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June 27, 2022

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I like Michael Cain's proposal that it might be in response to Ginni Thomas being unavailable during the rest of the summer. I've also heard speculation that Alex Holder, the British documentary film maker, might have other commitments and that they want him to testify, with clips of the film, before he has to leave the US. If there is something really dramatic or explosive, do any ObWi people think doing it now, as opposed to after the first week in July (which I think was when they were due to have the next couple of sessions), has any implication timewise for the midterms? In other words, at this stage of the year do a few extra weeks give the Ds any advantage in registration etc?

I’ll answer my own question. My guess is some particularly damning footage was in the documentary film they subpoenaed. We’ll know tomorrow!

Considering the import of previous sessions (and the impact they deserve to have), the mind boggles trying to imagine something that would warrant a surprise (not previously scheduled) hearing.

Certainly a video of TFG personally directing one of the militia types (the Proud Boys, for example) to assault the Capitol and disrupt the procedings would be one possibility -- that making it virtually impossible for the Attorney General not to charge him as a participant in the seditious conspiracy. Another would be TFG and members of Congress conspiring to the same end. Or even just the Proud Boys and some members. Doubtless there are others.

But my sense is that "blockbuster" may turn out to be appropriate. Waiting with bated breath.

How does Ginni get to say that sorry she won't be available this summer? DO we all get to respond that way to investigations? Since I am now seventy, I have been daydreaming about doing things that could have serious consequence based on being able to dodge the consequences by dying. If I get myself in the position of being investigated, can I say I'm not available until I'm eighty? That's when I am planning to depart.

If I get myself in the position of being investigated, can I say I'm not available until I'm eighty?

If you're in the country, you can be compelled to show up. Not necessarily to testify (for example, if you take the 5th), but you can be taken into custody and compelled to come.

On the other hand, if you are outside the country, I'm guessing (IANAL) that it depends on just what the extradition treaty, if any, says.

As a related thought on the apparent scheduling urgency...

I don't believe there are any additional hearings firmly scheduled after the one tomorrow. This week is the first week of the annual two-week Fourth of July recess, when House members are generally pressured to attend festivities at home. August is the traditional summer recess. The next government shutdown will happen midnight Sep 30 unless Congress passes a budget bill or continuing resolution. October is the pre-election recess because members want to campaign at home. None of that stops the commission from meeting, but it does put pressure on scheduling.

Added thought about the pre-election recess. Three of the majority members of the commission are from California, now a vote-by-mail state. If they need to campaign, they need to start early in October.

How does Ginni get to say that sorry she won't be available this summer?

How many witnesses have already managed to stretch the time from when they were subpoenaed until the time they sat in front of the committee to three months or longer?

CNN hasn't contacted me yet, which is surprising as I've pronounced myself a "House Select Committee on the January 6th Attack Surprise Mystery Guest or Maybe Just Footage" Expert, because I can speculate at least as wildly as the nattering nabobs of no information I've heard so far today.

Ok, I got nuthin'. But frankly, I can wait 'til 1PM tomorrow to find out. I just hope whatever it is warrants the hype. The timing is certainly peculiar.

The timing is certainly peculiar.

I'll stand by my 6:28 on the timing. The Committee is under enormous pressure to wind up for the summer/fall.

I should point out that the "nabob" thing was directed at the 24/7 "news" and not anyone here.

I might argue that the pressure stems more from the desire to get it right, whatever that ends up looking like. And just like the Mueller report, my suspicion is that every rock the Committee turns over reveals a new rat's nest that requires investigation.

I like to think what has felt like taking their sweet time has been due diligence, which makes the immediacy of tomorrow so odd.

But, yeah, they're running out of runway, too.

Enough already. He, Trump is guilty of sedition, and anybody who still needs "evidence" presented at a "hearing" is an Independent(TM) who fits my oft-repeated definition that an Independent(TM) is someone who will vote Republican given the slightest excuse.

If Joe Biden is too squeamish to act like Andrew Jackson, at least Merrick Garland should have the balls to act like Mark Twain's Captain Ned Blakely.

BTW, a word to wonkie who wrote: ...can I say I'm not available until I'm eighty? That's when I am planning to depart.

I have been claiming for years that if the christianists on the SCOTUS have their way, you will not be free to go until the god of Abraham has had his fill of suffering from you. Hitchens used to say that "At least you can fncking die to leave North Korea", but North Korea is only ruled by Li'l Kim, not the likes of Alito.

--TP

Tony, the thing is, there is some space between "undoubtedly guilty" and "guilt provable in court." The point of continued investigation is to get from the first to the second.

When we get to the second (in the opinion of the experienced staff in the AG's office), we should see an indictment. It appears we aren't there quite yet.

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-capitol-riot-panel-promises-new-evidence-surprise-tuesday-hearing-2022-06-28/

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to then-President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows, is expected to testify, several media outlets reported. Representatives of the panel did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reports.

