441490472430489615?s=20
💙🐣 ✅ RT @maricopacounty NEW: After a preliminary review of the draft #azaudit report, we can provide a #FactCheck on several of the claims Cyber Ninjas identified as the most serious in their report: 🧵 https://twitter.com/maricopacounty/status/1441470629538983945?s=20
💙🐣 ✅ RT @maricopacounty A thread about election audits ahead of the Senate hearing today: 🧵 https://twitter.com/maricopacounty/status/1441408943650050059?s=20
// Cyber Ninjas fraudit

CNN: Draft report from partisan Arizona review confirms Biden defeated Trump in Maricopa County last November http://cnn.it/3zF5kxJ
// thorough

⭕ 23 Sep 2021

WaPo, Robert Kagan: Our constitutional crisis is already here http://wapo.st/3CIw960
// “Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation.” — James Madison

🔆 More❗️⋙ CitizenFreePress: Maricopa Audit — Draft Report has been leaked… http://bit.ly/3lU8wR6 Draft claims:❗“KEY RESULT — More than 55,000 potentially illegal ballots” (they question the topline). Here’s the link to the draft (still being finalized): http://bit.ly/3o1jHKn
https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1441371906901487616?s=20/photo/1

🔆 This❗️⋙ AZCentral: Arizona audit draft report confirms Biden beat Trump http://bit.ly/3ENfcZZ //➔ THIS ISN’T OVER: The top line results appear LATE in the report. Cyber Ninjas use most of the report to question the legitimacy of large batches of votes, “raising bogus concerns”

Benny White, a prominent Pima County elections consultant, also provided a line-by-line analysis of a draft report he received. It had no connection with the county.

The presidential and Senate results from the recount were found in the third volume of the draft. The first volume, the executive summary, focuses on pointing out concerns Cyber Ninjas and its subcontractors have with the county’s election, raising questions about whether there was election fraud and further casting doubt on the integrity of the process.

Election consultants from across the country warned before the release of the results to be skeptical of the findings because they say the methods were sloppy, insecure, lacked bipartisan oversight and were unlikely to produce accurate results.

Those who obtained copies of the draft report were already dissecting it.

White said the Senate is raising bogus concerns in a way that will shift focus from the fact that the audit found Trump lost the election by numbers that closely matched the county’s.

I’m outraged at what the Senate has done, what it is doing here,” he said Thursday. “They have not involved any election officials in this audit. They have not involved any county officials.” 

White is part of a three-man team dubbed “The Audit Guys,” who have analyzed election and voting processes nationwide. He said that his team is preparing a rebuttal to the report that will demonstrate section by section how the Cyber Ninjas got it wrong.

“The Ninjas don’t understand Arizona’s voting laws,” he said. “They don’t understand the structure of voting systems.”

He called out the draft report’s failure to provide specific breakdowns of the count in the report, including key voting elements such as boxes, batches and precinct information that would allow experts to burrow into the data.

“We’ve demonstrated in the past that if they produce those counts, we are going to destroy those reports,” he said. “They have wasted $6-$7 million and months of people’s time on something that is just not credible.”

One of the most significant problems is the Cyber Ninjas’ reliance on a commercial database to verify voters. White said. He called the methodology sloppy and said experts who do this for a living instead would use data directly from the County Recorder’s Office, not data from a third party.

White disputes Senate President Karen Fann’s claim that she launched the audit to improve election integrity. He said the draft report went out of its way to ensure findings would raise doubts about the process when the counts didn’t show fraud. 

“It was a conspiracy to keep Donald Trump in power by extraconstitutional means,” he said.

Sellers said he suspects the supervisors will be “accused once again of not cooperating, failing to fill holes in the knowledge of the Senate’s chosen contractor.”

“How could we cooperate with an inquiry that was led by people who have no idea how to run any election, let alone one in the second-largest voting district in the United States?” he said. “The Board approved the election plan, we hired and supported our election experts, and they produced a well-run and accurate election in accordance with Arizona law.”

🐣 RT @maricopacounty Chairman @jacksellers on #azaudit draft: “This means the tabulation equipment counted the ballots as they were designed to do, and the results reflect the will of the voters. That should be the end of the story. Everything else is just noise.” Full statement below: Text Block: https://twitter.com/maricopacounty/status/1441247867268599810?s=20/photo/1
// “But I’m sure it won’t be”

WaPo: House Jan. 6 committee issues subpoenas for Trump aides and advisers, including Meadows and Scavino http://wapo.st/3zAjjER

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has issued subpoenas to two top Trump White House officials, former chief of staff Mark Meadows and former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, as well as to Kash Patel, who was serving as chief of staff to the acting defense secretary that day. An additional subpoena targets longtime Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon. … ¤ Along with asking Meadows, Scavino, Patel and Bannon to hand over records, the committee is instructing the four men to appear for depositions in mid-October.

Trump issued a lengthy statement that said he would fight the subpoenas by invoking executive privilege. In the statement, he also made the type of false claims about the 2020 election that were embraced by the mob of his supporters as they ransacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 and engaged in violent clashes with the police.

“Hopefully the Unselect Committee will be calling witnesses on the Rigged Presidential Election of 2020, which is the primary reason that hundreds of thousands of people went to Washington, D.C. in the first place,” he said.

On the day of the attack, Meadows and Scavino were firsthand witnesses to the president’s state of mind and hopes for his speech on the Ellipse, where he urged thousands of protesters to go up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol and to “fight like hell” for their country. After violence broke out at the Capitol and police shot a rioter, Meadows, working with Scavino and with help from Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, repeatedly tried to get Trump to issue a public message to tell his supporters to stop their protest and leave the Capitol grounds. These details were first reported in the book “I Alone Can Fix It” by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.

In a letter accompanying the subpoena to Meadows, the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), writes that the panel has obtained “credible evidence” of Meadows’s involvement within “the scope of the select committee’s inquiry.” The letter cites several examples of Meadows’s communication and proximity to the former president leading up to and on the day of the insurrection.

Thompson also notes that Justice Department documents reveal that Meadows “directly communicated with the highest officials at the Department of Justice requesting investigations into election fraud matters in several states” and made contact with “several state officials to encourage investigation of allegations of election fraud.”

Thompson wrote to Scavino that “it appears you were with or in the vicinity of former president Trump on January 6 and are a witness to his activities that day. You may also have material relevant to his video taping and tweeting messages on Jan 6.” The letter cites reports in a new book, “Peril,” by Washington Post writers Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, that Scavino was also with Trump on Jan. 5 “when he and others were considering how to convince Members of Congress not to certify the election for Joe Biden.”

In its letter to Bannon, the select committee writes that the longtime activist and adviser has “information relevant to understanding important activities that led to and informed the events at the Capitol” on Jan. 6.

“For example, you have been identified as present at the Willard Hotel on January 5, 2021, during an effort to persuade Members of Congress to block the certification of the election the next day, and in relation to other activities on January 6,” Thompson writes. “You are also described as communicating with then-President Trump on December 30, 2020, and potentially other occasions, urging him to plan for and focus his efforts on January 6.”

Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), worked in White House national security positions under Trump before transferring to the Pentagon. When the panel requested documents from the Pentagon in August, it mentioned Patel specifically. The committee requested “documents and communications concerning possible attempts by President Donald Trump to remain in office after January 20, 2021.” The panel also asked for communications about martial law.

On Thursday, the committee subpoenaed Patel for “all documents and communications to, from, or referring to Patel, relating to civil unrest, violence, or attacks at the U.S. Capitol; challenging, overturning, or questioning the validity of the 2020 election results; or the counting of the electoral college vote on January 6, 2021.”

🐣 RT @RWPUSA The White House needs to release ALL information it has about what happened in the White House on January 6. No more of this “executive privilege” nonsense. Insurrection is not a presidential privilege.
⋙ CNN: White House moving to release information on Trump to congressional investigators http://cnn.it/39ylQVv

🧵 RT @maricopacounty BREAKING: The #azaudit draft report from Cyber Ninjas confirms the county’s canvass of the 2020 General Election was accurate and the candidates certified as the winners did, in fact, win. 📌 https://twitter.com/maricopacounty/status/1441228176600952839?s=20

🐣 RT @tribelaw Even if DOJ decides to spare Trump, the gang that plotted the coup, probably Eastman & Bannon & Giuliani & Powell & Flynn & McCarthy & Donald Jr., all need to be held criminally accountable. Without them to prop him up, Trump will be an impotent sore loser.

⭕ 22 Sep 2021

WaPo, Philip Bump: Somehow, we’re still learning the depths of Trump’s dishonesty http://wapo.st/3zxlPf3

Of all of the things that might crystallize a sense of despair about the ruthless effectiveness of Donald Trump’s habitual dishonesty, I wouldn’t have expected it to be a legalistic six-page memo about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution.

This week, following reporting from the newly published book “Peril,” by The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, we learned new details about the conversations that were unfolding in the White House in the days before the counting of electoral votes at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. We’ve learned the extent to which Trump’s insistences about the election having been stolen were predicated on information that his team and his allies knew were unfounded. We’ve learned from the aforementioned memo that Trump seized upon a fringe opinion about constitutionality as a rationale to pressure his vice president into doing something that he couldn’t do and shouldn’t have done even if he could. We’ve learned more, in other words, about just how shoddy Trump’s claim to a second term was — a claim that has held a tight grip on his base well after it expended all of its usefulness for keeping him in office.

There is largely no point in trying to rationally rebut an irrational or emotional belief. But I hold the irrational belief that it can’t hurt, and I will not be rationalized out of it. So let’s walk through what we know about why Trump’s claims are false and were known to be false when he offered them. …

We know now that even Trump allies asked for proof that his claims about fraud were warranted. In “Peril,” Woodward and Costa describe a meeting in the White House between Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a former Trump foe who became one of the president’s most stalwart defenders. Giuliani made sweeping claims about fraud, and Graham demanded he prove them. Giuliani assured Graham he’d provide the direct evidence of specific fraudulent votes.

A few days later, Giuliani provided Graham a memo that the senator’s team began to review, the book reports. The claims of dead people voting in Georgia were found to consist mostly or entirely of people who voted legally but died before the election itself. A slew of other numbers making claims about illegal votes were unsupported by specifics and ones for which Graham’s team couldn’t figure out any provenance. Some of the figures came from an employee of the Trump-obsequious One America News. Another claimed that there were more than 11,000 “overvotes” in Arizona — though that overstated the number of such votes in the presidential race by a factor of 100.

This was the genesis of Graham’s much-reported disparagement of the evidence as being “third-grade” level. Yet these claims about dead voters, surplus votes and other things still pepper discussions of what occurred in 2020. Yes, the media has repeatedly shown these things to be unsubstantiated (should you choose to seek out that reporting), but so did a Republican Trump ally. Because they are unsubstantiated. Or, more accurately, they’re simply noncredible, given the multiple internal and external reviews of the vote in contested states and the utter lack of reason to think that anything suspect happened.

Nor was it just Trump. The New York Times reported Tuesday that Trump’s campaign had prepared an internal memo in November undercutting various extreme claims about electronic voting in the election. Yet Trump’s attorneys and the president himself were undeterred, nonetheless presenting these wild assertions of an international conspiracy to throw the election as valid and credible. They were neither. No evidence has emerged to suggest that there was any nonaccidental problem with votes cast on voting machines. What’s more, there’s never even been a credible argument made for why or how vote totals might somehow be routed overseas for manipulation.

Again, all of this happened before Jan. 6. Trump put his allies in a difficult position, stoking false claims and demanding action. Many of those allies — Graham included — clearly wanted to be able to encourage Republican voters by supporting Trump but he also wanted to not expose himself by embracing obviously dubious information. Some found a middle ground: insisting that their objections to the election were rooted in technical debates over the way votes were cast. Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) made such claims a feature of their pre-Jan. 6 objections to the counting of electoral votes.

The culmination of this argument, though, came in that six-page memo. It was a lengthier version of a two-page memo written by a legal expert named John Eastman, a document presented to a bemused Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) who was “shocked” when he read it, according to Woodward and Costa. After all, the two-page memo simply stated that Vice President Mike Pence could ignore established precedent for counting electoral votes and try to declare certain electoral-vote tallies unacceptable out-of-hand, essentially pushing the finalization of the election to a legal decision from the courts.

In the lengthier memo, published in full this week, Eastman takes a slightly less aggressive tack. It begins by delineating various ways in which “state election laws were altered or dispensed with altogether in key swing states and/or cities and counties.” In essence, he’s arguing that Pence would be warranted in throwing out the results in some states not because people cast illegal votes but because states allowed people to vote in ways they shouldn’t have. It’s an argument for throwing out the demonstrated will of the people based on the way they were told to express that will. (A court in Pennsylvania, hearing such a claim before Jan. 6, had rejected the idea that votes cast using a process that shouldn’t have been authorized should stand, calling a rejection of them an “extreme and untenable” remedy.)

Even here, though, Eastman oversteps. For example, why should bringing “[p]ortable ‘polling places’ targeted to heavily democrat” areas be considered a rationale for rejecting the results of those votes? Or: “[f]ederal court reduced Arizona’s 29-day-before-election registration requirement”? Because a federal court changed a rule, no votes from Arizona should count? It’s quite simply a rejection of the will of the voters for no reason other than that Eastman didn’t like how they voted.

The memo also falls victim to a logical flaw that we see repeatedly in fraud allegations: Because Eastman identified a way in which he thinks fraud might have been committed, we should assume it has been committed. It’s like finding a crowbar in someone’s garage and assuming they are part of a burglary ring. Not a fair assumption. A better crime-fighting technique would be to identify actual jimmied locks on actual houses and then trying to figure out who did it and how. That’s what Graham wanted, and he was simply told that there might be thousands of houses somewhere that had been broken into.

There was no rampant fraud, but that didn’t deter Eastman. He, like so many others, expressed the same false belief that animated everything else after the election. His memo operates from the assumption that there had been “outright fraud (both traditional ballot stuffing, and electronic manipulation of voting tabulation machines),” claims that remain untrue. But that was the foundation of his delineation of the laws that he found unacceptable (though many had been validated by courts) and, therefore, for having Pence simply ignore the election results. It all, once again, flowed from false claims about fraud.

People still say that fraud occurred. Most Republicans, in fact, say it did. Trump is still hammering on it, nailing new planks on his sunken ship. Those looking for his endorsement in 2022 are amplifying such claims, jockeying to be the loudest voice to earn Trump’s approval. People such as MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell — who has himself been repeatedly shown to have no actual evidence of fraud — continue to nonetheless claim that something illegal occurred. (He’s moved on to falsely alleging massive fraud in red states, somewhat missing the point.) In Lindell’s case, he insists that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear his evidence and somehow overturn the election. He’d predicted that would happen in August; the timeline now is November.

The story of the Trump presidency, a story still being fleshed out, is one of a cadre of yes-men facing off against realists. Then and now, Trump used the power of his large, loud and credulous base to tip the scales in his favor, forcing the Grahams, Pences and Rep. Liz Cheneys (R-Wyo.) to consider the costs of going not just against him but against all of those supporters as well. Trump’s dishonesty helped create a political army that he used bluntly.

There’s a scene recounted in “Peril” that speaks to this. On Jan. 5, Pence spoke to Trump in the Oval Office and told him that he would not deploy Eastman’s strategy of rejecting the results of the election. Woodward and Costa describe what happened next.

“Once Pence left, Trump opened a door near the Resolute Desk. A rush of cold air blasted the room. The temperature was around 31 degrees Fahrenheit outside, with the wind making it feel even colder,” they write. “Trump stood there, still, and listened. Through the din of police sirens and the whir of a city, he could hear his people. They sounded joyful. He breathed in the cold air and smiled.” ¤ Those supporters, at least, were doing what he wanted.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Democrats are seeking to restrain the executive branch. Will Republicans really oppose them? http://wapo.st/3lJl5Pa //➔ sure they will; they are getting everything ready for the next GOP presidency, which will happen if Dems don’t get their act together

🐣 RT @SwainForSenate 🚨President Trump Statement: Text Block:👇 https://twitter.com/SwainForSenate/status/1440862768437993473?s=20/photo/1
// Tim Swain is running for SC Senate; this is Trump’s rant against Lindsey Graham and Mike Lee for telling Pence there were no grounds for aborting the counting of electoral votes, as described in Woodward/Costa’s book Peril

NYT, Peter Coy: It’s Not Really a ‘$3.5 Trillion’ Bill http://nyti.ms/3EMMUPs “[I]f Donald Trump’s signature legislative achievement, the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017, had been measured the same way as Biden’s plan…, it would have been called a $5.5 trillion package”

🔆 This❗️⋙ Reuters: Special Report: Backers of Trump’s false fraud claims seek to control next elections http://reut.rs/3o3hpKP
// Democrats and nonpartisan election experts say it appears that Trump allies – having been foiled in their attempt to reverse Biden’s victory – are now trying to make it easier to overturn future results.

RawStory/Warroom: BUSTED: Steve Bannon admits he helped plot Jan. 6 Trump rally to ‘Kill Biden presidency in the crib’ http://bit.ly/3AEcJyw

Conservative broadcaster Steve Bannon admitted on Wednesday that he had plotted with President Donald Trump to “kill the Biden presidency in the crib” ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

During his Warroom broadcast, Bannon played clips of journalist Robert Costa and Bob Woodward explaining how events unfolded prior to the Jan. 6 riot.

“You look at January 5th, we discovered that Steve Bannon, the former White House strategist, was there at the Willard Hotel blocks from the White House with Rudy Giuliani, having an almost war-room-type meeting with other Trump allies the eve before the January 6th insurrection,” Costa recently explained to MSNBC. “And Bannon had actually been in close touch with President Trump for days before January 6th. Based on our reporting, he privately told President Trump to have a reckoning on January 6th. And he said to the president, it’s time to kill the Biden presidency in the crib.”

Bannon seemed proud to confirm that the conversation had taken place. ¤ “Yeah, because his legitimacy,” Bannon said of Biden. “42% of the American people think that Biden did not win the presidency legitimately.”

◕ 📋 WaPo (2020): Trickle-down’ tax cuts make the rich richer but are of no value to overall economy, study finds http://wapo.st/2ZbRQgc The rich got richer but “they had no effect on economic growth or employment.” ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1440617314903150597?s=20/photo/1
// 12/23/2020; Data spanning 50 years and 18 countries shows lowering rates for the wealthy increases inequality

[T]he tax cuts succeeded at putting more money in the pockets of the rich. The share of national income flowing to the top 1 percent increased by about 0.8 percentage points. (For comparison, in the United States the bottom 10 percent of earners capture only 1.8 percent of the country’s income).

But they had no effect on economic growth or employment. Though those quantities fluctuated slightly after the major tax cuts that were studied, the effect was statistically indistinguishable from zero. The “rocket fuel” so often promised by supporters of these tax cuts? It fizzles out time and time again.

“In the last decade, especially with the pioneering work of Thomas Piketty and his co-authors, there has been a growing consensus that tax cuts for the rich lead to higher income inequality,” Hope and Limberg said. Piketty, a French economist, wrote “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” a book on the growth of inequality in rich nations.

Given the evidence, why are such targeted tax cuts perennially popular among policymakers, especially Republicans? The authors point to one major reason — the power of wealthy individuals and corporations to set policy agendas through lobbying and campaign contributions.

⭕ 21 Sep 2021

Esquire, Charles Pierce: It Shouldn’t Be This Easy to Overthrow the American Republic http://bit.ly/39BxJtH
// CNN got hold of a Trump lawyer’s memo that describes a precise six-point plan for then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

🧵 RT @stevanzetti [Steve Monacelli] Here’s a thread of some of the things Joseph A. Camp has sent me since breaking the Epik hack. 📌 https://twitter.com/stevanzetti/status/1440410039798304776?s=20

🐣 I switch to Erin Burnett. on CNN during Joy’s show. It’s called “White woman is a better journalist syndrome”

🐣 RT @ConsWahoo Do other plaintiffs cite their former jobs when bringing suit?
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @ZoeTillman Here is Donald Trump’s new breach of contract/tortious interference lawsuit against Mary Trump and the New York Times: [pdf] http://bit.ly/3zvt4Ec 27p
HT @maxwelltani DailyBeast: Trump Sues NYT and Niece—Who Calls Him ‘F*cking Loser’ http://bit.ly/3hV2K0s
// The ex-president claims there was an “insidious plot to obtain confidential and highly-sensitive records.”
⋙ 🐣 “cannot be understated” ~ as pointed out by @maddow
⋙ 🐣 “The defendants’ actions were motivated by a personal vendetta and their desire to gain fame, notoriety, acclaim and a financial windfall and were further intended to advance their political agenda” ~ sounds familiar

🧵 RT @brianklaas 1. I’ve devoted much of my career to understanding authoritarianism and the breakdown of democracy. And I’m growing increasingly pessimistic about the prospects for American democracy, because of one simple question: what could slow down the GOP march toward authoritarianism? 📌 https://twitter.com/brianklaas/status/1440345037141778447?s=20

🐣 RT @NotHoodlum Remember when the world laughed in his face? 💽 https://twitter.com/NotHoodlum/status/1440430348488245255?s=20/photo/1
// Trump at the United Nations

WaPo: Al Franken has a new comedy tour. His targets? Former Senate colleagues. http://wapo.st/2XxRIH8 “The Only Former U.S. Senator Currently on Tour Tour”
// Also: “Did he slam former president Donald Trump? Indeed, but not nearly as much as Cruz or the minority leader: ‘Mitch McConnell has systematically ruined the Senate.’”

🐣 RT @AdamKinzinger ‘The Party is already lost. And victory meant two more years trapped in a hellscape of crazified school board meetings, Trump rallies, My Pillow Guy insanity, Newsmax and Fox News hits, and a caucus run by Kevin McCarthy, a man without any principle….”
⋙ Politico Mag, Charlie Sykes: Why Sane Republicans Are Purging Themselves http://politi.co/3CArlzv
// It looks like they’re giving up, but for politicians like Anthony Gonzalez, a party run by Trump is not worth fighting for.

DailyBeast: Donald Trump Sues New York Times and His Niece Over Tax Story http://bit.ly/39reJ1i “He is a f***ing loser” ~ Mary Trump
// The ex-president claims there was an “insidious plot to obtain confidential and highly-sensitive records.”
Esquire, Charles Pierce: It Shouldn’t Be This Easy to Overthrow the American Republic http://bit.ly/39BxJtH
// CNN got hold of a Trump lawyer’s memo that describes a precise six-point plan for then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

🐣 RT @RBReich Just wanted to remind you that Republicans added $7 trillion to the national debt under the former guy, which is most of the debt now requiring a higher debt ceiling.

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind I worry how numb we have become to our near brush with authoritarianism – when it is revealed that there was a memo with a 6 step plan for a coup, and it doesn’t even get top of the hour news coverage – let alone consequences for all involved. We are in danger of a repeat folks!

WaPo: Huge hack reveals embarrassing details of who’s behind Proud Boys and other far-right websites http://wapo.st/3u1nrwt
// Researchers say it will allow them to gain important new insights into how extremists operate online

Epik long has been the favorite Internet company of the far-right, providing domain services to QAnon theorists, Proud Boys and other instigators of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — allowing them to broadcast hateful messages from behind a veil of anonymity.

But that veil abruptly vanished last week when a huge breach by the hacker group Anonymous dumped into public view more than 150 gigabytes of previously private data — including user names, passwords and other identifying information of Epik’s customers.

Extremism researchers and political opponents have treated the leak as a Rosetta Stone to the far-right, helping them to decode who has been doing what with whom over several years. Initial revelations have spilled out steadily across Twitter since news of the hack broke last week, often under the hashtag #epikfail, but those studying the material say they will need months and perhaps years to dig through all of it.

Online records show those sites have included 8chan, which was dropped by its providers after hosting the manifesto of a gunman who killed 51 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019; Gab, which was dropped for hosting the antisemitic rants of a gunman who killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018; and Parler, which was dropped due to lax moderation related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

[Epik founder Robert] Monster has defended his work as critical to keeping the Internet uncensored and free, aligning himself with conservative critics who argue that leading technology companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and YouTube have gone too far in policing content they deem inappropriate.

//➔ “The company played such a major role in keeping far-right terrorist cesspools alive,” said Rita Katz, executive director of SITE Intelligence Group, which studies online extremism. “Without Epik, many extremist communities — from QAnon and white nationalists to accelerationist neo-Nazis — would have had far less oxygen to spread harm, whether that be building toward the Jan. 6 Capitol riots or sowing the misinformation and conspiracy theories chipping away at democracy.”

A Twitter account, @epikfailsnippet, that is posting unverified revelations from the leaked data, included a thread purporting to expose administrators of the Proud Boys sites.

Technology news site the Daily Dot reported that Ali Alexander, a conservative political activist who played a key role in spreading false voter fraud claims about the 2020 presidential election, took steps after the Jan. 6 siege to obscure his ownership of more than 100 domains registered to Epik. Nearly half reportedly used variations of the “Stop the Steal” slogan pushed by Alexander and others. Alexander did not reply to requests for comment from the Daily Dot or, on Tuesday, from The Post.

Extremism researchers urge careful fact-checking to protect credibility, but the data remains tantalizing for its potential to unmask extremists in public-facing jobs.

Emma Best, co-founder of Distributed Denial of Secrets, a nonprofit whistleblower group, said some researchers call the Epik hack “the Panama Papers of hate groups,” a comparison to the leak of more than 11 million documents that exposed a rogue offshore finance industry. And, like the Panama Papers, scouring the files is labor intensive, with payoffs that could be months away.

“A lot of research begins with naming names,” Best said. “There’s a lot of optimism and feeling of being overwhelmed, and people knowing they’re in for the long haul with some of this data.”

🐣 RT @SahilKapur NEWS: House votes 220-211 on a bill to fund the government through 12/3/2021, extend the debt ceiling to 12/2022, and provide funding for disaster relief and to assist Afghan evacuees. ¤ A straight party line vote. All Republicans vote no.

🚫 WaPo: U.S. careens toward shutdown, financial crisis amid stalemate in Congress http://wapo.st/2ZazsnU
// Democrats have tied an increase in the debt ceiling with a bill that funds the government into December, setting off a war with Republicans, who refuse to raise the cap out of opposition to President Biden’s agenda — even if it means grinding the country to a halt.
⋙ WaPo: U.S. default this fall would cost 6 million jobs, wipe out $15 trillion in wealth, study says http://wapo.st/2XLKGyY
// GOP signals refusal to help Democrats raise debt ceiling, in opposition to President Biden’s spending plans
// too alarmist to RT

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Trump Campaign Knew Lawyers’ Voting Machine Claims Were Baseless, Memo Shows http://nyti.ms/3lJiaWB “The release of the documents was only the latest legal trouble for Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Powell, both of whom have been sued directly by Dominion for defamation”
// Days before lawyers allied with Donald Trump gave a news conference promoting election conspiracy theories, his campaign had determined that many of those claims were false, court filings reveal.

Two weeks after the 2020 election, a team of lawyers closely allied with Donald J. Trump held a widely watched news conference at the Republican Party’s headquarters in Washington. At the event, they laid out a bizarre conspiracy theory claiming that a voting machine company had worked with an election software firm, the financier George Soros and Venezuela to steal the presidential contest from Mr. Trump.

But there was a problem for the Trump team, according to court documents released on Monday evening. ¤ By the time the news conference occurred on Nov. 19, Mr. Trump’s campaign had already prepared an internal memo on many of the outlandish claims about the company, Dominion Voting Systems, and the separate software company, Smartmatic. The memo had determined that those allegations were untrue.

The court papers, which were initially filed late last week as a motion in a defamation lawsuit brought against the campaign and others by a former Dominion employee, Eric Coomer, contain evidence that officials in the Trump campaign were aware early on that many of the claims against the companies were baseless.

The documents also suggest that the campaign sat on its findings about Dominion even as Sidney Powell and other lawyers attacked the company in the conservative media and ultimately filed four federal lawsuits accusing it of a vast conspiracy to rig the election against Mr. Trump.

Even at the time, many political observers and voters, Democratic and Republican alike, dismissed the efforts by Ms. Powell and other pro-Trump lawyers like Rudolph W. Giuliani as a wild, last-ditch attempt to appease a defeated president in denial of his loss. But the false theories they spread quickly gained currency in the conservative media and endure nearly a year later.

It is unclear if Mr. Trump knew about or saw the memo; still, the documents suggest that his campaign’s communications staff remained silent about what it knew of the claims against Dominion at a moment when the allegations were circulating freely.

“The Trump campaign continued to allow its agents,” the motion says, “to advance debunked conspiracy theories and defame” Mr. Coomer, “apparently without providing them with their own research debunking those theories.”

But at the time that the internal report was prepared, Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Powell were both “active supervisors,” as he put it in his deposition, in the Trump campaign’s broader plan to challenge the election results — an effort that eventually included more than 60 failed lawsuits filed across the country. While Ms. Powell soon went her own way in claiming that Dominion had conspired to steal the election, Mr. Giuliani continued working closely with Mr. Trump and his campaign, ultimately changing strategies and seeking to persuade state legislatures to overturn the popular vote.

NYT: In his U.N. debut, Biden calls for global unity against common threats. http://nyti.ms/3hOEVr9 “Biden called for a new era of global unity against the coronavirus, emerging technological threats and the expanding influence of autocratic nations”
⋙ 🐣 RT @JohnFeehery Australia?
⋙⋙ 🐣 Australia dumped a bad deal for a good one, after warning the French they were unhappy with the technology and schedule slippages. The French are acting out – and not for the first time. ¤ Biden gave a great speech.

❗WaPo: Biden, at U.N., calls for unity in addressing the pandemic and climate change http://wapo.st/3tYyQgt //➔ barely covers his speech at all; most is just the usual beltway litany of gripes; can’t they remember what it was like to have a would-be tyrant as president?

Challenges that require a united response include “ending this pandemic, addressing the climate crisis, managing shifts in global power dynamics, shaping the role of the world on vital issues like trade, cyber and emerging technologies and facing the threat of terrorism as it stands today,” Biden said.

WaPo, Catherine Rampell: Once again, Democrats must be the grown-ups and keep Republicans from causing a global catastrophe http://wapo.st/2VXxHcy

⭕ 20 Sep 2021

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 A lawyer for Trump Org. CFO Allen Weisselberg revealed in open court that prosecutors have found more evidence and that more indictments are expected.
⋙ DailyBeast: Trump Org Prosecutors Find New Evidence—in a Basement http://bit.ly/3hV8XJE
// A lawyer for Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg revealed in open court that prosecutors have found more evidence and that more indictments are expected.

🧵 RT @gabriel_zucman Fun fact: an annual 0.3% wealth tax on the top 10% — similar to the one that exists in Switzerland — would fund the entire $3.5 trillion bill 📌 https://twitter.com/gabriel_zucman/status/1440100208730279940?s=20
⋙ 🐣 ◕ RT @gabriel_zucman Using he Federal Reserve Distributional Financial Accounts:
● The top 10% owns $90 trillion (of which $41.5 is owned by the top 1%) = 400% of GDP
● So if well enforced the tax would raise ~1.2% of GDP (~like in Switzerland) — which is $3.5t over 10 years https://twitter.com/gabriel_zucman/status/1440102976366862336?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 📋 BoardofGovsFED: Distribution of Household Wealth in the U.S. since 1989 http://bit.ly/3ArVRuU
⋙ 🐣 RT @gabriel_zucman If, as if likely, there was some tax avoidance/evasion then you need to increase the rate a bit: ¤ With 15% avoidance/evasion, you need to increase the rate to 0.35% to generate 1.2% of GDP in revenue ¤ (Or if you keep 0.3% you only get $3 trillion — still decent)
⋙ 🐣 RT @gabriel_zucman With this small tax, Elon Musk would pay about $600 million this year — making it impossible for billionaires to pay ~0 tax anymore
⋙⋙ 🧵 RT @gabriel_zucman (9/18) The richest man in the world, Elon Musk, paid $8,410 in income tax in 2018. 📌 https://twitter.com/gabriel_zucman/status/1439296433807499267?s=20/photo/1
// 9/18/2021

🐣 RT @FrankFigliuzzi Here we go: Longtime GOP operatives charged with funneling Russian national’s money to Trump, RNC
⋙ Politico: Longtime GOP operatives charged with funneling Russian national’s money to Trump, RNC http://politi.co/3CAyQ9N
// Jesse Benton and Doug Wead pleaded not guilty to six felony charges, including facilitating a campaign contribution by a foreign national.

The grand jury indictment alleges that Benton and Wead worked together to accept $100,000 from an unidentified Russian national in order to get the foreigner a meeting with then-candidate Trump at a fundraiser in Philadelphia on Sept. 22, 2016. … … The indictment suggests that Benton and Wead hoped to make money from the scheme and did — taking $100,000 from the Russian, but paying only $25,000 to Trump Victory, a joint venture between the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee.

NYT: Democrats to Pair Spending Bill With Raising Debt Ceiling, Pressuring G.O.P. http://nyti.ms/3kxDIGB McConnell and moderate Republicans voted for the $900B pandemic relief bill but now are refusing to pay for it, despite voting for $1.9Tr in Trump tax cuts for the rich
// The approach essentially dares Republicans to follow through on their threats to oppose increasing the debt limit, by coupling it with urgently needed federal spending.

🐣 RT @BillKristol As of a few months ago (and still?), John Eastman, the author of the White House six-point plan for overturning the election, was chair of the Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group of @FedSoc. Any statement by them about one of their leading lights plotting usurpation?
⋙⋙ 🚫🐣 RT @APMC1985 I mean they hosted this event, don’t see why they’d have a problem with Eastman. Text Block: https://twitter.com/APMC1985/status/1440113732873453577?s=20/photo/1
// Flyer: “The Originalist Case for Insurrection” [authentic?]
⋙ 🐣 RT @BillKristol I don’t follow as many Republicans and conservatives on this website as I once did. But I assume if I did follow them, I’d see them all expressing horror at the Trump White House usurpation plan, and insisting the GOP and conservatives cut all ties with those associated with it.

🐣 RT @marceelias If he sent this, he should be disbarred.
⋙ 🧵 RT @UrbanAchievr This is the six-point plan advanced by Trump lawyer John Eastman for VP Pence to overturn the election on January 6th.Text Block: 📌https://twitter.com/UrbanAchievr/status/1440062663967461387?s=20/photo/1

🔆 This❗️⋙ CNN: Memo shows Trump lawyer’s six-step plan for Pence to overturn the election http://cnn.it/3nNTjDT
⋙ Memo: CNN: [pdf] http://cnn.it/3hR1YBL p2

The scheme put forward by controversial lawyer John Eastman was outlined in a two-page memo obtained by the authors for “Peril,” and which was subsequently obtained by CNN. The memo, which has not previously been made public, provides new detail showing how Trump and his team tried to persuade Pence to subvert the Constitution and throw out the election results on January 6.

The effort to sway Pence was just one of several behind-the-scenes attempts that Trump’s team undertook ahead of January 6 in a desperate bid to overturn the 2020 election loss, after dozens of lawsuits were thrown out of the courts. “Peril,” which will be released Tuesday, details how Eastman’s memo was sent to GOP Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and how Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani tried to convince fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina of election fraud. But both Lee and Graham scoffed at the arguments and found they had no merit.

You might as well make your case to Queen Elizabeth II. Congress can’t do this. You’re wasting your time,” Lee said to Trump’s lawyers trying to overturn the results in Georgia, according to the book.

The Eastman memo laid out a six-step plan for Pence to overturn the election for Trump, which included throwing out the results in seven states because they allegedly had competing electors. In fact, no state had actually put forward an alternate slate of electors — there were merely Trump allies claiming without any authority to be electors.

“You really need to listen to John. He’s a respected constitutional scholar. Hear him out,” Trump said to Pence at that meeting, Woodward and Costa write in “Peril.”

In the memo, Eastman went so far as to suggest Pence should take action without warning.

“The main thing here is that Pence should do this without asking for permission — either from a vote of the joint session or from the Court,” Eastman wrote. “The fact is that the Constitution assigns this power to the Vice President as the ultimate arbiter. We should take all of our actions with that in mind.”

In the end, Pence didn’t go along with Eastman’s scheme, concluding that the Constitution did not give him any power beyond counting the Electoral College votes. He did his own consultations before January 6, according to the book, reaching out to former Vice President Dan Quayle and the Senate parliamentarian, who were both clear in telling him he had no authority beyond counting the votes.

When Pence refused to intervene, Trump turned on his vice president, attacking him on Twitter even as the insurrection at the Capitol was unfolding on January 6.

The memo could be of interest to the House select committee now investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, which recently requested documents from the National Archives that specifically included communications involving Eastman.

“It shows intent, a sophisticated plan, a blueprint to illegally and unconstitutionally overturn and steal the election” by Trump and his team based on false and misleading information and legal arguments, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN.

Eastman spoke at the January 6 rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol. He retired from his position as a professor at Chapman University a week after January 6, which occurred amid protests from faculty at the Southern California university over his participation in Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.

Eastman told the Washington Post that his memo merely “explored all options that had been proposed.” CNN has contacted Eastman for comment through the Claremont Institute, where he is a senior fellow.

As part of the efforts of Trump’s team to convince Congress not to certify the election, the Eastman memo was given to Lee, one of the Senate’s top Republican constitutional authors. At the same time, Giuliani sent multiple memos to Graham trying to convince him that the claims of election fraud coming from Trump’s team were legitimate.

The memos show how even some of Trump’s closest allies balked at the measures Trump’s team was taking behind the scenes to try to overturn his loss to Biden. But while Lee and Graham heard out the cases from Trump’s lawyers, they soundly rejected their claims, Woodard and Costa write.

Lee was shocked by the claims the memo was making, since no state had considered, let alone put forward, any alternate slates of electors. “Lee’s head was spinning,” the authors write. “No such procedure existed in the Constitution, any law or past practice. Eastman had apparently drawn it out of thin air.”

Lee also dismissed the Trump team’s arguments that it had a case to overturn the election results in Georgia, saying they had to be made in court.

🐣 📊 Monmouth Poll: Public Pans Texas Abortion Law http://bit.ly/3lOa13s (9/9-13/2021)
// Most say leave Roe v. Wade as is

62/31% say leave Roe v Wade as it is
70/22% disapprove of Texas law

Abortion should be:
● Always Legal 33%
● Legal w Limitations 29%
● Illegal w Exceptions 24%
● Always Illegal 11%

🐣 RT @JakeTapper CNN: More than 675,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the United States, surpassing the country’s estimated death toll from the 1918 flu pandemic.
⋙ 🐣 RT @SethroM31 The population of the US was 100 million in 1918. Meaning per capita COVID is still only 1/3 as deadly.

🐣 The number of Deaths Per Day from COVID-19 has almost DOUBLED in less than a month.
From: 1,010 a day for the week ending 8/21
To: 1,968 a day for the week ending 9/18
Source: IHME ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1439817798050623491?s=20/photo/1
// 🖼 photo from Nature of close-up of coronavirus (electron microscopic)

⭕ 19 Sep 2021

WaPo, EJ Dionne: Anthony Gonzalez gets what Democrats need to know http://wapo.st/2XDUNWo “[L]ast week could well mark … a turning point in how Democrats, including Biden, approach the next phase of political combat”
// President Biden, call Anthony Gonzalez.

One of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 riot, Gonzalez called the former president “a cancer for the country.” He told the New York Times he did not want any part of a 2022 GOP that will “make Trump the center of fund-raising efforts,” adding that “most of my political energy will be spent” preventing Trump from being president again.

For all of Biden’s honorable efforts to pull the nation together, and his earlier habit of downplaying the radical nature of today’s Republicanism, our politics remain as dangerously abnormal as Gonzalez warns.

For at least two more elections — next year’s midterms and the 2024 presidential contest — the central issue before voters will be whether to reward or punish the GOP’s extremism and, particularly in the case of the House Republican leadership, the party’s embrace of Trump.

This is not an abstract question. In the here and now, Republican-controlled states have embraced voter suppression and election subversion, justified in the name of doubts sown by Trump’s preposterously false claims about the 2020 election outcome.

With some honorable exceptions, Republican governors in the party’s strongholds have blocked sensible actions to prevent tens of thousands of deaths from the spread of covid-19.

Gonzalez’s decision in combination with the outcome of the California recall, the continuing deadly spread of the delta variant and the introduction of the Freedom to Vote Act in the Senate could well mark last week as a turning point in how Democrats, including Biden, approach the next phase of political combat.

It begins by accepting that calls for unity of purpose will, for some time, continue to fall on deaf Republican ears. Biden signaled on Thursday that he accepts the new terms of the struggle. He said some Republican governors were playing “the worst kind of politics” by opposing his vaccination and testing mandates, singling out Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas.

“The governors of Florida and Texas,” Biden said, “are doing everything they can to undermine the lifesaving requirements that I proposed.”

This is fertile ground. Large majorities of Democrats and independents and a significant minority of Republicans support Biden’s vaccine mandates. A poll released in Florida last week found the state’s voters unhappy with DeSantis’s virus policies and preferring Biden to DeSantis in a hypothetical presidential matchup.

And the defeat of the recall effort against California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) by a nearly 2-to-1 margin demonstrated the power of a campaign waged in favor of tough action to curb the virus — and against Trump and Republican extremism.

But the case for confronting Trumpist zealotry is moral, not just political. Our democracy will be in peril as long as the vast majority of Republican leaders refuse to join Gonzalez in battling what he rightly sees as a growing cancer in their party. And Democrats will be complicit if they act as if business-as-usual remains possible.

🐣 RT @leahmcelrath In the past year and a half:
● More Americans have died from COVID-19 than total military deaths on both sides in the Civil War.
● Five times as many as US military deaths in WWI.
● 200,000 more than US military deaths in WWII.
● Ten times as many as US military deaths in Vietnam.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ryanjreilly Quite stunning to see the COVID death toll represented like this. 💽 https://twitter.com/ryanjreilly/status/1439749388843327495?s=20/photo/1
// white flags on the Mall

🐣 RT @IlhanMN Big News: Mask and vaccine mandates are supported my a sizable majority according to this Fox News Poll, sorry Fox.
**Also the poll indicates 56% of voters support an infrastructure bill that has spending to address climate change, health care, and childcare. ¤ Let’s pass it https://twitter.com/IlhanMN/status/1439716003651391488?s=20/photo/1
// 📊 FoxNews Poll (9/12-15/2021, registered voters)
Favor/Oppose
67/31 Teachers/Students wear masks
66/31 Workers/Customers wear masks
61/36 Teachers be vaccinated
58/40 All govt employees be vaccinated
56/41 Biz 100+ employees vaxed/tested

🐣 RT @kikiallus Could these nano-drones be utilized to vaccinate the anti-vaxxers? https://twitter.com/kikiallus/status/1439756002895622146?s=20/photo/1
// flying insect drones
⋙ 🐣 Now there’s an idea!

NYT: Merkel’s Children: Living Legacies Called Angela, Angie and Sometimes Merkel http://nyti.ms/2VSqdre
// For some refugee families who traveled to Germany during the migrant crisis of 2015 and 2016, gratitude for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to welcome them comes via a namesake.

WaPo Editorial: If Republicans can’t get behind an issue as fundamental as voting, Democrats must push through their bill http://wapo.st/39mWgCK

⭕ 18 Sep 2021

WaPo: ‘Justice for J6’ rally starts and ends with small crowds and tight security http://wapo.st/3tWfgBx “Capitol Police said Saturday afternoon that between 400 and 450 people had been observed … . But many of them were journalists and other bystanders”

NYT Editorial: Joe Manchin Got the Voting Bill He Wanted. Time to Pass It. http://nyti.ms/3CoplKC

🐣 RT @DerpaDe54172274 #JusticeforJ6 #TraitorParade
💙 🌀 https://twitter.com/DerpaDe54172274/status/1439260249203122186?s=20/photo/1
// people running into a hole lemmings to the sea

⭕ 17 Sep 2021

RawStory/TexasTrib, Kate Mcgee: Emergency contraception funds sent to Texas by Biden admin following GOP’s near-total abortion ban http://bit.ly/2XojzcK $ sent to Every Body Texas, distributor for fed Title X program which provides family planning services for low income people

WaPo Editorial: John Durham’s zombie Russia investigation produces an iffy indictment. Is this all there is? http://wapo.st/2Xmovih “So far here are no indications he has uncovered anything suggesting an illegitimate government plot to subvert the 2016 Trump campaign”

🐣 RT @MSNBC Gen. McCaffrey on fmr. President Trump: “If we were looking at a third world country, we would have said ‘this guy is going to conduct a coup against his constitution'”
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, DeadlineWH: Gen. McCaffrey: If we looked at US from the outside, we’d think Trump was going to ‘conduct a coup’ http://on.msnbc.com/3zi5P0q
// Retired National Security Council member General Barry McCaffrey and Atlantic contributing writer Tom Nichols dissect the inner workings inside the Trump White House and why the military was extremely concerned that Trump was a “threat to the republic”

⭕ 16 Sep 2021

NYT: ‘It’s Always Going to Haunt Me’: How the Capitol Riot Changed Lives http://nyti.ms/3nFBdDS

🐣 ◕ 📋 RT @TheDailyEdge Biden has created 7.5 million more jobs in 8 months than Trump created in 4 years. https://twitter.com/TheDailyEdge/status/1438683781423157248?s=20/photo/1
// Trump -3M, Biden +4.5M

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance A few legal issues of note: the statute requires the gov’t to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Sussman knew the statement was false & made it with an improper purpose, that the statement was actually false & that it was “material.” Can’t convict without all of that. And 1/2
⋙⋙ 🧵 RT @CBS_Herridge #Durham NEW: Indictment “..on Sept. 19, 2016, Sussman, a lawyer at a large international law firm, met with the FBI General Counsel at FBI HQ… Sussman had requested the meeting to provide the GC with certain data files + “white papers” that allegedly demonstrated a covert… 📌 https://twitter.com/CBS_Herridge/status/1438605566356692992?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Bad facts make bad law & that has happened with this statute in the past, 1st courts added a materiality requirement & more recently that defendant knew lying to agents was a crime. Given inconsistent treatment of Sussman & Mike Flynn, lots of risk on appeal to the gov’t. [2/2]
⋙⋙ 🐣 … but just enough for Trumpists to claim that the entire Russia investigation was based on data planted by the Clinton campaign; damage already done, doesn’t matter how it plays out in the courts; unfortunate

WaPo: Roger Stone served ‘a big, big stack of papers’ from Capitol riot lawsuit during radio interview http://wapo.st/3CfgWcr “‘This is a big, big stack of papers, which is good, because we’re out of toilet paper,’ he said, as the radio hosts laughed.”

🧵 RT @jimsciutto Note this: Milley’s communications with China were not unusual. As I reported in Aug 2020, Trump’s advisers warned Iran and North Korea over fears he would start a war. See here: 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jimsciutto/status/1438487506555744258?s=20
⋙⋙ CNN (2020): Trump advisers hesitated to give military options and warned adversaries over fears he might start a war http://cnn.it/3gEP8nw
// 8/6/2020
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto 2/From “The Madman Theory”: “We used to only think of Kim Jong Un as unpredictable. Now we had Trump as unpredictable,” Joseph Yun, who served as President Trump’s special representative for North Korea policy until 2018, told me. “And I would communicate that.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto 3/And on Iran: “We told allies that we did not know what the President would be willing to do against Iran,” Mick Mulroy, deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East until 2019, recalled. “It was possible he could make a decision that would lead to an escalation..”
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto 4/ “…of the conflict, and that escalation could lead to war, so they needed to relay that to Iran so they realized not even his staff knew what would happen if they attacked another oil facility, for instance.”

WaPo: Roger Stone served ‘a big, big stack of papers’ from Capitol riot lawsuit during radio interview http://wapo.st/3CfgWcr “‘This is a big, big stack of papers, which is good, because we’re out of toilet paper,’ he said, as the radio hosts laughed.”

🧵 RT @jimsciutto Note this: Milley’s communications with China were not unusual. As I reported in Aug 2020, Trump’s advisers warned Iran and North Korea over fears he would start a war. See here: 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jimsciutto/status/1438487506555744258?s=20
⋙⋙ CNN (2020): Trump advisers hesitated to give military options and warned adversaries over fears he might start a war http://cnn.it/3gEP8nw
// 8/6/2020
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto 2/From “The Madman Theory”: “We used to only think of Kim Jong Un as unpredictable. Now we had Trump as unpredictable,” Joseph Yun, who served as President Trump’s special representative for North Korea policy until 2018, told me. “And I would communicate that.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto 3/And on Iran: “We told allies that we did not know what the President would be willing to do against Iran,” Mick Mulroy, deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East until 2019, recalled. “It was possible he could make a decision that would lead to an escalation..”
⋙ 🐣 RT @jimsciutto 4/ “…of the conflict, and that escalation could lead to war, so they needed to relay that to Iran so they realized not even his staff knew what would happen if they attacked another oil facility, for instance.”

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 At least seven conservative radio hosts and high-profile anti-mask and anti-vaccine advocates have died from COVID-19 in recent weeks.
⋙ BusinessInsider: At least seven conservative radio hosts and high-profile anti-mask and anti-vaccine advocates have died from COVID-19 in recent weeks http://bit.ly/3EorszW
// Misinformation around the COVID-19 and vaccines remains widespread as cases are rising in the US, especially in states like Florida and Texas.

⭕ 15 Sep 2021

WaPo: Second alleged Oath Keeper in largest Capitol riot conspiracy case pleads guilty and will cooperate http://wapo.st/3kcVD4T “Jason Dolan, 45, of Wellington FL, admitted Wednesday to two federal counts of conspiracy and aiding and abetting the obstruction of Congress”

Slate, Mary Harris: Bannon’s Counterrevolution by Podcast http://bit.ly/3zaS83m “Bannon has started promoting a novel idea, encouraging his listeners to flood the very lowest levels of the Republican party”
// The former Trump strategist’s ridiculously popular podcast could influence the 2024 election.

🐣 RT @duty2warn Here, fyi, is a statement on the Milley revelations (per the Woodward book) by John Bolton. Text Block: https://twitter.com/duty2warn/status/1438237241759846401?s=20/photo/1
// Statement in support

WaPo: Biden says he has ‘great confidence’ in Milley after book reveals top general, fearing Trump, conferred with China to avert war http://wapo.st/3lqnYEp

Law&Crime: Federal Judge Denies Trump’s Request to Further Delay E. Jean Carroll’s Lawsuit Pending Appeal http://bit.ly/2XuDQxx

NYT, Thomas Edsall: Abortion Has Never Been Just About Abortion http://nyti.ms/2XiypBu “There is a persistent association between abortion views and ethnoracial exclusion” ~ Bart Bonikowski, professor of sociology at NYU

🧵 RT @kyledcheney A 40-year friend of a Capitol Police officer reported the officer for disclosing the secure location he evacuated lawmakers to on Jan. 6. ¤ The friend believed the officer was aligned with the rioters, per USCP discipline reports obtained by McClatchy. Text Block: 📌 https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1438122188280893443?s=20/photo/1
// Source: MiamiHerald: http://hrld.us/3tWgVr3

⭕ 14 Sep 2021

CNN, Chris Cillizza: How Dan Quayle saved democracy. Yes, really. http://cnn.it/3AknIwY

Quayle served as a sort-of sounding board for Vice President Mike Pence in the final days of the administration as President Donald Trump leaned hard on him to overturn the 2020 presidential election. ¤ The back-and-forth is documented in “Peril,” a soon-to-be released book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.Here’s the key bit: 

“Over and over, Pence asked if there was anything he could do.
“‘Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away,’ Quayle told him.
“Pence pressed again.
“‘You don’t know the position I’m in,’ he said, according to the authors.
“‘I do know the position you’re in,’ Quayle responded. ‘I also know what the law is. You listen to the parliamentarian. That’s all you do. You have no power.'”

If you think I’m exaggerating about the role Quayle played, consider how things might have gone had he taken a different tact with Pence, telling him to do what Trump asked.

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Newsom Survives California Recall Vote and Will Remain Governor http://nyti.ms/3tLbv1J

🐣 RT @digby A majority of Californians said that they aren’t going to put up with this anti-Democratic BS from Republicans. Let’s hope the national Dems take heed and motivate their voters the same way the “No on Recall” campaign did. It is potent. ¤ Newsom’s speech hits those notes.

🐣 Perfect victory speech! Congrats California and Gov @GavinNewsom

DailyBeast: Trump Calls Allies to Demand Gen. Mark Milley Be ‘Arrested’ for ‘Treason’ http://bit.ly/396zLlk ¤ “[A]t an August rally in Alabama, the former president publicly blasted Milley, saying ‘This guy doesn’t have what it takes.’” ¤ Apparently, he does.
// The former president hit the phones, and then went on his former press secretary’s Newsmax show to make the case himself.

🐣 RT @POTUS The sacred right to vote is under attack across the country — and we need to take urgent action to protect it. I strongly support The Freedom to Vote Act and thank the eight Senators who came together to draft it. ¤ Let’s get this passed.

🐣 RT @marceelias “The reality is that there will either be a law passed only with Democratic votes or we will not have any voting rights legislation. We cannot afford to sacrifice our free and fair elections because of Republican intransigence.”
⋙ DemocracyDocket, Marc Elias: On Voting Rights, There Are No Moderates in the GOP http://bit.ly/3nwld7d

🐣 RT @BarackObama The Freedom to Vote Act just introduced in the Senate would strengthen our democracy by making it easier for people to vote and harder for politicians and special interests to drown out the voices of ordinary Americans. I support it, and every Senator should do the same.

🐣 RT @EricHolder Republican attempts to suppress the vote, the voice of the people, and subvert our democracy have only worsened. The #FreedomToVoteAct is our best chance at stopping them and preserving our democracy ¤ The Senate has a moral obligation to act now.  Reform the filibuster.

CNN: Democrats cut deal with Manchin to get party behind long-shot voting overhaul bill http://cnn.it/3tDpVkA

🐣 RT @DanRather The Rule of Trump: No matter how bad you think it is. It’s worse. Much worse. As in a dumpster fire inside of a nuclear reactor worse.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Top general was so fearful Trump might spark war that he made secret calls to his Chinese counterpart, new book says http://wapo.st/3k94CUM //➔ So Dan Quayle ~ Mr “Potatoe” ~ saved the Republic? I’ll take it
// ‘Peril,’ by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, reveals that Gen. Mark A. Milley called his Chinese counterpart before the election and after Jan. 6 in a bid to avert armed conflict.

Twice in the final months of the Trump administration, the country’s top military officer was so fearful that the president’s actions might spark a war with China that he moved urgently to avert armed conflict.

In a pair of secret phone calls, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assured his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, that the United States would not strike, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa.

One call took place on Oct. 30, 2020, four days before the election that unseated President Donald Trump, and the other on Jan. 8, 2021, two days after the Capitol siege carried out by his supporters in a quest to cancel the vote.

The first call was prompted by Milley’s review of intelligence suggesting the Chinese believed the United States was preparing to attack. That belief, the authors write, was based on tensions over military exercises in the South China Sea, and deepened by Trump’s belligerent rhetoric toward China.

“General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay,” Milley told him. “We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.”

In the book’s account, Milley went so far as to pledge he would alert his counterpart in the event of a U.S. attack, stressing the rapport they’d established through a backchannel. “General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”

Li took the chairman at his word, the authors write in the book, “Peril,” which is set to be released next week.

In the second call, placed to address Chinese fears about the events of Jan. 6, Li wasn’t as easily assuaged, even after Milley promised him, “We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”

Li remained rattled, and Milley, who did not relay the conversation to Trump, according to the book, understood why. The chairman, 62 at the time and chosen by Trump in 2018, believed the president had suffered a mental decline after the election, the authors write, a view he communicated to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a phone call on Jan. 8. He agreed with her evaluation that Trump was unstable, according to a call transcript obtained by the authors.

Believing that China could lash out if it felt at risk from an unpredictable and vengeful American president, Milley took action. The same day, he called the admiral overseeing the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the military unit responsible for Asia and the Pacific region, and recommended postponing the military exercises, according to the book. The admiral complied.

Milley also summoned senior officers to review the procedures for launching nuclear weapons, saying the president alone could give the order — but, crucially, that he, Milley, also had to be involved. Looking each in the eye, Milley asked the officers to affirm that they had understood, the authors write, in what he considered an “oath.”

The chairman knew that he was “pulling a Schlesinger,” the authors write, resorting to measures resembling the ones taken in August 1974 by James R. Schlesinger, the defense secretary at the time. Schlesinger told military officials to check with him and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs before carrying out orders from President Richard M. Nixon, who was facing impeachment at the time.

Though Milley went furthest in seeking to stave off a national security crisis, his alarm was shared throughout the highest ranks of the administration, the authors reveal. CIA Director Gina Haspel, for instance, reportedly told Milley, “We are on the way to a right-wing coup.”

The book also provides new reporting on President Biden’s campaign — waged to unseat a man he told a top adviser “isn’t really an American president” — and his early struggle to govern. During a March 5 phone call to discuss Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, his first major legislative undertaking, the president reportedly told Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va), “if you don’t come along, you’re really f—ing me.” The measure ultimately cleared the Senate through an elaborate sequencing of amendments designed to satisfy the centrist Democrat.

The president’s frustration with Manchin is matched only by his debt to House Majority Whip Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, whose endorsement before that state’s primary propelled Biden to the nomination and gave rise to promises about how he would govern.

When Clyburn offered his endorsement in February 2020, it came with conditions, according to the book. One was that Biden would commit to naming a Black woman to the Supreme Court, if given the opportunity. During a debate two days later, Clyburn went backstage during a break to urge Biden to reveal his intentions for the Supreme Court that night. Biden issued the pledge in his final answer, and the congressman endorsed him the next day.

“Peril,” the authors say, is based on interviews with more than 200 people, conducted on the condition they not be named as sources. Exact quotations or conclusions are drawn from the participant in the described event, a colleague with direct knowledge or relevant documents, according to an author’s note. Trump and Biden declined to be interviewed.

On Afghanistan, the book examines how Biden’s experience as vice president shaped his approach to the withdrawal. Convinced that President Barack Obama had been manipulated by his own commanders, Biden vowed privately in 2009, “The military doesn’t f— around with me.”

“Peril” also documents how Biden’s top advisers spent the spring weighing, but ultimately rejecting, alternatives to a full withdrawal. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin returned from a NATO meeting in March envisioning ways to extend the mission, including through a “gated” withdrawal seeking diplomatic leverage. But they came to see that meaningful leverage would require a more expansive commitment, and instead came back around to a full exit.

Milley, for his part, took what the authors describe as a deferential approach to Biden on Afghanistan, in contrast to his earlier efforts to constrain Trump. The book reveals recent remarks the chairman delivered to the Joint Chiefs in which he said, “Here’s a couple of rules of the road here that we’re going to follow. One is you never, ever ever box in a president of the United States. You always give him decision space.” Referring to Biden, he said, “You’re dealing with a seasoned politician here who has been in Washington, D.C., 50 years, whatever it is.”

His decision just months earlier to place himself between Trump and potential war was triggered by several important events — a phone call, a photo op and a refusal to rule out war with another adversary, Iran.

Milley’s resolve was deepened by the events of June 1, 2020, when he felt Trump had used him as part of a photo op in his walk across Lafayette Square during protests that began after the killing of George Floyd. The chairman came to see his role as ensuring that, “We’re not going to turn our guns on the American people and we’re not going to have a ‘Wag the Dog’ scenario overseas,” the authors quote him saying privately.

Trump’s posture, not just to China but also to Iran, tested that promise. In discussions about Iran’s nuclear program, Trump declined to rule out striking the country, at times even displaying curiosity about the prospect, according to the book. Haspel was so alarmed after a meeting in November that she called Milley to say, “This is a highly dangerous situation. We are going to lash out for his ego?”

Trump’s fragile ego drove many decisions by the nation’s leaders, from lawmakers to the vice president, according to the book. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was so worried that a call from President-elect Biden would send Trump into a fury that the then-Majority Leader used a backchannel to fend off Biden. He asked Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, formerly the No. 2 Senate Republican, to ask Sen. Christopher A. Coons, the Democrat of Delaware and close Biden ally, to tell Biden not to call him.

So intent was Pence on being Trump’s loyal second-in-command — and potential successor — that he asked confidants if there were ways he could accede to Trump’s demands and avoid certifying the results of the election on Jan. 6. In late December, the authors reveal, Pence called Dan Quayle, a former vice president and fellow Indiana Republican, for advice.

Quayle was adamant, according to the authors. “Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away,” he said.

But Pence pressed him, the authors write, asking if there were any grounds to pause the certification because of ongoing legal challenges. Quayle was unmoved, and Pence ultimately agreed, according to the book.

When Pence said he planned to certify the results, the president lashed out. In the Oval Office on Jan. 5, the authors write, Pence told Trump he could not thwart the process, that his role was simply to “open the envelopes.”

“I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this,” Trump replied, according to the book, later telling his vice president, “You’ve betrayed us. I made you. You were nothing.”

Within days, Trump was out of office, his governing power reduced to nothing. But if stability had returned to Washington, Milley feared it would be short-lived, the authors write.

The general saw parallels between Jan. 6 and the 1905 Russian Revolution, which set off unrest throughout the Russian Empire and, though it failed, helped create the conditions for the October Revolution of 1917, in which the Bolsheviks executed a successful coup that set up the world’s first communist state. Vladimir Lenin, who led the revolution, called 1905 a “dress rehearsal.”

A similar logic could apply with Jan. 6, Milley thought as he wrestled with the meaning of that day, telling senior staff: “What you might have seen was a precursor to something far worse down the road.”

🐣 RT @nytimesbusiness George Soros’s Open Society Foundations have embarked on a painful restructuring to refocus on the fight against rising authoritarianism.
⋙ NYT: George Soros Is Making Changes at His Foundation While He Still Can http://nyti.ms/3kbiCxv The changes are a move back to the foundation’s roots in fighting authoritarianism and away from funding the cacophany of identity -isms within democracies
// The result is a painful restructuring to focus on the fight against rising authoritarianism around the world.

The left-leaning foundation — started by the billionaire investor George Soros and today the second-largest private charitable foundation in the United States — was beginning a transformation, as officials there refer to their restructuring plan. So, the email said, “the nature of many partnerships will shift.”

Grant recipients in public health said they were stunned to be told during a global pandemic that they would be losing funding. Others supporting refugees were similarly surprised given the worldwide needs of the refugee population and the fact that Mr. Soros himself was a refugee from communism.

For years, Mr. Soros watched the world march in fits and starts toward the vision of open, pluralistic democracy that he has embraced since he was a young Hungarian Holocaust survivor studying philosophy.

The changes at the Open Society Foundations are a painful but necessary adjustment, its leaders say, because that march has halted. Now, with its founder in his 90s, the foundation — and the world — confronts rising authoritarianism and deeply divided civil societies. In the United States, that means that Mr. Soros’s work on progressive causes has made him a target of right-wing conspiracy theories.

And in 2018, in his native Hungary, Open Society was forced to close its office under intense pressure from the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a onetime recipient of a grant from the group.

“From a high-water mark in the early 2000s, we’ve really seen a recession of democracy and human rights,” Mark Malloch-Brown, the president of the foundation, said in an interview. “We’ve been a little bit peacetime generals at a time where, actually, we’re in a war again.”

The plan is to concentrate bigger philanthropic bets at the global level. The restructuring will give more power to the regional offices, in places like Africa and Latin America, including $75 million in additional funding.

None of this was quite what people expected when the news emerged in 2017 that Mr. Soros had transferred $18 billion of his fortune to the Open Society Foundations, making it the second-largest private charitable foundation by resources in the United States after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Mr. Gaspard left last year and is now the president of the Center for American Progress in Washington. He was replaced by Mr. Malloch-Brown, who was already on the board and had a close relationship with Mr. Soros dating back more than three decades.

The transformation comes at a delicate moment for large philanthropies. Debates over diversity and inclusion have grown louder and more pointed, as have discussions about how much deference should be shown to billionaire donors over the disposition of donated money. After all, they receive what amounts to a public subsidy for that money in the form of tax breaks.

Many left-leaning, progressive staff members have questioned privately why Mr. Soros’s son, who is just 35, should be his successor as chairman. At the same time, the replacement of Mr. Gaspard, who is Black, with an older white man who is a member of Britain’s House of Lords, struck some employees as out of touch with the times.

Leaders on the regional level say the changes will give more independence and authority to the staff members where the work is being performed.

⭕ 13 Sep 2021

WaPo, Dana Milbank: George W. Bush reminds us that Republicans once believed in democracy http://wapo.st/3hvrADY “In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson forecast that the young nation would ‘unite in common efforts for common good.’” That’s what Trump broke.

In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson forecast that the young nation would “unite in common efforts for the common good” after the bitter election of 1800.

“Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle,” he said in the new Senate chamber. “We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.”

Americans have, at our best, upheld that creed over two centuries. We are all republicans. We are all democrats.

George W. Bush reminded us of those sacred ties in his magnificent speech Saturday contrasting the warm courage of national unity after the 9/11 attacks with the domestic terrorism Donald Trump has unleashed. …

On cue spoke the Malign Force himself. Trump, rejecting invitations to attend 9/11 memorials with other former presidents, used the solemn anniversary to stoke resentment. “We won the election,” he told firefighters in New York. “The election was rigged.” He lashed out at President Biden — “surrender,” “disgrace,” “total embarrassment” — and Democrats: “They only do bad stuff. You wonder whether or not they love our country.”

Even Fox News cut away, as the anchor noted that Trump was “claiming that the election was rigged, which it was not. It has been proven in court multiple times.” …

“At a time when religious bigotry might have flowed freely, I saw Americans reject prejudice and embrace people of Muslim faith. That is the nation I know,” Bush said Saturday. “At a time when nativism could have stirred hatred and violence against people perceived as outsiders, I saw Americans reaffirm their welcome to immigrants and refugees. That is the nation I know,” he continued.

This America, Bush said, “is the truest version of ourselves. It is what we have been — and what we can be again.”

Embracing Muslims? Welcoming immigrants? This is the antithesis of Trump’s Republican Party. Bush, the only Republican to win the presidential popular vote in 32 years, has no place in that party. Neither does Dick Cheney, nor Liz Cheney — nor anybody else who still believes that being a Republican also means being a democrat.

WaPo: With big tax push, Democrats aim to tackle enormous gains of top 1 percent http://wapo.st/396Ha4q
// The package is a central component of their $3.5 trillion economic package, but they can’t proceed unless almost all Democrats coalesce.

WaPo: Trump takes aim at George W. Bush, saying he shouldn’t ‘lecture’ about threat of domestic terrorism http://wapo.st/3Eeu0Re

⭕ 12 Sep 2021

Newsweek: Pro-Trump Rally Expecting 10,000 Attendees Sees Only a Few Hundred Show Up: Report http://bit.ly/3EtFekW

The event’s description explained: ¤ “The Biggest Patriot Rally Of The Year – A True Reunion Of We, The People, combining the biggest names in the conservative patriot movement including Gen. Flynn, Lin Wood, Candace Owens, Mike Lindell, and many others along w/top notch Christian & Country Music Entertainment! Simply put: This will be THE ‘Event Of The Year’ for American Patriots!” …

Local channel WFIE 14 News sent a team to shoot video at the event on Friday but was later asked to leave, according to a report broadcast by the NBC News affiliate. The news channel reported that promoters had expected a crowd of about 10,000 people but less than 300 were in attendance from what their journalists saw. Event organizers reportedly refused to speak to WFIE about the rally.

WaPo, EJ Dionne: A make-or-break moment for our democracy http://wapo.st/3tF7yeX “Failing to enact Democrats’ social policy plan would be a big problem. Failing to protect democratic rule would be catastrophic.”

⭕ 11 Sep 2021 😪✈️🏙💥✈️🏙💥 20 ✈️🏛💥✈️🏘💥😪

💙 💽 ≣ BushCenter: Remarks by President George W. Bush at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania http://bit.ly/3htA2U3
// Video and ranscript of remarks from September 11, 2021 commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11
// tags: Bush speech 9/11/2021 Shanksville PA

Thank you very much. Laura and I are honored to be with you. Madam Vice President, Vice President Cheney. Governor Wolf, Secretary Haaland, and distinguished guests:

Twenty years ago, we all found – in different ways, in different places, but all at the same moment – that our lives would be changed forever. The world was loud with carnage and sirens, and then quiet with missing voices that would never be heard again. These lives remain precious to our country, and infinitely precious to many of you. Today we remember your loss, we share your sorrow, and we honor the men and women you have loved so long and so well.

For those too young to recall that clear September day, it is hard to describe the mix of feelings we experienced. There was horror at the scale – there was horror at the scale of destruction, and awe at the bravery and kindness that rose to meet it. There was shock at the audacity – audacity of evil – and gratitude for the heroism and decency that opposed it. In the sacrifice of the first responders, in the mutual aid of strangers, in the solidarity of grief and grace, the actions of an enemy revealed the spirit of a people. And we were proud of our wounded nation.

In these memories, the passengers and crew of Flight 93 must always have an honored place. Here the intended targets became the instruments of rescue. And many who are now alive owe a vast, unconscious debt to the defiance displayed in the skies above this field.

It would be a mistake to idealize the experience of those terrible events. All that many people could initially see was the brute randomness of death. All that many could feel was unearned suffering. All that many could hear was God’s terrible silence. There are many who still struggle with a lonely pain that cuts deep within.

In those fateful hours, we learned other lessons as well. We saw that Americans were vulnerable, but not fragile – that they possess a core of strength that survives the worst that life can bring. We learned that bravery is more common than we imagined, emerging with sudden splendor in the face of death. We vividly felt how every hour with our loved ones was a temporary and holy gift. And we found that even the longest days end.

Many of us have tried to make spiritual sense of these events. There is no simple explanation for the mix of providence and human will that sets the direction of our lives. But comfort can come from a different sort of knowledge. After wandering long and lost in the dark, many have found they were actually walking, step by step, toward grace.

As a nation, our adjustments have been profound. Many Americans struggled to understand why an enemy would hate us with such zeal. The security measures incorporated into our lives are both sources of comfort and reminders of our vulnerability. And we have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within. There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.

After 9/11, millions of brave Americans stepped forward and volunteered to serve in the Armed Forces. The military measures taken over the last 20 years to pursue dangers at their source have led to debate. But one thing is certain: We owe an assurance to all who have fought our nation’s most recent battles. Let me speak directly to veterans and people in uniform: The cause you pursued at the call of duty is the noblest America has to offer. You have shielded your fellow citizens from danger. You have defended the beliefs of your country and advanced the rights of the downtrodden. You have been the face of hope and mercy in dark places. You have been a force for good in the world. Nothing that has followed – nothing – can tarnish your honor or diminish your accomplishments. To you, and to the honored dead, our country is forever grateful.

In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient, united people. When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from our own. A malign force seems at work in our common life that turns every disagreement into an argument, and every argument into a clash of cultures. So much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear, and resentment. That leaves us worried about our nation and our future together.

I come without explanations or solutions. I can only tell you what I have seen.

On America’s day of trial and grief, I saw millions of people instinctively grab for a neighbor’s hand and rally to the cause of one another. That is the America I know.

At a time when religious bigotry might have flowed freely, I saw Americans reject prejudice and embrace people of Muslim faith. That is the nation I know.

At a time when nativism could have stirred hatred and violence against people perceived as outsiders, I saw Americans reaffirm their welcome to immigrants and refugees. That is the nation I know.

At a time when some viewed the rising generation as individualistic and decadent, I saw young people embrace an ethic of service and rise to selfless action. That is the nation I know.

This is not mere nostalgia; it is the truest version of ourselves. It is what we have been – and what we can be again.

Twenty years ago, terrorists chose a random group of Americans, on a routine flight, to be collateral damage in a spectacular act of terror. The 33 passengers and 7 crew of Flight 93 could have been any group of citizens selected by fate. In a sense, they stood in for us all.

The terrorists soon discovered that a random group of Americans is an exceptional group of people. Facing an impossible circumstance, they comforted their loved ones by phone, braced each other for action, and defeated the designs of evil.

These Americans were brave, strong, and united in ways that shocked the terrorists – but should not surprise any of us. This is the nation we know. And whenever we need hope and inspiration, we can look to the skies and remember.

God bless.

🧵 RT @ Photos from 9/11. We were very close. My roommate took each of these photos. Horrific day beyond words. #NeverForget /1 📌 https://twitter.com/DonLew87/status/1436729393804632067?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @FrankFigliuzzi More facts please. Breaking on a Saturday? Capitol Police discipline 6 officers for conduct related to Jan 6. United States Capitol Police
⋙ USCP: USCP’s January 6 Internal Investigations http://bit.ly/3ljHOkw
// Capitol Police

In 20 of the cases, no wrongdoing was found. ¤ Violations were sustained and disciplinary action was recommended in six cases;
● Three for conduct unbecoming
● One for failure to comply with directives
● One for improper remarks
● One for improper dissemination of information

Another case about an official who is accused of unsatisfactory performance and conduct unbecoming is still pending. The administrative investigation started after a criminal investigation, in which charges were not filed. ¤ The Department is committed to accountability when officers fail to meet the standards governed by USCP policies and the Congressional Community’s expectations.

The six sustained cases should not diminish the heroic efforts of the United States Capitol Police officers. ¤ On January 6, the bravery and courage exhibited by the vast majority of our employees was inspiring.

Politico, Garrett Graf (2016): ‘We’re the Only Plane in the Sky’ http://politi.co/3z4RbJZ
// 9/9/2016; book excerpt; Where was the president in the eight hours after the Sept. 11 attacks? The strange, harrowing journey of Air Force One, as told by the people who were on board.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance But seriously, why are we debating whether Biden’s vaccine mandates are constitutional? All he has to do is enforce them using private citizen vigilantes who get a bounty for turning in the unvaxxed & according to SCOTUS, the courts’ hands are tied. https://twitter.com/JoyceWhiteVance/status/1436780559984889857?s=20

🐣 RT @Potus We never forget. ¤ We never forget the children who have grown up without parents. Parents who have suffered without children. Husbands and wives who had to find a way forward without their partners. Brothers, sisters, loved ones. ¤ Jill and I hold you close in our hearts.

🐣 RT @tribelaw This clearly meritorious DOJ complaint is brilliantly crafted and should withstand the strongest defenses Texas and its agents, including the private vigilantes the State sought to deputize through SB-8, can possibly mount against it. Great job by the AG. http://bit.ly/3hn7NX8

Reuters: George W. Bush calls out threat of domestic terrorism on 9/11 anniversary http://reut.rs/3lhDB0F “We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come, not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within”

SHANKSVILLE, Pa., Sept 11 (Reuters) – On the 20th anniversary of the deadliest attack on U.S. soil, George W. Bush, who was U.S. president at the time, warned of a new danger coming from within the country.

“We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come, not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within,” Bush said on Saturday at the 9/11 memorial site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania during a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks.

“There is little cultural overlaps between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home … they are children of the same foul spirit, and it is our continuing duty to confront them.”

Bush, recalling the unity of the American people after the attacks, appealed for a return to that spirit amid growing political division in the country.

“When it comes to unity of America, those days seem distant from our own,” he said. “Malign force seems at work in our common life … so much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear and resentment.”

“In the sacrifice of the first responders, in the mutual aid of strangers, in the solidarity of grief and grace, the actions of an enemy revealed the spirit of a people,” Bush said, describing the country’s reaction. “We were proud of our wounded nation.”

Speaking about U.S. veterans who served in Afghanistan, Bush said “you have been a force for good in the world and nothing that has followed can tarnish your honor.”

Reuters: George W. Bush calls out threat of domestic terrorism on 9/11 anniversary http://reut.rs/3lhDB0F “We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come, not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within”

SHANKSVILLE, Pa., Sept 11 (Reuters) – On the 20th anniversary of the deadliest attack on U.S. soil, George W. Bush, who was U.S. president at the time, warned of a new danger coming from within the country.

“We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come, not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within,” Bush said on Saturday at the 9/11 memorial site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania during a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks.

“There is little cultural overlaps between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home … they are children of the same foul spirit, and it is our continuing duty to confront them.”

Bush, recalling the unity of the American people after the attacks, appealed for a return to that spirit amid growing political division in the country.

“When it comes to unity of America, those days seem distant from our own,” he said. “Malign force seems at work in our common life … so much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear and resentment.”

“In the sacrifice of the first responders, in the mutual aid of strangers, in the solidarity of grief and grace, the actions of an enemy revealed the spirit of a people,” Bush said, describing the country’s reaction. “We were proud of our wounded nation.”

Speaking about U.S. veterans who served in Afghanistan, Bush said “you have been a force for good in the world and nothing that has followed can tarnish your honor.”

🐣 RT @NBCNews FULL SPEECH: Former President George W. Bush speaks at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on the 20th anniversary on 9/11. https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/1436706817250320388?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @dcexaminer https://twitter.com/dcexaminer/status/1436568335949484042?s=20
⋙ 🐣 Is requiring kids to be vaccinated before pre-school “authoritarian”? ¤ It‘s not authoritarian. It’s public health. ¤ My husband is immunocompromised. HIS freedom is severely compromised by stubborn jerks who won’t get vaccinated.

🐣 On 9/12/2001, a Royal Saudi 747 took off from the small Rochester MN airport, reportedly carrying an unknown number of Middle Easterners. My husband, an administrator at Mayo Clinic told me this. I knew doctors who had to rent a car to get back from DC due to the air shutdown
⋙ 🐣 RT @prahme I remember hearing about that plane
⋙⋙ 🐣 We used to have a large number of people from Saudi & UAE who came here each summer, even invested in the community. I miss them. There was talk about opening a clinic in the UAE. After 9/11 that changed of course. We still have many MDs from South Asia and the Middle East.
⋙⋙ 🐣 I read that Bush had allowed members of Bin Laden’s family to leave the US, but I don’t know if they were among those evacuated from Rochester.

🐣 Watching the replay of NBC news the night of 9/11/2001, they showed some Palestinians celebrating (in Palestine); guessing this is what tfg “remembered” as happening in the US. (NBC also showed Arafat expressing horror and support for US)

◕ TheConversation: COVID-19 hospitalizations of U.S. adults disproportionately among the unvaccinated http://bit.ly/3km6iuthttps://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1438497066574024709?s=20/photo/1
// COVID-19 Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network
Source: 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic – a retrospective in 7 charts

⭕ 10 Sep 2021

🐣 ◕ RT @CohoKelly A pretty massive gap in COVID case rates has opened up between counties that voted for Trump last Nov and those that voted for Biden. It’s the largest such gap of the pandemic thus far. Right now, counties Trump carried by 10 or more points have over 2x higher case rates https://twitter.com/CohoKelly/status/1436515303324848132?s=20/photo/1

NYT Editorial: Biden Is Right: Vaccine Refusal ‘Has Cost All of Us’ http://nyti.ms/3hnn0HA “As incursions on bodily autonomy go, this is pretty mild stuff. No one, the Times columnist David Brooks wrote in May, is being asked to storm the beaches of Iwo Jima”

As Americans contemplate the prospect of a second winter trapped in the grip of Covid-19, remember that it didn’t need to be this way. Vaccines were developed in record time, and have proved to be both incredibly safe and stunningly effective. Nearly two-thirds of eligible Americans have accepted these facts and done their part by getting fully vaccinated.

Yet tens of millions more have not, allowing the more contagious Delta variant to sweep across the country, where it is now killing more than 1,500 people in the United States daily. Right now, the list of the very sick and the dead is made up almost entirely of the unvaccinated. But as long as the virus continues to spread widely, it can and will evolve in ways that put everyone at risk.

Faced with this avoidable catastrophe, President Biden is right to order tighter vaccine rules, which he did for roughly two-thirds of the nation’s work force on Thursday. “We’ve been patient,” Mr. Biden told vaccine holdouts. “But our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us.”

The president moved to require all executive branch employees, federal contractors and millions of health care workers to be vaccinated. Workers at private businesses with 100 or more employees will have to either get vaccinated or take a weekly Covid test. Any business covered by the order must offer its employees paid time off to get their shots or recover from any side effects.

As incursions on bodily autonomy go, this is pretty mild stuff. No one, the Times columnist David Brooks wrote in May, is being asked to storm the beaches of Iwo Jima.

📋 WaPo: Ohio submits updated hate-crime figures to FBI that would make 2020 U.S. tally highest since 2001 http://wapo.st/3Eboqz4

The state of Ohio said it has sent an updated tally of hate crimes to the FBI that would dramatically increase the nationwide total for 2020 to 8,305, the most since 2001 and third-highest since the federal government began tracking such data nearly three decades ago.

The FBI issued its annual hate crimes report Aug. 30 and said it had tallied 7,759 incidents. But Ohio reported just 34 bias crimes, less than 10 percent of the previous year, which state officials now attribute to a technical glitch.

The state’s new figures show that 580 hate crimes were reported last year, according to Bret Crow, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Public Safety, representing a 41 percent increase over 2019.

The data would mean that the number of hate crimes across the country spiked by nearly 14 percent in 2020, with the increase driven largely by more attacks on people who are Black or Asian. In Ohio, crimes targeting Black people rose from 92 in 2019 to 129 last year, while attacks targeting Asians held roughly the same at 10, one fewer than the previous year.

