More to ignore, Book 64........

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Trump demanded that Secret Service help him join march on the Capitol
Darrell Lucus

Less than 48 hours from the start of the Jan. 6 hearings, The Washington Post detonated one of what are likely to be many bombshells. It turns out that when Trump wailed that the Secret Service wouldn’t let him follow through on his vow to join the MAGA horde as they marched to the Capitol, he wasn’t just blowing smoke.

According to sources briefed on witness accounts to House investigators, Trump had been badgering the Secret Service for some time before Jan. 6 to make a way for him to join the march. They resisted—only to have their hand forced when Trump made his now-infamous suggestion that when they went to the Capitol, he would be with them. This set off a mad scramble for a way to secure a route for Trump—one that was abandoned in part because the Metropolitan Police were too busy tamping down the “wild” situation Trump himself had sparked.

According to witness accounts, Trump, through several of his aides, began pressing the Secret Service to find a way for him to join the march as early as New Year’s Eve. They initially reached out to Tony Ornato, a Secret Service official who was serving as acting deputy White House chief of staff. Ornato was somewhat cool toward the idea, based on what happened after Trump dropped in at a “Stop the Steal” rally on Nov. 14. When Trump’s motorcade came rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue that morning, Ornato and several of his colleagues feared for the worst “because of how close Trump’s limo came alongside unscreened members of the public.” According to one of the sources, Trump’s Secret Service detail “really, really did not want him to go” to that rally.

Nevertheless, apparently knowing Trump’s nature, Ornato suggested that the aides reach out to the head of Trump’s Secret Service detail. The detail chief was equally cool toward a Jan. 6 motorcade, believing there was no way they could safely get Trump to the Capitol. For that reason, the detail chief told the Trump aides in no uncertain terms that a Jan. 6 motorcade was not safe.


But on Jan. 6, Trump threw his detail a nasty curveball.

On the morning of Jan. 6, many Secret Service detail members believed they were doing an “in and out” — taking Trump to the Ellipse stage and then back to the White House, according to witness accounts. They were caught off guard when Trump made what they considered a surprise announcement, according to a senior law enforcement official.
“We fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore,” he said, later adding. “So we are going to — we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we are going to the Capitol.”

When the agents heard that, they began madly calling their contacts at the Metropolitan Police about blocking intersections. However, the Metropolitan Police were themselves scrambling to help the Capitol Police with a growing mob near the Capitol. According to a spokeswoman for the D. C. Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice—who oversees the Metropolitan Police—“we were asked, and the response was no.” Finally, Trump’s detail chief kiboshed the plan, deeming it far too risky to get Trump to the Capitol.

According to The Post, this testimony suggests that the Jan. 6 Committee is taking a serious look at whether Trump tried to make the Secret Service an unwitting accomplice in his effort to steal another term. According to the front page of The Post’s Website, this development also shows that Trump knew more about the march on the Capitol than had previously been publicly reported. No permit had ever been granted for this march, remember.

If this reporting and testimony are accurate, the Secret Service may have very well helped avert a real disaster by refusing to give in to Trump’s demands.
..........

CA Libertarian
Jun 07, 2022 at 07:35:44 PM

Well. Certainly doesn’t sound like an Antifa rally then, eh?
......

kamachanda
Jun 07, 2022 at 07:18:22 PM

Hauling around a giant sack of lard is not in the job description on the secret service.
.......

davidsites
Jun 07, 2022 at 07:31:46 PM

According to the post article, Pence was warned about the Secret Service plan to take him to Andrews Air Force Base. Yikes!
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is in active discussions with former White House counsel Pat Cipollone regarding a potential public appearance in one of their upcoming hearings, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Cipollone and former deputy White House counsel Pat Philbin previously met with committee investigators for an informal interview in April.

Cipollone was one of the few aides who was with then-President Donald Trump in the West Wing on Jan. 6. ABC News previously reported that in the days following the attack on the Capitol, he advised Trump that Trump could potentially face civil liability in connection with his role encouraging supporters to march on the Capitol.

According to sources, there are a number of circumstances that could serve to complicate any eventual appearance by Cipollone -- including the issue of who questions him and for how long; whether there are any ongoing issues of privilege; and whether Trump would approve of his appearance.

Michael Purpura, the former deputy White House counsel who was part of the legal team defending Trump during his first Senate impeachment trial, is representing Cipollone in his discussions with committee investigators, sources said.