Two tidbits from the Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2022/jun/28/jan-6-hearings-latest-updates-cassidy-hutchinson-mark-meadows-trump-capitol-attack

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jun/28/january-6-hearings-focus-on-phone-calls-among-trumps-children-and-aides-weeks-before-election

What will come of all this, if anything of real consequence, remains to be seen.

nous's first link contains the phrase "the Trump White House’s chief ethics lawyer" -- this made me laugh out loud.

If only it were really just oxymoronic comedy.

Possible duties of "the Trump White House’s chief ethics lawyer": make sure Trump never (inadvertently) does something ethical. There are standards which must be maintained, after all!

off to grab a sandwich, then back to listen to the hearing. wondering if I should make some popcorn.

I agree with Tony, there is nothing more obvious to me than that Trump is guilty of sedition, or at a minimum, seditious conspiracy.

It remains to be seen if the DOJ will do bugger-all about it.

I understand that there are political complications to all of this, and even though the DOJ is supposed to be above it all, I also understand that Garland has to be... perspicacious in how he proceeds.

All of that said, the actions of Trump and his crew are such blatant and egregious violations of law, let alone concern for settled practice and institutions, that they kind of transcend political concern.

This isn't about different points of view regarding public life or the direction of the country. It's about tearing up the fundamental basis of governance when it doesn't go your way.

That can't be allowed to stand without a clear and unequivocal response.

I understand that there are political complications to all of this

We should have learned from the Nixon pardon, failing to prosecute an ex-president for clear crimes is a bad mistake.

My only caveat would be that prosecuting with a case which fails would be, if anything, worse. Trump, especially, would take it as proof that he wasn't guilty of anything, rather than merely a Scots verdict: not proven.

It seems to me we are living with the absurd notion, held by far too many people, that the standard for January 6th is the POTUS knowing with absolute certainty that his words and actions would lead to what happened in and around the Capitol. It doesn't matter that he should have known there was a high likelihood of violence given the kind of people he would attract and given the kind of people who ultimately showed up. If he didn't tell them explicitly and in detail to do what they did, it's not his fault.

Imagine the same situation with Obama in the role of Trump.

hsh -- The standard you mention is framed as if Clickbait was just blathering but maybe should be held responsible for unintended side effects. It seems quite clear that the effects were neither unintended nor "side." He was deliberately fomenting armed rebellion.

The standard you mention is framed as if Clickbait was just blathering but maybe should be held responsible for unintended side effects.

I don't even give them that much credit. If the sides effects were unintended, there's no responsibility. And the only way to prove intent is to show clear and explicit commands to violently storm the Capitol, fight the police to the death if necessary, and threaten the lives of members of congress. Anything short of that and he's a babe in the woods, innocent and pure, full of American virtue.

My read on things is that the right is going to wring its hands over what percentage of the crowd actually intended sedition. They will avow that there were people there intent upon sedition, but that the majority were there only out of concern that their country had been stolen. Then they will avow that Tyrannosaurus Rump is a character who has fits some times, but that there was no linkage between him and the seditionists who had just chosen to rid T.Rump of that turbulent priest.

Because a lot of them know someone who traveled to DC for the 6th and wish to preserve the blamelessness of their actions.

In group loyalty is a powerful thing for the right, and hard to go against, especially when they feel complicit.

That's how I make sense of the conversations I've seen from my relatives, anyway.

But all will be fine once God removes King Saul and puts David on the throne.

I'm not in the group, so going against is not a problem for me.

US Code 115 is the chapter that defines various crimes against the government of the US. Pick whichever one seems the best fit, there are probably multiple that apply.

Lock these mf'ers up, or this country has ceased to exist as a polity operating under rule of law.

If this crap doesn't do it, I don't know what will.

The stuff about Trump knowing about all the weapons was particularly damaging, I thought. Also "they're not here to hurt me, take the f*ing mags away".

And, by the way, although in context it's trivial, I don't think the stuff about him throwing dishes and ketchup against the wall will do him any good. Even his supporters might have to visualise toddlers having tantrums...

From The Hill:

“I hardly know who this person, Cassidy Hutchinson, is, other than I heard very negative things about her (a total phony and ‘leaker’), and when she requested to go with certain others of the team to Florida after my having served a full term in office, I personally turned her request down,” Trump posted.

“Why did she want to go with us if she felt we were so terrible? I understand that she was very upset and angry that I didn’t want her to go, or be a member of the team. She is bad news!” Trump added.

then

Two former White House aides indicated they believed Hutchinson’s testimony.

“Anyone downplaying Cassidy Hutchinson’s role or her access in the West Wing either doesn’t understand how the Trump WH worked or is attempting to discredit her because they’re scared of how damning this testimony is,” former deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews tweeted.

“My guess is that before this is over, we will be hearing testimony from Ornato, Engle, and Meadows,” former Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney tweeted. “This is explosive stuff. If Cassidy is making this up, they will need to say that. If she isn’t they will have to corroborate. I know her. I don’t think she is lying.”