🐣 RT @SecBlinken An additional two U.S. citizens and 11 Lawful Permanent Residents departed Afghanistan today overland, while another 19 U.S. citizens traveled out on Qatar Airways. We continue to work to uphold our commitment to assist departures for those to whom we have a special commitment.

NYT, Kevin Williamson: The Trump Coup Is Still Raging http://nyti.ms/3ntqX1g “When it comes to a coup, you’re either in or you’re out. The Republican Party is leaning pretty strongly toward in.” (Mr Williamson is the roving correspondent for National Review)
// Kevin D. Williamson is the roving correspondent for National Review and the author of “Big White Ghetto: Dead Broke, Stone-Cold Stupid, and High on Rage in the Dank Woolly Wilds of the “Real America.”

What happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was not a coup attempt. It was half of a coup attempt — the less important half.

The more important part of the coup attempt — like legal wrangling in states and the attempts to sabotage the House commission’s investigation of Jan. 6 — is still going strong. These are not separate and discrete episodes but parts of a unitary phenomenon that, in just about any other country, would be characterized as a failed coup d’état.

The attempted coup’s foot soldiers have dug themselves in at state legislatures. For example, last week in Florida State Representative Anthony Sabatini introduced a draft of legislation that would require an audit of the 2020 general election in the state’s largest (typically Democratic-heavy) counties, suggesting without basis that it may show that these areas cheated to inflate Joe Biden’s vote count. ¤ … The obviously political object is to legitimize the 2020 coup attempt in order to soften the ground for the next one — and there will be a next one.

In the broad strategy, the frenzied mobs were meant to inspire terror — and obedience among Republicans — while Rudy Giuliani and his co-conspirators tried to get the election nullified on some risible legal pretext or another. Republicans needed both pieces — neither the mob violence nor an inconclusive legal ruling would have been sufficient on its own to keep Mr. Trump in power.

True to form, Mr. Trump was able to supply the mob but not the procedural victory. His coup attempt was frustrated in no small part by a thin gray line of bureaucratic fortitude — Republican officials at the state and local levels who had the grit to resist intense pressure from the president and do their jobs.

Current efforts like the one in Florida are intended to terrorize them into compliance today or, short of that, to push such officials into retirement so that they can be replaced with more pliant partisans. The lonely little band of Republican officials who stopped the 2020 coup is going to be smaller and lonelier the next time around.

That’s why the Great Satan for the Republican Party right now is not Mr. Biden but Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, one of a small number of Republicans willing to speak honestly about Jan. 6 and to support the investigation into it — and willing to contradict powerful people like Kevin McCarthy of California, who has falsely (and preposterously) claimed that the F.B.I. has cleared Mr. Trump of any involvement in Jan. 6.

The emerging Republican orthodoxy on Jan. 6 is created by pure political engineering, with most party leaders either minimizing, halfheartedly defending or wholeheartedly celebrating the coup, depending on their audience and ambitions. Pragmatic party leaders like Mitch McConnell, and others like him who were never passionately united with Mr. Trump but need his voters, are hoping that the memory of the riot gets swept away by the ugly news from Afghanistan and the usual hurly-burly. But other Republicans have praised the rioters: Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina insisted that those who have been jailed are “political prisoners” and warned that “bloodshed” might follow another “stolen” election. The middle-ground Republican consensus is that the sacking of the Capitol was at worst the unfortunate escalation of a well-intentioned protest involving legitimate electoral grievances.

The authors of the coup attempt remain embedded in the Republican Party and in the conservative movement. Some are officeholders, like Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene of Georgia, while others continue profitable associations with institutions ranging from the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a right-leaning public-interest litigation group, to Fox News and other media outfits.

The Trump administration was grotesque in its cruelty and incompetence. But without the coup attempt, it might have been possible to work out a modus vivendi between anti-Trump conservatives and Mr. Trump’s right-wing nationalist-populists. Conservatives were not happy with Mr. Trump’s histrionics, but many were reasonably satisfied with all those Federalist Society judges and his signature on Paul Ryan’s tax bill. Trump supporters, who were interested almost exclusively in theater, enjoyed four years of Twitter-enabled catharsis even as the administration did very little on key issues like trade and immigration.

In the normal course of democratic politics, people who disagree about one issue can work together when they agree about another. We can fight over taxes or trade policy. ¤ But there isn’t really any middle ground on overthrowing the government. And that is what Mr. Trump and his allies were up to in 2020, through both violent and nonviolent means — and continue to be up to today.

When it comes to a coup, you’re either in or you’re out. The Republican Party is leaning pretty strongly toward in. That is going to leave at least some conservatives out — and, in all likelihood, permanently out.

⭕ 9 Sep 2021

MotherJones: FBI Seizes Oath Keeper Lawyer’s Phone in “Seditious Conspiracy” Investigation http://bit.ly/391KAoI
// The move suggests an expansion of the January 6 case against members of the militia network.

Kellye SoRelle, the Oath Keepers’ general counsel, tweeted Wednesday that the FBI had seized her phone. The action would seem unusual, since SoRelle is a lawyer who says she has provided advice to defendants facing prosecution or investigation due to their actions on January 6. “[T]hey have all my clients and my comms,” she commented in a message to Mother Jones. “[It’s] unethical as shit on their part.”

SoRelle is close to Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, who has not been charged with crimes related to the siege of Congress, but who remains a subject of investigation and was with Sorelle on January 6 in Washington. Prosecutors have charged 17 Oath Keeper members with conspiring to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory; Rhodes is not named, but is identifiable as “PERSON ONE” in court documents detailing his extensive online and phone communications with Oath Keeper members ahead of and during the siege of Congress. FBI agents seized Rhodes’ phone in May as part of their investigation. Rhodes had stated previously that he believes he may “go to jail” over the events of January 6, but he denies wrongdoing and has accused prosecutors of trying to build a false case against him and fellow Oath Keepers.

[A]ccording to the search warrant, an image of which SoRelle provided to Mother Jones, the phone seizure is about suspected crimes connected to January 6. The warrant says the search is related to potential violations of nine criminal statutes: Those include crimes with which many people who entered the Capitol have been charged, from destruction of government property to trespassing and obstruction of Congress. The agents are also seeking evidence of false statements and obstruction of justice, including destruction of evidence, the warrant says.

Notably, the warrant also lists “seditious conspiracy” among the suspected crimes.

Last March, the acting US Attorney for the District of Columbia, Michael Sherwin, said during an interview on 60 Minutes that he believed federal investigators had found evidence that would likely allow the government to file sedition charges against some January 6 defendants. “I personally believe the evidence is trending towards that, and probably meets those elements,” said Sherwin, who has since retired from the Justice Department. Sherwin’s comments, which were not authorized by Justice Department leaders, drew a rebuke from a federal judge and a review by DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

Meanwhile, prosecutors have charged no one with sedition. The reference to such charges in the SoRelle warrant, which is dated August 30, does not mean anyone will face sedition charges. But it does indicate officially that FBI agents are actively investigating that possible crime.

😅 RT @ConorLambPA I guess Trump & Robert E. Lee both know how it feels to suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of pro-democracy forces in Pennsylvania. https://twitter.com/ConorLambPA/status/1435742722808287238?s=20

🐣 RT @CBS President Biden says the U.S. is “in the tough stretch” of the pandemic “and it could last for a while.” ¤ He blames the Delta variant, unvaccinated Americans and “elected officials actively working to undermine the fight against COVID-19,” which he says is “totally unacceptable” 💽 https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/1436074491726155786?s=20/photo/1

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Biden unveils sweeping new vaccine mandates http://wapo.st/3lesLbZ “Biden expresse[d] frustration over the unvaccinated, says ‘a distinct minority’ is keeping the U.S. from overcoming the coronavirus”

NYT: The Justice Dept. sues Texas over its new restrictive abortion law. http://nyti.ms/38TQHLR “It is settled constitutional law that ‘a state may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability,’” the lawsuit said.

🐣 RT @LawrenceGostin Biden’s best speech. My take
* Biden’s plan to vaccinate fed workforce, contractors, & businesses is bold, audacious, & unprecedented
* Biden has full legal power
* @OSHA_DOL can set safety rules, incl #COVIDVaccines
* Soon vaccines will be the norm for virtually every worker

Reuters: New Biden plan could mandate COVID shots or tests for two-thirds of U.S. workers http://reut.rs/3BTVMAr “The new measures … would apply to about two-thirds of all U.S. employees, those who work for businesses with more than 100 workers”

WSJ: Taliban to Allow 200 Americans, Other Foreigners to Fly Out of Kabul http://on.wsj.com/3tp8Af8
// No Afghans without foreign citizenship are expected to be allowed on the flight to Qatar

⭕ 8 Sep 2021

🐣 RT @sgurman NEW: The Biden administration is preparing to sue Texas as soon as Thursday over a new law banning most abortions, an action that would set off a federal-state clash as the future of abortion rights becomes an ever-more-pressing question before the courts.
⋙ WSJ: Biden Administration Prepares to Sue Texas Over Abortion Law http://on.wsj.com/3jTrhUT
// Lawsuit challenging restrictions limiting procedure to first six weeks of pregnancy set to be filed in coming days

WaPo: Man accused of bringing molotov cocktails, five loaded firearms to Capitol on Jan. 6 to plead guilty http://wapo.st/3A1HHAk Earlier a judge cited evidence Lonnie Leroy Coffman of Falkville LA had potential plans to coordinate with others and was prepared for political violence

Lonnie Leroy Coffman of Falkville, Ala., was charged in a 17-count indictment with possessing some of the deadliest unregistered weapons and explosives found on the day of the pro-Trump riot that led to assaults on nearly 140 police officers, breached the Capitol and forced the evacuation of Congress.

FBI charging papers alleged that on Coffman’s person and in his truck, authorities found 11 homemade molotov-cocktail-type incendiary devices; a rifle, a shotgun, two 9mm pistols and a .22-caliber pistol, all loaded; as well as a crossbow, several machetes, a stun gun and smoke devices.

Prosecutors alleged that the 11 jars held substances made with gasoline and melted plastic foam to produce a dangerous “napalm-like” explosion of sticky, flammable liquid.

In ordering Coffman’s detention pending trial, a judge in May cited evidence that he had potential plans to coordinate with others and was prepared for political violence.

NYT, Thomas Edsall: One Thing We Can Agree On Is That We’re Becoming a Different Country http://nyti.ms/3ngkrec “Most college students believe efforts at diversity and inclusion ‘frequently’ (27%) or ‘occasionally’ (49%) come into conflict with free speech rights”

📋 NYT, Nate Cohn: Educational Differences Are Widening America’s Political Rift http://nyti.ms/3ngeBJS “[T]he growing power of liberal college graduates helps alienate working-class voters, leaving college graduates as an even larger share of the party” ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1435749530750918659?s=20/photo/1
// College graduates are now a firmly Democratic bloc, and they are shaping the party’s future. Those without degrees, by contrast, have flocked to Republicans. http://nyti.ms/

As they’ve grown in numbers, college graduates have instilled increasingly liberal cultural norms while gaining the power to nudge the Democratic Party to the left. Partly as a result, large portions of the party’s traditional working-class base have defected to the Republicans.

The changing demographic makeup of the Democrats has become a self-fulfilling dynamic, in which the growing power of liberal college graduates helps alienate working-class voters, leaving college graduates as an even larger share of the party.

President Biden won about 60 percent of college-educated voters in 2020, including an outright majority of white college graduates, helping him run up the score in affluent suburbs and putting him over the top in pivotal states.

This was a significant voting bloc: Overall, 41 percent of people who cast ballots last year were four-year college graduates, according to census estimates. By contrast, just 5 percent of voters in 1952 were college graduates, according to that year’s American National Elections Study.

Yet even as college graduates have surged in numbers and grown increasingly liberal, Democrats are no stronger than they were 10, 30 or even 50 years ago. Instead, rising Democratic strength among college graduates and voters of color has been counteracted by a nearly equal and opposite reaction among white voters without a degree.

WaPo: Florida judge rules against DeSantis again, allows schools to require masks http://wapo.st/2X1913d

⭕ 7 Sep 2021

WaPo: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs law creating new voting restrictions as opponents sue http://wapo.st/2WYbaN4

WaPo (1/7/2021): Pentagon placed limits on D.C. Guard ahead of pro-Trump protests due to narrow mission http://wapo.st/2MKISAt The tick tock

WaPo: What the Sturgis rally shows us about the delta variant http://wapo.st/3DYXQbY More than 250,000 attended this year: since the rally began in early August, infection numbers have shot up more than 600 percent in South Dakota; nearby states have also seen increases
// South Dakota has high population immunity — and still saw a huge covid surge in August.

The annual Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota is America’s largest bike rally, a 10-day blowout, with attendance this year exceeding 250,000. It was also a serious pandemic stress test. ¤ The best data suggests that at least 75 percent of the entire South Dakota population has some degree of immunity against the virus: About half of South Dakotans have immunity because they’ve been infected by covid-19, and about half of the population has been vaccinated — some of whom have already had covid-19 when they got their shot, so there is some overlap between these two groups. South Dakota, despite its middling vaccination rates, probably has among the highest levels of population immunity in the nation

That’s what makes Sturgis an important test. If it had gone off without big spikes in covid cases, it would have provided strong evidence that this level of population immunity — around 75 percent — would allow us to get back to the way we did things in 2019. But unfortunately, that’s not what happened. In the weeks since the rally began in early August, infection numbers have shot up more than 600 percent in South Dakota. We can expect to see big increases in other states, too, since bikers returned home from the event. Last year, after Sturgis, we saw massive outbreaks across the Dakotas, Wyoming, Indiana, even Nevada. Much of the region was aflame because of Sturgis, probably causing thousands of deaths.

[W]e can look to other examples where high levels of vaccinations or other tools helped prevent a lot of illness and death. ¤ The first example is what happened in Provincetown, Mass., over the July 4 weekend. Provincetown unfortunately also led to a spike in cases — but the infection numbers peaked quickly, dwindled and were gone three weeks later. There were very few hospitalizations and no deaths. Why? Because most of the people in Provincetown were vaccinated. That may be an indicator that population immunity from vaccinations is better and more protective than immunity from infections.

⭕ 6 Sep 2021

⭕ 5 Sep 2021

🐣 RT @NornOrnstein I want to say that I am not canceling my subscription to the New York Times. It is still the paper of record, and a hugely important force. That is why its flaws, and its reporters and editors’ failure to recognize or respond to them, to show any introspection, is so infuriating

WaPo, Lawrence Tribe: What the Justice Department should do to stop the Texas abortion law http://wapo.st/3yTmY0o Sect 242 of the fed criminal code makes it a crime to deprive individuals “of any rights, privileges or immunities secured or protected by the Constituion or laws”

… Section 242 of the federal criminal code makes it a crime for those who, “under color of law,” willfully deprive individuals “of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”

This statute — originally designed to go after the Ku Klux Klan — fits the Texas situation perfectly: The bounty seekers, entitled under the Texas law to collect penalties of at least $10,000, have been made, in effect, private attorneys general of Texas. They act “under color of state law,” and unless and until Roe v. Wade is overruled, they unmistakably intend to prevent the exercise of a constitutional right.

In addition, Section 241 of the federal criminal code makes it an even more serious crime for “two or more persons” to agree to “oppress, threaten, or intimidate” anyone “in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same.” This crime may be committed even by individuals not found to be acting “under color of law” but as purely private vigilantes, as long as they’re acting in concert with others.

⭕ 4 Sep 2021

📋 WaPo: Why America has 8.4 million unemployed when there are 10 million job openings http://wapo.st/3jGk4Yh
// The economy is undergoing massive changes. There’s a big mismatch at the moment between the jobs available and what workers want.

PewResearch: Key facts about Asian Americans, a diverse and growing population http://pewrsr.ch/3h1X9oy
// 4/29/2021

🚫 UrbanWire: Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity Will Drive Homeownership over the Next Two Decades http://urbn.is/3h5F0Gp
UrbanWire: Chart: How Household Composition Will Change in the Next Two Decades http://urbn.is/3h5F0Gp
// 4/19/2021; households not pop.; A Study of Texas, Georgia, California and Minnesota

🐣 Mitch McConnell will take a hatchet to the filibuster the first chance he has – and laugh at the Democrats for having been such wusses

⭕ 3 Sep 2021

WaPo, Kathleen Parker: The Supreme Court rides to Biden’s rescue http://wapo.st/2VhXtIj

President Biden’s personal hell month featured the devastation of Hurricane Ida, our country’s dreadful withdrawal from Afghanistan, mounting deaths from covid-19’s delta variant, overcrowded ICUs, a dragging economy, many schools opening and some nearly closing down, and uncontrollable fires out west.

What did I forget? The president has been bouncing all over the four Horses of the Apocalypse, a reluctant gladiator trying to rein in the ruin of his presidency when, suddenly, a double rainbow appears over the U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court’s 5-to-4 refusal to block a Texas law restricting abortion to no more than six weeks of gestation was an early Christmas gift to Biden and the Democratic Party. Thanks to cultural conservatives, pro-lifers and even former president Donald Trump, Republicans finally may have overstepped.

The court certainly ended Biden’s run of bad luck. Hell is the only way to describe what many Americans are experiencing across several states, especially in Louisiana, where power is gone, temperatures are high and moist, and mosquitoes are as hungry as the folks lined up for food. One could be forgiven for thinking the world was ending.

But leave it to the GOP to shift the focus from climate devastation and the Taliban takeover to abortion and a procedural ruling that doesn’t mean as much as has been conveyed. Not yet anyway. A much bigger fight — maybe the pivotal fight — in the abortion wars is coming up soon — Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. More on that in a minute.

Meanwhile, even as other Republican states plan to follow Texas, including Florida and South Dakota, the court was very clear that procedural issues wouldn’t allow it to consider the constitutionality of the Texas Heartbeat Act. The act prohibits a physician from performing an abortion “if the physician detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child or failed to perform a test to detect a fetal heartbeat.” …

Bottom line: Because there were no real defendants, there was no live case and no dispute to reckon over. So, the Texas law went into effect.

Here, a brief sidebar is warranted. Much has changed since 1973, when Roe v. Wade became the law of the land. I was there. Back in the day, a woman had to wait at least six weeks to find out if she was pregnant, a process that had to involve a doctor or a lab. Today, in addition to an array of birth control options, women have access to inexpensive home pregnancy tests that can deliver results in seven to 10 days after ovulation — and before a missed period. Emergency contraception such as the “day-after pill” is also available for women who don’t want to wait for a home test.

Even so, and probably as a result, most Americans (59 percent) still think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to the Pew Research Center. Two generations of women who’ve always had reproductive choice can’t imagine living in a world that could force them to have babies they don’t want or are unprepared to raise. The 2017 cat-hat marches to demonstrate disapproval of Trump’s “grab’ em” remark will seem like marching band practice if the Supreme Court eventually finds the votes to end Roe.

Arguments will be held this fall in the earlier mentioned Dobbs case, which challenges the constitutionality of a Mississippi law banning abortions (with exceptions) after the 15th week of pregnancy. The Supreme Court decided in Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992 that abortions could be legally performed until fetal “viability,” or about 24 weeks. But that was, it is now easy to forget, 30 years ago.

Whatever happens, the next several weeks will most certainly be a wall-to-wall abortion freakout, giving Biden a minute or two to recover from an August that he’d probably like to forget. He is surely eager to dismount from his wild ride — and Democrats can climb out from beneath the covers.

Politico, Randall Balmer (2014): The Real Origins of the Religious Right http://politi.co/3tgeiQ8 As referred to on @TheReidOut
// 5/27/2014; They’ll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record’s clear: It was segregation.

One of the most durable myths in recent history is that the religious right, the coalition of conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists, emerged as a political movement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion. The tale goes something like this: Evangelicals, who had been politically quiescent for decades, were so morally outraged by Roe that they resolved to organize in order to overturn it.

Some of these anti-Roe crusaders even went so far as to call themselves “new abolitionists,” invoking their antebellum predecessors who had fought to eradicate slavery.

But the abortion myth quickly collapses under historical scrutiny. In fact, it wasn’t until 1979—a full six years after Roe—that evangelical leaders, at the behest of conservative activist Paul Weyrich, seized on abortion not for moral reasons, but as a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term. Why? Because the anti-abortion crusade was more palatable than the religious right’s real motive: protecting segregated schools. So much for the new abolitionism.

WSJ Editorial: Texas’s Abortion Law Blunder http://on.wsj.com/3DJvXEW “The law sets an awful precedent that conservatives should hate”
// The Supreme Court was right not to interfere for now, but the statute won’t survive scrutiny on the merits.

⭕ 2 Sep 2021

🐣 RT @sullydish Offering citizens bounties to hunt down other citizens for “crimes” is pure evil. It is a form of illiberalism that’s truly poisonous.

🐣 RT @brianklaas Experts who warned about authoritarianism were called alarmists. Experts who warned about Covid were called alarmists. Experts who warned about the courts and abortion were called alarmists. Experts who warned about climate were called alarmists. Perhaps it’s actually alarming?

🐣 RT @OlgaNYC1211 This is the FRIGHTENING. Bannon is pushing his cult to take over local positions to reshape America’s elections and make GOP even more radical and dangerous. ¤ This is the direct result of criminal Bannon working as a foreign agent with zero accountability 🐣 RT @iarnsdorf BREAKING: We found 1000s of Trump supporters taking over local GOP positions — an unprecedented grassroots groundswell devoted to Trump’s insistence that the 2020 election was stolen & Republicans need to stop that from happening again
🔆 This❗️⋙ ProPublica: Heeding Steve Bannon’s Call, Election Deniers Organize to Seize Control of the GOP — and Reshape America’s Elections http://bit.ly/3kQyEvC
// The stolen election myth inspired thousands of Trump supporters to take over the Republican Party at the local level, exerting more partisan influence on how elections are run.

⭕ 1 Sep 2021

NYT: Supreme Court, Breaking Silence, Won’t Block Texas Abortion Law http://nyti.ms/3yEH66f
// The law, which prohibits most abortions after six weeks and went into effect on Wednesday, was drafted by Texas lawmakers with the goal of frustrating efforts to challenge it in federal court.

🐣 But: “The Supremacy Clause … (Article VI, Clause 2), establishes that the Constitution, federal laws made pursuant to it, and treaties made under its authority, constitute the ’supreme Law of the Land’, and thus take priority over any conflicting state laws.”“@neal_katyal

🐣 RT @mjs_DC BREAKING: By a 5–4 vote, with Roberts joining the liberals, the Supreme Court REFUSES to block Texas’ six-week abortion ban. Opinions here:
⋙ 📔 SCOTUS: http://bit.ly/3yCHnGL
🐣 … RT @mjs_DC Sotomayor, dissenting: “In effect, the Texas Legislature has deputized the State’s citizens as bounty hunters, offering them cash prizes for civilly prosecuting their neighbors’ medical procedures.” Text Block: https://twitter.com/mjs_DC/status/1433282156617416704?s=20/photo/1
// Sotomayor’s dissent is seething

🐣 I try not to hold grudges, but I don’t think I can ever forgive progressives who voted third party in 2016 because ‘both sides are just as bad’

🧵 RT @neal_katyal The Court’s decision allowing the Texas law to go into effect claims it is not ruling on the merits, because it’s unclear whether any lawsuits will be brought to prevent abortion, etc. This is just weird. Everyone knows they will be brought, that’s why the clinics have stopped 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/neal_katyal/status/1433281776730914816?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @neal_katyal providing abortions. Justice Sotomayor calls it exactly right when she says it is the Ct burying its head in the sand. Chief Justice Roberts tellingly sides against Texas. And if this is the rationale, that Texas by enabling only private lawsuits 2/
⋙ 🐣 RT @neal_katyal means that cts are powerless because it’s unclear whether the law will ever be enforced by private parties, that’s dangerous for anyone who cares about constl rights. Take guns. States like NY can now create “private lawsuits” against people who carry firearms for any reason 3/
⋙ 🐣 RT @neal_katyal and say “oh it’s not clear it’ll ever be enforced, so cts you are powerless to do anything.” The list of possible ways this silliness can be used to deny people their constl rights is endless. This is a low, low moment. END

🐣 RT @AlannaVagianos BREAKING: SCOTUS declines to block extreme Texas abortion law in 5-4 ruling.
🔆 This❗️⋙ HuffPo: Supreme Court Declines To Block Extreme Texas Abortion Law In 5-4 Ruling http://bit.ly/3DxLpDU
// The ban on abortions after six weeks is the strictest in the nation. Critics have called a direct assault on Roe v. Wade.

🐣 RT @NBCPolitics President Biden and Ukrainian President Zelensky meet at the White House as Ukraine pushes for increased military aid in its war with Russia as well as entry into NATO.
⋙ NBCNews: Biden, Zelensky meet at White House amid Ukraine-Russia conflict http://nbcnews.to/3t9Rphf
// The Ukrainian president has been vocal about the U.S. decision not to intervene in the construction of a Russian natural-gas pipeline and about his desire to join NATO.

🧵 RT @ AshaRangappa_ A key feature of the TX abortion law is that it opens the door for people and orgs with deep pockets to file hundreds of frivolous lawsuits — so even doctors and providers who *comply* with the law can get financially ruined trying to defend meritless claims 1/ 📌https://twitter.com/AshaRangappa_/status/1433120423365918720?s=20

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: With ban in effect, Texas abortion clinics will no longer terminate pregnancies after 6 weeks http://wapo.st/3DD3aSd

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok What a day for Texas. Republicans passed a sweeping voter suppression law, taking civil rights back half a century. And now their insane abortion ban, allowing vigilantes to intimidate, harass & bankrupt women & doctors, goes into effect.
⋙ CNN: Texas 6-week abortion ban takes effect after Supreme Court inaction http://cnn.it/3jtXy4S
// A controversial Texas law that bars abortions at six weeks went into effect early Wednesday morning after the Supreme Court and a federal appeals court failed to rule on pending emergency requests brought by abortion providers.

🔆 This❗️⋙ 🧵 ACLU: BREAKING: The Supreme Court has not responded to our emergency request to block Texas’ radical new 6-week abortion ban, SB8. The law now takes effect. ¤ Access to almost all abortion has just been cut off for millions of people. The impact will be immediate and devastating. 📌 https://twitter.com/ACLU/status/1432935162304778242?s=20

⭕ 31 Aug 2021

VanityFair, Eric Lutz: Madison Cawthorn is Openly Talking About Civil War At This Point http://bit.ly/3jvCRp1
// The Trump acolyte warned of “bloodshed” and suggested he would “pick up arms” against Americans to defend the big lie.

🐣 RT @POTUS We must stay clearly focused on the fundamental national security interests of the United States. ¤ This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. ¤ It is about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries.
// This is being called the “Biden Doctrine”

🐣 RT @duty2warn Republicans are really pushing the envelope when it comes to the Jan 6 phone records. They’re already at the stage of making illegal fascistic threats. Since they only care about power, we can surmise they believe that what’s in the phone records decimates their chance at power.

🐣 RT @duty2warn GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has actually threatened telecom companies NOT to comply with the Jan. 6 Select Committee request for phone records. He even added: “A Republican majority will not forget.” This is more than obstruction. It’s extortion, vigilantism, criminal retaliation.
⋙ 🐣 RT @duty2warn Dems need to get behind an organized effort to bring McCarthy to task over this. It cannot stand. This committee cannot be cajoled, threatened, or undermined. Especially THIS committee. No weak ‘it was a joke’ or ‘that’s not what I meant’ can be allowed to stand, either.

🐣 RT @ChrisMurphyCT The foreign policy consensus loves military adventurism. The American people do not. And Joe Biden knows who he works for. ¤ Great speech, Mr. President.
⋙ 🐣 RT @lrozen Biden, in what I think were the most interesting lines in his remarks: ¤ This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. It is about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @lrozen He is a realist, but a very multilateral/internationalist realist. It is not isolationist or populist/jingoistic.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @lrozen struck by the amount of american consensus I think there is for the fopo philosophy he lays out, even among a lot of Trump supporters; but the partisan atmospherics esp. post Benghazi are to try to demand a standard of execution that is impossible

🐣 RT @WalshFreedom “Since March, we reached out to Americans in Afghanistan 19 times, telling them to leave, warning them to leave, and offering to help them leave.”

🐣 RT @brianschatz Every President says they are against forever war, but only Joe Biden had the guts to end the longest war in American history.

🐣 I am so sick of how the media has battered Biden. My son served in Iraq. I cried when he signed up and worried every day. It’s time to end the forever wars.

🐣 RT @Lawrence Simply the smartest @ most honest speech by an American President about Afghanistan. ¤ No other president came close to the wisdom & honesty of this Biden speech.

MiamiHerald: Florida changed its COVID-19 data, creating an ‘artificial decline’ in recent deaths http://hrld.us/3Bs3EZB

WaPo, Roxanne Roberts: Hillary Clinton’s ‘deplorables’ speech shocked voters five years ago — but some feel it was prescient http://wapo.st/3mOSDO4 She said half of Trump supporters “feel abandoned & desperate”; the rest: “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic & Islamophobic“

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote I remember when my problem with republicans was that they wanted to defund social programs. Now they want people to eat horse dewormer, refuse vaccines, and violently attack democracy. Is it just me, or was the slide into a death cult rapid and ridiculous?

⭕ 30 Aug 2021

🔆 This❗️⋙ 🐣 RT @SecBrinken U.S. military flights have ended and our troops have departed Afghanistan. A new chapter of America’s engagement with Afghanistan has begun. It’s one in which we will lead with our diplomacy.

HartmannReport: These “New” Democracy-Hating, Religious-Cult-Qanon-Believing Right-Wingers are Nothing New http://bit.ly/3kTSWoj
//  It’s probably beyond the power of human nature to prevent this from happening again, but we must not resign ourselves to another authoritarian movement now rising to power in America. Get active!

WaPo: Biden admin opens civil rights investigations over bans on school mask mandates http://wapo.st/3yuz0wI Investigations are of IA OK SC TN UT, arguing for protection of the most vulnerable, but not AR AZ FL TX where court action already prevents enforcement of bans

“You can’t ‘win over’ these folks anymore. They are too far over the bend to get brought back around by Hillbilly Elegies, FDA vaccine approvals, sympathetic profiles of voters in rust belt diners, or town halls with undecided voters.” — @WajahatAli
DailyBeast, Wajahat Ali: Don’t Negotiate With Trump’s Disease-Spreading Zombie Army http://bit.ly/3BpTkRX
// Welcome to the Upside Down. Democracy might not survive, but the ratings will be great.

🐣 RT @brhodes These are related, as self-interested authoritarian political movements funded by special interests, hostile to science, and invested in conspiracy theories are not going to deal with climate change.
⋙ 🐣 RT @brianklaas Looking at the news, it’s clear that there are two emergencies facing the United States – Republican attempts to create American authoritarianism and worsening climate change. ¤ Neither is being treated like an emergency. Both are.

🐣 RT @KateBerner46 “The herculean effort to extract thousands of Americans after the Taliban seized control of the country should not go unnoticed or unappreciated.”
⋙ WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: The State Department deserves more credit for its effort to evacuate Americans from Afghanistan http://wapo.st/38nysya

OpenSecrets: Trump’s political operation paid more than $4.3 million to Jan. 6 organizers but questions remain about the full extent of its involvement http://bit.ly/3Bt2Ljk

TheAtlantic, David Rothkopf: Biden Deserves Credit, Not Blame, for Afghanistan http://bit.ly/3Drjo0Z “[A]n American leader has done the hard thing, the right thing: set aside politics and put both America’s interests and values first”
// Americans should feel proud of what the U.S. government and military have accomplished in these past two weeks.

In the days following the fall of Kabul earlier this month—an event that triggered a period of chaos, fear, and grief—critics castigated the Biden administration for its failure to properly coordinate the departure of the last Americans and allies from the country. The White House was indeed surprised by how quickly the Taliban took control, and those early days could have been handled better. But the critics argued that more planning both would have been able to stop the Taliban victory and might have made America’s departure somehow tidier, more like a win or perhaps even a draw. The chaos, many said, was symptomatic of a bigger error. They argued that the United States should stay in Afghanistan, that the cost of remaining was worth the benefits a small force might bring.

Former military officers and intelligence operatives, as well as commentators who had long been advocates of extending America’s presence in Afghanistan, railed against Biden’s artificial deadline. Some critics were former Bush-administration officials or supporters who had gotten the U.S. into the mess in the first place, setting us on the impossible path toward nation building and, effectively, a mission without a clear exit or metric for success. Some were Obama-administration officials or supporters who had doubled down on the investment of personnel in the country and later, when the futility of the war was clear, lacked the political courage to withdraw. Some were Trump-administration officials or supporters who had negotiated with and helped strengthen the Taliban with their concessions in the peace deal and then had punted the ultimate exit from the country to the next administration.

They all conveniently forgot that they were responsible for some of America’s biggest errors in this war and instead were incandescently self-righteous in their invective against the Biden administration. Never mind the fact that the Taliban had been gaining ground since it resumed its military campaign in 2004 and, according to U.S. estimates even four years ago, controlled or contested about a third of Afghanistan. Never mind that the previous administration’s deal with the Taliban included the release of 5,000 fighters from prison and favored an even earlier departure date than the one that Biden embraced. Never mind that Trump had drawn down U.S. troop levels from about 13,000 to 2,500 during his last year in office and had failed to repatriate America’s equipment on the ground. Never mind the delay caused by Trump and his adviser Stephen Miller’s active obstruction of special visas for Afghans who helped us.

Never mind the facts. Never mind the losses. Never mind the lessons. Biden, they felt, was in the wrong.

Despite the criticism, Biden, who had argued unsuccessfully when he was Barack Obama’s vice president to seriously reduce America’s presence in Afghanistan, remained resolute. Rather than view the heartbreaking scenes in Afghanistan in a political light as his opponents did, Biden effectively said, “Politics be damned—we’re going to do what’s right” and ordered his team to stick with the deadline and find a way to make the best of the difficult situation in Kabul.

The Biden administration nimbly adapted its plans, ramping up the airlift and sending additional troops into the country to aid crisis teams and to enhance security. Around-the-clock flights came into and went out of Afghanistan. Giant cargo planes departed, a number of them packed with as many as 600 occupants. Senior administration officials convened regular meetings with U.S. allies to find destinations for those planes to land and places for the refugees to stay. The State Department tracked down Americans in the country, as well as Afghans who had worked with the U.S., to arrange their passage to the airport. The Special Immigrant Visa program that the Trump administration had slowed down was kicked into high gear. Despite years of fighting, the administration and the military spoke with the Taliban many times to coordinate passage of those seeking to depart to the airport, to mitigate risks as best as possible, to discuss their shared interest in meeting the August 31 deadline.

The process was relentless and imperfect and, as we all have seen in the most horrific way, not without huge risks for those staying behind to help. On August 26, a suicide bomber associated with ISIS-K killed more than 150 Afghans and 13 American service members who were gathered outside the airport. However, even that heinous act didn’t deter the military. In a 24-hour period from Thursday to Friday, 12,500 people were airlifted out of the country and the president recommitted to meeting the August 31 deadline. And he did so even as his critics again sought to capitalize on tragedy for their own political gain: Republicans called for the impeachment of Biden and of Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Within hours of the attack at the airport, America struck back, killing two terrorists and injuring another with a missile launched from a drone. A separate drone strike targeted a vehicle full of explosives on Sunday. In doing so, Biden countered the argument that America might lack the intelligence or military resources we would need to defend ourselves against violent extremists now that our troops are leaving.

The very last chapter of America’s benighted stay in Afghanistan should be seen as one of accomplishment on the part of the military and its civilian leadership. Once again the courage and unique capabilities of the U.S. armed services have been made clear.  And, in a stark change from recent years, an American leader has done the hard thing, the right thing: set aside politics and put both America’s interests and values first.

⭕ 29 Aug 2021

TheAtlantic, Robinson Meyer: We’re Hitting the Limits of Hurricane Preparedness http://bit.ly/2Ya6tjJ
// Cities simply don’t have enough time to run from a storm like Ida.

Seventy-four hours. ¤ That’s roughly how much time separated the moment that Tropical Depression Nine formed in the Caribbean from the moment that the storm, transformed into a ruthless Category 4 hurricane named Ida, made landfall at Port Fourchon, Louisiana. Even less time—perhaps 60 hours—separated the storm’s promotion to hurricane strength and the first arrival of tropical-storm winds in Louisiana, the latter of which marks the moment that any official evacuation must be nearly complete. That’s when drivers need to start getting off the roads, and when local services are shut down until the storm passes.

It wasn’t enough time. While Ida was a well predicted storm, 60 hours of warning was too short for New Orleans officials to issue a mandatory evacuation order in the days before it landed. The limits of the city’s highways mandate that the city must issue an evacuation order at least 72 hours before tropical-storm winds make landfall. Officials said last year that the pandemic means they may need 82 hours of warning, to account for the increased difficulty of moving and sheltering people.

EmptyWheel, Marcy Wheeler: How the FBI Missed Alleged January 6 Leader Joe Biggs http://bit.ly/3jrqk67 “Joe Biggs kicked off the riot on the West side of the building. … This is the guy a couple of FBI Agents in Daytona believed was a credible informant against Antifa”

Joe Biggs kicked off the riot on the West side of the building. ¤ Then he went over to the East side to join his former employer Alex Jones and a bunch of Oath Keepers, led by fellow Floridians, to lead a mob back into the Capitol. ¤ West side. Joe Biggs. East side. Joe Biggs. ¤ This is the guy a couple of FBI Agents in Daytona believed was a credible informant against Antifa.

🐣 RT @marceelias Texas is on the verge of enacting a sweeping voter suppression bill. ¤ Texas is on the verge of being sued minutes after enacting a sweeping voter suppression bill.

📋 NYT: The U.S. reaches 100,000 average daily Covid hospitalizations for the first time since winter’s peak. http://nyti.ms/3kEADmP

WaPo, EJ Dionne: Advancing democracy abroad requires defending it at home http://wapo.st/3ymBBZG “We now know, as we should have known all along, that the future is not inevitably democratic”

One positive result of our distemper is an outpouring of perceptive books about what ails democracy and what needs to be done to save it. Writers such as Daniel Ziblatt and Steven Levitsky, Timothy Snyder, William Galston, Yascha Mounk, Edward Luce, Masha Gessen, Robert Kuttner and Anne Applebaum have offered thoughtful warnings and remedies.

🐣 Our perpetual national project seems to be cleaning up the messes of people denying the realities of disease transmission and climate change

🐣 RT @C_C_Krebs Great thread unveiling the structural & systemic forces that enable
disinfo across a range of issues over time. Doesn’t matter if it’s vax today, elections yesterday, or the next thing tmrw. Comes down to power, access, & money. Those with it will work to keep it at all costs.
❤ ⋙ 🧵 RT @michaelharriot This is a good point. ¤ When anti-vaxxers cite their freedoms, constitutional rights, and–the whitest thing of all–the Founding Fathers to rail against vaccine mandates, do they know what they’re talking about? ¤ What if I told you this happens EXACTLY every 100 years? ¤ A thread. 📌 https://twitter.com/michaelharriot/status/ 1432060194276659203?s=20
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @LibertyLumpia Mask and vaccine mandates are a threat to freedom. Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves.

🐣 RT @nils_gilman The conviction that the President could & should have foreseen everything & executed a perfect close to a lost war reflects the same sort of cognitive hubris & over-confident solutionism that led us into a multi-decade, inevitably doomed nation-building mission in the first place

🐣 RT @starsandstripes The United States has the capacity to evacuate the approximately 300 U.S. citizens remaining in Afghanistan who want to leave before President Joe Biden’s Tuesday deadline, senior Biden administration officials said.
⋙ Stars&Stripes/AP: White House: US has capacity to evacuate remaining Americans http://bit.ly/3BnyuTk
// The United States has the capacity to evacuate the approximately 300 U.S. citizens remaining in Afghanistan who want to leave before President Joe Biden’s Tuesday deadline, senior Biden administration officials said Sunday, as another U.S. drone strike against suspected Islamic State militants underscored the grave threat in the war’s final days.
⋙ 🐣 Everyone knows that if the Biden Admin and Armed Forces pull off such a Herculean feat, many on the right will be gnashing their teeth rather than celebrating ~ because that’s where we’re at as a country

🐣 RT @forwardarc “Perhaps no politician has taken the reins from Trump with more vigor & disastrous effects than @GovRonDeSantis , a man who thinks he could be the next Republican president. But to supplant the last leader of his party, he has to out-Trump Trump.”
⋙ NYT, Charles Blow: Ron DeSantis, How Many Covid Deaths Are Enough? http://nyti.ms/3Dtcp7D

RT @WHCOS [Klain] U.S., 97 other countries announce deal with Taliban to keep evacuating allies after Aug. 31
⋙⋙ AppleNews/Axios: U.S., 97 other countries announce deal with Taliban to keep evacuating allies after Aug. 31 https://apple.news/AQrzcWKoXQ8mzPQIXYAn40w
// The United States, along with 97 other countries, announced Sunday that they had reached an agreement with the Taliban to allow them to continue to get Afghan allies out of the country after the Aug….
apple.news
⋙ 🐣 RT @DrewDanzell Media pundits have called an emergency meeting. Have to pool and troubleshoot ideas on how to put a negative spin on this to make Biden administration look bad.

🧵 RT @jennycohn “All the anomalies & disparities [in the 2020 election] worked to the benefit of Republican[s] … (including Trump),” but it was Trump & his backers who claimed “fraud,” waving around sheets of “random & meaningless numbers.” By @JonathanSimon14 1/
📌 https://twitter.com/jennycohn1/status/1430921215510646788?s=20
⋙⋙ 💙 WhoWhatWhy[.]org, Jonathan Simon: The Real Steal: Electoral Forensics and the 2020 Election http://bit.ly/3mI7TvT
// 8/23/2021; Election expert says the 2020 election results may very well have been skewed. For the Republicans. He lays out his in-depth numerical analysis
⋙ 🐣 Eventually, with the Electoral College, Dems packed increasingly into urban areas, GOP gerrymandering, voter suppression, and no help from a skewed SCOTUS (thanks to two stolen seats), Democrats will effectively each count as “3/5th of a man”

😅 💽 RT @JGaffneyUSN #BringBackTrump ¤ To Music. ¤ Oh – how I miss him so.


// Trump retrospective video cringeworthy

🐣 RT @RepAdamSchiff Our fallen servicemembers have returned home. ¤ Their bravery helped evacuate over 100,000 people and saved countless lives. ¤ They were the best of us. And we will not forget them. ¤ May God give comfort to their families. https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/1432025319779807236?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @ @NBCNews Dignified transfer of US service members killed in Thursday’s attack on Kabul airport. 💽 https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/1432024236923686918?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @RichSignorelli In my dealings with others, Trump is a litmus test. If you still support this psychopath, nothing else about you really matters to me.

🧵 RT @JRubinBlogger any hope of depopulating a war-torn country, and ending the suffering there (including the dismal future for millions of women and girls) is not grounded in reality. It belongs with the magical thinking that we’d create a nation state in Afghanistan. 📌 https://twitter.com/JRubinBlogger/status/1431981254895935494?s=20
⋙ WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Biden tells some hard truths few want to hear http://wapo.st/2Y1xUvT
// The war in Afghanistan has been one tragedy after another. Good riddance.

🐣 RT @BillKristol “The GOP base may be identifying less and less with Trump personally—inevitable after he left the presidency—but it is not identifying any less with the conspiracist and antidemocratic impulses that defined him…In fact, the opposite is happening.”
⋙ TheAtlantic, Peter Wehner: Trumpism Has Entered Its Final Form http://bit.ly/3gInMi5
// In today’s Republican Party, Trump is becoming what was once unthinkable—conventional, unexceptional, even something of an establishment figure.

⭕ 28 Aug 2021

NYT, Kori Schake: What Trump’s Disgraceful Deal With the Taliban Has Wrought http://nyti.ms/3kCHsoX Ms. Schake, a foreign policy expert under Bush, is director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute

⭕ 27 Aug 2021

WaPo, Philip Bump: Biden escalates his efforts to puncture the Fox News bubble http://wapo.st/3sYBSRp “Psaki and Biden are confident in their ability to handle Doocy’s questions and eager to reframe them”

😅 RT @DanRather Fewer syllables?
⋙ 🐣 RT @mattyglesias What was the precipitating event that led to the hydroxychloroquine/ivermectin switch?

🐣 RT @RepRaskin Good news: an Arizona judge has ruled that Cyber Ninjas, the Trump-aligned firm “auditing” the AZ election, must preserve all of its “audit” records. Cyber Ninjas must also comply with the @OversightDems request for crucial docs. We have had enough lies about the 2020 election.

⭕ 26 Aug 2021

NBCNews: Officer who shot Ashli Babbitt during Capitol riot breaks silence: ‘I saved countless lives’ http://nbcnews.to/3gIrfgN
// In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Lt. Michael Byrd said he opened fire only as a “last resort” after the rioters failed to comply with his commands.

🐣 RT @stengel The Trump agreement with the Taliban was a ticking time bomb that is exploding now.

WaPo: Twin bombings at Kabul airport kill 13 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghans http://wapo.st/2XWRoBT

WaPo: ‘Dead people were everywhere’: Carnage and chaos at Kabul airport http://wapo.st/3zma6k5

🐣 RT @jdassey1 Officer who shot Ashli Babbitt breaks silence for first time, says he only opened fire as a “last resort” and saved lives.
⋙ NBCNews: Officer who shot Ashli Babbitt during Capitol riot breaks silence: ‘I saved countless lives’ http://nbcnews.to/3DvPDMz
// In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Lt. Michael Byrd said he opened fire only as a “last resort” after the rioters failed to comply with his commands.

🧵 RT @MacFarlandNews [NBC] ALERT: Seven US Capitol Police officers file federal civil suit against Donald Trump, key Trump allies & high-profile Jan 6 defendants .. in connection with US Capitol Insurrection ¤ Citing series of Trump tweets/statements, alleging conspiracy, assault, battery, seeking damages 📌 https://twitter.com/MacFarlaneNews/status/1430914949551955973?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @DanRather What the world is seeing now in Afghanistan is what the world chose to ignore for far too long. War is hell. It always has been. And it always will be. Its currency is death, dismemberment, desperation, and fear. It doesn’t end in parades. It ends in caskets.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: U.S. service members killed in Kabul airport blasts, along with civilian casualties, Pentagon says http://wapo.st/2WrE3AO

⭕ 25 Aug 2021

🐣 RT @glennkirschner2 Sidney “The Kraken” Powell SANCTIONED: “This lawsuit represents a historic & profound abuse of the judicial process,” & “was never about fraud – it was about undermining the People’s faith in our democracy and debasing the judicial process to do so.”
⋙ Politico: Federal judge imposes sanctions on Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and other pro-Trump lawyers http://politi.co/3mAL5y8
// The court found that the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the Michigan election fraud lawsuit filed it “in bad faith and for improper purpose.”

💙 🧵 RT @drothkopf The intellectual dishonesty that we have seen in critiques of Biden’s handling of the exit from Afghanistan has been spectacular. 📌 https://twitter.com/djrothkopf/status/1430560949572878340?s=20

🧵 RT @ericgarland ¤ The January 6 Select Committee has now officially asked for records on specific issues related to the attempted coup d’état. ¤ Their requests suggest they know what they’re looking for. Let’s dig in to each letter. You’ll wanna check this stuff… Text Block: 📌 https://twitter.com/ericgarland/status/1430561329430077450?s=20/photo/1

Politico: Jan. 6 investigators include Trump White House in first document requests http://politi.co/3jh2aLx
// It’s the select panel’s first step to actually begin investigating the attack.
⋙ House[.]gov: Select Committee Issues Sweeping Demand for Executive Branch Records http://bit.ly/3DifUNY
// Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol

WaPo: House panel investigating Jan. 6 attack seeks records from agencies on insurrection, Trump in first request for information http://wapo.st/3DsI9tE

⭕ 24 Aug 2021

⭕ 23 Aug 2021

EmptyWheel: Stop the Steal: Hints of the January 5 Rallies in the January 6 Riot Investigation http://bit.ly/3DgYXng “With the charges against Owen Shroyer, the government has now charged three people who had a speaking part in several rallies tied to Stop the Steal”

⭕ 22 Aug 2021

🐣 RT @marceelias I spent 28 years at @PerkinsCoieLLP. It is a amazing place with great lawyers. I am starting a new law firm @EliasLawGroup because our democracy is at risk and it is the most effective way for me to fight back. I look forward to working with Perkins in that effort as well.

⭕ 21 Aug 2021

NYT: Former Pence aide says Trump and Miller stymied Afghan refugee efforts. http://nyti.ms/37ZZ3Bc

A top homeland security adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence accused the Trump administration of distorting the truth about Afghan refugees, writing on Twitter that the former president and Stephen Miller, his top immigration adviser, sought to prevent the refugees from entering the United States.

In an interview, Olivia Troye recalled sitting in meetings where Mr. Miller demanded restrictions on refugees, including those from Afghanistan and Iraq. She said the reductions in the refugee program during the Trump years hollowed out the government’s ability to bring the interpreters and others to the United States.

“Now we are in this crisis and they are saying Trump would have evacuated them,” Ms. Troye said. “But he didn’t in four years. You don’t get to play revisionist history here. There are people who know what the situation is.”

President Donald J. Trump and his allies have repeatedly claimed in recent days that his administration would have handled a withdrawal from Afghanistan better than President Biden, who he criticized for failing to evacuate Americans and Afghans who worked with the United States. Top conservative commentators, including Ben Domenech, have tweeted in support of Mr. Trump.
Ms. Troye rebutted those claims on Twitter and in an interview, claiming instead that Trump administration officials worked against bringing Afghan and Iraqi allies into the country by granting them a Special Immigrant Visa indicating they supported the American war effort.

Mr. Miller “& his enablers across gov’t would undermine anyone who worked on solving the SIV issue by devastating the system at DHS & State,” she wrote on Twitter.

⭕ 20 Aug 2021

🐣 RT @NeuSummits [Eliz Neumann] I can vouch for @OliviaTroye’s characterization . Will add that we have proof of what Trump would have done – he abandoned our allies in the no-notice decision to withdraw from Syria. Kurds, Iraqi SIVs, P2s, NGOs were left scrambling and many died.
⋙ 🧵 RT @OiviaTroye There were cabinet mtgs about this during the Trump Admin where Stephen Miller would peddle his racist hysteria about Iraq & Afghanistan. He & his enablers across gov’t would undermine anyone who worked on solving the SIV issue by devastating the system at DHS & State.(1/7) 📌 https://twitter.com/OliviaTroye/status/1428740865665679361?s=20/photo/1

Reuters: Texas Supreme Court rejects Governor Abbott’s ban on school mask mandates – CNN http://reut.rs/3AX5oK5

⭕ 19 Aug 2021

NYT, Michael Crowley: Trump’s Deal With the Taliban Draws Fire From His Former Allies http://nyti.ms/3z7F5QS Critics include Trump’s second national security adviser, H.R. McMaster and former Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper
// The former president and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, are attacking President Biden over Afghanistan even as their own policy faces harsh criticism.

WaPo, Michael Gerson: Govs. DeSantis and Abbott, in denial and risking lives, have betrayed the public trust http://wapo.st/3miykbB

What was supposed to be a costless, largely symbolic political commitment has led DeSantis and Abbott to a particularly vivid moral choice. Should they allow local government and community institutions to save people from harm? Or should they actively prevent those measures to appease a radical faction of their party?

The decision, it seems, wasn’t close for them. There is no public evidence of inner turmoil. If they had defied the populist base of the Republican Party, their careers (and presidential prospects) would have been as good as over.

Now these governors have a problem, as does their party. ¤ The challenge for the governors is that public health is not the same as other issues. Their actions will lead, directly and predictably, to deaths in their states. This constitutes a betrayal of public trust so grave — a violation of moral responsibilities so depraved — that I am not sure there is a word for it. Selling the lives of your fellow citizens to a foreign power is treason. What is the proper description of selling the lives of your fellow citizens to a crazed political interest group?

These governors are attempting, of course, to take refuge in principle — the traditional right not to have cloth next to your face, or the sacred right to spread nasty infections to your neighbors. But such “rights” talk is misapplied in this context. The duty to protect public health during a pandemic is, by nature, an aggregate commitment. Success or failure is measured only in a total sum. Incompetence in this area is a fundamental miscarriage of governing. Knowingly taking actions that undermine public health is properly called sabotage, as surely as putting anthrax in the water supply. ¤ So maybe that’s the right word: saboteurs.

The problem for the Republican Party is that one of the central demands of a key interest group is now an act of sociopathic insanity. Some of the most basic measures of public health have suddenly become the political equivalent of gun confiscation. It’s as if the activist wing of the GOP decided that municipal trash pickup is a dangerous socialist experiment. Or chlorine in public pools is an antifa plot. There can be no absolute political right to undermine the health and safety of your community. Or else community has no meaning.

Public health can’t be reasonably understood in culture war terms. There are no winners and losers here — because all of us, together, either win or lose. This is one area — perhaps the primary area — where we are one people. But it also shows how sick souls can result in sick and dead bodies.

⭕ 18 Aug 2021

WaPo: Biden said U.S. officials lied about Afghanistan. It’s not clear whether they’ll be held to account. http://wapo.st/3iVoA4K

🐣 📊 RT @NumbersMuncher Axios/Ipsos poll: Overall 69% of Americans support mandatory masking in school, with 44% of Republicans and 92% of Democrats supporting. ¤ This is definitely another one of those ‘Twitter isn’t real life’ data points.
// n=1,041, 8/13-16/2021; Independents 67%

TheGuardian: Rightwing lobbies and dark money funders backing assaults on voting rights http://bit.ly/3ARXQs5 //➔ The usual suspects: ALEC, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, State Policy Network, the Koch networks, the Bradley Foundation, various rw think tanks
// Election watchdogs say rightwing groups seek to enact voting restrictions in critical states, from Arizona to Pennsylvania – states that Republicans need to win back

The state lobbying efforts feature deep pocketed conservative bastions such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), Heritage Action, FreedomWorks and the State Policy Network, a loose-knit group of rightwing thinktanks, a number of which have received grants from the donor network led by the billionaire oilman Charles Koch and the Bradley Foundation. ¤ Other influential players pushing stricter voting laws include the Honest Elections Project and the Opportunity Solutions Project.

⭕ 17 Aug 2021

🐣 RT @JLownLaw Trump gave the Taliban everything they wanted before Biden even came into office — immediate allied withdrawal; the remaining to leave in 14 mos; release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, incl. Mullah Baradar; & removal of sanctions. There was no leverage left.
⋙ Time: President Trump’s Disgraceful Peace Deal with the Taliban http://bit.ly/2W5noTk
// The Afghanistan peace plan will strengthen the Taliban and make America less safe.

WaPo, Charles Lane: Biden’s presidency — and U.S. foreign policy — now hinge on pulling off one of the greatest airlifts in history http://wapo.st/2VWcSOT

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson Karma is a perfect bitch
She works her will from habit
For after he had banned all masks
She visited Gregg Abbott.

🐣 RT @JakeSullivan76 When I was asked about whether we’re going to get all Americans out of Afghanistan I said “that’s what we intend to do” and that’s exactly what we’ll do, and are accomplishing right now with HKIA re-opened and operational, thanks to the incredible work of our troops and diplomats

⭕ 16 Aug 2021

🐣 RT @MeidasTouch FLASHBACK: In February 2020, Donald Trump discussed how he empowered the Taliban to take over Afghanistan after America’s departure 💽 https://twitter.com/MeidasTouch/status/1427394730887811074?s=20/photo/1

🧵 RT @aahmady 1/The collapse of the Government in Afghanistan this past week was so swift and complete – it was disorienting and difficult to comprehend. ¤ This is how the events seemed to proceed from my perspective as Central Bank Governor. 📌 https://twitter.com/aahmady/status/1427265049668636674?s=20

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote Biden didn’t betray the Afghan government. They betrayed US. They took 20 years of $$ and training and made a deal with the Taliban instead of fighting for their people. If anyone betrayed the Afghan government, it was Trump when he made a deal with the Taliban.

🐣 RT @McFaul I’m no expert. But I find it strange that there was not even a little skirmish in taking Kabul. Maybe its not right to say that the Afghan army refused to fight. Maybe its more accurate to say that there was an agreement with the Taliban not to fight? Thoughts? further reading?
⋙ 🐣 RT @DocLT2 Maddow reported that many of the regional warlords established non-aggression pacts with the Taliban soon after Trump announced the withdrawal.
⋙ 🐣 RT @anne5634 I am now believing there was a lot to Trump’s “deal” with the Taliban that Biden was shut out of during the transition and beyond…Putin must be very pleased

NYT, Thomas Friedman: Biden Could Still Be Proved Right in Afghanistan http://nyti.ms/2XsPOHD “Maybe on the morning after the morning after, the Taliban will just order them all back under burqas and shut their schoolrooms. But maybe they will also encounter pushback”

🐣 RT @PaulaChertok Biden has more work to do re #Afghanistan. But don’t let the Orwellian gaslighting @GOP gasbags blame Biden for Trump & #Pompeo’s Taliban fiasco. They legitimized barbaric terrorists & demoralized Afghan govt, setting in motion its inevitable collapse. @LeaderMcConnell @GOPLeader
⋙ 🐣 RT @barubin Trump wanted to have a secret meeting with the Taliban at Camp David days before 9/11. 💽 https://twitter.com/PaulaChertok/status/1427388844911915009?s=20/photo/1

🐣 Success has many fathers, but failure has a bunch of people pointing fingers at one another. ~ Apologies to Tacitus

🐣 RT @Sulliview The Afghan debacle lasted two decades. The media spent two hours deciding who to blame. …My column on the winners-and-losers, hot-take punditry we’re seeing way too much of
⋙ WaPo: The Afghan debacle lasted two decades. The media spent two hours deciding whom to blame. http://wapo.st/3xRBNQy

🐣 💽 RT @Roshan_Rinaldi “I started the process,… all the troops are coming home! They [Biden] couldn’t stop the process. 21 years is enough. They [Biden] couldn’t stop the process, they [Biden] wanted to but couldn’t stop the process!” – Trump, 1 month ago https://twitter.com/Roshan_Rinaldi/status/1427360508450119687?s=20/photo/1

📊 Forbes (7/8/2021): The War In Afghanistan: A Polling Post-Mortem http://bit.ly/3g7T2Hbhttps://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1427378701960876035?s=20/photo/1

Fifty-eight percent in an online April Economist/YouGov poll approved of the withdrawal plan, and 25% disapproved. Majorities of Democrats and independents support withdrawal, while Republicans are divided.

A May Quinnipiac poll of adults produced similar results: 62% approved of President Biden’s decision to withdraw all US troops, while 29% were opposed.

In the Economist/YouGov poll, people split evenly, 36% to 35%, about whether fighting the war there had been a mistake, while 29% said they didn’t know.

🐣 RT @toddyoung Nicole Wallace:
95% of Americans will agree with everything Biden just said.
95% of the media will not agree with what he said.
She’s 100% right.

🐣💽 RT @DRovera Afghan human beings cling to/run after a #USA Air Force plane leaving #Kabul airport with those lucky enough to have made it on board. Won’t retweet other, horrific, videos of human beings falling off the plane’s wings after it took off. #Afghanistan https://twitter.com/DRovera/status/1427229955386138625?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 15 Aug 2021

YahooNews: Muslim women are using Sharia to push for gender equality http://yhoo.it/3AU1dil “[I]n many parts of the world, Muslim women are reclaiming their rights by studying and sharing Quranic verses and prophetic teachings”

🧵 RT @tomiahonen Afghanistan Thread 1/ Afghanistan government is collapsing and the Taliban is taking over the country as USA pulls out. The Republicans are out in full force trying to hide from the blame & shame ¤ This is ALL their fault ¤ But it is not that simple. It is WORSE than that … 📌 https://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/1427026128229871628?s=20
// history afghanistan history

🐣 RT @leahmcelrath In 1994, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar helped found the Taliban.
In 2010, ISI and CIA forces captured and imprisoned him in Pakistan.
In 2018, Trump demanded his release http://bit.ly/3yRnnRH
In 2020, Trump spoke with him WaPo: http://wapo.st/3jZSgNn
Now he leads Afghanistan.

🐣 RT @HamidHaidari* #Braking: New Message of Ashraf Ghani: Today, I have made a hard choice to leave the country, If wouldn’t leave the country, Kabul would face with a destruction and big human disaster in this six million city.
// *Editor in Chief and Current Affairs @1tvnewsaf, Kabul

NYT: The Afghan government collapses as the president flees the country and the Taliban enter Kabul. http://nyti.ms/3CSPJgy

🧵 RT @MuellerSheWrote THREAD: In 2020, trump pressured the afghan government to release 5000 Taliban fighters including some that had murdered US and allied troops. 📌 https://twitter.com/MuellerSheWrote/status/1426950474394083330?s=20
⋙ 🐣 … RT @MuellerSheWrote But the @ODNIgov should be looking into whether Putin, Trump, and the Afghan government coordinated the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. @SecPompeo knows. So does Kushner. /END

🐣 I read a lot of news, but personally, I don’t remember “the American people“ clamoring to exit Afgh, as many are claiming, some mumbling about “forever wars,” but otherwise ~ meh. People have been very exercised by a lot of things, but not so much that

🐣 RT @JonLemire KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — US Embassy in Kabul tells Americans to shelter in place, says airport reportedly taking fire.

🐣 RT @jonathanvswan New: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told senators on Sunday that a previous assessment of how soon terrorist groups will likely reconstitute in Afghanistan will speed up because of what’s happening there now…
⋙ Axios Scoop: Joint Chiefs Chairman moves up terrorist threat in Afghanistan http://bit.ly/3jVJKiw

🐣 RT @AVindman Brilliant thread.
⋙ 🐣 RT @UrielEpshtein As humans, we have a need for definitive beginnings and endings – in other words, clarity – Whether in our professional lives, our personal lives, or the broader geopolitical world. However, clarity is in short supply and the most successful among us learn to cope. 1/5
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @UrielEpshtein We learn that sometimes an uncertain and inconclusive status quo is better than a horrific alternative. In the case of Afghanistan, we made the wrong choice. Maintaining a 2.5-3.5k troop presence in the country indefinitely in order to defend a very imperfect status quo is 2/5
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @UrielEpshtein Unsatisfying and frustrating, but it would also have been the least bad option. The Biden admin prioritized finality and clarity in its decision to withdraw these troops over the terrifying real-world implications that withdrawal would have. Sometimes the unsatisfying 3/5
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @UrielEpshtein Decision is the right one. It may not give us closure, but closure does not, in and of itself, have value. It’s all about the impact our decisions will have down the line. The cost of staying would have been less than the strategic & human cost of leaving. 4/5
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @UrielEpshtein I weep for the future of Afghanistan. 5/5

🐣 RT @MichaelJMorell What is happening in Afghanistan is not the result of an intelligence failure. It is the result of numerous policy failures by multiple administrations. Of all the players over the years, the Intelligence Community by far has seen the situation in Afghanistan most accurately.
⋙ 🐣 RT @RichardEngel The failure to anticipate the rapid fall of afghan cities, including kabul, is a huge US intelligence failure. I know some US mil commanders anticipated it. They told me. Yet somehow their voices were not heard.

🐣 RT @brianklaas Completely agree. There’s no point in sugarcoating this. It’s a disaster. For Afghans, for US foreign policy, and it’s likely to create longer term consequences that we will come to regret in a big way.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AliVelshi Whatever your opinions are of why the U.S. was in Afghanistan & whether is should have been there, the rapid takeover of the country by the Taliban is a tragedy of epic proportions. You can not want U.S. troops there and/or support a pullout, and still appreciate how bad this is.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Taliban enters Kabul, leaving Afghan government on brink of collapse http://wapo.st/3iNQbox

⭕ 14 Aug 2021

⭕ 13 Aug 2021

CNN: US Capitol riot judges step up as the conscience of democracy while lawmakers squabble http://cnn.it/3sg105Z “Patriotism is loyalty to country, loyalty to the Constitution – not loyalty to a head of state. That is the tyranny we rejected on July 4th” ~ Judge Amy Berman Jackson
// A “disgrace to our country.” “The tyranny we rejected.” “An embarrassment to every American.”

WaPo: Family of D.C. officer who died by suicide after Capitol riot files lawsuit against alleged attacker http://wapo.st/37FmwHR “[A] report from a doctor who evaluated the case for Smith’s estate [said] a traumatic brain injury led the officer to take his own life”

💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo, Ruth Marcus: The most dangerous Trump official you’ve never heard of needs to be heard from http://wapo.st/2VTGKLC //➔ This is the smoking gun. Memorize.Every.Name.

“People tell me Jeff Clark is great, I should put him in. People want me to replace DOJ leadership,” President Donald Trump told acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen on a Dec. 27, 2020, phone call — suggesting, with typical Trumpian subtlety, that Rosen might soon find himself out of a job if he didn’t comply with Trump’s demands to “tell people that this was an illegal, corrupt election.”

The handwritten notes of the call, taken by the Justice Department’s acting No. 2 official, Richard P. Donoghue, and released recently by the House Oversight Committee, underscore the imperative of obtaining testimony from Clark about his efforts, in league with Trump, to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

No one who knew Jeffrey Bossert Clark — he was reported to be particularly insistent on having all three names on department filings in his role as assistant attorney general — took him for the kind of full-blown, conspiracy-chasing Trumpist who emerged in the aftermath of the 2020 election. The documents show Clark, among other things, demanding a classified intelligence briefing from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe about supposed evidence that a Dominion voting machine “accessed the Internet through a smart thermostat with a net connection trail leading back to China.”

On the other hand, no one took him for a potential attorney general of the United States.

Clark was an obscure attorney in private practice (at a major law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, but a non-equity partner not entitled to share in the firm’s profits) named to a relatively obscure position at the Justice Department, assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division; then, in the waning days of the administration, tasked to head the civil division as well. A graduate of Harvard College and Georgetown Law School, Clark was a conservative, yes, a member of the Federalist Society, but not, to all appearances, a die-hard Trump loyalist.

Then came the election, and with it, Clark’s remarkable new role as improbable presidential consigliere and energetic chaser-after of crackpot rumors of election fraud. Perhaps Clark, scouring the wildest reaches of the Internet, became a true believer in the losing cause of election fraud. Perhaps he was tempted by Trump’s dangling the attorney general job before him; ambition has a way of distorting judgment. Either way, he became, for a brief time, the most dangerous Trump administration official you never heard of.

Clark was connected with Trump through Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), a member of the House Freedom Caucus, opening a highly irregular backdoor channel for the president to go around more senior officials who were frustrating his efforts to use the Justice Department to contest the election results. Clark’s lawyer did not respond to requests for comment. In January, when reports of his activities first surfaced, Clark said that “all my official communications were consistent with law.”

Clark’s involvement emerged in the Dec. 27 phone call between Rosen and Trump. The next day, he proposed sending an outlandish letter to Georgia officials asserting — incorrectly — that Justice had “identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple states,” including Georgia, and urging a special legislative session. “I think we should get it out as soon as possible,” Clark urged Rosen and Donoghue. Responded Donoghue: “There is no chance that I would sign this letter or anything remotely like this.”

On Jan. 1, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows emailed Rosen about “allegations of signature match anomalies” in Fulton County, Ga. “Can you get Jeff Clark to engage on this issue immediately to determine if there is any truth to this allegation,” Meadows asked. Rosen to Donoghue: “Can you believe this? I am not going to respond.”

But Clark was off and running in pursuit of fraud. “I spoke to the source and am on with the guy who took the video right now,” Clark reported in a Jan. 2 email to Rosen under the subject line “Atlanta.”

All the while, Clark and Trump were discussing the plan to make him attorney general — foiled in part because Clark spilled the beans to Rosen, magnanimously offering him the chance to stay on as his No. 2. At which point Rosen secured an emergency Oval Office meeting Sunday, Jan 3, with Trump, Clark and other officials, and at which Trump was dissuaded from making the switch because of the mass resignations at Justice he was told would ensue.

People, this is not normal; it is not proper. The head of the civil division, acting or not, doesn’t jump on the phone to personally interview witnesses. He doesn’t do end runs around his boss — no less participate in a scheme to topple him — with the president.

Most pertinent, lawyers at the Justice Department have a single client: the United States. They represent the president in his role as president, not in his capacity as political candidate. The president has private counsel, lawyers paid by his campaign, not the taxpayers, to do that job. The Justice Department has a legitimate role in reviewing claims of election fraud, but it doesn’t exercise that authority at the express direction of an aggrieved candidate, even one who is the sitting president or that president’s underling.

All of which leads to the fundamental point: To understand how close the country came to having the election results overturned, to know whether this activity was merely bone-chilling or rises to the level of a criminal offense, it is important to secure Clark’s testimony — and it’s not entirely clear that’s going to happen. The Justice Department inspector general is looking into the goings-on at the department but may not be able to compel Clark’s testimony, and the same is true of the Senate Judiciary Committee, before which Rosen and Donoghue testified voluntarily. The House Oversight Committee, which has the documents, has ceded authority to the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, which has other matters piled on its plate.

The questions include: How did Clark connect with Perry, the congressman? Any other members of Congress? What conversations or meetings did Clark have with White House officials? When did he speak with the president, and what was said? Did the president give him any instructions about whether to tell Rosen about the conversations? (The Justice Department has waived any claims of executive privilege, so Clark cannot refuse to answer on these grounds.) What communications did he have on his private email, on his personal phone or through secure messaging systems? (These should be subpoenaed.) With whom did he discuss the allegations of election fraud — what Trump campaign lawyers or other representatives? How did he come to draft the letter to Georgia officials? Was this done on his government computer?

I could go on, but you get the point. Someone with subpoena power needs to get Jeffrey Clark under oath. The sooner the better.

🐣 RT @marceelias My team is suing to protect voting rights and ensure fair districts in 13 states.

Arizona
Arkansas
Florida
Georgia
Iowa
Kansas
Louisiana
Michigan
Montana
North Carolina
Pennsylvania
Texas
Wisconsin
We are not done yet.

💙 NPR, Fresh Air (3/4/2021): Trump’s Deal To End War In Afghanistan Leaves Biden With ‘A Terrible Situation’ http://n.pr/2XhAtJW The original date set for US departure was May 1. According to Barry McCaffrey today on @DeadlineWH, Trump’s deal was “a joke”

WaPo, Aaron Blake: The spectacular implosion of Mike Lindell http://wapo.st/3xKa3wQ

Lindell has pushed many false, baseless and crazy theories about voter fraud, but the symposium was billed as focusing on one in particular: “irrefutable” proof that hackers backed by China stole the election for Joe Biden. Lindell had the data, and he was going to show it to you over 72 hours. What’s more, his website promised to give $5 million to anybody who could “prove that Mike’s cyber data … is not valid.”

Well, someone has stepped forward to debunk the data — or at least the claims Lindell is making about it. And it’s none other than the cyberexpert Lindell himself hired.

Josh Merritt, also known as “Spider” or “Spyder” and who was hired by Lindell for his “red team,” told the Washington Times on Wednesday at the symposium that, effectively, Lindell has sold his adherents a bill of goods. Lindell claimed that intercepted network data obtained by other hackers, also known as “packet captures,” could be unencrypted to reveal evidence of vote-switching by the Chinese-backed hackers.

But Merritt has now said that’s just not true. ¤ “So our team said we’re not going to say that this is legitimate if we don’t have confidence in the information,” Merritt said. And it apparently turns out it was not legitimate. …

Perhaps an equally damning revelation Wednesday came in something else Merritt said. He confirmed the source of the cyber-data as Dennis Montgomery. It has been suspected that Montgomery was the source, given graphics similar to the ones Lindell has used have appeared on Montgomery’s website, but Merritt confirmed it. ¤ Why is that important? Because Montgomery has, to put it kindly, a spotty history with this kind of thing. … Current and former intelligence officials told PBS in 2014 that it was one of the most elaborate and dangerous hoaxes in U.S. history.

Kirk Wiebe, a former National Security Agency analyst who has pushed claims of voter fraud, became alienated by Lindell not producing the goods — it turned out because he didn’t actually have them, the Washington Times reports:

He said the scrolling text was likely meant to resemble what the packet captures would look like in the data set but were not actual packet captures, which are vital to prove the claims.

Several cyber experts at the symposium became frustrated late into the first day with not being provided with packet captures.

Mr. Merritt and Mr. Wiebe said the missing packet captures could be a result of either the format the data was sent in or they were withheld by the source of the information, Dennis L. Montgomery. …

But the data Mr. Montgomery sent contains no packet captures and cannot be used to validate Mr. Lindell’s marquee theory, which he planned to unveil at the symposium, said the two experts [Wiebe and Merritt].

Adding insult to injury, those two experts would seem to be in line for a hefty payday — $5 million! — for revealing that Lindell’s data isn’t valid. But Merritt said the offer is no longer on the table.

Update: Lindell’s lawyer has now said that the $5 million offer, which still appears on Lindell’s website, has not been rescinded.

⭕ 12 Aug 2021

🐣 📋 RT @BrennanCenter 70.9% of white voters cast ballots compared with only 58.4% of nonwhite voters — a disparity that will worsen with new restrictive voting laws.
⋙ BrennanCenter: Large Racial Turnout Gap Persisted in 2020 Election http://bit.ly/2UhJ3Ya
// voters by race

TPM: Five Points On Mike Lindell’s Dumpster Fire ‘Cyber Symposium’ Election Fraud Event http://bit.ly/3xHSfTa //➔ Lindell needs an intervention

1. Lindell’s own experts say his numbers are bunk
2. The supposed data is from the ‘Hammer and Scorecard’ grifter
3. Lindell was reminded of the $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit he faces in the middle of the symposium
4. Out of options, Lindell mostly resorted to beefing with the media
5. Faced with failure, they’re blaming ‘radical folks’ trying to infiltrate the convention

🐣 🌎 RT @Redistrict It’s Census data day! Here’s @CookPolitical’s breakdown of which party controls the redistricting process where. Our current outlook: a GOP gain of 0-7 House seats from redistricting alone, w/ a high initial degree of uncertainty. https://twitter.com/Redistrict/status/1425807691621019654?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: A QAnon-obsessed father thought his kids would destroy the world, so he killed them with a spear gun, FBI says http://wapo.st/2VLzUrh The children were 2yr and 10mos old; “By killing them, he allegedly said, ‘he was saving the world from monsters’”

An FBI agent interviewed Coleman, and he confessed to killing his children, Bannon said in her affidavit. Coleman said he had been enlightened by QAnon and the Illuminati, both baseless theories that claim secret elites are maliciously controlling national and world affairs from the shadows. He had received visions and signs revealing his wife “possessed serpent DNA,” which she passed on to their children, according to the affidavit.

By killing them, he allegedly said, “he was saving the world from monsters.” ¤ “He knew it was wrong, but it was the only course of action that would save the world,” Bannon wrote in her affidavit.

WaPo: What Rosen told U.S. senators: Trump applied ‘persistent’ pressure to get Justice to discredit election http://wapo.st/3CJLbJC

⭕ 11 Aug 2021

💽 RawStory: ‘Terrible for our country!’ Mike Lindell throws seven-minute tantrum against judge who ruled against him in Dominion case http://bit.ly/3xA9CFD

WaPo: Republicans risk becoming face of delta surge as key GOP governors oppose anti-covid measures http://wapo.st/3iEgw8x

🐣 RT @RonFilipkowski MAGAs reporting from Lindell’s big reveal today seem like they are pretty bummed out that what was promised isn’t being delivered. “Lot of information, not a lot of evidence.. kind of a nothing-burger.” 💽 https://twitter.com/RonFilipkowski/status/1425491724189765632?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @dutytowarn Science is factual. Math is immutable. Donald Trump is a criminal, gangster and fraud. Mike Flynn is a traitor. Mike Pence is pathetic. Fox News is NOT news. Putin is an enemy. Ashli Babbitt was a domestic terrorist. DeSantis is genocidal. Lindell is loco. DeJoy deserves deJail.

🐣 RT @normative You will be shocked to learn that PillowGuy’s “Absolute Proof” doesn’t exist, according to his own cybersecurity experts. The promised “pcaps” don’t exist; they had garbage data provided by a notorious serial scam artist. Who could have predicted?
⋙ WashTimes: Cyber expert says his team can’t prove Mike Lindell’s claims that China hacked election http://bit.ly/37BbPGa
// this is a rw publication (~btwn WashEx and NewsMax)

Newsweek: ‘This Is a Mistake’: Steve Bannon Slams Mike Lindell’s Symposium for Not Proving Voter Fraud http://bit.ly/3jQxuje
// “You’ve laid a theory of the case that is very powerful, but in laying that case out, you’ve got to bring the receipts,” Bannon said.

🐣 📊 RT @USA_Polling Net Favourabilities:
Obama: +10%
Biden: +4%
DeSantis: -2%
Harris: -4%
Lindell: -4%
AOC: -8%
Schumer: -13%
Trump: -14%
Graham: -15%
Pelosi: -17%
McCarthy: -20%
McConnell: -39%
Cuomo: -48%
YouGov/Economist / August 10, 2021 / n=1500 / Online http://bit.ly/3jKq2pX

🐣 RT @JanNWolfe Someone at Mike Lindell’s “cyber-symposium” just broke the news to him that Dominion’s lawsuit is going forward. The event is being streamed, so we’re seeing him get irate in real time. He’s ranting, calling it “the worst decision a judge has made in the history of this country.”

🐣 RT @cnnbrk Defamation lawsuits from Dominion Voting Systems against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and the right-wing lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani will move forward toward a trial, a federal judge ruled
⋙ CNN: Judge allows defamation lawsuits against Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani and MyPillow CEO to go forward http://cnn.it/2VQcnWr

WSJ: McConnell Credits Biden for Infrastructure Breakthrough, Dismisses Trump Criticism http://on.wsj.com/3Ayt2fR “I think the president deserves a lot of credit for getting the Democrats open to reaching a bipartisan agreement on this bill” ~ McConnell
// But the Senate GOP leader doesn’t anticipate many more opportunities for bipartisan deals

NYT: Former U.S. attorney in Atlanta says Trump wanted to fire him for not backing election fraud claims. http://nyti.ms/2VP6KqU Byung J Pak told investigators Trump was unhappy Pak had investigated and not found evidence of voter fraud in Fulton County, Ga.

🐣 Trump has been trying to turn Ashli Babbitt, the woman shot as the mob tried to enter the chamber, into a martyr. ¤ Hitler did this with a man named Horst Wessel. A song was written in his honor which became the party anthem. ¤ #Insurrection ¤ #January6th

NBCNews: Feds warn of potential violence fueled by false election claims http://nbcnews.to/3s94vuQ
// DHS said it has seen an uptick in calls for violence sparked by groundless claims of fraud in the 2020 election and the alleged “reinstatement” of Trump.

🐣 My favorite moment of Mike Lindell’s #CyberSynposium was when their chief tech guy said the data from Ohio 2004-2005 was ‘gone,’ indicating to him that stealing elections wasn’t just done by Democrats (et tu, @KarlRove?) ¤ @BarbaraBoxer

⭕ 10 Aug 2021

RawStory/Salon, Chauncey Devega: Follow the money: It sure looks as if Jan. 6 was planned and funded by oligarchs in the shadows http://bit.ly/3iMHrPB
// Big Lie funders 💰

WaPo, Philip Bump: The con is winding down http://wapo.st/3xDOD4K Is MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell the conman or the mark?

Lindell, who has claimed for months and months that he had definitive proof that the 2020 presidential election was stolen by China, pledged to release that information at a “cyber symposium” that is underway in South Dakota. According to Lindell, someone captured Internet traffic in the days after the election that shows how votes were shifted away from Donald Trump and to President Biden. Instead of simply presenting this evidence to the public, he withheld it, offering $5 million to anyone who can prove that the information isn’t legitimate.

[T]his seems very much like a guy who’s primed to believe fairly far-flung excuses for why bad things happen. The kind of guy who, when told that the data will be ready in a month, waits patiently for the month to pass. Maybe he’s something more sinister, engaged in an effort to willfully delude America, but observing him over time makes it seem more like he’s the mark than the hustler.

NYT: Biden Nominates Damian Williams as U.S. Attorney in Manhattan http://nyti.ms/3xG8Wyi “If confirmed, Damian Williams would be the first Black man to lead one of the most powerful prosecutor’s offices in the country” ~ the Southern District of New York (SDNY)
// The selection is part of a slate of nominations for top law enforcement posts in the country, including for three offices that tend to investigate the Justice Department’s most prominent cases.

WaPo Editorial: Putin is destroying what is left of Russian civil society http://wapo.st/3iCKMR7 A Moscow court has ruled that Alexei Navalny’s organizations are “extremist, … effectively criminaliz[ing] one of the country’s few remaining independent political movements.”