Cipollone has also made clear that his testimony would be restricted to the effort undertaken by former top Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark to use the powers of the DOJ to further Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election, sources familiar with the deliberations said.

Representatives for Cipollone did not respond to ABC's request for comment. A spokesperson for the committee declined to comment.

The committee hopes to secure Cipollone's public testimony on a panel with former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and his then-deputy Richard Donoghue, along with one of DOJ's former top attorneys, Steve Engel, sources said. Both Rosen and Donoghue have received formal invitations from the committee to appear.

Both Cipollone and Philbin were part of a Jan. 3 Oval Office meeting where Trump insisted on replacing Rosen with Clark, a Trump loyalist who had vowed to use the Department of Justice to investigate the election.

The officials in that meeting also debated a proposal by Clark to send a letter to state officials in Georgia urging officials in the state to investigate unfounded claims of fraud with an eye toward overturning President Joe Biden's victory in the state.

According to Donoghue, Cipollone and Philbin made it clear to Trump that they would resign if Clark were installed, with Cipollone describing the Georgia letter as a "murder-suicide pact" that would "damage anyone and anything that it touches," according to a Senate committee report released last year that detailed instances where Trump and his allies sought to use the DOJ to overturn the election.

ABC News previously obtained and published emails dated Dec. 28, 2020, showing Clark circulating that draft letter, which he wanted Rosen and Donoghue to sign off on.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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New details are emerging about how the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol plans to begin presenting its findings to the American people this Thursday, June 9.

The prime-time hearing, kicking off at 8 p.m. EDT, will feature never-before-seen footage, including a dramatic 10-minute video, and witness testimony as lawmakers aim to explain what they say was a "coordinated, multi-step effort" to undermine democracy and overturn results of the 2020 presidential election.

It was revealed this week that the panel brought in a seasoned television executive, former ABC News President James Goldston, to help produce the hearing and capture public attention after nearly a year's worth of work conducted behind the scenes, a development first reported by Axios and confirmed to ABC News by congressional sources. Goldston, who left ABC News last year, started working with the committee several weeks ago.

One of the witnesses planned for Thursday's hearing is documentary filmmaker Nick Quested, who was embedded with the extremist far-right group the Proud Boys during the assault on the Capitol, ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl reported.

The hearing will be the first time Quested shares his story publicly. Lawmakers are also expected to air material captured by Quested and his crew. While his documentary has not been released, some of his footage has been used in a Department of Justice case related to Jan. 6.

Earlier this week, Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio and four other members were indicted on seditious conspiracy charges. They all were previously indicted on less serious conspiracy charges related to their involvement in what transpired on Jan. 6. All previously pleaded not guilty and there is a hearing scheduled in their case for later this week.

Another expected witness is Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, who suffered a head injury in the attack. She told ABC News last October that she was still struggling months after the incident.

"You kind of have this, this guilt of like, 'Am I, am I making this up?' -- because I can't tell you know I can't show in a tangible way that I'm injured, but you know I really have to tell people I'm not feeling good today," Edwards said.

The Jan. 6 committee's presentation will be the culmination of more than 11 months of work including more than 1,000 interviews and over 140,000 documents.

The panel -- including seven Democrats and two Republicans -- has talked to Donald Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner as they investigate former President Donald Trump's role in efforts to subvert the election outcome. Trump has consistently attacked the panel, calling it the "Unselect Committee."

Committee members have also interviewed former Attorney General Bill Barr; former national security adviser Michael Fynn; Trump's former personal assistant Nick Luna; former aide to Mark Meadows, Cassidy Hutchinson; and Stephanie Grisham, the former White House press secretary and chief of staff to Melania Trump.

Most major news networks are expected to carry Thursday's hearing live in their prime-time slot, with the exception of Fox News.

The conservative outlet announced Tuesday that their prime-time programs will cover the hearings "as news warrants." At 11 p.m. EDT, "Fox News @ Night" anchor Shannon Bream will host a two-hour live special analyzing the hearings.

Instead, Fox Business will be covering the hearings live, with Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum as anchors. Local Fox affiliates around the country, the Fox website and Fox Nation app will also be able to air the Fox Business feed.

The Jan. 6 committee's second hearing is slated for June 13 at 10:00 a.m. The dates of the other hearings have not been released.

The committee has set a fall deadline to share its complete findings, a release that would coincide with the 2022 midterm elections.