So when T. Rump says "take the f***ing mags away" do we take that to mean mag[netometer]s or mag[azine]s (for their weapons)? I'm thinking it is the former, but betting the apologists will try to say it's the latter and that T. Rump wanted to *disarm* them - never mind that this makes no sense.

Of course the testimony will get distorted and lied about, if not reinvented whole cloth, but she made it pretty clear that she meant the magnetometers. And yes, otherwise his anger makes no sense. "They're not here to hurt me" -- subtext, "And I doing give a flying f who else they hurt."

No, she was very explicit that that was what they called the magnetometers. Also, "they're not here to hurt me" - I think we can all imagine which word was emphasised!

Trump believed the election was stolen. So did his followers. Many,if not most, still do. If one believes the foundational principles of the Country are in grave danger, an armed defense is necessary. The President was so upset he tried to commandeer his own vehicle & threw his Chicken McNuggets at the wall.

Yeah, I think the Right Wing Reel is exactly that easy to spin.

I found it interesting that they closed the hearing with the quotes about “influencing testimony” & I wonder if that had something to do with the timing of the surprise hearing.

Cross posted! But, obvs, what Janie said.

I found it interesting that they closed the hearing with the quotes about “influencing testimony” & I wonder if that had something to do with the timing of the surprise hearing.

Excellent point.

"They're not here to hurt me" -- subtext, "And I do[n't]ing give a flying f- who else they hurt."

Which is just so Trump.

It will be interesting if they call one of the Secret Service agents who were guarding Trump to testify about what was happening and what was said by whom.

And amusing, since the precedent for doing that was . . . Starr calling one to testify about Clinton.

Trump believed the election was stolen. So did his followers. Many,if not most, still do.

Earlier this month the county board of a New Mexico county was going to refuse to certify the primary results. This is a ceremonial duty; they have no authority over election matters except the formal certification. They eventually certified the results 2-1, with the commission chair voting no. His reasoning was “My vote to remain a no isn’t based on any evidence, it’s not based on any facts, it’s only based on my gut feeling and my own intuition."

This is in a county where the voters are very largely Republican, where the chief election officer is a Republican.

Not to put too fine a point, but I kinda feel like there was (is) a rather specific list of who they want to hurt, but also care nothing about collateral damage.

His reasoning was “My vote to remain a no isn’t based on any evidence, it’s not based on any facts, it’s only based on my gut feeling and my own intuition."

Sadly, being willing to admit there was no evidence puts him head and shoulders above a lot of the MAGAt crowd.

Other fun fact, the county board only did its duty after being ordered to do so by the state Supreme Court.

Hutchinson’s former attorney, Stefan Passantino, has deep Trump World connections. Her new lawyer, Jody Hunt, is a longtime close ally of Jeff Sessions and served as his chief of staff when the former attorney general enraged Trump by recusing from the Russia probe.

From Politico. Lots of speculation, apparently, about most of the refuseniks sharing lawyers from Trump World. Wonder if this, combined with Pete's point above about "influencing testimony", will make them think twice.

Sadly, being willing to admit there was no evidence puts him head and shoulders above a lot of the MAGAt crowd.

Just shoulders, no head.

He's not saying there is no evidence, just that he hasn't seen any confirming evidence or established facts.

It's a vote for the truthiness of "conscience."

Just shoulders, no head.

Acephalous. Makes me miss Scott Eric Kauffman.

Wonder how significant today was? Here's an analysis from a famously radical left wing Democratic operative (or something)
https://twitter.com/MickMulvaney/status/1541865971593396226?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

See, especially, point 5:

The commission thinks they have evidence of witness tampering.
A bad day indeed.

Trump's denial of steering wheel story, food-throwing story, crowd-size story and guns story:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FWXVqhVXwAQKaZN.jpg

And he wants someone prosecuted for shooting Ashli Babbitt? Dig the hole a little deeper, Clickbait.

Not that his acolytes and dupes don't think she's a hero.....

Collective insanity.

From today's NYT:

(Later in the day, Secret Service officials who requested anonymity said that the two men in the presidential limousine with Mr. Trump were prepared to state under oath that neither was assaulted by the former president and that he did not reach for the wheel.)

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/28/us/cassidy-hutchinson-trump.html

His reasoning was “My vote to remain a no isn’t based on any evidence, it’s not based on any facts, it’s only based on my gut feeling and my own intuition."

It's a vote for the truthiness of "conscience."

That was the first thing that came to mind.

Truthiness. From the 1st Colbert Report, 2005. Somehow, even the Harriet Miers reference seems relevant again.

"Anyone can read the news to you. I promise to feel the news at you."


Of course, no sooner had I regained my composure, when along comes Mary Miller saying the Nazi part out loud. Not on my worst day, when my tongue is all thumbs (eww!) and which happens with disturbing frequency, could I have made that substitution. In my own dissent, I suspect that the Venn between "Right To Life" and "White Life" is approximately circular. But clearly, White Replacement Theory is real.