DailyBeast, Justin Baragona: MyPillow Guy Frantically Vows to ‘Stay Up Here’ for 72 Hours Straight: ‘There’s No Breaks!’ http://bit.ly/37CZLE8
// The pro-Trump pillow magnate’s latest event meant to provide evidence for his election lies has been nothing short of a total shitshow.

🐣 RT @dutytowarn Mike Lindell is talking nonstop for hours in a disorganized manic rant. “There’s no breaks! … You guys can go eat. That’s fine, but I ain’t eating! I’m staying up here for 72 hours…”
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar This Mike Lindell “Cyber Symposium” … might be the worst political event I’ve ever seen? He’s just ranting and raving endlessly 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1425140025700847620?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @IMBaaaaack4 I’m gonna say it. Mike Lindell’s symposium is a train wreck. Why the fuck wouldn’t he use notes? He’s just rambling like last time (when he introduced http://Frankspeech.com) and he can barely finish a sentence. I’m extremely disappointed. So much for that!

🧵 RT @ZTPetrizzo I’m in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, at MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s big event! So far, no evidence! 📌 https://twitter.com/ZTPetrizzo/status/1425126928630038529?s=20

🐣 RT @SecretaryPete The bill that passed the Senate today makes some of the most meaningful investments in infrastructure we’ve ever seen in this country. 💽 https://twitter.com/SecretaryPete/status/1425272288128143367?s=20/photo/1

WaPo, Greg Sargent: The rebellion against pro-Trump, anti-mask GOP governors is gaining steam http://wapo.st/3s6WM0k

WaPo: Texas judge clears way for San Antonio to mandate masks in blow to Gov. Greg Abbott http://wapo.st/3s8hk8T

💙 🐣 RT @TheRickWilson 1/ Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea. ¤ Let’s review the bidding: the governors of two of the largest states are letting COVID burn because muh freedumb plays to an audience of a network owned by a crank Aussie billionaire. https://twitter.com/TheRickWilson/status/1425054985239339072?s=20

⭕ 9 Aug 2021

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind A frightening and necessary read, by @JaneMayerNYer: Arizona Sos Katie Hobbs warned, “It’s dangerous. It’s feeding the kind of misinformation that led to the January 6th insurrection… I think they’re laying the groundwork to steal the 2024 elections.”
⋙ NewYorker, Jane Mayer: The Big Money Behind the Big Lie http://bit.ly/37vY0Zt
// 8/2/2021; Donald Trump’s attacks on democracy are being promoted by rich and powerful conservative groups that are determined to win at all costs.

NYT, Paul Krugman: Climate Denial, Covid Denial and the Right’s Descent http://nyti.ms/3yCMUOf “it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the paranoid, anti-rational streak in American politics isn’t as bad as we thought; it’s much, much worse”

Before the right embraced Covid denial, there was climate denial. Many of the attitudes that have characterized the right-wing response to the coronavirus pandemic — refusal to acknowledge facts, accusations that scientists are part of a vast liberal conspiracy, refusal to address the crisis — were foreshadowed in the climate debate.

Yet from the response to Covid-19 among Republican officials — especially the opposition to lifesaving vaccines — it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the paranoid, anti-rational streak in American politics isn’t as bad as we thought; it’s much, much worse.

However, while there are important similarities between the right’s response to climate change and its response to Covid-19, there are also some important differences. The pandemic has opened frontiers in destructive irrationality.

You see, while climate denial was intellectually irresponsible and morally indefensible, it also made a kind of narrow-minded sense. ¤ For one thing, warnings about climate change always involved the long run, making it easy for denialists to claim that short-run fluctuations refuted the whole concept: “See, it’s cold today, so global warming is a hoax!” This kind of evasion has gotten harder lately, now that we’re having what were supposed to be once-in-100-years fires and floods every couple of years. But it helped confuse the issue. …

How did that happen? I’d tell the story this way: America’s rapid vaccination pace during the spring was very good news for the nation — but it was also a success story for the Biden administration. So influential conservatives, for whom owning the libs is always an overriding goal, began throwing up roadblocks to the vaccination program.

This had far-reaching consequences. As I’ve written before, the modern G.O.P. is more like an authoritarian political cult than a normal political party, so vaccine obstruction — not necessarily denunciation of the vaccines themselves, but opposition to any effort to get shots into people’s arms — became a loyalty test, a position you took to prove yourself a loyal Trumpist Republican.

Presumably, the politicians who made this calculation had no idea that reality would strike back this hard and this fast — that Florida would so quickly find itself with almost nine times New York’s rate of hospitalizations, that cities in Texas would find themselves virtually out of I.C.U. beds. But it’s almost impossible for them to change course. If Ron DeSantis were to admit the deadliness of his Covid mistakes, his political ambitions would be over.

So Covid denial has turned out to be even worse than climate denial. We’ve gone from cynical catering to corporate interests to aggressive, performative anti-rationality. And the right’s descent continues, with no bottom in sight.

NBCNews: 6 unvaccinated Florida church members die of Covid within 10 days, pastor says http://nbcnews.to/3s4dHk1
// None of the victims were vaccinated, and four were healthy and under the age of 35, according to the pastor at Impact Church in Jacksonville.

WaPo: Judge asks why Capitol rioters are paying just $1.5 million for attack, while U.S. taxpayers will pay more than $500 million http://wapo.st/3lMkcXG
// Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell of Washington

‼️ 🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote WOW. Superseding indictments including conspiracy to aid and abet persons known AND unknown to obstruct electoral college verification (among other charges). Question: is it more likely they aided and abetted other insurrectionists, or bigger fish? [Indictments:] [pdf] http://bit.ly/3jBscYZ 41p
// leaders of the Oath Keepers, Eg Thomas Caldwell, Jessica Watkins, 15 others

WaPo, Greg Sargent: Shocking new Trump-DOJ revelations should shape the Jan. 6 investigation http://wapo.st/3xtJRqt “[T]hese revelations go to the core of Trump’s true intent”

🐣 RT @Msdesignerlady In 1923 Adolf Hitler attempted a failed coup, he went unpunished, then 10 years later he gained power. ¤ tRump refers to Hitler’s handbook. ¤ Seditionists must be held accountable, what happened on Jan. 6th was a dress rehearsal. ¤ #SeditionHasConsequences
// 8/7/2021
💙 ⋙ 🐣 So too with Russia 🔆 ‼️ ⋙ WaPo, Vladimir Kara-Murza (2017): Putin’s dark cult of the secret police http://wapo.st/3vJs8dr (Kara-Murza is a Russian dissident; this 2017 article not only proved prophetic for Russia but offers warnings the United States post-Jan 6) Text Block: ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1424702323167727623?s=20/photo/1

“The failure to condemn and eliminate the vestiges of the KGB in 1990s Russia is a textbook example of why it is important for post-totalitarian (or post-authoritarian) governments to fully face up to — and deal with — the past. Those who successfully opposed a full reckoning with the legacy of Soviet terror in Russia cited the alleged unwillingness of society to conduct “witch hunts.” They were warned by the most far-sighted of democrats (such as Galina Starovoitova and Vladimir Bukovsky) that “the witches will come back to hunt us.” And so they did — and continue today. A democratic post-Putin government in Russia must make every effort to fully come to terms with past crimes committed on behalf of the state — and to make an official celebration of the founding of the Cheka in Russia as unthinkable as a celebration of the founding of the Gestapo or Stasi would be in today’s Germany.”

MSN/ABCNews: Trump sees limits to his GOP sway as infrastructure advances: The Note http://bit.ly/3s3xO1J “Former President Donald Trump is warning his party to hold out, yet key GOP lawmakers either are not listening or do not care”

⭕ 8 Aug 2021

WaPo, Ruth Marcus: Trump’s coup attempt grows even more worrisome as new details emerge http://wapo.st/37sHsBD “The drip-drip-drip evolution of this story has served to mask how serious the threat was and how close it came to fruition”

WaPo: ‘Goldilocks virus’: Delta vanquishes all variant rivals as scientists race to understand its tricks http://wapo.st/3yzXw0f “The variant battles of 2021 are part of a longer war, one that is far from over”

Epidemiologists had hoped getting 70 or 80 percent of the population vaccinated, in combination with immunity from natural infections, would bring the virus under control. But a more contagious virus means the vaccination target has to be much higher, perhaps in the range of 90 percent.

Globally, that could take years. In the United States, the target may be impossible to reach anytime soon given the hardened vaccine resistance in a sizable fraction of the country, the fact that children under 12 remain ineligible and the persistent circulation of disinformation about vaccines and the pandemic.

⭕ 7 Aug 2021

NYT: For G.O.P., Infrastructure Bill Is a Chance to Inch Away from Trump http://nyti.ms/3AnNU9o “Even Mr. McConnell, who helped to orchestrate his two impeachment acquittals, now appears ready to buck the former president and embrace the infrastructure package”
// The former president’s efforts to bring down the bipartisan deal fell mostly on deaf ears among Republicans, signaling his waning influence on Capitol Hill. Can it last?

⭕ 6 Aug 2021

DailyBeast, Tim Lawrence: Sturgis Rally Death Cult Pits Nurses Against Panicked Docs http://bit.ly/2VFhI2b
// Last year was widely derided as a disaster. But health-care workers here are far from united on the eve of this year’s rally, which is fueled by a tradition of local bloodlust.

WaPo: Men from New Jersey and Washington state are first to plead guilty to assaulting police in Jan. 6 Capitol riot http://wapo.st/3CpOBRz “The agreements … set potential benchmarks for at least 165 defendants charged with assaulting or impeding officers”
// Scott K. Fairlamb and Devlyn D. Thompson face what they acknowledged in plea agreements could be three to five years in prison under sentencing guidelines.

💙 💽 CNN: CNN reporter to Mike Lindell: You have ‘proof of nothing’ http://cnn.it/2VzK3Yb
// interview

WaPo, Philip Bump: The most dangerous scam in American history http://wapo.st/2VzYhbk
// Mike Lindell’s deluded and well-financed false claims about the 2020 election are the sort of thing that led to Jan. 6.

WaPo: Sturgis Motorcycle Rally revs up, drawing thousands and heightening delta superspreader fears http://wapo.st/3lDcm2D

WaPo, Dana Milbank: We can’t let the terrorists rewrite the history of Jan. 6 http://wapo.st/3yx60Ft “In the retelling of Jan. 6, we see an echo of Lost Cause mythology”

HullaBaLoo, Digby: The coup attempt was much more serious than we knew http://bit.ly/3yyh9pu “Trump wanted the DOJ to back his Big Lie despite both Barr and Rosen telling him there was no fraud”

🐣 RT @tribelaw 56 years ago today, on August 6, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act. Rarely has a more important piece of legislation become law. We should celebrate it by carving voting rights out of the filibuster.

🐣 RT @BarackObama The Voting Rights Act, signed into law 56 years ago today, was a monumental piece of legislation. But with the Supreme Court and state legislatures making it harder to cast a ballot, we can’t take voting rights for granted. 📌 https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/1423690344798035972?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @BarackObama Congress needs to summon the same courage we saw a half century ago when the Voting Rights Act was passed and guarantee every American a voice and a vote.

⭕ 5 Aug 2021

CNN: MyPillow magnate Mike Lindell’s latest election conspiracy theory is his most bizarre yet http://cnn.it/3AjZsuy “Since Trump’s loss last fall, Lindell has been a superspreader of election misinformation”

Since the presidential election, Christina Jensen says she’s been stopped on the street several times by acquaintances who wanted to share troubling news: hackers from Beijing had switched nearly 24,000 votes for Donald Trump in their rural, GOP-leaning Wisconsin county. ¤ Jensen, the Clark County clerk and a Republican herself, has patiently explained that the local election computer system isn’t connected to the internet — and the county has less than 17,000 registered voters overall.

His latest and most operatic theory involves a sweeping conspiracy in which hackers from China and other foreign countries broke into elections office computer systems around the country to reduce the number of votes for Trump. The claim is supported, he says, by “heroes” who supposedly captured data proving the hacking and then leaked it to Lindell in January.

WaPo: ‘It was riot and mayhem’: Biden, honoring police, warns against distorting Capitol assault http://wapo.st/3rVW5qB

“It wasn’t dissent. It wasn’t debate. It wasn’t democracy,” Biden said during a somber ceremony in the Rose Garden. “It was insurrection. It was riot and mayhem. It was radical and chaotic, and it was unconstitutional. Maybe most important, it was fundamentally un-American.”

As Congress was certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election that day, a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump, many coming directly from a rally where Trump had urged them to “fight like hell,” stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop the process.

“The tragedy of that day deserves the truth above all else,” the president said. “We cannot allow history to be rewritten. We cannot allow the heroism of these officers to be forgotten. We have to understand what happened — the honest and unvarnished truth. We have to face it. That’s what great nations do.”

The violence and menace of the Jan. 6 assault, now being investigated by a special House committee, have become increasingly clear as more information and videos have emerged. Lawmakers were forced into hiding, and rioters rampaged through the building, threatening to kill Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

One Capitol Police officer, Brian D. Sicknick, died after confronting the rioters, and four other officers who were at the Capitol that day have died by suicide in the days and months since.

Trump and his supporters, meanwhile, have become more outspoken in portraying the riot as a largely peaceful gathering of supporters, justifiably upset by the election, who have been unfairly targeted by Democrats and the media. They have even started to blame Pelosi for the violence, saying it was her responsibility to protect the Capitol.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the newly selected chair of the House GOP, recently said Pelosi “bears responsibility” for the violence, describing her as “an authoritarian who has broken the people’s house.”

Ashli Babbitt, a rioter and Trump supporter who was killed while storming the Capitol, has increasingly been transformed into a martyr among the former president’s supporters. Babbitt was shot as she attempted to jump through a door that led to the House chamber as police were trying to hold the chamber and defend those in it against the mob.

At a rally last month in Florida, Trump called the shooting “a terrible thing” and said “there was no reason for it.”

“The fallen, in my view, are casualties of a struggle literally for the soul of America,” Biden said. “A struggle that they didn’t start, a struggle we didn’t seek, and a struggle that, by the grace of God, we’ll win.”

💙 Slate, Richard Hasen: Trump Is Planning a Much More Respectable Coup Next Time http://bit.ly/2VBiVHU

WaPo: Merrick Garland: It is time for Congress to act again to protect the right to vote http://wapo.st/2VxaltY

Uprising, Hunter Walker: Exclusive: Going Down The ‘Big Lie’ Rabbit Hole With Former President Trump http://bit.ly/3yz6XgM “the workings of a complex effort to spread false election narratives”
// The Uprising obtained the former president’s purported evidence of election fraud. Trump’s statement reveals the origins of his conspiracy theories and how key conservative allies fuel them.

Politico: Jan. 6 select panel takes over House probe of Trump DOJ http://politi.co/3Cpcmt8
// The Oversight Committee’s chair said in a statement that “we look forward to the Select Committee fully exposing the former president’s unconstitutional attacks on our democracy.”

WaPo: Here’s a roadmap for the Justice Department to follow in investigating Trump http://wapo.st/3ClgKcA by Lawrence Tribe, Barbara McQuade and Joyce White Vance
// The Oversight Committee’s chair said in a statement that “we look forward to the Select Committee fully exposing the former president’s unconstitutional attacks on our democracy.”

⏳ JustSecurity: Mark Meadows Timeline: The Chief of Staff and Schemes to Overturn 2020 Election http://bit.ly/3rUWd9V

⭕ 4 Aug 2021

💽 MSNBC, Maddow: Trump DOJ official prepped to ask GOP in six states to void Biden win: Krishnamoorthi http://on.msnbc.com/3rXM6kx
// Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi discusses how close Donald Trump came to deploying Justice Department appointees to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and reveals that Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark drafted letters to six states that Joe Biden won, encouraging Republicans to overturn Biden’s win. 

CNN: Justice official accused Trump of using DOJ to push election fraud claims in draft resignation letter http://cnn.it/3yqKimC
// Patrick Hovakimian, chief of staff to then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, wrote the resignation letter January 3 in anticipation that Rosen would be fired

🐣 RT @LuluLemew “It is one thing to note how the US appears to be following the template for a slide into autocracy. It is another to quantify it.” ¤ Welp… ¤ Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Project at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden has quantified it … and it’s not good. 📌 https://twitter.com/LuluLemew/status/1423116707007287298?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 RT @LuluLemew “…how far and fast the U.S. has fallen. It adds to the body of evidence that Republicans have drifted toward authoritarianism, while their economic policies were always far to the right. The data only goes up to 2018, and does not represent the events of 2020” ¤ American Fascism[:] https://twitter.com/LuluLemew/status/1423116711696506882?s=20/photo/1
💙📔 V-Dem: Varieties of Democracy Report: Autocratization Turns Viral (2021) http://bit.ly/3irpea9
// University of Gothenburg, Sweden; “Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) produces the largest global dataset on democracy with almost 30 million data points for 202 countries from 1789 to 2020. Involving over 3,500 scholars and other country experts, V-Dem measures hundreds of different attributes of democracy. V-Dem enables new ways to study the nature, causes, and consequences of democracy embracing its multiple meanings.”

🐣 RT @allinwithchris .@chrislhayes: “The document we learned about yesterday should live in infamy in American history as a truly villainous text. And if the acting AG at the time had signed that document, it would have likely thrown the U.S. into the worst constitutional crisis since the Civil War.” 💽 https://twitter.com/allinwithchris/status/1423072954179538944?s=20/photo/1

Law&Crime: Seeking Immunity From Suit Over Jan. 6th Attack, Rep. Mo Brooks Tells Judge He Was Simply ‘Cooperating’ with the ‘White House’ http://bit.ly/3xpu1wM

WaPo, Max Boot: Yes, Trump tried to stage a coup. By denying it, the right is laying the groundwork for another one. http://wapo.st/2Vm07ws

WaPo, Philip Bump: A newly released letter tells us more about Trump’s last-ditch push to steal the election http://wapo.st/3imbWeX
// The insurrection before the insurrection

⭕ 3 Aug 2021

🐣 RT @C_C_Krebs Complete & utter madness. Rosen & Donoghue rightly rejected Clark’s anti-democratic plot. One more reminder of the former president’s insane agenda to overturn a free & fair election. We must learn. The threat remains. Those that don’t call this out for what it is are complicit.
⋙ 🐣≣ RT @alex_mallin Here’s the draft letter Jeffrey Clark wanted acting AG Rosen and Richard Donoghue to sign off on to send to officials in Georgia urging them to halt certification of Joe Biden’s election win. Rosen and Donoghue refused. https://abcn.ws/3xgKYtq https://twitter.com/alex_mallin/status/1422728769584906242?s=20/photo/1-4

⭕ 2 Aug 2021

NewYorker, Jane Mayer: The Big Money Behind the Big Lie http://bit.ly/37vY0Zt
// Donald Trump’s attacks on democracy are being promoted by rich and powerful conservative groups that are determined to win at all costs.

💙 🧵 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 1/ ¤ Most people have not yet grasped the importance of July 30 ¤ That date is when the TRAJECTORY changed on Trump path to prison ¤ And more importantly, it is a major milestone in how eventually the nation will be CURED of Trumpism, magamadness & #Cult45 📌 https://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/1422147669636665347?s=20

⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 2/
We who are not part of Trump cult, have seen it all happening and knew Trump is a serial con artist, running a scam, there was no voter fraud, he tried to stage a coup d’etat to hold onto power etc. ¤ WE KNOW THIS. But there was plausible deniability
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 3/
Up to July 29, 2021, the Trump team & those who side with him, could cling to plausible deniability strategy
They could claim that Trump HIMSELF did not launch the attack. This could in court be claimed as a victim defense. The rioters misunderstood Trump
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 4/
Do not ARGUE this point with me. WE KNOW what is the truth. I am saying what THEIR SIDE could claim up to 29 July, 2021, on Fox, and by all corrupt defenders of Trump like Qevin McCarthy, Gym Jordan, Statutory Gaetz, Boebert = Gohmert, & Marjorie Three Toes
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 5/
That defense crumbled on Friday. Two TOPMOST attorneys at Department of Justice, the Acting Attorney General of the United States, and his immediate deputy AG, heard the President identify planners of a coup d’etat, IN CONGRESS, and that THERE WAS NO fraud
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 6/
Trump and Republicans cannot claim this is a partisan witch hunt, when a Republican President confesses to HIS appointed (acting) Attorney General, fellow Republican, that three Republican members of Congress are with him on a coup d’etat IN DECEMBER
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 7/
So Trump, a Republican President, confesses this to a Republican AG, while the Republican is the President, and the Republicans still control the Senate. It takes out ‘partisan’ in the claim of witch hunt. Because this happened WHILE HE WAS PRESIDENT
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 8/
Secondly. The witches. Are NAMED. We know there are more in Congress who participated in this plot to overturn the election, deny the vote of 81 million voters & make Trump King. Now we have a smoking gun, identifying three IN CONGRESS who plotted with him
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 9/
These 3 will be known as traitors, together with Trump, in history books:
● Corrupt R. Congressman House Rep Jim ‘Gym’ Jordan (OH)
● Corrupt R. Congressman House Rep Scott Perry (PA)
● Corrupt R. Congressman Senator Ron Johnson (WI)
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 10/
The correct course of action, for any Congressman who had sworn his oath to defend the Constitution, was at the FIRST mention of a coup, to report the other traitors to the FBI. There would have been 1,000 FBI agents in ambush at the Capitol with handcuffs
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 11/
Now we know that Trump was not a ‘victim’ of a mob that suddenly went berzerk, and rioted, against his will. Because we have CONTEMPORANEOUS notes from the phone call on 27 December, when Trump said, he KNEW there was no fraud, but he would take care of it
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 12/
This CHANGES THE TRAJECTORY
Now it was not a spontaneous riot on 6 January. It was a PLANNED attack from AT LEAST 27 December. Not only organized by Trump ‘supporters’ like Roger Stone & Giuliani, or Moron Son number 1, and the My Pillow Guy ¤ TRUMP KNEW
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 13/
We – you and I – knew Trump was planning this. but Fox could claim that Trump was innocent, and the riot went berzerk, and Trump is innocent.
That defense died 30 July. Trump KNEW there is no voter fraud, but planned an insurrection. We have smoking gun
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 14/
It is a LONG ROAD ahead, to take Trump to prison for January 6. This is a Mafia trial: the boss ALWAYS is tried last
● First rioters
● Then organizers
● Then planners
● Last Trump
Have patience, this takes YEARS. But we have a MAJOR change now, July 30, 2021
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 15/
Because the evidence will show, this was a PLANNED insurrection, terrorist attack and attempted coup d’etat, those who planned it will do LIFE SENTENCES without parole. Some who are first to flip, may do ‘only’ decades in prison
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 16/
Four elected Republicans conspired to attack America, knowing there is no fraud, but using a fake fraud claim as their excuse to try to overturn an election.
They will among other things face 14th Amendment punishment of never running for office again
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 17/
At some point, what remains of GOP, will denounce the traitors. Romney & Liz Cheney are in Congress leading that movement, supported by Republicans outside of Congress like Ana Navarro & John Kasich. ¤ This moment, July 30, is the threshold
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 18/
Republicans will have to take a side, are they with the seditionists Gym Jordan, Ron Johnson & Scott Perry, or do they stand with America & the Constitution. This is a watershed moment. Once GOP has seen the light, they will also extinguish Maga & Trumpism
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 19/
The internal civil war will likely rage inside GOP for next 3 years (past 2024 election loss) when EARLIEST timing of the purge of Trumpists & maga can start
MORE LIKELY timing is after 2028 election loss. GOP is now sick with #cult45 & damaging itself
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen Smoking Gun Thread 20/
Understand the relevance of Friday 30 July 2021. It was a CHANGE OF TRAJECTORY for not just Trump, but for Trumpism. We caught 3 Republican traitors. They will face justice & will spend life in prison (first to flip might get out after some decades)
⋙ 🐣 RT @tomishonen PS to everybody in this Thread ¤ THANK YOU. In just 8 hours you have helped make this one of my most-widely spread Threads, which has been read by over 210,000 people. That is more than twice my TOTAL reach. Thank you. You helped YOUR Tweeps read this and understand it.

🧵 RT @paulkrugman I’ve been doing some number-crunching on Florida, which has become the poster child for red-state Covid disaster; not only does it top the nation in hospitalizations per capita, but it’s far bigger than the other disaster states 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1422177108298719233?s=20/photo/1

Bloomberg: Trump’s GDP Growth Was the Worst Since the Great Depression http://bloom.bg/3rNwujD
// The pandemic was partly to blame, and there are some measures that make his record look better. But it was not a stellar performance

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: The most damning evidence against Trump http://wapo.st/3ig3XzU Trump’s Dec 27 phone call with Acting AG Jeffrey Rosen and Deputy AG Richard Donoghue settles it ~ or should
// cites Lawrence Tribe, Daniel Goldman, Norman Eisen

⭕ 1 Aug 2021

⭕ 31 Jul 2021

NYT: Already Distorting Jan. 6, G.O.P. Now Concocts Entire Counternarrative http://nyti.ms/2WHTDbz
// In the Republicans’ disinformation campaign, the arrested Capitol rioters are political prisoners and Speaker Nancy Pelosi is to blame for the attack.

WaPo, Dan Balz: ‘Leave the rest to me’: New DOJ memos show there’s more to learn about Trump and Jan. 6 http://wapo.st/3rTrnOY “The latest disclosures offer a reminder that it was the president himself who was doing the most to corrupt the election results”

For months, Trump has been on a political jihad. It began the night of the election and has never ended. The latest disclosures offer a reminder that it was the president himself who was doing the most to corrupt the election results. The House select committee and other investigations are one way to begin to hold him more accountable.

These revelations are from notes kept by then-acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue, top aide to then-acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen, including a conversation the two men had with Trump on Dec. 27. The documents were provided by the Justice Department to Congress and released publicly on Friday.

Post journalists Devlin Barrett and Josh Dawsey had reported on Wednesday the existence of the notes, describing Trump as in regular, almost daily, contact with DOJ officials as he pressed them to investigate and prove various (false) claims of election irregularities. In that Dec. 27 conversation, Trump was told that the information he had about fraud claims was not accurate. Trump replied, according to the notes: “You guys may not be following the Internet the way I do.”

Trump was told further that the department would not and could not simply “snap its fingers” and change the outcome of the election. Trump said he understood but nonetheless wanted the department to “just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. congressmen,” according to Donoghue’s summary of the conversation.

Trump’s goal was to delay or disrupt the final stage in the post-election vote-counting process. That last step was to take place on Jan. 6 before a joint session of Congress, with Vice President Mike Pence presiding. That was the day Congress was to affirm the electoral college vote count, sealing the victory of Joe Biden and closing the last door on the defeated incumbent.

In the weeks after the election, Trump had pressured Rosen’s predecessor, William P. Barr, who eventually said publicly the department had investigated various allegations and found no evidence of fraud big enough to change the election results (and has since been reported to say it was all a crock). Barr resigned as attorney general just before Christmas, leaving the department in the hands of Rosen and Donoghue. …

The value of a full investigation into what happened leading up to and including Jan. 6 is to tell the story whole. It is a story that begins not with the marauders who overwhelmed law enforcement officials at the Capitol. It begins long before and with Donald Trump. If it were not for him and what he did to try to subvert the election, it is doubtful the Capitol would have needed defending on Jan. 6.

NYT Editorial: Russia’s New Form of Organized Crime Is Menacing the World http://nyti.ms/ 3zYEL7k

⭕ 30 Jul 2021

WaPo: Congress should get Trump’s tax returns, Biden Justice Department says http://wapo.st/3zVZ5WW

WaPo: It’s a good thing Republican election-stealers are so incompetent http://wapo.st/3ye8uIU “The Arizona election audit, a kind of Renaissance fair for deranged conspiracy theorists and Donald Trump dead-enders, has finally wound down its work … ”

The Arizona election audit, a kind of Renaissance fair for deranged conspiracy theorists and Donald Trump dead-enders, has finally wound down its work, returning nearly 2.1 million ballots to county officials after they were massaged, squinted at, passed under UV lights and examined for traces of bamboo to see if they might have come from Asia (I kid you not). We await the final report, which may at last reveal that it was aliens from the planet Xerpdorp, working with George Soros and D.B. Cooper, who stole the state’s election.

The Maricopa County audit, which Trump has insisted all along would show that he really won the state, has been such a farce that even many Arizona Republicans have tried to distance themselves from it. GOP state senators are feuding with one another over whose fault it is; the governor says, “I don’t think we should spend any more time thinking about 2020”; and the whole thing has proved to be a gigantic embarrassment.

To understand just how much the Republican Party has changed, it’s instructive to think back to the last contested election before 2020, in 2000. When the results in Florida were thrown into uncertainty, the GOP mobilized its smartest and most ruthless operatives to make sure the outcome was secured in George W. Bush’s favor. The enterprise was run by the cool and efficient James Baker, who had been a Cabinet secretary and chief of staff to two presidents.

Baker assembled a team of the party’s best lawyers, including three future Supreme Court justices — John G. Roberts Jr., Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — to fight the battle in state and federal courts. There was no “release the Kraken” courtroom buffoonery and no Four Seasons Total Landscaping-style face plants. The drama may have been chaotic, but inside the chaos was a highly competent group of Republican professionals who navigated it all the way to the Supreme Court, where five Republican justices handed the victory to Bush. ¤ Now imagine if people like them — rather than Rudolph W. Giuliani, a bunch of QAnon believers and the MyPillow guy — were the ones trying to steal elections today.

So it would be wrong to say that we have nothing to worry about. This is only one part of a broader picture, which is that nearly everyone in the Republican Party has committed themselves to the idea that our election system must be altered so that it’s almost impossible for them to lose. They have put together a far-reaching and comprehensive effort that includes extreme gerrymandering; voter suppression measures to make it as difficult and cumbersome as possible for certain people to make it to the polls in the first place; and, perhaps most disturbingly, the creation of new avenues for state-level Republicans, especially GOP-dominated legislatures, to seize control of election administration and create the means for them to keep a thumb on the scale from beginning to end.

That’s where the real, grave danger lies. It has to be fought via the courts, Congress (which ought to pass the For the People Act, as unlikely as that seems right now) and the Justice Department, as well as ground organizing to get as many people as possible to the polls no matter the impediments Republicans impose. ¤ But when Democrats watch a farce like the Arizona audit play itself out, they ought to say a word of thanks. If these people knew what they were doing, it could be even worse.

WaPo: Trump to acting AG, according to aide’s notes: ‘Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me’ http://wapo.st/3C8wBev

💙 📋 DOJ: Notes from phone call with Trump on 12/27/2020 http://bit.ly/3yer0AV
// pdf of notes document

💙 🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Trump Pressed Justice Dept. to Declare Election Results Corrupt, Notes Show http://nyti.ms/37aIC4A
// “Leave the rest to me” and to congressional allies, the former president is said to have told top law enforcement officials.

⭕ 29 Jul 2021

TheAtlantic, Anne Applebaum: Mike Lindell’s Plot to Destroy America http://bit.ly/3xfeH62
// In the time I spent with Mike Lindell, I came to learn that he is affable, devout, philanthropic—and a clear threat to the nation.

⭕ 28 Jul 2021

CNN: Subpoena fight looms over Trump as House committee plots extensive January 6 probe http://cnn.it/3y76Qsp

WaPo: Justice Dept: Republican Rep. Mo Brooks may be sued over Jan. 6 speech to Trump supporters http://wapo.st/3yds3kz

⭕ 27 Jul 2021

💙 🔄 🔆 This❗️⋙ House.gov: https://january6th.house.gov ¤ https://january6th.house.gov

🐣 RT @just_security #Jan6Clearinghouse update ¤ New Documents:
Department of Justice letters to former U.S. officials authorizing testimony to Congress without executive privilege
(section on government documents)
💙 🔄 ⋙⋙ JustSecurity: January 6 Clearinghouse ¤ Congressional Hearings, Government Documents, Court Cases, Academic Research http://bit.ly/
// 7/13/2021
⋙ 🐣 RT @ 2. Justice Dept Letters Authorizing Officials to Speak to Congress on Pres Trump’s Effort to Overturn Election
Sent to:
Jeffrey Rosen
Richard P Donoghue
Patrick Hovakimian
Byung Jin Pak
Bobby L Christine
Jeffrey B Clark
Direct link to letters: http://bit.ly/3zOmCbY
Sample 👇 https://twitter.com/just_security/status/1420081752744280066?s=20/photo/1-3

🐣 RT @rgoodlaw |@AndyMcCanse draws on his deep expertise in analyzing Justice Dept letters opening up former Trump officials to testify about #Jan6/2020 election. ¤ How DOJ position works well within existing framework. ¤ How it may implicate investigations/litigation.
🐣 RT @AndyMcCanse My @just_security analysis of the DOJ letter authorizing former Trump administration officials to provide “unrestricted testimony” in the congressional investigations of post-election machinations, and what it means for executive privilege doctrine.
💙 ⋙ JustSecurity, Andy Wright: Unpacking the DOJ Letters: No “Executive Privilege” for Trump-Era Witnesses on 2020 Election Machinations http://bit.ly/3j3OjqN

💙 WaPo: As Trump pushed for probes of 2020 election, he called Attorney General Rosen almost daily http://wapo.st/3rFJjMI DOJ has informed Rosen and others that Biden will “has decided that it would not be appropriate to assert executive privilege“ over these communications

President Donald Trump called his acting attorney general nearly every day at the end of last year to alert him to claims of voter fraud or alleged improper vote counts in the 2020 election, according to two people familiar with the conversations.

The personal pressure campaign, which has not been previously reported, involved repeated phone calls to acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen in which Trump raised various allegations he had heard about and asked what the Justice Department was doing about the issue. The people familiar with the conversations spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive legal and political issues that are not yet public.

Rosen told few people about the phone calls, even in his inner circle. But there are notes of some of the calls that were written by a top aide to Rosen, Richard Donoghue, who was present for some of the conversations, these people said.

Donoghue’s notes could be turned over to Congress in a matter of days, they added, if Trump does not file papers in court seeking to block such a handover. In addition, both Rosen and Donoghue could be questioned about the conversations by congressional committees examining Trump’s actions in the days after the election.

The Justice Department recently notified Rosen, Donoghue and others who were serving there during the end of Trump’s presidency that the agency would not seek to invoke executive privilege if they are asked about their contacts with the president during that period.

That posture — which the letter to Rosen calls a departure from normal agency practice — means that individuals who are questioned by Congress would not have to say the conversations with the president were off-limits. They would be able to share details that give a firsthand account of Trump’s frantic attempts to overturn the 2020 election and involve the Justice Department in that effort.

In May, Rosen pointedly told Congress he did not do many of the things Trump supporters had demanded.

“During my tenure, no special prosecutors were appointed, whether for election fraud or otherwise; no public statements were made questioning the election; no letters were sent to State officials seeking to overturn the election results; [and] no DOJ court actions or filings were submitted seeking to overturn election results,” Rosen testified.

The phone calls came in late 2020 and early 2021, when Trump and his supporters were furiously pressing for officials at all levels of the government to intercede in the usually routine process of certifying the election results — asking them to either launch new investigations, support unverified allegations of fraud or manipulation of vote counts, or otherwise throw up roadblocks to Democrat Joe Biden becoming president.

The calls began almost immediately after William P. Barr stepped down as attorney general in late December, and ended after the Jan. 6 insurrection at Congress, people familiar with them said.

Rosen was generally noncommittal, hearing the president out, while not promising to take any specific action in response, these people said. At times, they said, he would try to change the subject, but was usually unsuccessful. “Trump was absolutely obsessed about it,” one person with knowledge of the calls said.

Trump was not the only one at the White House reaching out to the Justice Department about dubious claims of election vote tampering. Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, at times forwarded public claims of potential voter fraud to Justice Department officials, which some officials found exasperating, according to previously released emails. Meadows’s defenders have said he was just letting the department know about possible instances of illegality.

The conversations also offer new clues into the president’s mind-set in early January, when he entertained a plan to replace Rosen with a different senior lawyer at the department — Jeffrey Clark — who was more amenable to pursuing Trump’s unfounded claims of voter fraud. That possibility nearly touched off a crisis at the highest levels of federal law enforcement, people familiar with the matter have previously said.

On Monday, Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer told Rosen in a letter: “You are authorized to provide information you learned while at the Department,” including “your knowledge of attempts to involve the Department in efforts to challenge or overturn the 2020 election results. This includes your knowledge of any such attempts by Department officials or by White House officials to engage in such efforts.” …

However, the letter continues, the “extraordinary events in this matter constitute exceptional circumstances warranting an accommodation to Congress in this case,” including lawmakers’ effort to determine “whether former President Trump sought to cause the Department to use its law enforcement and litigation authorities to advance his personal political interests with respect to the results of the 2020 presidential election.”

As a result, the letter said, President Biden “has decided that it would not be appropriate to assert executive privilege with respect to communications with former President Trump and his advisors and staff on matters related to the scope of the Committees’ proposed interviews, notwithstanding the view of former President Trump’s counsel that executive privilege should be asserted to prevent testimony regarding these communications.”

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote The DoJ says that Mo Brooks can’t be repped by them because his speech was a campaign activity, and further, if the court doesn’t dismiss based on that, they should dismiss it anyway unless Brooks can PROVE he didn’t instigate an attack on the capitol.

WaPo: Jan. 6 hearings open with visceral accounts of Trump supporters’ assault on police http://wapo.st/2TClDw8

⭕ 26 Jul 2021

WaPo Editorial: We have questions about Jan. 6. The new House committee can answer them3l05Y4Z. http://wapo.st/3l05Y4Z

WaPo, Bennie G Thompson: We have started investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Nothing will be off-limits. http://wapo.st/3x7rojg Thompson (D-MS) is chairman of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack

WaPo: Dems move to elevate Cheney on Jan. 6 committee, giving her prime speaking slot Tuesday http://wapo.st/3i62Qmw “Tuesday’s hearing will feature four police officers … who are expected to testify about their experiences of both physical and verbal abuse on Jan. 6”

Tuesday’s hearing will feature four police officers — two from the Capitol’s protection squad and two from D.C. police — who are expected to testify about their experiences of both physical and verbal abuse on Jan. 6, as they tried to protect the Capitol from a swelling horde of demonstrators determined to stop Congress’s efforts to certify the 2020 electoral college results and declare Joe Biden the next president.

WaPo Editorial: Arizona’s vote ‘audit’ is based on ignorance and dishonesty http://wapo.st/3y1TaPn “[T]he party’s goal is not to save U.S. democracy but to poison it, inspiring enough distrust in election systems to enable Republicans to pass unwarranted voting restrictions”

“We have 74,243 mail-in ballots where there is no clear record of them being sent,” declared Doug Logan, the pro-Trump conspiracy theorist who heads Cyber Ninjas, the Florida firm with no apparent expertise in election auditing whom the Arizona Senate Republican majority hired to examine Maricopa’s ballots. Election experts immediately pointed out that this number represents the in-person early ballots that voters cast, which Maricopa County counts in its submitted ballot tally. Similarly, Mr. Logan’s claim that 11,326 people suddenly showed up on the voting rolls after Election Day reflects provisional voters, whose ballots only counted if they demonstrate after Election Day that they were eligible. Instead of publicly revealing any of these alleged discrepancies, Mr. Logan should have consulted someone with a rudimentary knowledge of election procedures.

No one should seek to emulate this embarrassing spectacle, but Trump devotees in other swing states President Biden won, such as Georgia and Pennsylvania, are pushing to audit their ballot counts, too, despite the fact that intensive reviews have already found no reason to doubt the results. Pro-Trump activists in Georgia are suing to examine thousands of ballots with a high-powered microscope. They play up some 200 ballots that were initially double-counted in Atlanta’s Fulton County, despite the fact that there is no indication they ended up in the official results and that manual and machine recounts confirmed Mr. Biden’s victory.

Again and again, the “evidence” behind Mr. Trump’s lies fails to show fraud, yet Republican 2022 primary candidates in Georgia and elsewhere are embracing the fiction, while the party ridicules and sidelines those who continue to stand up for the truth. As the Arizona audit shows, the party’s goal is not to save U.S. democracy but to poison it, inspiring enough distrust in election systems to enable Republicans to pass unwarranted voting restrictions and to reject legitimate vote tallies that do not go their way. There is no more important priority than defending the nation’s democratic institutions from subversion and attack.

💙 LondonDaily: British Writer Pens The Best Description Of Trump I’ve Read http://bit.ly/3kWUZtk
⋙ Nate White “Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?”
// Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England wrote the following response:

A few things spring to mind. Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem. For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed. So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever. I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman. But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers. And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.

There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface. Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront. Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul. And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist. Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that. He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat. He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.

And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully. That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead. There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority – perhaps a third – of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think ‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:

• Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.

• You don’t need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss. After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum. God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid. He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart. In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish: ‘My God… what… have… I… created?’ If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.

⭕ 25 Jul 2021

🐣 RT @BillKristol “This has an obvious solution: shots in arms. But short of a federal mandate—or a patchwork of mandates by municipalities, hospitals, colleges and businesses—it is hard to see how enough Americans will be immunized to form a buttress against the virus.”
⋙ NYT: The Delta Variant Is the Symptom of a Bigger Threat: Vaccine Refusal http://nyti.ms/3iJrM2k
// There are almost as many reasons for vaccine hesitancy and refusal as there are unvaccinated Americans. But this problem, not the variant, lies at the root of rising infection rates.

🐣 RT @nicholaswu12 KINZINGER in statement: “Today, I was asked by the Speaker to serve on the House Select Committee to Investigate January 6th and I humbly accepted. I will work diligently to ensure we get to the truth and hold those responsible for the attack fully accountable.”

📋 WaPo, EJ Dionne: Republicans unleashed a deadly vaccine skepticism. Can they now contain it? http://wapo.st/2Vcpy34 As of July 6, the vaccination rate for counties that voted for Biden was 46.7%; for those that voted for Trump, it was 35% (Analysis by KFF of CDC data)

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that as of July 23, the 20 states with the highest vaccination rates (counting the District of Columbia as a state) all voted for President Biden.

A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of CDC data found that as of July 6, the average vaccination rate in counties that voted for Biden was 46.7 percent. In counties that voted for Donald Trump, the vaccination rate was 35 percent.

📋 UVirginia StatChat: Will Whites be a minority by 2040? http://bit.ly/3BGZspK The reports of the death of a White majority have been greatly exaggerated – due to mixing of ethnicity/race in “Hispanic” and growth of “Two or more races”; currently classification is not adequate
// 7/25/2017

📋 UVirginia StatChat: The Misleading Narrative of a Disappearing White Majority http://bit.ly/2TAByv5 According to current census categories, neither Barack Obama of Kamala Harris would be counted as Black; on top of that, “Hispanic” is a language group, not a race
// race categories race demographics

⭕ 24 Jul 2021

🐣🧵 💽 RT @atrupar Trump’s introduction at the “Rally to Protect Our Elections” in Phoenix is beyond parody 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1419068600200138763?s=20/photo/1
// Trump in Arizona

⭕ 23 Jul 2021

⭕ 22 Jul 2021

⭕ 21 Jul 2021

WaPo, Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman: How Kevin McCarthy is boosting the integrity of the Jan. 6 investigation http://wapo.st/3eH8Fon

📊 CBSNews: Still more to learn about January 6 attack, 67% of Americans say http://cbsn.ws/3roB1IU CBSNews/YouGov poll (7/14-17/2021; n=2238 adults)
What happened:
More to learn? Yes 72%, No 28% ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1417946730797146113?s=20/photo/1
What Happened? (Dem/GOP) ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1417947031004405761?s=20/photo/1
Trying to overturn election: 67/32%
Insurrection: 56/20%
Defending freedom: 31/55%
Patriotism: 29/51%

🐣 RT @nicholaswu12 Cheney: “at every opportunity, the minority leader has attempted to prevent the American people from understanding what happened” ¤ Says members Pelosi rejected didn’t take this seriously and one may be a “material witness”

🐣 RT @AndrewFineberg JUST NOW: @RepLizCheney again says @GOPLeader should not be Speaker if @HouseGOP takes the majority in 2022: “Any person who would be third in line to the presidency must demonstrate a commitment to the Constitution and…the rule of law and [McCarthy] has not done that.”

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman In other words, Barrack is charged for being a spy for the UAE.
⋙ 🐣 RT @DavidLaufmanLaw For the record, Tom Barrack was not charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act; he was charged under 18 U.S.C. section 951 for acting as “an agent of a foreign government” — a law typically used for espionage-like cases like Maria Butina
⋙⋙ DOJ: Former Advisor to Presidential Candidate Among Three Defendants Charged with Acting as Agents of a Foreign Government http://bit.ly/3eFGIx0
// Defendants Allegedly Acted and Conspired to Act at the Direction of Senior United Arab Emirates Officials to Influence a Presidential Campaign, Public Opinion and the U.S. Government

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Kevin McCarthy says that Republicans will now form their own team… to investigate… the insurrection… that members of their own party helped incite.

🐣 RT @harrylitman Politically, McCarthy’s move to take his ball and go home is a tricky, and perhaps forced, strategy—he has painted himself into a corner. But on the much more important axis of finding out the whole truth about 1/6, it’s a fantastic development and I hope it holds.

⭕ 20 Jul 2021

WaPo Editorial: Kevin McCarthy’s picks for the Jan. 6 panel make clear he wants to continue the coverup http://wapo.st/3iziPs6
// Front page title: Pelosi must not let Kevin McCarthy’s cynical gambit spoil the Jan. 6 investigation

WaPo, Perry Bacon Jr: The institutions that can defend the U.S. from Trumpism http://wapo.st/3iB8XOH

⭕ 19 Jul 2021

💙 🐣 RT @RenewAmerica “One-third of Trump voters, one-third of conservatives, 34 percent of Republicans, and 39 percent of Independents said that there was no chance that they would consider a candidate who voted to block certification.”
NewRepublic, David Eichenthal: A Surprising Potential Swing Vote: Pro-Democracy Republicans http://bit.ly/3xRFVkn
// I ultimately decided against running for Congress in a red district. But my research found a way for Democrats to make inroads in such places.

NYT, Paul Krugman: Republicans Have Their Own Private Autocracy http://nyti.ms/3xUoO17 “hostility to vaccines has become a form of loyalty signaling”

YahooNews: Ex-Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen: ‘Incredibly disturbing’ that military leadership reportedly feared Trump coup http://yhoo.it/36K23RN

🐣 📊 RT @LaurieRoberts New poll shows 66% of AZ voters say there is no credible evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Put another way, Arizona voters, by a nearly 2-1 margin, discount all the crazy conspiracy talk. Can someone please let Sen. Karen Fann know?
⋙ AZCentral: 62% of Arizona Republicans (and almost no one else) say audit will show Trump won [$] https://twitter.com/LaurieRoberts/status/1417184678381965313?s=20
// A new poll shows 62% of Arizona Republicans believe Trump won in 2020. Here’s why that’s a problem for them in 2022.

🐣 @TeamPelosi Please – Don’t let Jim Jordan sit on the January 6 Committee. His ability to distract, gaslight and engage in whataboutism will only exacerbate divisions and diminish the seriousness of the investigation. It would be like putting Trump himself on the committee.

WaPo: First felony defendant sentenced in Capitol riot, gets eight months in prison http://wapo.st/3hPU6AP

Tampa crane operator Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, pleaded guilty on June 2 to one count of obstructing a joint session of Congress meeting to confirm the results of the 2020 president election. He was seen carrying a red-and-white “Trump 2020” flag into the well of the evacuated Senate while others stood over the vice president’s abandoned chair.

“The symbolism of that act was unmistakable,” U.S. District Judge Randolph D. Moss said in sentencing Hodgkins. “He was staking a claim on the floor of the U.S. Senate not with an American flag, but declaring his loyalty to a single individual over the nation. In that act, he captured the threat to democracy that we all witnessed that day.”

The riots did far greater damage than delay Congress’s tallying of the electoral votes a few hours, the judge said. They “left a stain that will remain on our nation for decades,” one that will make it “harder for all of us to tell our children and grandchildren that democracy stands as the immutable foundation of our nation,” Moss said.

U.S. prosecutors sought an 18-month prison term for Hodgkins, citing the need to deter domestic terrorism. Hodgkins asked for probation or house arrest.

“January 6th was genuinely an act of terrorism. . . . The need to preserve respect for the law is really at its pinnacle in a crime like this,” Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Sedky said, striking a theme amplified by Moss after a 2½ -hour argument in which she said that rioters sought to subvert the election and the peaceful transfer of power through intimidation, force and violence.

Sedky argued that an 18-month prison term “will send a loud and clear message” so that “people contemplating a follow-up to January 6th will stand down . . . and Mr. Hodgkins and other would-be rioters will be deterred and turn back, and so it won’t happen again and again and again.”

Hodgkins attorney Patrick N. Leduc answered by blasting the government’s terrorism claim and warning that a harsh sentence would further divide the nation.

Leduc urged Moss to heed the words in President Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address and show grace that each side of the partisan divide would claim for itself and deny the other.

Calling the Capitol breach “domestic terrorism” is “offensive and gaslighting the country, and it needs to stop. . . . It was a protest that became a riot, period, full stop,” Leduc said.

The lawyer attempted to liken the Jan. 6 riot to violence that marred some racial-justice protests in 2020 in Minneapolis and Portland, Ore. He also invoked the First Amendment, arguing to the judge, “We need to be very careful.”

But he was cut off by Moss, who said that while he was not sentencing Hodgkins based on anyone else’s conduct, “I don’t think that any plausible argument can be made defending what happened at the Capitol as an example of the First Amendment.”

“There were people storming through the halls of the Capitol, shouting, ‘Where’s Nancy?’ ” Moss said. “There were people threatening the lives of members of Congress. There were members of Congress fleeing for their lives. This was more than a simple riot.”

The judge added: “The chambers of Congress were emptied during the most solemn act in a democracy, of certifying who the next president is going to be, by an angry mob. . . . This was not an exercise of First Amendment rights.”

About 540 people of an estimated 800 who entered the Capitol building have been charged. Hodgkins was one of about 50 who made their way to the Senate floor, the “heart” and “core” of where Congress was carrying out its statutory and constitutional responsibility to confirm the president’s win, Sedky said.

Unlike other defendants, Hodgkins was not accused of other wrongdoing, such as leading or coordinating others, making online threats or conspiring with extremists. Nor did he enter a cooperation deal with prosecutors. Prosecutors had sought a sentence at the midpoint of the 15 to 21 months set under advisory federal guidelines.

Prosecutors stopped short of seeking enhanced domestic terrorism penalties against Hodgkins that it has threatened to seek against other defendants. Such enhancements could more than double the sentencing guidelines range for such defendants, although judges would have the final say.

Moss acknowledged struggling over how to weigh the violence of the overall attack and the defendant’s lesser individual role, but he knocked down Leduc’s selective invocation of the 16th president.

Lincoln, in his Gettysburg Address, said the Union engaged in civil war to ensure that government of, by and for the people “did not perish from the earth,” Moss noted.

“If we allow people to storm the U.S. Capitol when they don’t like what the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives are doing, what are we doing to preserve democracy in our country?” Moss asked.

Moss said that he believed Hodgkins’s conduct was an “aberration” but that “people have to know that assaulting the Capitol and impeding the democratic process, even if you’re not bearing arms, will have consequences,” adding that it was more important for him “to deter others from ever again attempting anything like the events of January 6th.”

⭕ 18 Jul 2021

AP: Klobuchar: Infrastructure bill could include voting measures http://bit.ly/3zk1H07

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota who chairs the powerful Senate Rules Committee, said in an interview that the priority continues to be passing the legislation known as the For the People Act, which would usher in minimum voting standards in the U.S. such as automatic and same-day voter registration, early voting and no-excuse absentee voting.

But Klobuchar noted that Democrats could also use the process known as reconciliation to advance financial incentives for states to adopt certain reforms. Election systems have been designated critical infrastructure on par with the nation’s power plants, banks and dams.

“You can do election infrastructure in there because that is part of infrastructure,” Klobuchar said. “It’s no substitute for the For the People Act, but it is something we can start working on immediately and are working on right now.”

Pushing election-related measures into the infrastructure bill would be a high-stakes gambit with no guarantee of success.

Under the congressional budget process, certain measures regarding revenues, spending and the debt can be approved with a 51-vote threshold, which is why Democrats are pursuing it. The process allows them to bypass a near-certain filibuster from Republicans.

But there’s a catch: The Senate’s nonpartisan parliamentarian can rule for the removal of any provision not directly related to the budget, or items whose budget impact is “merely incidental” to their intended policy changes.

In the end, Democrats would not achieve their goal of federal standards through the infrastructure bill alone but could incentivize some states to move in that direction.

“Money with incentives has passed before. So let’s see what we can get approved,” Klobuchar said. “But again, that is only part of it. Look, it’s not the whole thing, right? But it’s a tool you don’t want to let go.”

NYT, by Donald Ayer, Danielle Brian and Norman Eisen: Merrick Garland Needs to Show He Knows What Jan. 6 Was Really About http://nyti.ms/2UmfPaG
// By Donald Ayer, Danielle Brian and Norman Eisen: Mr. Ayer was a deputy attorney general in the George H.W. Bush administration. Ms. Brian is the executive director of the Project On Government Oversight. Mr. Eisen served as special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during the first Trump impeachment.

⭕ 17 Jul 2021

NBCNews: How Fox News’ Covid vaccine denialism hurts my patients http://nbcnews.to/3rtpacN
// Right-wing Covid-19 denialism hit my community hard during the first surge. Now, we’re seeing a new, dangerous anti-vaccine push from these same sources.

💙 WaPo/AP: AP FACT CHECK: Trump makes false claims about Arizona audit http://wapo.st/3ev7ZSQ

⭕ 16 Jul 2021

WaPo: ‘They’re Killing People’: Biden Denounces Social Media for Virus Disinformation http://wapo.st/3ex0cE1
// The president’s blunt statement capped weeks of frustration in the White House over the spread of vaccine disinformation on Facebook and other platforms.

CNN, Michael D’Antonio: The real reason Trump keeps telling the Big Lie http://cnn.it/3hMg0Vq

One by one, new excerpts of books about the end of Donald Trump’s presidency are bringing to light appalling reports on his final year in office.

In “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year,” Carol Loennig and Philip Rucker show how the nation’s top military leaders were poised to thwart a coup, had Trump or his allies attempted one. In “Landslide,” Michael Wolff writes that as late as the morning of January 6, Trump and his former lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, may have believed the election wasn’t over. And in “Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost,” Michael C. Bender depicts Trump shouting “treason!” and saying those who leaked the story about his family taking cover in the White House bunker during Black Lives Matter protests should be “executed.” (Trump has already denied much of the reporting in the new books.)

WaPo, Michael Bender: To Trump’s hard-core supporters, his rallies weren’t politics. They were life. http://wapo.st/2Tohk7K
// What 2020 looked like from the front row on the campaign trail

AP: FACT FOCUS: A false narrative of 74K extra votes in Arizona http://bit.ly/3BlXtY3

ForensicNews, Scott Stedman: Inside a Rudy Giuliani Operation to Smear Joe and Hunter Biden http://bit.ly/3hHXpde
// SeeView Media was incorporated in Feb. 2020, the brainchild of Giuliani and Republican operatives Tim Yale and George Dickson III.

⭕ 15 Jul 2021

Forbes: FBI Signals It’s Looking At Whether Members Of Congress Assisted Capitol Siege http://bit.ly/3ey1n6a
// Asked during a press briefing whether the FBI is looking into Congressional employees and lawmakers, Assistant Director Steven D’Antuono replied that the Bureau is “looking at every piece of the puzzle” and “not leaving any stone unturned.”

💽 MSNBC, Rachel Maddow: Cyber Ninja’ company in AZ ballot stunt under investigation by House Oversight Committee http://on.msnbc.com/2VJhver
// Rachel Maddow reads excerpts from a new letter from the House Oversight Committee to the Cyber Ninja company, requesting documents and explanations as it opens an investigation into whether the clumsy “audit” stunt impinges on the right to a free and fair election.

NYT, Michelle Cottle: Trump’s ‘Team Kraken’ Lands in Hot Water http://nyti.ms/
// The city of Detroit, among other entities, has accused the pro-Trump legal team [L Lin Wood and Sidney Powell] of abusing the court system by pursuing a frivolous, error-riddled case. The city wants the offending lawyers punished financially and referred for possible disbarment.

🧵 RT @peterbakernyt Shades of Nixon and Schlesinger: In Trump’s final days in office, Milley fretted about a military coup and instructed generals to check with him before carrying out any illegal orders from the White House. @sbg1 📌 https://twitter.com/peterbakernyt/status/1415835804887310336?s=20
⋙ NewYorker, Susan Glasser: “You’re Gonna Have a Fucking War”: Mark Milley’s Fight to Stop Trump from Striking Iran http://bit.ly/3z4IpvG
// Inside the extraordinary final-days conflict between the former President and his chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Esquire, Jack Holmes: This Is an Absolutely Damning Account of What Trump Was Up to on January 6 http://bit.ly/3B7JqFg
// As his supporters sacked the Capitol, the president did not lift a finger to stop the madness. Because he wanted it to continue. Because it was his last chance to stay in power.

“If I was going to do a coup,” said the former President of the United States, “one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley.” Later in the statement, he added that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs “had no courage or skill, certainly not the type of person I would be talking ‘coup’ with. I’m not into coups!”

Finally, an answer to the question of what it might have looked like if O.J. Simpson were cast in Mean Girls. But this statement also came in response to Milley’s comments in a new book from Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, I Alone Can Fix It, on Donald Trump’s disastrous final days in the big chair. In the book, Milley is depicted as fearing a coup attempt from the then-sitting president, working with the other Joint Chiefs on a plan to resign en masse if Trump attempted anything truly insane. Like some of us around here, Milley was gravely concerned by Trump’s moves after Election Day to purge the security apparatus and fill senior positions at the Pentagon and the Justice Department with people Milley perceived as more dependable loyalists, all while yelling that the election had been stolen from him and he was the rightful president for four more years. Leading up to January 6, “Milley told his staff that he believed Trump was stoking unrest, possibly in hopes of an excuse to invoke the Insurrection Act and call out the military.”

Of course, Trump did do something insane. He drew his most enthusiastic supporters to Washington on the day Congress was set to confirm he would soon leave power and sent them down to the Capitol to try to prevent that certification from taking place. They proceeded to riot, attacking police officers with whatever was available and breaking into the seat of the national legislature. And as the situation spun out of control, another excerpt from Leonnig and Rucker’s book, published Thursday in the Washington Post, sheds some light on what the sitting president—and commander-in-chief charged with defending the Constitution and the homeland—was up to.

WaPo: ‘I Alone Can Fix It’ book excerpt: The inside story of Trump’s defiance and inaction on Jan. 6 http://wapo.st/3kq76yG
// Terror at the Capitol, delay at the Pentagon, resistance in the Oval Office and democracy hanging in the balance

⭕ 14 Jul 2021

WaPo: Joint Chiefs chairman feared potential ‘Reichstag moment’ aimed at keeping Trump in power http://wapo.st/3hHFqmY

In the waning weeks of Donald Trump’s term, the country’s top military leader repeatedly worried about what the president might do to maintain power after losing reelection, comparing his rhetoric to Adolf Hitler’s during the rise of Nazi Germany and asking confidants whether a coup was forthcoming, according to a new book by two Washington Post reporters.

As Trump ceaselessly pushed false claims about the 2020 presidential election, Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, grew more and more nervous, telling aides he feared that the president and his acolytes might attempt to use the military to stay in office, Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker report in “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year.”

Milley described “a stomach-churning” feeling as he listened to Trump’s untrue complaints of election fraud, drawing a comparison to the 1933 attack on Germany’s parliament building that Hitler used as a pretext to establish a Nazi dictatorship.

Portions of the book related to Milley — first reported Wednesday night by CNN ahead of the book’s July 20 release — offer a remarkable window into the thinking of America’s highest-ranking military officer, who saw himself as one of the last empowered defenders of democracy during some of the darkest days in the country’s recent history.

Milley — who was widely criticized last year for appearing alongside Trump in Lafayette Square after protesters were forcibly cleared from the area — had pledged to use his office to ensure a free and fair election with no military involvement. But he became increasingly concerned in the days following the November contest, making multiple references to the onset of 20th-century fascism.

After attending a Nov. 10 security briefing about the “Million MAGA March,” a pro-Trump rally protesting the election, Milley said he feared an American equivalent of “brownshirts in the streets,” alluding to the paramilitary forces that protected Nazi rallies and enabled Hitler’s ascent. ¤ Late that same evening, according to the book, an old friend called Milley to express concerns that those close to Trump were attempting to “overturn the government.” ¤ “You are one of the few guys who are standing between us and some really bad stuff,” the friend told Milley, according to an account relayed to his aides. Milley was shaken, Leonnig and Rucker write, and he called former national security adviser H.R. McMaster to ask whether a coup was actually imminent. ¤ “What the f— am I dealing with?” Milley asked him.

The conversations put Milley on edge, and he began informally planning with other military leaders, strategizing how they would block Trump’s order to use the military in a way they deemed dangerous or illegal.

If someone wanted to seize control, Milley thought, they would need to gain sway over the FBI, the CIA and the Defense Department, where Trump had already installed staunch allies. “They may try, but they’re not going to f—ing succeed,” he told some of his closest deputies, the book says.

In the weeks that followed, Milley played reassuring soothsayer to a string of concerned members of Congress and administration officials who shared his worries about Trump attempting to use the military to stay in office. ¤ “Everything’s going to be okay,” he told them, according to the book. “We’re going to have a peaceful transfer of power. We’re going to land this plane safely. This is America. It’s strong. The institutions are bending, but it won’t break.” …

After the failed insurrection on Jan. 6, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called Milley to ask for his guarantee that Trump would not be able to launch a nuclear strike and start a war. “This guy’s crazy,” Pelosi said of Trump in what the book reported was mostly a one-way phone call. “He’s dangerous. He’s a maniac.”

Once again, Milley sought to reassure: “Ma’am, I guarantee you that we have checks and balances in the system,” he told Pelosi.

Less than a week later, as military and law enforcement leaders planned for President Biden’s inauguration, Milley said he was determined to avoid a repeat of the siege on the Capitol.s “Everyone in this room, whether you’re a cop, whether you’re a soldier, we’re going to stop these guys to make sure we have a peaceful transfer of power,” he told them. “We’re going to put a ring of steel around this city and the Nazis aren’t getting in.”

At Biden’s swearing-in on Jan. 20, Milley was seated behind former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, who asked the general how he was feeling. ¤ “No one has a bigger smile today than I do,” Milley replied. “You can’t see it under my mask, but I do.”

WaPo: Trump Organization CFO has resigned from the trust that controls the company, documents show http://wapo.st/
// Allen Weisselberg “has resigned from a trust set up to control all of the company’s assets — seemingly giving up his place at the top of the company’s formal hierarchy”

⭕ 13 Jul 2021

TheAtlantic, David Frum: There’s a Word for What Trumpism Is Becoming http://bit.ly/2U1dHoy
// [ Fascism ]; The relentless messaging by Trump and his supporters has inflicted a measurable wound on American democracy.

≣ 💽 ABCNews: President Joe Biden’s speech on voting rights: TRANSCRIPT http://abcn.ws/3z0dXmB
// His fiery speech was meant to put pressure on Congress to enact voting reforms.

🐣 RT @OversightDems NEW: Chairs @RepMaloney and @RepRaskin sent a letter to Douglas Logan, CEO of Cyber Ninjas, requesting information on his companies’ role in the “audit” of nearly 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County, Arizona in the 2020 election. https://twitter.com/OversightDems/status/1415399315405787136?s=20/photo/1
⋙ OversightComm: Chairs Maloney and Raskin Launch Investigation into Privately Run ‘Audit’ of Arizona 2020 Election Results http://bit.ly/3kwDDTU

“Americans’ right to vote is protected by the Constitution and is the cornerstone of our democratic system of government,” the Chairs wrote.  “The Committee is seeking to determine whether the privately funded audit conducted by your company in Arizona protects the right to vote or is instead an effort to promote baseless conspiracy theories, undermine confidence in America’s elections, and reverse the result of a free and fair election for partisan gain.”

💙 WaPo: Biden calls passing voting legislation ‘a national imperative’ and castigates voting restrictions based on ‘a big lie’ http://wapo.st/3iaj4d5

NYT: Russia’s most aggressive ransomware group disappeared. It’s unclear who made that happen. http://nyti.ms/3wx7tKg

WaPo: Biden to raise stakes for voting rights as GOP-led states impose restrictions http://wapo.st/3iaj4d5 “biggest threat to the integrity of U.S. elections since the Civil War”

President Biden on Tuesday will deliver his most forceful condemnation yet of the wave of voting restrictions proposed in Republican-led states nationwide — efforts the president will argue are the biggest threat to the integrity of U.S. elections since the Civil War.

Biden’s speech in the afternoon at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, the city where he began his presidential campaign two years ago, will underscore how the “denial of the right to vote” is “grounded in autocracy, undemocratic, un-American and unpatriotic,” a White House official said.

“He will note that while voter suppression that these 21st century Jim Crow laws represent is sadly not unprecedented in American history — looking back to the KKK campaigns of terror, poll taxes, literacy tests, and the disenfranchisement of women and enslaved people — these new insidious moves to empower partisans over independent election authorities in terms of who counts the votes are new and extremely dangerous,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preview the president’s remarks.

In his speech, Biden will again underscore how dozens of federal judges have tossed out challenges to the 2020 election results, which the White House official said “stands as a model for the trustworthiness and precision of our system,” particularly as it unfolded during a once-in-a-century pandemic.

And Biden also plans to call for what the official characterized as a “new coalition” of activists, students and leaders from the faith, labor and business communities to help bolster voter education and eventual turnout at the polls.

💙 WaPo: ‘I Alone Can Fix It’ book excerpt: Inside Trump’s Election Day and the birth of the ‘big lie’ http://wapo.st/36zL9VS
// At the end of a tumultuous day, the defiant president refused to accept the signs that he was losing the White House contest to Joe Biden. “I won in a landslide and they’re taking it back,” Trump told advisers.
// Part one of an excerpt from “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year.” Leonnig and Rucker will discuss this book during a Washington Post Live event on July 20.

⭕ 12 Jul 2021

WaPo: The Republican Party’s top lawyer called election fraud arguments by Trump’s lawyers a ‘joke’ that could mislead millions http://wapo.st/3r72f6R

⭕ 11 Jul 2021

CNN: Trump wins the CPAC straw poll as attendees clamor for him to run again http://cnn.it/3AUrjCH

🧵 RT @atrupar CPAC ATTENDEE: Trump won! ¤ TRUMP: It’s true. We all won. ¤ (Trump lost) 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1414334068217585666?s=20
// Trump at CPAC

⭕ 10 Jul 2021

⭕ 9 Jul 2021

WaPo: The rapid decline of White evangelical America? http://wapo.st/3e1NhtI
// New data suggests a bigger decrease than previously understood — including in the GOP

⭕ 8 Jul 2021

⭕ 7 Jul 2021

⭕ 6 Jul 2021

DailyBeast, David Rothkopf (7/6): We Still Won’t Admit Why So Many People Believe the Big Lie http://bit.ly/3BfZ7u0
// Six months after the insurrection it triggered, it’s clear that the stolen-election nonsense is just a drop in a tidal wave of bullshit.

⭕ 5 Jul 2021

🐣 RT @MSNBC Opinion | @speechboy71: The vaccine fight, rather than an outgrowth of Trump’s divisive presidency, is just another example of how polarization is not just transforming American society — it’s literally killing people. – @MSNBCDaily
⋙ MSNBC, Michael A Cohen: Happy 4th of July, America. Stop letting polarization kill you. http://on.msnbc.com/3hFTdt4
// In post-Trump America, political affiliation is now directly tied to life expectancy.

⭕ 4 Ju1 2021 🇺🇸

🐣 RT @rgoodlaw Exquisitely analyzed piece. ¤ Trump lawyers laid false claim #Weisselberg-#TrumpIndictments were “fringe benefits” case. ¤ Since then, DJT, Eric and Don Jr. have maintained that frame. So has much of the media! ¤ Top #TaxLaw expert demolishes that framing.
⋙ JustSecurity, Daniel Shaviro: The Weisselberg Indictment Is Not A “Fringe Benefits” Case http://bit.ly/3dHLvhb
// Grasping the Full Scope of the Alleged Criminal Scheme

⭕ 3 Ju1 2021

WaPo: FBI launches flurry of arrests over attacks on journalists during Capitol riot http://wapo.st/3qKfPgc

WaPo: Hours-long standoff between police, heavily armed men in Massachusetts ends with 11 arrests http://wapo.st/2TB1O8z “The men appear to be adherents of the ‘Moorish Sovereign Citizens’”

WaPo: Trump appears to acknowledge tax schemes while questioning whether alleged violations are crimes http://wapo.st/3qIlHXs

⭕ 2 Ju1 2021

⭕ 1 Ju1 2021

NYT, Richard Hasen: The Supreme Court Is Putting Democracy at Risk http://nyti.ms/3xegTLU

WaPo: Pelosi names Republican Cheney to select committee investigating Jan. 6 attack on Capitol by pro-Trump mob http://wapo.st/3jOnKb9

NYT: Trump Organization Is Charged With Running 15-Year Employee Tax Scheme http://nyti.ms/3qEBXsg
// The company was accused of helping its executives evade taxes on compensation by hiding luxury perks and bonuses.

WaPo Editorial: The Roberts court systematically dismantles the Voting Rights Act http://wapo.st/3wcMqN1

💽 MSNBC, 11th Hour: Trump’s business was just labeled a ‘criminal organization http://on.msnbc.com/3hh5l57
// Calling the charges against the Trump Org. something like a ‘million-dollar heist,’ MSNBC Legal Analyst Neal Katyal explains how New York prosecutors are effectively alleging that the former president’s business is a ‘criminal organization.’

WaPo, Max Boot: Two House votes show the GOP is an authoritarian, white-power party http://wapo.st/3wcndlB

⭕ 30 Jun 2021

💙 💽 NYT: Inside the Capitol Riot: An Exclusive Video Investigation http://nyti.ms/3qGdJxZ
// The Times analyzed thousands of videos from the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol Building to understand how it happened — and why. Here are some of the key findings.

🐣 RT @ForeignAffairs Biden has correctly identified the global contest between democracy and autocracy as the overarching challenge of the era, @HalBrands
writes. Now comes the hard part. He must make his strategy real, and make it work.
⋙ ForeignAffairs: The Emerging Biden Doctrine http://fam.ag/360p16C
// Biden has identified the defining strategic challenge of the twenty-first century, but he faces daunting problems.

Esquire, Charles Pierce: Kristi Noem Is Activating Forces That She Does Not Understand and Will Never Be Able to Control http://bit.ly/2UImiwb
// It’s one thing for the wingnut welfare apparatus to fund think tanks and cultivate the Ben Shapiros. This is a step down a road other republics have traveled, never to be seen again.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WSJ: Trump Organization and CFO Allen Weisselberg Expected to Be Charged Thursday http://on.wsj.com/363PEHW
// The Manhattan district attorney’s first charges in three-year probe will focus on alleged tax-related crimes at former president’s company

HuffPo: ‘Utterly Deranged’ Donald Trump Has Full Meltdown http://bit.ly/3xbGbKv
// The ex-president attacked two key figures who enabled his agenda. [Barr and McConnell]

⭕ 29 Jun 2021

⭕ 28 Jun 2021

WaPo, Greg Sargent: William Barr’s bombshell about Trump is more revealing than it seems http://wapo.st/3jmjjnn

⭕ 27 Jun 2021

TheAtlantic, Jonathan Karl: Inside William Barr’s Breakup With Trump http://bit.ly/2SA2Jpk
// In the final months of the administration, the doggedly loyal attorney general finally had enough.

Barr, Levi, and Cipollone walked to the president’s personal dining room near the Oval Office. Trump was sitting at the table. Meadows was sitting next to him with his arms crossed; the White House adviser Eric Herschmann stood off to the side. The details of this meeting were described to me by several people present. One told me that Trump had “the eyes and mannerism of a madman.”

He went off on Barr. … ¤ Trump brought up Barr’s AP interview. ¤ “Did you say that?” ¤ “Yes,” Barr responded. ¤ “How the fuck could you do this to me? Why did you say it?” ¤ “Because it’s true.” ¤ The president, livid, responded by referring to himself in the third person: “You must hate Trump. You must hate Trump.” ¤ Barr thought that the president was trying to control himself, but he seemed angrier than he had ever seen him. His face was red. …

“They saw the boxes going in!” Trump yelled, referring to the stories about boxes of illegal ballots being counted. ¤ “You know, Mr. President, there are 662 precincts in Wayne County,” Barr said. Trump seemed taken aback that he knew the exact number. “It’s the only county with all the boxes going to a central place, and you actually did better there this time around than you did last time. You keep on saying that the Department of Justice is not looking at this stuff, and we are looking at it in a responsible way. But your people keep on shoveling this shit out.”

“You know, you only have five weeks, Mr. President, after an election to make legal challenges,” Barr said. “This would have taken a crackerjack team with a really coherent and disciplined strategy. Instead, you have a clown show. No self-respecting lawyer is going anywhere near it. It’s just a joke. That’s why you are where you are.” ¤ Interestingly, Trump didn’t argue when Barr told him that his “clown show” legal team had wasted time. In fact, he said, “You may be right about that.”

After going through his litany of claims—stolen ballots, fake ballots, dead people voting, rigged voting machines—Trump switched to other grievances, shouting at Barr for failing to prosecute Biden’s son Hunter. “If that had been one of my kids, they would have been all over him!” he said. By the end of the meeting, Trump was doing almost all of the talking. Why hadn’t Barr released John Durham’s report on the origins of the Russia investigation before the election? Why hadn’t he prosecuted former FBI Director James Comey? Trump was banging on the table. He said that Barr had been worthless. …

Politico: Former attorney general describes break with Trump on election fraud http://politi.co/3A4le5Y //➔ I guess if you’re not running for anything, you can afford to grow a conscience
// complete article; “It was all bulls—,” William Barr told The Atlantic.

William Barr said he believed it was his obligation to publicly state that there was no evidence of voter fraud in 2020 no matter how angry it made then-President Donald Trump, the former attorney general is quoted as saying in an article published in The Atlantic.

“My attitude was: It was put-up or shut-up time,” Barr told Jonathan Karl in the article headlined “William Barr Speaks.”

Barr added: “If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it. But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bulls—.”

The former attorney general told Karl that he knew Trump would push him to conduct investigations and confirm the president’s frequently stated belief that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from him — and that Barr suspected from the get-go that no widespread fraud had taken place.

He also said that Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell — understandably concerned about upcoming Senate runoffs in Georgia — encouraged him to speak out about the integrity of the election.

Barr’s conclusion that there was no widespread fraud, which he shared with an Associated Press reporter at the start of December, drew the wrath of Trump, who spoke of himself in the third person.

“You must hate Trump. You must hate Trump,” Barr quoted Trump as saying in a subsequent meeting.

Karl wrote: “Barr thought that the president was trying to control himself, but he seemed angrier than he had ever seen him.”

Barr said he also told Trump that the president had undermined his own efforts by launching a scattershot, incoherent legal team (“a clown show”) to challenge election results — something which he said Trump did not disagree with.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Trump Organization attorneys given Monday deadline to persuade prosecutors not to file charges against it http://wapo.st/3zYDnCp

📊 WaPo, EJ Dionne: The Catholic bishops’ anti-Biden project is backfiring http://wapo.st/3dkNuYq “It’s the anti-Francis majority of American bishops, not liberals or Francis defenders, who would put politics ahead of faith, ideology ahead of theology, and partisanship ahead of fellowship”

The decision of right-wing Catholic bishops to begin drafting a statement that many of them said was aimed at President Biden and his reception of communion was not just a rebuke to him and to other Catholic Democrats. It was also an attack on Pope Francis, who had made clear that he did not want them to go down this divisive road. And it reinforced the suspicions of the church among progressive-leaning young people already alienated from Christian institutions that champion extreme forms of conservative politics.

A group of angry men (they are all men) seemed to want nothing to do with their brothers and sisters who believe that social justice and a radical concern for “the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged,” as Francis put it in 2018, should be at the heart of Catholic teaching.

No, they would relegate all this to an inferior status in comparison with opposition to abortion. Which is a shame because, in its day-to-day life, the church does a great deal to fight poverty, injustice and exclusion.

It’s the anti-Francis majority of American bishops, not liberals or Francis defenders, who would put politics ahead of faith, ideology ahead of theology, and partisanship ahead of fellowship. The 75 percent of bishops who voted on June 17 to prepare the statement are importing the worst aspects of American politics into the life of the church. …

That’s especially true in light of a Pew Research Center survey this spring finding that given Biden’s views on abortion, 67 percent of U.S. Catholics still said that he should be allowed to receive communion; only 29 percent said he should not.

That this is even an issue shows how the viruses of the political right have infected the U.S. church leadership. It stands almost alone in the Catholic world in its singular focus on abortion, as Jason Horowitz reported in the New York Times. He noted that in “much of Europe and Latin America, it is essentially unthinkable for bishops to deny communion to politicians who publicly support abortion rights.”

Having pulled back ever so slightly, the bishops should now drop this ill-conceived project altogether. It will only continue to undercut their capacity — already strained by scandal — to preach, teach and persuade. They might take a moment to ponder the call to dialogue from Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk and brilliant writer whom Pope Francis lifted up in his 2015 speech to Congress.

“If I insist on giving you my truth, and never stop to receive your truth in return,” Merton wrote, “there can be no truth between us.”

⭕ 26 Jun 2021

NBCNews: Rudy Giuliani’s New York suspension proves dangers of Trump’s lies http://nbcnews.to/35R1k0C
// The court has sent a strong message about the real harm posed by those individuals who continue to push falsehoods about the 2020 election.

Disbarment — a punishment meted out by a court for code violations — is always devastating to a lawyer. This punishment occurs when a lawyer commits an offense that directly relates to his or her fitness to practice law. Such offenses may include dishonesty and negligent representation. Giuliani, whose license is now suspended, is likely on his way to permanent disbarment … ¤ [I]t certainly looks like Giuliani has finally pushed his luck too far. New York law, among other things, forbids a lawyer from “knowingly making a false statement of fact or law to a third person” in the course of representing a client (Rule 4.1) and “engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.” (Rule 8.4 (c)). In other words, Giuliani’s monthslong legal campaign on behalf of Trump to overturn the 2020 presidential election through a series of baseless lawsuits and false public statements violated New York’s professional ethics code.

⭕ 25 Jun 2021

🐣 RT @propublica Rather than trying to halt the Jan. 6 march, Trump and his allies accommodated its leaders, according to text messages and interviews with Republican operatives and officials.
⋙ ProPublica: New Details Suggest Senior Trump Aides Knew Jan. 6 Rally Could Get Chaotic http://bit.ly/3jssilD
// Text messages and interviews show that Stop the Steal leaders fooled the Capitol police and welcomed racists to increase their crowd sizes, while White House officials worked to both contain and appease them.

🧵 RT @gtconway3 If journalists can uncover all this through the voluntary cooperation of sources, imagine what a commission, select committee, or grand jury could find out with subpoenas. 📌 https://twitter.com/gtconway3d/status/1408967412075175938?s=20
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @ RT @gtconway3 “‘Don’t denounce anything,’ he messaged his inner circle in January regarding the Capitol riot. ‘You don’t want to be on the opposite side of freedom fighters in the coming conflict. Veterans will be looking for civilian political leaders.'”
⋙ ProPublica New Details Suggest Senior Trump Aides Knew Jan. 6 Rally Could Get Chaotic http://bit.ly/3hdx7Oz
// Text messages and interviews show that Stop the Steal leaders fooled the Capitol police and welcomed racists to increase their crowd sizes, while White House officials worked to both contain and appease them.

NYT: They Seemed Like Democratic Activists. They Were Secretly Conservative Spies. http://nyti.ms/3xYBXpp
// Operatives infiltrated progressive groups across the West to try to manipulate politics and reshape the national electoral map. They targeted moderate Republicans, too — anyone seen as threats to hard-line conservatives.

WaPo: Justice Dept. sues state of Georgia over new voting restrictions http://wapo.st/3jf5lDP

🐣 RT @mccafffreyr3 Let this sink in. Tucker Carlson on live Fox TV called Gen Mark Milley the Chairman of the JCS “Stupid” and a “Pig”. Why hasn’t he been terminated? Who talks like this about a public official? Mark Milley …Princeton and Colombia. Years in combat.

NYT: Trump Aides Prepared Insurrection Act Order During Debate Over Protests http://nyti.ms/3h6C63r
// President Donald Trump never invoked the act, but fresh details underscore the intensity of his interest last June in using active-duty military to curb unrest.

⭕ 24 Jun 2021

WaPo, Aaron Blake: The most brutal debunking of Trump’s fraud claims yet — from Republicans http://wapo.st/3xLJEiE

WaPo: Giuliani’s N.Y. law license suspended in connection with efforts to overturn 2020 election http://wapo.st/3xS68P6

WaPo: Inside the ‘shadow reality world’ promoting the lie that the presidential election was stolen http://wapo.st/
// Wealthy allies of former president Donald Trump have spent millions on films, rallies and other efforts to tout falsehoods about the 2020 vote.