The committee can refer cases for prosecution, but only the Justice Department can decide whether to file any charges.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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It doesn't matter what Republicans say they 'believe' or 'think.' What matters is how they vote
Dartagnan

As Democrats we often fall into the trap of finding comfort in polls which suggest that many Republicans “feel” or “believe” certain things that align with our values. For example, polls that suggest “two thirds of Americans do not support overturning Roe v. Wade,” or 44% of Republicans now favor “stricter federal gun laws” in the wake of the Uvalde mass shooting, or three quarters of Republicans favor government action to “reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” Or 73% of Republicans favor paid maternity leave, or 91% of Republicans favor the right of Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

The list can go on, but I won’t bore you. Because the reality at this point in history (and likely for the foreseeable future) is that what Republican voters may believe or think is completely irrelevant to the political discussion from our standpoint. What matters is how they vote, and for the most part they vote on one issue, and one issue only: their hatred of us, of Democrats.

Republicans’ positions on certain issues may provide happy media fodder in certain quarters who might bemoan the lack of “unity” or “bipartisanship” in addressing the concerns that actual, real people may have about their lives. They may suggest that Democratic “messaging” is the problem, or (more often) that Democrats need to tailor their campaigns to better attract so-called “red America.” But by and large, “red America” isn’t listening. What they’re listening to is Fox News and their hyper-partisan social media. And that tells them that voting for Democrats is akin to voting for the Devil incarnate, no matter what the issue is.


Josh Marshall, writing for his TalkingPointsMemo, occasionally highlights some of the better comments from his readers. In the wake of the Uvalde shootings, he re-posted a comment from a reader/subscriber identified as MH, that made some astute observations:

It’s not that half of Americans are pro-assault rifles or whatever. It’s that half the country — namely Republicans — is willing to turn a blind eye to the carnage. Similarly it’s not that half of Americans are anti-free and fair elections. It’s just that half the country — namely Republicans — is willing to turn a blind eye to the obvious lies of their leaders.
This is the result of polarization. When you find the other side politically unacceptable, you’ll go along with anything that your side is associated with. You can add abortion and Covid to guns and coups. There are yawning differences between what Republicans in the electorate say they believe on all these matters of grave import and what the Republicans who represent them do. Yet Republicans almost never punish their leaders for these difference of opinion......
........

In short, political accountability is dead among those on the political right in America. It doesn’t matter if most disagree with the party on assault weapons and background checks. It doesn’t matter that 70 percent of Republicans supported mask mandates in 2020 while their leaders scoffed at them. It doesn’t matter that many Republicans have no interest in seeing Roe overturned. The power of polarization will have them out in force in the fall providing lockstep support to their congressional candidates.

That is why you have astounding numbers of Republicans voting not only to re-elect Donald Trump, but Republican candidates in general in the wake of a wholly botched, objectively deadly pandemic response, not to mention a legacy of governmental mismanagement on a scale that puts the term “malpractice” to shame. Republicans flock to Fox News because their mismanagement and inability to effectively govern is never made an issue, and they know that’s where their constituents get their information. As explained over a decade ago by Eric Alterman, the singular purpose of Fox News is to provide “ideological guidance to the Republican Party and millions of its supporters, attacking its opponents and keeping its supporters in line.” Or perhaps more aptly, as described by CNN’s Brian Stelter, “where hosts and guests demonize Democrats from morning til night.”

Opposition to Democrats and any policy they espouse is now, as Marshall describes, a “cultural signifier” for Republicans, a tribal rite of necessity. Far from merely voting against their interests, they will vote in lockstep to literally kill themselves if it means not supporting any policy they consider “Democratic,” as has been thoroughly illustrated during the (unprecedented, in modern history) COVID-19 pandemic. The same is the case with guns, and abortion, as the TPM reader points out. There is no “talking” or “reasoning” with such people because reason is not part of their equation. The only hope of defeating them is to mobilize voters who recognize them for what they are: completely committed, ideological nihilists.

New York Republican Congressman Chris Jacobs recently learned this the hard way: by suggesting he would support a federal assault weapons ban, or even raising the age limit to 21 for the purchase of semi-automatic weapons, he was simply deluged by hatred from his Republican base. Within one week of his statements he had announced his retirement from Congress, in spite of the so-called Republican “support” for such measures.