Also, I'll put commas wherever I damn well, please.

I'm heading out the door for the day and I don't have any primary source links for this, but TaMara, one of the BJ front-pagers, posted this comment in the current top thread:

Can I jump in here and help debunk the “NBC reports” about the Secret Service? First of all it’s Peter Alexander who tweeted it. Rachel pretty much threw him under the bus last night, good for her.

But IMHO, January6thCmte will do what they always do, bring the receipts. No way they let her testify to this w/o knowing it was true.

And Bobby Engel already testified before the committee…so that debunks half of the Alexander scoop.

Secret Service officials who requested anonymity said that the two men in the presidential limousine with Mr. Trump were prepared to state under oath that neither was assaulted by the former president and that he did not reach for the wheel.

and thus begins the (R) project of discrediting Hutchinson.

an hour and a half of damning first-hand testimony, but they are gonna hammer on one of the few bits of second-hand narrative. and not even a particularly material bit. but it'll be enough to paint her as a liar, to folks who are interested in seeing her that way.

Some of Trump's people, including Trump, are looking at criminal charges, possibly including sedition. there aren't gonna be any pardons coming out of the Biden WH. it's kind of all or nothing for them at this point, they'll try on anything to keep their lying behinds out of jail.

if there's a John Dean in there somewhere, about time for him or her to come forward and resolve this freaking mess.

My vote to remain a no isn’t based on any evidence, it’s not based on any facts, it’s only based on my gut feeling and my own intuition.

this is the dawning of the Age of the Perpetual Facepalm.

I'll put commas wherever I damn well, please.

it was good enough for the founders.

Secret Service officials who requested anonymity said

This is BS.

First, it's not even a statement by the two individuals. Let them testify, or at least say it themselves to a reporter.

Second, "not assaulted" does not mean "not grabbed," or the like.

and thus begins the (R) project of discrediting Hutchinson.

an hour and a half of damning first-hand testimony, but they are gonna hammer on one of the few bits of second-hand narrative. and not even a particularly material bit. but it'll be enough to paint her as a liar, to folks who are interested in seeing her that way.

Yup.

Let's see them, or the people she alleges told her, testify under oath. Anonymously saying you'd do it, and doing it, are two different things.

they are gonna hammer on one of the few bits of second-hand narrative. and not even a particularly material bit

And this is true, too, so if it is disproved, big deal. But, apart from all the other reasons I don't want her honesty to be impugned, I think these details, and the throwing of dishes and food at the wall, all add to the picture.

Second, "not assaulted" does not mean "not grabbed," or the like.

If I remember correctly from when my ex was in law school, "assault" is basically unpermitted touching.

So on the one hand, "grabbed" is "assaulted" -- for normal people. On the other, if the agent in the car didn't mind being grabbed, I supposed you could say it was permitted. ;-)

/quibble

And wrs.

That is a pure legalism that will naturally be exploited to allow certain people to effectivly lie under oath but avoid being sentenced for perjury. See Bill Clinton in the Lewisnky case. Another related trope is over-specific denial. And rightwing media will of course throw all disctinctions overboard and accuse HER of perjury.

That is a pure legalism that will naturally be exploited to allow certain people to effectivly lie under oath but avoid being sentenced for perjury.

It will certainly be exploited. Watching Cheney yesterday I'm not sure she'll let anyone do it without making it perfectly clear that that's what's going on.

She asked Flynn something to the effect of whether he thought the storming of the Capitol was justified (?) (can't remember the exact words). She then specified "legally or morally" and asked and asked until he pleaded the fifth for both together and each separately. She made his slithering perfectly clear.

Again, the usual suspects will believe what they want. It's a big question as to whether anyone else is budge-able. And also, "pure legalisms" matter when prosecutors make decisions. These hearings are theater, yes, but there are also legal decisions that may end up being made based on what is said and revealed.

And when I say "Cheney" in my 12:49 I really should be saying "the committee." She's in mind because she did most of the questioning yesterday.

and not even a particularly material bit.

Not sure. Not a lawyer. But this was interesting in that regard. (Not sure about that link; search for "sinedie" on that page.)

*****

I'll put commas wherever I damn well, please.

it was good enough for the founders.

Priceless. :-)

Good point on the Flynn forensics.

if there's a John Dean in there somewhere, about time for him or her to come forward and resolve this freaking mess.

You could make a decent argument (and I've seen a couple people doing so) that Ms Hutchinson is the John Dean here.

"Explosive" isn't too strong a description for her testimony. Which is why TFG and his MAGAts have gone DefCon 1 on her. All their previous dodges got blown up by her. I'm hoping she (and, with these scum, her family) are getting serious protection.

Former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann is claiming that a handwritten note regarding a potential statement for then-President Donald Trump to release during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was written by him during a meeting at the White House that afternoon, and not by White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.