⭕ 23 Jun 2021

WaPo: In sentencing regretful Capitol protester, federal judge rebukes Republicans http://wapo.st/3d8gItu

⭕ 22 Jun 2021

⭕ 21 Jun 2021

NBCNews: Not acceptable’: Obama slams GOP plan to filibuster voting rights bill http://nbcnews.to/3d29VSd
// “They’re suddenly afraid to even talk about these issues and figure out solutions,” the former president said of Republican opposition to the For the People Act.

⭕ 20 Jun 2021

⭕ 19 Jun 2021

⭕ 18 Jun 2021

⭕ 17 Jun 2021

WaPo, Philip Bump: How the right is trying to reshape the history of the Jan. 6 riot http://wapo.st/3gGGmb4

WaPo, Vladimir Kara-Murza (2017): Putin’s dark cult of the secret police http://wapo.st/3vJs8dr (Kara-Murza is a Russian dissident leader; this article not only proved prophetic for Russia but offers warnings the United States)

The KGB’s Fifth Directorate, established in the 1960s with the purpose of suppressing political dissent, was busy until the dying days of the U.S.S.R, even in the midst of perestroika and glasnost. The last KGB report to the Central Committee “on the political activity of [Andrei] Sakharov” was dated Dec. 8, 1989, six days before the dissident’s death. The KGB and its chairman, Vladimir Kryuchkov, were the masterminds of the failed coup d’état in August 1991 — the last attempt to save the Soviet system. Few state institutions in the U.S.S.R. were as despised by the population.

After the coup attempt was defeated — as thousands of Muscovites went out into the streets and literally stood in front of the tanks — the KGB’s headquarters on Lubyanka Square was the first symbolic target of the crowds. On the evening of Aug. 22, people began spontaneously gathering on Lubyanka in a rally that culminated in the dismantling of the statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founding director of the Cheka. The “Iron Felix” hanging from a noose as it was lifted from its pedestal remains one of the most enduring images of the Russian democratic revolution. …

⭕ 16 Jun 2021

⭕ 15 Jun 2021

WaPo Editorial: The nation cannot forget Donald Trump’s betrayal of his oath http://wapo.st/2SueLRb

WaPo: Adam Schiff: The Justice Department must be depoliticized http://wapo.st/3gz7MOJ

⭕ 14 Jun 2021

WaPo: NATO expands focus to China, a win for Biden in his first trip to the battered alliance http://wapo.st/2Sy4gfv

WaPo, Michael Gerson: America’s contest of nightmares isn’t even close http://wapo.st/3gyPQnh Extreme “wokeness” can be an irritant; fascistic Trumpism is an existential threat to the republic

WaPo: Russia, U.S. and other countries reach new agreement against cyber hacking, even as attacks continue http://wapo.st/3cIMltl

⭕ 13 Jun 2021
sick
⭕ 12 Jun 2021
sick
⭕ 11 Jun 2021

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Garland announces expansion of Justice Department’s voting rights unit, vowing to scrutinize GOP-backed voting restrictions and ballot reviews http://wapo.st/3gqn4Fv

WaPo, Aaron Blake: New questions about a key GOP impeachment witness for Trump http://wapo.st/359jE4K

When President Donald Trump faced his first impeachment in 2019, Republicans focused on a firsthand witness who they claimed helped exonerate Trump: Kurt Volker.

But new evidence calls into question a key portion of Volker’s testimony, in which he repeatedly downplayed personal knowledge that the investigations the Trump team sought in Ukraine involved now-President Biden.

Volker, who was Trump’s special envoy to Ukraine, was one of the “three amigos” tasked by Trump to work with Ukraine. Despite turning over text messages that detailed the pressure campaign on Ukraine to launch investigations related to the Bidens, Volker’s testimony was frequently highlighted by Trump allies. That’s because he said hadn’t been aware of a quid pro quo in which Ukraine would be given something for launching politically convenient investigations for Trump. And so the GOP called him as its witness.

CNN this week published a recording of a call between Volker, Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and a top Ukrainian official, Andriy Yermak, from July 2019. In the call, Giuliani discusses the matters involving the Bidens with Yermak. Details of the call had previously been reported, but this gave us a fuller accounting.

The call doesn’t necessarily add a ton to the known facts about what Giuliani et. al. requested of Ukraine. We knew they wanted dirt on the Bidens, as Giuliani himself acknowledged very early on. …

“Heard from White House — assuming President [Zelensky] convinces trump he will investigate / ‘get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington” for Zelensky, Volker said. ¤ One of the witnesses Republicans initially highlighted, Sondland, later confirmed there was a quid pro quo, effectively turning him into a hostile witness for Trump. This would seem to point to valid questions about the testimony of a second key witness cited in Trump’s defense.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Merrick Garland: “The Civil Rights Division is going to need a lot more lawyers” announcing he will double it in 30 days & vigorously use existing laws including the Voting Rights Act, the Motor Voter Act, the Help America Vote Act & more to aggressively protect the right to vote

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 BREAKING: Attorney General Garland has announced that the Justice Department will review new and current state voting laws for violations, and publish new guidance on early voting, mail voting and voting audits.

WaPo: Senate Democrats threaten to subpoena Barr, Sessions for testimony over Justice Dept.’s secret pursuit of two House Democrats’ data http://wapo.st/2TVgtLv

⭕ 10 Jun 2021

💙 WSJ, Peggy Noonan: Why We Can’t Move On From Jan. 6 http://on.wsj.com/3iBqwjd
// If you weren’t appalled by what happened that day, you have given up on American democracy.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Flashback: May 2019 💽 https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1403176488753455107?s=20/photo/1
Harris: Has the president or anyone at the WH ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone?
Barr: Um. …
Harris: Seems you’d remember something like that and be able to tell us.
Barr: Yeah, but I’m trying to grapple with the word suggest.

WaPo: Trump Justice Dept. secretly subpoenaed records of two Democrats on House Intelligence Committee http://wapo.st/3pG1Ck5

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Hunting Leaks, Trump Officials Focused on Democrats in Congress http://nyti.ms/3gpKkTX
// The Justice Department seized records from Apple for metadata of House Intelligence Committee members, their aides and family members.

🐣 RT @gtconway3d “The recording of the conversation contradicts Volker’s sworn testimony to Congress that he never witnessed any attempt on the part of Trump and Giuliani to muscle Ukraine into launching an investigation of Biden, Trump’s possible opponent in the upcoming presidential election.” https://twitter.com/gtconway3d/status/1403208029374398466?s=20/photo/1-2

WaPo: Alleged supporters of right-wing Three Percenters group charged in new Jan. 6 Capitol riot conspiracy http://wapo.st/359gUEp

WaPo, Greg Sargent: A red-state Democrat shows how to talk about ending the filibuster http://wapo.st/3itbnR0

💙 📊 Pew Poll: America’s Image Abroad Rebounds With Transition From Trump to Biden http://pewrsr.ch/3zh9EUShttps://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1403069507371950089?s=20/photo/1
// World view of US; But many raise concerns about health of U.S. political system

⭕ 9 Jun 2021

📔 HouseJudiciary: House Judiciary Committee Releases Transcript of Interview with Former White House Counsel Don McGahn http://bit.ly/356sEri
⋙ ≣ Full Transcript [pdf] http://bit.ly/3vajWCM 241p

📔 BostonGlobe: The case for prosecuting Donald Trump http://bit.ly/3cvLg7Y
// Week-long series; Saving American democracy for the long run requires a clear condemnation of the Trump presidency. That means making clear that no one is above the law.

⭕ 8 Jun 2021

📔 Senate Bipartisan Report Investigating the January 6 Capitol Attack http://bit.ly/3gkCz1r
// Report focuses on the security, planning, and response failures related to the violent and unprecedented attack on January 6th Full text of the report and recommendations is available for download HERE
⋙ Full Report [pdf] : http://bit.ly/3w4QbEF 128p

Today, U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Rules and Administration, released a bipartisan report on the security, planning, and response failures related to the violent and unprecedented attack on January 6th. 

The report also includes a series of recommendations for the Capitol Police Board, United States Capitol Police (USCP), federal intelligence agencies, the Department of Defense (DOD), and other Capital region law enforcement agencies.

“Thanks to the heroic actions of U.S. Capitol Police, D.C. Metropolitan Police, the National Guard and others – rioters on January 6th failed to achieve their goal of preventing the certification of a free and fair presidential election. The events of January 6th were horrific, and our bipartisan investigation identified many unacceptable, widespread breakdowns in security preparations and emergency response related to this attack,” said Senator Peters. “Our report offers critical recommendations to address these failures and strengthen security for the Capitol to prevent an attack of this nature from ever happening again.”

“On January 6th, brave law enforcement officers were left to defend not only those in the Capitol, but our democracy itself – and they performed heroically under unimaginable circumstances. At our first bipartisan hearing, I announced as Chair of the Rules Committee that our purpose was to find solutions and issue timely recommendations so it never happens again. This report lays out necessary reforms including passing a law to change Capitol Police Board procedures and improving intelligence sharing. I will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to implement the recommendations in this report that are needed to protect the Capitol and, in turn, our nation,” said Senator Klobuchar.

“The January 6 attack on the Capitol was an attack on democracy itself. Today’s joint bipartisan congressional oversight report from the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Rules Committee details the security and intelligence failures in the days leading up to the attack, the lack of preparedness at the Capitol, and the slow response as the attack unfolded,” said Senator Portman. “We make specific recommendations to address key failures in the Capitol Police Board structure and processes; ensure Capitol Police has the training and equipment necessary to complete its mission; update how the intelligence agencies assess and issue intelligence bulletins, particularly as it relates to social media; enhance communications between the chain of command at the Department of Defense; and ensure timely and effective cooperation and coordination amongst federal, state, and local law enforcement. We must address these failures and make the necessary reforms to ensure this never happens again.”

“Over the past five months, our committees have worked together in a bipartisan way to thoroughly investigate the intelligence and security failures prior to and on January 6, and to develop recommendations to address them,” said Senator Blunt. “These recommendations are based on an extensive fact-finding effort that included interviews with key decision makers, firsthand accounts from law enforcement personnel, and the review of thousands of documents. Our focus now should be on immediately implementing these recommendations. We owe it to the brave men and women who responded that day to do everything we can to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again, and in every instance ensure that the Capitol Police have the training and equipment that they need.” … …

WaPo: Capitol Police had intelligence indicating an armed invasion weeks before Jan. 6 riot, Senate probe finds http://wapo.st/2T68jj2

The U.S. Capitol Police had specific intelligence that supporters of former president Donald Trump planned to mount an armed invasion of the Capitol at least two weeks before the Jan. 6 riot, according to new findings in a bipartisan Senate investigation, but a series of omissions and miscommunications kept that information from reaching front-line officers targeted by the violence.

A joint report, from the Senate Rules and Administration and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees, outlines the most detailed public timeline to date of the communications and intelligence failures that led the Capitol Police and partner agencies to prepare for the “Stop the Steal” protest as though it were a routine Trump rally, instead of the organized assault that was planned in the open online.

“There were significant, widespread and unacceptable breakdowns in the intelligence gathering. . . . The failure to adequately assess the threat of violence on that day contributed significantly to the breach of the Capitol,” Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), chairman of the homeland security panel, told reporters. “The attack was, quite frankly, planned in plain sight.”

[T]he report provides a vivid picture of how poor communication and unheeded warnings left officers underequipped to face violent threats about which they had not been made aware, leaving the Capitol vulnerable to an attack that otherwise might have been preventable.

Giving the Capitol Police chief the power to call up the National Guard in emergencies is among the report’s 20 bipartisan recommendations for improving the Capitol’s security posture in the future — and the subject of forthcoming legislation from Rules and Administration Committee leaders, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). The recommendations also include pointed suggestions for federal agencies, such as exhorting the Defense Department and the D.C. National Guard to devise a standing plan for protecting the Capitol and mounting a faster response to terrorist threats.

The report faults slow mobilization and poor interdepartmental communication — not any sort of stand-down order from the White House, as some Trump critics had speculated — for the fact that it took the National Guard more than three hours to respond to pleas for help from the Capitol during the attack. According to its findings, it was Army staff — not Trump — expressing early reservations about a military intervention, while the Army secretary claimed he was never informed that the D.C. National Guard had a quick reaction force “ready to go” to the Capitol, just awaiting his approval.

⭕ 7 Jun 2021 🎂

🔊 CNN: Exclusive: New audio of 2019 phone call reveals how Giuliani pressured Ukraine to investigate baseless Biden conspiracies http://cnn.it/3cpGI32

NYT: Rejecting Biden’s Win, Rising Republicans Attack Legitimacy of Elections http://nyti.ms/3uYzUjh
// The next generation of aspiring G.O.P. congressional leaders has aggressively pushed Donald Trump’s false fraud claims, raising the prospect that the results of elections will continue to be challenged through 2024.

WaPo, Rosalind Helderman: Trump allies’ push for ballot reviews started quietly in Pa. http://wapo.st/3iwjtYS
// In December, Republican state senators asked several counties in the state to allow a private company to scrutinize ballots cast last fall, a tactic that allies of former president Donald Trump are seeking to employ across the country.

WaPo, Greg Sargent: Republican loyalty to Trump isn’t just about the ‘big lie.’ It’s much worse. http://wapo.st/3x8QvCL The audits and examinations are “dry runs in manufacturing fake rationales for treating legitimate (but despised) election outcomes as illegitimate”

The idea behind these audits and examinations isn’t merely to rewrite the history of Trump’s loss to flatter him and/or energize his supporters. ¤ Instead, these should be seen as dry runs in manufacturing fake rationales for treating legitimate (but despised) election outcomes as illegitimate, thus fake-justifying maximal procedural efforts to overturn them.

WaPo, Max Boot: Too many people are still underestimating the Trump threat http://wapo.st/3we8eby “Donald Trump’s secret weapon has always been that it is hard for educated people to take him seriously”

Former president Donald Trump’s secret weapon has always been that it is hard for educated people to take him seriously. He acts like a preening buffoon with pretensions of grandeur — doltish and delusional in equal measure. Everything about him, from his orange tan and bad combover to his insistence that he is a “very stable genius,” screams: Are you kidding me?

How can we take seriously someone who insisted that taking hydroxychloroquine, or possibly injecting bleach, could cure covid-19? Or who keeps on claiming, as he did in North Carolina on Saturday, that the election was “the crime of the century” even though more than 60 lawsuits alleging election irregularities have been dismissed by the courts?

Now Trump is avidly tracking a cuckoo audit of votes in Maricopa County, Ariz., where a group of conspiracy theorists is looking for evidence of bamboo fibers to show that fraudulent ballots were shipped from Asia. Most bizarre of all, Trump reportedly now insists that he will be reinstated as president in August. Doesn’t this ignoramus know there is no reinstatement clause in the Constitution?

But while Trump is not a serious person, he is a serious threat to our democracy — and we make a grave mistake if we dismiss him as a punch line. We’ve committed that blunder before. Recall that the star of “The Apprentice” was driven to run for the presidency partly because of the ridicule he received from comedian Seth Meyers and then-President Barack Obama at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. Meyers even said: “Donald Trump has been saying he will run for president as a Republican — which is surprising, since I just assumed he was running as a joke.”

When Trump did run in 2015, most of the bien pensant refused to take him seriously. HuffPost initially announced that it was covering his campaign in its entertainment, not politics, section, because “Trump’s campaign is a sideshow.” (That decision was reversed in December 2015.) The Hillary Clinton campaign hoped Trump would win the Republican nomination because he was seen as so easy to beat. I, too, never imagined Trump would win a single primary, much less the Republican nomination, much less the presidency

Trump benefited, even more than George W. Bush, from being “misunderestimated” by his opponents. The same has been true of many demagogues. For rational people, it’s hard to take seriously preening popinjays such as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Like Trump, many of them have also been in denial about covid-19. Lukashenko, for example, said people could take a sauna or drink vodka to “poison the virus,” and Bolsonaro insisted Brazilians “never catch anything.”

… What has made dictators and demagogues so dangerous is their ability to pull vast numbers of people into their personal delusions — to turn their paranoid fantasies and megalomaniacal dreams into a harsh reality for millions. ¤ Trump has the same malign gift. Despite presiding over what was arguably the worst presidency in U.S. history — with 400,000 dead from covid-19 during his term and the economy in ruins — he won more votes in 2020 (74.2 million) than in 2016 (62.9 million). Now, even after having incited a mob attack on the Capitol, Trump enjoys the approval of roughly 80 percent of Republicans. A Reuters-Ipsos poll even found that 53 percent of Republicans believe Trump is the “true president” now. …

I’m relieved that the news media are not covering Trump’s every inane and ignorant pronouncement, as they did in 2015 and 2016, because that only increased his appeal. But, please, don’t make the same mistake we made back then of assuming he is not a viable candidate for the presidency. His ability to hornswoggle tens of millions of voters is no laughing matter.

🧵 RT @SteveSchmidtSES History is not science, there are no algorithms or immutable laws. There is only memory and evidence. The history we all share and our understanding of it is highly variable and dependent on the story tellers. Where I grew up, everyone I ever met shared a story. (1) 📌 https://twitter.com/SteveSchmidtSES/status/1401980212687028226?s=20

🐣 RT @ZelenskyyUa Thank you @POTUS @JoeBiden for inviting me to visit the @WhiteHouse in July during our phone conversation. I look forward to this meeting to discuss ways to expand strategic cooperation between Ukraine and #USA

RawStory: ‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley moved to federal prison for ‘forensic evaluation’ – Raw Story – Celebrating 17 Years of Independent Journalism http://bit.ly/3w2VJzx

⭕ 6 Jun 2021

📊 WaPo, EJ Dionne: The GOP superspreaders of Trump’s contagion http://wapo.st/2T5raus

Donald Trump took his campaign against American democracy to North Carolina on Saturday and offered a rambling, grievance-laden harangue that ought to catalyze Republican leaders to repudiate a man whose lies, bigotry and irrationality are turning their party into a moral sinkhole.

Fat chance, I know. But Republicans should watch Trump’s 90-minute diatribe in its entirety. They might realize that tying their fate to a washed-up demagogue and the extremists he cultivates is not only an affront to decency. It could also be a colossal political mistake.

Most Washington Republicans say they want to “move on” from Trump. But they avoid anything that might offend his delicate sensibilities or those of his supporters. ¤ Sorry, guys, but you won’t be able to “move on” to the responsible governing you purport to believe in until you confront the anti-democratic virus in your party and the vile man spreading the contagion. …

Take the bizarre QAnon conspiracy. Pollsters at PRRI recently asked Americans if they agreed or disagreed that “the government, media, and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation.”

An astonishing 23 percent of Republicans agreed, and 28 percent of Republicans agreed that “because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.”

How far do things have to go before GOP leaders join a brave few in their party in insisting that enough is enough? We’ve already had a violent assault on the Capitol, yet only 35 GOP House members and six senators were willing to support a bipartisan investigation into the events of Jan. 6. Silence or, at best, mumbled words of dissent leave the conspiracists, the advocates of violence and the believers in Trump’s nonsense unchallenged.

The GOP figures that staying close to Trump will rally his supporters to the polls in 2022. But Republican pollster Whit Ayres cites the 2017 governor’s race in Virginia as a cautionary tale: Turnout went up in pro-Trump rural counties but “went up far more in anti-Trump suburban and metropolitan counties,” leading to the defeat of Republican Ed Gillespie by Democrat Ralph Northam.

⭕ 5 Jun 2021

WaMonthly, David Atkins: Conservative Conspiracy Theories Around COVID Are About to Get Much Worse http://bit.ly/3wKUoxN

≣ Rev[.]com: Donald Trump Speech Transcript at North Carolina GOP Convention Dinner June 5 http://bit.ly/3z7dJuH

WaPo: Joe Biden: My trip to Europe is about America rallying the world’s democracies http://wapo.st/3uTAxdV

WSJ: G-7 Nations Agree on New Rules for Taxing Global Companies http://on.wsj.com/3cgr9L2
// Deal marks step toward adopting a global minimum corporate-tax rate sought by Biden administration

⭕ 4 Jun 2021

WaPo, Phillip Bump: Mike Lindell’s ‘fraud’ allegations are even more ridiculous than you might think http://wapo.st/3cfhapi

WaPo: Pence hopes the people who wanted to murder him on Jan. 6 will consider voting for him in 2024 http://wapo.st/3pm00eY

“Up to the 18th century, double negatives were used to emphasize negation” ~ Wikipedia http://bit.ly/34NRWu7 I guess it depends on your definition of “new”; to me it’s new; exceptions exist in certain regional dialects (“ain’t no”)

WaPo: Facebook suspends Trump for 2 years in response to Oversight Board ruling http://wapo.st/2T0mXbK
// The changes in response to the Oversight Board could reshape how the company treats inflammatory political figures.

⭕ 3 Jun 2021

WaPo: Facebook to end a longtime exception made for politicians who break its rules http://wapo.st/2T0mXbK
// The change is part of a series of responses to the Facebook Oversight Board’s ruling on former president Trump.

🐣 RT @HowardMortman “Tragedy in nations Capitol. Jan 6 was dark day in history of Capitol…Thanks to swift action of Capitol Police…That same day we reconvened Congress & did our duty…Trump & I spoken several times since left office. I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day” ¤ Pence 💽 https://twitter.com/HowardMortman/status/1400605089165975552?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @tedlieu We have known for quite some time that #TrumpIsNotWell. But most @GOP legislators are not delusional. Their promotion of the #BigLie is a conscious decision to lie to the American people and to erode our democracy. And they still can’t identify who stole the election.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ProjectLincoln #TrumpIsNotWell: “Donald Trump really does believe that he, along with two former GOP senators, will be ‘reinstated’ to office this summer.”
⋙ NationalReview: Maggie Haberman Is Right http://bit.ly/3wYDcEy
// Donald Trump really does believe that he, along with two former GOP senators, will be ‘reinstated’ to office this summer.

NYT: White House Warns Companies to Act Now on Ransomware Defenses http://nyti.ms/3igtZDy
// An open letter urged them to take many of the defensive steps that the federal government requires of its agencies and contractors.

TheAtlantic, Adam Serwer: The Capitol Rioters Won http://bit.ly/3cdNqcA
// Although some Republican leaders deplored their violence, most have come to support the rioters’ claim that Trump’s defeat meant the election was inherently illegitimate.

⭕ 2 Jun 2021

WaPo: Trump has grown increasingly consumed with ballot audits as he pushes falsehood that election was stolen http://wapo.st/3yYkpve

WaPo: Tampa man pleads guilty to felony in Jan. 6 Capitol riot; his recommended prison sentence could set bar for other cases http://wapo.st 3wRvrAh

WaPo, George T Conway III: Republican senators’ failure to investigate Jan. 6 is worse than their impeachment performance http://wapo.st/3g8Tsfo

They acquitted him even though they surely recognized, as their own leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.), blisteringly said on the floor on Feb. 13 after voting to acquit, that Trump had engaged in a “disgraceful — disgraceful — dereliction of duty.” Rather than “do his job,” McConnell said, Trump “watched television happily — happily — as the chaos unfolded,” hoping “to either overturn the voters’ decision or else torch our institutions on the way out.”

And they did so out of raw political fear, this time without fig leaves. McConnell’s own leadership colleague, minority whip Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), actually admitted that Republicans feared that the commission’s findings “could be weaponized politically and drug into next year,” a midterm election year.

[I]f Republicans are worried about what would happen if the public learned more of the truth about Jan. 6, they have only themselves to blame. ¤ After all, they were the ones who acquitted Trump in the first impeachment trial and let him remain in office. They were the ones who stood mute before Jan. 6 as Trump propagated the “big lie” after the election. They were the ones who left open the horrifying prospect of letting Trump hold office again. They are the ones who continue to wish his wrongs away.

They quiver in fear of the man who cost them the presidency and both houses of Congress. As they continue to quake, the “big lie’s” cancer upon democracy grows, with spurious election audits in pursuit of fantasies of fraud, and with some insanely claiming — reportedly including Trump himself — that he’ll be “reinstated” in due course.

Four years of Trump have led to the Republican Party becoming a threat to democracy, a declining sect dominated by crackpots, charlatans and cowards. Of these, it’s the cowards, including the senators who killed last week’s legislation, who bear the most blame.

⭕ 1 Jun 2021

🐣 RT @ProjectLincoln The Republican Party can never again be trusted to lead the United States of America.

WaPo, Max Boot: The Republican plot to steal the 2024 election http://wapo.st/2RawXyk “Senate Democrats have to choose between saving the filibuster and saving democracy. They can’t do both.”

The Brennan Center for Justice reports that “between January 1 and May 14, 2021, at least 14 states enacted 22 new laws that restrict access to the vote” and “at least 61 bills with restrictive provisions are moving through 18 state legislatures.” Those bills are designed not to avert nonexistent voter fraud but to avert another election defeat for Republicans — and they are drawing perilously close to that goal.

While GOP efforts are ultimately aimed at the 2024 election, they will first make their impact felt in 2022. Off-year elections are always tough for the party in power. This one will be tougher still because of Republican-driven voter suppression, reapportionment and gerrymandering. Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report writes that Republicans will have full authority to redraw 187 congressional districts, while Democrats will control just 75. He estimates that redistricting in just four states — Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina — could be enough to deliver the House to Republican control.

Willingness to lie about election fraud has become a litmus test for Republicans, with the implicit threat of mob violence if they don’t go along. Republicans are so scared of Trump and his fanatical followers that most of them just voted against a bipartisan investigation of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Many congressional Republicans will refuse to certify a 2024 Democratic win in swing states. If Republicans control Congress, they could deny the Democrats an electoral college majority and throw the election to the House — where each state delegation, regardless of population, would cast one ballot. Given that Republicans already control a majority of state delegations, they could override the election outcome. If that happens, it would spell the end of American democracy.

I hope I am being overly alarmist. I really do. But after the storming of the Capitol — and the Republican failure to hold the instigators to account — we have crossed a Rubicon. The best way to protect our electoral system is to pass the For the People Act, which would curb partisan gerrymandering and protect voting rights. Senate Democrats have to choose between saving the filibuster and saving democracy. They can’t do both.

⭕ 31 May 2021

≣ WhiteHouse[.]gov: Remarks by President Biden at the 153rd National Memorial Day Observance http://bit.ly/3z1PHRZ
// Arlington National Cemetery; partial transcript

We all know Memorial Day origins lie in the wake of the Civil War — a war for the freedom of all.  A war for union.  A war for liberty and for the preservation of the Constitution. 

In calling for such today, General John Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued General Order Number 11.  He directed the nation set aside a day to honor, and I quote, “those who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard throughout the land.” 

You know, America has been forged in the battle and the fires of war. Our freedom and the freedom of innumerable others has been secured by young men and women who answered the call of history and gave everything in the service of an idea: the idea of America.

It’s the greatest idea in the long history of humankind. An idea that we’re all created equal in the image of Almighty God. That we’re all entitled to dignity, as my father would say, and respect, decency, and honor. Love of neighbor. They’re not empty words, but the vital, beating heart of our nation.

And that democracy must be defended at all costs, for democracy makes all this possible. Democracy — that’s the soul of America, and I believe it’s a soul worth fighting for, and so do you; a soul worth dying for. Heroes who lie in eternal peace in this beautiful place, this sacred place, they believed that too.

The soul of America is animated by the perennial battle between our worst instincts — which we’ve seen of late — and our better angels. Between “Me first” and “We the People.” Between greed and generosity, cruelty and kindness, captivity and freedom.

The Americans of Lexington and Concord, of New Orleans, Gettysburg, the Argonne, Iwo Jima and Normandy, Korea and Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, and thousands of places in between — these Americans weren’t fighting for dictators; they were fighting for democracy.

They weren’t fighting to exclude or to enslave; they were fighting to build and broaden and liberate. They weren’t fighting for self; they were fighting for the soul of the nation, for liberty and simple fair play — simple fair play and decency.

Today, as we remember their sacrifice, we remind ourselves of our duty to their memory, to the future they fought for. We owe the honored dead a debt we can never fully repay. We owe them our whole souls. We owe them our full best efforts to perfect the Union for which they died.

We owe them the work of our hands and our hearts, to make real the promise of a nation founded on the proposition that all of us — all of us — all of us are created equal and deserve to be treated that way throughout our lives.

Democracy is more than a form of government. It’s a way of being; it’s a way of seeing the world. Democracy means the rule of the people — the rule of the people. Not the rule of monarchs, not the rule of the moneyed, not the rule of the mighty — literally, the rule of the people.

The lives of billions, from antiquity to our own hour, have been shaped by the battle between aspirations of the many and the greed of the few. Between people’s right to self-determination and the self-seeking of the dictator. Between dreams of democracy and appetites for autocracy, which we’re seeing around the world.

Our troops have fought this battle on fields around the world, but also the battle of our time. And the mission falls to each of us, each and every day. Democracy itself is in peril, here at home and around the world.

What we do now — what we do now, how we honor the memory of the fallen, will determine whether or not democracy will long endure. We all take it for granted. We think we learned in school. You have to — every generation has to fight for it.

But, look, it’s the biggest question: Whether a system that prizes the individual, that bends towards liberty, that gives everybody a chance at prosperity — whether that system can and will prevail against powerful forces that wish it harm.

All that we do in our common life as a nation is part of that struggle. The struggle for democracy is taking place around the world — democracy and autocracy. The struggle for decency and dignity — just simple decency. The struggle for posterity — prosperity and progress. And, yes, the struggle for the soul of America itself.

Folks, you all know it: Democracy thrives when the infrastructure of democracy is strong; when people have the right to vote freely and fairly and conveniently; when a free and independent press pursues the truth, founded on facts, not propaganda; when the rule of law applies equally and fairly to every citizen, regardless of where they come from or what they look like.

Wherever Americans are, there — there is democracy: churches and synagogues and mosques, neighborhoods and coffee shops and diners, bleachers at kids’ baseball or soccer games, libraries and parks. Democracy begins and grows in the open heart and the impetus to come together for a common cause.

And that’s where it will be preserved. For empathy is the fuel of democracy. Let me say that again: Empathy — empathy is the fuel of democracy, a willingness to see each other — not as enemies, neighbors. Even when we disagree, to understand what the other is going through.

To state the obvious: Our democracy is imperfect. It always has been. But Americans of all backgrounds, races, creeds, gender identities, sexual orientations, have long spilled their blood to defend our democracy. The diversity of our country and our arm- — and of our armed services is and always has been an incredible strength.

And generation after generation of American heroes have signed up to be part of the fight because they understand the truth that lives in every American heart: that liberation, opportunity, justice are far more likely to come to pass in a democracy than an autocracy.

If every person is sacred, then every person’s rights are sacred. Individual dignity; individual worth; individual sanctity; the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We say those words so often, but think of it: the right to vote, the right to rise in a world as far as your talent can take you, unlimited by unfair barriers of privilege and power — such are the principles of democracy.

So how would you put these noble principles into practice? How do we do that? How do we make the idea real, or as close to real as we can make it?

This nation was built on an idea — the only nation in the world built on an idea. Every other nation was built on ethnicity, geography, religion, et cetera.

We were built on an idea: the idea of liberty and opportunity for all. We have never fully realized that aspiration of our founding, but every generation has opened the door a little wider, and every generation has opened it wider and wider to be more inclusive, to include those who have been excluded before. It’s a mission handed down generation to generation: the work of perfecting our union.

In 1830, when we were a young nation, dis-unionists put their sectional interests ahead of the common good. A great senator, Daniel Webster, rose in the Capitol to defend the Union. To him, we were not just a collection of competing forces, but a coherent whole.

His cry, first uttered just across the Potomac in the Capitol, resonates even now. He stood on the floor and he said, “Liberty and Union, now on forever, one and inseparable.” Liberty and Union.

More than 142 years later, when I first came to the United States Senate — at a time when our country was so deeply divided over Vietnam, the struggle of civil rights, the fight over women’s rights — I had the notion that my first task, as I stood to make my first speech on the floor of the Senate — it all of a sudden hit me: I’m standing where Daniel Webster had stood; his desk was next to mine.

And I was struck by the weight of history, as corny as it sounds, by the legacy of the work we’re charged to carry forward: liberty and union, now and forever.

We must honor their sacrifice by sustaining the best of America, while honestly confronting all that we must do to make our nation fuller, freer, and more just. We must remember that we may find the light and the wisdom and, yes, the courage to move forward — in the words of that great hymn, fight as they “nobly fought of old.”

For in remembrance lies not just our history, but our hope. Not just our solemn remembrance, but our renewed purpose. Not just our solace, but our strength.

This Memorial Day, remember that not all of us are called to make the ultimate sacrifice. We all are called, by God and by history and by conscience, to make our nation free and fair, just and strong, noble and whole.

To this battle, may we now dedicate our souls, that our work may prove worthy of the blood of our fallen. For this work — the work of democracy — is the work of our time, and for all time. And if we do our duty, then ages still to come will look back on us and say that we too kept the faith. And there’s nothing more important, nothing more sacred, nothing more American than keeping the faith.

WaPo: After defeating restrictive voting bill, Texas Democrats send loud message: ‘We need Congress to do their part’ http://wapo.st/3fFundk

🔄 Wikipedia: 2021 storming of the United States Capitol http://bit.ly/3i3Uv2Y
// A request that this article title be changed to January 6 United States Capitol attack is under discussion

⭕ 30 May 2021

WaPo: Texas Democrats try to block restrictive voting bill before midnight deadline http://wapo.st/2RWnTO0

Texas Republicans scrambled late Sunday to approve one of the most restrictive voting bills in the country, as Democrats made a series of emotional pleas and threw up procedural objections in a last-ditch effort to defeat the measure.

The Republican-majority House took up the legislation after the Senate passed it early Sunday following a marathon overnight debate that stretched more than seven hours. The measure mirrors other GOP-backed legislation approved in Georgia, Florida and other states at the urging of former president Donald Trump, who has falsely claimed that his defeat in the 2020 election was tainted by fraud.

WaPo: Four more indicted in alleged Jan. 6 Oath Keepers conspiracy to obstruct election vote in Congress http://wapo.st/2TvbXmT

Four more Oath Keepers associates have been indicted and three were arrested in Florida in recent days in the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol, bringing the number of co-defendants charged in the largest conspiracy case from that day to 16, court records show.

Joseph Hackett, 51, of Sarasota, Fla., Jason Dolan, 44, of Wellington, Fla., and William Isaacs, 21, of Kissimmee, Fla., each face multiple counts in an indictment handed up Wednesday and unsealed Sunday in Washington. The three appeared Thursday before U.S. magistrates in Tampa, West Palm Beach and Orlando. ¤ The name of a fourth defendant not known to be in custody was redacted.

The four new defendants are charged with conspiring to obstruct Congress’s confirmation of the 2020 presidential election in joint session on Jan. 6. They are accused of forcing entry through the Capitol’s East Rotunda doors after marching single-file up the steps wearing camouflaged combat uniforms, tactical vests with plates, helmets, eye protection and Oath Keepers insignia.

🐣 RT @BillKristol The state of the GOP, May 30, 2021: ¤ Republican senators kill a Jan. 6 commission, Trump’s national security advisor calls for military coup, Republican governors and legislators cater to anti-vaxxers, & Texas Republicans make it harder to vote and easier to overturn an election.
⋙ 🐣 It’s awful, yes, but the GOP has been helped by trouble-makers since Nixon, stoked division and conspiracies since Gingrich and sought votes from the uninformed since the “Moral Majority.” There has not been a true leader since Eisenhower. Finnegan, begin again.

⭕ 29 May 2021

⭕ 28 May 2021

WaPo: The Senate vote on the bipartisan Jan. 6 commission showed Trump’s power and a government under duress http://wapo.st/34sM2P2

WaPo: Sen. Murkowski delivers pointed criticism of fellow Republicans, including McConnell, who oppose Jan. 6 commission http://wapo.st/2RNafNg

⭕ 27 May 2021

TheBulwark, Tim Miller: Mitch McConnell Saw the Insurrection Clearly and Then Decided He Liked It http://bit.ly/3vBELbf
// McConnell now considers protecting the insurrectionists a personal favor.

CNN: Prosecutors announce fresh charges against ‘Maga Caravan’ leader, others in January 6 insurrection http://cnn.it/3vAECVC

NYT: Prosecutors Investigating Whether Ukrainians Meddled in 2020 Election http://nyti.ms/3fv2OD8
// The Brooklyn federal inquiry has examined whether former and current Ukrainian officials tried to interfere in the election, including funneling misleading information through Rudolph W. Giuliani.

NYT: Paul Ryan Critiques Trump’s Grip on the Republican Party http://nyti.ms/3i03gLm
// In a speech, the former House speaker called on the Republican Party not to move forward in Donald Trump’s image, though he did not criticize the former president by name.

🐣 RT @MichaelSteele When you just don’t give a damn: A grieving mother leaves her home to ask GOP Senators to do the right thing. And they still say no. #January6thCommission @DeadlineWH w/ @NicolleDWallace
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “This mom has to leave her home, to come up to Capitol Hill, to ask these people to do the very thing they’ve been elected to do… It is unsightly to have Republicans… to say ‘I”ll meet with her but I’m still voting against her'” – @MichaelSteele w/
⋙ 🐣 RT @natsechobbyist [Rachel Vindman]] Betrayal. My heart aches for his family. COWARDS.

💙 🐣 Wow. Stock buybacks! I’ve been harping on this since 2014, when Wm Lazonick wrote “Profits Without Prosperity” in the Harvard Review of Business http://bit.ly/34lTmfh ¤ Biden on Economy. He’s talking about the End of Reagonomics. #TrickleDownDidnt

AP: GOP set to block 1/6 panel, stoking Senate filibuster fight http://bit.ly/3bXwwyL

⭕ 26 May 2021

📊 QuinnipiacPoll: 85% Of Republicans Want Candidates To Agree With Trump, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Americans Support Early Cut To Federal Jobless Benefit http://bit.ly/3wCRD14

As candidates begin to enter races for the 2022 mid-term elections, more than 8 in 10 Republicans (85 percent) say they would prefer to see candidates running for elected office that mostly agree with Donald Trump, according to a Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pea-ack) University national poll of adults released today. Overall, a majority of Americans (53 – 39 percent) say they would prefer to see candidates running for elected office that mostly disagree with Trump.

Asked whether they would like to see Trump run for president in 2024, Republicans say 66 – 30 percent they would. Overall, two-thirds of Americans (66 – 30 percent) say they do not want to see him run.

Six months after the 2020 presidential election, two-thirds of Republicans (66 – 25 percent) say they think that Joe Biden’s victory was not legitimate. Overall, Americans say 64 – 29 percent that Biden’s victory was legitimate. Among registered voters, it’s also 64 – 29 percent, which is fairly similar to polls taken in December 2020 and January 2021. [ ✛ more ]

WaPo: Mother and partner of fallen Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick request meetings with all GOP senators, urging them to back Jan. 6 commission http://wapo.st/34l4Yin

In the statement, which was included in the email, Gladys Sicknick said that her son and his fellow police officers “fought for hours and hours against those animals who were trying to take over the Capitol Building and our Democracy, as we know it.”

“Not having a January 6 Commission to look into exactly what occurred is a slap in the faces of all the officers who did their jobs that day,” she said in the statement. “Because of what they did, the people in the building were able to go home that evening and be with their families. Brian and many other officers ended up in the hospital. I suggest that all Congressmen and Senators who are against this Bill visit my son’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery and, while there, think about what their hurtful decisions will do to those officers who will be there for them going forward.”,

⭕ 25 May 2021

WaPo: Prosecutor in Trump criminal probe convenes grand jury to hear evidence, weigh potential charges http://wapo.st/3vo5mbW

⭕ 24 May 2021
sick in hospital
⭕ 23 May 2021
sick in hospital
⭕ 22 May 2021

⭕ 21 May 2021

SelectedWisdom, Clint Watts: Why Does Social Media Lead Us to Believe Things That Are Not True? http://bit.ly/3p3vtCG
// Overcoming vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. – Part 1 (linked series)

⭕ 20 May 2021

TheAtlantic, Peter Wehner: Trump Is Marching Down the Road to Political Violence http://bit.ly/34592TT
// The Republican Party must counteract lies rather than indulge them.

WaPo, Michael Gerson: The threat of violence now infuses GOP politics. We should all be afraid. http://wapo.st/3ve2EWj

WaPo: Several Republicans who oppose Jan. 6 commission are potential witnesses about Trump’s conduct that day http://wapo.st/341s79k

WaPo: The GOP keeps reinforcing the real reason it opposes a Jan. 6 commission http://wapo.st/3fxNKDQ
//. It’s as if Republicans were trying to prove they were just doing this for political reasons

⭕ 19 May 2021

WaPo: Attorney for ‘QAnon Shaman’ questions mental abilities of his client, others in Jan. 6 riot http://wapo.st/3fAIQpq

WaPo, Philip Bump: A significant Trump fear inches closer: Accountability http://wapo.st/3oInXNv

⭕ 18 May 2021

WaPo: Investigation of Trump Organization now exploring possible criminal conduct, N.Y. attorney general’s office says http://wapo.st/33TaSqO ¤

⭕ 17 May 2021

🐣 RT @BillKristol It’s a tricky moment, but it seems to me that pro-democracy Republicans, ex-Republicans, and conservatives should, for now
1) support elected Republicans, like Liz Cheney and the Maricopa Supervisors, fighting for democracy, &
2) mostly vote for Democrats in the general election.

⭕ 16 May 2021

WaPo, EJ Dionne: Democracy depends on two guys named Joe http://wapo.st/3bw4kCE “These are no ordinary Joes. I am, of course, speaking of President Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) … At stake is the For the People Act”

⭕ 15 May 2021

WaPo: Republicans’ conflicting message: Embracing Trump election lie is key to prominence, just stop asking us about it http://wapo.st/2S0Pk8T

⭕ 14 May 2021

CNN: Biden administration gives House panel documents related to Trump hotel http://cnn.it/3byyvt7

WaPo: Republican chairman of Arizona county calls state-led election review ‘dangerous’ as tensions rise over 2020 recount http://wapo.st/3eMRQbW

WaPo: House members announce bipartisan deal for Jan. 6 commission http://wapo.st/3bsbckA

The proposed 10-member commission, which emulates the panel that investigated the causes and lessons of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, would be vested with subpoena authority and charged with studying the events and run-up to Jan. 6 — with a focus on why an estimated 10,000 supporters of former president Donald Trump swarmed the Capitol grounds and, more important, what factors instigated about 800 of them to break inside. Trump’s critics in both political parties view it as a means to bring further public scrutiny to his role in inspiring the violence.

“There has been a growing consensus that the January 6th attack is of a complexity and national significance that what we need [is] an independent commission to investigate,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, announcing that he had reached agreement with the panel’s top Republican, Rep. John Katko (N.Y.). “The creation of this commission is our way of taking responsibility for protecting the U.S. Capitol.”

On the heels of the commission deal, House Democrats on Friday also announced their proposal for $1.9 billion of supplemental funds to pay for security upgrades for the Capitol and other parts of the federal government.

The bill puts over a half-billion dollars toward hardening the Capitol and congressional office buildings with movable fences, door and window reinforcements, and additional security cameras and checkpoints. It also dedicates $21.5 million to stepping up security details for members facing threats, whether in Washington, their home districts or traveling between the two — and $18 million to better train and equip the U.S. Capitol Police to respond to riot situations.

But the largest part of the hefty spending bill — nearly $700 million — is simply to pay money owed to the Capitol Police, D.C. police, the National Guard and other federal agencies for costs they incurred in responding to the riot and its aftermath. It also dedicates more than $200 million to the federal courts to address threats to judges and to meet various other costs related to prosecuting those charged in connection with the insurrection.

The commission would have the power to subpoena witnesses, but not without an agreement between the Democrat-appointed chair and the Republican-appointed vice chair, or a majority vote of the panel. Current government officials, including those holding elective office, would not be allowed to serve on the panel, to maintain its independence.

The commission would be tasked with producing a final report detailing its findings, as well as any recommendations for preventing similar attacks in the future, by the end of this year, giving it only about six months to complete its work — if Congress approves the commission in short. By comparison, the 9/11 Commission took 20 months to publish its findings.

In his announcement, Thompson predicted that legislation would be on the House floor as soon as next week. While it is almost certain to gain majority support from the Democratic-led House, Republicans will have to decide whether to side with moderates like Katko or with GOP leaders who have resisted efforts to hold Trump accountable for the violence. Many Republicans fear that supporting the commission risks alienating the former president’s followers, a base of political support they consider vital to reclaiming majorities in the House and Senate.

DemocracyDocket, Marc Elias: The Big Lie is a Pillar of the State http://bit.ly/3uStwej

⭕ 13 May 2021

MotherJones: Leaked Video: Dark Money Group Brags About Writing GOP Voter Suppression Bills Across the Country http://bit.ly/3ojFc7e
// “We did it quickly and we did it quietly,” said the executive director of Heritage Action.

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: The stampede away from the GOP begins http://wapo.st/3yaoxYw

That’s where a new group of challengers to the GOP comes in. On Thursday, 150 former governors, members of Congress, Cabinet officials, senior administration officials, strategists and grass-roots leaders issued their own declaration of independence with an explicit threat to leave the party if the GOP does not abandon the MAGA mentality. In a document titled, “A Call to American Renewal,” the signatories reference Cheney’s ouster and write, “This ‘common-sense coalition’ seeks to catalyze the reform of the Republican Party and its recommitment to truth, founding ideals, and decency or, if unsuccessful, lay the foundation for an alternative.”

The group set out a list of principles, emphasizing democracy, constitutional order, truth, ethical government, conservation (“stewardship of America’s resources — natural, environmental and financial”), pluralism (rejecting the notion that America is defined by race, religion or birthplace) and rejection of “all forms of bigotry.”

Some of the stated principles hint at stances on current issues. In declaring they “oppose disenfranchisement of voters,” for example, the signatories position themselves as opponents of the voter suppression laws growing like weeds around the country. Other statements avoid specific positions, such as their support for “policies that further public safety, health, and defense as required for national sovereignty and prosperity.”

For now, Cheney and this group of dissident Republicans might embrace a common endeavor: stripping the bark off McCarthy and his enablers to make sure voters know the danger in handing over the House to MAGA cultists.

WaPo: CDC says fully vaccinated Americans no longer need masks indoors or outdoors in many cases http://wapo.st/3uO1hgH
// The relaxation of restrictions incentivizes people to get the shots and helps pave the way for a full reopening of society.

⭕ 12 May 2021

WaPo: U.S. has entered unprecedented climate territory, EPA warns http://wapo.st/3bmYvri
//. The Trump administration delayed the report, which cites urban heat waves and permafrost loss as signs of global warming, for three years

‼️ 🐣 RT @ jcartiller “I don’t think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election” ¤ Kevin McCarthy

⭕ 11 May 2021

🐣 RT @BillKristol Liz Cheney’s speech marked her farewell to the House GOP leadership. But it also marked the beginning of an effort to save the Republican Party for democracy, freedom, and the rule of law. If that effort results in a 2024 presidential campaign, this speech will have launched it.

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Liz Cheney delivers defiant speech on House floor ahead of vote to oust her from G.O.P. leadership. http://nyti.ms/3eBAw9Q

Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming delivered a defiant last stand hours before facing a vote to purge her from House Republican leadership for her outspoken repudiation of former President Donald J. Trump’s election lies, declaring Tuesday night on the House floor that she would not sit back quietly as her party aided Mr. Trump’s attempts to undermine democracy.

Ms. Cheney, who is facing a vote Wednesday morning that is almost certain to succeed in ousting her from House Republicans’ No. 3 post, declared on Tuesday that the nation was facing a “never seen before” threat in a former president who provoked the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and who “has resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him.”

“Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar,” Ms. Cheney said. “I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence, while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.”

The Wyoming Republican’s remarkable broadside illustrated her unrepentant response to the effort to dethrone her. She has cast her almost certain expulsion from the leadership ranks as a “turning point” for her party and told allies that the leadership post is simply not worth having if it requires her to lie.
Rather than fighting to hold onto her post, Ms. Cheney has embraced her downfall, offering herself as a cautionary tale in what she is portraying as a battle for the soul of the Republican Party. Emphasizing that framing Tuesday night, Ms. Cheney wore a replica pin of George Washington’s battle flag as she spoke on the House floor.

🐣 RT @stuartastevens What’s happening in this moment is that @RepLizCheney is becoming an international symbol for anti-authoritarian freedom. She is a dissident facing down a thuggish power structure just as Alexei Navalny is in Russia. We are a democracy in da
⋙ 🐣 “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds” — Mexican Proverb

NYT: Over 100 Republicans, including former officials, threaten to split from G.O.P. http://nyti.ms/2RbaC3L

Politico: House, Justice Department report deal on McGahn testimony http://politi.co/3o6OJ1E
// The “accommodation” to end the dispute over a subpoena for the former White House counsel does not involve former President Donald Trump, who could try to scuttle it.

🐣 RT @CNN The House of Representatives and the Biden administration say they have reached an agreement “in principle” on the long-running standoff over a subpoena for former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn to testify about the ex-President’s obstructive acts
🔆 This❗️⋙ CNN: House and Biden administration reach deal on subpoena for former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn’s testimony http://cnn.it/3xYFOE1

🐣 RT @djrothkopf Rep. Cheney is standing up for the country. Set her past politics aside for a moment. The stakes are very high right now and courage like hers is essential. There will be plenty of time for debating policies later…if we can save our democracy now. First things first.

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom If the coalition for democracy includes everyone from Liz Warren to Liz Cheney, that’s a pretty big tent, and I’m in. ¤ If you’re one of the people whose purity demands that you can’t be in a coalition with either of them, you’re not focused on the real problem here.

≣ CNN: READ: Liz Cheney’s remarks on the House floor on the night before her expected removal from leadership post http://cnn.it/3uI4aQ6 transcript
⋙ CNN: Video: http://cnn.it/2SAKZcS

… “Today we face a threat America has never seen before. A former president, who provoked a violent attack on this Capitol in an effort to steal the election, has resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him. He risks inciting further violence.

“Millions of Americans have been misled by the former President. They have heard only his words, but not the truth, as he continues to undermine our democratic process, sowing seeds of doubt about whether democracy really works at all.

“I am a conservative Republican and the most conservative of conservative principles is reverence for the rule of law. The Electoral College has voted. More than sixty state and federal courts, including multiple judges he appointed, have rejected the former president’s claims. The Department of Justice in his administration investigated the former president’s claims of widespread fraud and found no evidence to support them. The election is over. That is the rule of law. That is our constitutional process.

“Those who refuse to accept the rulings of our courts are at war with the Constitution.

“Our duty is clear. Every one of us who has sworn the oath must act to prevent the unraveling of our democracy. This is not about policy. This is not about partisanship. This is about our duty as Americans. Remaining silent, and ignoring the lie, emboldens the liar.

“I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.

“As the party of Reagan, Republicans championed democracy, won the Cold War, and defeated the Soviet Communists. As we speak, America is on the cusp of another Cold War — this time with communist China. Attacks against our democratic process and the rule of law empower our adversaries and feed Communist propaganda that American democracy is a failure. We must speak the truth. Our election was not stolen, and America has not failed.

“I received a message last week from a Gold Star father who said, ‘Standing up for the truth honors all who gave all.’ We must all strive to be worthy of the sacrifice of those who have died for our freedom. They are the patriots Katherine Lee Bates described in the words of America the Beautiful: ‘Oh beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life.’

“Ultimately, this is at the heart of what our oath requires — that we love our country more. That we love her so much we will stand above politics to defend her. That we will do everything in our power to protect our constitution and our freedom — paid for by the blood of so many.

“We must love her so much we will never yield in her defense.

“That is our duty.”

WaPo: Jeff Flake: In today’s Republican Party, there is no greater offense than honesty http://wapo.st/3vU1vD6

“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.” — George Orwell

Near the beginning of the document that made us free, our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident.”

There you have it. From the very beginning of America, our freedom has been predicated on truth. For without a principled fidelity to truth and to shared facts, our democracy will not last.

On Wednesday, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) will most likely lose her leadership post within the House Republican Conference, not because she has been untruthful. Rather, she will lose her position because she is refusing to play her assigned role in propagating the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. Cheney is more dedicated to the long-term health of our constitutional system than she is to assuaging the former president’s shattered ego, and for her integrity she may well pay with her career.

No, this is not the plot of a movie set in an asylum. Ladies and gentlemen, this is your contemporary Republican Party, where today there is no greater offense than honesty.

It seems a good time to examine how we got to a place where such a large swath of the electorate (70 percent of Republican voters, according to polling) became willing to reject a truth that is so self-evident.

This allergy to self-evident truth didn’t happen all at once, of course. This frog has been boiling for some time now. The Trump period in American life has been a celebration of the unwise and the untrue. From the ugly tolerance of the pernicious falsehood about President Barack Obama’s place of birth to the bizarre and fanatical fable about the size of inauguration crowds, to the introduction of the term “alternative facts” into the American lexicon, the party’s steady embrace of dishonesty as a central premise has brought us to this low and dangerous place.

I don’t know what will happen to Cheney politically after Wednesday. For me, I knew that I couldn’t support Trump’s election or reelection after his seminal falsehood about Obama’s birth certificate, to say nothing of the cascade of untruths, from the trivial to the consequential, that followed daily. I had hoped that, over time, my Republican constituents would feel differently about the former president, or at least value a Republican who pushed back, and that I could stand for reelection in 2018 with a reasonable chance of surviving a Republican primary. It soon became apparent that Republican voters wanted someone who was all in with a president that I increasingly saw as a danger to the republic. That could not be me, so I spoke out instead and didn’t stand for reelection.

When I became an unwitting dissident in my party by speaking in defense of self-evident truths, I assumed that more and more of my colleagues would follow me. I remain astonished that so few did. Congresswoman Cheney, I know how alone you must be feeling. But just know that history keeps the score, not Kevin McCarthy or Elise Stefanik.

In January 2018, three years before the Capitol insurrection, I said the following on the Senate floor:

“Mr. President, let us be clear. The impulses underlying the dissemination of such untruths are not benign. They have the effect of eroding trust in our vital institutions and conditioning the public to no longer trust them. The destructive effect of this kind of behavior on our democracy cannot be overstated.”

Three years later, it’s clear that I didn’t know the half of it. The destructive effect of the president’s behavior — and the willingness of Republican elected officials to indulge, excuse, defend, justify and, in many cases, just roll with it — has taken a devastating toll.

It is elementary to have to say this, but we did not become a great nation by believing or espousing nonsense, or by embracing lunacy. And if my party continues down this path, we will not be fit to govern.

Cheney has proved her fitness, and today it seems that adherents to the “big lie” will cast her out. Hold your head high, congresswoman. Those of us who believe in American democracy and who live in objective reality are grateful that you have chosen to take a stand for truth — self-evident truth — regardless of the consequences.

⭕ 10 May 2021

WaPo, Michael Gerson: Meet Kevin McCarthy, political hollow man http://wapo.st/

I hereby nominate House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for the James Buchanan prize, awarded for monumental smallness in a time demanding leadership. The 15th president, you might recall, was a politician who tried to take both sides on a matter of conscience and chose to temporize rather than govern. In his 1857 inaugural address, Buchanan proclaimed that slavery was “happily, a matter of but little practical importance.” Five years later came Antietam.

It wasn’t easy, but McCarthy has managed to fill Buchanan’s teensy, tiny shoes. In a normal political time, it would make perfect sense for a minority leader to keep his caucus happy by throwing a controversial member of the House leadership off the lifeboat. It would make sense to avoid internal GOP debates, wait patiently for likely midterm victories and slip into the speakership with little fuss. It would make sense to take the easiest path to power — which runs, McCarthy believes, through Mar-a-Lago.

These are not, however, normal times. And in a trial testing this claim, McCarthy would be a prime witness. He is the one who made the desperate call to President Donald Trump when the Capitol was under siege by a violent mob Trump had assembled, incited and sent in McCarthy’s direction. McCarthy is the one who, during that chaotic conversation, was reportedly taunted by Trump for lacking the anti-constitutional enthusiasm of the rioters. McCarthy is the one who said that Trump “bears responsibility” for the Jan. 6 attack and floated the idea of censure.

There is a reason McCarthy now resists an impartial investigation of the events of Jan. 6: his honest testimony about Trump would be damning. And that is what makes his reversion to sycophancy so contemptible. McCarthy stands condemned by his own 10 minutes of moral clarity. His slinking to Mar-a-Lago to repent for disloyal honesty shows a tolerance for humiliation akin to masochism. Is the speakership worth achieving when it involves the sacrifice of your character, your country and your dignity?

McCarthy is engaged in an elaborate political ploy. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is making a moral and historical argument. “Trump is seeking,” she wrote in a Washington Post op-ed, “to unravel critical elements of our constitutional structure that make democracy work — confidence in the result of elections and the rule of law.” And the former president, she warns, is advancing such claims under the vague — and sometimes not so vague — threat of violence. In her view, this has created an inflection point for the GOP. Is it dedicated to the application of conservative ideas or to the maintenance of a personality cult? Does it defend constitutional norms or edge toward authoritarianism?

How does McCarthy respond to these substantive claims? He doesn’t. He probably couldn’t. So he dismisses the discussion as divisive and seeks to throw a deadly riot, including dead and wounded police officers, down the memory hole.

Instead of dealing with reality, McCarthy mouths partisan pablum that the actions of his own party have rendered ridiculous. “Democrats,” he says, “are destroying this nation” — when only the GOP is actively undermining the U.S. system of government. Democrats are responsible for “the greatest expansion of government” — when Trump in power spent money like a drunken socialist. The damage done by Democrats, insists McCarthy, will be irreversible — when it is Republicans who seek to make Trump’s malignant hold on the country permanent.

In handing over Cheney to the braying MAGA crowd, McCarthy explained: “Any member can take whatever position they believe in. … What we’re talking about is a position in leadership.” So it is McCarthy’s official view that “leadership” is no place for, well, leadership. It is a place for limitless fealty to a failed, corrupt and lawless former president. It is dedicated to Trump and Trump eternal.

… In a crisis of national identity, he has done what comes easy to him. He has shown only shallowness, cravenness and negligence. He has been a quailing, simpering paragon of mediocrity. It is the work of a political hollow man — a Buchanan all our own.

The bad news? McCarthy’s party does have a good shot at winning the House in 2022. Smallness of spirit and vision may well be rewarded.

The good news? The 15th president was followed by the 16th president. America has a history of finding large leaders in times of greatest need.

WaPo, Dana Milbank: Kevin McCarthy hits the bottom of the barrel http://wapo.st/3o4jiVH

A few days before the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, the House Republican leader had a conference call with GOP lawmakers. On the call, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois warned McCarthy that his and other party leaders’ claims — that the election had been stolen and that Republicans had the power to block Joe Biden’s victory from being certified — “would lead to violence on January 6th.”

The response? Crickets, Kinzinger said, and then McCarthy “dismissively” blew off the warning. “Ok, Adam,” the GOP leader replied, “operator next question.” The rest — a Capitol ransacked, certification halted, five dead — is history.

Kinzinger brought all this up, he said, because McCarthy is seeking to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) as the No. 3 House Republican over her refusal to embrace the “big lie” that then-President Donald Trump won the election — the very lie that provoked the Capitol attack. “Liz is being chased out for one thing,” Kinzinger said. “… Her consistency. She said the same exact thing that Kevin McCarthy said on January 6th, which is Donald Trump is responsible” for the insurrection.

But while Cheney continues to speak the truth about Trump’s election fantasies and his role in the Capitol attack, McCarthy went to Florida soon after the insurrection to see a politically finished Trump and “resurrected him politically back to life.”

I’ve been on book leave this spring, watching from a distance as the Republican crazy train careened down the line toward Wit’s End:

● In Arizona, supporters of the defeated Trump are examining ballots with UV light to see “if there’s bamboo in the paper” in support of a conspiracy theory that 40,000 fake ballots were surreptitiously flown in from Asia.

● Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had a Fox News-only signing ceremony for a state law that will disproportionately stop non-White people from voting.

● Republican legislators in Tennessee and Colorado have offered defenses of the three-fifths compromise.

● House Republicans attempted to form a caucus in support of “Anglo-Saxon” traditions.

● Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) got ensnarled in a sex-for-cash probe that involves an underage girl.

● Rudy Giuliani had his home and office raided by federal agents.

● Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced that “100 percent of my focus is on standing up to this [Biden] administration.”

● And at the bottom of the barrel is McCarthy, now publicly backing Cheney’s ouster, which is likely to come to a vote Wednesday. Last week, in hot-mic remarks, McCarthy said: “I’ve had it with her. You know, I’ve lost confidence.” Instead, he’s backing a challenge by Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), who is far less conservative than Cheney but has the essential credential of supporting Trump’s “big lie” about the election — including the bamboo boondoggle in Arizona.

Kinzinger, like Cheney, is an outlier in the Trump-occupied GOP. Like others who voted to impeach, he has been censured by local Republicans at home and already has a primary challenger. But Kinzinger, who served five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, isn’t the sort to live in fear of losing an election.

And so he has been relentless in calling out McCarthy’s cowardice. He has tweeted about McCarthy’s attempts to whitewash Jan. 6. He said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the Republican Party is “basically the Titanic … in the middle of this slow sink” — a condition caused when McCarthy “put the paddles on Donald Trump and resurrected him in the party.”

Kinzinger told me Monday afternoon that he thinks McCarthy, once a good friend, has made an ends-justify-the-means calculation to “accept the lie at the moment so we can win the majority and then address it.” He thinks that only about 10 House Republicans are dumb enough to genuinely believe that Trump won the election. The rest simply fear primary challenges and therefore accept McCarthy’s belief that “winning a majority was more important than a clear-eyed recognition of what happened on January 6.”

But Kinzinger sees this craven acceptance of lies destroying the Republican Party. “I have watched us compromise with crazy basically every two years,” he said. “All that becomes is the starting position for the next iteration towards crazy.”

💙 WaPo, Eugene Robinson: The biggest threat to America is the Republican break with reality http://wapo.st/33vlQmj “For Democrats, losing next year’s midterm elections is simply not an option”

The greatest threat to our nation’s future is not covid-19 or the rise of China or even the existential challenge of climate change. It is the Republican Party’s attempt to seize and hold power by offering voters the seductive choice of rejecting inconvenient facts and basic logic.

For the American experiment and people to survive, much less prosper, this iteration of the GOP must fail.

The blind-loyalty-even-to-dishonest-insanity Republican litmus test that is about to cost Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) her leadership job is only the most acute manifestation of the party’s decline into utter irresponsibility. It’s bad enough that those who want to remain in good standing must embrace the “big lie” about purported fraud in the 2020 election. But the requirement doesn’t stop there. On issue after issue, Republicans are cynically adopting a kind of pre-Enlightenment insistence on the primacy of belief over evidence.

Honest leadership would require leveling with GOP constituents about the impossibility of turning back the flow of history. It would involve telling voters that globalization and information technology have forever changed the U.S. economy. It would involve proposing solutions for the way things are — or are becoming — rather than the way some might want them to be.

And Democrats who want to make real progress on any of these urgent issues need a Republican Party with that fortitude. We laugh about the party being obsessed about Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Dr. Seuss and whether a few transgender girls can run on their high school track teams at not just our own peril, but that of our political system. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) understands how Trump’s lies about the election led directly to the Capitol insurrection; he told us so himself on Jan. 6. But now he is ready to boot Cheney out of her high-ranking post for simply telling the truth and to replace her with Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.). Relative to Cheney, Stefanik is a moderate on policy. That no longer matters. Her core qualification is a willingness to go along with the “voter fraud” lie, and presumably with other lies as well, in the name of her own ambition. Shame on her. Shame on all of them. 

The scary thing is that this GOP, untethered from reality and the material needs of the country, is within a handful of seats of taking back both the House and the Senate. As exhausting as it is to acknowledge this, the 2020 election was just the first step toward restoring a shared reality. For Democrats, losing next year’s midterm elections is simply not an option.

🐣 RT @VABVOX If Democrats lose the House in 2022, Kevin McCarthy will be Speaker. ¤ McCarthy led 140+ GOP in an effort to decertify the 2020 vote. ¤ What do you think he will do in 2024?

🐣🌎 RT @rcooley123 These are the states with the highest and lowest vaccination rates https://twitter.com/rcooley123/status/1391931606814928903?s=20/photo/1
⋙ CNN: These are the states with the highest and lowest vaccination rates http://cnn.it/3vV8UlN

🐣 RT @Amy_Siskind Feels like we are living through what will someday be recorded in the history books as the end of a major politician party.

NBCNews: Kinzinger says McCarthy dismissed warnings of violence ahead of Jan. 6, praises Cheney http://nbcnews.to/3eAfTKW
//. Kinzinger said Cheney is being forced from her leadership position because her refusal to equivocate about Trump’s election defeat makes GOP members “uncomfortable.”

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Republicans don’t just lie to voters. They lie to themselves. http://wapo.st/33ucHKE

… The truth-tellers and the deniers of the Jan. 6 insurrection cannot coexist. It is one or the other. Republicans who say otherwise really mean that Cheney should just shut up so that the Former Guy does not pitch a fit. Her point is that it is not sustainable for a party to lie to prevent a disloyal authoritarian from having a temper tantrum.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) at least does not try to sell his party a bill of goods. Also appearing on “Meet the Press,” he was blunt: “This is going to be a battle for the soul of the Republican Party.” In other words, Republicans need to dispense with the fantasy that abject liars willing to rewrite history can coexist with principled lawmakers who insist on defending the Constitution.

United on policy? Few Republicans are talking about policy at all. Instead, they are fighting fictitious culture wars and cheering efforts to suppress the vote.

Republican politicians are deceiving themselves about the former president’s toxicity and about the incompatibility of Cheney Republicans and MAGA Republicans. They try to keep up the pretense that all will be fine in the GOP, ignoring the party’s absence of viable policy ideas and its preference for performance politics and right-wing conspiracy theories. Perhaps kicking Cheney out of her leadership spot will force some honest discussion among Republicans. If not, the GOP crackup will only intensify.

⭕ 9 May 2021

WaPo: The making of a myth http://wapo.st/3uFjX2s
// Russell J. Ramsland Jr. sold everything from Tex-Mex food to light-therapy technology. Then he sold the story that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

WaPo, Ellen Weintraub: Close this FEC loophole that killed the case over Trump’s payment to Stormy Daniels http://wapo.st/3bcmFVq

NBCNews, MeetThePress: Larry Hogan: GOP turning into ‘circular firing squad’ over Trump loyalty http://nbcnews.to/3f8rhwU
// As House Republicans prepare to oust Liz Cheney from leadership, one outspoken GOP Trump critic says the party should not swear fealty to a “dear leader.”

WSJ: Trump 2020 Election Lawsuits Lead to Requests to Discipline Lawyers http://on.wsj.com/2RGrNu0
// Courts, licensing bodies consider whether attorneys abused the legal system in challenging vote results

⭕ 8 May 2021

🐣 RT @Chrisvance123 YES!! After roughly three months of discussions and planning it is time to launch something new in American politics. Next week is going to be big
⋙ 🐣 RT @MilesTaylorUSA Enough is enough. ¤ We’re going to announce a “resistance of the rationals” against the radicals in the GOP. ¤ Next Thursday. Watch this space.

WaPo: Liz Cheney’s months-long effort to turn Republicans from Trump threatens her reelection and ambitions. She says it’s only beginning. http://wapo.st/3vNaeXG

📊 When staff from the National Republican Congressional Committee rose to explain the party’s latest polling in core battleground districts, they left out a key finding about Trump’s weakness, declining to divulge the information even when directly questioned about Trump’s support by a member of Congress, according to two people familiar with what transpired.

Trump’s unfavorable ratings were 15 points higher than his favorable ones in the core districts, according to the full polling results, which were later obtained by The Washington Post. Nearly twice as many voters had a strongly unfavorable view of the former president as had a strongly favorable one.

⭕ 7 May 2021

🐣 RT @mccaffreyr3 Trump and the Republicans in Congress are now an acute threat to our democracy. They voted to overthrow an election after the 6 Jan assault on the Capitol. Trump in his ignorance and lawlessness governs this great party’s behavior. Danger ahead.

⭕ 6 May 2021

💙 NewYorker, Jane Mayer: The Secret Papers of Lee Atwater, Who Invented the Scurrilous Tactics That Trump Normalized http://bit.ly/3tzhMvF https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1391921225925017601?s=20/photo/1
// An infamous Republican political operative’s unpublished memoir shows how the Party came to embrace lies, racial fearmongering, and winning at any cost.

NYT: Arizona Review of 2020 Vote Is Riddled With Flaws, Says Secretary of State http://nyti.ms/2R0St8H
// Arizona’s top election official said the effort ordered by Republican state senators leaves ballots unattended and lacks basic safeguards to protect the process from manipulation.

⭕ 5 May 2021

🐣 RT @MollyMcKew If you want to imagine how bad & stupid things would have been in a 2nd Trump term—how accelerated the downward spiral of American relevancy could be—feast your eyes upon the marvels of the Arizona ballot recount, where conjurers may as well be dousing for demons in the ballots.

WaPo, Liz Cheney: The GOP is at a turning point. History is watching us. http://wapo.st/3thDl3S “Republicans need to stand for genuinely conservative principles, and steer away from the dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality”

While embracing or ignoring Trump’s statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes, that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country. Trump has never expressed remorse or regret for the attack of Jan. 6 and now suggests that our elections, and our legal and constitutional system, cannot be trusted to do the will of the people. This is immensely harmful, especially as we now compete on the world stage against Communist China and its claims that democracy is a failed system.

For Republicans, the path forward is clear. ¤ First, support the ongoing Justice Department criminal investigations of the Jan. 6 attack. Those investigations must be comprehensive and objective; neither the White House nor any member of Congress should interfere.

Second, we must support a parallel bipartisan review by a commission with subpoena power to seek and find facts; it will describe for all Americans what happened. This is critical to defeat the misinformation and nonsense circulating in the press and on social media. No currently serving member of Congress — with an eye to the upcoming election cycle — should participate. We should appoint former officials, members of the judiciary and other prominent Americans who can be objective, just as we did after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The commission should be focused on the Jan. 6 attacks. The Black Lives Matter and antifa violence of last summer was illegal and reprehensible, but it is a different problem with a different solution.

Finally, we Republicans need to stand for genuinely conservative principles, and steer away from the dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality. In our hearts, we are devoted to the American miracle. We believe in the rule of law, in limited government, in a strong national defense, and in prosperity and opportunity brought by low taxes and fiscally conservative policies.

… Reagan formed a broad coalition from across the political spectrum to return America to sanity, and we need to do the same now. We know how. But this will not happen if Republicans choose to abandon the rule of law and join Trump’s crusade to undermine the foundation of our democracy and reverse the legal outcome of the last election.

History is watching. Our children are watching. We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process. I am committed to doing that, no matter what the short-term political consequences might be.

WaPo, Spencer Hsu: Judge blasts Barr, Justice Dept. for ‘disingenuous’ handling of secret Trump obstruction memo http://wapo.st/3h8Jvkm

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of Washington ordered the release Monday of a 2019 memo prepared by the department’s Office of Legal Counsel. Barr and a string of Justice Department officials had sought to keep the memo secret, asserting it was part of the department’s internal decision-making process before he selectively announced the Mueller report’s findings that March. ¤ Jackson wrote in a blistering opinion after viewing the memo and other evidence that the department’s claims “are so inconsistent with evidence in the record, they are not worthy of credence.”

In a 35-page opinion ordering the memo’s release in a public records lawsuit, Jackson called suspicions that Barr and department lawyers had been “disingenuous” in withholding the document “well-founded,” saying the department had sought to “obfuscate” its true purpose of justifying a decision that had already been made.“The review of the document reveals that the Attorney General was not then engaged in making a decision about whether the President should be charged with obstruction of justice; the fact that he would not be prosecuted was a given,” Jackson wrote.

Both judges blasted Barr’s four-page letter to Congress in March 2019 that said the special counsel did not draw a conclusion as to whether Trump obstructed the investigation and that Barr’s own opinion was that the evidence was insufficient to bring such a charge.

In reality, Mueller’s report laid out evidence of obstruction but said the special counsel could not fairly make a charging decision, given department policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

Jackson’s opinion echoed another federal judge’s criticism last year of Barr over a “lack of candor” and truthfulness in his handling of the release of Mueller’s report.

Writing in March 2020, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton called Barr’s public statements “misleading” and said he had “grave concerns about the objectivity of the process” that led up to the public release of the Mueller report.

“The Court cannot reconcile certain public representations made by Attorney General Barr with the findings in the Mueller Report,” he wrote, adding, “These circumstances generally, and Attorney General Barr’s lack of candor specifically, call into question Attorney General Barr’s credibility.”

Jackson’s ruling handed a victory to the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which filed a Freedom of Information Act request and lawsuit following Barr’s April 2019 testimony to Congress. Walton’s decision came in a public records lawsuit brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, a watchdog group, and BuzzFeed News, seeking to unredact information in Mueller’s report.

Judges typically give the government the benefit of the doubt when officials handling the release of information under the Freedom of Information Act evaluate whether some records should be withheld based on the law’s exemptions, such as for internal deliberations. But that is not the case when judges find evidence of bad faith.

In her opinion, Jackson noted that Barr had asserted to Congress that April that he and his deputy had reached the decision that Trump could not be charged “in consultation” with the Office of Legal Counsel and other department lawyers, testifying after Mueller accused Barr of twisting the findings and undermining public confidence in the investigation. Barr’s assertions, Jackson said, prompted Trump to claim he had been exonerated and came shortly after Barr received the 448-page report but before it was publicly released in March 2019.

“The Attorney General’s characterization of what he’d hardly had time to skim, much less, study closely, prompted an immediate reaction, as politicians and pundits took to their microphones and Twitter feeds to decry what they feared was an attempt to hide the ball,” Jackson wrote. ¤ In fact, Jackson said, Barr’s statement to Congress that Trump hailed and the Office of Legal Counsel’s memo that Barr said his decision was based on were “being written by the very same people at the very same time.”

The memo’s authors and recipients worked “hand in hand to craft the advice” that it supposedly delivered, but it was the letter to Congress that was the priority and that was getting completed first, Jackson said.

“Not only was the Attorney General being disingenuous then, but DOJ has been disingenuous to this Court with respect to the existence of a decision-making process that should be shielded by the deliberative process privilege,” Jackson concluded.

Jackson gave the Justice Department until May 17 to decide whether it would seek to appeal her order or oppose the unsealing of redacted passages.

Jackson was deeply familiar with the special counsel’s work, overseeing its prosecution in Washington of former 2016 Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the trial of the then-president’s political confidant Roger Stone.

WaPo: Facebook’s Oversight Board upholds ban on Trump. At least for now. http://wapo.st/3xONjgE
// The panel faulted the social network for making a hasty decision without clear criteria and told the company to reevaluate the decision within six months.

⭕ 4 May 2021

💙 NYT, Thomas Friedman: Trump’s Big Lie Devoured the G.O.P. and Now Eyes Our Democracy http://nyti.ms/3emDDSN “Unless more principled Republicans stand up for the truth about our last election, we’re going to see exactly how a democracy dies”

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Judge Says Barr Misled on How His Justice Dept. Viewed Trump’s Actions http://nyti.ms/3b200uI
// by Michael D Schmidt; Judge Amy Berman Jackson said in a ruling that the misleading statements were similar to others that William P. Barr, the former attorney general, had made about the Mueller investigation.
⋙ 📔 Document, Judge Amy Berman Jackson: Memorandum Opinion: CREW v DOJ (pdf) http://bit.ly/3tja1tH 41p

On Friday, March 22, 2019, Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III delivered his Report of the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election1 to the then-Attorney General of the United States, William P. Barr.2

But the Attorney General did not share it with anyone else. ¤ Instead, before the weekend was over, he sent a letter to congressional leaders purporting to “summarize the principal conclusions” set out in the Report, compressing the approximately 200 highly detailed and painstakingly footnoted pages of Volume I – which discusses the Russian government’s interference in the election and any links or coordination with the Trump campaign – and the almost 200 equally detailed pages of Volume II – which concerns acts taken by then-

President Trump in connection with the investigation – into less than four pages.3 The letter asserted that the Special Counsel “did not draw a conclusion – one way or the other – as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction,” and it went on to announce the Attorney General’s own opinion that “the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”4

The President then declared himself to have been fully exonerated.5

The Attorney General’s characterization of what he’d hardly had time to skim, much less, study closely, prompted an immediate reaction, as politicians and pundits took to their microphones and Twitter feeds to decry what they feared was an attempt to hide the ball.
– – – – – – – – – – –
… [T]he affidavits are so inconsistent with evidence in the record, they are not worthy of credence. The review of the unredacted document in camera reveals that the suspicions voiced by the judge in EPIC and the plaintiff here were well-founded, and that not only was the Attorney General being disingenuous then, but DOJ has been disingenuous to this Court with respect to the existence of a decision-making process that should be shielded by the deliberative process privilege. The agency’s redactions and incomplete explanations obfuscate the true purpose of the memorandum, and the excised portions belie the notion that it fell to the Attorney General to make a prosecution decision or that any such decision was on the table at any time.

Given the fact that the review of the document in camera reveals that there was no decision actually being made as to whether the then-President should be prosecuted, — the Court is not persuaded that the agency has met its burden to demonstrate that the memorandum was transmitted for the purpose of providing legal advice, as opposed to the strategic and policy advice that falls outside the scope of the privilege. Section I of the memo, which was entirely redacted with no separate justification, contains no legal advice at all, but it offers only strategic advice, so — this explanation is entirely deficient to justify the withholding of that portion of the document.

Section II is a blend of legal and strategic advice prepared, at least in part, and reviewed in its entirety, by an attorney within the OLC. However, since the memorandum was being written at the same time and by the same people who were drafting the Attorney General’s letter to Congress setting forth his views on the basis for a prosecution, and the record reflects that the priority was to get the letter completed first, see Attachment 1, one simply cannot credit the declarant’s statement that the Attorney General made the “decision” he announced based on the advice the memo contains. … [T]he chronology undermines the assertion that the authors were engaged in providing their legal advice in connection with any sort of pending prosecutorial decision, and this misrepresentation, combined with the lack of candor about what any legal advice provided was for or about, frees the Court from the deference that is ordinarily accorded to agency declarations in FOIA cases.

NBCNews: Texas leaders, corporations form coalitions to fight voting restrictions http://nbcnews.to/3xNnfCz
// HP Inc, Patagonia and American Airlines are among at least 50 businesses that have formed a coalition known as Fair Elections Texas.

WSJ: Purging Liz Cheney http://on.wsj.com/33gFguX
// GOP leaders shouldn’t have to lie about 2020 to keep their job.

⭕ 3 May 2021

WaPo, Michael Gerson: Elected Republicans are lying with open eyes. Their excuses are disgraceful. http://wapo.st/33971pk

WaPo: The obvious goal of the Arizona recount: Injecting more doubt into the 2020 results http://wapo.st/3nS9XjK

WaPo: Biden says he will raise refugee cap from 15,000 to 62,500, after widespread criticism for extending Trump-era levels http://wapo.st/3xJd6GRhttps://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1389415760116781058?s=20/photo/1
// Part of Statue of Liberty poem by Emma Lazarus

⭕ 2 May 2021

⭕ 1 May 2021

⭕ 30 Apr 2021

⭕ 29 Apr 2021

NYT: Firing of U.S. Ambassador Is at Center of Giuliani Investigation http://nyti.ms/333XUWK
// Prosecutors want to scrutinize Rudolph W. Giuliani’s communications with Ukrainian officials about the ouster of the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch.

[T]he federal authorities were expected to scour the electronic devices for communications between Mr. Giuliani and Trump administration officials about the ambassador before she was recalled in April 2019, one of the people added.

The warrant also sought his communications with Ukrainian officials who had butted heads with Ms. Yovanovitch, including some of the same people who at the time were helping Mr. Giuliani seek damaging information about President Biden, who was then a candidate, and his family, the people said.

At issue for investigators is a key question: Did Mr. Giuliani go after Ms. Yovanovitch solely on behalf of Mr. Trump, who was his client at the time? Or was he also doing so on behalf of the Ukrainian officials, who wanted her removed for their own reasons?

Mr. Giuliani’s work to oust Ms. Yovanovitch was part of a larger effort to attack Joseph R. Biden Jr. and tie him to corruption in Ukraine, much of which played out in public.

But intelligence officials have long warned that Mr. Giuliani’s work in Ukraine had become ensnared with Russia’s efforts to spread disinformation about the Biden family to weaken Mr. Trump’s election rival.

The F.B.I. stepped up its warnings about Russian disinformation before the 2020 election, including giving a defensive briefing to Mr. Giuliani, cautioning him that some of the information he was pushing on the Biden family was tainted by Russian intelligence’s efforts to spread disinformation, according to a person briefed on the matter.