I don’t intend to belabor this issue because I think most of us here have already internalized it. But in the future, when you see a poll saying what Republicans ”do” or “do not” support, take it with a grain of salt.

It doesn’t matter what they believe or think. They’ve gone well beyond that. They want Democrats defeated at all cost, even if it means destroying this country (and possibly themselves) in the process. And they will turn a blind eye towards just about anything their so-called “representatives” do or say, as long as they’re assured it’s necessary to achieve that.


Sun Tzu, from “The Art of War

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

The only watchword for these midterms is GOTV.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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We're a nation awash in guns and seemingly no ability to fix this. What hope do we have?
kos

GettyImages-1241159986.jpg

A field of flowers represents deaths from gun violence at the Giffords Gun Violence Memorial in front of the Washington Monument on June 7, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

Nineteen children were just gunned down in Texas, and the Republicans who run the place would rather focus on this—specifically, to address the “events of the past weekend.”



Don’t look at Texas’ indicted attorney general; he’s trying to do Elon Musk’s bidding by suing Twitter over its true number of troll accounts. You know, the stuff that’s really important for saving lives. And Congress is no better, where Republicans remain in the driving seat. By the time they’re done negotiating, we may see some extra funding for school doors. Maybe.

Joining me today on Daily Kos The Brief, our weekly show about politics, is Igor Volsky, one of the most passionate advocates for gun control you’ll find anywhere.



He’s the executive director of Guns Down America and author of the book Guns Down: How to Defeat the NRA and Build a Safer Future with Fewer Guns.



You can watch the show live right here on Tuesdays at 1:30 PM PT/4:30 PM ET, while the podcast version goes live Wednesday mornings at all the usual places, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. A full list of places to download the show is available here.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Sen. Grassley spotlights family that drove from Iowa to D.C. and complained about high gas prices
Aldous J Pennyfarthing

Oh, irony. Sweet, sweet irony. I remember you—hale and hearty, pink-cheeked and Pollyannish—living the life of Riley before Republicans curb-stomped you to death in front of a Georgia public high school that obviously used to be a Pizza Hut.

After spending a few minutes scrolling through Twitter, only to discover that congressional Republicans’ assignment for Tuesday was to falsely blame President Biden for our current high gas prices (though somehow Donald Trump still gets a pass for having the worst jobs record since Herbert Hoover), I stumbled on this gem. An Iowa family drove to Washington, D.C., and, for some reason, decided their idea of a good time was listening to the Senate’s second-longest-serving member solemnly reflect on his 40-plus years of distinguished government service before artfully segueing to the months-old Egg McMuffin he found in his suit coat pocket this morning.

Seriously, folks. What’s wrong with this picture—other than the fact that Sen. Chuck Grassley apparently sends his pants out to be tailored by one of the Earth’s few remaining uncontacted pantsless tribes.



So the obvious remedy for sky-high gas prices is … don’t drive a thousand miles for a bracing mouthful of Sanka breath, COVID, and lies when you could get the same bullshit spin from a phone call or email. Gas prices are high for several reasons—none of which have anything to do with President Biden.

But hey, Republicans are gonna demagogue—and they don’t really care who they rope into their little dog and pony show.

At least one Twitter denizen noticed the cynicism ...



And several more noted the irony …







Wait. You mean Democrats are trying to come up with solutions to this problem while Republicans just sit on their hands and whine?

How can this be?



Oh, yes, it be. It be indeed.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Good health to you!


A brief report on the past day.

There were many activities - both diplomatic and domestic.

First, the government is setting up a headquarters to prepare for the next heating season. This decision was made as a result of a meeting I held today with both government officials and representatives of our largest state-owned energy companies and regulators.

Prime Minister, Ministers of Energy, Economy, Minister for Communities and Territories Development, heads of Naftogaz, Ukrenergo, Energoatom and the National Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Utilities. The relevant Deputy Head of the Office of the President was also present.

Whatever the occupiers plan for themselves, we must prepare for the next winter - in our state, on our land, for all citizens.

The issues of purchasing a sufficient amount of gas for the heating season, coal accumulation, and electricity production were discussed today.


In the current situation due to Russia's aggression, this will indeed be the most difficult winter of all the years of independence. But! Everything is alright. We must go through it so that our people feel the normal work of the state.

At this time, we will not be selling our gas and coal abroad. All domestic production will be directed to the internal needs of our citizens.