At Tuesday's Jan. 6 committee hearing, Rep. Liz Cheney displayed a handwritten note which Hutchinson testified she wrote after Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows handed her a note card and pen to take his dictation.

Sources familiar with the matter said that Herschmann had previously told the committee that he had penned the note.

"The handwritten note that Cassidy Hutchinson testified was written by her was in fact written by Eric Herschmann on January 6, 2021," a spokesperson for Herschmann told ABC News Tuesday evening.

"All sources with direct knowledge and law enforcement have and will confirm that it was written by Mr. Herschmann," the spokesperson said.

I have to say, in my experience, it's a lot harder to tell whose writing it is when it's all in capitals. However:

Hutchinson also said that Herschmann had suggested changing the statement and to "put 'without legal authority.'"

In response to Herschmann's claim, a spokesperson for the Jan. 6 committee said, "The committee has done its diligence on this and found Ms. Hutchinson's account of this matter credible. While we understand that she and Mr. Herschmann may have differing recollections of who wrote the note, what’s ultimately important is that both White House officials believed that the President should have immediately instructed his supporters to leave the Capitol building."

"The note memorialized this," the committee spokesperson said. "But Mr. Trump did not take that action at the time."

Given how useful Herschmann has been to the committee, it's odd that they would have been trying very openly to disprove his testimony on who wrote the note (they asked Cassidy H to confirm it rather pointedly). I don't get the rationale of this, does anybody else?

I'd venture that Herschmann and Hutchinson were working on the the note together. Herschmann was dictating the note and Hutchinson was writing it down, so "written by" is ambiguous. It's her handwriting, but the content came from the lawyer (or were roughed in for Hershcmann by Hutchinson, but he had final edit and authority).

It's her handwriting, but the content came from the lawyer

I think that's probably correct.

I never heard of Herschmann before the video so I couldn't speculate on his motivations. But as a Senior Advisor to Trump, I think he's probably a sleaze. Admittedly and with full disclosure, that suspicion isn’t based on any evidence, it’s not based on any facts, it’s only based on my gut feeling and my own intuition.

Yeah, that probably is correct, and partly fits with what she said anyway.

Admittedly and with full disclosure, that suspicion isn’t based on any evidence, it’s not based on any facts, it’s only based on my gut feeling and my own intuition.

LOL. Mind you, sleaze or no, I liked his evidence on what he said about Clark:

Former White House counsel Eric Herschmann recalled what he said to Clark when he became aware of his plans.

"When he finished discussing what he planned on doing, I said '[expletive], congratulations. You just admitted your first step you would take as AG would be committing a felony," Herschmann said. "'You're clearly the right candidate for this job.'"

"I told Clark the only thing he knew was that environmental and election both start with "e," and I'm not even sure you know that," he added.

"I told Clark the only thing he knew was that environmental and election both start with "e," and I'm not even sure you know that,"

I really loved that line as well. Especially combined with "'You're clearly the right candidate for this job.'"

From the WaPo via BJ:

Tuesday’s surprise hearing was designed in part to ramp up pressure on reluctant witnesses such as Cipollone, according to those involved with the investigation, who, like others quoted in this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations. One of those people said there has been a behind-the-scenes strategy to get other witnesses to testify — particularly Cipollone.

...

“He has taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution on three occasions, twice when he was admitted to the bar with licenses he still holds, and once when he took the job of White House counsel, and I think oaths are serious matters,” said John Dean, Richard M. Nixon’s former counsel. “Here’s a man with 10 children. And I would think he’d want them to remember him as somebody who defended democracy for them.”

The one thing that surprised me is that Jabbabonk, according to the testimony, actually wanted to take part in the actions at the Capitol. Him gleefully watching the whole thing on TV in the safety of his office seemed to be much more in character.

@Hartnut -- Like Putin (apparently) thinking his army was going to march in virtually unopposed and take Ukraine in 3 or 4 days to the cheers of grateful Ukrainians, I suspect Clickbait thought there wasn't actually going to be a riot with death and destruction, but something else altogether.

Surrounded by his own personal army, he would make a triumphal march into the chamber where the votes were being counted. The counting would stop, people would bow, the ones who didn't bow would be taken care of appropriately, and he would go out to a balcony where pictures like some of these or these would be taken for a worshiping posterity.

He lives in part for the adoring crowds. That's what he expected to find at the Capitol, that and the completion of his plans to take over what used to be the United States of America.

PS Hartmut -- how are you feeling? I had two family members with Covid in April. One never felt too bad, the other, younger one said he was sicker than he'd ever been in his life. He was vaxxed and boosted, but somehow it hit him very hard.

I hope you and your parents get through it without more than a mild bout.

Hartmut: what Janie said. Both times!

I suspect Clickbait thought there wasn't actually going to be a riot with death and destruction

I suspect he was more than fine with all of it. It might even have been the best part, from his point of view.

Such a cynic, me.

I suspect Clickbait thought there wasn't actually going to be a riot with death and destruction

I suspect he was more than fine with all of it. It might even have been the best part, from his point of view.