… Senior officials had warned Mr. Trump in late 2019 that Mr. Giuliani was pushing Russian disinformation, and the intelligence community had warned the American public that Moscow’s intelligence services were trying to hurt Mr. Biden’s election chances by spreading information about his family’s work in Ukraine.

⭕ 28 Apr 2021

📊 Politico: Biden beats Trump in poll of first 100 days by 12 points http://politi.co/3tCapns
// Biden’s overall approval rate was 60 percent, well above Trump’s 48 percent approaching 100 days in office.

NBCNews: Federal investigators search Rudy Giuliani’s NYC apartment http://nbcnews.to/3vpSjGv
// Prosecutors have been investigating Giuliani, who is former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and a former mayor of New York, for his dealings in Ukraine.

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: Federal Investigators Search Rudy Giuliani’s Apartment and Office http://nyti.ms/2QwxjiI
// Prosecutors obtained the search warrants as part of an investigation into whether Mr. Giuliani broke lobbying laws as President Trump’s personal lawyer.

⭕ 27 Apr 2021

Politico: How Trump’s renewed election rhetoric is complicating Capitol rioters’ legal fight http://politi.co/3dUQWcS
// Judges are citing former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric on election fraud as they deny some accused Capitol rioters bail, saying there’s a risk they’ll commit violent acts in Trump’s name again.

WaPo: White House seeks to make massive boost to IRS enforcement centerpiece of new spending plan http://wapo.st/3xv2wmP
// Republicans have long sought to shrink the tax-collecting agency, but Biden aides believe hundreds of billions of dollars go uncollected each year.

WaPo: To lead ICE, Biden picks Texas sheriff who criticized Trump’s immigration policies http://wapo.st/3dUq8tg “Biden’s pick for ICE director is Harris County, Tex., Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, a veteran law enforcement officer who transformed the sheriff’s office in … Houston”

WaPo, Max Boot: Trump’s first 100 days were sheer craziness. Biden’s are sheer competence. http://wapo.st/3dXy3Gs Making competence cool again

⭕ 26 Apr 2021

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Kevin McCarthy’s bizarre attempt to rewrite the narrative of Jan. 6 http://wapo.st/2QsJMny

🐣 RT @axios Rep. Liz Cheney publicly broke from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, saying an independent commission should focus solely on the Capitol insurrection, not include other instances of political violence, like Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests.
⋙ Axios: Cheney: Congressional commission should narrowly review Capitol siege http://bit.ly/3aKvzJo

⭕ 25 Apr 2021

⭕ 24 Apr 2021

NYT, Frank Bruni: So Anthony Fauci Isn’t Perfect. He’s Closer Than Most of Us. http://nyti.ms/3gGbmbu “We owe him an immeasurable debt of gratitude, not the mind-boggling magnitude of grief that he gets”

⭕ 23 Apr 2021

⭕ 22 Apr 2021

⭕ 21 Apr 2021

⭕ 20 Apr 2021

🐣 RT @lauragreenaura Some QAnon & far-right connections that bear further examination relate partly to Michael Flynn’s connections to the relatively obscure London Center for Policy Research.
⋙ DailyBeast, David Freedlander: The Creepily Influential Trumpist Foreign-Policy Think Tank You’ve Never Heard Of http://bit.ly/3vcvwOp
// Herb London used to be a fringey, failed conservative candidate in New York. Now he’s a fringey, successful guru who’s helping to shape U.S. foreign policy in the Trump era.

🐣 RT @tribelaw Chauvin might never see the light of freedom again. That would be just. But it wouldn’t be nearly enough. The SYSTEM that let him murder George Floyd must be changed. But for a bystander’s iPhone camera, Chauvin wd’ve gotten away with murder!

🐣 RT @davidaxelrod The thing that was so chilling about the George Floyd death scene was Chauvin’s defiant stare at horrified bystanders as he kneeled on Floyd’s neck. ¤ Today, a jury stared back. Chauvin stands convicted of murder. ¤ Justice was done.

🐣 It’s unthinkable to me that a ‘not guilty‘ verdict could be arrived at so quickly. But I’m not a lawyer. ¤ Praying for justice 🙏
// George Floyd; Derek Chauvin trial

WaPo: Judge jails two Proud Boys leaders pending trial tied to Jan. 6 Capitol riot http://wapo.st/2Qla7DR “[B]oth defendants are charged with ‘seeking to steal one of the crown jewels in our country . . . by interfering with the peaceful transfer of power.’”

A federal judge on Monday jailed two Proud Boys leaders pending trial in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, handing a victory to U.S. prosecutors in a closely watched conspiracy case accusing the pair of planning to disrupt Congress and leading as many as 60 others to impede police that day.

U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly of Washington … ruled, “these defendants are alleged by their leadership and planning to have facilitated political violence on January 6th, even if they themselves did not carry a weapon or strike a blow.”

Calling the factual allegations “gravely serious,” Kelly said in an unusual two-hour-long reading of his decision from the bench that both defendants are charged with “seeking to steal one of the crown jewels in our country . . . by interfering with the peaceful transfer of power.” Kelly added that nothing short of jail could assure that they did not mobilize others to violate the law or threaten public safety.

⭕ 19 Apr 2021

🌎 WaPo, Alexandra Petri: We are the Anglo-Saxon caucus! Let us have maethlfrith! Let us have drihtinbeage! http://wapo.st/3aqCIOY The British Isles have seen waves and waves of immigration This map doesn’t even cover the Norman Invasion or the influence of Latin: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1384558778473926657?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 Ironically, the Scots-Irish Americans who represent a significant segment the GOP base, were Gaelic speakers and were often at odds in with the Germanic “Anglo-Saxons” and the French

⭕ 18 Apr 2021

🐣 RT @Billbrowder This is very disturbing. Val Broeksmit, a source for various journalists and the FBI on alleged corruption at Deutsche Bank has gone missing in LA and hasn’t been seen since April 6th. Apparently his car was found running with the keys in the car.
⋙ 🐣 RT @rocco_castoro Val missing persons report attached below. ¤ It was filed with the INCORRECT date of Val’s disappearance. ¤ Once again: Deutsche Bank whistleblower VAL BROEKSMIT HAS BEEN MISSING SINCE APRIL 6. ¤ If you have info on Val’s disappearance, contact LAPD missing persons — details below. [Missing Person Report:] https://twitter.com/Billbrowder/status/1383728810483355653?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @ScottMStedman .@BikiniRobotArmy is missing. I’ve worked with Val for almost 2 years now on matters about Deutsche Bank, where his father was a senior exec before committing suicide. Val’s car was found last week in LA without him. If you know anything please let me know. https://twitter.com/ScottMStedman/status/1381823464944758784?s=20/photo/1-2

WaPo: NSA official installed as Trump left office resigns after he was sidelined http://wapo.st/3x7EUo4

Michael Ellis, a former Republican political operative, resigned Friday as the National Security Agency’s top lawyer, having been sidelined for three months after President Biden took office. ¤ The NSA director, Gen. Paul Nakasone, had placed Ellis on administrative leave the day President Donald Trump left the White House — just as Ellis was taking up the position. The reasons: a pending Pentagon inspector general probe, an official told The Washington Post at the time, and a security inquiry into Ellis’s handling of classified information, according to a letter from Ellis’s attorney to Nakasone, a copy of which was obtained by The Post.

Nakasone had agreed to install Ellis as general counsel just days earlier under orders from Trump’s acting defense secretary. The role does not require Senate confirmation. … ¤ Ellis joined the Trump White House in early 2017, becoming a lawyer on the National Security Council. Before that, he was chief counsel to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), a staunch Trump supporter who at the time was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

WaPo: Trump’s grip on GOP looms as support falters for independent probe of Capitol riot http://wapo.st/3dya0Od

Initial negotiations aimed at establishing an independent commission in the style of the panel that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks ran aground earlier this year after Republican leaders insisted that it scrutinize left-wing extremism — including the amorphous antifa movement that Trump and other conservatives have blamed for fomenting violence in D.C. and other cities — alongside the far-right and white nationalist groups suspected of having planned or encouraged the mayhem. Democrats resisted, accusing the GOP of trying to distract the public from the fact that extremist groups in the Republican base were responsible for the riot.

Many rank-and-file Republicans have been forced to walk a political tightrope, as a majority still believe the election was stolen from Trump. The former president still wields outsize influence in the GOP, which is presently the minority party in Washington but is within striking distance of making a comeback in 2022 — if leaders can hold their ranks together.

The pressure to prioritize a political win over accountability for the former president kept the vast majority of Republicans in both the House and Senate from endorsing impeachment charges against Trump accusing him of inciting the riot. The discrepancy was especially apparent in the Senate, where several Republicans — including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — blamed Trump for the attack but refused to vote to convict him.

🐣 RT @mccaffreyr3 WOWSER! This is demonic. These are extremely dangerous and deluded people. Democrats need to gather people of goodwill to Biden leadership until a rational opposition party can be created. Many in GOP are pandering to these people or intimidated.
⋙ 🐣 RT @PatriotTakes Lin Wood stating Q is the truth and that the Clintons, the Obamas, the Bidens, and the Bushes are all involved in sex trafficking. 💽 https://twitter.com/mccaffreyr3/status/1383712195742105600?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 17 Apr 2021

🐣 RT @BillKristol Worst day for the Anglo-Saxons since 1066.
⋙ CNN: Marjorie Taylor Greene scraps planned launch of controversial ‘America First’ caucus amid blowback from GOP http://cnn.it/3gl8mRt

The reversal from her office comes a day after top House Republican Kevin McCarthy indirectly referenced the congresswoman’s new caucus, tweeting, “The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln & the party of more opportunity for all Americans—not nativist dog whistles.”
And GOP conference chair Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, responded to the reporting about the new caucus from Greene in a tweet.

“Republicans believe in equal opportunity, freedom, and justice for all. We teach our children the values of tolerance, decency and moral courage,” she wrote. “Racism, nativism, and anti-Semitism are evil. History teaches we all have an obligation to confront & reject such malicious hate.”

Embattled GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who is under federal investigation over allegations involving sex trafficking and prostitution, tweeted Friday, “I’m proud to join @mtgreenee in the #AmericaFirst Caucus. We will end wars, stop illegal immigration & promote trade that is fair to American workers. This is just a hit piece from the America Last crowd in Big Media, Big Tech & Big Government.”

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said that he was “disgusted” following initial reports of the new caucus, and on Friday said that anyone who joins the caucus should have their committee assignments stripped and be expelled from Republican conference participation.
“While we can’t prevent someone from calling themselves Republican, we can loudly say they don’t belong to us,” he wrote on Twitter.

⋙⋙ Document via PunchbowlNews: “America First Caucus Policy Platform [pdf] http://bit.ly/3tv87qO 7p

⭕ 16 Apr 2021

🐣 RT @ChrisAlbertoLaw POTENTIALLY EXPLOSIVE! ¤ After AG Barr abandoned Trump’s authoritarian dreams, Kash Patel became Trump’s point man in a post-Nov 3rd effort to have Trump loyalists take over the Pentagon & US Intel. ¤ Now DOJ is investigating him. He knows a lot.
⋙ WaPo, David Ignatius: How Kash Patel rose from obscure Hill staffer to key operative in Trump’s battle with the intelligence community http://wapo.st/3afWOv4

In the Trump administration’s four-year battle with the intelligence community, a recurring character was a brash lawyer named Kashyap P. “Kash” Patel. He appeared so frequently, in so many incarnations, that he was almost a “Zelig” figure in President Donald Trump’s confrontation against what he imagined as the “deep state.”

Patel repeatedly pressed intelligence agencies to release secrets that, in his view, showed that the president was being persecuted unfairly by critics. Ironically, he is now facing Justice Department investigation for possible improper disclosure of classified information, according to two knowledgeable sources who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe. The sources said the investigation resulted from a complaint made this year by an intelligence agency, but wouldn’t provide additional details.

WaPo: Founding member of Oath Keepers enters first guilty plea in Jan. 6 Capitol breach http://wapo.st/32mszhG

A founding member of the Oath Keepers arrested in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol pleaded guilty Friday and agreed to cooperate against others in the case — the first defendant to publicly flip in the sprawling domestic terrorism investigation that has led to charges against more than 410 people.

The plea comes exactly 100 days after Jon Ryan Schaffer and hundreds of other supporters of former president Donald Trump allegedly stormed the Capitol hoping to prevent Joe Biden from being confirmed as the next president. Prosecutors hope Schaffer’s plea spurs others to provide additional evidence in hopes of avoiding long prison sentences.

The plea marks a new stage in the historic investigation, as prosecutors seek to work up the chain of defendants to gather evidence and better understand the full scope of any planning and organizing of the violence — particularly among groups like the far-right Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys. Dozens of members from both groups appeared to act in concert to storm the building, prosecutors have alleged.

⭕ 15 Apr 2021

CNN, Chris Cillizza: The HUGE Russia 2016 election story you probably missed http://cnn.it/2QDC09N

Consider what we now know:

1. Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton because of a belief that the billionaire businessman would be better for the country’s interest than would the ex- Secretary of State.

2. The highest echelon of the Trump campaign – Manafort and Gates – passed along internal polling and strategy memos that found their way into the hands of the “Russian Intelligence Services.”

Now, that’s not to say that Manafort and Gates knew that Kilminik would (or did) hand over the information to Russian intelligence agencies. (Although given Kilimnik’s background as Russian-linked intelligence operative it probably wasn’t that big a leap of faith.) This also doesn’t mean Trump had any idea what they were doing.

But what it is to say is that proprietary data from Trump’s presidential campaign wound up in the possession of the intelligence service of a country that was seeking to actively interfere in an election to help the guy they thought would be better for them win. And it was that guy’s campaign who provided the data to them (whether wittingly or unwittingly)!

It’s long been true that Trump’s insistence that the investigation into Russia interference was a “hoax” has been without merit. Mueller, the US intelligence community and the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee all arrived at the same conclusion: Russia actively meddled in the 2016 election to help Trump and hurt Clinton. (Earlier this month, the US intelligence community released a report making it clear that Russia again meddled in the 2020 election, with the goal of “denigrating” Joe Biden’s chances and “supporting” Trump’s reelection.)

Mueller did not look for “collusion,” only proof of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. He said he didn’t find enough evidence to bring those charges. But this back-channeling of campaign information from Americans to Russians would seem to fit the layman’s definition of “collusion.”

💽 WaPo: 17 requests for backup in 78 minutes http://wapo.st/3ag6GFi
// A reconstruction shows how failures of planning and preparationleft police at the Capitol severely disadvantaged on Jan. 6

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman One note about Kilimnik that is not getting enough attention: this is almost certainly not information new to the US Government given that it happened almost 5 years ago. ¤ So did the Trump admin simply hide this intelligence from Mueller and SSCI?

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen Today the US government confirmed that there was a direct line in 2016 from Manafort –> Kilimnik –> Russian intelligence. Internal Trump campaign data was passed to the Russians. Here’s why that matters, all these years later. w/ @jeremyherb @b_fung
⋙ CNN: Six key takeaways from Biden’s Russia sanctions announcement http://cnn.it/2RF7nl2
● Sanctions are strongest US response to date to massive hack
● Flicking at collusion, all these years later
With one sentence in a 2,000-word press release, the Treasury Department perhaps did more to lay out the case for potential Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 election than has happened before.
The Treasury statement confirmed that Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-linked intelligence operative, provided Russian intelligence with “with sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy.” He got that inside information from Trump campaign officials.
● After criticism of Trump, no action on Russian bounties
● GOP knocks Biden for not issuing pipeline sanctions
● Foreign policy — and Russia — will keep Biden’s attention

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “You now have a direct link of internal, sensitive data, that went form the Trump campaign through Paul Manafort to Konstantin Kilimnik to the Russians. And that was always Robert Mueller’s bet…” – @AWeissmann_ w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1382802702229508097?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @FrankFigliuzzi1 There was collusion with Russia:
⋙ 🧵 RT @Tom_Winter NEW: Konstantin Kilimnik, Paul Manafort’s former employee, has been sanctioned by the U.S. for his interference in the 2020 election namely that Kilimnik “sought to promote the narrative that Ukraine, not Russia, had interfered in the 2016” election. [Wanted Poster:] 📌 https://twitter.com/Tom_Winter/status/1382670244444045315?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @Tom_Winter The FBI is offering a $250,000 for information leading to the arrest of Kilimnik. ¤ He is wanted on an indictment for obstruction of justice and has been designated as a Russian Intelligence Services agent.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @Tom_Winter Here’s a story detailing all of what was announced today on sanctions against Russia:
⋙⋙⋙ NBCNews: Biden calls for de-escalation with Russia following sanctions, proposes meeting with Putin http://nbcnews.to/
// President Joe Biden has characterized Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “killer” and said he would “pay the price” for a range of malicious activities Washington blames on Moscow.

🧵 RT @rgoodlaw Trump Campaign Chair Manafort gave sensitive polling data to his associate Kilimnik, Russian intel agent.
What did Kilimnik do with it?
● Mueller report 2019: Don’t know
● Senate report 2020: Don’t know
● Treasury Dep’t 2021: He passed polling data to Kremlin
📌 https://twitter.com/rgoodlaw/status/1382720042517794818?s=20

⋙ JustSecurity, Justin Hendrix: US Treasury Provides Missing Link: Manafort’s Partner Gave Campaign Polling Data to Kremlin in 2016 http://bit.ly/3e0KQqk

Kilimnik is, according to the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report, a Russian Intelligence Services officer who became central to investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election thanks to his close ties to Manafort, who served as Donald Trump’s campaign manager in 2016. After being indicted in 2018 on charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice related to his unregistered lobbying work on behalf of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Kilimnik is now being targeted by Treasury for “having engaged in foreign interference in the U.S. 2020 presidential election.” The FBI is offering a reward of $250,000 for information related to his potential arrest. He is currently residing in Russia. 

The Treasury Department’s statement about Kilimnik and his role in the 2016 election definitively connects dots that previous investigations did not. 

The Mueller investigation uncovered that Manafort had directed his associate Rick Gates to provide Kilimnik with polling data repeatedly throughout the summer of 2016, but it was unable to conclude what Kilimnik did with that information afterward. The 448-page Mueller Report, released in a redacted version on April 18, 2019, stated:

Because of questions about Manafort’s credibility and our limited ability to gather evidence on what happened to the polling data after it was sent to Kilimnik, the Office could not assess what Kilimnik (or others he may have given it to) did with it. The Office did not identify evidence of a connection between Manafort’s sharing polling data and Russia’s interference in the election, which had already been reported by U.S. media outlets at the time of the August 2 meeting [between Manafort and Kilimnik]. 

The 966-page Senate Intelligence Committee report, for its part, stated that 

The Committee was unable to reliably determine why Manafort shared sensitive internal polling data or Campaign strategy with Kilimnik or with whom Kilimnik further shared that information. The Committee had limited insight into Kilimnik’s communications with Manafort and into Kilimnik’s communications with other individuals connected to Russian influence operations, all of whom used communications security practices. The Committee obtained some information suggesting Kilimnik may have been connected to the GRU’s hack and leak operation targeting the 2016 U.S. election.

The Committee report also stated: 

While the Committee obtained evidence revealing that Kilimnik shared with [Oleg] Deripaska other information passed on by Manafort–such as links to news articles–the Committee did not obtain records showing that Kilimnik passed on the polling data. However, the Committee has no records of, and extremely limited insight into, Kilimnik’ s communications [redacted]. As a result, this lack of documentary record is not dispositive.

The Treasury Department’s new statement raises questions about why this information is coming out now and why the Special Counsel’s office did not have access to it during its investigation. Was it not available then or did it exist but was not provided to
the Mueller team?

🐣 RT @brianklaas To summarize: Trump’s campaign chair and deputy campaign chair provided an internal strategy memo and private polling to a Russian agent who then passed it onto Russian intelligence agencies. The Kremlin then used that information to try to help Trump win the 2016 election.
🐣 RT @PeterStrzok Confirms our suspicions- ¤ Direct line from the campaign to Kilimnik to Russian intel. ¤ “During the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign, Kilimnik provided the Russian Intelligence Services with sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @MacFinn44 The polling data (and probably #Kilimnik) was most likely taken out of US on Oleg Deripaska’s jet M-ALAY. It landed in New York on the night Manafort met Kilimnik in Grand Havana Club 8/2/16 and flew to Moscow a few hours later. [Flight map 8/3/2016:] https://twitter.com/MacFinn44/status/1382730432194699268?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @MacFinn44 Deripaska’s M-ALAY flew on 8/5/16 from Moscow to Molde and returned to Moscow after a short landing. His M-UGIC flew from Montenegro to Molde on the same day and flew from Molde to Moscow on 8/7/16 (Deripaska, Sergei Prikhodko and Nastya Rybka in Molde). Some “coincidence”, eh?
// 8/3/2018
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @MacFinn44 Two days after Deripaska’s M-ALAY flew the polling data, and likely #Kilimnik, from New York to Moscow Deripaska met with Prikhodko on his yacht Elden in a bay near Molde. [Flight maps 8/5-7/2016]] https://twitter.com/MacFinn44/status/1382751387176603655?s=20/photo/1-3
// 8/3/2018

⋙⋙⋙⋙ Wikipedia: Sergei Eduardovich Prikhodko: “In February 2018, Alexei Navalny published a video alleging that Prikhodko had been receiving various bribes from Russian oligarch and dollar billionaire Oleg Deripaska, including prostitutes services as well as real estate valued at at least 1.5 billion rubles (some 25 million dollars).[6][7][8][9] Prikhodko himself denied the allegations, accusing Navalny of “mixing the facts” about his “friend” Deripaska, Donald Trump and Paul Manafort, while also voicing his wish to have a talk with Navalny as a “man with a man”.[10][11][12] A day after the video was published the Roskomnadzor added the video to the Federal List of Extremist Materials, thus making accessing the video illegal for all Russian citizens.[13][14] In the video known as Fishgate (Russian: «Рыбка-гейт»), Navalny explains the characters and setting for Nastya Rybka’s book Who Wants to Seduce a Billionaire (ISBN 978-5-699-93242-9): Ruslan Zolotov is Deripaska, Papa is Prikhodko, Vitya or Victor or V is Yevgeny Agarkov and the Rybka’s book setting of Greenland is actually Norway.[15][16][17] Rybka refers to Papa as Richelieu, or a Cardinal in the Kremlin who is the person actually responsible for Russia’s foreign policy during the governments of Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, and Dmitri Medvedev.[15]” http://bit.ly/3e8CUDy

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman I can’t wait for Trump and allies to apologize for falsely claiming that there was no collusion. Perhaps proving conspiracy is too difficult — sensitive intel often cannot be used in court and must prove PM’s knowledge/intent — but there is no longer any doubt about collusion.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MarshallCohen For the first time EVER, the US government said Russian agent Konstantin Kilimnik provided Russian intelligence agencies with the internal Trump campaign polling/strategy data he received from Manafort and Gates in 2016. Even Mueller didn’t go that far. https://twitter.com/MarshallCohen/status/1382705877719908361?s=20/photo/1
🔆 This❗️⋙ USDeptTreasury: Treasury Escalates Sanctions Against the Russian Government’s Attempts to Influence U.S. Elections http://bit.ly/2OSIZvf

WaPo: Biden administration imposes significant economic sanctions on Russia over cyberspying, efforts to influence presidential election http://wapo.st/3mNEDlH

The Biden administration on Thursday imposed the first significant sanctions targeting the Russian economy in several years in order to punish the Kremlin for a cyberespionage campaign against the United States and efforts to influence the presidential election, according to senior U.S. officials.

The administration also sanctioned six Russian companies that support Russian spy services’ cyberhacking operations and will expel 10 officials at the Russian embassy in Washington, most of them identified as intelligence officers working under diplomatic cover, U.S. officials said. The administration formally named the Russian intelligence service SVR as responsible for the hacking operation commonly known as SolarWinds.

The measures were taken under a new executive order and are an effort to make good on President Biden’s vow to hold Moscow accountable for a series of operations, including the election influence and the cyberhacks, that compromised nine federal agencies and about 100 private firms.

Biden, in remarks at the White House, said he had warned Russia during the campaign and after he took office that he would respond to hacking or election interference, but that the U.S action was measured.

The package includes sanctions on all debt Russia issues after June 14, barring U.S. financial institutions from buying government bonds directly from the Russian Central Bank, Russian National Wealth Fund and the Ministry of Finance. The action, experts said, will complicate Moscow’s ability to raise money in the international capital markets.

The European Union, Australia and Canada issued statements of support following the White House’s actions on SolarWinds, noting that European countries were also affected but they did not join in sanctions targeting Russia’s sovereign debt.

The new executive order focuses on Russian activities outside its borders and “is intended to signal to the Russian government that its destabilizing behavior is unacceptable and that the United States will impose economically impactful costs if it continues or escalates,” the senior official said.

The U.S. intelligence community last month issued a report concluding that Putin sought to sway the 2020 election in President Donald Trump’s favor by spreading misleading information about Biden.

In response, the Treasury Department is sanctioning a total of 32 entities and individuals involved in the influence campaign as well as other acts of disinformation. They include Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukrainian-Russian who worked in Ukraine with Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. A U.S. senate panel last year concluded Kilimnik was a Russian intelligence officer, and Treasury on Thursday offered new details, saying that during the 2016 campaign, Kilimnik “provided Russian intelligence services” with sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy.

Treasury also sanctioned Russian disinformation sites including InfoRos, which calls itself a news agency but is primarily run by the GRU; and the Strategic Culture Foundation, an online journal controlled by the SVR that Treasury said promoted false narratives in the 2020 election and tried to obscure its Russian origins.

⭕ 14 Apr 2021

NYT: Biden Administration to Impose Tough Sanctions on Russia http://nyti.ms/3e2Wwc1
// Administration officials were determined to draft a response that would impose real costs on Moscow, as many previous rounds of sanctions have been shrugged off.

WaPo, James Hohman: Republicans will keep up the craziness until they pay a real price http://wapo.st/3wXay7O “The inmates now run the asylum”

🐣 RT @Kasparov63 Sad commentary on the state of the GOP when we are obliged to applaud the rare member who will say publicly not to drink poison, because that is what Trump is.
⋙ 🐣 RT @MaxBoot Kudos to @Liz_Cheney! Few GOP politicians are brave enough to say this.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @Acyn Question: If Donald Trump were the 2024 nominee, would you support him? ¤ Liz Cheney: I would not [Fox:] 💽 https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1382428244331307011?s=20/photo/1

CNN: US intelligence community warns of devastating long-term impact of coronavirus pandemic http://cnn.it/3siCOyf
// See also Report from 4/13/2021

The fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic is poised to fracture societies worldwide, increase instability across the globe and reshape political and economic realities for years to come, the US intelligence community warned in a stark report laying out the top security concerns facing the country.

“The economic fallout from the pandemic is likely to create or worsen instability in at least a few—and perhaps many—countries, as people grow more desperate in the face of interlocking pressures that include sustained economic downturns, job losses, and disrupted supply chains,” the report warns.

The report, known as the Annual Threat Assessment, is typically made public annually. But bitter wrangling between the Trump administration and Congress kept the 2020 report locked away, making Tuesday’s release among the first public glimpses into the intelligence community’s assessment of the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also offers grim warnings about Russian and Chinese covert influence operations, and an early insight into Iran’s nuclear ambitions since President Joe Biden took office as he attempts to renegotiate an updated version of the 2015 nuclear deal that former President Donald Trump exited in 2018.

The report also issues an unequivocal warning on Russian activity, saying that Moscow “presents one of the most serious intelligence threats to the United States.” It confirmes influence operations targeting the 2020 election, noting that Moscow “almost certainly views US elections as an opportunity to try to undermine US global standing, sow discord inside the United States, influence US decision-making, and sway US voters.”

That this conclusion appeared in an annual threat assessment without fanfare demonstrates an immediate departure from the battle over public intelligence assessments under the Trump administration, when officials faced inevitable blowback from Trump whenever they made information about Russian election interference public.

China, intelligence leaders warn, also “presents a growing influence threat” in the United States — an assertion that may give some political cover to former Trump administration appointees who sought to portray China as the bigger counterintelligence threat during the 2020 election. Declassified documents later showed that China “considered but did not deploy influence efforts intended to change the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election.”

[White supremacists have been responsible “for at least 26 lethal attacks that killed more than 141 people and for dozens of disrupted plots in the West since 2015,” the report says.

“While these extremists often see themselves as part of a broader global movement, most attacks have been carried out by individuals or small, independent cells,” it adds. “Australia, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom consider white racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, including Neo-Nazi groups, to be the fastest growing terrorist threat they face.”

[Separately:] Last month, CNN reported that the summary of a new joint US intelligence assessment said “narratives of fraud in the recent general election” and “the emboldening impact of the violent breach of the US Capitol” will “almost certainly” spur domestic extremists to try to engage in additional acts of violence this year.

That summary was released on the same day that DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told lawmakers domestic violent extremism is the “greatest threat” to the US — a clear reminder that federal officials remain very concerned about the potential for more violence in the coming months.

“Newer sociopolitical developments — such as narratives of fraud in the recent general election, the emboldening impact of the violent breach of the US Capitol, conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and conspiracy theories promoting violence — will almost certainly spur some (domestic violent extremists) to try to engage in violence this year,” the unclassified summary says.

🐣 RT @FinancialTimes In less than 24 hours during a lonely pandemic lockdown, Leila Hay, a student from northern England, became a supporter of QAnon. ¤ Although its main focus has been the US, the conspiracy theory has drawn in millions of supporters in dozens of countries
⋙ FT: Quitting QAnon: why it is so difficult to leave a conspiracy theory http://on.ft.com/3e4nIHg
// Although its prophecies have proven to be false, the pro-Trump movement remains popular around the world

NYT: Hundreds of Companies Unite to Oppose Voting Limits, but Others Abstain http://nyti.ms/3si6gEi Who didn’t sign? It’s complicated. Some issued separate statements. Some CEOs expressed support personally. A list of signers will appear the @nytimes Wednesday
// Amazon, Google, G.M. and Starbucks were among those joining the biggest show of solidarity by businesses over legislation in numerous states.

⭕ 13 Apr 2021

📔 🔆 This❗️⋙ ODNI: 2021 Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community http://bit.ly/2ONACB9 DNI Avril Haines, in coordination with Intelligence Community leaders, released to Congress an unclassified annual report of worldwide threats to the US
⋙ Report: [pdf] http://bit.ly/3x2NvZt 27p

In the coming year, the United States and its allies will face a diverse array of threats that are playing out amidst the global disruption resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and against the backdrop of great power competition, the disruptive effects of ecological degradation and a changing climate, an increasing number of empowered non-state actors, and rapidly evolving technology. The complexity of the threats, their intersections, and the potential for cascading events in an increasingly interconnected and mobile world create new challenges for the IC. Ecological and climate changes, for example, are connected to public health risks, humanitarian concerns, social and political instability, and geopolitical rivalry. The 2021 Annual Threat Assessment highlights some of those connections as it provides the IC’s baseline assessments of the most pressing threats to US national interests, while emphasizing the United States’ key adversaries and competitors. It is not an exhaustive assessment of all global challenges and notably excludes assessments of US adversaries’ vulnerabilities. It accounts for functional concerns, such as weapons of mass destruction and technology, primarily in the sections on threat actors, such as China and Russia.

Beijing, Moscow, Tehran, and Pyongyang have demonstrated the capability and intent to advance their interests at the expense of the United States and its allies, despite the pandemic. China increasingly is a near-peer competitor, challenging the United States in multiple arenas—especially economically, militarily, and technologically—and is pushing to change global norms. Russia is pushing back against Washington where it can globally, employing techniques up to and including the use of force. Iran will remain a regional menace with broader malign influence activities, and North Korea will be a disruptive player on the regional and world stages. Major adversaries and competitors are enhancing and exercising their military, cyber, and other capabilities, raising the risks to US and allied forces, weakening our conventional deterrence, and worsening the longstanding threat from weapons of mass destruction.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to strain governments and societies, fueling humanitarian and economic crises, political unrest, and geopolitical competition as countries, such as China and Russia, seek advantage through such avenues as “vaccine diplomacy.” No country has been completely spared, and even when a vaccine is widely distributed globally, the economic and political aftershocks will be felt for years. Countries with high debts or that depend on oil exports, tourism, or remittances face particularly challenging recoveries, while others will turn inward or be distracted by other challenges.

Ecological degradation and a changing climate will continue to fuel disease outbreaks, threaten food and water security, and exacerbate political instability and humanitarian crises. Although much of the effect of a changing climate on US security will play out indirectly in a broader political and economic context, warmer weather can generate direct, immediate impacts—for example, through more intense storms, flooding, and permafrost melting. This year we will see increasing potential for surges in migration by Central American populations, which are reeling from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and extreme weather, including multiple hurricanes in 2020 and several years of recurring droughts and storms.

The scourge of illicit drugs and transnational organized crime will continue to take its toll on American lives, prosperity, and safety. Major narcotics trafficking groups have adapted to the pandemic’s challenges to maintain their deadly trade, as have other transnational criminal organizations.

Emerging and disruptive technologies, as well as the proliferation and permeation of technology in all aspects of our lives, pose unique challenges. Cyber capabilities, to illustrate, are demonstrably intertwined with threats to our infrastructure and to the foreign malign influence threats against our democracy.

ISIS, al-Qa‘ida, and Iran and its militant allies continue to plot terrorist attacks against US persons and interests, including to varying degrees in the United States. Despite leadership losses, terrorist groups have shown great resiliency and are taking advantage of ungoverned areas to rebuild.

Regional conflicts continue to fuel humanitarian crises, undermine stability, and threaten US persons and interests. Some have direct implications for US security. For example, the fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria has direct bearing on US forces, while tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan remain a concern for the world. The iterative violence between Israel and Iran, the activity of foreign powers in Libya, and conflicts in other areas—including Africa, Asia, and the Middle East—have the potential to escalate or spread.
The 2021 Annual Threat Assessment Report supports the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s transparency commitments and the tradition of providing regular threat updates to the American public and the United States Congress. The IC is vigilant in monitoring and assessing direct and indirect threats to US and allied interests. As part of this ongoing effort, the IC’s National Intelligence Officers work closely with analysts from across the IC to examine the spectrum of threats and highlight the most likely and/or impactful near-term risks in the context of the longer-term, overarching threat environment.

Page 24: Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists
DVEs [Domestic Violent Extremists] motivated by a range of ideologies that are not connected to or inspired by jihadi terrorist organizations like al-Qa‘ida and ISIS pose an elevated threat to the United States. This diverse set of extremists reflects an increasingly complex threat landscape, including racially or ethnically motivated threats and antigovernment or antiauthority threats.

Of these, violent extremists who espouse an often overlapping mix of white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and exclusionary cultural-nationalist beliefs have the most persistent transnational connections via often loose online communities to like-minded individuals and groups in the West. The threat from this diffuse movement has ebbed and flowed for decades but has increased since 2015.

● Violent extremists who promote the superiority of the white race have been responsible for at least 26 lethal attacks that killed more than 141 people and for dozens of disrupted plots in the West since 2015. While these extremists often see themselves as part of a broader global movement, most attacks have been carried out by individuals or small, independent cells.

● Australia, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom consider white racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, including Neo-Nazi groups, to be the fastest growing terrorist threat they face.

● Both these and other DVEs, such as antigovernment or antiauthority extremists, are motivated and inspired by a mix of ideological, sociopolitical, and personal grievances against their targets, which have increasingly included large public gatherings, houses of worship, law enforcement and government facilities, and retail locations. Lone actors, who by definition are not likely to conspire with others regarding their plans, are increasingly choosing soft, familiar targets for their attacks, limiting law enforcement opportunities for detection and disruption.

🧵 RT @OlgaNYC1211 I feel like I have to constantly post this reminder and it’s frustrating. There are no two sides to Russia’s escalation and threats towards Ukraine. Russia invaded Ukraine 7 years ago and has been occupying parts of Ukraine and waging daily war resulting in over 14,000 deaths 📌 https://twitter.com/OlgaNYC1211/status/1382176684963684352?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @OlgaNYC1211 There is no conflict, no civil war. Just Russia’s increasing aggression and threats of further invasion which threatens Ukraine and the West. Also Russia has been using Ukraine as testing grounds for all the hellish tactics they have unleashed on the West including America.
⋙ 🐣 RT @OlgaNYC1211 Ukraine has zero desire to invade or attack Russia and poses absolutely no threat. They recently have been moving military on their sovereign territory to defend themselves in case of an attack. Not sure why this bothsidesism keeps appearing by people discussing what is happening

🐣 RT @starsandstripes NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed the Western military alliance’s “unwavering” support for Ukraine and warned Moscow on Tuesday not to push its troop buildup along Russia’s border with the neighboring country.
⋙ Stars&Stripes: NATO, US vow support for Ukraine, warn Russia on troops http://bit.ly/3uMtRP7

NYT: Capitol Police Told to Hold Back on Riot Response on Jan. 6, Report Finds http://nyti.ms/3sjcNyC “In a 104-page document, the inspector general, Michael A. Bolton, criticized the way the Capitol Police prepared for and responded to the mob violence”
// Despite being tipped that “Congress itself is the target” on Jan. 6, Capitol Police were ordered not to use their most powerful crowd-control weapons, according to a scathing new watchdog report.

The Capitol Police had clearer advance warnings about the Jan. 6 attack than were previously known, including the potential for violence in which “Congress itself is the target.” But officers were instructed by their leaders not to use their most aggressive tactics to hold off the mob, according to a scathing new report by the agency’s internal investigator.

In a 104-page document, the inspector general, Michael A. Bolton, criticized the way the Capitol Police prepared for and responded to the mob violence on Jan. 6. … ¤ Mr. Bolton found that the agency’s leaders failed to adequately prepare despite explicit warnings that pro-Trump extremists posed a threat to law enforcement and civilians and that the police used defective protective equipment. He also found that the leaders ordered their Civil Disturbance Unit to refrain from using its most powerful crowd-control tools — like stun grenades — to put down the onslaught.

The report offers the most devastating account to date of the lapses and miscalculations around the most violent attack on the Capitol in two centuries.

Three days before the siege, a Capitol Police intelligence assessment warned of violence from supporters of President Donald J. Trump who believed his false claims that the election had been stolen. Some had even posted a map of the Capitol complex’s tunnel system on pro-Trump message boards.

“Unlike previous postelection protests, the targets of the pro-Trump supporters are not necessarily the counterprotesters as they were previously, but rather Congress itself is the target on the 6th,” the threat assessment said, according to the inspector general’s report. “Stop the Steal’s propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members, and others who actively promote violence may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike.”

But on Jan. 5, the agency wrote in a plan for the protest that there were “no specific known threats related to the joint session of Congress.” And the former chief of the Capitol Police has testified that the force had determined that the likelihood of violence was “improbable.”

Mr. Bolton concluded such intelligence breakdowns stemmed from dysfunction within the agency and called for “guidance that clearly documents channels for efficiently and effectively disseminating intelligence information to all of its personnel.”

That failure conspired with other lapses inside the Capitol Police force to create a dangerous situation on Jan. 6, according to his account. The agency’s Civil Disturbance Unit, which specializes in handling large groups of protesters, was not allowed to use some of its most powerful tools and techniques against the crowd, on the orders of supervisors.

“Heavier, less-lethal weapons,” including stun grenades, “were not used that day because of orders from leadership,” Mr. Bolton wrote. Officials on duty on Jan. 6 told him that such equipment could have helped the police to “push back the rioters.”

Since the Jan. 6 attack, Congress has undertaken a series of security reviews about what went wrong. The three top security officials in charge that day resigned in disgrace, and they have since deflected responsibility for the intelligence failures, blaming other agencies, each other and at one point even a subordinate for the breakdowns that allowed hundreds of Trump supporters to storm the Capitol.

But the inspector general report makes clear that the agency had received some warnings about how Mr. Trump’s extremist supporters were growing increasingly desperate as he promoted lies about election theft.

“Supporters of the current president see Jan. 6, 2021, as the last opportunity to overturn the results of the presidential election,” said the assessment three days before the riot. “This sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent.”

The Department of Homeland Security warned the Capitol Police on Dec. 21 of comments on a pro-Trump website promoting attacks on members of Congress with a map of the tunnel system, according to the inspector general’s findings. ¤ “Several comments promote confronting members of Congress and carrying firearms during the protest,” a Capitol Police analyst wrote.

Among the comments reported to the Capitol Police: “Bring guns. It’s now or never,” and, “We can’t give them a choice. Overwhelming armed numbers is our only chance.”

On Jan. 5, the F.B.I.’s Norfolk field office, in Virginia, relayed another threat from an anonymous social media thread that warned of a looming war at the Capitol. ¤ “Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled,” the message read. “Get violent … stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.”

WaPo, Aaron Blake: Inside Trump’s private, revisionist, grievance-laden speech to the RNC http://wapo.st/3uHHlM0

NYT: U.S. to Increase Military Presence in Germany http://nyti.ms/3s9H2rH Reverses Trump’s planned pull-back and adds 500 troops to “create more space, more cyber and more electronic warfare capabilities in Europe,” per Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III
// Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, on a visit to Germany, announced an addition of 500 personnel to strengthen deterrence and defenses in Europe.

⭕ 12 Apr 2021

NYT: Defying Republicans, Big Companies Keep the Focus on Voting Rights http://nyti.ms/3dd1VOA “Beyond making statements, business leaders are weighing what actions they can take to influence the policy decisions made by Republican lawmakers”
// A coalition of law firms has joined business leaders in wanting to use their clout to oppose state legislation that would make it harder to vote.

WaPo: Biden faces pressure from Pelosi, Sanders over whether to double down on Obamacare or expand Medicare http://wapo.st/3ddXYcE Why not make pandemic changes to ACA permanent AND let 55yo✛ Opt In to a Public Option that = Medicare? PayFor: ⇈ cap on withholding @SenSanders
// House Democratic leadership and Sen. Bernie Sanders split as Biden administration sculpts next package

📋 🔆 This❗️⋙ TheAtlantic, Adam Jentleson: How to Stop the Minority-Rule Doom Loop http://bit.ly/3tcAie0 “After 1888 until 2000, every president who won the White House won both the popular vote and the Electoral College.” Not anymore.
// The next two years might be America’s last chance to protect the basic democratic principle of majority rule.

President Joe Biden came into office facing four “converging crises”: COVID-19, climate change, racial justice, and the economy. But after a few weeks of fast action on a pandemic relief plan, a fifth crisis will determine the fate of the rest of his administration, and perhaps that of American democracy itself: the minority-rule doom loop, by which predominantly white conservatives gain more and more power, even as they represent fewer Americans.

The doom loop consists of four interlocking components. Candidates who represent white conservatives—Republicans, in our ideologically sorted era—begin every election cycle buoyed by a sluice of voter suppression and gerrymandering (what I call electoral welfare), which makes it easier for them to win. Then antidemocratic features of the American system that have always existed but never benefited one party over the other in any systematic way help those same candidates take control of institutions such as the White House and the Senate, despite winning fewer votes and representing fewer people than their opponents. Once in control of these institutions, these newly elected officials use them to entrench their power beyond the reach of voters. If they are eventually voted out of power, they retain a veto over the agenda of the majority, which they use to block change and feed the conservative case that the government is “broken.” This hastens their return to power—along the very path they greased with voter suppression.

The net effect of this doom loop is a growing divergence between the agenda of the government and the will of the governed, an untenable dynamic in any democracy. With Democratic control of Congress hanging by a handful of seats, the next two years might be the country’s last chance to stop this cycle.

TheBulwark, Tim Miller: The Insurrection Is the Message. And Republicans Are All Still Onboard. http://bit.ly/32a7iry “Trump once again clarified—for anyone who had lingering doubts—that he did, in fact, want the election to be overturned”
// Inside the Republican donor retreat.

The panoply of GOP elites once again made the pilgrimage to one of God-King Trump’s holy sites, choosing Trump International Palm Beach to host their spring donor confab rather than retreating to literally any other high-end club which would’ve brought the dual benefits of (1) not being owned by a failed insurrectionist and (2) serving rock-hard steaks with a side of ketchup. 

Look, I don’t want to torment you with gratuitous reading about the details of the RumpRoast Master of Palm Beach’s unemployment routine, but here’s the deal: When the party’s entire leadership reaffirms their captivity to a man who attempted to overturn our democracy, it merits being called out with specificity. And that’s what happened Saturday night in South Florida. 

The Republican party wants all of us to forget what happened in the lead-up to January 6. Kevin McCarthy said recently that his vote to overturn the election “wasn’t to overturn an election” because it wasn’t really going to happen . . . or something.

Well on Saturday, at an event that also featured such top Republicans as Ron DeSantis, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, Kristi Noem, Tom Cotton, and McCarthy, Trump once again clarified—for anyone who had lingering doubts—that he did, in fact, want the election to be overturned.

Trump once again stated specifically that he wanted Mike Pence to have “the courage” to not certify the election, for the purpose of keeping Trump in the White House.

⋙ 🐣 RT @jdawsey1 “I wish that Mike Pence had the courage to send it back to the legislatures… I like him so much. I was so disappointed,” Trump said. Most of the speech was about the election.

Now you might think that a former president declaring that he was disappointed that his sincere effort to become an unelected autocrat would get some pushback from attendees. That people with live political careers—people who currently hold elective office and are due to face voters soon—might see some benefit to distancing themselves from the most direct assault on our democracy undertaken by a president in the postwar era. ¤ Crickets.

And while all of the elected officials who are asking voters to entrust them with their judgment were silent in the face of Trump’s continued anti-democratic assault, there was one group that spoke out . . . some of the Republican donors in attendance.

Well, they didn’t speak out exactly. They whispered. On background. To Politico. (What journalistic purpose is being served by granting donors anonymity exactly?) ¤ These donors thought the speech had been a bit “dour” and “negative.” ¤ Donald Trump, negative? You don’t say!

Trump’s anti-democratic fight continues, and DeSantis was there with him on Saturday as he made his intentions explicit and attacked Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, and others who didn’t stick with him the whole way like the Florida governor did.

DeSantis might think that he can argue sometime in the future that the “fight” he was pushing was something other than an insurrection that resulted in a deadly siege of the Capitol. But Donald Trump continues to publicly disabuse him of that notion every time he opens his mouth. And DeSantis and the rest merely smile and applaud. ¤ Then and now, insurrection was the message. ¤ They are all on board. ¤ We are not. And we will never stop calling them out.

🐣 RT @Acyn Psaki response on Cornyn: I can confirm that the President of the United States does not spend his time tweeting conspiracy theories. He spends his time working on behalf of the American people.

🐣 RT @TheRickWilson No, it begs the question, “Was Trump a corrupt, manic narcissist driven to scrape the bottom of every barrel of attention and who lacked an ability to focus on the work of being President?”
⋙ 🐣 RT @JohnCornyn The president is not doing cable news interviews. Tweets from his account are limited and, when they come, unimaginably conventional. The public comments are largely scripted. Biden has opted for fewer sit down interviews with mainstream outlets and reporters.
⋙ 🐣 RT @JohnCornyn Invites the question: is he really in charge?

◕ WaPo: The rise of domestic extremism in America http://wapo.st/3dZL1lw “Since 2015, right-wing extremists have been involved in 267 plots or attacks and 91 fatalities … [A]ttacks and plots ascribed to far-left views accounted for 66 incidents leading to 19 deaths” ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1381639908935278598?s=20/photo/1
// Source: Center for Strategic and International Studies: Data shows a surge in homegrown attacks not seen in a quarter-century; chart is from CSIS report
⋙ New report on domestic extremism: Deaths since 2015: 83% rightwing, 17% leftwing

Domestic terrorism incidents have soared to new highs in the United States, driven chiefly by white-supremacist, anti-Muslim and anti-government extremists on the far right, according to a Washington Post analysis of data compiled by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The surge reflects a growing threat from homegrown terrorism not seen in a quarter-century, with right-wing extremist attacks and plots greatly eclipsing those from the far left and causing more deaths, the analysis shows. ¤ The number of all domestic terrorism incidents in the data peaked in 2020.

Since 2015, right-wing extremists have been involved in 267 plots or attacks and 91 fatalities, the data shows. At the same time, attacks and plots ascribed to far-left views accounted for 66 incidents leading to 19 deaths.

“What is most concerning is that the number of domestic terror plots and attacks are at the highest they have been in decades,” said Seth Jones, director of the database project at CSIS, a nonpartisan Washington-based nonprofit that specializes in national security issues. “It’s so important for Americans to understand the gravity of the threat before it gets worse.”

More than a quarter of right-wing incidents and just under half of the deaths in those incidents were caused by people who showed support for white supremacy or claimed to belong to groups espousing that ideology, the analysis shows.

Victims of all incidents in recent years represent a broad cross-section of American society, including Blacks, Jews, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, Asians and other people of color who have been attacked by right-wing extremists wielding vehicles, guns, knives and fists.

Dozens of religious institutions — including mosques, synagogues and Black churches — as well as abortion clinics and government buildings, have been threatened, burned, bombed and hit with gunfire over the past six years.

Left-wing attacks reached 25 in 2020. Those incidents include multiple attempts by extremists to derail trains to hinder oil pipeline construction and at least seven incidents in which police and their facilities were targeted with guns, firebombs and graffiti. The incidents included the burning of a Minneapolis police precinct during protests over the death of George Floyd.

In August, a supporter of President Donald Trump was shot dead in Portland, Ore., by a suspected gunman who was a self-described antifa supporter. That killing was the only death last year attributed to far-left violence, the data shows. There were two deaths attributed to far-right attacks. …

Data released by the CSIS on Monday includes the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol as one of 11 far-right terrorism incidents that month — the most for any January in the database. The new report highlights more involvement in far-right attacks and plots by military service members, veterans and current and former police officers, some of whom participated in the riot at the Capitol.

⇈ ⇊
📔◕ CSIS: The Military, Police, and the Rise of Terrorism in the United States http://bit.ly/3fYMLyi
⋙ PDF: http://bit.ly/3mMMrnB 15p

WaPo: How the corporate backlash to Georgia’s new voting law is shaping other fights around the country over access to the polls http://wapo.st/3mH1Zte “Voting access now looms as one of the defining battles between the parties as they prepare for the 2022 midterms”

WaPo: ADL demands Fox News fire Tucker Carlson over anti-Semitic trope: ‘This has deadly significance’ http://wapo.st/3a6AJiF Jonathan A. Greenblatt, Director of the Anti-Defamation League, slammed Carlson and the Murdochs: “Tucker has to go”
// Anti-Defamation League; “white replacement theory”

Last week on Fox News, Tucker Carlson argued that immigration to the United States would “dilute the political power” of Americans in a segment that also referenced “white replacement theory” — a discriminatory trope, often weaponized by white nationalists, suggesting that people of color are “replacing” White Americans.

The segment left the Anti-Defamation League urging Fox News to fire Carlson for his “open-ended endorsement of white supremacist ideology,” the first time the group has made such a demand, according to the Associated Press.

On Sunday, Jonathan A. Greenblatt, chief executive and national director of the ADL, repeated those demands on CNN, slamming Carlson for his remarks and condemning the network’s owners, the Murdoch family, for not immediately taking action. ¤

“I think we’ve really crossed a new threshold when a major news network dismisses this or pretends like it isn’t important,” Greenblatt told to CNN’s Brian Stelter. “This has deadly significance.” ¤ “Tucker has got to go,” he added.

Carlson then referenced the racist theory by name, dismissing it as the motivation for his remarks. ¤ “Everyone wants to make a racial issue out of it. Oh, you know, the white replacement theory? No, no, no,” he said. “I have less political power because they are importing a brand new electorate. Why should I sit back and take that?”

… The theory has evolved into a bogus notion that a cabal of elite Jews are plotting to replace White populations with immigrants, Muslims and Black and Brown people, according to the ADL. ¤ The theory has been employed by far-right groups and mass killers. In 2017 hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members marched through the streets of Charlottesville, chanting, “Jews will not replace us.” The man responsible for the 2019 massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 51 people at two mosques, cited the theory, as did the gunman who killed 20 people, seven of them Mexicans, at a Walmart in El Paso.

⭕ 11 Apr 2021

🐣 RT @Strandjunker 1923: Hitler’s failed coup.
No real consequences.
No fundamental changes.
1933: Hitler takes power.
I wish I could implant this into everyone’s brain.

🐣 RT @FPWellman January 6th didn’t just happen. Trump lied over and over to build up the anger and encourage his followers to violence. Friday is 100 days since the Capitol Insurrection. We aren’t forgetting. Follow @ProjectLincoln all week as we remember that fateful day. #Jan6NeverAgain
⋙ 🐣 RT @LincolnProject This Friday marks 100 days since the attack on our Capitol. It all started with #TheBigLie. #Jan6NeverForget #100DaysSince 💽 https://twitter.com/FPWellman/status/1381383276707872768?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @atrupar Liz Cheney on Trump’s continued embrace of insurrection: “The former president is using the same language that he knows provoked violence on Jan. 6. As a party, we need to be focused on the future. We need to be focused on embracing the Constitution, not embracing insurrection.” [Face The Nation]

WaPo: More than 100 corporate executives hold call to discuss halting donations and investments to fight controversial voting bills http://wapo.st/3uIGElP “Many of the corporate leaders who joined the call seemed to view the voting restrictions as attacks on democracy”

🐣 RT @Anthony WSJ EXCLUSIVE: Dozens of CEOs and other senior leaders from America’s biggest companies gathered on Zoom this weekend to plot how to fight what they see as voter suppression efforts under way in Texas and other states
⋙ WSJ: CEOs Plan New Push on Voting Legislation http://on.wsj.com/3dVBgoI “The new statement could come early this week, the people said, and would build on one that 72 Black executives signed last month in the wake of changes to Georgia’s voting laws”
// Companies from PayPal to AMC have signaled they will support joining effort for voter access, people say

⏳ AP: ‘Clear the Capitol,’ Pence pleaded, timeline of riot shows http://bit.ly/3tbayyy

TheGuardian, Jon Ronson: Making sense of conspiracy theorists as the world gets more bizarre http://bit.ly/2PSO3QK “64% of [Facebook] users who joined extremist groups were enticed to do so by clicking on the ‘Groups you should join’ and ‘Discover’ buttons”
// It is 20 years since Jon Ronson wrote Them, his eye-popping investigation into conspiracy theorists. Now, in a world awash with tales of paedophile elites and puppet masters, is he any closer to understanding it all?

⭕ 10 Apr 2021

🐣 RT @NoahBookbinder At a RNC event at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump restated the lie that he won the election and bragged about the crowd at the rally that preceded the insurrection. By giving him business and a forum for this dangerous rhetoric, the RNC is endorsing insurrection.
💙 ⋙ WaPo: Trump slashes at McConnell as he reiterates election falsehoods at Republican event http://wapo.st/3uNZpV8

DailyBeast/AP: Pence Begged Military to ‘Clear the Capitol’ During Jan. 6 Riot, New Docs Show http://bit.ly/3mDgePD

A new document obtained by the Associated Press reveals more details about the timeline of law enforcement responses to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. The document, which does not appear to have been provided to congressional investigators for their public hearings in February, highlights how President Donald Trump took no steps to contain the chaos. It says Vice President Mike Pence made a phone call around 4 p.m. to the acting defense secretary, saying that the Capitol was not protected and asking that the military “clear the Capitol.” By this point, however, it had been two hours since rioters breached the building, injuring scores of police officers. And it would be another hour before defense officials approved a National Guard deployment.

Additionally, days before Jan. 6, government officials met to discuss the use of the National Guard, but said they’d only be called if the crowd exceeded 20,000. There was an hours-long delay in deploying the military on Jan. 6, leaving lawmakers, congressional staff and outnumbered police to largely fend for themselves.

🐣 RT @maggieNYT Trump rant on McConnell at RNC was brutal, per attendee. He took credit for Mr. McConnell’s margin of win. “Did he ever say thank you to me? No. I hired his wife. Did he ever say thank you to me? No.” He said he feels “sorry” for her, said, “She’s suffered so greatly.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @maggieNYT “A real leader” would not have accepted the results of the 2020 election, Trump said of McConnell, per attendee.
⋙ 🐣 RT @maggieNYT Trump continues attacking Mike Pence, whose life was in danger from Trump supporters on Jan. 6, saying he should have had “the courage” to refuse to certify the results.

⏳ AP: ‘Clear the Capitol,’ Pence pleaded, timeline of riot shows http://bit.ly/3tbayyy

📋 NYT, Anton Troianovski: ‘You Can’t Trust Anyone’: Russia’s Hidden Covid Toll Is an Open Secret http://nyti.ms/3dRqY99 “The country’s official coronavirus death toll is 102,649. But at least 300,000 more people died last year … than were reported in Russia’s most widely cited official statistics” ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1381081748000407555?s=20/photo/1

🌎 WaPo: On Ukraine’s doorstep, Russia boosts military and sends message of regional clout to Biden http://wapo.st/323xl3x “Russia’s sudden military surge appears to be more about sending messages than launching a fresh offensive, analysts said” ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1381066342606995456?s=20/photo/1
// Russia’s moves are seen more as a statement of resolve than as a prelude to an offensive.

⭕ 9 Apr 2021

💙❤️ ★ ScienceMag, Anthony Fauci: The story behind COVID-19 vaccines http://bit.ly/2QoXCXu

TPM (4/9): Prosecutors Detail Oathkeepers’ Alleged ‘Street Race’ To Capitol Attack — In Golf Carts http://bit.ly/2RmlATE Did they got the keys to the golf carts as part of providing security for Roger Stone?

TheGuardian: Biden orders commission to study supreme court expansion and reform http://bit.ly/2Q77mWe
● Executive order fulfils campaign pledge to examine court reform
● Biden has not said if he favors expanding nine-justice court

NYT: After Capitol Riot, Pentagon Announces New Efforts to Weed Out Extremism Among Troops http://nyti.ms/3mzbFFM ‘With a handful of exceptions, every unit has now had some sort of discussion about why white supremacy and extremism … have no place in the US military’
// Defense Department officials acknowledge that rooting out far-right extremist thinking from a military of 1.3 million active-duty troops will be an uphill slog.

WaPo: In new book, John Boehner says today’s GOP is unrecognizable to traditional conservatives and dishes on his time in politics http://wapo.st/3mxYRzH

WaPo: Trump officials celebrated efforts to change CDC reports on coronavirus, emails show http://wapo.st/3s74g1E
// Political appointees also tried to blunt scientific findings they deemed unfavorable to Trump, according to new documents from House probe

⭕ 8 Apr 2021

NYT: Former In-Law of Trump Executive Gives Prosecutors Boxes of Documents http://nyti.ms/31YRoA9 Jennifer Weisselberg is the ex-wife of Trump Organization financial executive Allen Weisselberg’s son Barry
// The handover of the documents suggests prosecutors are stepping up pressure on the executive, Allen H. Weisselberg.

“I can confirm that Jennifer Weisselberg has been in close contact with the district attorney’s office, has been turning over documents to them and continues to do so,” said Duncan Levin, a lawyer for Ms. Weisselberg, who is the ex-wife of Mr. Weisselberg’s son Barry. “She is committed to cooperating with law enforcement and being fully transparent with investigators.

Ms. Weisselberg said in a recent interview that investigators from the district attorney’s office visited her apartment weeks ago at her invitation, to review a number of documents involving her ex-husband and her former father-in-law. She said investigators took several of the documents. Thursday’s visit suggests that prosecutors are collecting additional records.

🐣 RT @ChristopherJM “Russia now has more troops on the border with Ukraine than at any time since 2014,” says @PressSec. 💽 https://twitter.com/ChristopherJM/status/1380231723598946307?s=20/photo/1

CNN: Mueller fraud investigator brought in to help Vance’s probe of Trump Org. http://cnn.it/3fVUY6s

A former FBI forensic accountant key to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election is one of several accountants working on the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation into the Trump Organization, people familiar with the matter say. ¤ Morgan Magionos, who was a lynchpin to the prosecution of former President Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is a member of the team of outside experts from FTI Consulting aiding New York prosecutors.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance brought on FTI Consulting last year as part of his office’s wide-ranging investigation into possible insurance fraud, fraud involving lenders, and tax fraud.

Magionos, a certified fraud examiner and accountant, spent nine years at the FBI where she worked in its international corruption squad in Washington, DC. She was detailed to the Mueller investigation and traced Manafort’s assets across four countries. Manafort was charged with multiple counts of bank fraud, failing to report foreign bank accounts, and filing false tax returns, among other crimes. …

Trump has called the district attorney’s investigation a “witch hunt.” The Trump Organization this week beefed up its legal team by bringing on criminal-defense attorney Ronald Fischetti, who decades earlier was a law partner with Pomerantz. Fischetti’s hiring was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

🐣 RT @MSNBC According to NYT, fmr. GOP Speaker Boehner writes in his new book that fmr. Pres. Trump incited the Jan. 6 riot and the former president’s “refusal to accept the result of the election not only cost Republicans the Senate but led to mob violence.”
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, MorningJoe: Trump responsible for ‘bloody insurrection,’ says John Boehner http://on.msnbc.com/3mwAxy4
// Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner blames Donald Trump in his upcoming memoir for losing the Senate and inciting the January 6 Capitol riot. The Morning Joe panel discusses.
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @FridaGhitis Former top GOP leader and ex House Speaker John Boehner on the Jan 6 attack: ¤ Trump “incited that bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons, perpetuated by the bullshit he’d been shoveling since he lost a fair election the previous November”

🐣 RT @ChrisAlbertoLaw BREAKING: The Capitol Police IG reveals even more failures prior to Jan 6, including “a previously unreported warning more than 2 wks ahead of the insurrection about a map of the Capitol’s underground tunnels that was posted on a pro-Donald Trump website.”
⋙ CNN: Watchdog reveals new warning about map of Capitol’s underground tunnels posted before insurrection http://cnn.it/3wFjrCS

⭕ 7 Apr 2021

🐣 RT @ACEurasia Biden can’t stop at phone-call diplomacy, says @melindaharing. “Washington needs to tell Moscow that if it doesn’t leave the Donbas in six months, the United States will levy more sanctions and begin visa bans on top Russian officials and their children.”
⋙ AtlanticCouncil: FAST THINKING: Russia’s making military moves in Ukraine. What’s it up to? http://bit.ly/3g31KXM
// 4/2/2021

Law&Crime: Ten Lawmakers Join Lawsuit Accusing Trump, Giuliani, Oath Keepers, and Proud Boys of Inciting Capitol Riot http://bit.ly/3rXIpK4

NYT, Thomas Edsall: The Fear That Is Shaping American Politics http://nyti.ms/3my0NYP
// It affects everyone from Joe Manchin to Joe Biden.

CNN: Capitol riot defendant flips to help prosecutors against Proud Boys http://cnn.it/3s2fQuW “Prosecutors had revealed the witness heard Proud Boys members talking about wanting to kill members of Congress and then-Vice President Mike Pence … and had access to guns”

The development is the first indication that people charged in the insurrection are cooperating against the pro-Trump extremist group. Federal prosecutors have made clear they are focused on building conspiracy cases against leadership of the Proud Boys and paramilitary groups like the Oath Keepers.

Court records have made murmurs for weeks about cooperators and plea deals in the works, and prosecutors revealed that a rioter wearing an Oath Keepers hat was in talks to cooperate earlier this week.

What happens next is likely to follow the same pattern as in organized crime or drug investigations, with prosecutors pressuring knowledgeable defendants to become witnesses. Some may sign up to cooperate, and many of those charged are likely to plead guilty to avoid trial or more severe charges. ¤ So far, around two dozen people associated with the Proud Boys have been charged with federal crimes related to the riot.

It’s always been likely that prosecutors would gain cooperators against the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and other extremist factions involved in the riot, according to several defense attorneys involved in the cases.

[Martin] Tankleff represents a handful of Capitol riot defendants, including alleged Proud Boy “warrior” Dominic Pezzola; Ryan Samsel, who his attorneys say was beaten by a guard at the DC Jail in March; and Richard Barnett, the boastful Arkansas man accused of putting his feet on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. Tankleff and his law partner Steven Metcalf declined to comment on the status of their clients’ cases in the Capitol riot investigation.

Weeks ago, [an] attorney for Pezzola wrote in court filings that he believed a so-called “cooperating witness” was sharing information about the Proud Boys. Prosecutors had revealed the witness heard Proud Boys members talking about wanting to kill members of Congress and then-Vice President Mike Pence and return to Washington for Inauguration Day, and that members of the group had access to guns. The witness wasn’t charged with a crime and isn’t affiliated with the Proud Boys, the Justice Department later clarified.

At least one defendant, Jon Schaffer, a guitarist with the heavy metal band Iced Earth, is considering cooperating, according to a filing on Monday. Schaffer allegedly charged at police officers in the Capitol insurrection and is in jail while he awaits trial. In court, he has distanced himself from the Oath Keepers. ¤ Still, Schaffer did “debrief interviews” starting in March, according to the filing, which prosecutors intended to share in court confidentially and mistakenly made public.

📊 WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Someone shrunk the GOP http://wapo.st/3tcdvik 49% Dem to 40% GOP (including leaners): “That nine-point gap dwarfs the usual four- to six-point Democratic advantage. It has not been this big since the fourth quarter of 2012”

Gallup reports that during the first quarter of 2021 “an average of 49% of U.S. adults identified with the Democratic Party or said they are independents who lean toward the Democratic Party. That compares with 40% who identified as Republicans or Republican leaners.” That nine-point gap dwarfs the usual four- to six-point Democratic advantage. It has not been this big since the fourth quarter of 2012.

House and Senate Republicans continue to oppose Biden’s uber-popular initiatives, engage in silly cultural memes, obsess over the amorphous cancel culture (even as they “cancel” Major League Baseball for taking its All-Star Game to Denver) and perpetuate the Big Lie that the election was stolen. They are leaders of a smaller army, acting as if they can survive with only the MAGA base on their side. This is a winning formula only if they can suppress the vote of non-MAGA voters. Hence, we see the frenzy to shrink the electorate to match the shrunken GOP ranks.

Biden seems ideally suited for a moment when the public embraces more government and a larger percentage of voters are fleeing the MAGA-saturated GOP. So long as he can deliver — a big question mark — and quiet the culture wars, he can set the foundation for a broad coalition that ranges all the way from the center-right to the progressive left.

📊 📋 WaPo, Max Boot: The GOP can’t be saved. Center-right voters need to become Biden Republicans. http://wapo.st/3muNqIN “The GOP remains a cult of personality for the worst president in U.S. history”

Most Republicans don’t care that Trump locked up children, cozied up to white supremacists, tear-gassed peaceful protesters, benefited from Russian help in both of his campaigns, egregiously mishandled the pandemic, incited a violent attack on the Capitol and even faced fraud complaints from his own donors. A new Reuters-Ipsos poll finds that 81 percent of Republicans have a favorable impression of Trump. Wait. It gets worse: 60 percent say the 2020 election was stolen from him, only 28 percent say he is even partly to blame for the Capitol insurrection, and 55 percent say that the Capitol attack “was led by violent left-wing protestors trying to make Trump look bad.”

This is a portrait of a party that can’t be saved — at least in the foreseeable future. The GOP remains a cult of personality for the worst president in U.S. history. It has become a bastion of irrationality, conspiracy mongering, racism, nativism and anti-scientific prejudices.

It’s possible to oppose Biden’s plans on fiscal conservative grounds, but Republicans have no standing left on that issue after supporting Trump’s $1.9 trillion tax cut during an economic expansion. Likewise, Republicans have lost all credibility on free trade by supporting Trump’s trade wars and on foreign policy by backing Trump’s neo-isolationism. What do they have left? Scare-mongering rhetoric (every Democratic initiative is a sign of “socialism”) and culture wars (Dr. Seuss, Major League Baseball) to distract their base.

But while Biden hasn’t gotten any GOP votes in Congress for his agenda yet, he has won broad approval from the country at large. At 53.1 percent, Biden’s approval rating is higher than Trump’s ever was. Polls show that 73 percent approve of Biden’s handling of the coronavirus and 60 percent of his handling of the economy. There is also broad support for his infrastructure plan, with 64 percent backing tax hikes on corporations to pay for it.

Biden is governing from the “new center,” while Republicans are increasingly catering to the far right with shrill, divisive rhetoric and antidemocratic actions such as bills to restrict voting. ¤ Under those circumstances, those of us on the center-right can’t afford a third-party flirtation. We need to become Biden Republicans.

⭕ 6 Apr 2021

🐣 RT @TomJChicago Fox is creating an alternate reality to minimize the 1/6 insurrection. It’s a reminder of the importance of indicting & locking away Trump for the rest of his miserable life for trying to overturn the election. The Senate voted 57-43 to convict him. A real trial would convict him 💽 https://twitter.com/TomJChicago/status/1379593575873318913?s=20/photo/1

NYT: Capitol Rioters Face the Consequences of Their Selfie Sabotage http://nyti.ms/39UtASc
// Joe Biggs and his fellow Proud Boys left an incriminating social media trail for federal investigators before and during the Capitol attack on Jan. 6.

🐣 RT @MilesTaylorUSA Today I joined 100+ former national security, military & elected officials in a letter to Congress calling for a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan 6 Insurrection. Help us by making sure your representatives see it. https://twitter.com/MilesTaylorUSA/status/1379488755619258369?s=20/photo/1

WaPo, Paul Waldman: The Senate just moved one step closer to sanity http://wapo.st/31P8wbu “Fortunately, Democrats have gotten burned by … GOP strategy too many times, and they seem to finally understand how it works”

🌎 WaPo (3/10): How the 2022 Senate map is shaping up http://wapo.st/3cTDllChttps://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1379559336075231235?s=20/photo/1
// tags 2022 Senate 2022 Senators up for re-election in 2022 map 2022 Senate map
⇈ ⇊
🔄 “Potentially competitive races as judged by Cook Political Report. 2020 results from Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections.”

💙 WaPo, Jonathan Gould, Kenneth Shepsle and Matthew Stephenson: Don’t eliminate the filibuster. Democratize it. http://wapo.st/2Q5BPUo Now THIS is a brilliant idea: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1379520041880813576?s=20/photo/1

The Senate could change this rule so that ending debate would instead require the support of a majority of senators who collectively represent a majority of the U.S. population, with each senator considered to represent half of his or her state’s residents. This rule, which should be extended to all legislation as well as confirmation of judicial appointments, would allow a bare majority of senators to overcome a filibuster — if those senators together represented a majority of the American people.

WaPo: What an analysis of 377 Americans arrested or charged in the Capitol insurrection tells us http://wapo.st/3cS4RQC “Counties with the most significant declines in the non-Hispanic White population are the most likely to produce insurrectionists who now face charges”
// Robert A. Pape is a professor of political science at the University of Chicago and director of the Chicago Project on Security and Threats.

The Chicago Project on Security and Threats (CPOST), working with court records, has analyzed the demographics and home county characteristics of the 377 Americans, from 250 counties in 44 states, arrested or charged in the Capitol attack.

… Only Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri and Montana appear to have sent more protesters to D.C. suspected of crimes than their populations would suggest.

Those involved are, by and large, older and more professional than right-wing protesters we have surveyed in the past. They typically have no ties to existing right-wing groups. But like earlier protesters, they are 95 percent White and 85 percent male, and many live near and among Biden supporters in blue and purple counties.

But by far the most interesting characteristic common to the insurrectionists’ backgrounds has to do with changes in their local demographics: Counties with the most significant declines in the non-Hispanic White population are the most likely to produce insurrectionists who now face charges.

… [C]ounties that had the greatest decline in White population had an 18 percent chance of sending an insurrectionist to D.C., while the counties that saw the least decline in the White population had only a 3 percent chance.

One driver overwhelmingly stood out: fear of the “Great Replacement.” Great Replacement theory has achieved iconic status with white nationalists and holds that minorities are progressively replacing White populations due to mass immigration policies and low birthrates. Extensive social media exposure is the second-biggest driver of this view, our surveys found.

⭕ 5 Apr 2021

WaPo, Michael Gerson: Why tearing down Fauci is essential to the MAGA myth http://wapo.st/3fI0sBp “Fauci is practicing epidemiology. His critics are practicing idiocy. Both are very good at their chosen work”

… Fauci was a surefire applause line at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. Former Trump administration officials continue to target him. Republican members of Congress vie with one another to put Fauci in his place.

For Trump officials, including Donald Trump himself, this makes perfect sense. If Fauci has been right about covid, then playing down the disease, mocking masks, modeling superspreader events, denying death tolls, encouraging anti-mandate militias and recommending quack cures were not particularly helpful. If Fauci has been right, they presided over a deadly debacle.

When former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro claims that Fauci is “the father of the actual virus” or former chief of staff Mark Meadows complains about Fauci’s indifference to the (nearly nonexistent) flow of covid across the southern border, the goal is not really to press arguments. It is to create an alternative MAGA reality in which followers are free from the stress of truth — a safe space in which more than half a million people did not die and their leader was not a vicious, incompetent, delusional threat to the health of the nation.

There were, of course, disagreements along the way about the length of lockdowns and the form of mandates. But on the whole, American citizens have witnessed one of the most dramatic vindications of scientific expertise in our history. We have been healthier when we listened to the experts and sicker when we did not.

All these critics of Fauci have chosen to attack the citadel of science at its strongest point. With squirt guns. While naked and blowing kazoos. … Fauci is practicing epidemiology. His critics are practicing idiocy. Both are very good at their chosen work.

🔄 📋 Insider: 397 people have been charged in the Capitol insurrection so far. This searchable table shows them all. http://bit.ly/3cTYJHs

📊 Reuters: Half of Republicans believe false accounts of deadly U.S. Capitol riot-Reuters/Ipsos poll http://reut.rs/39NKmme (n=1005, 3/30-31/2021) 8 in 10 Republicans hold a favorable view of Trump compared to only 3 in 10 Independents

Since the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have pushed false and misleading accounts to downplay the event that left five dead and scores of others wounded. His supporters appear to have listened.

Three months after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to try to overturn his November election loss, about half of Republicans believe the siege was largely a non-violent protest or was the handiwork of left-wing activists “trying to make Trump look bad,” a new Reuters/Ipsos poll has found.

Since the Capitol attack, Trump, many of his allies within the Republican Party and right-wing media personalities have publicly painted a picture of the day’s events jarringly at odds with reality.

Hundreds of Trump’s supporters, mobilized by the former president’s false claims of a stolen election, climbed walls of the Capitol building and smashed windows to gain entry while lawmakers were inside voting to certify President Joe Biden’s election victory. The rioters. – many of them sporting Trump campaign gear and waving flags – also included known white supremacist groups such as the Proud Boys.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll shows a large number of rank-and-file Republicans have embraced the myth. While 59% of all Americans say Trump bears some responsibility for the attack, only three in 10 Republicans agree. Eight in 10 Democrats and six in 10 independents reject the false claims that the Capitol siege was “mostly peaceful” or it was staged by left-wing protestors.

The disinformation campaign aimed at downplaying the insurrection and Trump’s role in it reflects a growing consensus within the Republican Party that its fortunes remain tethered to Trump and his devoted base, political observers say.

According to the new Reuters/Ipsos poll, Trump remains the most popular figure within the party, with eight in 10 Republicans continuing to hold a favorable impression of him.

Some mainstream Republicans contend that after Republicans lost both the White House and control of both chambers of Congress on Trump’s watch, the party must move on from the former president in order to attract suburban, moderate and independent voters.

In the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, only about three in 10 independents said they have a favorable view of Trump, among the lowest level recorded since his presidency. Most Americans — about 60% — also believe Biden won the November election fair and square, and said Trump should not run again.

🐣 RT @thedailybeast Russia is gearing up for war again, local experts, state media propagandists, and government officials are all saying. The fight will begin once again on the real-world battlefield of Ukraine. But it will extend much, much further
⋙ DailyBeast, Julia Davis: Russia State Media Gears Up for a War ‘Against the West’ http://bit.ly/3uuAINf “When the time comes, pro-Russian forces will stage a provocation and step in to “defend” Russian citizens from the Ukrainian government” – from Russian TV
// One Kremlin propagandist even suggested that the struggle for Ukraine will end in a “nuclear conflict” between Russia and NATO.

🐣 RT @RexChapman Mitch McConnell’s whole career has been kissing up to big corporations. ¤ But if they won’t let him make it harder for Black people to vote, then he wants to break up. ¤ Everyone can see the real Mitch now.
⋙ 🐣 RT @burgessev McConnell takes aim at corporate US: “Parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government. Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order.”

WaPo, Alyssa Rosenberg: The only question about QAnon that really matters http://wapo.st/3up4W49 “Given the damage QAnon has done to individuals and families, it’s far more important to determine what might bring individual adherents to their senses”

WaPo: A QAnon revelation suggests the truth of Q’s identity was right there all along http://wapo.st/
// The extremist movement’s leader had purported to be a top-secret government operative. But a possible slip-up in a new documentary about QAnon suggests that Q was actually Ron Watkins, the longtime administrator of the 8kun message board.

But in the Sunday finale for the HBO series “Q: Into the Storm,” filmmaker Cullen Hoback points to what he argues is a key piece of evidence that Watkins had lied about his role in the more than 4,000 messages Q had posted since 2017.

In a final scene, after Watkins talked about how he had shared baseless claims about voter fraud after Trump’s loss in the 2020 elections, he told Hoback: “It was basically three years of intelligence training, teaching normies how to do intelligence work. It was basically what I was doing anonymously before, but never as Q.”

⭕ 4 Apr 2021

🐣 RT @SkinnerPm 53 years ago tonight RFK said this about the murder of MLK: ¤ ‘In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it’s perhaps well to ask what kind of nation we are, and what direction we want to move in.’ ¤ We need ask that question again. And finally answer it

NYT: Biden Steps Up Federal Efforts to Combat Domestic Extremism http://nyti.ms/2R7Mizt
// The administration has taken a series of steps to prioritize dealing with white supremacists and militias, especially after the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

The attempts to more assertively grapple with the potential for violence from white supremacists and militias are a shift from President Donald J. Trump’s pressure on federal agencies to divert resources to target the antifa movement and leftist groups despite the conclusion by law enforcement authorities that far-right and militia violence was a more serious threat.

President Biden’s approach also continues a slow acknowledgment that especially after the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, the federal government needs to put more attention and money into tracking and heading off threats from inside the United States, after two decades in which it made foreign terrorism the security priority.

In an intelligence report delivered to Congress last month, the administration labeled white supremacists and militia groups as top national security threats. The White House is also discussing with members of Congress the possibility of new domestic terrorism legislation and executive orders to update the criteria of terrorism watch lists to potentially include more homegrown extremists.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, who helped investigate the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, said the Justice Department would also make domestic extremism a priority.

F.B.I. agents have worked domestic extremism cases for years. But the renewed focus from the highest levels of government is a major shift, especially as the administration grapples with whether current tactics and resources are enough to prevent future attacks.

The decision to confront the issue more directly stands in contrast to the approaches of the Trump and Obama administrations. In 2009, the Obama administration rescinded an intelligence assessment after it mentioned that veterans could be vulnerable to recruitment by domestic extremist groups, prompting political backlash.

Researchers say that the United States is years behind European countries like Germany and Norway in understanding the threat of far-right extremism. Daniel Koehler, a researcher in Germany who has helped other countries carry out deradicalization programs, said the United States still had not built a system for families who notice a member using threatening language or otherwise signaling that they could engage in violence.

“I have parents writing to me, ‘I don’t know what to do,’” Mr. Koehler said, adding that many American families had reached out to him after the Capitol riot with nowhere else to turn.

The Biden administration’s emphasis on the issue is a welcome sign for many current and former government officials who have said that such efforts were stunted under the Trump administration.

In September, Brian Murphy, a former head of the Homeland Security Department’s intelligence branch, filed a whistle-blower complaint accusing the department’s leadership of ordering the modification of intelligence assessments to make the threat of white supremacy “appear less severe” and including information on left-wing groups to align with Mr. Trump’s messaging. The Homeland Security leadership under the Trump administration denied the accusations.

The Obama administration also treaded carefully on the issue out of political concerns. Before announcing his presidential candidacy in 2019, Mr. Biden asked Janet Napolitano, who served as the homeland security secretary at the start of the Obama administration, about the decision in 2009 to rescind a report warning that U.S. military veterans were vulnerable to recruitment by extremist groups.

During a House Homeland Security Committee hearing last month, Representative Michael McCaul, Republican of Texas, noted the United States did not have a statute that would empower prosecutors to charge and investigate homegrown extremists with the same tools that are used against terrorism suspects from abroad.

Mr. Biden’s campaign platform said he would work to establish such a law “that respects free speech and civil liberties, while making the same commitment to root out domestic terrorism as we have to stopping international terrorism.” …

⭕ 3 Apr 2021

🐣 RT @rulajdbreal How the Trump campaign used prechecked boxes on digital fundraising solicitations to repeatedly take money $$$ from the bank accounts of onetime donors without their realizing it.
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar Unsurprisingly, the Trump campaign scammed its donors
💙 ⋙ NYT: How Trump Steered Supporters Into Unwitting Donations http://nyti.ms/3dAVILc
// Online donors were guided into weekly recurring contributions. Demands for refunds spiked. Complaints to banks and credit card companies soared. But the money helped keep Donald Trump’s struggling campaign afloat.