At the same time, we are doing everything we can to increase our electricity export capabilities. This will be made possible by the capacities available in Ukraine. And after the historical accession of our country to the unified energy network of Europe, such exports not only allow us to increase our foreign exchange earnings, but also directly influence the stabilization of the energy situation in neighboring countries, which reduce Russian energy consumption.

Another important aspect is the repair program for thermal power plants, combined heat and power plants and boiler houses. In particular, for those who were damaged or completely destroyed by Russian strikes. Implementation of this program in the coming months is one of the top tasks for the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine.


I would like to emphasize that I have set a very specific task for the government to do everything possible to ensure that gas and electricity tariffs do not change in the next heating season. People already face enough difficulties because of the war. This will be provided.

Local authorities are responsible for tariffs for heat and hot water, and the same level of tariffs should be ensured at the local level in the winter of 2022-2023 as well.

I also held a meeting on communication with the European Union and with individual EU member states on our application and candidate status.

Diplomatic activity in this direction does not stop even for a day. I hear daily reports, including on the preparation of procedural decisions in the European Union.


The team of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, our diplomats, the team of the government in general - all, absolutely all are working to achieve a significant historical decision already in June, which we all expect. For its part, Ukraine has done all, absolutely all the necessary work for this.

As they say in such cases: the ball is in the court of European structures, European countries.


The frontline situation in Ukraine has not changed significantly over the past 24 hours. The absolutely heroic defense of Donbas continues. The hottest spots are the same. First of all, Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Popasna.

It is felt, absolutely felt, that the occupiers did not believe that the resistance of our military would be so strong, and now they are trying to attract additional resources in the Donbas direction. Just as in the Kherson direction – new units are being transferred there to restrain our actions.

But what's the point for them? The majority of the occupying contingent is already well aware that they have no prospects in Ukraine. We hear this mood in the appropriate interceptions of conversations. This is the prevailing mood in the Russian army. We are free people. We are not your slaves.

More than 31,000 Russian servicemen have already died in Ukraine. Since February 24, Russia has been paying almost 300 lives a day for a completely pointless war against Ukraine. And still the day will come when the number of losses, even for Russia, will exceed the permissible limit.

We are actively working to raise funds to support our army and to rebuild Ukraine after hostilities. In the territories that are already de-occupied, we return electricity, gas, water supply, communications. It’s not easy, but we do it. Of course, much remains to be done.

It is necessary to provide hospitals with equipment, carry out demining. And, of course, rebuild everything destroyed by the occupiers.

One of the tools for this is the state fundraising platform UNITED24. In the first month alone, more than one and a half billion hryvnias have been raised with its help. And I am grateful to everyone who contributed to its creation, to its work.


Today, Elina Svitolina, our famous and very successful tennis player, became the ambassador of UNITED24. Together with Andriy Shevchenko, the first UNITED24 ambassador, Elina will work to attract new support for our country. Everything for Ukraine. This way, working together, each of us will be able to return normal life to all territories to which our military has returned security.

And another piece of news that can be reported now. Next week, a special "Book of Torturers" is planned to be launched - an information system that collects confirmed data on war criminals and criminals from the Russian army.

I have repeatedly stressed that they will all be held accountable. And we are approaching this step by step.

The creation of such an information system has been going on for some time already. These are specific facts about specific people who are guilty of specific violent crimes against Ukrainians. And such a "Book of Torturers" is one of the foundations of the responsibility of not only the direct perpetrators of war crimes - soldiers of the occupying army, but also their commanders. Those who gave orders. Those who made possible everything they did in Ukraine. In Bucha, in Mariupol, in all our cities, in all the communities they have reached.

Everyone will be brought to justice.

Eternal memory to all whose lives were taken by these occupiers!


Eternal glory to everyone who is bringing our victory closer!

Glory to Ukraine!
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ukraine update: Switching to NATO weapons isn't as simple as people think it is
kos

There’s a reason Ukraine’s western allies gave serious preference to Soviet-era weapons systems. People fixate too much on learning to operate weapons systems, when the real challenge is in maintaining them.



Joshi is talking about the M777, the towed artillery system Ukraine has received from the United States, Canada, and Australia. It’s not a very complicated system. In fact, the initial training for an artillery mechanic is only 15 weeks—just over three months.

Canada spent several weeks training Ukrainians on operating the M777 in Poland, but I never did see anything about training maintenance crews. It certainly hasn’t been three months since these units were delivered to Ukraine.