I'd say that it's more likely that he thought that there wouldn't be any death or injury near him, or at least that came close to injuring him. But fine with death and injury and destruction for others.

I agree with you from that angle, russell. I was only addressing Hartmut's skepticism about whether he would want to actually be in the midst of ongoing bloodshed and violence.

Since I don't think he'd want to put his own precious self in any danger, or get near any germs, I figure he either didn't have the imagination to know what the actuality of blood and gore and gunfire and shit on the walls would be like, or he thought his phalanx of centurion guards would keep him well insulated, or he didn't think there would be enough of the blood and gore etc. to prevent him from taking his triumphal march.

Or all of the above in his addled brain.

So -- two separate questions. Did he care if people got killed? Not in the least. Did he want to be in the midst of a firefight? No again. Did he want to go to the Capitol? Apparently yes. So, squaring that circle......

wj said it more pithily. ;-)

Whatever was going on the dark, fetid corners of his so-called mind, he knowingly urged an armed, armored, and rabid mob - one he had summoned to the Ellipse - to march to the Capitol, all while the very thing they were incensed over was going on there and while the people they were enraged at were inside. I mean, what could go wrong?

the dark, fetid corners of his so-called mind

This strikes me as a perfect description, hsh.

My mother is mainly feeling just unwell but without specific symptoms. For myself, it's like an enhanced version of the common cold with heightened temperature and an unpleasnt dry cough. For my father (who had only 2 vaxx shots) it adds to his other illnesses/ailments. I have the suspicion that he brought it home from his last short stint in hospital. Now he is back there again more as a precaution and because we can't take care of him properly at the moment. So, luckily, it seems more like an inconvenience at the moment. For me in particular since it is the last regular week of school and there were some other events I planned to go to this week. The way I feel now I would already be able to go but, since the tests are still positive, that is of course not an option.
It's probably good to go ahead of the expected autumn wave. And being part of a more or less working universal health care system removes the worry about financial troubles resulting from it.
I just hope that I did not spread it in the days before the first test came up positive. As a teacher at a public school around here I have to take at least three tests per week but the mask mandates have been loosened significantly and the current heat wave has led to a majority taking advantage of that, me partially included. But since I believe that I caught it at home, even iron discipline would not have protected me, and I hope that I kept the right balance and distance outside home so no one caught it from me.

These hearings will be interesting:

A British film-maker embedded with Donald Trump and his family in the aftermath of the presidential election claimed he had been “delusional” and “absolutely” knew violence would result from his refusal to accept defeat.

Alex Holder had exclusive access to the Trump family in the weeks surrounding the 2020 election. He amassed more than 100 hours of video, including interviews with Trump and his children, during the turmoil that followed the vote and climaxed with the riot on January 6, 2021, when Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol.

Holder’s footage has now been turned over to the congressional committee investigating the attack

***

Holder, who has also testified to the investigation, said that Trump was “incredibly dangerous” because he lived in a “different reality”, incapable of admitting he was wrong and that his election defeat by Joe Biden was legitimate.

“Donald Trump is not a rational player. I mean, he just isn’t,” Alex Holder told a Yahoo News podcast this week. “You can’t have a conversation with him in the same way that you can have a conversation with most other people. He is somebody that lives in a different reality.”

Holder said that in interviews with Trump, he witnessed the former president consumed by his own lies about election fraud, which began even when he won the White House in 2016.

“That is a person who is delusional. That is a person who is incredibly dangerous, because you can’t debate with that person,” Holder said.

***

Holder said that in the days leading up to January 6, when Congress would gather to confirm Biden’s victory, Trump was “absolutely” convinced there would be violence.

“It was so obvious. This was his last hurrah,” Holder said. “He had this ridiculous idea that intervening in this ceremonial process of certifying these results could somehow prevent President Biden being inaugurated.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/delusional-donald-trump-knew-he-was-stoking-violence-before-capitol-riot-says-film-maker-pczmz698w

Let's hope there's inarguable proof of what Holder says on tape, not just a Brit making a (very understandable) interpretation...

FWIW, I'm not sure it's accurate to call Trump delusional. That would imply he believes the things he says are true.

My sense is that Trump doesn't care if something is true or not. If it's to his advantage to say something, to make a claim or take a position, he'll do it. If it's not, he won't. Whether it's true or not is beside the point.

He's basically gotten away with that for 50 years or so. It's worked for him. IMO it's less a matter of delusion, and more a matter of him being unable to accept a loss. Not necessarily that he believes he won, more that it doesn't matter if he actually won or not, he's just going to yell and scream and break stuff until he gets his way, facts be damned.

Delusion means you think something is true that is not actually true. I don't think truth or falsity are factors in Trump's thought process. He has to win, period.

As far as the violence goes, Trump certainly does not want to be in any personal physical danger, but it seems pretty clear to me that he is more than OK with violence as a means to get his way. By "more than OK" I mean he appears to relish it. He appears to see constraints on his desire to physically punish people he considers his enemies to be annoying hindrances that need to be removed.