⭕ 2 Apr 2021

AtlanticCouncil: FAST THINKING: Russia’s making military moves in Ukraine. What’s it up to? http://bit.ly/3g31KXM

🐣 RT @FredClarkson What is known & not known about Trump & Russia, Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, Opus Dei, & William Barr all in one place — in American Kompromat, by @craigunger Strong case that Trump has been a “Russian asset” for decades.

Reuters: Biden offers Ukraine ‘unwavering support’ in faceoff with Russia http://reut.rs/3sPUXV9

WaPo: How America’s surveillance networks helped the FBI catch the Capitol mob http://wapo.st/3cIT6vJ
// Federal documents detailing the attacks at the U.S. Capitol show a mix of FBI techniques, from license plate readers to facial recognition, that helped identify rioters. Digital rights activists say the invasive technology can infringe on our privacy.

⭕ 1 Apr 2021

WaPo: Oath Keepers founder, associates exchanged 19 calls from start of Jan. 6 riot through breach, prosecutors allege http://wapo.st/31WqYPs

DOJ AUSA DC: Oath Keeper Affiliates Charged in Superseding Indictment for Conspiracy Leading to the U.S. Capitol Attack http://bit.ly/3fy8hJQ
// Joshua James and Roberto Minuta are the Latest Individuals to be Indicted for Conspiracy to Obstruct Congress on Jan. 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — Two individuals associated with the Oath Keepers, a large but loosely organized collection of individuals who explicitly focus on the recruitment of current and former military, law enforcement and first responder personnel, were indicted yesterday in federal court in the District of Columbia for conspiring to obstruct Congress, among other charges. James and Minuta are the 11th and 12th defendants to be charged in this case.

Joshua James, 33, of Arab, Alabama, was arrested on March 9, 2021 in Arab, Alabama; and Roberto Minuta, 36, of Prosper, Texas, was arrested on March 7, 2021, in Newburgh, New York. Both individuals were charged by superseding indictment with conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds. If convicted, James and Minuta each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

According to the charging documents, James and Minuta communicated with co-conspirators in advance of the Jan. 6, 2021, incursion on the U.S. Capitol. The indictment alleges frequent and consistent communication leading up to the attack, such as in reserving hotel rooms and making phone calls to co-conspirators the morning of the breach.

According to the indictment, in response to a call for individuals to head to the Capitol after the building was breached, James and Minuta drove to the Capitol in a golf cart, at times swerving around law enforcement vehicles with Minuta stating, “Patriots are storming the Capitol…so we’re en route in a grand theft auto golf cart to the Capitol building right now…it’s going down guys; it’s literally going down right now Patriots storming the Capitol building…”

Once they arrived, Minuta aggressively berated and taunted law enforcement officers in riot gear guarding the perimeter of the Capitol near the East side of the building. At 3:15 p.m., Minuta and James forcibly entered the Capitol building through the same east side Rotunda doors through which their alleged co-conspirators had entered earlier.

They then stormed the building, wearing military gear. Minuta additionally wore hard-knuckle tactical gloves, ballistic goggles, a radio with an earpiece and bear spray. Video captures Minuta yelling at an officer: “All that’s left is the Second Amendment!” as he exited the building at 3:19 p.m. Not long after 4:00 p.m., individuals who breached the Capitol – including James, Minuta and many of their alleged co-conspirators – gathered together approximately 100 feet from the Capitol near the northeast corner of the building.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Southern District of New York, Eastern District of Texas and Northern District of Alabama. The case is being investigated by the FBI’s New York, Dallas, Birmingham and Washington Field Offices.

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Russia Keeps Bribing Foreign Politicians. Is Trump Different? http://nym.ag/2PqLgOD

AP: Russian Foreign Minister says relations with West have ‘hit the bottom’ http://bit.ly/2PXfZ5L

Russia’s top diplomat said Thursday that the country’s relations with the United States and its allies have “hit the bottom” and no date has been set for sending the Russian ambassador back to Washington.

Russia recalled its ambassador to the United States after U.S. President Joe Biden was asked in an interview if thought Russian President Vladimir Putin was a “killer” and replied, “I do.”

Addressing the issue Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called Biden’s remarks “appalling” and said they had forced Moscow to rethink its ties with Washington.

Biden has said the days of the U.S. “rolling over” to Putin are done. And he has taken pains to contrast his approach with that of former President Donald Trump, who avoided direct confrontation with Putin and frequently spoke about the Russian leader with approval.

The Biden administration has warned that Russia would face sanctions soon over the massive SolarWinds hacks and attempts to influence last year’s U.S. presidential election to help keep Trump in the White House.

💙 WaPo, Karen Tumulty: How Nancy Reagan helped end the Cold War http://wapo.st/3wlXfxu

CNN: Two US Capitol Police officers sue Trump and say he should be held responsible for January 6 attack http://cnn.it/31Dln0s

⭕ 31 Mar 2021

🐣 RT @SecBlinken Pleased to speak with @DmytroKuleba today to discuss the United States unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We continue to support Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea.

⭕ 30 Mar 2021

WaPo: Two Capitol police officers sue Trump for ‘physical and emotional injuries’ suffered in riots http://wapo.st/3sFc6Rc

⭕ 29 Mar 2021

TheGuardian/AP: Suspected Russian hackers gained access to US homeland security emails http://bit.ly/3cN7wuD
// Intelligence value of SolarWinds hacking of then acting secretary Chad Wolf is not publicly known

NewYorker, Jane Mayer: Inside the Koch-Backed Effort to Block the Largest Election-Reform Bill in Half a Century http://bit.ly/3waJKAu
// On a leaked conference call, leaders of dark-money groups and an aide to Mitch McConnell expressed frustration with the popularity of the legislation—even among Republican voters.

DailyBeast: Dominion Builds Legal Behemoth To Drain Trumpland of Billions http://bit.ly/2O58WHr
// Dominion Voting Systems is adding a new team of lawyers as they prepare for their current lawsuits—and another potential round.

⭕ 28 Mar 2021

🐣 RT @GeoffyPJohnston Just watched the excellent @CNN documentary “COVID War.” Dr. @drsanjaygupta did an outstanding job of both interviewing the doctors at the centre of the U.S. COVID-19 response & of telling the narrative of the ill-fated U.S. handling of the pandemic. Riveting journalism.

💙 🐣 RT @RamCNN The revelations emerging in every minute of this Covid-19 special from @drsanjaygupta, “The Pandemic Doctors”
⋙ 🐣 RT @RamCNN Quite extraordinary
⋙ 🐣 RT @RamCNN Some highlights from the special, captured in updates here: 💽 https://twitter.com/RamCNN/status/1376368035091656705?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 💽 CNN: Pandemic doctors speak out http://cnn.it/3mbLsgF Good summary (with lots of video clips) of this CNN special on COVID-19. It’s one for the history books @drsanjaygupta Thank you.

NYT, Nicholas Kristof: He’s a Famous Evangelical Preacher, but His Kids Wish He’d Pipe Down http://nyti.ms/39jJdT2
// The Rev. Rick Joyner has called on Christians to arm themselves for civil war. But his children would be on the other side.

⭕ 27 Mar 2021

⭕ 26 Mar 2021

Newsweek: Mitt Romney, Only GOP Senator to Back Donald Trump Impeachment in 2020, Wins Courage Award http://bit.ly/2PcoTMr ‘A committee appointed by the JFK Library Foundation decides the annual award honoring public officials unafraid to take unpopular positions’

⭕ 25 Mar 2021

WaPo: Calls, texts by Oath Keepers founder contain ‘substantial evidence’ of Capitol conspiracy, prosecutors allege http://wapo.st/2PqFg8p

⭕ 24 Mar 2021

Vice, David Gilbert: Why QAnon Followers Are Suddenly Saying There’s No Such Thing as QAnon http://bit.ly/2Pv1ZzF //➔ Saying it doesn’t exist proves you think it does
// A lot of recent negative media attention has led to some backpedaling.

NYT: Democrats Begin Push for Biggest Expansion of Voting Since 1960s http://nyti.ms/2P4roR2
// Democrats characterized the far-reaching elections overhaul as the civil rights battle of modern times. Republicans called it a power grab that would put their party at a permanent disadvantage.
↥ ↧
NYT: Republicans Aim to Seize More Power Over How Elections Are Run http://nyti.ms/31gyd4t
// G.O.P. lawmakers in at least eight states controlled by the party are trying to gain broad influence over the mechanics of voting, in an effort that could further undermine the country’s democratic norms.
↥ ↧
NYT: Republicans Fear Flawed Candidates Could Imperil Key Senate Seats http://nyti.ms/2QBPuDc
// Races in Missouri and Alabama, with others to come, reflect the potential risks for a party in which loyalty to Donald Trump is the main criterion for securing nominations.

🐣 RT @hugolowell Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer: “Instead of doing what you should be doing when you lose an election in a democracy, Republicans instead are trying to disenfranchise those voters. Shame on them.”

💙 WaPo: Angus King: What happens to the filibuster depends on how Republicans play their hand http://wapo.st/31dkyLk //➔ Clearly lays out arguments on both sides, but says Voting Rights are a special case because they involve “democracy itself”

Politico: New evidence suggests ‘alliance’ between Oath Keepers, Proud Boys ahead of Jan. 6 http://politi.co/3rkLcg5 “Along with the Oath Keepers cases, the Proud Boys charges are the gravest to arise from the Jan. 6 assault“
// The evidence is the first to suggest coordination among the various extremist groups as they prepared to descend on Washington.

A key member of the Oath Keepers militia told associates he had coordinated alliances with the Proud Boys and other paramilitary groups in advance of Donald Trump’s Jan. 6 rally, according to new evidence filed by the Justice Department.

Spurred on by the president’s incendiary rhetoric at that day’s rally, Trump supporters, including Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, rioted at the Capitol and assaulted police officers later that day in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Kelly Meggs, the Florida leader of the Oath Keepers — who’s been charged along with nine others with conspiring to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election — said in private messages obtained by prosecutors that he’d been in touch repeatedly with Proud Boys leadership in particular. He said he had worked out a strategy to confront potential violence from antifa, a loosely organized collection of left-wing extremists.
“This week I organized an alliance between Oath Keepers, Florida 3%ers, and Proud Boys,” Meggs wrote in a Dec. 19 message to an associate via Facebook. “We have decided to work together and shut this shit down.”

In Dec. 22 and Dec. 25 messages, Meggs got more specific, describing tactical maneuvers they would conduct with the Proud Boys if they encountered antifa: “We’re going to march with them for awhile then fall to the back of the crowd and turn off. Then we will have the Proud Boys get in front of them the cops will get between antifa and Proud Boys. We will come in behind antifa and beat the hell out of them.”

The evidence is the first to suggest coordination among the various extremist groups as they prepared to descend on Washington. Oath Keepers attorneys have emphasized in court papers that evidence they were preparing for violence was limited to potential confrontation with antifa — not a plan to storm the Capitol.

But prosecutors say the planning, plus a growing body of evidence that the Oath Keepers executed a coordinated plan to enter the Capitol and rallied to the group’s leader, Stewart Rhodes, after first breaching the building, suggesting it was an element of their effort. In addition, prosecutors revealed messages of Oath Keepers celebrating the Capitol assault and promising to “reload” for further action.

Prosecutors unveiled an indictment last week against four Proud Boys leaders for similarly coordinating movements in advance of Jan. 6, with an emphasis on dividing into small groups ahead of their march on the Capitol. Along with the Oath Keepers cases, the Proud Boys charges are the gravest to arise from the Jan. 6 assault. Prosecutors have arrested more than 300 participants in the Capitol attack. Dozens unaffiliated with either militia have been charged with brutal assaults on police and breaching the building or causing property damage. …

According to court papers filed by prosecutors, the Oath Keepers moved on the building in a military-style “stack” formation and were among the first to enter the Capitol complex. They then dispersed to various points in the building, and messages show they were intent on heading to the Senate, where then-Vice President Mike Pence was presiding over a GOP-led challenge to Arizona’s electoral vote count. Prosecutors note they’re still reviewing footage to determine whether Oath Keepers followed the mob to the Senate chamber.

Meggs’ messages indicated that just days before the Jan. 6 attack, he and others anticipated that Trump would invoke the Insurrection Act, which they viewed as permission to aid his effort to stay in power.

“Trump’s staying in, he’s gonna use the emergency broadcast system on cell phones to broadcast to the American people. Then he will claim the insurrection act,” Meggs wrote in a Dec. 26 Facebook message.

“Any idea when?” an associate replied.

“Next week,” Meggs said. “Then wait for the 6th when we are all in dc to insurrection.”

Meggs’ messages also show that Pence’s actions ahead of Jan. 6 — in which he agreed he would entertain challenges to the counting of electoral votes, as procedures required — emboldened the group. “That checks all the boxes,” Meggs wrote. “I think this is why we were called there.”

Meggs also indicated that about 200 Oath Keepers had heeded what rioters said was a call to come to Washington. It’s unclear how many actually showed up. Ten have been indicted as part of the conspiracy, and prosecutors indicated they anticipate up to about five more being added to these particular charges.

In a court hearing Wednesday morning, Mehta agreed to release one of the 10 charged Oath Keepers, Laura Steele, from pretrial detention. Though he agreed that the charges against Steele were significant, he said prosecutors had presented minimal evidence that she played a role in planning the alleged conspiracy, committed violent acts, carried weapons or destroyed any property during the Capitol siege.

Though prosecutors had claimed that Steele, a former police officer, attempted to destroy evidence of her involvement in the Oath Keepers’ plot, Mehta said it wasn’t enough to keep her detained pending trial. He noted that Steele had no prior criminal history and strong community ties — including a husband and two children who are also in law enforcement.

“Steele doesn’t pose the type of danger to the community that warrants continued detention pending trial,” Mehta said.

Mehta accompanied his release order with strict conditions that include surrendering her passport, refrain from contact with anyone affiliated with the Oath Keepers — including her brother Graydon Young, who is one of the other Oath Keepers charged in the conspiracy. He also restricted Steele to home confinement, required GPS monitoring and barred her access to computers and electronic devices that would permit her to communicate electronically with her associates.

RFE/RL: Ukraine Places Sanctions On Dozens Of Russian Officials, Entities http://bit.ly/3cfJKaw The decree targets “26 foreigners and 81 legal entities, blocking their assets and restricting travel or operations in the country”

⭕ 23 Mar 2021

WaPo: Former top prosecutor in Capitol riot case faces internal review after 60 Minutes interview http://wapo.st/3chkG36 “US District Judge Amit P Mehta called a surprise hearing … on six hours’ notice to discuss his concerns [about] comments by Michael R Sherwin on Sunday”
// “… and a separate article published Monday by the New York Times indicated the Justice Department was not following the court’s rules or the agency’s internal procedures to refrain from speaking about ongoing cases outside of court.“

💙 WaPo: Sidney Powell does an about-face on her Stop the Steal claims http://wapo.st/39aHM9l sort of

Attorney Sidney Powell, you may recall, was the Madame Defarge of the recent attempt to overturn the election results. She knitted elaborate lawsuits from the yarns of unreliable witnesses, patterned with a vast conspiracy to rig voting machines, as the partisans she inflamed rolled their tumbrels toward the Capitol in search of such supposed traitors as then-Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Sued for defamation by the voting-machine vendor in question, Powell is now scoffing in federal court at the idea that anyone could have taken her seriously. “Reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact,” Powell averred in her motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Instead, the allegations that helped to fuel the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol were mere “claims that await testing by the courts through the adversary process.”

When she said, as the nation was spinning into crisis, that she had evidence of “the greatest crime of the century if not the life of the world” — a world that in living memory has witnessed the Holocaust and other unspeakable crimes — Powell meant nothing of the sort, she now admits. That was just politics. Wrapping herself in an earlier court ruling, she quoted the “well recognized principle that political statements are inherently prone to exaggeration and hyperbole.

In another remarkable contortion, Powell quotes her antagonists at the voting-machine vendor, Dominion Voting Systems, calling her charges “outlandish” and “impossible.” What more proof is needed, she concludes, that folks were onto her fictions and distortions all along?

She had promised a “Kraken,” a fraud so vast and many-tentacled that it would resemble the mythical sea monster, but delivered not so much as a goldfish — and now she’s in court saying, in essence, we should have known all along that Krakens aren’t real. In passing, she says she still believes her own story, but that’s in the context of a 90-page filing that insists no one else ever should have done so.

Powell joins a roster of Stop the Stealers who have tried to wriggle out of their hype. In December, Fox News took the unusual step of airing a video that debunked election-fraud myths during programs hosted by Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro and Maria Bartiromo. The right-wing outlet Newsmax likewise backed off.

Don’t be surprised if former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani soon joins the club. He, too, has been sued by Dominion for damages in excess of $1 billion — enough to make a guy sweat his hair dye. Yet another Dominion lawsuit calls out Mike Lindell on his extravagant claims of election fraud. The My Pillow man may want to pull the covers over his head, but sooner or later he is likely to emerge to offer his own strained “never mind.”

Powell’s confession that no reasonable person could take her seriously, even when she is leveling profoundly serious charges, is important in itself. The implications are perhaps even more important. For example, the former president of the United States, who touted Powell’s lawsuits and news conferences via his once-deafening Twitter megaphone, is not a reasonable person. Many of us have known that for years, but it’s useful to hear it from one of his most ardent supporters.

It’s true that Team Trump, and its cowering minions in Congress, eventually parted ways with Powell as her professional demeanor gradually slipped to reveal her tinfoil hat. They took refuge in an abstruse argument over regulatory powers of election officials in assorted states. But the window-smashing, cop-battering, death-chanting mob at the Capitol wasn’t there for a discussion of delegated authority of various secretaries of state. They had swallowed the hash that Powell & Co. were slinging.

And Powell’s brief offers a fresh suggestion of the real reason why this hash was ever slung in the first place. Hype makes the cash register ring, Powell informs the court: “Public disclosure helps gain public and financial support.” In Powell’s case, the “financial support” poured into an affiliated website called Defending the Republic. Giuliani sought his “financial support” in increments of $20,000 per day from the Trump campaign. The former president continues to raise millions for his lightly regulated PAC from his cheerfully hoodwinked supporters.

As for the Fox News conspiracists, their business model remains unchanged. Election fraud is so yesterday; today, it’s anti-vaccine and cancel culture. Theirs is a steam-powered money machine, requiring only that the pot be kept boiling.

The Post’s Annie Gowen reported recently on her visit with Jenna Ryan, the Texas real estate agent who touted her business on social media while assaulting the Capitol in January. Now facing federal charges, Ryan said: “I bought into a lie, and the lie is the lie, and it’s embarrassing.” Now she tells us.

⭕ 22 Mar 2021

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: Republicans’ war on voting feels increasingly frantic http://wapo.st/3lLdE9J “Republicans do not even attempt to conceal their ambition, which is to diminish non-Whites’ participation in our elections”

The anti-voting crusade has produced, by the Brennan Center for Justice’s count, 253 bills to restrict voting. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says there will be “scorched earth” if Democrats touch the filibuster. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), sounding more hysterical than usual, claims Democrats want “child molesters” and “illegal aliens” to vote.

Republicans do not even attempt to conceal their ambition, which is to diminish non-Whites’ participation in our elections. The New York Times explains that [in Georgia] legislation to limit drop boxes, curb automatic registration and end “Souls to the Polls” efforts to turn out churchgoers to vote early on Sundays “would have an outsize impact on Black voters, who make up roughly one-third of the state’s population and vote overwhelmingly Democratic.” While the state legislature may protect Sunday voting, a proposed amendment would give counties the option to offer early voting on a Saturday or Sunday.

No matter how hard Asian Americans and African Americans advocate for anti-hate legislation or gun safety, Republicans appear determined to ignore them, to play to the extremists in their base and to rely on everything from gerrymandering to curtailing voting access for minorities to keep them in power. Using anti-democratic means to keep Whites in power is the very essence of white supremacy.

Compare that to the worldview expressed in a recent Pew survey, which found that “About a quarter of Republicans (26%) say that White people face a lot of discrimination; just 4% of Democrats say this. White Republicans are 24 percentage points more likely than White Democrats to say that White people face a lot of discrimination.”

Republicans can no longer bank on keeping power merely through pandering to the White base. Their solution: Take away non-Whites’ access to the ballot. The question is not whether we keep the filibuster, but whether we want to permanently enshrine white supremacy and thereby unravel our democracy.

⭕ 21 Mar 2021

WaPo: Evidence in Capitol attack investigation trending toward sedition charges, departing chief says http://wapo.st/3f3WUZR The chief prosecutor also happens to have an eye witness.

Former interim U.S. attorney Michael R. Sherwin, of Washington, reiterated Sunday that he thinks charges of seditious conspiracy could be brought against certain defendants in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, a rarely invoked charge for those who use violence to hinder the execution of federal law.

In a “60 Minutes” interview aired on CBS two days after he stepped down from supervising the investigation, Sherwin said, “I personally believe the evidence is trending toward that, and probably meets those elements.”

“I believe the facts do support those charges. And I think that, as we go forward, more facts will support that,” he said.

Sherwin’s comments echo those he made Jan. 26, when he said, “We are closely looking at evidence related to the sedition charges. . . . We are working on those cases. I think the results will bear fruit very soon.”

On Friday, authorities unsealed the latest indictment, charging four Proud Boys leaders from Washington state, Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania with conspiracy to aid and abet the obstruction of Congress’s confirmation of the 2020 presidential election and police attempts to protect the Capitol from rioting that led to five deaths and 130 police assaults.

Prosecutors and the FBI also have accused 10 members and affiliates of the Oath Keepers with conspiring to obstruct Congress. The Justice Department is now looking at whether a larger conspiracy case can be made, including against senior figures in the group, which recruits military, law enforcement and first-responder personnel and claims authority to disobey government orders that some think are part of a conspiracy to strip Americans of their constitutional rights.

Members or associates of the two groups make up about 10 percent of more than 300 charged so far. Prosecutors have said they expect at least 400 people to be charged.

Federal law makes conspiring to overthrow or oppose by force federal authority punishable by up to 20 years in prison, including the use of violence to prevent, hinder or delay the execution of law.

Sherwin also told “60 Minutes” that he personally witnessed some of the events Jan. 6, noticing some people in Kevlar vets, helmets and tactical gear leave early while he accompanied D.C. police to President Donald Trump’s rally on the Ellipse.

In unaired portions of the interview, Sherwin debunked claims about left-wing extremists posing as Trump supporters and discussed tours of the building that took place before Jan. 6, “60 Minutes” reported.

Sherwin said investigators are examining whether suspects who toured the Capitol days before the attack were “casing or doing reconnaissance runs” or on “a basic tour.” He called the possibility troubling.

Sherwin, a career prosecutor from Miami, was named by then-Attorney General William P. Barr to be the top D.C. federal prosecutor last spring, while he was on detail to Barr’s deputy. Sherwin stepped down March 3, allowing the Biden administration to rename Channing D. Phillips as acting U.S. attorney while the White House and Attorney General Merrick Garland select a permanent nominee.

Reuters: DOJ official says there is evidence to charge sedition in U.S. Capitol assault: ’60 Minutes’ http://reut.rs/311XaRb

CBSNews, 60Minutes: Inside the prosecution of the Capitol rioters http://cbsn.ws/3r8CfX8
// Scott Pelley speaks with Michael Sherwin, the federal prosecutor who was leading the criminal investigation, the largest in U.S. history, into the assault on the Capitol.
⋙ YouTube: https://youtu.be/FoAqWnD7NTI

Until this past Friday, federal prosecutor Michael Sherwin was leading the largest criminal investigation in U.S. history. Sherwin’s team has charged hundreds of suspects in January’s assault on the Capitol. Sherwin has said little. But Wednesday, before he moved to his next assignment for the Department of Justice, he sat down with us to explain the nationwide dragnet that began after the riot.

Michael Sherwin: As looking eight, nine weeks out from the events, we’re over 400 criminal cases, which is a pretty amazing number, I think, in a very limited time frame.

Scott Pelley: 400 defendants?

Michael Sherwin: Correct. 400 defendants. And the bulk of those cases are federal criminal charges, and significant federal felony charges. Five, 10, 20-year penalties. Of those 400 cases, the majority of those, 80, 85%, maybe even 90, you have individuals, both inside and outside the Capitol, that breached the Capitol, trespassed. You also have individuals, roughly over 100, that we’ve charged with assaulting federal officers and local police officers. The 10% of the cases,  I’ll call the more complex conspiracy cases where we do have evidence, it’s in the public record where individual militia groups from different facets: Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, Proud Boys, did have a plan. We don’t know what the full plan is, to come to D.C., organize, and breach the Capitol in some manner.

Michael Sherwin was an eyewitness to that alleged plan. As acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia– the top prosecutor– he dressed that morning in running clothes and joined D.C. Police at the president’s rally.

Michael Sherwin: And I wanted to see the crowd, gauge the temperature of the crowd, it was like a carnival environment. People were selling shirts, popcorn, cotton candy, I saw hot dogs. As the morning progressed, I noticed though there were some people that weren’t the typical, like, carnival-type people. I noticed there were some people in tactical gear. They were tacked up with Kevlar vests. They had the military helmets on. Those individuals, I noticed, left the speeches early. ¤ They headed to the Capitol and Sherwin walked with them.

Michael Sherwin: You could see it was getting more riled up. And more people with bullhorns chanting and yelling. And it became more aggressive. Where it was initially pro-Trump, it digressed to anti-government, anti-Congress, anti-institutional. And then I eventually saw people climbing the scaffolding.  The scaffolding was being set up for the inauguration. When I saw people climbing up the scaffolding, hanging from it, hanging flags, I was like, “This is going bad fast.”

Michael Sherwin, 49, is a federal prosecutor from Miami. After successful terrorism and espionage cases, the Trump administration asked him to fill a temporary vacancy leading the Washington U.S. Attorney’s Office. That’s how, on January 6th, Sherwin found himself launching a 50-state manhunt — made urgent by what was coming in just two weeks.

Michael Sherwin: After the 6th, we had an inauguration on the 20th. So I wanted to ensure, and our office wanted to ensure that there was shock and awe that we could charge as many people as possible before the 20th. And it worked because we saw through media posts that people were afraid to come back to D.C. because they’re like, “If we go there, we’re gonna get charged.”

More than 100 arrests were made before the inauguration.

Michael Sherwin: So the first people we went after, I’m gonna call the internet stars, right? The low-hanging fruit. The ‘zip-tie guy,’ the ‘rebel flag guy,’ the ‘Camp Auschwitz guy.’ We wanted to take out those individuals that essentially were thumbing their noses at the public for what they did.

Sherwin told us the most serious cases, so far, focus on about two dozen members of far-right militias.

Scott Pelley: Was there a premeditated plan to breach the Capitol?

Michael Sherwin: That’s what we’re trying to determine right now. We’ve charged multiple conspiracy cases, and some of those involve single militia groups, some of them involve multiple militia groups. For example, individuals from Ohio militia were coordinating with the– a Virginia militia group of Oath Keepers, talking about coming to the capital region, talking about– no specific communication about breaching the Capitol– but talking about going there, taking back the House. Talking about stopping the steal. Talking about how they need a show of force in DC. And we see that in December.

At the center of one video are members of the Oath Keepers in military gear. Michael Sherwin says their tight, single-file formation is evidence of a military-style assault.

Michael Sherwin: That’s what you learn in close, you know, order combat, how you stay with your team to– breach a room where maybe there’s a terrorist, to breach a room where maybe there was an Al Qaeda operative.

Scott Pelley: The infantry calls it a stack.

Michael Sherwin: Correct. A stack or a Ranger File, a column, a close-quarter combat column going up that staircase.

Scott Pelley: The Oath Keepers in that stack, what have they been charged with?

Michael Sherwin: The most significant charge is obstruction. That’s a 20-year felony. They breached the Capitol with the intent, the goal to obstruct official proceedings, the counts, the Electoral College count.

Prosecutors say 139 police officers were assaulted. Brian Sicknick died the next day. This month, Sherwin charged two men with assaulting Sicknick with a spray designed to repel bears.

Scott Pelley: The medical examiner has not yet determined how Officer Sicknick died. If the medical examiner determines that his death was directly related to the bear spray would you imagine murder charges at that point?

Michael Sherwin: If evidence directly relates that chemical to his death, yeah. We have causation, we have a link. Yes. In that scenario, correct, that’s a murder case.

There could have been many more deaths, but Sherwin says two dangerous plots failed.

Scott Pelley: What were the intentions of the suspect who was found with the 11 Molotov cocktail bombs?

Michael Sherwin: So you’re referring, Scott, to Lonnie Coffman. And I think this is emblematic, that that day, as bad as it was, could have been a lot worse. It’s actually amazing more people weren’t killed. We found ammunition in his vehicle. And also, in the bed of the vehicle were found 11 Molotov cocktails. They were filled with gasoline and Styrofoam. He put Styrofoam in those, according to the ATF, because when you throw those, when they explode, the Styrofoam will stick to you and act like napalm.

Coffman’s lawyer did not respond to us. In the other plot, the FBI is looking for a person seen near pipe bombs that were planted by the Capitol.

Scott Pelley: Why didn’t they explode?

Michael Sherwin: It appears they weren’t armed properly. And there could be a whole host of reasons. But they were not hoax devices, they were real devices.

Michael Sherwin: We have to protect the First Amendment. The great majority of the people there were protesters. When do you cross that line? You cross the line when you cross a police line aggressively. You throw something at a cop. You hit a cop. You go into a restricted area, knowing you’re not supposed to be there. These are the plus factors that cross that line from a protester to a rioter.

Scott Pelley: Has the role of former President Trump been part of your investigation?

Michael Sherwin: It’s unequivocal that Trump was the magnet that brought the people to D.C. on the 6th. Now the question is, is he criminally culpable for everything that happened during the siege, during the breach? What I could tell you is this, based upon, again, what we see in the public record. And what we see in public statements in court. We have plenty of people– we have soccer moms from Ohio that were arrested saying, “Well, I did this because my president said I had to take back our house.” That moves the needle towards that direction. Maybe the president is culpable for those actions. But also, you see in the public record too militia members saying, “You know what? We did this because Trump just talks a big game. He’s just all talk. We did what he wouldn’t do.”

Scott Pelley: In short, you have investigators looking into the president’s role?

Michael Sherwin: We have people looking at everything, correct. Everything’s being looked at.

But, so far, prosecutors have not charged sedition–attempting to overthrow the government.

Scott Pelley: I’m not a lawyer, but the way I read the sedition statute, it says that, “Sedition occurs when anyone opposes by force the authority of the United States, or by force hinders or delays the execution of any law of the United States.” Seems like a very low bar, and I wonder why you’re not charging that now?

Michael Sherwin: Okay, so I don’t think it’s a low bar, Scott, but I will tell you this. I personally believe the evidence is trending towards that, and probably meets those elements.

Scott Pelley: Do you anticipate sedition charges against some of these suspects?

Michael Sherwin: I believe the facts do support those charges. And I think that, as we go forward, more facts will support that, Scott.

Scott Pelley: What do you want people to understand about this investigation?

Michael Sherwin: That we tried to move quickly to ensure that there is trust in the rule of law. You are gonna be charged based upon your conduct and your conduct only. Not what you may have posted about the election, not what you may have posted about different political views. The world looks to us for the rule of law and order and democracy. And that was shattered, I think, on that day. And we have to build ourselves up again. The only way to build ourselves up again is the equal application of the law, to show the rule of law is gonna treat these people fairly under the law.

🐣 RT @AJentleson Powerful, pithy summary of the filibuster and its destructive effects on our democracy. Thank you, @FareedZakaria, for turning your incisive eye to this.
⋙ 🐣 RT @FareedZakaria This week’s Last Look: a history of the filibuster—and how ending it could help heal America’s polarized politics 💽 https://twitter.com/AJentleson/status/1373813490205474818?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @60Minutes Prosecutors have not yet charged any Capitol rioters with sedition. But asked whether he anticipates those charges, federal prosecutor Michael Sherwin says, “I believe the facts do support those charges.” https://cbsn.ws/2OMEkuV 💽 https://twitter.com/60Minutes/status/1373782931186024452?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @svdate Your periodic reminder that Donald Trump tried to overthrow American democracy in an attempt to hang onto power. ¤ His people did exactly what he wanted. March on the Capitol and intimidate Pence and Congress into not certifying Biden’s win.
⋙ 🔊NYT: ‘We’ve Lost the Line!’: Radio Traffic Reveals Police Under Siege at Capitol http://nyti.ms/3r83QrA
// The Times obtained District of Columbia police radio communications and synchronized them with footage from the scene to show in real time how officers tried and failed to stop the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

💙 NYT: Evidence in Capitol Attack Most Likely Supports Sedition Charges, Prosecutor Says http://nyti.ms/3c8aSYR
// “I personally believe the evidence is trending toward that, and probably meets those elements,” said Michael Sherwin, who had led the Justice Department’s inquiry into the riot.

The department has rarely brought charges of sedition, the crime of conspiring to overthrow the government. ¤ But in an interview with “60 Minutes,” Mr. Sherwin said prosecutors had evidence that most likely proved such a charge.

“I personally believe the evidence is trending toward that, and probably meets those elements,” Mr. Sherwin said. “I believe the facts do support those charges. And I think that, as we go forward, more facts will support that.”

The last time federal prosecutors brought a sedition case was 2010, when they accused members of a Michigan militia of plotting to provoke an armed conflict with the government. They were ultimately acquitted, and the judge in the case said the Justice Department had not adequately proved that the defendants had entered a “concrete agreement to forcibly oppose the United States government.”

The statute on seditious conspiracy also says that people who conspire to “oppose by force the authority” of the government or use force “to prevent, hinder or delay the execution of any law of the United States” can be charged with sedition. ¤ The government has charged some defendants in the Jan. 6 case with conspiring to derail the final certification of President Biden’s electoral victory.

Mr. Sherwin witnessed the crime as it unfolded. After he dressed in his running clothes and entered the crowd at the rally near the White House, he observed a “carnival environment” of people listening to speeches and selling T-shirts and snacks.

“I noticed there were some people in tactical gear. They were tacked up with Kevlar vests. They had the military helmets on,” he said in the “60 Minutes” interview. “Those individuals, I noticed, left the speeches early.”

“Where it was initially pro-Trump, it digressed to anti-government, anti-Congress, anti-institutional,” Mr. Sherwin said. “And then I eventually saw people climbing the scaffolding. The scaffolding was being set up for the inauguration. When I saw people climbing up the scaffolding, hanging from it, hanging flags, I was like, ‘This is going bad fast.’”

From the start, Mr. Sherwin oversaw the investigation as the acting U.S. attorney in Washington, a role that he ceded to a new interim leader in early March. He stepped down from leading the investigation on Friday and returned to Miami, where he had been a line prosecutor.

Mr. Sherwin told “60 Minutes” that the government had charged more than 400 people. Among them are hundreds accused of trespassing and more than 100 accused of assaulting officers, including Brian D. Sicknick, the Capitol Police officer who died after fighting with rioters.

Mr. Sicknick and two other officers were sprayed with an unidentified chemical agent that one of the assailants said was used to repel bears. ¤ A medical examiner has not determined how Officer Sicknick died, Mr. Sherwin said, so two suspects were charged with assaulting an officer instead of murder. But that could change, he said.

“If evidence directly relates that chemical to his death,” Mr. Sherwin said, “in that scenario, correct, that’s a murder case.”

Mr. Sherwin said that only about 10 percent of the cases so far dealt with more complicated conspiracies planned and executed by far-right extremists — including members of the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters and the Proud Boys — to organize, come to Washington and breach the Capitol.

He reiterated assertions he made shortly after the attack that prosecutors were examining the conduct of former President Donald J. Trump, who had told his supporters to attend the rally on Jan. 6 and egged them on with baseless claims that he had won the election.

“It’s unequivocal that Trump was the magnet that brought the people to D.C. on the 6th. Now the question is, is he criminally culpable for everything that happened during the siege, during the breach?” Mr. Sherwin said. ¤ “We have people looking at everything,” he said.

💙 Long thread linking numerous articles on the Insurrection:
🧵 RT @Otpor “Secor has openly espoused white supremacy views online … He broadcast a livestream from the Capitol with a username that appears to be a reference to [incel Elliot Rodger], who killed 6 people in Isla Vista, CA in 2014. ¤ Secor previously bragged that he would not be caught.” https://twitter.com/Otpor17/status/1362433602680717317?s=20/photo/1

🔆 This❗️⋙ 🐣 RT @WordswithSteph DOJ has obtained sufficient evidence in their investigation into the Jan. 6 terrorist attack on the Capitol to charge some of the suspects w/ sedition: conspiring to overthrow the govt. 400+ cases, and approx. 10% involve complex conspiracies. #60Minutes 💽 https://twitter.com/WordswithSteph/status/1373788434385473536?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 20 Mar 2021

DailyBeast, Anna Nemtsova: Putin Reignites Ukraine Conflict as Rift With Biden Blows Up http://bit.ly/30XAGRj “Many prominent Ukrainians believe that the country’s only hope for peace is Washington”
// Facing escalating attacks from Russian-backed militants, many say Kyiv’s only hope is “Ukraine’s big friend,” President Joe Biden.

Ukraine has become caught in a broader conflict between the U.S. and Russia, which escalated this week. Russia recalled its ambassador from Washington, after Biden called Putin “a killer.” ¤ The Ukraine war is the only hot conflict between Russia and the West in Europe, and the U.S. and the EU imposed sanctions after the outbreak of conflict in Eastern Ukraine and Russia’s annexation of Crimea. ¤ When tensions rise between Moscow and Washington, there is always a risk of escalation out in the trenches. The conflict is certainly bubbling up again now.

⭕ 19 Mar 2021

NYT: Stay Scattered and Avoid Police, Proud Boys Were Told Before Capitol Riot http://nyti.ms/3cP0FzF
// Prosecutors detailed a chat among group members on the eve of the insurrection by a pro-Trump mob.

WaPo, Alexandra Petri: McConnell threatens to hold the Senate hostage unless he can keep holding the Senate hostage http://wapo.st/3f4YaMi

🐣 RT @petestrzok .@anneapplebaum’s look at the recent DNI report reveals a daunting CI challenge: ourselves. ¤ “Russian disinformation works because Americans allow it to work—and because those same Americans don’t care anymore about the harm they do to their country.”
💙 ⋙ TheAtlantic, Anne Applebaum: The Science of Making Americans Hurt Their Own Country http://bit.ly/3c2r1iH
// A new report lays bare why Russian disinformation succeeds.

⭕ 18 Mar 2021

RawStory, Alison Greene: How Marco Rubio turned the Senate Intel Committee into a Trump defensive team http://bit.ly/3s8QT1P

CNN: Roger Stone makes appearances in pair of Oath Keeper court filings http://cnn.it/3vHttml

TexasTribune: George W. Bush on Capitol insurrection: “I was sick to my stomach” http://bit.ly/30XuRmV
// 2/24/2021, upd today; The former president’s comments came during an interview that was part of this year’s virtual SXSW programming and kicked off Bush’s promotional tour of his new book, “Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants.”

🐣 RT @JuliaDavidNews Based on these screenshots from Putin’s response to Biden calling him a killer, he seems to be taking it well. https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1372664571916353537?s=20/photo/1
// sarcastic; 6-photo collage

💽 FBI[.]gov: FBI Washington Field Office Releases Videos of Assaults on Officers at U.S. Capitol, Seeks Public’s Help to Identify Suspects http://bit.ly/3cLvHIJ

WaPo, David Ignatius: Russia’s disinformation campaign will keep rolling, as long as Republicans are gullible enough http://wapo.st/3r9VU9j “Republicans … continued to peddle Moscow’s line even after they were warned about the Russian disinformation campaign”

Slate, William Saletan: A New Report Adds Evidence That Trump Was a Russian Asset http://bit.ly/3ty2p7e
// He helped Putin manipulate the U.S. election in 2020, as he did in 2016.

🐣 💽 RT @PoliticusSarsh Rachel Maddow just reminded Republicans that Devin Nunes is a Russian asset. #maddow https://twitter.com/PoliticusSarah/status/1372722157864771590?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @MaddowBlog July 31, 2020 – “The information in question pertained to packets reportedly sent to GOP members of Congress, including Nunes, by Ukranian lawmaker Andrii Derkach — who has worked closely with President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani.”
⋙ CNN: Devin Nunes declines to say whether he received foreign information meant to damage Biden http://cnn.it/3cFfYLa
// 7/31/2020

🐣 RT @ Putin, whose government has been fingered in the murders or attempted murders of multiple opposition figures and journalists, objects to being called a killer. @antontroian
⋙ NYT: Russia Erupts in Fury Over Biden’s Calling Putin a Killer http://nyti.ms/3cQFpJQ Methinks the Kremlin doth protest too much
// The Kremlin described the U.S. president’s response to an interview question as “very bad,” and recalled its ambassador to “analyze what needs to be done” about the countries’ relations.

WaPo: Senate confirms William Burns as next director of the CIA http://wapo.st/3tyNRUX

🐣 RT @BradMossEsq Seriously, screen the president’s food and drinks. That’s not a funny joke from Putin.
⋙⋙ 🐣 💽 RT @disclosetv NEW – “I wish you good health,” Putin responds to Biden after the US president called the Russian president a “killer.” https://twitter.com/disclosetv/status/1372569556015800331?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 RT @waltshaub If Putin wants to make threats like this, maybe the State Department can mock him by sending a fresh package of Fruit of the Loom briefs to the Kremlin. I read that Putin is annoyed by taunts that he’s the underpants killer.
⋙ 🐣 RT @docLT2 Coming from Putin it isn’t a joke, it is a direct threat, just as “she’s going to go through some things” was a threat coming from Trump. It’s crime-boss speak for plausible deniability when it comes time to charge them in court. ¤ PS: Cell phone app=can work as geiger counters.
⋙ 🐣 RT @audubon3514 Putin poisoned his chief political adversary who nearly died. That same adversary is now in a Russian penal farm. A former KGB officer, if Putin wished our president good health, I’d worry about what he eats/drinks and would reassess those protecting him.

⭕ 17 Mar 2021

TheIntercept: White Supremacists, Conspiracy Theorists Are Targeting Critical Infrastructure http://bit.ly/3c6AsxE
// Extremist groups joined forces in the weeks after the election to target critical infrastructure and “incite fear,” an NYPD intelligence report said.

WaPo: Postal Service finds no evidence of mail ballot fraud in Pa. case cited by top Republicans http://wapo.st/3eOa6lx
// Letter carrier Richard Hopkins told federal agents he “assumed” supervisors discussed backdating ballots and then recanted his claim, inspector general’s report says

NYT: New Report Warns of Rising Threat of Domestic Terrorism http://nyti.ms/30SP4Kp
// President Biden requested the intelligence community complete the assessment shortly after taking office, and his administration has made fighting domestic terrorism a priority.
⋙ 🔆 This❗️⋙ ≣ ODNI: Domestic Violent Extremism Poses Heightened Threat in 2021 http://bit.ly/2P1e3sj 5p

WaPo, Max Boot: The GOP is accelerating its descent into authoritarianism http://wapo.st/3rYjDdH “The real GOP plan is, of course, to disenfranchise Democrats, and especially minority voters in big cities. This is the most blatant assault on voting rights since the 1960s”

When I was growing up in the 1980s, the Republican Party stood for freedom — freedom from big government at home and from communist tyranny abroad. It was why I, as a young refugee from the Soviet Union, became a Republican in the first place.

I am, therefore, agonized and appalled to see the GOP rapidly metamorphosing into an authoritarian party that has more in common with the Law and Justice party in Poland or the Fidesz Party in Hungary than with mainstream center-right parties such as the Christian Democrats in Germany. The transformation has been in the works at least since Donald Trump’s election in 2016, but it has accelerated alarmingly in the past year.

A newly declassified report from the director of national intelligence confirms that the Trump White House, the Republican Party and their propaganda organs colluded with, or at least worked on parallel lines with, a Russian campaign to defeat now-President Biden. The report notes that Moscow “sought to amplify mistrust in the electoral process by denigrating mail-in ballots, highlighting alleged irregularities, and accusing the Democratic Party of voter fraud.” Russian agents also “spread unsubstantiated or misleading claims about President Biden and his family’s alleged wrongdoing related to Ukraine.”

Sound familiar? It should, because those are precisely the same narratives that were being pushed by Trump and his supporters at places such as Fox News and One America News. That’s no coincidence. The report notes that Russian intelligence sought to “launder” its propaganda “through US media organizations, US officials, and prominent US individuals, some of whom were close to former President Trump and his administration.” The report cites Ukrainian politician Andriy Derkach as one of the “Russian proxies” active in this disinformation campaign; he provided information to, among others, Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani.

This was the second election in a row where Trump and his supporters were serenely untroubled by the help he received from a hostile authoritarian regime. The Russian effort to influence our election didn’t succeed this time, but even after Trump lost, he kept pushing the Big Lie that he had actually won and continued to demand that either the courts or Republican lawmakers overturn the results. On Tuesday night, Trump was still at it, lamenting on Fox News that “our Supreme Court and our courts didn’t have the courage to overturn elections.”

This is the kind of blatantly anti-democratic rhetoric that incited the insurrection on Jan. 6. Yet even after a Trump mob stormed the Capitol, 147 Republicans in both houses voted to toss out electoral votes. In other words, nearly 60 percent of Republicans were willing to subvert democracy to win power. By contrast, only 17 Republicans — a mere 6.5 percent of the total — voted to impeach Trump for inciting an insurrection.

Republicans realize that Trump remains unpopular with the country as a whole. (His approval rating among registered voters is only 37 percent.) But instead of renouncing Trump, they are renouncing democracy. “In 43 states across the country,” The Post notes, “Republican lawmakers have proposed at least 250 laws that would limit mail, early in-person and Election Day voting with such constraints as stricter ID requirements, limited hours or narrower eligibility to vote absentee.”

The ostensible justification for this legislation is to combat voter fraud. Except there isn’t any. Republicans looked really, really hard and could not find any widespread voter fraud. The real GOP plan is, of course, to disenfranchise Democrats, and especially minority voters in big cities. This is the most blatant assault on voting rights since the 1960s — and if it succeeds it will greatly increase the chances that Republicans will win back the House and Senate in 2022.

The Democratic-controlled House recently passed a bill, H.R. 1, to strengthen voting rights without a single GOP vote. Republicans are hysterical in their opposition. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said, “This is a bill as if written in hell by the devil himself.” What are its hellish provisions? Proposals such as automatically registering citizens to vote, allowing same-day voter registration, expanding voting by mail and early voting, making it harder for states to purge registered voters from the rolls, and banning partisan gerrymandering. These are all provisions that would strengthen our democracy. But the GOP is increasingly invested in authoritarianism as the best route to power.

The only way this bill, or any version thereof, can pass the Senate is if the Democrats eliminate or amend the filibuster rule that demands 60 votes to pass most legislation. Unfortunately, there aren’t 10 Republicans in the Senate who can be counted upon to support voting rights. It is hard to imagine a more damning indictment of the party once led by freedom fighters such as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

CNN, Stephen Collinson: New US intel report shows Russia, Trump and GOP acolytes have same goals http://cnn.it/38RQw45

⭕ 16 Mar 2021

🐣 RT @BusinessInsider What led up to Putin’s rise? 💽 https://twitter.com/BusinessInsider/status/1371702924917768193?s=20/photo/1
// apartment bombings; deals with Yeltsin

NBCNews: Russia tried to help Trump in 2020, Iran tried to hurt him and China stayed out of it, says new report http://nbcnews.to/3cIAWca
// A newly declassified intelligence community assessment also says no foreign actor hacked into the U.S. voting infrastructure, meaning machines or data.

Despite repeated assertions by senior Trump administration officials that China sought to hurt President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, a newly declassified intelligence assessment finds that China did not seek to influence the outcome.

That is perhaps the most interesting revelation from a summary of election interference that proclaims what the government had already been telling the public: that Russian operatives didn’t hack into election infrastructure but that Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized “influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting former President Trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process, and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the U.S.”

China, on the other hand, “considered but did not deploy influence efforts intended to change the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election,” the assessment says, noting that the intelligence agencies have “high confidence in this judgment.” ¤ The assessment contradicts statements last year by Trump administration officials — National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe, Attorney General William Barr and national security adviser Robert O’Brien — that China was interfering in the election to hurt Trump. ¤ Last fall, Trump administration officials sought to portray China as seeking to influence the election. O’Brien, for example, told reporters in September that “the Chinese have taken the most active role” and that China had “had the most massive program to influence the United States politically,” followed by Iran and then Russia.

In discussing Russian interference, the assessment is in line with previous U.S. government statements describing social media propaganda and disinformation and the use of “cutouts” — people who do Russia’s bidding while appearing unconnected to the government — to spread the Russian message, which centered on accusing Biden of corruption.

One key figure was Andriy Derkach, a member of Ukraine’s Parliament with ties to Russian intelligence who was regularly speaking to Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani. ¤ The report says Putin “was aware of and probably directed” the influence operations, including those of Derkach. ¤ “We assess that Putin had purview over the activities of Andriy Derkach,” the assessment says. “Derkach has ties to Russian officials as well as Russia’s intelligence services.” ¤ The assessment says Derkach worked along with “Russian influence agent” Konstantin Kilimnik, a former associate of onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, “to use prominent U.S. persons and media conduits to launder their narratives to US officials and audiences.”

Among those efforts, “they also made contact with established U.S. media figures and helped produce a documentary that aired on a U.S. television network in late January 2020.” ¤ That appears to be a reference to an hour of programming on One America News Network titled “The Ukraine Hoax: Impeachment, Biden Cash, and Mass Murder with guest host Michael Caputo.” ¤ Caputo is a longtime Trump associate who was a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services. He left the job amid a controversy over remarks urging Trump supporters to prepare for armed insurrection. He declined to comment.

NBCNews: Russia tried to help Trump in 2020, Iran tried to hurt him and China stayed out of it, says new report http://nbcnews.to/3cIAWca
// A newly declassified intelligence community assessment also says no foreign actor hacked into the U.S. voting infrastructure, meaning machines or data.

🐣 RT @BillKristol Whoa. Trump flat-out says that he wanted the courts “to overturn elections.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar Our Supreme Court and our courts didn’t have the courage to overturn elections” — Trump 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1371967099980120068?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: Russia, Iran sought to influence 2020 election, but no foreign government tried to change votes, U.S. says http://wapo.st/3rTbMy4 China considered interference but did not

MotherJones, David Corn: Putin Did It Again: New Intelligence Report Says Moscow Helped Trump in 2020 http://bit.ly/3wYGA3e
// Konstantin Kilimnik, Rudy Giuliani roles; Anti-Biden propaganda was prepared with the assistance of Russian intelligence.

🐣 RT @emptywheel Pretty much the biggest news in this IC Report (which is mandated by a Trump Executive Order, btw), is that John Ratcliffe used his position as DNI to lie to the American people (as if his selective declassification didn’t already demonstrate that).
↥ ↧
🔆 This❗️⋙ RT @ODNIgov Today #ODNI released the declassified Intelligence Community assessment of foreign threats to the 2020 U.S. federal elections, view the full report here:
⋙ ODNI: Intelligence Community Assessment on Foreign Threats to the 2020 U.S. Federal Elections http://bit.ly/3tsCPAx ⋙ Report: http://bit.ly/30PoBgS 15p
// 3/10/2021

WaPo: Momentum of Capitol riot inquiries stalls amid partisan flare-ups http://wapo.st/2ODMXrq “[D]isputes have cast a pall over leaders’ vow to investigate the insurrection and its significance in the greater context of how the United States responds to such homegrown threats”

NYT, Bret Stephens: America Could Use a Liberal Party http://nyti.ms/3rS3JkU “The debates that used to divide the parties — the proper scope of government, the mechanics of trade — amounted to parochial quarrels within a shared liberal faith”
// The new division in politics isn’t between liberals and conservatives. It’s between liberals and illiberals.

By “liberal,” I don’t mean big-state welfarism. I mean the tenets and spirit of liberal democracy. Respect for the outcome of elections, the rule of law, freedom of speech, and the principle (in courts of law and public opinion alike) of innocent until proven guilty. Respect for the free market, bracketed by sensible regulation and cushioned by social support. Deference to personal autonomy but skepticism of identity politics. A commitment to equality of opportunity, not “equity” in outcomes. A well-grounded faith in the benefits of immigration, free trade, new technology, new ideas, experiments in living. Fidelity to the ideals and shared interests of the free world in the face of dictators and demagogues.

All of this used to be the more-or-less common ground of American politics, inhabited by Ronald Reagan and the two Bushes as much as by Barack Obama and the two Clintons. The debates that used to divide the parties — the proper scope of government, the mechanics of trade — amounted to parochial quarrels within a shared liberal faith. That faith steadied America in the face of domestic and global challenges from the far right and far left alike.

The illiberalism of the right is typified by the likes of Stephen Miller on immigration, Steve Bannon on trade, Josh Hawley on elections and Marjorie Taylor Greene on every manner of lunatic and bigoted conspiracy theory. It is by far the most dangerous form of illiberalism today, because it has shown that it is capable of winning elections and, when it loses, subverting them.

But there’s also the illiberalism of the left, typified by the excesses of the MeToo movement that ruined people’s lives, the anti-Semitism among some of the leaders of the Women’s March, the “antiracism” pedagogy that casts people who disagree with its Manichaean worldview into supposed racists, and the cancellations of careers, book contracts, speeches and dissenting opinions at places like Slate and other presumptively liberal publications. Anyone on the left who hasn’t noticed the climate of fear that now grips liberal institutions needs to start paying closer attention.

The new illiberalism is frightening. It could also be productive. Everyone who has been bitten by it, left or right, is rediscovering how capacious the old liberal faith was, how trivial its internal differences really were, how much they might yet have in common — including common enemies — with people they once regarded as ideological opposites.

This is not a political party, yet. But it could be the seeds of a party. America needs a Liberal Party that represents what we used to be and what we desperately need to become again.

💙 WaPo: CDC identifies public-health guidance from the Trump administration that downplayed pandemic severity http://wapo.st/3vnbcuq “[T]he review provides official confirmation … that political appointees ordered revisions to critical CDC guidance”
// The analysis was done to promote public trust and ensure that the agency’s coronavirus guidance ‘is evidence-based and free of politics,’ a memo says.

TheAtlantic, Renée DiResta: The Misinformation Campaign Was Distinctly One-Sided http://bit.ly/3tpyoqg “21 prominent influencers, including the actor James Woods, Donald Trump Jr., a couple of QAnon leaders, and former President Trump himself, had each amplified misinformation”
// In 2020, false propaganda about voting came almost exclusively from the right, putting tech companies in a bind.

… In fact, the Democrats had not tried to steal the election, but by that point, the facts didn’t matter. The outrage machine had moved on, drawing its audience’s attention to other manufactured grievances.

Research teams participating in the Election Integrity Partnership saw this process play out repeatedly, via many of the same accounts. One team, at the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, looked at which accounts were involved in specific viral misinformation “incidents”—for example, claims that Arizona voters had been improperly given Sharpies to mark their ballot, that Republican poll watchers were illegally excluded from Philadelphia vote-counting sites, that dead people had voted in Michigan. The researchers noted that 21 prominent influencers, including the actor James Woods, Donald Trump Jr., a couple of QAnon leaders, and former President Trump himself, had each amplified misinformation about at least 10 incidents. The University of Washington team also examined the domains of articles that were shared in voting-related viral misinformation incidents. The Gateway Pundit topped the list. It and Breitbart News are among the hyper-partisan media outlets that bundle small kernels of truth—such as the Greenville mail discovery—within concentric applications of falsehood.

The distinct behavior of serial spreaders of misinformation should theoretically make them easy for Facebook or Twitter to identify. Platforms that place warning labels on false or misleading content could penalize accounts that repeatedly create it; after an account earned a certain number of strikes, the platform’s algorithms could suspend it or limit users’ ability to share its posts. But platforms also want to appear politically neutral. Inconveniently for them, our research found that although some election-related misinformation circulated on the left, the pattern of the same accounts repeatedly spreading false or misleading claims about voting, or about the legitimacy of the election itself, occurred almost exclusively among pro-Trump influencers, QAnon boosters, and other outlets on the right. We were not the only ones to observe this; researchers at Harvard described the former president and the right-wing media as driving a “disinformation campaign” around mail-in voter fraud during the 2020 election; the researchers’ prior work had meticulously detailed a “propaganda feedback loop” within the closely linked right-wing media ecosystem.

If the problem were more evenly distributed, policy changes would be harder to miscast as anti-conservative bias. Tech companies are in a bind. They recognize that inaction toward certain crucial types of misinformation puts them at greater risk of regulation by a Democratic administration and investigation by a Democratic Congress. And yet, if any single platform acts too forcefully, it risks provoking the wrath of the hyper-partisan influencers, who take to competing platforms to decry their supposed mistreatment. Social-media companies find themselves in the position of having to act decisively and collectively—and yet, collective action begets further allegations of collusion to silence conservatives.

The question now is what to do about the problem. Online influencers and hyper-partisan micro-media properties don’t all possess robust distribution channels of their own. The Gateway Pundit and Donald Trump Jr. achieve their reach, and their ability to promote viral lies, because social networks allow them to. The platforms—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, Parler—offer an audience of millions of users, sophisticated targeting, and curation algorithms that amplify precisely the kind of wildly sensational, high-engagement content that these influencers traffic in. Likes and shares and retweet buttons are the means by which their content spreads; algorithmically produced echo chambers entrench the fan base that they rely on to maintain influence (and, for some influencers, an income stream). The relationship is symbiotic up to a point; tech companies have benefited from the engagement that top influencers generate. But the worst of the repeat misinformation spreaders need Big Tech infrastructure, and have therefore worked hard to frame access to it as a fundamental right. And so these creatures of social media have come to regard the platforms’ growing distaste for high-impact misinformation as an existential threat.

Amid the right-wing effort to deny Trump’s election loss—and its explosive culmination in the Capitol riot—social-media companies felt compelled to step in. The insurrection pushed companies collectively to take policy actions, such as banning Trump from Twitter and Facebook, and eliminating tens of thousands of QAnon accounts and groups, that individually might have left each platform vulnerable to accusations of censorship from the right. But the post–January 6 status quo is unstable.

🧵 RT @anders_aslund Secretary of State @ABlinken’s outstanding speech on March 3 has received far too little attention, perhaps because it is too sound & principled. The first principles are obvious: US leadership and international cooperation. 📌 https://twitter.com/anders_aslund/status/1371661388729479169?s=20

🐣 RT @AmyAThatcher Per WaPo: Two men charged with assaulting Officer Brian Sicknick. Julian Elie Khater and George Pierre Tanios were arrested on Sunday. They are charged with 9 counts and face up to 20 years in prison.

⭕ 14 Mar 2021

NYT: Police Shrugged Off the Proud Boys, Until They Attacked the Capitol http://nyti.ms/3leiX14
// Two Proud Boys accused of leading a mob to Congress followed a bloody path to get there. Law enforcement did little to stop them.

⭕ 13 Mar 2021

Vox: A Trump criminal probe in Georgia expands to include Sen. Lindsey Graham http://bit.ly/38Cw8E7
// A Georgia district attorney is investigating whether Graham violated state law in a call with an elections official.

The investigation, which was opened by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis earlier this month, will probe whether Trump — and now Graham — violated state law in the course of Trump’s attempt to overturn the election results in Georgia following the 2020 presidential election.

According to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Graham — a Republican from South Carolina — asked Raffensperger in November whether the secretary of state had the power to throw out all mail-in ballots in certain Georgia counties, a move that could potentially have tipped the state, and its 16 electoral votes, to Trump in the November election.

It’s unclear exactly how much legal jeopardy Trump and Graham are facing, but a Wednesday letter by Willis indicates that her investigation will take a broad look at possible criminal violations involving the Georgia election, including “the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office, and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration.”

Neither Trump nor Graham are mentioned by name in the letter, but Willis has signaled that prosecutors will look into actions by both men. According to the New York Times, the investigation will also encompass election fraud conspiracies spread by Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, as well as the ouster of Byung J. Pak, then the US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. ¤ Pak was reportedly forced out of the job by the White House in early January for refusing to open an investigation into nonexistent election fraud.

🐣 RT @BillKristol Straightforward from here:
1. Introduce skinny H.R. 1 focused on securing voting rights and nonpartisan redistricting.
2. By majority vote Senate adopts Manchin rule requiring talking filibuster, with 41 senators on floor, for bills focused on voting rights and fair elections.

⭕ 12 Mar 2021

NewYorker, Jane Mayer: Can Cyrus Vance, Jr., Nail Trump? http://bit.ly/2RGDG3z

WaPo: Army reviewing investigation into Michael Flynn’s dealings with Russia, foreign firm http://wapo.st/3eBcwnI

💙 WaPo: Justice Dept. calls Jan. 6 ‘Capitol Attack’ probe one of largest in U.S. history, expects at least 400 to be charged http://wapo.st/2OOP5fE

U.S. prosecutors on Friday sketched out the gargantuan scope of the investigation in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, asking for courts to delay most cases by at least two months after being pressed by a handful of defendants and some judges to speed up trials and plea offers.

“The investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Attack will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence,” the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. wrote in morning court filings in seeking a delay before turning over evidence to defendants. …

Charges have been brought against 312 people and are expected against at least 100 more, according to court officials and prosecutors. ¤ Investigators have executed more than 900 electronic and physical search warrants, and amassed more than 15,000 hours of law enforcement surveillance and body-camera video, 1,600 electronic devices and 210,000 tips, prosecutors said.

With the volume of cases and evidence only growing, “the unusual complexity of the Capitol Attack investigation warrants” postponement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn L. Rakoczy and others wrote in a filing Friday involving “key figure” Caldwell, who is charged with eight other alleged associates of the right-wing, anti-government Oath Keepers group. ¤ Moving too fast will make prosecution “impossible, or result in a miscarriage of justice,” Rakoczy said.

More than 100 federal prosecutors are working full or part-time on cases — including 30 detailed from U.S. attorney offices around the country — with some prosecutors and judges handling seven cases or more apiece.

In a sign of the probe’s vast scope, several unsealed search warrants have requested subject’s records dating to Nov. 1 — about Election Day — and at least one Feb. 25 warrant sought all of one individual’s Facebook account information dating to Sept. 1. Magistrates have authorized the FBI to search such information for all relevant material to be copied and retained while sealing the rest pending further court order or potential use to authenticate evidence at trial.

🐣 RT @KatiePhang “‘It seems cause-and-effect,’ Miller said, referring to Trump’s speech and the violent riot that left five people dead. ‘The question is, did he know he was enraging people to do that? I don’t know.’”
⋙ VICE: Even Trump’s Defense Secretary During the Capitol Riot Blames Him for Inciting It http://bit.ly/3lhWYqg
// 3/11/2021; Former Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller told VICE on Showtime he believes Trump’s speech caused the violent mob to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

⭕ 11 Mar 2021

🔊WaPo: Recording reveals details of Trump call to Georgia’s chief elections investigator http://wapo.st/3vkfcMr

“The people of Georgia are so angry at what happened to me,” Trump told Frances Watson, the chief investigator for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, according to the recording. “They know I won, won by hundreds of thousands of votes. It wasn’t close.”

Trump … urged Watson to continue investigating past the Christmas holiday “because, you know, we have the date, which is a very important date” — an apparent reference to Jan. 6, the day a joint session of Congress was scheduled to formalize the electoral college results.

Trump was fixated on that date as a last opportunity to overturn the election results, encouraging thousands of his supporters to descend on Washington and protest the vote. The ensuing riot at the U.S. Capitol left five people dead, including one police officer. Dozens of officers were injured. In the aftermath of the violence, Congress formally recognized President Biden’s win that night.

WaPo: DOJ seeks to build large conspiracy case against Oath Keepers for Jan. 6 riot http://wapo.st/3bGGnJe

🐣 RT @kyledcheney GARLAND has essentially made his first working day at DOJ entirely about the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. ¤ Aside from some ceremonial stuff, he’s getting briefed by FBI Director Wray on the Capitol riot investigation and meeting with DC prosecutors pursuing those cases.

⭕ 10 Mar 2021

💙 TheAtlantic, Shadi Hamid: America Without God http://bit.ly/3esG7iY
// Apr 2021 issue: tags: Trumpism, wokeism, Qanon; religion in America; As religious faith has declined, ideological intensity has risen. Will the quest for secular redemption through politics doom the American idea?

AP: RICO expert hired by prosecutor investigating Trump call http://bit.ly/30A4t2i
// RICO = Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has engaged John Floyd to serve as a special assistant district attorney to work with lawyers in her office on any cases involving allegations of racketeering, her spokesman Jeff DiSantis said. A Fulton County Superior Court judge swore him in Wednesday morning.

In letters sent to state officials last month asking them to preserve evidence for her investigation into potential attempts to influence last year’s election, Willis mentioned racketeering as one of the possible violations of Georgia law that she was examining.

CNN: Wall Street Journal: Trump pressured Georgia investigator to find ‘the right answer’ in baseless fraud push http://cnn.it/3t3PFVy
↥ ↧
🔊WSJ: Trump Call to Georgia Lead Investigator Reveals New Details http://on.wsj.com/3cjWdsG
// Then-president says ‘Something bad happened’ and presses for investigation into Fulton County votes
↥ ↧
⋙ WaPo: ‘Find the fraud’: Trump pressured a Georgia elections investigator in a separate call legal experts say could amount to obstruction http://wapo.st/38tUosk
// 3/9/2021

WaPo: ‘QAnon Shaman’ stays in jail as judge slams his arguments: ‘So frivolous as to insult the Court’s intelligence’ http://wapo.st/3bDvw34

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Merrick Garland confirmed as attorney general http://wapo.st/3l4i0s5 Finally, I am really truly ready to heave that big sigh of relief ~ more excited about this ⇈ than the Heroes Act passing OR the fact I got my first Pfizer shot today!

⭕ 9 Mar 2021

NYT: Trump, Hungry for Power, Tries to Wrestle Away G.O.P. Fund-Raising http://nyti.ms/3elULsl
// Angry at his critics in the party and seeking to keep his options for raising money open, the former president is trying to take charge of the online fund-raising juggernaut he helped create.

Last week, Mr. Trump sent cease-and-desist letters — which appear to have little legal standing — to the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, warning them not to appeal to donors using his name and image.

The jockeying comes as the party struggles to chart its path forward after losing the House, the Senate and the White House during Mr. Trump’s tenure, with moderate party leaders pushing the party to move beyond the divisive former president while much of the G.O.P. base remains firmly behind him. Who controls a majority of donors’ cash is set to be a fiercely contested point of dispute as Republicans try to regroup and take back power in the 2022 midterm elections.

Mr. Trump’s maneuvering is born partly out of his anger toward Republican leaders who he feels were disloyal when they edged away from him after Jan. 6. The former president is also being encouraged by people like Dick Morris, the notorious political consultant known for flipping between the parties, who has been meeting with him in New York and encouraging him to take on the party he once led.

Mr. Trump’s actions could give him a stream of money at a time when his private company is struggling under the scrutiny of investigations, with some discussions of whether properties need to be sold. His business is now politics, and political action committees have few restrictions on how they operate and use their money, according to campaign finance experts. ¤ The former president could, in theory, pay himself and his family members salaries from the money raised there.

🐣 RT @tribelaw Racketeer in Chief Donald J. Trump. It fits.
⋙ Reuters: Georgia prosecutor probing Trump taps leading racketeering attorney http://reut.rs/3ryRmdv
// 3/6/2021

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has enlisted the help of Atlanta lawyer John Floyd, who wrote a national guide on prosecuting state racketeering cases. Floyd was hired recently to “provide help as needed” on matters involving racketeering, including the Trump investigation and other cases, said the source, who has direct knowledge of the situation.

The move bolsters the team investigating Trump as Willis prepares to issue subpoenas for evidence on whether the former president and his allies broke the law in their campaign to pressure state officials to reverse his Georgia election loss. Willis has said that her office would examine potential charges including “solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering” among other possible violations.

“It’s not a stretch to see where she’s taking this,” said Cathy Cox, the dean of Mercer University’s law school in Macon, Georgia and a former Georgia secretary of state. “If Donald Trump engaged in two or more acts that involve false statements – that were made knowingly and willfully in an attempt to falsify material fact, like the election results – then you can piece together a violation of the racketeering act.”

In a Jan. 2 phone call, Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, to “find” just enough votes to allow him to win. In the hour-long call, Trump repeated false voter-fraud claims, insisting he won Georgia by a landslide and that Democrat Joe Biden received thousands of votes from people who were out-of-state, unregistered, or dead. Trump made another phone call in late December to Georgia’s chief elections investigator, urging the official to “find the fraud.”

On Dec. 5, Trump called the state’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, to urge him to hold a special session of the legislature to overturn the election results. Three days later, Trump called Georgia’s Republican attorney general, Chris Carr, warning him not to interfere with a Texas lawsuit that challenged the election results in Georgia and other states.

Carr stated publicly that he opposed the Texas lawsuit. The offices of Kemp and Carr did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

Willis’ office has indicated it is also examining efforts to influence the election by Trump’s allies, including a November phone call made by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham to Raffensperger to discuss mail-in ballots; false election fraud claims made by Trump’s then personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, in testimony at state legislative hearings; and the abrupt removal of Byung J. “BJay” Pak, a U.S. attorney in Georgia who angered Trump by not doing enough to investigate his unfounded fraud claims.

.
WaPo: Biden’s Justice Dept. already has split from Trump. Merrick Garland will go even further. http://wapo.st/3byXI7c “Garland … will inherit a Justice Department damaged by President Donald Trump’s efforts to use its power to benefit his friends and hurt his enemies”

BuzzfeedNews: Prosecutors Say The Oath Keepers’ Leader Directed Followers During Capitol Riot http://bit.ly/3kURgKI
// “Come to the South Side of the Capitol on steps,” Stewart Rhodes allegedly instructed on Jan. 6.

⭕ 8 Mar 2021

💙★ WSJ: What You Can and Can’t Do if You’ve Been Vaccinated: Travel, Gatherings, Risk Factors, What You Need to Know http://on.wsj.com/3lxKCKJ
// Until we reach herd immunity, vaccinated people must navigate some complicated decision-making. Here’s how to assess the risks.

MSNBC, Steve Benen: After boasting of ‘unity,’ Trump sends cease-and-desist letter to RNC http://on.msnbc.com/3t0XjjF
// Trump doesn’t just intend to lead the Republican Party, he also intends to control it.

🐣 RT @PalmerReport Trump has apparently decided to spend his final days trying to steal all the donations that would have gone to the Republican Party, so he can funnel the money into his legal defense as he faces criminal trials. His life is basically over, and he’s taking the GOP down with him.

R.I.P. GOP 3/8/2021. ¤ Lindsey Graham was right. He destroyed you. And you deserve it. ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1369162915606040578?s=20/photo/1
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @maggieNYT He didn’t start his own party, which is complicated to do and be competitive, but Trump is trying to set himself up as the place where money for Republicans should go as opposed to GOP committees Text Block: https://twitter.com/maggieNYT/status/1369110810690285576?s=20/photo/1
⋙ 🐣 As JFK said, riding the tiger risks ending up inside

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Cindy McCain: “I just don’t believe that our party can survive by appealing to the dark side of humanity.” ¤ “I don’t understand how we got to where we’re at but now that we’re here we can no longer have our leaders work with fear and anger and hate.” @MSNBC

WaPo: Sen. Roy Blunt won’t run for reelection, marking fifth Senate GOP retirement http://wapo.st/3ctC2bV “Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Richard C. Shelby (Ala.) and Patrick J. Toomey (Pa.) already have said they will not seek reelection”
// Sens. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) and Ron Johnson (Wis.) have yet to announce their intentions.

NYT, Michelle Cottle: Don’t Let QAnon Bully Congress http://nyti.ms/30mKS5o
// Allowing the U.S. government to be held hostage by political extremists is unacceptable.

Last Thursday was not Donald Trump’s triumphant return to power after all. ¤ While this won’t surprise most people, it likely came as a shock to many QAnon followers. According to that movement’s expediently evolving lore, March 4 — the date on which U.S. presidents were inaugurated until the mid-1930s — was when Mr. Trump was to reclaim the presidency and resume his epic battle against Satan-worshiping, baby-eating Democrats and deep-state monsters.

This drivel is absurd. It is also alarming. Violent extremists, obsessed with the symbolism of March 4, were for weeks nattering about a possible attack on Congress, according to law enforcement officials. …

March 4 was just one target. The acting chief of the Capitol Police, Yogananda Pittman, recently warned that extremists have been talking about possibly blowing up the Capitol during President Biden’s first address to a joint meeting of Congress, which has not yet been scheduled, with an eye toward killing “as many members as possible.”

Also in discussion around the QAnon water cooler is that Mr. Trump will be reinstalled on March 20, with the help of the U.S. military. Indeed, the F.B.I. and Homeland Security bulletin cited an increased risk from violent domestic extremists for all of 2021. …

On Monday, lawmakers were briefed on the findings of the security assessment that the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, requested in the wake of Jan. 6. Russel Honoré, a retired Army lieutenant general who led the task force, recommended a variety of permanent enhancements. These include beefing up the Capitol Police force, in terms of increased staffing, improved training, enhanced authority for its leadership and a new emphasis on intelligence work; creating a quick-reaction force to be on call 24-7 to handle imminent threats; installing a retractable fencing system; and adding protections for rank-and-file members of Congress at home and while they are traveling and back in their districts.

Congress can now start haggling over which measures to adopt. Don’t look for the process to be silky smooth. Republicans, many of them desperate to downplay the Jan. 6 tragedy, are already attacking General Honoré as biased. The general has not been shy about criticizing lawmakers and others he regards as having fed the postelection chaos, and he has suggested that some Capitol Police officers may have been complicit in allowing rioters into the building. …

Trump toadies should not be allowed to turn this issue into a partisan game. Steps must be taken to safeguard the seat of government. Going forward, lawmakers cannot be seen as bowing to political thugs, their work upended whenever there is a semi-credible threat. That is not the American way.

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Minuta is an associate of Roger Stone’s. We’ve all seen how much Stone wants to avoid prison. So if he was involved in Jan 6 in some way, convincing Minuta to cooperate against him could pave the way to learn details of whether there was an organized plan to attack the Capitol.
⋙ 🐣 RT @FBI Over the weekend, we arrested Roberto Minuta and Issac Sturgeon for their respective roles in the assault on the Capitol. Keep the tips coming as we work to identify those responsible so they can be held accountable. See our latest photos at [link]

⭕ 7 Mar 2021

Reuters: Accountant faces pressure to turn on Trump in criminal probe http://reut.rs/3c9WcYa

Few people have been as deeply involved in Trump’s finances as [Allen] Weisselberg, a trusted figure in Trump’s family business who began working for Trump’s father, Fred, in 1973 at the company’s Brooklyn office, paying bills and tracking the rental payments from apartment towers. ¤ Legal experts and a source familiar with the criminal investigation say prosecutors’ apparent goal is to convince Weisselberg to cooperate with the probe into Trump’s dealings.

🔆 This❗️⋙ Politico: Manchin wants to make filibuster ‘painful’ to use http://politi.co/2OAHUaH
// The pivotal West Virginia Democrat is also open to using budget reconciliation to pass voting reforms.

WaPo: Biden signs executive order promoting voting rights on 56th anniversary of ‘Bloody Sunday’ http://wapo.st/2PzIk1C He “warned that the country is witnessing a ‘never-before-seen effort to ignore, undermine and undo the will of the people.’”

⭕ 6 Mar 2021

⭕ 5 Mar 2021

WaPo, Dana Milbank: Republicans aren’t fighting Democrats. They’re fighting democracy. http://wapo.st/3c4M6aR “The Republican Party’s dalliance with authoritarianism can be explained in one word: race”

Trump’s overt racism turned the GOP into, essentially, a white-nationalist party, in which racial animus is the main motivator of Republican votes. But in an increasingly multicultural America, such people don’t form a majority. The only route to power for a white-nationalist party, then, is to become anti-democratic: to keep non-White people from voting and to discredit elections themselves. In short, democracy is working against Republicans — and so Republicans are working against democracy.

WaPo: F.B.I. Finds Contact Between Proud Boys Member and Trump Associate Before Riot http://wapo.st/3c5rsHR
// A leader of the far-right group separately said he had been in touch with Roger Stone, but an official said it was not the same contact investigators found through electronic communications records.

🐣 RT @tribelaw Go Eric! This @RepSwalwell lawsuit against Trump in his personal capacity is one Trump won’t easily escape. Its legal basis is solid and its factual predicates are overwhelming.
⋙ CNN: House impeachment manager Eric Swalwell sues Trump and close allies over Capitol riot in second major insurrection lawsuit http://cnn.it/3qpp2sy

Former House impeachment manager Eric Swalwell has sued former President Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani and Republican Rep. Mo Brooks in a second major lawsuit seeking to hold Trump and his allies accountable for inciting the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6.

The new lawsuit filed on Friday by Swalwell, a California Democrat who helped to lead impeachment arguments against Trump for inciting insurrection, follows a similar suit filed last month by Rep. Bennie Thompson against Trump, Giuliani and the extremist groups the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. Swalwell’s case makes some of the same claims as Thompson’s — citing a civil rights law meant to counter the Ku Klux Klan’s intimidation of elected officials.

But it also alleges Trump, Trump Jr., Giuliani and Brooks broke Washington, DC, laws, including an anti-terrorism act, by inciting the riot, and that they aided and abetted violent rioters and inflicted emotional distress on the members of Congress.

“The Defendants, in short, convinced the mob that something was occurring that — if actually true — might indeed justify violence, and then sent that mob to the Capitol with violence-laced calls for immediate action,” the lawsuit, in Washington, DC’s federal District Court, alleges.

The lawsuits will unfurl as Trump faces mounting pressures in investigations by House committees that seek his financial records, as well as in criminal probes related to his private business and his post-election actions. He has not been charged with any crime.

Friday’s suit could bump up against free speech protections for speakers at the rally, as well as immunity Trump could try to claim he had while serving as president. All of the elected officials in the lawsuit, including Trump, are named in their personal capacities in court, meaning they would use private lawyers and not be shielded by their public offices.

But should either this suit or Thompson’s proceed, it would mean the former President and his allies would be subject to discovery and depositions, potentially exposing details and evidence that weren’t released during the Senate impeachment trial.

WaPo: State Department aide appointed by Trump stormed the Capitol, beat police with a riot shield, FBI says http://wapo.st/3ca8pMi Federico Guillermo Klein “has been arrested on charges that he stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and assaulted an officer with a weapon”

⭕ 4 Mar 2021

💙 WaPo, Max Boot: How Trump’s politicized Pentagon bungled the response to the Capitol invasion http://wapo.st/3bhGr20 //➔ “bungled” is being generous

… Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, the commander of the D.C. National Guard, told a Senate committee Wednesday that he had been prevented by then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy from deploying a quick-reaction force or distributing weapons and riot gear before Jan. 6. McCarthy, in turn, was acting on the orders of then-acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller. Walker said such restrictions were “unusual” and were not imposed during Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Washington.

When the attack on the Capitol began, Walker continued, he received a frantic call for assistance at 1:49 p.m. from the then-head of the Capitol Police and immediately relayed the request to the Pentagon. But it was not until 5:08 p.m. — three hours and 19 minutes later — that Walker finally received permission to deploy his troops. That was long after the Capitol had been overrun.

We still don’t have the full story of what happened; Congress will need to hear from McCarthy, Miller, Piatt and Charles Flynn, among others. Clearly there were multiple failures that day at different government agencies, including the Capitol Police, not just at the Defense Department. But what we already know suggests that the senior Pentagon leadership, installed by Trump, was either incompetent or malevolent. Or, quite possibly, both.

The best-case scenario is that the Pentagon was slow to respond in January because of all the blowback it had received for deploying troops to Lafayette Square in June. This might explain the generals’ concern about “optics,” which was shared by the House sergeant-at-arms. But it should have been obvious that there was a world of difference between using troops to attack unarmed demonstrators and using troops to stop terrorists from overrunning the Capitol.

The worst-case scenario is that Pentagon leaders were slow to act because they did not want to battle a mob that had been mobilized and incited by their commander in chief. As my colleague Dana Milbank notes, Miller, the acting defense secretary, did not finally give permission for the Guard to deploy until after Trump had belatedly told the insurrectionists to “go home.”

The larger problem is that Miller should never have been running the Defense Department even temporarily — and he should never have been surrounded by a coterie of unqualified Trump loyalists with extremist views. They were installed in November after Trump “terminated” Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, who had angered him by opposing the deployment of active-duty troops to quell racial justice demonstrations.

After four years of assiduous effort, Trump succeeded in politicizing the Defense Department and undermining its effectiveness. The result was the Jan. 6 catastrophe. It is terrifying to imagine how much worse the Pentagon would have gotten if Trump had won a second term. Now it is incumbent on Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to clean up the department and rebuild the battered guardrails of military professionalism.