What's more, those 15 weeks are only the initial training. Graduates from AIT (advanced individual training) then go to their units where they continue their training under experienced NCOs (non-commissioned officers, or sergeants), many with over a decade of experience doing the job. The training is ongoing, for years. That’s how you keep complex military gear up and running The operators are only a small part of the equation, and quite irrelevant if their equipment can’t run.

MLRS/HIMARS is a far more complex system than the M777. The training program is 19 weeks long—a month-and-a-half longer than for the M777. For the M1 Abrams tank, it’s 24 weeks, half a year. For the Patriot air defense system, it’s 53 weeks, a whole year. And remember, this is just the initial training. NATO countries aren’t holding back western weapons for the heck of it.

In wartime, timetables can be compressed. But there’s a limit to how much knowledge you can squeeze into just weeks of training. And then what? There are no experienced NCOs in the Ukrainian army to continue training those mechanics. So the inevitable result is this—broken down equipment that needs to be shipped out of country so experienced mechanics can bring them back online.

Now, everyone is excited about M270 MLRS and HIMARS entering Ukraine. And it is exciting. But if Ukraine is having a hard time keeping relatively simple M777s operational, things are about to get much worse as more complex western weapons systems arrive in Ukraine. I say that not to dissuade those systems from being donated, but to explain why so many are taking so long to arrive (the Germans, in particular, are getting slammed for their seemingly slow timelines), and why some systems (like Patriots or F-16) couldn’t realistically be introduced in time to make an impact this war.
..........

On the ground, nothing new to report since Mark’s last update yesterday. On Sunday I wrote about Dovhen’ke, the little strategic town (pre-war population 850) that has halted the Russian advance south of Izyum.



The moon-like scarred terrain around Dovhen’ke will be inhospitable to life for decades. Russian ordinance has a dud rate of around 30%. That means the number of unexploded shells in that one picture alone likely runs in the hundreds. Top right, that’s a 40-foot crater where an ammonium fertilizer warehouse once stood on the outskirts of the hamlet.

On Monday, according to Ukrainian General Staff, Russia “focuse[d] the main efforts on the continuation of the attack in the directions of the settlements of ízyum and Slaviansk. Trying to move towards the settlements Dovgenke [Dovhen’ke] and Valley.” Those attacks got nowhere, and on Tuesday, at least for one day, whatever life is left in that town had a brief moment of respite.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Judge finds more evidence of sweeping attempts to overturn election in Eastman privilege fight
Brandi Buchman

By 5 p.m. Wednesday, attorney John Eastman must hand over nearly 200 emails to the January 6 Committee, many of which, a federal judge has ruled, indicate continued evidence of a “well-established” and “fully formed” plan by Eastman and former President Donald Trump to illegally overturn the 2020 election.


In March, the judge found that Trump and Eastman likely engaged in a criminal conspiracy to overturn the election. He described it as a “coup in search of a legal theory.”

EASTMAN.jpg

There are exactly 159 documents that Judge Carter ruled were not protected under attorney-client privilege or executive privilege. The contents, which stem from a subpoena issued by the committee to Eastman’s former employer Chapman University, cover a range of subjects and feature correspondence related to Trump’s bogus “alternate elector” scheme as well as proposals to have then-Vice President Mike Pence stop the count by Congress on Jan. 6.

Eastman Order on Privilege June 2022 by Daily Kos on Scribd

Judge Carter zeroed in on agendas for three meetings held in the first two weeks of December.

One agenda was for a meeting on Dec. 8, where Eastman was invited to speak to state legislators about actions that could “reverse the media-called election for Joe Biden,” Carter wrote.

The other documents feature an agenda for a meeting on Dec. 9 where a “sitting Member of Congress discussed a [p]lan to challenge the electors in the House of Representatives,” the judge’s order states.

This was titled “GROUND GAME following Nov. 4 Election Results.” (Emphasis original)

A third agenda was for a meeting on Dec. 16—two days after state electors were required under law to meet and count their electors.

This record shared a similar title as the one from Dec. 9, another notable date since Dec. 9 was 24 hours past the safe-harbor deadline for electoral votes to be shored up. But in this agenda found in Eastman’s records, Carter noted that “an elector for President Trump analyzed “The Constitutional Implications of the Electoral College Meeting and What Comes Next.”