"Can't you just shoot them?" - Trump on the BLM protests.

He is a fucking bully, and lives to intimidate others. It's his preferred way of relating to every other human being on the planet, with the possible exception of a very, very small circle of people. Very, very small, not even extending to all of his immediate family.

Bully, liar, narcissist, crook.

Hartmut, sorry to hear about your family's bout with Covid. Here is a wish for a speedy and uncomplicated recovery for one and all.

Since I don't think he'd want to put his own precious self in any danger, or get near any germs, I figure he either didn't have the imagination to know what the actuality of blood and gore and gunfire and shit on the walls would be like...

I would lean towards thinking he imagined it would be like the things he did with World Wrestling Entertainment.

He wouldn't have been alone in believing it. Every year people get hurt -- up to and including dying -- at the national parks in the western states because they think it's just another Disneyland with domesticated and/or animatronic bears and bison.

it's less a matter of delusion, and more a matter of him being unable to accept a loss. Not necessarily that he believes he won, more that it doesn't matter if he actually won or not, he's just going to yell and scream and break stuff until he gets his way, facts be damned.

I don't think he even cares whether he won or not. What really, really drives him is the possibility that others might think he is "A loser."

My take is that he has the ability to convince himself that his own lies are true. Call it "willful delusion." He starts off saying whatever is to his advantage to say, regardless of whether he believes it, after which he adopts it as a belief, at least until he needs to say and subsequently believe something else. He has always been at war with Eastasia.

Thanks for the well-whishing, guys!

It's like a magnet. Just do it. Don't even wait. When you're a president they let you do it. You can do anything.

Was anyone expecting any different?

I also wish for a full & speedy recovery to “@Hartnut” and the rest of his zany kin!

;-)

Just saw a snippet of Biden at the NATO summit:

Putin wanted the Finlandisation of NATO. Instead, he got the NATOfication of Finland.

Good line.

Trump has never been the problem. He's the symptom. The Republican party has been working on ending representative government for at least thirty years. Unless Biden adds more SC members and unless Congress nukes the filibuster, they will succeed. THey have ended representative government in many red states already.

The idea that these justices are conservative boggles the mind. They do not wish to leave anything for society to conserve. The locusts have shackled the ants and are consuming everything within reach.

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2022/jun/30/supreme-court-ruling-epa-west-virginia-climate-experts-activists-lawyers

What wonkie said.

The GOP is out to make sure no Democratic majority is elected ever again; and no Democratic President, ever again.

They have SCOTUS on their side, too.

The GOP is out to make sure no Democratic majority is elected ever again; and no Democratic President, ever again.

They have SCOTUS on their side, too.

Their problem (and their motivation) is that they represent a minority of the population. A shrinking minority. Which means they have only two choices:

  1. Modify their positions, to attract a majority. At least occasionally.
  2. Rig the rules, so they don't need more than their minority
They have settled on option 2.

Unfortunately, for our lives and for them in the (not very) long run,
a) maintaining a tyrannical minority rule requires increasingly harsh controls, which generate more opposition, and
b) as the extremism gets more extreme, the minority which is represented gets smaller.
We're seeing b) already. When some of the crazier positions were just theoretical, those who benefited from other GOP positions could fool themselves that the crazy stuff wouldn't actually happen. Once those have been implemented, those folks move away.

Probably a few missing from this list (which doesn't include any of the shadow docket decisions), but it gives a sense of the scale of the radical nihilism.

Rivas-Villegas -- SCOTUS reversed the lower court to give a cop qualified immunity for using excessive force
Tahlequah v. Bond -- SCOTUS reversed the lower court to give a cop qualified immunity for killing a man
Shoop v. Twyford -- SCOTUS made it harder to get habeas relief
Brown v. Davenport -- SCOTUS made it harder to get habeas relief
Shinn v. Ramirez -- SCOTUS made it harder to get habeas relief
Zubaydah -- SCOTUS allowed the Govt to withhold information about torture on CIA black sites
Vaello-Madero -- SCOTUS denied SS benefits to residents of Puerto Rico
Cummings -- SCOTUS disallowed recovery for emotional-distress damages in civil rights lawsuits
Patel -- SCOTUS stripped federal courts of jurisdiction to review fact issues in immigration proceedings
Biden v. Missouri -- SCOTUS blocked a federal vaccine mandate
Garland v. Gonzalez -- SCOTUS denied long-detained immigrants' access to a bond hearing
Johnson v. Arteaga-Martinez -- SCOTUS denied long-detained immigrants' access to a bond hearing
FEC v. Ted Cruz -- SCOTUS struck down campaign finance restrictions to enable Ted Cruz to pay himself back for loans he made to his own campaign (from donations post election)
Egbert v. Boule -- SCOTUS further limited a person's ability to sue federal officers (Bivens actions)
Vega v. Tekah -- SCOTUS weakened enforcement of Miranda rights
Carson v. Makin -- SCOTUS undermined the Establishment Clause, forcing states to fund private religious schools
Kennedy v. Bremerton Sch. Dist. -- SCOTUS undermined the Establishment Clause, allowing football coach to have public/publicized Christian prayers at football games
Denezpi -- SCOTUS recognized tribal sovereignty just enough to allow an Indian defendant to be prosecuted twice for the same crime (no double jeopardy), then...
Castro-Huerta -- SCOTUS undermined tribal sovereignty by making tribal land "part of state" and allowing state to exercise jurisdiction on tribal land
Bruen -- SCOTUS struck down NY's 100yo restriction on concealed carry to expand 2A and limit gun restrictions
U.S. v. Texas -- SCOTUS allowed Texas's "bounty hunter" antiabortion law to go into effect
Dobbs -- SCOTUS overruled Roe & Casey, eliminating the federal right to abortion and enabling severe (life-threatening) restrictions on abortion to go into effect
West Virginia v. EPA -- SCOTUS undermined the EPA's ability to regulate emissions and fight global warming