💙 🐣 RT @tribelaw Smells like it, sounds like it, looks like it, walks like it . . .
⋙ 🐣 RT @waltshaub What conclusion are we supposed to draw from the former Defense Secretary ordering the national guard to stand down, barring them from acting without his personal authorization, the day before the Capitol insurgency? ¤ It smells like a murderous attempt to aid the terrorists.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @ryannobles Stunning-> DC’s National Guard Commander told members of Congress that he had the authority to mobilize troops to respond to a civil disturbance… until the guidance changed the day before the insurrection. ¤ via/ @OrenCNN @ZcohenCNN & @ellieckaufman
// 3/3/2021 ↥ ↧
⋙⋙⋙⋙ CNN: DC National Guard commander says ‘unusual’ Pentagon restrictions slowed response to Capitol riot http://cnn.it/3uS6BAp link: https://twitter.com/ryanobles/status/1367195564501307395?s=20
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @Medit8Now Is anyone going to connect the obvious dots of why Christopher Miller was installed?
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @mailelei Something fishy? ¤ Barr left early so he couldn’t do a repeat like in June. ¤ That left tRump to his own devices and to manipulate all the secretaries of all the branches to get his way. To let the rioters tear down the capitol and stop the cert. He wanted to win at any cost.
⋙⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @getgoing100 Media/congress is unwilling to acknowledge that the US military was co-opted in the capitol insurrection. It aided & abetted the overthrow of election results by Trump mobs by its acts of omission (delaying deploying national guard) & commission (taking away authority to deploy)
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @Shimha18 Guidance Changes: After Trump fired #DOD Secretary Esper on 11/09/20, he then removed his staff of senior defense officials and installed MAGA loyalists who then changed policy to protect the #January6Insurrection. #CapitolRiotHearing https://twitter.com/Shimha18/status/1367233307784585216?s=20/photo/1
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @mmagersdc Guidance changed day before, this is huge exposure of complicity in this insurrection! ¤ Whom, what & why(we know the why) was behind this hindrance of providing help to Capitol Police. ¤ Prosecute anyone involved in changing this guidance, impeding National Guard from support!
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @Pugmothersue And this is how it happened: [Memo to Walker from Acting Defense Minister Christopher Miller:] https://twitter.com/Pugmothersue/status/1367210977322622976?s=20/photo/1

CNN: Federal investigators are examining communications between US lawmakers and Capitol rioters http://cnn.it/3rkWVMx

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote If you were wondering why republicans kept asking the FBI if their phones were being tapped or if geo-location was being used without warrants during insurrection security hearings, here’s your answer.
⋙ 🐣 RT @LinkedHD CNN is reporting that investigators are looking into certain members of Congress for their role in the Jan. 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. Here we go.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @LinkedHD “The data gathered so far includes indications of contact with lawmakers in the days around January 6, as well as communications between alleged rioters discussing their associations with members of Congress, the official said.”

⭕ 3 Mar 2021

WSJ, Karl Rove: Trump’s Appeal Rings Hollow at CPAC http://on.wsj.com/3qoAjcR “Supporters want him to offer a forward-looking vision, but he won’t. Some view his declarations of civil war on Republicans as counterproductive and claims of political power hollow”
// Only 68% of a crowd of Trump’s fervent supporters want him to run in 2024.

📋… [W]hile 97% rated Mr. Trump favorably in a straw poll, only 68% wanted him to run for president again, and 55% said they supported his nomination in 2024.

Why the muted enthusiasm from a crowd of Mr. Trump’s most fervent fans? The explanation may be in what the ex-president said and didn’t say in his 15-minute definition of Trumpism. There was no forward-looking agenda, simply a recitation of his greatest hits. People like fresh material. Repetition is useful to a point, but it grows stale.

Mr. Trump also claimed his “endorsement is the most powerful asset in politics,” crowing that “because of my efforts . . . we had huge gains in the House, and I helped keep many senators in their seats.” This is somewhat true of November’s 10 most competitive U.S. Senate races. Successful Republican candidates ran ahead of Mr. Trump’s percentage and won in three contests—Alaska, Maine and Texas. Five who ran behind him still managed to win, in Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana and North Carolina.

Mr. Trump followed up with an extended rant, claiming “this election was rigged and the Supreme Court and other courts didn’t want to do anything about it.” Instead, they “used process and lack of standing” to avoid the controversy. That’s deeply misleading. Judges in all six contested states found the Trump lawyers didn’t produce sufficient evidence.

The Arizona Supreme Court said the Trump campaign didn’t present “any evidence of ‘misconduct,’ ‘illegal votes’ ” while federal courts in the state dismissed complaints as “largely based on anonymous witnesses, hearsay and irrelevant analysis.”

Georgia courts held the Trump claims “rest on speculation” and lack “facts or evidence.”

A Michigan judge characterized the claims “as hearsay” while a federal judge in the Wolverine State dismissed them as “nothing but speculation and conjecture.” A Nevada judge wrote that Mr. Trump’s lawyers “failed” to provide “credible and relevant evidence.”

The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld lower-court decisions in Pennsylvania that Team Trump didn’t provide “specific allegations and then proof.” In Wisconsin, a judge ruled that “on the merits of plaintiff’s claims,” Trump’s team “has not proved that defendants violated his rights.” The state Supreme Court concurred, saying his challenge was “meritless on its face.”

Perhaps the CPAC poll results are a manifestation of growing skepticism about Mr. Trump’s viability. Supporters want him to offer a forward-looking vision, but he won’t. Some view his declarations of civil war on Republicans as counterproductive and claims of political power hollow. And his repeated cries of stolen elections are causing some supporters to abandon politics altogether and others to doubt his claims.

Elements of Mr. Trump’s speech were fine. But true to form, the former president did it his way. The speech’s divisive, controversial and embittered parts dominated the coverage. He might be pleased by that, but shouldn’t be. Republicans shouldn’t be either.

DailyBeast, David Rothkopf: If Jan. 6 Was ‘Domestic Terror,’ Who Was the Terrorist in Chief? http://bit.ly/3rgkG8s
// Somehow, the FBI director and a committee of senators managed to avoid asking, let alone answering, the most obvious question.

WaPo Editorial: The Pentagon delayed three hours in sending troops on Jan. 6. It still hasn’t given a good reason. http://wapo.st/308SwQT

💙 WaPo, Dana Milbank: Did the Pentagon wait for Trump’s approval before defending the Capitol? http://wapo.st/3sSCl6B

Three hours and 19 minutes. ¤ That’s how long it took from the first, desperate pleas for help from the Capitol Police to the Trump Pentagon on Jan. 6 until the D.C. National Guard finally received permission to help put down the bloody insurrection.

During those 199 minutes, the mob sacked the Capitol. People died. Overwhelmed Capitol and D.C. police were beaten. Lawmakers’ lives were jeopardized. And violent extremists defiled the seat of government, temporarily halting the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.

“At 1:49 p.m., I received a frantic call from then-chief of United States Capitol Police, Steven Sund, where he informed me that the security perimeter of the United States Capitol had been breached by hostile rioters,” Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, commander of the D.C. Guard, testified Wednesday to a joint Senate committee investigating the attack on the Capitol. “Chief Sund, his voice cracking with emotion, indicated that there was a dire emergency at the Capitol, and he requested the immediate assistance of as many available national guardsmen that I could muster.”

Walker immediately alerted senior Army leadership — and then waited. And waited. Approval to mobilize the guard wouldn’t be received until 5:08 p.m.

At best, this was a catastrophic failure of government. At worst, political appointees and Trump loyalists at the Defense Department deliberately prevented the National Guard from defending the Capitol against a seditious mob.

The man ultimately responsible for the delay, Christopher Miller, had been a White House aide before Donald Trump installed him as acting defense secretary in November, as the president began his attempt to overturn his election defeat. Miller did Trump’s political bidding at another point during his 10-week tenure, forcing the National Security Agency to install a Republican political operative as chief counsel.

Also involved in the Pentagon delay was Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, brother of disgraced former Trump adviser Michael Flynn, convicted (and pardoned) for lying to the FBI. Michael Flynn had suggested Trump declare martial law, and he helped to rile Trump supporters in Washington the day before the Capitol attack. The Pentagon had falsely denied to Post journalists that Charles Flynn was involved in the pivotal call on Jan. 6.

… An hour and six minutes of the holdup was because then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy “was asking a lot of questions” about the mission. Another piece of the delay: The 36 minutes between when the Pentagon claims Miller authorized the action and when the D.C. Guard was informed of the decision. “That’s an issue,” Salesses allowed.

Curiously, the Pentagon claims Miller’s authorization came at 4:32 — 15 minutes after Trump told his “very special” insurrectionists to “go home in peace.” Was Miller waiting for Trump’s blessing before defending the Capitol?

The Pentagon’s 199-minute delay looks worse in light of a Jan. 4 memo Miller issued saying that without his “personal authorization” the D.C. Guard couldn’t “be issued weapons, ammunition, bayonets, batons or ballistic protection equipment such as helmets and body armor.”

The Army secretary added more restrictions the next day, saying in a memo that he would “withhold authority” for the D.C. Guard to deploy a “quick reaction force” and that he would “require a concept of operation” before allowing a quick reaction force to react. McCarthy even blocked the D.C. Guard in advance from redeploying to the Capitol guardsmen assigned to help the D.C. police elsewhere in Washington.

Without such restrictions, Walker, the D.C. Guard commander, could have dispatched nearly 200 guardsmen soon after the Capitol Police mayday call. “That number could have made a difference,” Walker testified. …

WaPo, Jennifer Rubin: The FBI director confirms the right is lying about Jan. 6 http://wapo.st/3rgYZVE

WaPo: Capitol Police say intelligence shows militia group may be plotting to breach the Capitol http://wapo.st/2Pw5qX4

⭕ 2 Mar 2021

TheConversation, Richard Amesbury: Can QAnon survive another ‘Great Disappointment’ on March 4? History suggests it might http://bit.ly/3qdz5kz
// Millerites

🐣 RT @ZekeJMiller WASHINGTON (AP) — Domestic extremist groups pose a serious threat to the military by seeking to recruit service members into their ranks and, in some cases, joining the military to acquire combat experience, according to a Pentagon report.
⋙ 🐣 RT @ AP: Pentagon report cites threat of extremism in military http://bit.ly/3qbgXHN

💙 🔲 💽 C-SPAN: FBI Director Christopher Wray Testifies on January 6 Capitol Attack http://bit.ly/3bZwfKP

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the department’s preparations and response to the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. In his opening remarks, Director Wray said he was “appalled” at the attack on the U.S. Capitol and told members the “siege was criminal behavior plain and simple.” He later said the January 6 event was not an isolated issue and answered several questions on the rise of domestic terrorism and white supremacist violence in the country. Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) said in his remarks, “the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January 6 did not wear white robes and hoods. They might as well have. They are the latest incarnation of a violent white supremacist movement that has terrorized fellow Americans on the basis of their race, religion, and national origin for more than 150 years.” Other questions focused on the diversity in the department, rising cases of hate crimes against Asian Americans, and cybersecurity concerns in the wake of the SolarWinds breach.

🐣 RT @JVLast The GOP is a revanchist minority, which is why their only paths forward are geographic leverage and voter suppression. Which is why the D’s first priority should be expanding voting rights. That’s the cornerstone of the pro-democracy movement.
⋙ TheBulwark, Jonathan Last: Biden’s Future Has Two Parts http://bit.ly/3e43wXK
// definition: four types of conservatism (Trump is none); temperamental, foreign affairs, fiscal, social; There are going to be two different Biden administrations.

WaPo: FBI director says domestic terrorism ‘metastasizing’ throughout U.S. as cases soar http://wapo.st/3kIDtXp

WaPo: Wray delivers a big blow to Jan. 6 baseless claims about antifa, but the GOP keeps feeding them http://wapo.st/3sJKdqV

🐣 RT @ If there’s a lesson to take from the last four years, it is that the work of democracy is never done and that any one of us may stumble, @danbbaer writes.
⋙ ForeignPolicy, Dan Baer: America Is Back. But Can Allies Ever Trust It Again? http://bit.ly/2NW5A9J
// Fears of another Trump make it even more urgent that allies work with Biden now.

⭕ 1 Mar 2021

🐣 RT @TheReidOut The Brennan Center recently reported that state legislatures are currently considering more than 250 bills restricting voting access in 43 states.
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, TheReidOut: The GOP is using ‘The Big Lie’ to push new voting restrictions http://on.msnbc.com/2NSvzig
// Joy explains how Republicans are using ‘The Big Lie’ to promote voting restrictions across the country. The Brennan Center recently reported that state legislatures are currently considering more than 250 bills restricting voting access in 43 states.

💙 WSJ Editorial: The Grievances of Trump Past http://on.wsj.com/3raEhGT
// If he was so great politically for the GOP, why is the party now out of power?

🐣 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Weisselberg is in a position to know what Trump knew & what financial activity he directed. If he flips & works with prosecutors, he could be the key witness they need.
⋙ NYT: Prosecutors Investigating Trump Focus on His Finance Chief http://nyti.ms/3kzsjV3
// Manhattan district attorney investigators who are examining possible financial fraud have asked witnesses about Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer at the Trump Organization.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @MaryLTrump Weisselberg started working for my grandfather at Trump Management in Brooklyn in 1971 and most likely followed Donald to Manhattan in order to keep an eye on him. He knows close to everything.

WaPo: Rewriting January 6th: Republicans push false and misleading accounts of Capitol riot http://wapo.st/2MDMFzV

WaPo, Michael Gerson: The GOP is now just the party of white grievance http://wapo.st/301RCFw
// Trump mainstreamed bigotry in the Republican Party.

One of the poisonous legacies of Donald Trump’s presidency has been to expand the boundaries of expressible prejudice. Through the explicit practice of White-identity politics, Trump has obviated the need for code words and dog whistles. Thus his strongest supporters during the Jan. 6 riot felt free to carry Confederate battle flags and wear “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirts without fear of reproof from their political allies. Many in the crowd surely didn’t consider themselves racists, but they were perfectly willing to make common cause with racists. In social effect, it is a distinction without a difference.

⭕ 28 Feb 2021

CNN: DOJ charges man who allegedly sprayed chemicals at cops in Capitol riot http://cnn.it/2OeRP5A “The use of chemical sprays has been a major focus of the investigation into the death of US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick”

WaPo: Allies of Rep. Adam Kinzinger launch super PAC to support Republicans who have bucked Trump http://wapo.st/3sGQCDj

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Russian state media remains vehemently anti-American, anti-Biden and consistently pro-Trump. That should tell you all you need to know.

⭕ 27 Feb 2021

⭕ 26 Feb 2021

🚫 Esquire, Charles Pierce: This Year’s CPAC Is Approaching the Wingnut Singularity http://bit.ly/3kA9fpx
// Jesus, what a banana farm. Did they pad the rostrum? ⋙ not much else

NYT: F.B.I. Said to Have Singled Out Potential Assailant in Capitol Officer’s Death http://nyti.ms/2NKKISz They “suspect his death was related to an irritant, like mace or bear spray, that he had inhaled during the riot”
// The death of the officer, Brian Sicknick, after the Capitol riot has been a major focus for investigators scrutinizing the attack by a pro-Trump mob.

WaPo: FBI focuses on video of Capitol Police officer being sprayed with chemicals before he died in pro-Trump riot http://wapo.st/3pZ7mDR

🐣 RT @ryanjreilly NEW: Meet Danny “DJ” Rodriguez, the MAGA hatted Trump fanatic who brawled with cops, smashed out a Capitol window, and appeared to tase D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Mike Fanone in the neck during the insurrection. Story with @JessReports:
⋙ HuffPo: Revealed: Meet The Trump Fanatic Who Tasered A Cop At The Capitol Insurrection http://bit.ly/3uDIpl9
// Danny “DJ” Rodriguez brawled with cops, tried to smash out a Capitol window, and assaulted a police officer on Jan. 6. He’s still at large.

CBSNews: Over 300 charged from more than 40 states: What we know about the “unprecedented” Capitol riot arrests http://cbsn.ws/307WhpP

🐣 RT @thedailybeast QAnon Shaman: Donald Trump “groomed” me and millions of others to believe conspiracy theories for years
⋙ DailyBeast: QAnon Shaman Whines: Trump ‘Groomed’ Me and Millions of Other Americans http://bit.ly/3spXjt8

💙 WaPo: Capitol riot defendants facing jail have regrets. Judges aren’t buying it. http://wapo.st/3dQApag

WaPo: As fractures emerge among Proud Boys, experts warn of a shift toward extremist violence http://wapo.st/3r0q67h

⭕ 25 Feb 2021

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “Today in a congressional hearing into the insurrection of January 6th, a new warning from the acting Capitol Police chief about the same right-wing extremist groups who stormed the Capitol… targeting Biden’s first official address to Congress” – @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1365067609591476229?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @DeadlineWH “The period of time [Cy Vance] has is important because it predates Trump’s ascent into the White House and helps build the narrative around the money trail and Trump’s motivations for his destructive and obscene dance with people like Putin” – @TimOBrien w/ @NicolleDWallace 💽 https://twitter.com/DeadlineWH/status/1365091382940041216?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 24 Feb 2021

CNN: Pentagon report reveals disturbing details about White supremacists in the ranks http://cnn.it/2O4DoAY

CNN: Close ally of Marjorie Taylor Greene among those in Capitol mob http://cnn.it/3sqWMqZ

⭕ 23 Feb 2021

🧵 RT @BigElad After the January 6 “Stop the Steal” event at the Capitol, @MarkPedroli and I requested records of communications between Missouri’s Attorney General’s Office and dark money groups that issued a robocall recruiting people to the event. ¤ My report: http://bit.ly/3aNMj2V 📌 https://twitter.com/BigElad/status/1364335691149303813?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @JuliaDavisNews Twitter just blocked 100 Russian state-affiliated accounts. Russia is already complaining and calling it “censorship.” Meanwhile, good riddance to 100 of my former troll followers. I won’t miss them for a minute. Text Block: https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1364280219260043270?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @Tom_Winter NEW: Statement from the NYPD’s largest union @NYCPBA “This was a disgusting assault on our Capitol Police brothers & sisters, on our government and on everything that NYC police officers stand for. Even worse: the suspect once wore our uniform. Justice must be swift and severe.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @NBCNews A retired New York police officer is facing charges for participating in the Capitol riot last month, where he allegedly attacked a Capitol officer.
⋙⋙ NBCNews: Retired NYPD cop charged in Capitol riot, accused of attacking officer http://nbcnews.to/2ZJMRAv
// Prosecutors said Thomas Webster attacked a Capitol police officer with a flag pole that was flying a Marine Corps flag.

WaPo: FBI alert about possible ‘war’ against Congress reached D.C. and Capitol Police on eve of attack, deepening security questions http://wapo.st/3sjDSCg

WaPo: Life amid the ruins of QAnon: ‘I wanted my family back’ http://wapo.st/2P5ozPo “To some it seemed as if the United States was gripped by an epidemic of conspiracy theories”
// An epidemic of conspiracy, fanned by social media and self-serving politicians, is tearing families apart.

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen Tucker Carlson last night: “There is no evidence that white supremacists were responsible for what happened on January 6. That’s a lie” ¤ Moments ago: ex-Capitol Police chief, DC police chief, ex-House and Senate sergeant-at-arms all testified that white supremacists were involved

🐣 RT @hugolowell Senate Rules chair Amy Klobuchar whacks Ron Johnson over questioning at hearing into Capitol attack, saying he’s always a problem: “Ron Johnson has again engaged in a conspiracy theory — that’s what he does.”
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @jimsciutto A sitting Senator and member of the committee charged with defending the homeland is lying about a terrorist attack, contradicting the witnesses before him and every law enforcement agency. Will his party censure him or sanction him in any way?
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar Ron Johnson is using his questioning time during the Capitol security hearing to promote a conspiracy theory that the January 6 insurrectionists weren’t actually Trump supporters, but were “provocateurs” and “fake Trump protesters” 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1364256884044271620?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 22 Feb 2021 Merrick Garland DOJ Hearing

WaPo: At stake in Senate hearing Tuesday: The story of the Capitol riot, and who is responsible http://wapo.st/3siokPd

🐣 RT @warontherocks Why are these events occurring more frequently and more widely now, and what can be done to mitigate the dangers inherent in such encounters?
⋙ WarOnTheRocks, Ralph Clem: Risky Encounters with Russia: Time to Talk About Real Deconfliction http://bit.ly/3pLxQZA
// 2/18/2021

… [T]here is one other issue with Moscow that requires immediate attention and is worth the effort to cooperate on: the growing number of close contacts between U.S. and NATO air, land, and naval forces and their counterparts on the Russian side. Any of these encounters implies a threat of rapid escalation should something go terribly wrong, like a mid-air collision, a prospect made more likely owing to reckless conduct by the Russians during some of these incidents.

WaPo: Half million people should not have died in a country as ‘rich and sophisticated’ as the United States, says Fauci http://wapo.st/

In remarks to Reuters on Monday, Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, called the death toll of 500,000 “stunning” and said that “intense” political divisiveness contributed to the nation’s poor handling of the pandemic. ¤ “This is the worst thing that’s happened to this country with regard to the health of the nation in over 100 years,” he said.

🐣 RT @mccaffreyr3 Powerful reassurance to witness our President and Vice President and spouses recognize the sweeping tragedy that has engulfed and indeed numbed us. This Administration has the competence and organization to lead us out to health.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AP BREAKING: The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 tops 500,000, a staggering total that nearly equals the number of Americans killed in World War II, Korea and Vietnam combined. http://apne.ws/NGY6EfC

📋 🐣 RT @NumbersMuncher Summary of recent polls of how many Republicans believe the election was stolen from Donald Trump:
USA Today/Suffolk: 73%
Quinnipiac 76%
Gallup 83%
CNN 75%
Monmouth 72%
Fox News 68%
These numbers are a barrier to any unity in the country, and this was all cultivated by Trump.

🐣 RT @BillKristol “His outpouring of rage that Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance will finally have access to his financial documents suggests the only plausible reason for Trump’s evident dismay: He is very scared of being charged with crimes.”
⋙ NYMag, Jonathan Chait: Donald Trump Is Extremely Mad Prosecutors Will See His Tax Returns http://nym.ag/
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @Acosta Trump responds to SCOTUS decision on his tax returns, claiming he’s the victim of “political persecution.” Text Block: https://twitter.com/Acosta/status/1363927173489393668?s=20/photo/1

📋 🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Keeping track:
Dominion Voting Systems:
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell — $1.3 billion in damages
Sidney Powell — $1.3 billion in damages
Rudy Giuliani — $1.3 billion in damages
Smartmatic:
Powell, Giuliani, Fox and Fox hosts — $2.7 billion in damages

Reuters: White supremacy a ‘transnational threat’, U.N. chief warns http://reut.rs/3qKMQIz

🐣 RT @JudiciaryDems #FACTCHECK: The polarization of DOJ did not come from President Obama. It came from the four tumultuous years of President Trump treating the Attorney General as his own personal lawyer and demanding that DOJ advance the interests of himself, his family, and his political allies.

NYT: Here’s What’s Next in the Trump Taxes Investigation http://nyti.ms/3pNR5l4
// A Supreme Court ruling has paved the way for prosecutors to begin combing through Mr. Trump’s financial records.

🐣 RT @RachelAbramsNY SCOOP: Congressional Dems sent a letter to Comcast, Amazon, Google, ATT & others, demanding to know what they plan to do about the “the spread of dangerous misinformation” from Fox News, OAN and Newsmax – including whether they will continue to carry them
⋙ NYT: House Democrats Press Cable Providers on Election Fraud Claims http://nyti.ms/3uokOol
// Before a hearing set for Wednesday, Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee asked cable companies what they did to combat “the spread of misinformation.”

🧵 RT @NatashaBertrand NEW: Trump staffers prepared a sanctions package targeting Russia over its poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. It was basically ready to go—but never got final sign-off. It was handed off to Biden admin, which is now preparing its own response: 📌 https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1363999445747175426?s=20
⋙⋙ Politico: Biden readies his first major penalties on Russia http://politi.co/3sjX7vq
// The Trump administration had prepared a sanctions package in response to the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, but Biden’s national security team wants to chart its own course.
⋙ 🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand The Trump admin package proposed 3 types of sanctions: Magnitsky Act, sanctions under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act); and sanctions under Executive Order 13382. It stalled right when it needed final, high level approval.
⋙ 🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand The new admin is set to respond, likely in form of sanctions coordinated with European allies, in the coming weeks. But it is unlikely to use the exact blueprint left by Trump’s national security team. The current National Security Council views that package as overly unilateral.

💙 NYT: The Lost Hours: How Confusion and Inaction at the Capitol Delayed a Troop Deployment http://nyti.ms/3pQGtlK
// As violence grew out of control on Jan. 6, the head of the Capitol Police made an urgent request for the National Guard. It took nearly two hours to be approved.

🧵 RT @SCOTUSblog BREAKING: After 4 months of inaction, SCOTUS in a one-sentence unsigned order declines Trump’s request to further postpone enforcement of a Manhattan DA subpoena for his financial records. The order clears the way for a NY grand jury to obtain the records & review them in secret. 📌 https://twitter.com/SCOTUSblog/status/1363860115502354436?s=20

🐣 RT @LukeLBarr Perhaps the strongest moment of the hearing – Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland chokes up when he talks about his motivations for taking the AG job. “The country took us in and protected us and I feel an obligation to the country to pay back.” 💽 https://twitter.com/LukeLBarr/status/1363916753458372614?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: Merrick Garland tells senators Capitol riot investigation will be his first priority as attorney general http://wapo.st/3kfKGhG

🐣 RT @BradMossEsq I’ve barely heard a real question directed towards Garland yet by the GOP. There are serious matters of policy, institutional reforms and law enforcement that need to be addressed by a nominee. ¤ So far this is “reaffirm that Trump’s grievances were legitimate” on a loop.

THREADS:
🧵 RT @JoyceWhiteVance Merrick Garland: Willing to step away from lifetime appointment as a federal judge because of the importance of DOJ and the rule of law. 📌 https://twitter.com/JoyceWhiteVance/status/1363867770010673153?s=20

🧵 RT @KlasfeldReports “Watch Live: Merrick Garland Finally Gets a Confirmation Hearing—This Time, for Attorney General” ¤ Follow along with me today. ¤ Chairman Durbin just finished his opening remarks. via @lawcrimenews 📌 https://twitter.com/KlasfeldReports/status/1363862417218932750?s=20
⋙ Law&Crime: Watch Live: Merrick Garland Finally Gets a Confirmation Hearing—This Time, for Attorney General http://bit.ly/3kcEqHb

🧵 RT @benjaminwittes Listening to Chuck Grassley congratulate himself for the way he and the Republicans treated Merrick Garland while Garland has to sit patiently and listen makes me want to throw things across the room. [Thread:] 📌 https://twitter.com/benjaminwittes/status/1363864122723602432?s=20

🧵 RT @emptywheel You can watch Merrick Garland hearing at either of these links:
⋙ 💽 CSPAN: Attorney General Nominee Merrick Garland Testifies at Confirmation Hearing, Part 1 http://bit.ly/3qMWZUX
// Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland testified at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
⋙ 💽 Senate Judiciary: The Nomination of the Honorable Merrick Brian Garland to be Attorney General of the United States: Day 1 http://bit.ly/3kjYlUU
📌 Thread: https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1363859490647474177?s=20

🧵 RT @atrupar Merrick Garland: “If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6, a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy.” 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1363869639286095872?s=20
━━━━━━━

💙≣ Rev[.]com: Merrick Garland Opening Statement Transcript: Confirmation Hearing for Attorney General http://bit.ly/3kaSkty

The President nominates the Attorney General to be the lawyer, not for any individual, but for the people of the United States. July 2020 marked the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Department of Justice, making this a fitting time to remember the mission of the Attorney General and of the Department.

It is a fitting time to reaffirm that the role of the Attorney General is to serve the rule of law and to ensure equal justice under law. …

Before I became a judge almost 24 years ago, a significant portion of my professional life was spent at the Justice Department. As a special assistant to Ben Civiletti, the last of the trio of post-Watergate Attorneys General, as a Line Assistant US Attorney, as a supervisor in the Criminal Division, and finally, as a senior official in the Department. Many of the policies that the Justice Department developed during those years are the foundation for reaffirming the norms that will ensure that the Department adheres to the rule of law.

These are policies that protect the independence of the department from partisan influence in law enforcement. That strictly regulate communications with the White House. That established guidelines for FBI domestic operations and foreign intelligence collection. That ensure respectful treatment of the press. That read the Freedom of Information Act generously. That respect the professionalism of DOJ employees, and that set out the principles of federal prosecution to guide the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

Celebrating DOJ’s 150th year reminds us of the origins of the Department, which was founded during Reconstruction in the aftermath of the Civil War to secure the civil rights that were promised in the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments.

The first Attorney General appointed by President Grant to head the new Department led it in a concerted battle to protect black voting rights from the violence of white extremists, successfully prosecuting hundreds of cases against white supremacist members of the Klu Klux Klan.

Almost a century later, the Civil Rights Act of 1957 created the Department’s Civil Rights Division with a mission to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society. That mission, on the website of the Department’s Civil Rights Division, remains urgent because we do not yet have equal justice.

Communities of color and other minorities still face discrimination in housing, in education, in employment and in the criminal justice system, and they bear the brunt of the harm caused by pandemic, pollution, and climate change. 150 years after the Department’s founding, battling extremist attacks on our democratic institutions also remains central to the Department’s mission.

From 1995 to 1997, I supervised the prosecution of the perpetrators of the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, who sought to spark a revolution that would topple the Federal Government. If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on January 6th, a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy, the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government. …

As Attorney General, later Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson famously said, quote, “The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America. While prosecutors at their best are one of the most beneficent forces in our society, when they act from malice or other base motives, they are one of the worst.”

Jackson then went on to say, “The citizen’s safety lies in the prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches the task with humility.”

That was the prosecutor I tried to be during my prior service in the Department of Justice. That is the spirit I tried to bring to my tenure as a Federal Judge, and if confirmed, I promise to do my best to live up to that ideal as Attorney General. Thank you.

⭕ 21 Feb 2021

WaPo, Rosalind Helderman: Impeachment is over. But other efforts to reckon with Trump’s post-election chaos have just begun. http://wapo.st/2NvVyM6

Although Trump was acquitted by the Senate on a charge that his rhetoric incited the deadly Capitol siege, public officials and private companies are pursuing a multi-front legal effort to hold him and his allies accountable in other ways. The actions target the former president and numerous others — including elected ­officials, media pundits and lawyers — who indulged and echoed his falsehoods that President Biden did not win the election.

The goal, according to lawyers and others supportive of such efforts, is to mete out some form of punishment for those who helped undermine confidence in the election results and fueled the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. But even more, they said, they hope to discourage other public officials from rerunning Trump’s strategy of attempting to overturn an election result by sowing doubt about the legitimacy of the vote.

“There has to be some consequence for telling these lies — because when you lie to people, they take action based on what they think is true,” said Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt, a Republican who received threats after false allegations of fraud in the counting of the city’s votes. “Because it’s such a dangerous new thing that occurred, there has to be some reconciliation. Moving on isn’t enough.”

A federal judge in D.C. late Friday referred one lawyer for possible disciplinary action. Still, it’s not yet clear how far courts will go in pursuing sanctions against lawyers who may have believed in their own conspiracy theories, or whether prosecutors will ultimately bring criminal charges related to the election. The civil litigation could linger for years.

The most serious ongoing legal actions involve criminal inquiries. More than 225 people have been charged with various crimes directly related to the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6. Justice Department officials have said they do not expect to file criminal charges against Trump or others who gave incendiary speeches in Washington that day before the violence, but they also said the case is complex and the investigation ongoing.

But even without charges against the former president, several lawyers representing alleged rioters have signaled they plan to argue that their clients were merely following what they thought were Trump’s directions that day — meaning there could be lengthy legal wrangling over Trump’s culpability. …

🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: A Small Group of Militants’ Outsize Role in the Capitol Attack http://nyti.ms/3seC0dV ‘Federal prosecutors have repeatedly highlighted the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys as being the most organized and planning their strategy ahead of time’

As federal prosecutors unveil charges in the assault on the Capitol last month, they have repeatedly highlighted two militant groups — the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys — as being the most organized, accusing them of planning their strategy ahead of time and in some cases helping escalate a rally into an attack.

The two organizations stand in contrast to a majority of the mob. Of the more than 230 people charged so far, only 31 are known to have ties to a militant extremist group. And at least 26 of those are affiliated with the Oath Keepers or the Proud Boys.

The groups differ in their focus and tactics: The Oath Keepers are part of an anti-government militia movement that emphasizes military-style training, while the Proud Boys espouse an ideology of male and Western superiority, with members often expressing white-supremacist and anti-immigrant views. But the groups have been united in their allegiance to former President Donald J. Trump.

Conspiracy charges, among the most serious levied so far, indicate that members of these groups may have worked together and planned their activities, potentially in ways that made them more dangerous than other rioters. Federal prosecutors have said that some members used teamwork to help people escape arrest and to direct and provoke protesters to overwhelm police defenses.

Of the 22 people charged with conspiracy crimes by mid-February, 18 were known to have ties to one of those two groups.

⭕ 20 Feb 2021

NYMag, Jonathan Chait: An Ex-KGB Agent Says Trump Was a Russian Asset Since 1987. Does it Matter? http://nym.ag/2ZAZoX2

If I had to guess today, I’d put the odds higher, perhaps over 50 percent. One reason for my higher confidence is that Trump has continued to fuel suspicion by taking anomalously pro-Russian positions. He met with Putin in Helsinki, appearing strangely submissive, and spouted Putin’s propaganda on a number of topics including the ridiculous possibility of a joint Russian-American cybersecurity unit. (Russia, of course, committed the gravest cyber-hack in American history not long ago, making Trump’s idea even more self-defeating in retrospect than it was at the time.) He seemed to go out of his way to alienate American allies and blow up cooperation every time they met during his tenure.

He would either refuse to admit Russian wrongdoing — Trump refused even to concede that the regime poisoned Alexei Navalny — or repeat bizarre snippets of Russian propaganda: NATO was a bad deal for America because Montenegro might launch an attack on Russia; the Soviets had to invade Afghanistan in the 1970s to defend against terrorism. These weren’t talking points he would pick up in his normal routine of watching Fox News and calling Republican sycophants.

A second reason is that reporter Craig Unger got a former KGB spy to confirm on the record that Russian intelligence had been working Trump for decades. In his new book, “American Kompromat,” Unger interviewed Yuri Shvets, who told him that the KGB manipulated Trump with simple flattery. “In terms of his personality, the guy is not a complicated cookie,” he said, “his most important characteristics being low intellect coupled with hyperinflated vanity. This makes him a dream for an experienced recruiter.” …

This is what intelligence experts mean when they describe Trump as a Russian “asset.” It’s not the same as being an agent. An asset is somebody who can be manipulated, as opposed to somebody who is consciously and secretly working on your behalf.

Shvets told Unger that the KGB cultivated Trump as an American leader, and persuaded him to run his ad attacking American alliances. “The ad was assessed by the active measures directorate as one of the most successful KGB operations at that time,” he said, “It was a big thing — to have three major American newspapers publish KGB soundbites.”To be clear, while Shvets is a credible source, his testimony isn’t dispositive. There are any number of possible motives for a former Soviet spy turned critic of Russia’s regime to manufacture an indictment of Trump. But the story he tells is almost exactly the possibility I sketched out. And it fits the known facts about how Russian intelligence works and what Trump has done pretty tightly.

One reason I think that is because a great deal of incriminating information was confirmed and very little in fact changed as a result. In 2018, Buzzfeed reported, and the next year Robert Mueller confirmed, explosive details of a Russian kompromat operation. During the campaign, Russia had been dangling a Moscow building deal that stood to give hundreds of millions of dollars in profit to Trump, at no risk. Not only did he stand to gain this windfall, but he was lying in public at the time about his dealings with Russia, which gave Vladimir Putin additional leverage over him. (Russia could expose Trump’s lies at any time if he did something to displease Moscow.)

Mueller even testified that this arrangement gave Russia blackmail leverage over Trump. But by the time these facts had passed from the realm of the mysterious to the confirmed, they had become uninteresting.

We don’t know what other sources of leverage Russia had, or how far back it went. Ultimately, whatever value Trump offered to Russia was compromised by his incompetence and limited ability to grasp firm control even of his own government’s foreign policy. It was not just the fabled “deep state” that undermined Trump. Even his own handpicked appointees constantly undermined him, especially on Russia. Whatever leverage Putin had was limited to a single individual, which meant there was nobody Trump could find to run the State Department, National Security Agency, and so on who shared his idiosyncratic Russophilia.

The truth, I suspect, was simultaneously about as bad as I suspected, and paradoxically anticlimactic. Trump was surrounded by all sorts of odious characters who manipulated him into saying and doing things that ran against the national interest. One of those characters was Putin. In the end, their influence ran up against the limits that the character over whom they had gained influence was a weak, failed president.

NYT: Merrick Garland Faces Resurgent Peril After Years Fighting Extremism http://nyti.ms/3aDmbHI
// The fallout from the Capitol attack and the shadow of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing are likely to take center stage at the confirmation hearings for President Biden’s pick for attorney general.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: U.S. investigating possible ties between Roger Stone, Alex Jones and Capitol rioters http://wapo.st/3duNupx Lots of smoke, but whether purveyors of disinfo and instigators can be charged under existing laws is very unclear, esp given 1st Amendment

“We are investigating potential ties between those physically involved in the attack on the Capitol and individuals who may have influenced them, such as Roger Stone, Alex Jones and [Stop the Steal organizer] Ali Alexander,” said a U.S. official, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a pending matter.

All three amplified and intensified Trump’s incendiary claims that the 2020 election was illegitimate in the weeks leading up to the riot. But Stone and Alexander have directly credited each other with inspiring and planning the pro-Trump Stop the Steal campaign, with Alexander saying he came up with the idea and helped organize the Jan. 6 rally that drew Trump supporters to Washington. Stone and Jones also promoted the extremist groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers and had preexisting business or personal ties with members the government has charged with coordinating and planning certain parts of the breach or with violence at an earlier Trump rally, records and documents show.

A key task for prosecutors and agents is to sift through the multitude of motives and intentions of the roughly 800 people in the mob that descended upon the Capitol — from those who came as individuals drawn to the idea of derailing Joe Biden’s presidency before it began, to those who allegedly began organizing immediately after the election to show up in Washington in large numbers to use force to try to keep Trump in power.

The U.S. official and others familiar with the investigation cautioned that the role of firebrands like Stone and Jones may be important mostly to painting a complete picture of that day’s events, regardless of whether they ultimately rise to the level of conspiracy or other crimes.

In recorded videos and on Infowars, Stone and Jones have lifted the profiles of the Proud Boys, a far-right group with a history of violence, and Oath Keepers — a loose network of self-styled militias — branding them as street-level security forces for right-wing causes and VIPs. A half-dozen alleged members of the Oath Keepers have been charged with conspiracy and leading up to 30 to 40 others in the break-in, according to court filings. Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, has said he gave no direction or signals to members to storm the Capitol. The leader of the Proud Boys has msaid the group did not plan to interrupt Congress.

… [O]fficials have charged three Proud Boy leaders in connection with the Capitol riot or an earlier pro-Trump rally in Washington — Proud Boys chairman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, organizer Joe Biggs and Seattle leader Ethan Nordean. The three registered a company together last year, and Tarrio and Biggs also have preexisting personal or business connections to Stone and Jones, respectively, according to records and documents.

⭕ 19 Feb 2021

WaPo: U.S. alleges wider Oath Keepers conspiracy, adds more defendants in Jan. 6 Capitol riot http://wapo.st/3k9J6xM

A 21-page indictment alleged that the defendants “did knowingly combine, conspire, confederate, and agree with each other and others known and unknown” to force entry to the Capitol and obstruct Congress from certifying the election of Joe Biden as president in riots that led to five deaths and assaults on 139 police.

The nine-person indictment named three already charged military veterans — Jessica Marie Watkins, 38, and Donovan Ray Crowl, 50, both of Woodstock, Ohio; and Thomas E. Caldwell, 66, of Berryville, Va. The six new defendants include siblings Graydon Young, 54, of Englewood, Fla., and Laura Steele, of Thomasville, N.C. It also includes married couples Kelly and Connie Meggs, 52 and 59, of Dunnellon, Fla.; and Bennie and Sandra Parker, 70 and 60, of the Cincinnati area.

On Dec. 22, Kelly Meggs wrote a Facebook message saying Trump’s comment that Jan. 6 would be “wild” meant he “wants us to make it WILD. . . . He called us all to the Capitol. . . . Gentlemen we are heading to DC,” the indictment alleges.

Kelly Meggs added a few days later that there would be “at least” 50 to 100 Oath Keepers in attendance, the indictment said, and posted on Christmas that he “was named State lead of Florida today.”

WaPo: How the Oklahoma City bombing case prepared Merrick Garland to take on domestic terrorism http://wapo.st/2ZKDrF3 Garland worked not only to convict Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, but also “The Unabomber,” Ted Kaczynski

⭕ 18 Feb 2021

CNN: 6 Capitol Police officers suspended, 29 others being investigated for alleged roles in riot http://cnn.it/2ZwoLcw

🐣 RT @brhodes Outright and offensive lies and disinformation are at the center of the right wing authoritarian political project in this country today. They have to create an alternate world because they can’t win debates or elections in the real one.

WaPo: Biden memo for ICE officers points to fewer deportations and strict oversight http://wapo.st/3s7bDXj

Reuters: Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen interviewed by Manhattan DA’s office and newly hired litigator http://reut.rs/2ZsXzeH

ForeignPolicy, Laurie Garrett: Trump Is Guilty of Pandemicide http://bit.ly/3bgJsi1 //➔ The greater impact on communities of color was know from the very early months, so I think it also qualifies as bona fide genocide
// History will show the former U.S. president was staggeringly negligent during the pandemic’s deadly third wave.

🐣 RT @gtconway3d I know everyone’s focused on upgrades on flights from Cancun, but this is huge news. ¤ This strongly suggests an intent to try a case.
⋙ 🐣 RT @Jonesieman New: The Manhattan district attorney has brought in a former federal prosecutor who is an expert on white-collar crime to join the team investigating the Trump family business. From @WRashbaum, @benprotess and me.
⋙⋙ NYT: Manhattan D.A. Recruits Top Prosecutor for Trump Inquiry http://nyti.ms/3pubNWZ
// The Manhattan district attorney has enlisted a former federal prosecutor who is an expert on white-collar crime to join the team investigating the Trump family business.

🐣 RT @JakeTapper .@MittRomney: “Like you, I hear many calls for unity. It is apparent that calling for unity while at the same time appeasing the big lie of a stolen election is a fraud. It is the lie that caused the division. It is in the service of that lie that a mob invaded the Capitol” Jan 6 Text Block: https://twitter.com/jaketapper/status/1362459765725683712?s=20/photo/1-2

WaPo: The 150-year-old Ku Klux Klan Act being used against Trump in Capitol attack http://wapo.st/3av5iz6

⭕ 17 Feb 2021

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote I love that Russia Ron has to answer to Ossoff.
⋙ 🐣 RT @mkraju Freshman Jon Ossoff named chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, a panel that has done some substantial bipartisan probes in recent years. The ranking member: Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin

WaPo: Trump-McConnell clash threatens to settle into a cold war as GOP eyes midterms http://wapo.st/3qA4oqK

🐣 Limbaugh was smart enough to know better. Yet he took the dark road and led many others down it. I do not rejoice at anyone’s death, but the absence of his voice may save weak souls.

🐣 RT @WIRED To belong to the QAnon pack is to be part of a massive crowdsourcing project that sees itself cracking a mystery
⋙ WIRED, Clive Thompson: QAnon Is Like a Game—a Most Dangerous Game http://bit.ly/3jXqVLz
// The conspiracy theory has the best attributes of a multiplatform game, except that it can cause harm in the real world.

QAnon, as you very likely know, is the right-wing conspiracy theory that revolves around a figure named Q. This supposedly high-ranking insider claims that the deep state—an alleged cabal led by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros and abetted by decadent celebrities—is running a global child-sex-trafficking ring and plotting a left-wing coup. Only Donald Trump heroically stands in the way.

ARGs [Artificial Reality Games] are designed to be clue-cracking, multiplatform scavenger hunts. They’re often used as a promotion, like for a movie. A studio plants a cryptic clue in the world around us. If you notice it and Google it, it leads to hundreds more clues that the gamemaker has craftily embedded in various websites, online videos, maps, and even voice message boxes. The first big ARG—called The Beast—was created in 2001 to promote the Steven Spielberg movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence and began with a reference to a “sentient machine therapist” in the credits listed on the movie poster.

First off, QAnon poses a mystery that feels so big it can only be solved by crowdsourcing. It’s thrilling to be involved with other people in something bigger than yourself. Plus, it turns one’s armchair-warrior Googling into a heroic quest for truth.

“They’re all saying, ‘I’ve done my research,’” Hon told me of Q followers. “They’re looking for signals in the noise.”

There’s also the thrill of creativity, of adding to a canon. QAnon followers “don’t just passively receive Q drops. They create new videos and texts,” notes Marc-André Argentino, a public scholar at Concordia University who researches QAnon. Q’s followers behave like religious devotees who pore over their faith’s central texts, crafting interpretations that become part of the official creed.

And, like an ARG, QAnon brings social rewards. If you’re the first to post a new discovery, “other people can see it, and they instantly recognize it,” notes Dan Hon, Adrian’s brother, who helped create the Perplex City ARG.

In a way, ARGs and QAnon are the quintessence of internet culture. The web has always been about making willy-nilly connections: This links to that which links to this. And cyberspace facilitates the obsessive joint scrutiny of everything, from TV shows to knitting patterns to the belief that reptilians walk among us.

… [W]ith QAnon, the appeal has pushed the conspiracy dangerously from the fringes into the mainstream. An internal Facebook review reportedly found millions of people on various QAnon sites, and QAnon believers recently won congressional primary races in Georgia and Florida. All of which suggests that QAnon is, alas, unlikely to fade away soon. Quite apart from its ideological roots, it’s fueled by one of the oldest internet urges: It’s fun.

WaPo: One down, 44 to go’: Inside the House impeachment team’s uphill battle http://wapo.st/3auEtLx
// A group of House Democrats thought they had a chance to secure a
conviction of former president Donald Trump — despite the steep odds.

WaPo, Brian Klaas: Restoring sanity to the GOP will take years. Here’s how to start. http://wapo.st/3dlypXn

⭕ 16 Feb 2021

WaPo, Tom Coleman and John Danforth: Congress must invoke the 14th Amendment to stop Trump from running again http://wapo.st/37lf7NT “Former president Donald Trump poses an existential threat to American democracy.”

The Senate impeachment trial has provided further proof of what can no longer be denied: Former president Donald Trump poses an existential threat to American democracy. The harrowing evidence shows that Trump incited and supported the violent insurrection at the Capitol that aimed to prevent the peaceful transition of power and resulted, tragically, in multiple deaths. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) confirmed these facts in his statement following the Senate vote.

Such anti-democratic conduct should disqualify Trump from ever holding future public office. While conviction by the Senate would have been the best and quickest route to disqualification, because that failed, Congress can — and must — pursue an alternative path to protecting our republic from a future Trump presidency: Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

Section 3 bars from public office those officials who engage in “insurrection or rebellion” against the United States. Passed in the wake of the Civil War, Section 3 sought to ensure that those who have violated their oaths to defend the Constitution by threatening our democracy cannot hold public office in the future. Importantly, Congress did not limit Section 3 to disqualifying only members of the former Confederacy, but instead deliberately drafted language to encompass any future acts of insurrection or rebellion — such as those of Jan. 6.

In addition to not being subject to a two-thirds majority vote, such legislation has numerous advantages. First, it would provide a strong basis for state election officials or political opponents to challenge his candidacy based on Congress’s finding that Section 3 disqualifies him from holding office. This would create a cloud of illegitimacy over a potential Trump candidacy, deterring supporters and donors. Second, while it is most important to prevent any future Trump campaign, any judicial procedures created by Congress could also be used to disqualify others involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection from holding future office.

In 1868, the republic amended the Constitution with a means to protect against the grave threat of insurrectionists and those who give them aid or comfort. In the face of this modern threat to our republic, Congress must revive Section 3 so it can serve its noble purpose of protecting American democracy against those who would do it harm.

WaPo, Lloyd Austin III: The U.S. can’t meet its responsibilities alone. That’s why we believe in NATO. http://wapo.st/3bgSNGF

At the president’s direction, we are conducting a global posture review that will help us do just that. But we are not withdrawing from Europe. Indeed, we have already halted previously announced drawdowns of U.S. forces in Germany. And any decisions we make as a result of our review will be made in close consultation with our allies and partners.

⭕ 15 Feb 2021

WSJ, Mitch McConnell: Acquittal Vindicated the Constitution, Not Trump http://on.wsj.com/3s2savJ
// Impeachment isn’t a moral tribunal. It is a specific tool with a narrow purpose: restraining government officers

CNN: The accountability era begins http://cnn.it/37h90tV Opinion by Christine Todd Whitman, Norman Eisen and Joanna Lydgate

There is an urgent window for government and private parties to pursue accountability through investigations, prosecutions and litigation. The magnificent work of the House impeachment managers established the roadmap. They revealed a startling pattern of intentional misconduct by Trump in inciting insurrection, and they backed up each of their contentions with a mountain of evidence, some of which was not previously available to the public.

While the US Senate did not ultimately convict, the courageous votes of seven Republicans to hold Trump accountable shows the bipartisan opportunity for the road ahead. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has given Trump much cover and did the same again by voting against conviction here, said Trump is “still liable to be tried and punished in the ordinary tribunals of justice…Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office, he didn’t get away with anything yet.”

What might that accountability agenda look like? ¤ Thanks to Trump’s outrageous behavior in the waning days of his reign, he has exposed himself to possible state criminal prosecution in Georgia. Fani Willis, the district attorney for Fulton County, has announced her intent to investigate the ex-president and his shocking call to the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on January 2. The call may well violate state law, including a statute prohibiting the solicitation of election fraud.

According to The New York Times, her investigation is a broad one, looking at other offenses by Trump and by those around him, such as his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who is alleged to have provided false information to Georgia officials. Giuliani did not respond to the Times request for comment. Meanwhile, a Trump adviser has said the investigation “is simply the Democrats’ latest attempt to score political points by continuing their witch hunt against President Trump, and everybody sees through it.”

Other jurisdictions might also have criminal cases against Trump for his post-Election Day misconduct, including his alleged incitement of insurrection. Prosecutors have already charged hundreds of people involved in the insurrection with federal crimes, including conspiracy, and we know the insurrectionists came from many states and planned in advance. If Trump was a part of any conspiracy, he could face criminal or civil liability in multiple places. There are laws against insurrection, sedition, racketeering and related misconduct, and they should — and likely will — get a close look.

In addition, there may well be civil action on behalf of those who were killed and injured during the events of January 6 — among them, the Capitol Police officers and other law enforcement. Members of Congress and staff who were traumatized or otherwise harmed may also have civil claims such as for intentional infliction of emotional distress. We can expect that civil litigation to go on for years.

Given the powerful and disturbing footage that has now been seen by virtually every American, the insurrection is something deeply concerning to the American people far beyond the walls of Congress, and judges and juries take these cases seriously.

Yet another category of accountability for the “Big Lie” perpetuated by Trump and his allies: regulatory actions, like bar complaints against the attorneys who allegedly enabled Trump’s misconduct. One complaint has already been filed in New York against Giuliani. Giuliani’s public reactions to the complaint suggest he is at least somewhat ruffled by the action, (“I don’t want to get in trouble. And I have a high sense of ethics, personally. I hate it when people attack my integrity”). Meanwhile, officials in Michigan are seeking disbarment of Sidney Powell and her cohort, and the Georgia bar has opened an investigation of Lin Wood. Wood has taken umbrage with the effort, asking supporters to donate money to fight it, telling them that the Georgia bar authorities “have through the kitchen sink at me,” and calling on his followers to dig for damaging information against members of the Georgia State Bar Disciplinary Board. Powell has not commented on the allegations against her.

Organizations that helped sponsor the January 6 rally and foment the insurrection also face calls for investigation, including under state laws that regulate charitable entities. These avenues are slower and may be seen as less hard-hitting, but it does not change their significant contribution to the accountability effort. If there is no consequence for misconduct, then what is there to prevent such behavior from happening again and again?

The Trump era taught us that pursuing justice for presidents who do wrong, and the individuals and groups who enable them, is not self-executing. The rule of law only works if it is activated. Now come state and federal prosecutors and civil plaintiffs, who must move quickly to hold Trump and his associates and followers responsible for the insurrection and much that preceded it over the past four years.

While the hill might feel steep and the climb slow — the justice system is not always known for its swiftness — there is a solution. Civil society organizations like ours, and many hundreds of others, can and will work together to drive accountability forward.

The law is propelled by argument and evidence. Those of us in the civil society must support prosecutors and plaintiffs by putting our shoulders to the effort of developing and publicizing the analysis of these legal matters. This can help explain accountability measures to the public and even inform the internal decision-making process of the accountability agencies. It can show them that a path is possible and how to pursue it. Whether considered a legal fire starter or an emotional support system, when civil society does its job, our movement does in fact move justice forward.

Will achieving all — or even some — of this accountability be easy? Of course not. The impeachment and trial proved that. But the fact that the majority of the public and the Senate agreed in a bipartisan fashion on Trump’s liability offers hope and motivation. The voluminous record the managers established lays out a detailed roadmap to get there, as does the work of so many dedicated state and local officials over the past four years. ¤ We should, as a nation, drive down those paths with all deliberate speed, knowing that we are in this together.

🚫 🐣 RT @_SOS_whs I believe this was a coordinated effort led by Trump like a terrorist network with cells. The plan was to rile up the crowd and use them as cover to infiltrate the capitol, stop the electoral vote & then declare a state of emergency so he could declare martial law. https://twitter.com/_SOS_whs/status/1361529001760739329?s=20/photo/1
// unfamiliar w this account

💙 🐣 RT @SteveTDennis Thread of [all] Republican senator statements on why they voted Guilty/Not Guilty on Trump’s impeachment on incitement of insurrection 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/StevenTDennis/status/1361333916494401538?s=20

🐣 RT @RobReiner Witness tampering. Obstruction of Justice. Tax fraud. Bank fraud. Insurance fraud. Money laundering. Campaign finance corruption. Rape/libel. Election tampering. Incitement of a deadly Insurrection to overthrow the US Government. Take your pick. Trump’s done ‘em all.

WaPo, Michael Gerson: Trump’s rot has reached the GOP’s roots http://wapo.st/3u2hY8l “The case presented by the House impeachment managers was so compelling and overwhelming that the extent of Republican cravenness was highlighted in neon”
// Can the GOP really produce a conservatism that opposes authoritarianism?

WaPo, Daniel Goldman: Lack of witnesses at Trump’s trial is not the problem. Witness intimidation is. http://wapo.st/3qvqESE
// The former president has a record of threatening rhetoric toward anyone who crosses him. Now there’s a record of supporters willing to back him with violence.

💙 AP: The superspreaders behind top COVID-19 conspiracy theories http://bit.ly/3jQNBNi
// with Atlantic Council’s @DFRLab Digital Forensics Lab

🐣 RT @People4Bernie “Either the Republican Party will be the party of the Big Lie, the party of conspiracy theories, the party of racism, and divisiveness, the party of violence, or else it will be… a conservative body operating within the framework of a democracy.” @BernieSanders

NYT, Michelle Goldberg: Impeachment’s Over. Bring On the Criminal Investigations. http://nyti.ms/2ZmASbL
// After Mitch McConnell’s cynical speech, Republicans can’t complain.

WaPo, Colbert King: McConnell has basically written the Senate’s censure resolution already http://wapo.st/2LXLBqe

WaPo: Pelosi says there will be a 9/11 Commission-style panel to examine Jan. 6 Capitol riot http://wapo.st/2OD1fYV

⭕ 14 Feb 2021

NYT: First They Guarded Roger Stone. Then They Joined the Capitol Attack. [Interactive] http://nyti.ms/3dLGxPD

WaPo, EJ Dionne: The beginning of the end of Trumpism http://wapo.st/3tZqm8B “By tying themselves to Trump with their votes, most House and Senate Republicans made themselves complicit in his behavior”

Led with extraordinary grace by Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.), a diverse and able group of prosecutors laid out an indelible record not only of what happened on Jan. 6 and why, but also Trump’s irresponsibility throughout his term of office: his courting of the violent far right; his celebration of violence; his habit of privileging himself and his own interests over everything and everyone else, including his unrequitedly loyal vice president.

This record matters. We often like to pretend that we can move on and forget the past. But our judgments about the past inevitably shape our future. Every political era is, in part, a reaction to the failures — perceived and real — of the previous one.

By tying themselves to Trump with their votes, most House and Senate Republicans made themselves complicit in his behavior. And Trump will prove to be even more of an albatross than Hoover, who, after all, had a moral core.

🐣📊 RT @lindsaywise 71% of American adults, including nearly half of all Republicans, believe former President Donald Trump was at least partially responsible for starting the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, according to an Ipsos poll conducted for Reuters. Reuters: http://reut.rs/3jQt77w

WaPo, Margaret Sullivan: ‘A moment of truth’? After years of Trump’s lies, amplified by MAGA media, that proved impossible for most Republicans http://wapo.st/3rNKys2

NYT: Calls Grow for Commission to Investigate Capitol Riot http://nyti.ms/2OFn5Lx
// Lawmakers are increasingly pushing for a 9/11-style panel that would examine failures and make recommendations. It could also be a final chance for Congress to hold Donald J. Trump to account.

WaPo, George Will: Now begins McConnell’s project to shrink Trump’s GOP influence http://wapo.st/3qkOMHi McConnell’s long game

[ McConnell: ]Trump fed his supporters “wild falsehoods” making him “practically and morally responsible” for Jan. 6, which was “a foreseeable consequence” of “false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole” and a “manufactured atmosphere of looming catastrophe,” all “orchestrated” by Trump, who then “feign[ed]” surprise about his mob’s behavior, as he “watched television happily.”

While explaining his opposition to the Senate’s convicting Trump, McConnell pointedly noted that “impeachment was never meant to be the final forum for American justice,” and that “we have a criminal justice system” and “we have civil litigation.” Trump’s potential problems, legal and financial, might shrink his stature in the eyes of his still-mesmerized supporters. McConnell knows, however, that the heavy lifting involved in shrinking Trump’s influence must be done by politics.

🐣 💽 RT @frontlinepbs In “Trump’s American Carnage,” FRONTLINE examines how former President Trump stoked division, violence and insurrection, from his first days as commander in chief to his last. STREAM NOW: https://to.pbs.org/39VWBvY

NYT: After the Speech: What Trump Did as the Capitol Was Attacked http://nyti.ms/37cJ2Yw
// New evidence emerged in the impeachment trial about what President Donald J. Trump did from roughly 1 to 6 p.m. the day of the Capitol attack. But many questions remain unanswered.

NYT: First They Guarded Roger Stone. Then They Joined the Capitol Attack. http://nyti.ms/2MY9YER

WaPo: With impeachment over, 9/11 probe leaders lend weight to calls for an independent commission to investigate Capitol attack http://wapo.st/2NobqjE

⭕ 13 Feb 2021 Impeachment #2: Day 5

🔄 💙 🧵 RT @jentaub Day 5 of the Donald Trump Impeachment Trial 2.0. February 13, 2021. Wonderful! They are going to debate whether to subpoena witnesses and documents ¤ 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1360605971198967809?s=20

🔄 💙 🧵 RT @atrupar “Lord, touch and move them to believe that end does not justify the means” — Senate Chaplain Barry Black’s prayer begins the Saturday portion of the #ImpeachmentTrial 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1360607971055656962?s=20

~~~~~~~~~~~

Statements of GOP Senators voting to convict Trump:
waiting on Murkowski

🐣 RT @SenBillCassidy Full statement below: “…Now before you disagree, I ask you to go on @CSPAN and listen to the argument yourself and come to your own conclusion.” 💽 https://twitter.com/SenBillCassidy/status/1359655602386051080?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @AndrewSolander Toomey: “His behavior after the election betrayed the confidence millions of us placed in him. His betrayal of the Constitution and his oath of office required conviction.” ¤ Full statement Text Block: https://twitter.com/AndrewSolender/status/1360705829444456450?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @SenatorCollins My statement on the Article of Impeachment: Text Block: https://twitter.com/SenatorCollins/status/1360725182491549697?s=20/photo/1-3

🐣 RT @NBCNews Republican Sen. Burr on vote to convict former President Trump: ¤ “By what he did and by what he did not do, President Trump violated his oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Text Block: https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/1360695797843689479?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @JakeTapper Sasse: Text Block: https://twitter.com/jaketapper/status/1360693494206062593?s=20/photo/1-2

🐣 RT @MittRomney My statement on today’s impeachment vote: Text Block: https://twitter.com/MittRomney/status/1360722571004678147?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @EvanMcMullin Republican senators who today voted without justification to protect the leader of an attempted coup against the people have invited further assaults on the republic. They’ve betrayed their oaths and the nation and should be held accountable in 2022 and beyond for having done so.

NYT: One Legacy of Impeachment: The Most Complete Account So Far of Jan. 6 http://nyti.ms/3qqj37S
// Yet for all the heart-pounding narrative of that day presented on the Senate floor, what was also striking was how many questions remained unanswered.

WaPo, Greg Sargent: The massive GOP betrayal of our democracy requires a forceful Democratic response http://wapo.st/3ddlmXY

CNN, David Axelrod: This was no triumph for Trump http://cnn.it/3djuTN0 “[E]ven as the final chapter was known from the start, it was essential that the story of Trump’s brazen acts be told”

🐣 RT @tedlieu 57 United States Senators concluded President Trump was guilty of inciting an insurrection. The highest bipartisan vote to convict in US history. That’s a damning vote.
⋙ 🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 A president has never before received so many votes from his own party to convict in an impeachment trial. 7 Republicans.

🐣 RT @SpeakerPelosi The Congress and Country can take great pride in the House Impeachment Managers, who defended our Constitution & Democracy with a moving presentation demonstrating love of country and loyalty to our oath and the facts.
⋙ Speaker[.]gov: Pelosi Statement on Impeachment Trial of Donald Trump http://bit.ly/3u7k32W
↥ ↧
🐣 RT @WordswithSteph Thank you for the truth, @SpeakerPelosi: “It is so pathetic that Senator McConnell kept the Senate shut down so that the Senate could not receive the Article of Impeachment and has used that as his excuse for not voting to convict Donald Trump.” @TeamPelosi Text Block: https://twitter.com/WordswithSteph/status/1360732234370736132?s=20/photo/1

NYT, Alexander Burns: Republican Acquittal of Trump Is a Pivotal Moment for the Party http://nyti.ms/3tRNqGp
// The vote, signaling how thoroughly the party has come to be defined by the personality of one man, is likely to leave a blemish on the historical record.

🐣 RT @CBSNews McConnell, after voting to acquit, says “there is no question” that Trump is “practically and morally responsible for provoking” Capitol riot. He explains his vote by saying he decided the former president “is constitutionally not eligible for conviction” 💽 https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/1360705708245864451?s=20/photo/1
// entire speech

💙 WaPo: Trump acquitted on impeachment charge of inciting deadly attack on the Capitol http://wapo.st/2Zdt6kH

🐣 As soon as this is over, my guess is Trump will declare he’s running in 2024 and start holding rallies

🐣 RT @tribelaw I’m in awe of the profound humanity & overwhelming decency of @RepRaskin’s story of his daughter Hannah’s concern for the innocent children of the violent insurrections. She takes after her father. Would that we all had her empathy and insight. It is her spirit that must prevail

⭕ 12 Feb 2021 Impeachment #2: Day 4

🔄 💙 🧵 RT @jentaub We have begun. It’s Day 4 of the Trump Impeachment Trial 2.0. The defense is putting on their case. The first lawyer is Van Der Veen. 📌 https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1360274181510807556?s=20

🔄 💙 🧵 RT @atrupar “Lord, infuse them with the spirit of nonpartisan patriotism” — Senate Chaplain Barry Black’s prayer begins the Trump defense portion of the #ImpeachmentTrial 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1360275280775028740?s=20
⋙ 🔄 💙 🧵 RT @atrupar [Q&A] Lindsey Graham, Kevin Cramer, and Roger Marshall use an impeachment trial question to own the libs 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1360337066215804930?s=20

✅ WaPo FactChecker: A running tally of Trump’s misleading impeachment defense http://wapo.st/3b03zRo

~~~~~~~~~~~

WaPo, Philip Bump: Once impeachment is over, the threat to Trump shifts to real courtrooms http://wapo.st/2ZflrlU

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote I said it before and I’ll say it again: senate republicans can vote to convict trump, or vote to convict themselves.
⋙ 🐣 RT @AWeissman_ The Senate is actually on trial now. Will its members be enablers of lawlessness and violate their own oaths of office, as Trump did?

💙 🧵 RT @jason_kint incredibly important to timeline. GOP Senator’s 1st person account which counters Trump’s counsel’s claims of hearsay. And confirm’s Trump’s knowledge of Pence being in danger ten minutes PRIOR to sending tweet attacking Pence for being unwilling to do something unconstitutional.
⋙⋙ 🧵 RT @ NEWS: Tuberville speaks to reporters just now and stands by account he gave to @burgessev on Wednesday ¤ “I said Mr President, they’ve taken the vice president out. They want me to get off the phone, I gotta go … probably the only guy in the world hung up on pres United States” 📌 https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1360372831868121091?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @jason_kint Extraordinary testimony from GOP member of congress. “He is not a blameless observer, he was rooting for them.” New details about Trump-McCarthy shouting match show Trump refused to call off the rioters
⋙⋙ CNN: New details about Trump-McCarthy shouting match show Trump refused to call off the rioters http://cnn.it/3rPNlRG
⋙ 🐣 RT @jason_kint And here is the statement from another GOP Member of Congress. I don’t know why @RepRaskin hasn’t called them to testify. They are acting with incredible courage , practically begging others to share their own details and the broader public isn’t aware of any of this. Text Block: https://twitter.com/jason_kint/status/1360431687776292865?s=20/photo/1
// Statement by Rep Herrera Beutler ⇈

WaPo, Aaron Blake: 5 takeaways from Day 4 of Trump’s impeachment trial http://wapo.st/3aeJJm1

🐣 RT @jdawsey Pence’s team does not agree with the Trump lawyer’s assessment that Trump was concerned about Pence’s safety. Trump didn’t call him that day — or for five days after that. No one else on Trump’s team called as Pence was evacuated to one room & another, with screaming mob nearby.

WSJ, Peggy Noonan: A Vote to Acquit Trump Is a Vote for a Lie http://on.wsj.com/37c2jJJ
// And why didn’t his supporters in Congress go out on Jan. 6 and speak to the crowds, their people?

WaPo: Mounting evidence suggests Trump knew of danger to Pence when he attacked him as lacking ‘courage’ amid Capitol siege http://wapo.st/3jL5bST

🐣 RT @holmescnn A source close to former VP Pence tells @acosta that Trump’s legal team was not telling the truth when attorney Michael van der Veen said “at no point” did the then president know Pence was in danger on January 6th. ¤ Asked whether van der Veen was lying, the source said “yes.”

🐣 RT @MollyJongFast “fight to death” doesn’t sounds like a “primary challenge”
⋙ 🐣 RT @JakeTapper This was the context of “fight to the death” from Dec 26 tweet Text Block: https://twitter.com/MollyJongFast/status/1360381062262718467?s=20/photo/1
// @real Tweet

🐣 RT @renato_mariotti The Secret Service should make a public statement now regarding whether Trump or his staff were informed when Pence was in danger.
⋙ 🐣 RT @PaulBegala I worked with the Secret Service in the Clinton White House. It’s unimaginable that agents with VP Pence would not have informed their counterparts at the WH in real time that VP was in danger. They, in turn, would have informed the President. Trump almost certainly knew.

🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 Breaking on @MSNBC: Tommy Tuberville was just asked by reporters to repeat his account of his phone call with Trump on January 6. He said, “Mr. President. They’ve taken the Vice President out. They want me to get off the phone. I gotta go.”

🐣 RT @MarshallCohen Trump’s mindset on 1/6:
—When McCarthy begged him to call off the mob, he balked, saying, “these people are more upset about the election than you.”
—When Tuberville told him Pence was in danger, he urged Tuberville to give into rioters’ demands and delay certification.

🐣 RT @aliasvaughn Ohhh, it looks like the well has broken. Time to you know, treat this the way Trump lawyers asked for, like a criminal trial? And put McCarthy’s and Tuberville words officially in records.
‼️ ⋙ 🐣 RT @MarshallCohen During the attack, McCarthy told Trump the rioters were his supporters. Trump replied, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.” McCarthy replied, “who the f*** do you think you are talking to?” (h/t @jamiegangel)
⋙⋙ CNN: New details about Trump-McCarthy shouting match show Trump refused to call off the rioters http://cnn.it/3rPNlRG

✅ WaPo FactChecker: A running tally of Trump’s misleading impeachment defense http://wapo.st/3b03zRo

✅ NYT: Trump’s defense made inaccurate claims about antifa, the Jan. 6 siege and impeachment. http://nyti.ms/3pg0W2X

🐣 RT @gtconway3d As someone who knows something about what happened 22 years ago, I can state unequivocally that there’s no equivalence and no comparison between Clinton’s lying about consensual sex in a civil case and Trump’s attempt to overturn constitutional democracy.

🐣 RT @digby57 And remember, they organizers were originally planning the rally for the days after the inauguration, modeled on the Women’s March in 2017. It was Trump and his people who changed the date to January 6th and that’s when they made it into a StopTheSteal rally. https://twitter.com/digby56/status/1360329095523880960?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 11 Feb 2021 Impeachment #2: Day 3

🔄 💙🧵 RT @jentaub 🇺🇸 It’s on. Day 3. The Trial of Donald Trump 2.0 continues at 12:04 p.m. on February 11, 2021 📌 https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1359911216588685317?s=20
// Defense

🔄 💙🧵 RT @atrupar The Thursday installment of Trump’s #ImpeachmentTrial begins with a Baked Alaska clip 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1359914413709492232?s=20

◕ WaPo, Philip Bump: A year of election misinformation from Trump, visualized http://wapo.st/2LJ33OZ “Even today, three-quarters of Republicans falsely believe that there was widespread fraud in the election, according to polling from Quinnipiac University” ● https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1360149221647745026?s=20/photo/1
// chart: mention of election-related terms by Trump or Fox/Fox Business

TheAtlantic, David Frum: Trumpism Is Violence http://bit.ly/3jEvoCK
// The former president made violence integral to his political appeal from the beginning to the end of his tenure in office.

🐣 RT @BillKristol FWIW ¤ Reading a couple of tea leaves, adding rounded teaspoon of wishful thinking:
Likely guilty votes: Romney, Sasse, Toomey, Collins, Murkowski, Cassidy
Could vote guilty: McConnell, Shelby, Burr, Inhofe, Capito, Grassley, Portman, Cornyn, Tillis, Sullivan, Barasso, Hoeven ¤ 68-32
⋙ 🐣 Agree on likelys (true brave souls and/or rational thinkers)
On “coulds”: it will be all or none (CYA factor) 🤞

🐣 RT @nytmike A little more than a month after the Capitol siege, a fuller picture of the injuries suffered by police has emerged, showing how Jan. 6 resulted in one of the worst days of injuries for law enforcement in the U.S. since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
⋙ NYT: Officers’ Injuries, Including Concussions, Show Scope of Violence at Capitol Riot http://nyti.ms/2Nf0hl0
// The impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump has heightened attention on the rioters’ attacks on officers, some of which resulted in serious damage.

🐣 RT @TheTweetOfJohn As Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers, a core source of original meaning, the framers “borrowed” the model from the English. And, as Raskin pointed out, every English impeachment during the lifetimes of the Founders was of a former official.
⋙ Politico, Jed Shugarman: Impeach an Ex-President? The Founders Were Clear: That’s How They Wanted It http://politi.co/3pdpN7p
// The Trump legal team is getting history wrong—and, oddly, the Senate GOP just voted against their own legal philosophy.

Politico, Jed Shugarman: Impeach an Ex-President? The Founders Were Clear: That’s How They Wanted It http://politi.co/3pdpN7p
// The Trump legal team is getting history wrong—and, oddly, the Senate GOP just voted against their own legal philosophy.

WaPo: Mounting evidence suggests Trump knew of danger to Pence when he attacked him as lacking ‘courage’ amid Capitol siege http://wapo.st/3jL5bST

NYT: Takeaways From Day 3 of Trump’s Impeachment Trial http://nyti.ms/3acvFK1
// The House managers concluded their case by asserting that the Jan. 6 violence wouldn’t have happened without former President Donald Trump and that his supporters believed he had invited their help.

🐣 RT @tribelaw If “conviction [is] out of reach, the House managers are aiming their arguments at two other audiences: the American people whose decision to deny Mr. Trump a second term was put at risk & historians who will one day render their own judgments.”
⋙ NYT: If Convicting Trump Is Out of Reach, Managers Seek a Verdict From the Public and History http://nyti.ms/3d1QCsU
// By Peter Baker; The House Democrats prosecuting former President Donald J. Trump may not win the Senate trial, but they are using it to make the searing images of havoc the inexpungible legacy of his presidency.

WaPo, AaronBlake: Four takeaways from Day 3 of Trump’s impeachment trial http://wapo.st/2Nhplbd

🐣 RT @LincolnsBible The GOP is a domestic terror party. ¤ It must be defeated in the next three national elections (at least) in order for our republic to survive as a democracy.

🐣 RT @NormOrnstein When I lost my son, I was in a fog for weeks, nearly paralyzed with grief. To imagine that @RepRaskin has not just gotten up every day, but has done this master class in constitutional law, philosophy, logic, patriotism & more with eloquence, force, passion…My God. What a hero.

🐣 RT @ChrisAlbertoLaw Dear @RepRaskin: ¤ Thank you for your leadership, dedication to marshaling the evidence, & your compelling presentation of that evidence against Donald Trump. ¤ You & your team demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt he plotted & intended to end America’s 244-year-old republic.

CNN: Five people associated with Proud Boys arrested for Capitol riot on conspiracy charges http://cnn.it/3tSFmVy

In a criminal complaint, an FBI agent described how the group “moved closely to each other” inside the Capitol on January 6 and wore pieces of fluorescent orange tape affixed to their clothing or gear. ¤ Some are accused of leading crowds of rioters as they pushed through multiple police lines and made their way through the Capitol grounds. They all wore tactical-style gear, including helmets and gloves. One had a wooden club or ax handle that was initially disguised as a flag.

🐣 RT @ What Jamie Raskin meant was, good luck living with your consciences after you vote to acquit this guy. You’re betraying everything this country has claimed to believe about itself all the way back to its founding.
⋙ Esquire, CharlesPPierce: Jamie Raskin Offered Republicans the Chance to Be Winter Soldiers—or Live With the Consequences http://bit.ly/3tY3fvh
// You’re betraying everything this country has claimed to believe about itself all the way back to its founding.

🐣 RT @DanRather Trump’s incitement of an insurrectionist mob didn’t begin on 1/6. It was months in the making, built atop a toxic foundation of white supremacy, false senses of victimhood, and anti-democratic tendencies that sadly has been rooted in American life since the nation’s founding.

🐣 RT @MSNBC Several GOP senators met with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during an impeachment trial recess. ¤ The group included Sens. Thune, Cassidy, Murkowski, Romney, Moran, and Burr. […]

🐣 RT @burgessct Today’s closing by @RepRaskin masterfully left these five questions on the table for an answer from the defense in the #impeachment trial. https://twitter.com/burgessct/status/1359991736295063554?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @DeanObeidallah “Justice Department says an Oath Keepers leader waited for Trump’s direction before Capitol attack” How much more proof is needed before Trump is indicted for crimes!
⋙ CNN: Justice Department says an Oath Keepers leader waited for Trump’s direction before Capitol attack http://cnn.it/3rIXKOP

🐣 RT @BillKristol “Never before in this country has a sitting president tried to steal an election to stay in power. Yes, it didn’t work…It could have been worse. Had the election been closer, had Republicans controlled the House…they might’ve actually pulled it off.”
⋙ The Bulwark, Tim Miller: Not My Party: Guilty, Guilty http://bit.ly/373Sa1O
// We’re three weeks deep in the Biden presidency. Trump has been dispatched to Mar-a-Lago, where he’s spending his days sitting around a Saddam-Hussein-style drawing room, feeling sad that he can’t hate tweet anymore.

⏳ WaPo, Philip Bump: Timeline: How Trump picked the rioters over his vice president http://wapo.st/3jR2Kyt

WSJ Editorial: The Trump Impeachment Evidence http://on.wsj.com/2MZzVnb “[T]he House impeachment managers this week are laying out a visceral case that the Capitol riot of Jan. 6 was a disgrace for which President Trump bears responsibility”
// He might be acquitted, but he won’t live down his disgraceful conduct.

⭕ 10 Feb 2021 Impeachment #2: Day 2

🔄 💙🐣🧵 RT @jentaub It’s on. Day 2 of the Trump Impeachment Trial 2.0. February 10, 2021. We will have a dinner break at 6 p.m. ¤ 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/jentaub/status/1359548695038087169?s=20

🔄 💙🐣🧵 RT @atrupar Raskin: “This case is much worse than someone who falsely shouts fire in a crowded theater. It’s more like like a case where the town fire chief, who’s paid to put out fires, sends a mob not to yell fire in a crowded theater, but to actually set the theater on fire.”

🔄 💙 WaPo: See all the evidence presented in Trump’s impeachment trial http://wapo.st/3qeb1ii

NYT: Georgia Prosecutors Open Criminal Inquiry Into Trump’s Efforts to Subvert Election http://nyti.ms/3d5bRtK

TheAtlantic, David Frum: There Is No Defense—Only Complicity http://bit.ly/3jGb4ka
// Republican senators are shrinking before the eyes of the whole country.

💙 🧵 RT @kyledchnney TUBERVILLE tells reporters tonight that when Trump called him on Jan. 6, he informed the president that security had just taken Pence out of the chamber for safety. “I said ‘Mr. President, they just took the vice president out, I’ve got to go.” […]
⋙ 🐣 RT @ From what I can establish from the record:
-Trump spoke to Tuberville sometime between 2-2:15 (Deseret News)
-Pence was evacuated at 2:15pm, prompting Tuberville to relay this to Trump and end the call (Tuberville comment)
-Trump tweeted his attack against Pence at 2:24pm
⋙ 🐣 RT @ NEW: Sen. Tuberville’s claim that he informed Trump *directly* on Jan. 6 that Pence had just been evacuated by security is a new and potentially significant point on the timeline. ¤ Trump tweeted his attack on Pence around the time of that call.
⋙⋙ Politico: Tuberville says he informed Trump of Pence’s evacuation before rioters reached Senate http://politi.co/3rIRs1U
// It’s long been unclear precisely when Trump learned of the danger that Congress and his vice president faced.

NYT: Trump Justice Department Sought to Block Search of Giuliani Records http://nyti.ms/3a9c3GL
// Manhattan prosecutors had been prepared to seek a search warrant for electronic records related to powerful Ukrainians who had helped Rudolph Giuliani dig for dirt on the Biden family.

🐣 RT @ChrisMurpheyCT It’s always struck me as 100% deliberate that Trump made no plan for what the crowd was supposed to do when they got to the Capitol. There was no stage, no speeches, no instructions on what to do. So of course when they arrived, the mob did what Trump said and “fought like hell”
⋙🚫 🐣 🌎 RT @j2dumfounded Have you seen this? They had multiple events, including a Jericho March around the Capitol at noon, encircling it. https://twitter.com/j2dumfounded/status/1359906293213876224?s=20/photo/1
// where did this come from?

🐣 RT @TheLastWord .@SenWhitehouse joins @Lawrence to discuss how the Capitol riot was fueled by a network of Republican support and the possibility of “some connivance” to create a delay that gave the mob enough time to breach the Capitol. 💽 https://twitter.com/TheLastWord/status/1359711753114968064?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @jaketapper This tweet was from 2:24 pm ET Jan 6… ¤ The security camera footage of Pence and his family being whisked out of the Capitol by Secret Service that we saw for the first time today was from 2:26 pm ET https://twitter.com/jaketapper/status/1359635955389509638?s=20/photo/1
// Trump Tweet: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage … ”

🐣 RT @donie Many, many of videos the House impeachment managers are using as evidence today came from Parler. ¤ But we might not have seen them at all had it not been for @donk_enby.
⋙ CNN: How a quick-thinking computer programmer helped the case against Trump http://cnn.it/3a5ug7T

🐣 RT @HillaryClinton If Senate Republicans fail to convict Donald Trump, it won’t be because the facts were with him or his lawyers mounted a competent defense. It will be because the jury includes his co-conspirators.