Though Eastman spoke to “sympathetic state legislators” in battleground states like Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania w the aim of having them go along with the alternate elector scheme, other communication reviewed by Judge Carter indicated Eastman very well understood that without this robust attempt to reverse Trump’s defeat, the gambit would be “dead on arrival.”

Carter wrote:

“Dr. Eastman’s actions in these few weeks indicate that his and President Trump’s pressure campaign to stop the electoral count did not end with Vice President Pence—it targeted every tier of federal and state elected officials. Convincing state legislatures tocertify competing electors was essential to stop the count and ensure President Trump’s re-election.

Eastman argues that the committee’s interests in his documents are weak but, Carter wrote, when it comes to some of the records, his argument doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. The committee is not restricted from exploring all “facts, circumstances, and causes relating to the January 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack . . . [and] the interference with the peaceful transfer of power.”

The longtime conservative attorney also can’t hide a smattering of records sent directly to him from Trump or through Trump’s executive assistant.

For example, though Eastman tried to claim that a photo of Trump with an accompanying handwritten note was privileged because it pertained to “anticipated litigation,” Carter said his review found otherwise.

“The note simply celebrates the size of President Trump’s campaign rallies,” the order states.

Other documents that came from Trump or his assistant featured press strategy discussions around certifying “alternate” electors. There was no attorney-client privilege here either because of crime-fraud exceptions to those privilege rules.

Of the emails he’s reviewed in this latest batch, Judge Carter noted that one from Dec. 22, 2020, stood out. it was sent by an “unidentified attorney” to Trump’s team of lawyers.

“This email considers whether to bring a case that would decide the interpretation of the Electoral Count Act and potentially risk a court finding that the Act binds Vice President Pence. Because the attorney concluded that a negative court ruling would “tank the January 6 strategy,” he encouraged the legal team to avoid the courts,” Carter wrote.

He continued:

“This email cemented the direction of the January 6 plan. The Trump legal team chose not to seek recourse in court—instead, they forged ahead with a political campaign to disrupt the electoral count. Lawyers are free not to bring cases; they are not free to evade judicial review to overturn a democratic election. Accordingly, this portion of the email is subject to the crime-fraud exception and must be disclosed.”
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Armed man arrested near Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's home in Maryland
Walter Einenkel

The Washington Post is reporting that an armed man was arrested early Wednesday morning near conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Maryland home. Kavanaugh, like many Supreme Court justices these days, has seen a fair share of protests around his home, especially in the wake of the leaked draft opinion that is likely to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision. Those protests led the Senate, which is unable to pass legislation to protect children from guns or help put food on the tables of families in need, to add extra security for Supreme Court justices’ family members.

NBC News reports that the man who was arrested had a knife, a gun, and pepper spray on his person. According to the news outlet, the man told law enforcement that he was planning on killing Brett Kavanaugh. The Post quotes “two people familiar with the investigation” as saying that the suspect was angry about the leaked Roe v. Wade opinion, as well as recent mass shooting events in New York, California, and Texas.



The hyper-awareness afforded to Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh’s welfare and safety is good. But it’s something that the majority of the Court, including Kavanaugh himself, seem to not want extended to most Americans. You can read a brief history of violence perpetrated against reproductive clinics and doctors here.

The news of this arrest comes as the Supreme Court is set to release a series of decisions Wednesday, possibly including the final decision on overturning decades of reproductive rights legislation. As NPR reported on Wednesday, the Court’s dubious construction—built mostly by conservative think tanks and promoted into office by minority leadership—has found itself buckling under the strain of their radically unpopular decision-making in recent years.

"I don't know how on earth the court is going to finish up its work this term," said a source close to the justices. The clerks, he explained, are sort of "the court's diplomatic corps." Especially at this time of year, they talk to each other, with the approval of their bosses, to find out how far the envelope can be pushed in this case or that one — or conversely, how can we soften language to get five justices on board. But at the moment, he noted, the clerks are terrified that their whole professional lives could be blown up, so they aren't able to do that. In short, it's a very perilous time for the Supreme Court.

The conservatives that make up a majority of the court seem to be divided between loyalty to Chief Justice John Roberts and a crew of theocratic-leaning zealots. Roberts’ possible ally on the court is Justice Clarence Thomas. Unfortunately, Thomas has shown that he is politically compromised by his wife Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, who may very well be guilty of conspiring to overthrow the government.
 

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