Given what we know about Ginni’s attempts to influence elections (and who knows what we don’t know), does Thomas recuse himself on Moore v Harper?

I bet he doesn’t.

I bet he doesn’t.

you will find no takers here.

Well, well.

(CNN)Weeks after the House panel investigating the January 6 insurrection was formed, former President Donald Trump's political action committee gave $1 million to the non-profit organization that employs his former chief of staff Mark Meadows, campaign finance records filed Monday night show.

Try as I might to resist wj's optimism, I do find his 01.18 above persuasive, particularly a and b.
I'm still going to try to resist: it's dangerous to let optimism in.

Former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson received at least one message tacitly warning her not to cooperate with the House January 6 select committee from an associate of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jun/30/jan-6-hearings-trump-mark-meadows-cassidy-hutchinson-threatened

The fact that the right is losing its members and is busy trying to ratf**k their way to a narrow victory would be more comfort to me if it weren't for the likelihood that the threat of a loss of power would trigger a violent reaction and attempt at wide-scale political repression.

https://www.journalofdemocracy.org/articles/the-rise-of-political-violence-in-the-united-states/

The two things from this report that jumped out at me:

Heightened political competition is strongly associated with electoral violence. Only when outcomes are uncertain but close is there a reason to resort to violence. For much of U.S. history, one party held legislative power for decades. Yet since 1980, a shift in control of at least one house of Congress was possible—and since 2010, elections have seen a level of competition not seen since Reconstruction (1865–77).

So the narrowness of the elections is actually increasing the likelihood of violence, and...:

When law and justice institutions are believed to lean toward one party or side of an identity cleavage, political violence becomes more likely. International cases reveal that groups that believe they can use violence without consequences are more likely to do so. The U.S. justice system, police, and military are far more professional and less politicized than those of most developing democracies that face widespread electoral violence. Longstanding perceptions that police favor one side are supported by Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) data showing that police used far greater force at left-wing protests than at right-wing protests throughout 2020. Despite this conservative ideological tilt, party affiliation and feelings were more complicated: Law enforcement was also a target of right-wing militias, and partisan affiliation (based on donations) had previously been mixed due to union membership and other cross-cutting identities that connected police to the Democratic Party. In 2020, however, donations from individual law enforcement officers to political parties increased, and they tilted far toward the Republican Party, suggesting that the polarizing events of 2020 have led them to sort themselves to the right and deepen their partisanship.

Which means that if the GOP does regain control of the white house, it is likely to try to use its 4 to 1 advantage in law enforcement partisanship to repress and intimidate the opposition through state sanctioned violence, and use the courts to disarm and disenfranchise their opposition.

Losing a majority means nothing if the institutions that enforce shared governance are captured by those with no intention to share.

Natural rights don't exactly enforce themselves.

Which means that if the GOP does regain control of the white house, it is likely to try to use its 4 to 1 advantage in law enforcement partisanship to repress and intimidate the opposition through state sanctioned violence, and use the courts to disarm and disenfranchise their opposition.

Agreed. It's not like they haven't tried/begun already.

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald J. Trump's political organization and his allies have paid for or promised to finance the legal fees of more than a dozen witnesses called in the congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 attack, raising legal and ethical questions about whether the former president may be influencing testimony with a direct bearing on him.

The arrangement drew new scrutiny this week after Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide in his White House, made an explosive appearance before the House panel, providing damning new details about Mr. Trump’s actions and statements on the day of the deadly riot.

She did so after firing a lawyer who had been recommended to her by two of Mr. Trump’s former aides and paid for by his political action committee, and hiring new counsel. Under the representation of the new lawyer, Jody Hunt, Ms. Hutchinson sat for a fourth interview with the committee in which she divulged more revelations and agreed to come forward publicly to testify to them.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/30/us/trump-jan-6-lawyers-witness-pressure.html

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