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom The anger I feel watching is only partly about morons overrunning the Capitol. It’s knowing there is a group of Republican senators saying “I don’t care what you see with your own eyes, I’m going to vote to acquit him because I like eating at restaurants in Washington.”

🐣 RT @kentnish Snowfall on Day 2 of #impeachment Part 2, where House prosecutors present dramatic new video of Capitol attack. (: @sarahdwire, @DavidLauter) #ImpeachmentTrial2 https://twitter.com/kentnish/status/1359686926027132932?s=20/photo/1

💽 WaPo: Previously unpublished video shows Pence, Romney, Schumer and others rushing to evacuate the Capitol http://wapo.st/3qbT03Q

🐣 RT @BillKristol We’re only part way through but I’ve seen enough to say this: All honor to the House impeachment managers and their staff, who, under great pressure, have had the coolness and capacity to create a trial record that tells the truth of January 6th to our own and future generations.

WaPo: House impeachment managers emphasize the danger to Pence and other top officials in harrowing retelling of Jan. 6 attack http://wapo.st/2Z4Vu8p

🐣 RT @kyledcheney TUBERVILLE tells reporters tonight that when Trump called him on Jan. 6, he informed the president that security had just taken Pence out of the chamber for safety. ¤ “I said ‘Mr. President, they just took the vice president out, I’ve got to go.”
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @kyledcheney Seems significant that a senator is acknowledging telling Trump *directly* that Pence was under threat, and Trump still didn’t say anything publicly about it.

NYT: Takeaways From Day 2 of Trump’s Impeachment Trial http://nyti.ms/2Z4KMPd
// Former President Donald J. Trump’s Twitter feed made a prominent appearance, and the House members prosecuting the case leaned on his words and those of his supporters to argue for conviction.

🐣 RT @RepSwalwell The mob, with flex cuffs and rioters in full military gear, was only a mere 58 steps away from Senators and staff. ¤ Down just one hallway. ¤ If the doors had been breached minutes earlier, imagine what the flex cuffs could have been used for.

💽 NYT: Impeachment Video Reveals a True American Horror Story http://nyti.ms/3rI1oZi
// Using never-before-seen footage from Jan. 6, the House impeachment managers wove video from the Capitol into a narrative of terror.

⭕ 9 Feb 2021 Impeachment #2: Day 1

💙 🧵 RT @atrupar Rep. Raskin’s opening impeachment trial statement: “Their argument is that if you commit an impeachable offense in your last few weeks in office, you do it with constitutional impunity.” 📌 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1359206921039974406?s=20
⋙ 🐣 RT @atrupar Here is the entire video timeline of the January 6 insurrection as presented by the House impeachment managers 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1359216739054190593?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @ChrisMurphyCT I have a feeling Trump’s 6pm tweet from January 6th (“Remember this day forever!”) is going to show up over and over again in this trial (the managers brought it up twice today). It’s essentially an admission of guilt.

🐣 RT @BeschlossDC Castor and Schoen must be the most incompetent legal representation of any modern President, incumbent or otherwise.

NYT: 5 Takeaways From Day One of Trump’s Second Impeachment Trial http://nyti.ms/371y2xj
// Before senators could get started on the charge against former President Donald J. Trump, they spent a day debating whether they had the right to try a former president in the first place.

💽 MSNBC, TheReidout: Neal Katyal: Jamie Raskin gave ‘best oral argument I’ve ever heard’ in Trump impeachment trial http://on.msnbc.com/2MIWkoY
// House Impeachment manager Jamie Raskin gave ‘maybe the best oral argument I’ve ever heard,’ says Neal Katyal: “It was both head and heart.”

Vote on Contitutionality: 56/44: Bill Cassidy (LA), Susan Collins (ME), Murkowski, Mitt Romney (UT), Ben Sasse (NE), Pat Toomy (PA)

NYT, Peter Baker: The First Trial Seemed Abstract. This One Is a Visceral Reckoning Over Trump. http://nyti.ms/2Z3yZ3O
// At issue will be many aspects that defined Donald Trump’s presidency: his relentless assaults on truth, his fomenting of divisions, his shattering of norms and his undermining of an election.

Bloomberg: McConnell Signals to GOP Trump Impeachment Is a Conscience Vote http://bloom.bg/3tIe2tg

WaPo: 6 Republicans join Democrats in rejecting  argument trial is unconstitutional http://wapo.st/3a3l8kg Bill Cassidy (LA) , Susan Collins (ME), Murkowski, Mitt Romney (UT), Ben Sasse (NE), Pat Toomey (PA)
// FP title: Senate votes to pursue Trump impeachment trial after declaring the proceedings constitutional

🐣 🖼 RT @joshscampbell I took this picture today inside the U.S. Capitol as the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump was getting underway. ¤ Physical and emotional scars of the deadly January 6th domestic terrorist attack remain. https://twitter.com/joshscampbell/status/1359276656939122690?s=20/photo/1
// broken window

🐣 RT @chrrislhayes The argument is: there’s no proper procedure with which you can impeach a president for what he did so late in the term NO MATTER WHAT HE ACTUALLY DID. That’s the argument.

NBCNews: In impeachment trial, a clarifying moment for the GOP http://nbcnews.to/3a2RMCo
// Analysis: Across the political spectrum, the expected acquittal of Donald Trump foretells a future of right-wing populism for the GOP.

Romney was joined on the Republican side by Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Ben Sasse of Nebraska. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, voted with Paul and the rest of the GOP, but said he did so only to force a debate on the constitutionality of the trial.

MSNBC Live Coverage:
● Nicolle Wallace on @MSNBC: Impervious to the truth; “Today was the day the GOP broke up with the Constitution.”
● Daniel Goldman: Schoen hard to follow; did not address disqualification clause; did not address that T impeached while in office
● Michael Steele: Republicans will pay a price for January 6th
● Brian Williams: Lawfirm of Meandering and Furious
● Ari Melber: Part My Cousin Vinny and Part Cheshire Cat; few serious questions addressed; but Senate has ruled: Senate does have jurisdiction
● Chuck Rosenberg: Political off-ramp; sole power to try all impeachment’s: dispiriting and disgusting
● Goldman: Democratic-led side dominated: public opinion still matters
● Jeremy Bash: Totally incoherent; defense of Donald Trump utterly collapsed; GOP will engage in jury nullification; “they killed a cop, Nicolle” biggest violation of oaths of office in our history
● John Heilemann: Public opinion could weigh in: puts future of party in danger; not hopeful they will see that writing on the wall

🐣 RT @AWeissmann_ The Trump defense today is like a criminal defense summation that addresses anything and everything but the evidence.

RT @harrylittman This is a seriously wrong-headed argument, i.e he can still be prosecuted criminally. That is specifically for another purpose and another kind of transgression. The abuse of executive power by the one individual who holds it has a special unique remedy under the Constitution.

🐣 RT @danielsgoldman Thinking same thing…
⋙ 🐣 RT @NealKatyal I might have missed it, but have Trump’s lawyers really responded to the main argument of the House managers, which is that Trump was not a former official when he was impeached and when he acted? (The Judge Michael McConnell argument). We are almost 2 hours in.

🐣 RT @BarbMcQuade Article II provides for a mandatory penalty for conviction – removal. It does not in any way limit impeachment or trial to sitting officers. Article I says another remedy is disqualification from office. Hard to take lectures about textualism from this lawyer.

🐣 RT @JillWineBanks Trump lawyer argument re due process is absurd & insulting. The trial is where a defendant gets to confront witnesses against him & present his case — not when House votes impeachment which is equivalent of grand jury indictment where defendant has no role. That is due process!

🐣 RT @.Teri_Kanefield He is talking about the “impeachment of a private citizen.” ¤ Trump was impeached while in office for offenses committing while in office. There wasn’t time for a trial. ¤ He is bulldozing right over the facts and ignoring logic.

🐣 RT @gtconway3d This bill-of-attainder argument is beyond ridiculous.
Second Lawyer ⇈

🐣 RT @gtvonway3d This is making my head hurt
⋙ 🐣 from from Tweedlebumble to Tweedleblather

🐣 RT @RadioFreeTom The president’s lawyer basically saying that if you continue with this trial there will be another Civil War

🐣 RT @davidfrum Schoen angry that the House managers used un-American concepts “experts” “research” “preparation” and “making points”
⋙ 🐣 also “radical” and “partisan” ~ ie trigger word salad
⋙⋙ 🐣 and “cancelled”

🐣 RT @marceelias Trump would have done better if he had just released the Kraken! 🐙

🐣 RT @bradheath President Trump’s lawyer says “the American people just spoke” by choosing a new administration, which is a pretty stark departure from Trump’s false claim that President Biden did not actually win the election.

🐣 RT @KatyTurNBC Trump source on Castor to @PeterAlexander @albamonica “This is about lowering the temperature from the Democrats’ emotionally-charged opening argument before dropping the hammer on the unconstitutional nature of this impeachment witch hunt. Very clear, deliberative strategy.”
⋙ 🐣 RT @jrubinblogger bahahahahahahahhahahahahhahahaha

🐣 RT @sfpelosi Bruce Castor just admitted that Donald Trump lost the election. ¤ Does Trump know that was in the script? ¤ #ImpeachmentTrial

🐣 RT @bradheath President Trump’s lawyer says “the American people just spoke” by choosing a new administration, which is a pretty stark departure from Trump’s false claim that President Biden did not actually win the election.

Trump’s first lawyer ⇊
🐣 RT @McBlondeLand Which one is Bruce Castor, the rape apologist lawyer or the mob lawyer?
🐣 RT @eliehonig Castor: “Congress shall make no law abridging… all of these things.” ¤ Words that shall ring through the ages.
🐣 RT @BrianKlaass Trump is not going to like his lawyer saying that the American people were smart enough to pick a new president if they disliked the old one – and that’s what “they just did.”
🐣 RT @ronfilipkowsky If Trump could tweet, Bruce Castor would have already been fired.
🐣 RT @eliehonig Kids: there’s a fine line between speaking naturally to an audience and straight-up winging it. Castor is demonstrating the dangers of the latter.
🐣 RT @danielsgoldman Has he mentioned the constitutional argument yet?? Isn’t that what this is supposed to be about?
🐣 RT @harrylittman “Nebraska is quite a judicial thinking place.”
🐣 RT @danpfeiffer I’m getting the sense the Trump Legal Team didn’t send their best
🐣 RT @AmyAThatcher I think Bruce Castor is a few fries short of a Happy Meal.
🐣 RT @BradMossEsq Oh my God, you do not wing it at the impeachment trial. You do not start rambling on and making comments about stories you vaguely recall and then end it with I don’t remember.
🐣 RT @maggieNYT I had this and she just…tweeted it out.
⋙ 🐣 RT @seungminkim If Trump still had his Twitter account, he may Tweet-fire this lawyer on the spot.
🐣 RT @gtconway3d This is really, really, really bad.
🐣 RT @kylegriffin1 I don’t know what’s happening.
🐣 RT @BeschlossDC Castor is a fitting choice — reminder of the other fourth-raters (being kind) that Trump hired to advise him for four years.
🐣 RT @maddow Ever have one of those nightmares where it’s your time to talk and everybody’s looking at you, but you haven’t prepared anything?
🐣 RT @MaryLTrump Oy, Trump’s impeachment lawyer. They’re not sending their best.

🐣 RT @MaryLTrump Oy, Trump’s impeachment lawyer. They’re not sending their best.

🐣 RT @MaryLTrump That video alone should be enough. The republicans ignore the evidence at their peril, and ours.

🐣 RT @mehdihasan This is a fantastic and very useful NPR resource and database on the Jan 6th attackers and arrests:
💙 🔄 ⋙ NPR: The Capitol Siege: The Arrested And Their Stories http://n.pr/3aLAl8Q
// More than 200 people have been charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. NPR is looking at the cases. Each provides clues to questions surrounding the attack.

DailyBeast, Matt Lewis: Real Conservatives Want the Senate to Convict Donald Trump http://bit.ly/3q4fe88
// I remember when the Republicans were the party of law and order. These senators should be ashamed of themselves.

🐣 RT @MeidasTouch #ConvictAndDisqualifyTrump #ConvictTrump 💽 https://twitter.com/MeidasTouch/status/1359188448670744577?s=20/photo/1
// We are taking on Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and any elected official or candidate up and down the ballot this cycle who supported the insurrection. Chip in at the link in our video to support our efforts.

NYT, Giovanni Russonello: Trump Isn’t the Only One on Trial. The Conservative Media Is, Too. http://nyti.ms/2MSsQVo
// The former president’s second impeachment trial begins oral arguments on Tuesday. But conservative media organizations face an even more consequential test in the weeks and mon

WaPo: Trump’s lawyers say he was immediately ‘horrified’ by the Capitol attack. Here’s what his allies and aides said really happened that day. http://wapo.st/2Lz7SKG

⭕ 8 Feb 2021

⋙ ForeignAffairs, Danielle Lupton: Biden Has a Narrow Window to Restore U.S. Credibility http://fam.ag/3axMorl
// The Damage to America’s Reputation Is Reparable—but Only If the New Administration Moves Fast

NYT, Giovanni Russonello: Trump Isn’t the Only One on Trial. The Conservative Media Is, Too. http://nyti.ms/2MSsQVo
// The former president’s second impeachment trial begins oral arguments on Tuesday. But conservative media organizations face an even more consequential test in the weeks and months ahead.

ABCNews: Russian statistics soar for virus-linked deaths in 2020 http://abcn.ws/3rFvkp9
// Russia’s updated statistics on coronavirus-linked deaths show that 162,429 people with COVID-19 died last year, a number much higher than previously reported by government officials

🐣 RT @MuellerSheWrote ZING! Biden will ask all but 2 trump era US attorneys to resign as early as Tuesday. Of the 2 remaining, one is working on the Hunter Biden investigation, & the other is Durham. Durham will stay on as special counsel but resign as US Atty in Connecticut.
⋙ CNN: DOJ to ask Trump-appointed US attorneys to resign http://cnn.it/3cU0lBq

🧵 RT @CheriJacobus I remember seeing GOP outcast, clownish Roger Stone in his wide-striped mobster suits on TV here & there in some association with Trump. But that was it. I think Ailes & O’Reilly played ball with him bcs they thought he was a clown and it’d be fun. Zucker was a different story 📌 https://twitter.com/CheriJacobus/status/1359015187341312000?s=20

💙 ≣ USNews: READ: House Impeachment Managers Respond to Trump Defense Memo [pdf] http://bit.ly/3p3YxZd 5p
↥ ↧
💙 📔 NYT: Read Trump’s Impeachment Defense Memo [pdf{ http://nyti.ms/3aOqpuZ 78p
// In a 78-page brief submitted to the Senate, former President Donald J. Trump’s lawyers put forward their first sustained legal defense since Mr. Trump was impeached by the House for the second time.

🐣 RT @ForeignAffairs “In the long run, unless the United States embraces a whole-of-society approach that can tackle extremist radicalization at its roots, it will continue to live with the repercussions of the violence it saw at the Capitol.”
⋙ ForeignAffairs, Cynthia Miller-Idress and David Koehler: A Plan to Beat Back the Far Right http://fam.ag/3a3ni3j
// 2/3/2021; Violent extremism in the United States demands a social response.

WaPo, Eugene Robinson: Why progressives should be celebrating Liz Cheney and Ben Sasse right now http://wapo.st/3tHvI8c “It is in everyone’s interest that the GOP become an actual political party again, rather than a cult dedicated … to ‘the weird worship of one dude’”

🧵 RT @RepAdamSchiff You’re going to hear a lot of bad faith arguments about impeachment.
Trump’s team will argue you can’t convict former officials or presidents.
But history shows otherwise! And the Founders disagreed, too.
Let’s turn to 18th Century Britain. (Stay with me, folks)
🚨🚨🚨 THREAD: 📌 https://twitter.com/RepAdamSchiff/status/1358940270230982661?s=20
// highlights from musical Alexander Hamilton

🐣 RT @lawfare On Feb. 4, President Biden specified the organization and membership for his national security decision-making system—with changes that reflect the administration’s focus on science, global engagement, cybersecurity, and rule of law. ¤ Here’s John Bellinger:
⋙ Lawfare, John Bellinger: National Security Memorandum 2—What’s New in Biden’s NSC Structure? http://bit.ly/3q1GwMc

🐣 RT @CNNPolitics BREAKING: The Justice Department is expected to ask Trump-appointed US attorneys to resign, except two overseeing investigations ordered during his administration https://cnn.it/3jvRmYi

NYT, David D. Kirkpatrick and Mike McIntire: ‘Its Own Domestic Army’: How the G.O.P. Allied Itself With Militants http://nyti.ms/2MM34SQ
// Actions taken by paramilitary groups in Michigan last year, emboldened by President Donald J. Trump, signaled a profound shift in Republican politics and a national crisis in the making.

WaPo, Michael Gerson: The Framers weren’t fools http://wapo.st/2N5XQ4i “Think on this a moment. If only current officeholders can be impeached and convicted, only those officials who feel confident of Senate acquittal would choose to remain in office until the vote.”
// full title: Trump supporters want us to believe the Framers were fools

WaPo, Adam Kinzinger: My fellow Republicans, convicting Trump is necessary to save America http://wapo.st/39ZBH0f “If the GOP doesn’t take a stand, the chaos of the past few months, and the past four years, could quickly return”

WaPo, Ann Marimow and Tom Hamburger: It’s not a typical trial. Lawyers in the Trump impeachment case will argue big constitutional questions. http://wapo.st/3p3LKFS 144 constitutional law scholars weigh in

NYT: Georgia Officials Review Trump Phone Call as Scrutiny Intensifies http://nyti.ms/3tCVCKl “Former prosecutors said Mr. Trump’s calls might run afoul of at least three state laws”
// The office of Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, has initiated a fact-finding inquiry into Donald Trump’s January phone call to Mr. Raffensperger pressuring him to “find” votes.

WaPo: U.S. rejoins U.N. Human Rights Council, reversing Trump-era policy http://wapo.st/3tEZN8j

🧵 RT @JYSexton All right. ¤ For people who want to know just how dangerous conspiracy theories like Qanon are, and want to know how and why we must defeat them, let’s talk about the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and what these paranoid appeals are capable of doing. ¤ 1/ 📌 https://twitter.com/JYSexton/status/1358799962520379393?s=20

⋙ 🐣 RT @ Popish conspiracy theories would reach their fever pitch in 1688 as James II, a Catholic monarch, used his powers to make his Catholic son the heir to his thrown. ¤ It was a *sign* and power-hungry officials looking to gain advantage used conspiracy theories to attack. ¤ 5/
⋙ 🐣 RT @ Believing they were “saving their country from a conspiracy,” wealthy elites in England invited William of Orange, a Dutch Protestant, to invade their country. ¤ Follow this. To save their country they invited an outsider to invade it and take it over. ¤ 6/
⋙ 🐣 RT @JYSexton We’ve seen this paranoid framing time and time again. It’s the same thing as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It’s the New World Order. It’s the Deep State. ¤ It’s a “state within a state” theory that legitimizes violence, oppression, and coups. ¤ 11/
⋙ 🐣 RT @JYSexton What Fox News and the Right are peddling is a tradition of reactionary fearmongering. These “plots” and “crime syndicates” are the same thing that the powerful have been communicating for centuries now. ¤ It’s the same narrative and for the same purposes. ¤ 12/
⋙ 🐣 RT @ The point is this: we’re not dealing with some new novelty. We’re dealing with the dark side of humanity, a narrative/political tactic that has worked for centuries. ¤ This isn’t something to ignore, it’s something to understand, study, and counteract. ¤ 14/ …

💙 🐣 RT @ProjectLincoln Convict Trump. ¤ #SaveAmerica 💽 https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1358777607723118612?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 7 Feb 2021

💙 DailyBeast, Dean Obeidallah: Forget Impeachment—Donald Trump Should Be Under Arrest http://bit.ly/3tAqrzi “Trump being charged with crimes is not some progressive fever drive. It’s what justice demands”
// The Senate needs to go about its obviously constitutional business. But I sure hope prosecutors in New York and Washington are going about theirs, too.

Donald J. Trump faces his impeachment trial in the Senate this week, and that is good and necessary. But he should already be facing criminal charges arising from his incitement of the deadly attack on our Capitol, plus federal campaign finance crimes he committed with his former fixer Michael Cohen. Remember “Individual 1”? (There’s also Trump’s possible crimes for intentionally lying to the public about the risks of COVID-19 because he believed it helped him politically.)

Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner explained to me that the delay in Trump being charged with felony level federal election crimes may only be temporary. Kirschner noted that the Southern District of New York prosecutors may “be waiting for Merrick Garland—Joe Biden’s Attorney General nominee—to get in place so they can begin to pull the trigger on indictments.” Let’s hope this is simply justice delayed, not denied.

Now let’s talk Trump’s crimes arising from the deadly insurrection. Given Trump’s conduct leading up to Jan. 6, his actions that day and the countless people who have stated they attacked the Capitol because Trump incited them, Trump should already be charged with the federal crime of “inciting an insurrection” and possibly “seditious conspiracy.”

The relevant part of the seditious conspiracy statute makes it a felony if two or more people agree to “use force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States.” In this instance, the crime occurred when Trump supporters—incited by Trump—delayed the execution of the federal law that mandated Congress meet on Jan. 6 at 1:00 that day to certify the electoral results.

In fact, Kirschner shared that, “I think that all of my friends and colleagues at the DC U.S. Attorney’s office are working night and day to build a seditious conspiracy case, and incitement to insurrection case against Donald Trump.” They should be.

I encourage people to read the “Statement of Facts” portion of the House impeachment managers’ brief filed Tuesday that lays out more than just the grounds to convict Trump in the impeachment trial—it makes a compelling case to charge Trump with at least insurrection. While the House managers, headed by Rep. Jamie Raskin, do not cite the federal statute for this felony given that the impeachment trial is not criminal, they lay out the roadmap for prosecutors to build a case.

One of the most important points they make is that Trump’s misconduct is not solely about the words of his January 6 speech before the attack. Instead, they argue in powerful detail that Trump laid the groundwork for the insurrection over a period of months beginning with his repeated comments during the campaign that “the only way we’re going to lose this election is if this election is rigged.” Trump was priming his supporters to be on board with this concept if he lost the election.

From there, the House managers highlight Trump’s post-election lies about the election being “stolen” through his call for his most rabid supporters to gather in Washington, D.C.—not on any random day, but on the very day federal law mandated Congress meet to certify the election results.

The House managers’ brief leaves you with the sense that Trump radicalized some in his base —like ISIS does–with a non-stop drumbeat of lies and fiery rhetoric intended to incite them to the doorstep of violence. And finally, on Jan. 6, Trump pushed them through that door, activating them to use force to stop the certification.

In fact, the House managers—without invoking the word “radicalization”—lay out that very concept in this passage of their brief: “By the day of the rally, President Trump had spent months using his bully pulpit to insist that the Joint Session of Congress was the final act of a vast plot to destroy America.” They added, “As a result— and as had been widely reported—the crowd was armed, angry, and dangerous…Incited by President Trump, his mob attacked the Capitol.”

The House managers also emphasis that during the attack, numerous Trump supporters declared via livestream videos that they were there because Trump incited them. For example, they write, one “declared that ‘[o]ur president wants us here. We wait and take orders from our president.’ Yet another rioter yelled at police officers, ‘[w]e were invited here…by the President of the United States!’” …

WSJ, Chuck Cooper: The Constitution Doesn’t Bar Trump’s Impeachment Trial http://on.wsj.com/3jqM1BL “The senators who supported Mr. Paul’s motion should reconsider their view and judge the former president’s misconduct on the merits”
// Removal from office is best understood as akin to a ‘mandatory minimum’ sentence for a crime.

TheAtlantic, David Frum: Impeachment Is Working—Just Not as the Framers Expected http://bit.ly/3cRYvBc “He won’t be scotched. He will be marked. That will not be justice. It may be enough”
// The case against despair

… In 2020, Trump could at least count on support from a majority of Republicans. Not in 2021. This time, only 36 percent of Republicans agree that Trump did “nothing wrong,” down from 56 percent of Republicans who said so last time. ¤ Yes, Trump can probably still expect a second acquittal in 2021. But Trump has three main post-presidential goals, and the forthcoming trial will do severe and possibly lethal damage to all three.

Trump’s maximal post-presidential goal is to position himself for a comeback run in 2024. ¤ Failing that, Trump would like to demonstrate that—president or not—he remains the dominant force within the Republican Party, a leader surpassing all others. ¤ Failing even that, Trump would at a minimum like to prove that he remains a potent-enough figure to frighten away federal and state prosecutors from investigating his businesses for tax or bank fraud. ¤ The second impeachment in the House has already complicated these goals. The second trial in the Senate will complicate these goals further.

The political world is already witnessing demonstrations of Trump’s ebbing impunity within his own party. Ten Republicans voted in the House to impeach. Five Republicans voted in the Senate to proceed with the trial. Two-thirds of the House caucus rejected Trump’s urgings to remove Representative Liz Cheney from leadership for her vote to impeach. Republicans, sadly, are not willing to unite to repudiate Trump. But they are not uniting to exonerate him either.

In his legal briefs, Trump has argued that he was justified in his attempt to overturn the 2020 election. Senate Republicans may want to acquit Trump on technicalities. He will not consent to that. It’s his way to implicate everybody around him in his worst behavior. Will he compel Senate Republicans to disassociate themselves from him? Or will they succumb to the trap set by Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats, who are trying to identify all Republicans with the bigoted conspiracizing of QAnon and the violent sedition of January 6? The trial presents many hazards for both Trump and his party, and the odds are good that they will emerge from the trial exposed and weakened. …

A criminal trial is binary: guilty or not guilty, punishment or release. Politics offers a much wider range of outcomes. The Senate does not have to vote to disqualify Trump to destroy his future political prospects. It does not have to convict him on the impeachment charge to signal state and federal prosecutors that it’s safe to proceed against private-citizen Trump—that ex-president Trump has forfeited some large measure of the deference normally extended to former presidents. ¤ He won’t be scotched. He will be marked. That will not be justice. It may be enough.

NYT, Nicholas Fandos: Impeachment Case Aims to Marshal Outrage of Capitol Attack Against Trump http://nyti.ms/3aHDgPH “To have any chance of making an effective case, the managers believe, they must make clear it is Mr. Trump who is on trial, not his party”
// Armed with lessons from the last impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump, prosecutors plan a shorter, video-heavy presentation to confront Republicans with the fury they felt around the Capitol riot.

… [W]hen the trial opens on Tuesday at the very scene of the invasion, the prosecutors will try to force senators who lived through the deadly rampage as they met to formalize President Biden’s election victory to reckon with the totality of Mr. Trump’s monthslong drive to overturn the election and his failure to call off the assault.

“The story of the president’s actions is both riveting and horrifying,” Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland and the lead prosecutor, said in an interview. “We think that every American should be aware of what happened — that the reason he was impeached by the House and the reason he should be convicted and disqualified from holding future federal office is to make sure that such an attack on our democracy and Constitution never happens again.” …

Behind the scenes, Democrats are relying on many of the same lawyers and aides who helped assemble the 2020 case, including Susanne Sachsman Grooms from the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and Aaron Hiller, Arya Hariharan, Sarah Istel and Amy Rutkin from the Judiciary Committee. The House also temporarily called back Barry H. Berke, a seasoned New York defense lawyer, to serve as chief counsel and Joshua Matz, a constitutional expert.

Mr. Schiff said his team had tried to produce an “HBO mini-series” featuring clips of witness testimony to bring to life the esoteric plot about Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine. Mr. Raskin’s may appear more like a blockbuster action film.

“The more you document all the tragic events leading up to that day and the president’s misconduct on that day and the president’s reaction while people were being attacked that day, the more and more difficult you make it for any senator to hide behind those false constitutional fig leaves,” said Mr. Schiff, who has informally advised the managers.

To assemble the presentation, Mr. Raskin’s team has turned to the same outside firm that helped put together Mr. Schiff’s multimedia display. But Mr. Raskin is working with vastly richer material to tell a monthslong story of how he and his colleagues believe Mr. Trump seeded, gathered and provoked a mob to try to overturn his defeat.

There are clips and tweets of Mr. Trump from last summer, warning he would only lose if the election was “rigged” against him; clips and tweets of him claiming victory after his loss; and clips and tweets of state officials coming to the White House as he sought to “stop the steal.” There is audio of a call in which Mr. Trump pressured Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” the votes needed to reverse Mr. Biden’s victory there; as well as presidential tweets and accounts by sympathetic lawmakers who say that once those efforts failed, Mr. Trump decisively turned his attention to the Jan. 6 meeting of Congress for one last stand.

At the center is footage of Mr. Trump, speaking outside the White House hours before the mob overtook the police and invaded the Capitol building. The managers’ pretrial brief suggests they are planning to juxtapose footage of Mr. Trump urging his supporters to “fight like hell” and march to the Capitol and confront Congress with videos posted from members of the crowd who can be heard processing his words in real time.

“Even with this trial, where senators themselves were witnesses, it’s very important to tell the whole story,” Mr. Schiff said. “This is not about a single day; it is about a course of conduct by a president to use his office to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power.”

But the proximity could also create complications. Several people familiar with the preparations said the managers were wary of saying anything that might implicate Republican lawmakers who echoed or entertained the president’s baseless claims of election fraud. To have any chance of making an effective case, the managers believe, they must make clear it is Mr. Trump who is on trial, not his party.

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: On cusp of impeachment trial, court documents point to how Trump’s rhetoric fueled rioters who attacked Capitol http://wapo.st/3a0lQih “Evidence to bolster the Democratic case has already emerged in federal criminal cases filed against more than 185 people”

The question of what exactly motivated [Jessica Marie Watkins, an Ohio bartender and founder of a small, self-styled militia] and other alleged rioters — and when their plans took shape — will be among the central questions of Trump’s impeachment trial this week, when the Senate will consider whether to convict the former president on charges that he incited the crowd to attack the Capitol.

The nine House impeachment managers leading Trump’s prosecution made clear in an 80-page brief filed last week that they will argue that his role in inspiring the crowd to action began long before the 70-minute speech he gave that day. ¤ They assert that the violence was virtually inevitable after Trump spent months falsely claiming that the election had been stolen from him.

“He amplified these lies at every turn, seeking to convince supporters that they were victims of a massive electoral conspiracy that threatened the Nation’s continued existence,” the House impeachment managers wrote.

After refusing to take the “honorable path” and admit defeat in the election, they wrote, Trump “summoned a mob to Washington, exhorted them into a frenzy and aimed them like a loaded cannon down Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Evidence to bolster the Democratic case has already emerged in federal criminal cases filed against more than 185 people so far in the aftermath of the insurrection.

Trump’s pull on his supporters is a dominant theme. Court documents show that more than two dozen people charged in the attack specifically cited Trump and his calls to gather that day in describing on social media or in conversations with others why they decided to take action by coming to Washington.

Trump’s lawyers have denied that his attacks on the 2020 election can be proved false — or that his comments in the run-up to Jan. 6 or at his rally that day constituted incitement. ¤ “The 45th President exercised his First Amendment right under the Constitution to express his belief that the election results were suspect,” attorneys Bruce Castor Jr. and David Schoen wrote in a response to the trial summons.

Democrats hope to lay out a compelling case to the country of Trump’s responsibility for the insurrection.

They argue that they think Trump’s address on Jan. 6 could be shown to constitute “incitement” under criminal law — which the Supreme Court has held requires showing that speech was “directed” and “likely” to produce “imminent lawless action.”

On Sunday, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who voted to impeach Trump, called the Senate trial only a “snapshot” and said Trump’s actions should be examined as part of ongoing criminal investigations.

“People will want to know exactly what the president was doing. They want to know, for example, whether the tweet he sent out calling Vice President Pence a coward while the attack was underway, whether that tweet, for example, was a premeditated effort to provoke violence,” she said on “Fox News Sunday.” “There are a lot of questions that have to be answered and there will be many, many criminal investigations looking at every aspect of this and everyone who was involved, as there should be.”

In the Senate, House impeachment managers will argue that regardless of the criminal investigation, Trump’s actions before, during and after the riot represent an assault on democracy that amounts to the kind of “high crimes and misdemeanors” that should cause a commander in chief to be convicted by the Senate under the Constitution and barred from holding public office again.

🐣 RT @AVindman One year ago today @YVindman and I were escorted off the White House grounds because we believe #HereRightMatters. Much has change for my family and me. I wouldn’t change a thing and have no regrets.

🧵 RT @sahilkapur Liz Cheney tells Fox News Sunday she won’t resign. “People have been lied to. The extent to which President Trump for months leading up to Jan. 6th spread the notion that the election had been stolen or that the election was rigged was a lie and people need to understand that.” 📌 https://twitter.com/sahilkapur/status/1358480219502444544?s=20

🐣 RT @tribelaw Trump is trying to have it both ways. He says he didn’t really lose and so deserves to be treated as though he remains president. And he says because he’s no longer president the Senate can’t convict and disqualify him. Which is it, man? Just asking for a friend.

WaPo: GOP Rep. Liz Cheney says Trump ‘does not have a role as a leader of our party going forward’ http://wapo.st/36TclPX //➔ looks like she’s squaring off against MarQorie Taylor Qreen and Minority Leader Qevin McQarthy

⭕ 6 Feb 2021

WIRED, Jeff Golbeck: QAnon Followers Are at a Precarious Pivot Point http://bit.ly/3juPGyc “The process of de-cultification requires patience & suppressing justified anger, recriminations & frustration. It also may not work, but it is grounded in the best professional advice”
// Disillusioned after Biden was sworn in, conspiracy theorists could now be swayed back to reality by conservatives and family members—or toward darker fringes.

THE QANON CONSPIRACY theory, spread in large part through social media, was recently supported by a majority of Republican voters. It is, at its baseless and thoroughly debunked core, the idea that a cabal of Satan-worshipping, cannibalistic, baby-eating pedophiles is operating an international child-sex-trafficking ring from their positions of power. It has grown to encompass many other conspiracy theories, especially around Covid, vaccines, and the election. Donald Trump was held up as a cult-like savior and was the group’s main source of guidance.

Now that the Biden administration has begun, the prophecies of QAnon did not come to pass, and Trump has left for Mar-a-Lago, what’s next? Research into similar groups tells us that, if QAnon followers are to leave the world of conspiracy theories, they need a dignity-preserving path forward. Extremist groups are already working to fill the Q-shaped void by recruiting QAnon believers to their own causes, making it urgent that better alternatives step up. That requires understanding the needs and motives of QAnon followers and providing a viable “off-ramp” from the QAnon world view.

… Seeing patterns connecting Q’s posts to real events felt like discovering secret information. If Q, the anonymous alleged government insider whose information drops launched and fueled the conspiracy theory, posted a photo of a watch with a short comment, his followers would enhance the watch image to see the time and date, interpret what it could mean, connect any bits of text to previous Q posts, and then offer interpretations on the connections. Solving mysteries and the community support made them feel smart. It offered a sense of purpose and control in a time where those things were scarce.

… The failed prophecy, external evidence contradicting the internal narrative, and the resulting disillusionment and cynicism are all core elements necessary for people to abandon cults and conspiracy theories. We need to take advantage of this moment.

NYT: Pushing QAnon and Stolen Election Lies, Flynn Re-emerges http://nyti.ms/39WEjMx
// Recast by President Trump’s most ardent supporters as a MAGA martyr, Michael T. Flynn has embraced his role as the man who spent four years unjustly ensnared in the Russia investigation.

🐣 RT @tribelaw This side-by-side sequence speaks for itself. It’s a devastating demonstration of Trump’s role in fomenting and causing the insurrection of January 6:
💙 ⋙ 🐣 RT @nowthisnews Here’s how former Pres. Trump incited insurrection, step by step 💽 https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1357905104481886212?s=20/photo/1

⭕ 5 Feb 2021

RollingStone, Andy Kroll: Trump’s Impeachment Strategy Is Straight Out of the Pizzagate Conspiracy Playbook http://bit.ly/3aNaugN “Trump’s lawyers … employ the same tactic as the promoters of viral conspiracy theories do”
// By ignoring the facts and repeating lies about the 2020 election, Trump is going full conspiracy theorist to fight off an impeachment conviction

With his second impeachment trial set to begin next week, Trump’s hastily assembled legal team responded in writing this week to the article of impeachment filed against him for “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.” The 14-page rebuttal by Trump’s lawyers hinges mostly on two arguments: That it’s unconstitutional to try a former president for impeachment, and that Trump’s lies about the election result, efforts to pressure state officials to change that result, and incendiary rhetoric on January 6th were government-protected speech. “Like all Americans, the 45th president is protected by the First Amendment,” lawyers Bruce Castor and David Schoen write in their response.

But buried in that rebuttal is still another line of defense, one the victims of viral conspiracy theories will recognize. In defense of Trump’s repeated and outlandish lies about the 2020 election result, the former president’s lawyers write:

“It is admitted that after the November election, the 45th President exercised his First Amendment right under the Constitution to express his belief that the election results were suspect, since with very few exceptions, under the convenient guise of Covid-19 pandemic “safeguards” states election laws and procedures were changed by local politicians or judges without the necessary approvals from state legislatures. Insufficient evidence exists upon which a reasonable jurist could conclude that the 45th President’s statements were accurate or not, and he therefore denies they were false.”

Focus on that last line: “Insufficient evidence exists upon which a reasonable jurist could conclude that the 45th President’s statements were accurate or not, and he therefore denies they were false.” In other words, there isn’t enough evidence to disprove the president’s wild and unsupported claims about the election being stolen, so therefore they’re true.

To be clear, there is ample evidence to back up the claim that 2020 was one of the most safe and secure elections in American history. More than 60 lawsuits were filed in state and federal court in the wake of the election by Trump’s campaign, his political allies, and the Republican Party, and Team Trump lost all but one of those cases. Judges nominated by Democratic and Republican presidents alike, including Trump himself, have roundly dismissed the allegations of fraud or corruption across the country for lack of standing and lack of evidence. As Judge Stephanos Bibas, who was appointed by Trump to a federal appeals court, wrote in a decision denying an appeal brought by Trump’s campaign: “Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”

Trump’s lawyers elide this body of evidence in their impeachment trial response. Instead, they employ the same tactic as the promoters of viral conspiracy theories do — arguing, in essence, that if you can’t fully disprove the president’s repeated claims about corrupt voting-machine companies, stolen votes, and corrupt public officials, then you can’t say they’re false.

Joe Uscinski, a University of Miami associate professor and expert on conspiracy theories, describes this as the classic defense of the conspiracy theorist. “This goes to the very heart of conspiracy theory epistemology,” Uscinski tells Rolling Stone.

Uscinski cites as an example the “birther” conspiracy theory about whether former president Barack Obama was born in the United States — a theory that Donald Trump championed for years on his way to winning the presidency. “People claimed Obama didn’t have an American birth certificate,” Uscinski says. “When he brought it out, they said it’s not the long-form birth certificate. When he brought that out, people said it’s a fake.” With powerful conspiracy theories, Uscinski stresses, “Unfalsifiability is baked into the theory.”

💽 CNN: Sasse’s message to Nebraska GOP as he faces censure: ‘Politics isn’t about the weird worship of one dude’ http://cnn.it/2N0MvlI

Sasse’s comments come as the Republican Party at large grapples with warring factions at odds over whether to continue the party in Trump’s likeness or forge a new path veering from the former President’s legacy.

“January 6th is going to leave a scar,” Sasse said, referencing the date of the violent insurrection at the US Capitol, where rioters encouraged by Trump sought to overturn the results of the election. “For 220 years, one of the most beautiful things about America has been our peaceful transfer of power. But what Americans saw three weeks ago was ugly, shameful mob violence to disrupt a constitutionally mandated meeting of Congress to affirm that peaceful transfer of power.”

The resolution, posted by News Channel Nebraska Central, finds that Sasse “warrants and shall incur the penalty of CENSURE” to be imposed by the party on February 13. The state party censured Sasse in 2016 for not sufficiently supporting Trump, according to the senator’s office.

Taylor Sliva, Sasse campaign spokesman, said Thursday night that the committee hadn’t shared the resolution with them but that they had seen it in News Channel Nebraska Central.

“You are welcome to censure me again, but let’s be clear about why this is happening: It’s because I still believe — as you used to — that politics isn’t about the weird worship of one dude,” Sasse said in the video. “The party could purge Trump skeptics, but I’d like to convince you that not only is this ‘civic cancer’ for the nation, it’s also terrible for our party.”

Sasse has been a vocal critic of the former President’s claims casting doubt on the election results’ veracity. In December, Sasse wrote on Facebook that he had been urging his Republican colleagues to “reject” objecting to the certification process of the Electoral College and then-President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, adding that talk of objecting to the process is a “dangerous ploy.”

“The president and his allies are playing with fire. They have been asking — first the courts, then state legislatures, now the Congress — to overturn the results of a presidential election,” Sasse said at the time. “They have unsuccessfully called on judges and are now calling on federal officeholders to invalidate millions and millions of votes. If you make big claims, you had better have the evidence. But the president doesn’t and neither do the institutional arsonist members of Congress who will object to the Electoral College vote.”

Sasse’s intra-state clash comes as the national Republican Party faces its own internal conflicts. On Wednesday, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a lifelong ideological conservative, fought off a challenge to her leadership post from members of her own party after she voted to impeach Trump. ¤ At the same time, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, a conspiracy theorist who thinks the GOP’s problem is that it lost the presidential election too gracefully, got a pass from Republican colleagues despite earlier promoting a slew of violent views and conspiracy theories. The full Democratic-led House voted to strip Greene of her committee assignments Thursday.

🐣 RT @RepKinzinger Truth bomb to GOP from Ben Sasse. https://youtu.be/-jCnUHNeTkg via @YouTube
⋙ @SenatorBenSasse Message to Nebraska GOP State Central Committee https://twitter.com/RepKinzinger/status/1357529032204689409?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @TomJChicago BREAKING- Fox cancels Lou Dobbs’ TV show a day after voting software co Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion defamation suit against Fox, Dobbs, Bartiromo & Pirro. Propaganda is expensive.

🐣 RT @TheTweetOfJohn Retired Adm. William McRaven argued that Russian President Vladimir Putin has outplayed the US and Russia is the greatest external security threat during a recent discussion of the challenges the new Biden administration faces.
⋙ BusinessInsider: Former Navy SEAL commander says Putin has outplayed the US and Russia is the greatest external http://bit.ly/2N4p9fm
// “Putin has outplayed us. He has played the great game better than anyone on the world stage,” McRaven said, calling the Russian president “dangerous.”

⭕ 4 Feb 2021

WaPo: House ejects Marjorie Taylor Greene from committees over extremist remarks http://wapo.st/3jjnEG9

🐣📊 RT @thehill NEW POLL: 64 percent of GOP voters say they would join a Trump-led new party http://hill.cm/PLCGD13

🐣 RT @atrupar Rep. Dean Phillips: “I’m here tonight to say to my brothers & sisters in Congress & all around our country, I’m sorry. For I’ve never understood, really understood, what privilege really means. It took a violent mob of insurrectionists & lightning-bolt moment in this very room.” 💽 https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1357488834397765635?s=20/photo/1

💙 📋 NYT: Arrested in Capitol Riot: Organized Militants and a Horde of Radicals http://nyti.ms/3jhMSVn
// By Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, Grace Ashford, Denise Lu, Eleanor Lutz, Alex Leeds Matthews and Karen Yourish

🐣 RT @AmoneyResists .@RashidaTlaib in tears on the House floor just now about the death threats she and her colleagues have received just for existing is one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve heard in a long time. Shame on everyone who enables and incites these threats. 💽 https://twitter.com/AmoneyResists/status/1357500305718575105?s=20/photo/1

🐣 RT @TeamPelosi If the Q fits.
⋙ 🐣 RT @TheHill Pelosi issues statement blasting “cowardly” GOP leader “McCarthy (Q-CA)” http://hill.cm/a0hvCS1

🐣 RT @NatashaBertrand President Biden says he “made clear to President Putin, in a manner very different from my predecessor, that the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions…are over. We will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia”

🐣 RT @DavidRosenTV VIDEO: @POTUS tells #VladimirPutin @KremlinRussia_E: “The days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions…are over.” 💽 https://twitter.com/JamesRosenTV/status/1357442350381948929?s=20/photo/1

WaPo: Smartmatic files $2.7 billion defamation suit against Fox News over election fraud claims http://wapo.st/3tqUeuc
// Fox News Media hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro were named, along with lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.

🐣 RT @McFaul “She [Yulia Navalnaya] is incredibly courageous, strong, principled, articulate, and inspiring,” via @voxdotcom
⋙ Vox, Alex Ward: Alexei Navalny is going to prison. Can his movement to depose Vladimir Putin survive? http://bit.ly/
// It’s likely Navalny’s pro-democracy movement is in a bit of trouble.

⭕ 3 Feb 2021

ForeignAffairs, Cynthia Miller-Idress and David Koehler: A Plan to Beat Back the Far Right http://fam.ag/3a3ni3j
// 2/3/2021; Violent extremism in the United States demands a social response.

📊📋 NYT, Thomas Edsall: The QAnon Delusion Has Not Loosened Its Grip http://nyti.ms/3ayOWnO “Millions of Americans continue to actively participate in multiple conspiracy theories. Why?” ● Text Block: https://twitter.com/Auriandra/status/1357599147575169024?s=20/photo/1

A Dec 30 NPR/Ipsos poll found that “recent misinformation, including false claims related to Covid-19 and QAnon, are gaining a foothold among some Americans.”

According to the survey, nearly a fifth of American adults, 17 percent, believe that “a group of Satan-worshiping elites who run a child sex ring are trying to control our politics.” Almost a third “believe that voter fraud helped Joe Biden win the 2020 election.” Even more, 39 percent, agree that “there is a deep state working to undermine President Trump.” …

The problem of keeping the extremist fringe at arm’s length has plagued the Republican Party for decades — dating back to Joseph McCarthy and the John Birch Society — but nothing in recent American history has reached the crazed intensity of Donald Trump’s perseverating, mendacious insistence that he won a second term in November. That he is not alone — that millions continue to believe in his delusions — is terrifying.

WaPo: McCarthy moves to keep splintering GOP intact, with protection for both Cheney and Greene http://wapo.st/2YKQnKw

🌎 🐣 RT @SidKhurana Largest Educational Group by County, 2019. ¤ High School Graduate is the largest group in the vast majority of counties. College Graduate is #1 in more urban counties (plus Colorado) for the most part. Graduate Degree is #1 in many university counties. https://twitter.com/SidKhurana3607/status/1357139376480862209?s=20/photo/1

DailyBeast, Will Sommer: Proud Boys Dealt Another Blow as Feds Crack Down http://bit.ly/39PGfqh
// The Proud Boys’ former lawyer says he’s taking the name back.

NYT: In Rare Public Statement, Congressional Aides Call for Trump’s Conviction http://nyti.ms/3avuFzF
// More than 370 Democratic aides issued an unusual public appeal, notable because congressional staff members rarely publicly express their own views.
⋙ ≣ Letter: http://bit.ly/3aLIVV9

🐣 RT @BrentNYT Republicans are attacking voting rights – something they are very good at – in preparation to take back the Senate: via @NewYorker
⋙ NewYorker, Steve Collins: State Republican Leaders Are Rushing to Exploit Trump’s Big Lie http://bit.ly/2MuVmMN
// In diverse parts of the country, followers of the former President are attacking voting laws and systems, using his claims that the election was stolen to attack voting laws and systems

⭕ 2 Feb 2021

🐣 🌎 RT @_waleedshahid The United States has now been downgraded to a “flawed democracy” by The Economist. https://twitter.com/_waleedshahid/status/1356734186577682434?s=20/photo/1
⋙ TheEconomist: Global democracy has a very bad year http://econ.st/3oH7YO0
// The pandemic caused an unprecedented rollback of democratic freedoms in 2020

WSJ, Editorial: House Republican Reckoning http://on.wsj.com/3cBqK6X
// The fates of Reps. Cheney and Greene will suggest the GOP future.

💙 HouseJudiciary: Impeachment Managers File Trial Brief, Explain Senate’s Obligation to Hear Case against Donald Trump http://bit.ly/3aHFi2v [Summary with link to Trial Memorandom]
// The brief lays out the case for the conviction of former President Trump for “incitement of insurrection against the Republic he swore to protect.”
⋙ 📔 Trial Brief: Trial Memorandom of the United States House of Representatives in the Impeachment Trial of President Donald J Trump [pdf] http://bit.ly/3jiOVIM 80p

🐣 RT @AaronBlake Trump’s brief today: “It is denied that President Trump intended to interfere with the counting of Electoral votes.” ¤ Trump’s tweet in January: “The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors.”

🐣 RT @Kasparov63 It’s hard to stand up to Putin, but it will only be harder tomorrow. The roadmap is clear. Sanction him and his cronies completely out of the free world. Stop funding his repression and his invasions and his murders. Support the rule of law and divest from dictatorship.

Politico: Austin ousts all Pentagon advisory board members as he roots out Trump appointees http://politi.co/2MrK0sU He “directed the immediate suspension of all committee operations while the Pentagon completes a ‘zero-based review’ of at least 42 defense advisory committees”
// The Trump administration booted several members of the advisory boards after losing the election and installed political operatives and loyalists in their place.

😅 RT @JuddLegum Trump’s formal answer to his impeachment starts off by misspelling “United States.” ¤ It goes downhill from there. https://twitter.com/JuddLegum/status/1356678459989385218?s=20/photo/1

🔆 This❗️⋙ WaPo: Trump’s actions described as ‘a betrayal of historic proportions’ in trial brief filed by House impeachment managers http://wapo.st/3avvKqY

⭕ 1 Feb 2021

🔆 This❗️⋙ Politico: Trump pollster’s campaign autopsy paints damning picture of defeat http://politi.co/36xjPrq Losses among white voters, especially white men, were key to Trump’s loss
// The 27-page report pins Trump’s loss on voter perception that he was untrustworthy and disapproval of his pandemic performance.

🐣 RT @MSNBC “Lately all we’ve been talking about is darkness and division, trying to appeal more to the Proud Boys than the suburban moms and that’s a big problem,” Rep. Kinzinger says about the Republican Party, calling for an intervention within the GOP.
⋙ 💽 MSNBC, KatyTur: Rep. Kinzinger on the future of the Republican Party: ‘I hope it doesn’t mean a split, but it may’ http://on.msnbc.com/2YzR2hw
// Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois has said that Republicans need an intervention. He joins Katy Tur with more.

🐣 RT @sergenyt ProPublica & FRONTLINE identified 20 plus Boogaloo Bois or sympathizers who’ve served in the armed forces. In the past 18 months, 13 of them were arrested on charges from possession of illegal automatic weapons to the manufacture of explosives to murder.
⋙ ProPublica: The Boogaloo Bois Have Guns, Criminal Records and Military Training. Now They Want to Overthrow the Government. http://bit.ly/
// ProPublica and FRONTLINE have identified more than twenty members with ties to the armed forces.

🐣 RT @McFaul Oh My God. Listen to @katieporteroc. And never, ever again for one second try to diminish or excuse the horrific violence that Mr. Trump encouraged and inspired on January 6th.
⋙ 🐣 RT @justinbaragona Katie Porter recounts how she and AOC hid in her office during the Jan. 6 insurrectionist riot. ¤ “I’m a mom. I’m calm. I have everything we need. We can live for like a month in this office. And she said, ‘I hope I get to be a mom, I hope I don’t die today.'” 💽 https://twitter.com/justinbaragona/status/1356458365124280320?s=20/photo/1

DefenseOne: The Boogaloo Bois Have Guns, Criminal Records and Military Training. Now They Want to Overthrow the Government. http://bit.ly/36yIXhQ
// ProPublica and Frontline have identified more than twenty members with ties to the armed forces.

🐣 RT @SecBlinken Excellent to speak with Foreign Minister @DmytroKuleba today and reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russian aggression, and commitment to advancing reforms vital to Ukraine’s success.

🐣 RT @chrislhayes People do realize that the Big Event that is promised in QAnon is the massive apprehension and execution of thousands of Democrats, right? It’s very literally the whole climax the movement is pushing for and expecting.
⋙ 🐣 RT @chrislhayes I mean: not just Democrats; also members of the Deep State and various and sundry celebrities who they believe are all members of the satanic child trafficking ring.
⋙⋙ 🐣 RT @kurteichenwald It’s the political version of the End Times. Literally. That’s why it appeals so much to right wing evangelicals. – the evil ones are destroyed, the faithful flourish. Same old same old.

WaPo, Michael Gerson: Trumpism is American fascism http://wapo.st/3r8r2WM “Call this civic barbarism. Instead of promoting the values of responsible citizenship, Trump and his media enablers are elevating and blessing the very worst among us”

WaPo: As House GOP faces decision on its future, McConnell defends Cheney, rebukes Greene in rare set of statements http://wapo.st/3j7d2dj

“Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country,” McConnell said. “Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality. This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”

Greene responded Monday night on Twitter. “The real cancer for the Republican Party is weak Republicans who only know how to lose gracefully,” she said. “This is why we are losing our country.”

In a separate statement, McConnell did name Cheney, describing the No. 3 House Republican as “a leader with deep convictions and the courage to act on them.”

“She is an important leader in our party and in our nation,” McConnell said in the statement, first reported by CNN. “I am grateful for her service and look forward to continuing to work with her on the crucial issues facing our nation.”

WaPo: One of Trump’s new lawyers declined to charge Bill Cosby. The other maintains Jeffrey Epstein was murdered. http://wapo.st/36xoWb4

WaPo: Kinzinger says Republicans need ‘an intervention’ to kick Trump habit http://wapo.st/3tkzeoP
// Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)

Politico: Dems to deliver GOP ultimatum over Marjorie Taylor Greene http://politi.co/2LbBM7G //➔ my guess is having a floor vote might come as a relief to McCarthy, freeing him from the need to cross Trump
// They’re moving to strip the controversial Republican of her committee assignments.

AP: Trump names 2 lawyers to impeachment defense team http://bit.ly/2YLHoJ7 “The two representing Trump will be defense lawyer David Schoen, a frequent television legal commentator, and Bruce Castor, a former district attorney in Pennsylvania …”

NYT: As Trump Raked In Cash Denying His Loss, Little Went to Actual Legal Fight http://nyti.ms/39BGqoL
// The picture that emerged in new campaign finance reports was of Donald J. Trump waging a public relations effort to falsely argue that he had won the election rather than mounting a serious legal push.

🐣 RT @BillKristol “Across those 77 days, the forces of disorder were summoned and directed by the departing president…Throughout, he was enabled by influential Republicans motivated by ambition, fear or a misplaced belief that he would not go too far.”
🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: 77 Days: Trump’s Campaign to Subvert the Election http://nyti.ms/3oD2fsu
// Hours after the United States voted, the president declared the election a fraud — a lie that unleashed a movement that would shatter democratic norms and upend the peaceful transfer of power.
// By Jim Rutenberg, Jo Becker, Eric Lipton, Maggie Haberman, Jonathan Martin, Matthew Rosenberg and Michael S. Schmidt
// Mr. Stockton, the bus-tour organizer, said that he had been surprised to learn that the protest would include a march from the Ellipse to the Capitol. That march — the prelude to the riot — had not been the plan before the White House became involved.

… [I]nterviews with central players, and documents including previously unreported emails, videos and social media posts scattered across the web, tell a more encompassing story of a more coordinated campaign.

Across those 77 days, the forces of disorder were summoned and directed by the departing president, who wielded the power derived from his near-infallible status among the party faithful in one final norm-defying act of a reality-denying presidency. …

[D]uring the campaign, Attorney General William P. Barr had echoed some of Mr. Trump’s complaints of voter fraud. But privately the president was chafing at Mr. Barr’s resistance to his more authoritarian impulses — including his idea to end birthright citizenship in a legally dubious pre-election executive order. And when Mr. Barr informed Mr. Trump in a tense Oval Office session that the Justice Department’s fraud investigations had run dry, the president dismissed the department as derelict before finding other officials there who would view things his way.

For every lawyer on Mr. Trump’s team who quietly pulled back, there was one ready to push forward with propagandistic suits that skated the lines of legal ethics and reason. That included not only Mr. Giuliani and lawyers like Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, but also the vast majority of Republican attorneys general, whose dead-on-arrival Supreme Court lawsuit seeking to discount 20 million votes was secretly drafted by lawyers close to the White House, The Times found.

As traditional Republican donors withdrew, a new class of Trump-era benefactors rose to finance data analysts and sleuths to come up with fodder for the stolen-election narrative. Their ranks included the founder of MyPillow, Mike Lindell, and the former Overstock.com chief executive Patrick Byrne, who warned of “fake ballots” and voting-machine manipulation from China on One America News Network and Newsmax, which were finding ratings in their willingness to go further than Fox in embracing the fiction that Mr. Trump had won.

… Women for America First … had ties to Mr. Trump and former White House aides then seeking presidential pardons, among them Stephen K. Bannon and Michael T. Flynn

As it crossed the country spreading the new gospel of a stolen election in Trump-red buses, the group helped build an acutely Trumpian coalition that included sitting and incoming members of Congress, rank-and-file voters and the “de-platformed” extremists and conspiracy theorists promoted on its home page — including the white nationalist Jared Taylor, prominent QAnon proponents and the Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio.

With each passing day the lie grew, finally managing to do what the political process and the courts would not: upend the peaceful transfer of power that for 224 years had been the bedrock of American democracy

The Hammer and Scorecard story came together with disparate conspiracy theories about Dominion voting systems that had been kicking around on the left and the right, most forcefully on the Twitter feed of a Republican congressman from Arizona, Paul Gosar.

… Mr. McConnell knew that by [congratulating Biden], he would endanger his own overriding political goal — winning the two runoffs in Georgia and maintaining Republican control of the Senate, which would allow him to keep his power as majority leader. If he provoked Mr. Trump’s anger, he would almost certainly lose the president’s full support in Georgia.

… West Wing officials [Meadows, Kushner, Josh Holmes] had conveyed the same message: They would pursue all potential avenues but recognized that they might come up short. Mr. Trump would eventually bow to reality and accept defeat.

… [A postal worker’s] affidavit, it turned out, had been written with the assistance of the conservative media group Project Veritas, known for its deceptive tactics and ambush videos.

[On Dec 1] … [A]fter the president complained to Fox that the Justice Department was “missing in action,” Mr. Barr told The Associated Press that “we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome.”

… A truck driver on contract with the Postal Service was claiming that he had delivered many thousands of illegally filled-out ballots to Pennsylvania from a depot on Long Island. ¤ Federal investigators had determined that that one, too, was bunk.

… [W]ith the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, backing him, Mr. Barr told the president that he could not manufacture evidence and that his department would have no role in challenging states’ results, said a former senior official with knowledge about the meeting, a version of which was first reported by Axios. The allegations about manipulated voting machines were ridiculously false, he added; the lawyers propagating them, led by Mr. Giuliani, were “clowns.” ¤ … [B]efore Mr. Barr left the building, the president tweeted out the truck driver’s account …

Days later, that allegation was featured in a lawsuit with an extraordinary request: that the court decertify the Pennsylvania result and strip Mr. Biden of the state’s delegates — a call to potentially disenfranchise nearly seven million voters. …

Even after a recount in the tightest state, Georgia, found some 2,000 lost Trump votes, Mr. Biden led by nearly 12,000. And Mr. Giuliani’s arguments that the Trump campaign could prove Dominion voting machines illegally made the difference were summarily dismissed by Mr. Trump’s other lawyers, who were carefully tracking a recount of the machines’ paper receipts.

[Election lawyers] argued that in bending rules to make mail voting easier during the pandemic — extending deadlines, striking requirements for witness signatures — secretaries of state or state courts or election boards had improperly usurped their legislatures’ role. ¤ Yet … the suits failed in court after court across the country …

Mr. Giuliani and his allies were developing a new legal theory — that in crucial swing states, there was enough fraud, and there were enough inappropriate election-rule changes, to render their entire popular votes invalid. … As a result, the theory went, those states’ Republican-controlled legislatures would be within their constitutional rights to send slates of their choosing to the Electoral College. ¤ If the theory was short on legal or factual merit, it was rich in the sort of sensational claims …

Before Thanksgiving, a team of lawyers with close ties to the Trump campaign began planning a sweeping new lawsuit to carry that argument.

They would need to go directly to the Supreme Court, where, they believed, the conservative majority would be sympathetic to the president, who had appointed three of its members.

Only one type of lawyer can take a case filed by one state against another directly to the Supreme Court: a state attorney general. The president’s original election lawyers doubted that any attorney general would be willing to do so, according to one member of the team, speaking on the condition of anonymity. But Mr. Kobach and his colleagues were confident. ¤ The obvious choice to bring the suit was Ken Paxton of Texas, an ardent proponent of the president’s voter-fraud narrative …

Mr. Paxton filed his complaint with the Supreme Court. Mr. Joseph was listed as a special counsel, but the brief did not disclose that it had been written by outside parties.

The lawsuit was audacious in its scope. It claimed that, without their legislatures’ approval, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin had made unconstitutional last-minute election-law changes, helping create the conditions for widespread fraud. Citing a litany of convoluted and speculative allegations — including one involving Dominion voting machines — it asked the court to shift the selection of their Electoral College delegates to their legislatures, effectively nullifying 20 million votes.

Some 126 Republican House members, including the caucus leader, Mr. McCarthy, signed on to the brief, which was followed by a separate brief from the president himself. “This is the big one. Our Country needs a victory!” Mr. Trump tweeted. Privately, he asked Senator Ted Cruz of Texas to argue the case.

At Mr. Trump’s urging, the Republican Attorneys General Association made one final play, asking Mr. Barr to back the suit. He refused. ¤ On Dec. 11, the court declined to hear the case, ruling that Texas had no right to challenge other states’ votes.

The [Dec 12] rally had been planned by Women for America First, which was quietly becoming the closest thing Mr. Trump had to a political organizing force, gathering his aggrieved supporters behind the lie of a stolen election. ¤ The group’s founder, Amy Kremer, had been one of the original Tea Party organizers, building the movement through cross-country bus tours. She had been among the earliest Trump supporters, forming a group called Women Vote Trump along with Ann Stone, ex-wife of the longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone.

The group’s executive director was Ms. Kremer’s daughter, Kylie Jane Kremer, who recently worked on Sean Hannity’s radio show. Two organizers helping the effort, Jennifer Lawrence and Dustin Stockton, were close to Mr. Bannon, having worked at Breitbart … ¤ A onetime organizer for the hard-line Gun Owners of America, according to his LinkedIn page, Mr. Stockton had come to know members of the Three Percenters militia group. … For the Kremers, Ms. Lawrence and Mr. Stockton, the instrument of that fight would be a reprise of the Tea Party Express, a bus tour to enlist state and federal lawmakers in Mr. Trump’s effort to keep states from certifying results ahead of the Electoral College vote.

The group tapped new veins of financing, with sponsorships from Mr. Bannon’s “War Room,” which paid $5,000, and Mr. Lindell, who said he believed he gave $50,000. It helped the group lease the bus and paint it MAGA red, with a huge photo of Mr. Trump and the logos of MyPillow, “War Room” and other sponsors emblazoned on the sides. ¤ As they made their way across the country, they reached out to local elected officials and branches of the Republican National Committee. …

Early on, the “Trump March” website had included promotion for banned extremists and conspiracy theorists like the white supremacist Mr. Taylor, various QAnon “decoders” and the “Western chauvinist” Proud Boys, according to a version saved by the Internet Archive. (The promotion was taken down ahead of the bus tour).

There were early warning signs of the explosion to come.

… Mr. Trump was watching and, seeing the tour’s success, even helicoptered above the Dec. 12 rally on Marine One. But after the 12th, the group found itself in limbo — leading a restive movement without a clear destination.

At the White House, Mr. Trump was still searching for ways to nullify the results, soliciting advice from allies like Mr. Flynn, Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Powell.

On Dec. 18, he met with Mr. Byrne, Mr. Flynn and Ms. Powell in a four-hour session that started in the Oval Office and ended in the White House residence, where Swedish meatballs were served, Mr. Byrne later recalled.

With a team of “cybersleuths,” Mr. Byrne was working with Mr. Flynn and Ms. Powell to develop and promote theories about Dominion and foreign interference. Earlier, Mr. Flynn had publicly raised the notion that the president should use martial law to force a revote in swing states.

The meeting descended into shouting as a group that included Mr. Cipollone, who had absorbed most of Mr. Trump’s frustrations for weeks as he tried to stop a number of legally questionable ideas, tried to dissuade the president from entertaining a range of options the visitors were proposing. “It was really damned close to fistfights,” Mr. Byrne recalled on the “Operation Freedom” YouTube show.

… [U]ltimately Mr. Trump agreed, at least for the moment, to focus on a different goal: blocking congressional certification of the results on Jan. 6. ¤ Mr. Meadows had connected the president to Mr. Martin, the former North Carolina justice, who had a radical interpretation of the Constitution: Vice President Mike Pence, he argued, had the power to stop the certification and throw out any results he deemed fraudulent.

Now, Women for America First had a purpose, too. Objectors were already lining up in the House. So the group planned a new bus tour, this one to travel from state to state helping to sway persuadable senators — 11 by their count. ¤ The cavalry “is coming, Mr. President,” Kylie Kremer tweeted to Mr. Trump on Dec. 19. ¤ This tour took on an edgier tone. Before heading out, the Kremers, Ms. Lawrence and Mr. Stockton visited the Tactical Response marksman training center in Nashville. … At the training center, Kylie Kremer and Ms. Lawrence taped an episode of Mr. [James] Yeager’s “Tactical Response” YouTube show, promoting their tour. They also documented the afternoon with a campy Facebook video of themselves cradling assault weapons and flanking Mr. Stockton, who narrated.

By the time the bus pulled into West Monroe, La., for a New Year’s Day stop to urge Senator John Kennedy to object to certification, Mr. Trump was making it clear to his followers that a rally at the Ellipse in Washington on Jan. 6 was part of his plan. On Twitter, he promoted the event five times that day alone. ¤ The emcee of the Louisiana stop, the Tea Party activist James Lyle, announced that the next day’s event in Missouri was now going to be a thank-you — Senator Josh Hawley had just become the first senator to announce that he would object.

On Saturday, Jan. 2, Kylie Kremer posted a promotional video for Wednesday’s rally on Twitter, along with a message: “BE A PART OF HISTORY.” ¤ The president shared her post and wrote: “I’ll be there! Historic day.” ¤ Though Ms. Kremer held the permit, the rally would now effectively become a White House production. After 12,000 miles of drumbeating through 44 stops in more than 20 states, they would be handing over their movement to the man whose grip on power it had been devised to maintain.

There were new donors, including the Publix supermarket heiress Julie Jenkins Fancelli. She gave $300,000 in an arrangement coordinated through the internet conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who pledged $50,000 as well, The Wall Street Journal reported. ¤ New planners also joined the team, among them Caroline Wren, a former deputy to Kimberly Guilfoyle, the Trump fund-raiser and partner of Donald Trump Jr. The former Trump campaign adviser Katrina Pierson was the liaison to the White House, a former administration official said. The president discussed the speaking lineup, as well as the music to be played, according to a person with direct knowledge of the conversations.

For Mr. Trump, the rally was to be the percussion line in the symphony of subversion he was composing from the Oval Office.

That Saturday, Mr. Trump had called the Georgia secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, and pressed him, unsuccessfully, to “find” the 11,780 votes needed to win the state.

Mr. Barr had resigned in December. But behind the back of the acting attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, the president was plotting with the Justice Department’s acting civil division chief, Jeffrey Clark, and a Pennsylvania congressman named Scott Perry to pressure Georgia to invalidate its results, investigate Dominion and bring a new Supreme Court case challenging the entire election. The scheming came to an abrupt halt when Mr. Rosen, who would have been fired under the plan, assured the president that top department officials would resign en masse. ¤ That left the congressional certification as the main event.

When Mr. Hawley stepped forward, according to Republican senators, Mr. McConnell hoped at least to keep him isolated. ¤ But Mr. Cruz was working at cross-purposes, trying to conscript others to sign a letter laying out his circular logic: Because polling showed that Republicans’ “unprecedented allegations” of fraud had convinced two-thirds of their party that Mr. Biden had stolen the election, it was incumbent on Congress to at least delay certification and order a 10-day audit in the “disputed states.” Mr. Cruz, joined by 10 other objectors, released the letter on the Saturday after New Year’s.

It was coming down to a contest of wills within the Republican Party, and tens of thousands of Trump supporters were converging on Washington to send a message to those who might defy the president. ¤ The rally had taken on new branding, the March to Save America, and other groups were joining in, among them the Republican Attorneys General Association. Its policy wing, the Rule of Law Defense Fund, promoted the event in a robocall that said, “We will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” according to a recording obtained by the progressive investigative group Documented.

Mr. Stockton said he was surprised to learn on the day of the rally that it would now include a march from the Ellipse to the Capitol. Before the White House became involved, he said, the plan had been to stay at the Ellipse until the counting of state electoral slates was completed.

The president’s involvement also meant that some speakers from the original Women for America First lineup would be dropped from the main event. So, Mr. Stockton said, he arranged to have them speak the night before at a warm-up rally at Freedom Plaza.

That event had been planned by a sister group, the 80 Percent Coalition, founded by Cindy Chafian, a former organizer with Women for America First.

Defiantly, to a great roar from the plaza, Ms. Chafian cried, “I stand with the Proud Boys, because I’m tired of the lies,” and she praised other militant nationalist groups in the crowd, including the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.

Mr. Trump took the stage at the Ellipse the next day shortly before 1 p.m., calling on the tens of thousands before him to carry his message to Republicans in the Capitol: “You’ll never take back our country with weakness.”

As he spoke, some protesters, with Proud Boys helping take the lead, were already breaching the outer security perimeter around the Capitol. Inside, when Mr. Gosar stood to raise the first objection, to results in his home state of Arizona, several Republican lawmakers gave him a standing ovation. … Less than an hour later, the lawmakers would flee to a secure location as the mob streamed into the building. … …

On Jan. 15, Mr. Trump acquiesced to an Oval Office meeting with Mr. Lindell, who arrived with two sets of documents. One, provided by a lawyer he would not name, included a series of steps Mr. Trump could take, including “martial law if necessary.” The other, Mr. Lindell claimed in an interview the next day, was computer code indicating that China and other state actors had altered the election results — vetted by his own investigators after he found it online.

“I said: ‘Mr. President, I have great news. You won with 79 million votes, and Biden had 68 million,’” he recalled. (Mr. Biden had more than 80 million votes, to Mr. Trump’s 74 million; Homeland Security officials have rejected the allegations of foreign meddling.)

A couple of minutes later, Mr. Trump directed his national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, to escort Mr. Lindell upstairs, to Mr. Cipollone’s office. He told the MyPillow founder to come back afterward. ¤ After a perfunctory discussion, aides directed Mr. Lindell to the exit. “I say it loud, ‘I’m not leaving,’” he recalled telling them. He eventually left when an aide made it clear there would be no Oval Office follow-up. The president was done.

The violence at the Capitol, and Congress’s eventual certification of Mr. Biden’s victory that day, may have spelled the end of Mr. Trump’s postelection campaign. The same cannot be said about the political staying power, the grip on the Republican faithful, of the lie he set in motion. …

⭕ 31 Jan 2021

🐣 RT @BillKristol “Across those 77 days, the forces of disorder were summoned and directed by the departing president…Throughout, he was enabled by influential Republicans motivated by ambition, fear or a misplaced belief that he would not go too far.”
🔆 This❗️⋙ NYT: 77 Days: Trump’s Campaign to Subvert the Election http://nyti.ms/3oD2fsu
// Hours after the United States voted, the president declared the election a fraud — a lie that unleashed a movement that would shatter democratic norms and upend the peaceful transfer of power.
// By Jim Rutenberg, Jo Becker, Eric Lipton, Maggie Haberman, Jonathan Martin, Matthew Rosenberg and Michael S. Schmidt

⭕ 30 Jan 2021

Politico: Here’s What Happens to a Conspiracy-Driven Party http://politi.co/3ajSIBe “[T]he QAnon wing now threatens to push Republicans much closer to the fate of Know Nothing Party, even though they don’t know it”
// The modern GOP isn’t the first party to embrace huge conspiracies. But the lessons should be sobering.

ProPublica: Text Messages Show Top Trump Campaign Fundraiser’s Key Role Planning the Rally That Preceded the Siege http://bit.ly/2MtpBnb
// Caroline Wren, a Trump fundraiser, is listed as a “VIP Advisor” in a National Park Service permit for the Jan. 6th rally at the Ellipse. Text messages and a planning memo show the title downplays the active role she played in organizing the event.

🐣 RT @cnnbrk Five of Trump’s impeachment lawyers have stepped aside a little more than a week before his Senate trial in a disagreement over legal strategy, sources say
🔆 This❗️⋙ CNN: First on CNN: Trump’s impeachment defense team leaves less than two weeks before trial http://cnn.it/3pMFljT “Trump is clinging to his election fraud charade and suddenly finds himself without legal representation”

It was a dramatic development in the second impeachment trial for Trump, who has struggled to find lawyers willing to take his case. And now, with legal briefs due next week and a trial set to begin only days later, Trump is clinging to his election fraud charade and suddenly finds himself without legal representation.

Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier, who were expected to be two of the lead attorneys, are no longer on the team. A source familiar with the changes said it was a mutual decision for both to leave the legal team. As the lead attorney, Bowers assembled the team.

Josh Howard, a North Carolina attorney who was recently added to the team, has also left, according to another source familiar with the changes. Johnny Gasser and Greg Harris, from South Carolina, are no longer involved with the case, either. ¤ No other attorneys have announced they are working on Trump’s impeachment defense.

A person familiar with the departures told CNN that Trump wanted the attorneys to argue there was mass election fraud and that the election was stolen from him rather than focus on the legality of convicting a president after he’s left office. Trump was not receptive to the discussions about how they should proceed in that regard.

🐣 RT @ProjectLincoln The Lincoln Project’s legal response to the false and defamatory statements made by Rudy Giuliani. https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1355618315570393090?s=20/photo/1-3

WaPo: ‘Be ready to fight’: FBI probe of U.S. Capitol riot finds evidence detailing coordination of an assault http://wapo.st/3afSkUx

💙 Politico Mag, Michael Kruse: The Antipope of Mar-a-Lago http://politi.co/3t5TdYx
// What a medieval religious schism can teach us about Donald Trump’s unprecedented and radically antagonistic approach to the ex-presidency.

🐣 RT @EvanMcMullin I agree that the center-right needs a new political identity and home, fully committed to American values, truth, reason and democracy. It’s a work in progress.
⋙ 🐣 RT @LarrySabato The Republican Party is no longer salvageable—at least a sane center-right version the country needs as an alternative. I resisted accepting this for a long time. But Trump, Jan 6, Greene et al made me face it. Not sure what’s next & best, or how to get there. #RepublicanParty

WaPo: Ukraine stayed quiet during Trump-era pressures. Now it’s sharing some Giuliani tales. http://wapo.st/2YuNP2Q “Ukraine’s rebuff of [Giuliani’s] demands, said [former Zelensky aide] Novikov, was a victory in keeping the country out of U.S. affairs”

⭕ 29 Jan 2021

NYT, Shoshana Zuboff: The Coup We Are Not Talking About http://nyti.ms/39ASaYI “Dr. Zuboff, a professor emeritus at Harvard Business School, is the author of ‘The Age of Surveillance Capitalism.’” Excellent #longread
// We can have democracy, or we can have a surveillance society, but we cannot have both.
// Dr. Zuboff, a professor emeritus at Harvard Business School, is the author of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism.”

Deaths of kings and peaceful transfers of power in democracies are critical moments that heighten society’s vulnerability. The norms and laws that guide these junctures are rightly treated with maximum gravity. Mr. Trump and his allies prosecuted an election-fraud disinformation campaign that ultimately translated into violence. It took direct aim at American democracy’s point of maximum institutional vulnerability and its most fundamental norms. As such, it qualifies as a form of epistemic terrorism, an extreme expression of epistemic chaos. Mr. Zuckerberg’s determination to lend his economic machine to the cause makes him an accessory to this assault.

Like baseball, everyday reality is an adventure that begins and ends at home base, where we are safe. No society can police everything all the time, least of all a democratic society. A healthy society rests on a consensus about what is a deviation and what is normal. We venture out from the norm, but we know the difference between the outfield and home, the reality of everyday life. Without that, as we have now experienced, things fall apart. Democrats drinking blood? Sure, why not? Hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19? Right this way! Storm the Capitol and make Mr. Trump dictator? Yeah, we’ve got that!

Society renews itself as common sense evolves. This requires trustworthy, transparent, respectful institutions of social discourse, especially when we disagree. Instead we are saddled with the opposite, nearly 20 years into a world dominated by a political-economic institution that operates as a chaos machine for hire, in which norm violation is key to revenue.

… The corrupt information that dominates the private square does not rise to the top of a free and fair competition of ideas. It wins in a rigged game. No democracy can survive this game.

Our susceptibility to the destruction of common sense reflects a young information civilization that has not yet found its footing in democracy. Unless we interrupt surveillance economics and revoke the license to steal that legitimates its antisocial operations, the other coup will continue to strengthen and produce fresh crises. What must be done now?

The United States and the world’s other liberal democracies have thus far failed to construct a coherent political vision of a digital century that advances democratic values, principles and government. While the Chinese have designed and deployed digital technologies to advance their system of authoritarian rule, the West has remained compromised and ambivalent.

This failure has left a void where democracy should be, and the dangerous result has been a two-decade drift toward private systems of surveillance and behavioral control outside the constraints of democratic governance. This is the road to the final stage of the epistemic coup. The result is that our democracies march naked into the third decade without the new charters of rights, legal frameworks and institutional forms necessary to ensure a digital future that is compatible with the aspirations of a democratic society.

We are still in the early days of an information civilization. The third decade is our opportunity to match the ingenuity and determination of our 20th-century forebears by building the foundations for a democratic digital century.

Democracy is under the kind of siege that only democracy can end. If we are to defeat the epistemic coup, then democracy must be the protagonist.

I offer three principles that can help guide these beginnings:

The democratic rule of law

… Antitrust arguments are important for two reasons: They signal that democracy is once again on the move, and they legitimate more regulatory attention to companies designated as market dominant. But when it comes to defeating the epistemic coup, the antitrust paradigm falls short. Here’s why.

[I]t took decades for lawmakers to finally address the real sources of harm by codifying new rights for workers and consumers. The National Labor Relations Act, which guaranteed the right to unionize while regulating the actions of employers, wasn’t enacted until 1935, 45 years after the Sherman Antitrust Act. We do not have 45 years — or 20 or 10 — to linger before we address the real harms of the epistemic coup and their causes.

There may be sound antitrust reasons to break up the big tech empires, but carving up Facebook or any of the others into the surveillance capitalist equivalents of Exxon, Chevron and Mobil would not shield us from the clear and present dangers of surveillance capitalism. Our time demands more.

New conditions summon new rights

A democratic information civilization cannot progress without new charters of epistemic rights that protect citizens from the massive-scale invasion and theft compelled by surveillance economics. During most of the modern age, citizens of democratic societies have regarded a person’s experience as inseparable from the individual — inalienable. It follows that the right to know about one’s experience has been considered elemental, bonded to each of us like a shadow. We each decide if and how our experience is shared, with whom and for what purpose. … [T]he once taken-for-granted right to know and to decide who knows about us must be codified in law and protected by democratic institutions, if it is to exist at all.

Unprecedented harms demand unprecedented solutions

… We need legal frameworks that interrupt and outlaw the massive-scale extraction of human experience. Laws that stop data collection would end surveillance capitalism’s illegitimate supply chains. The algorithms that recommend, microtarget and manipulate, and the millions of behavioral predictions pushed out by the second cannot exist without the trillions of data points fed to them each day.

Next, we need laws that tie data collection to fundamental rights and data use to public service, addressing the genuine needs of people and communities. Data is no longer the means of information warfare waged on the innocent.

[W]e [must] disrupt the financial incentives that reward surveillance economics. We can prohibit commercial practices that exert demand for rapacious data collection. Democratic societies have outlawed markets that trade in human organs and babies. Markets that trade in human beings were outlawed, even when they supported whole economies.

These principles are already shaping democratic action. The Federal Trade Commission initiated a study of social media and video-streaming companies less than a week after filing its case against Facebook and said it intended to “lift the hood” of internal operations “to carefully study their engines.” A statement by three commissioners took aim at tech companies “capable of surveilling and monetizing … our personal lives,” adding that “too much about the industry remains dangerously opaque.”

Two sentences often attributed to Justice Brandeis feature in the congressional subcommittee’s impressive antitrust report. “We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.” The statement so relevant to Brandeis’s time remains a pungent commentary on the old capitalism we know, but it ignores the new capitalism that knows us. Unless democracy revokes the license to steal [information] and challenges the fundamental economics and operations of commercial surveillance, the epistemic coup will weaken and eventually transform democracy itself. We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have surveillance society, but we cannot have both. We have a democratic information civilization to build, and there is no time to waste.