More to ignore, Book 75.......

Ten Thousan Marbles

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.....Mr. Jubelirer — the former lieutenant governor, longtime state senator, and veteran of almost all the big GOP presidential campaigns in the 1980s and ‘90s who fondly recalls the days of Tom Ridge and Dick Thornburgh — said Mr. Shapiro is the first Democrat he’s raised his voice in support of. He called Mr. Shapiro a moderate Democrat who can work with both sides, like he’s done as state representative, county commissioner and attorney general.

“Whatever he does, he’s going to do well,” Mr. Jubelirer said. “He will not play the political game.”.....
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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FW_5PNtVUAI4fnW
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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As the January 6 committee gears up for the resumption of its public hearings next week, Americans continue to make sense of the voluminous evidence and witness testimony presented by the panel in June. That presentation toggled between the grand and the granular, depicting the monthslong, coordinated campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 election while filling in the minute details necessary for potential criminal prosecutions. Of the many June revelations indicating what—and who—ultimately catalyzed the violence on January 6, five points stand out......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Eric Greitens Sold His Soul to the Devil, and an Old Friend Gives It to Him Straight.
The Bassweasel

There is a wonderful article in the St Louis Post Dispatch:

www.stltoday.com/…

Which features an interview with long time friend of Eric Greitens, Ken Harbaugh.

Harbaugh and Greitens met on their first day at Duke in 1992, as part of the same scholarship program, and overlapped at Oxford for summer term. Both went on to serve as Navy officers; one as a SEAL, the other a pilot. In 2007, they co-founded The Mission Continues, a nonprofit based in St. Louis to help military veterans regain footing in society.

Greitens descent into bad craziness is rather breathtaking. Harbaugh said they’d both been excited about the promise of Barack Obama being elected. He said there was a large poster of JFK at The Mission Continues. Still, he wasn’t shocked when Greitens ran for governor as a Republican. It’s really the only way to get elected in Missouri politics.

Harbaugh said he soon became disheartened by incendiary campaign ads and the harsh tone of fundraising emails that seemed to threaten liberals. When Harbaugh challenged Greitens on it, he said, Greitens said you can’t make changes if you don’t win.

In other words, he was playing rural Missouri for suckers.

Harbaugh posted a brief video on social media, calling on Greitens to quit the Senate race.....

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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You know why I’m writing this.

I was at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade.

Not as the Sun-Times Washington bureau chief. As a civilian. I’m staying with my sister over this holiday. She lives in Highland Park, which is approximately 25 miles north of Chicago’s downtown. More than 30,000 people live there.

I just wanted to go to this parade and enjoy the day. Hang out with friends. Maybe after the parade, go to one of the stunning Lake Michigan beaches that hug this North Shore suburb. Or maybe have a swim at the Highland Park pool, next to the fire station. That fire station transformed into an emergency operations center after the unimaginable — is this a cliché? — happened. [...]

I’ve been reporting on gun massacres for years — since the 1999 Columbine school shootings. But always from a distance. I wasn’t there when the killing happened.

Until this July Fourth......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Please, pundits, stop trying to predict the future. You’re bad at it.​

Pundits, by tradition and definition, are supposed to have expertise in a particular field and the scholarship to back it up. Although we’ve come to know them as journalists, academics or former political players who hold forth in print or on TV, the Sanskrit-derived term originally referred to a wise and learned person who counseled kings or advised judges on Hindu law.

But recent events suggest that a lot of today’s pundits are a far less lofty breed: They are bad-take artists — especially when it comes to making political predictions.

And their flagrant wrongness seems to draw virtually no repercussions, unless you count being mocked on Twitter. That’s why it was so delightful to see my colleague Erik Wemple catalogue some of the confident predictions that, never fear, Roe v. Wade certainly
would not be overturned......
 

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Jan. 6 defendants whine they can’t get a fair trial in city they attacked
Joan McCarter

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It seems that facing consequences for their actions isn’t something that many Jan. 6 insurrectionists are familiar with. “D.C. is a city that, as a whole, feels that it has been the victim of a crime,” the defense attorneys in two of the Oath Keepers’ trials argued in court. As if their clients were not actually traitorous criminals who were caught in the act on live, national television.

So far, prosecutors and judges are not swayed. “In any U.S. jurisdiction, most prospective jurors will have heard about the events of January 6, and many will have various disqualifying biases,” U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan wrote in denying one request. Finding an impartial jury in Washington, D.C., is not impossible. It’s been done. The real problem for the defendants is that they’re being convicted, even as potential jurors are disqualified.

As this report from AP details, so far 838 people have been charged in the insurrection, and 335 convicted on charges ranging from “low-level misdemeanors to felony seditious conspiracy.” One has been acquitted, while 498 cases are still pending. “Already more than 300 people across the U.S. have pleaded guilty to crimes stemming from the deadly riot,” AP reports. “Collectively, 72 jurors have unanimously convicted six Jan. 6 defendants of all 35 counts in their indictments.”

That’s a pretty good win record for the prosecutors, but since the attack was, again, carried out on live national television and many of the defendants put their own damned crimes out on their own damned social media in real time and in the days after, what in the hell did they expect?

They expected to get away with it, clearly, which shows just how deeply broken everything is in this country right now.
.............
The defendants are lucky that the pool of potential jurors are actual patriots, with a belief in our system of government and justice. Anthony Robert Williams, a Michigan man who has proclaimed he has “absolutely no remorse” for his actions on Jan. 6, was convicted last week of “obstructing an official proceeding of Congress, a felony, and misdemeanors related to trespassing on Capitol or restricted grounds and disorderly conduct.” He was convicted after a four-day trial in Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell’s court. Howell refused Williams’ efforts to have the trial moved to Michigan.

“One by one,” AP reports, “the judge questioned 49 prospective jurors before seating 12 jurors and two alternates” in jury selection starting on June 27. One prospective juror told the judge that she was friends with an officer who suffered broken ribs in the riot. Asked if that connection would prevent her from being fair and impartial, she answered “My Christianity says, ‘No,’ but my feelings say, ‘Yes.’”

Another potential juror is married to a USA Today reporter, and told the judge that Jan. 6 is a regular topic at home and in their group of friends, including some who work at the Capitol. “It would be very difficult to separate those,” he told Howell, who excused him. Another candidate identified herself as “very left biased,” and a former resident of New York City who has had a “deep-rooted” dislike for Donald Trump from way before his presidency. She was disqualified.

Residents of D.C., who are finally getting a chance to actually have a say in something, are actually stepping up and saying when they shouldn’t be the ones to do so. Even when they were as victimized by the Jan 6 attack as anyone, not to mention all the ongoing nonsense of trucker convoys and MAGA protests, which have been violent and disruptive since the days after the election in 2020.

They’re the patriots, the ones who tell the truth about their ability to provide justice in the case of the seditionists. And, being stateless, they don’t even have the full benefits of citizenship.
 

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....Emails and texts show advisers discussing how they don’t trust Walker—both to tell the truth to them and to handle campaign events properly—and harboring concerns that he isn’t mentally fit for the job.

He spouts falsehoods “like he’s breathing,” this adviser said—so much so that his own campaign stopped believing him long ago.

“He’s lied so much that we don’t know what’s true,” the person said, adding that aides have “zero” trust in the candidate. Three people interviewed for this article independently called him a “pathological liar.”

The Walker campaign declined comment.

Walker has, in fact, racked up a staggering record of falsehoods. He has claimed he was a trained FBI agent and worked for law enforcement, neither of which is true. He has told a preposterous series of lies about his academic record—forcing his campaign to delete claims from his official bio. He has grossly overstated his business success. He has falsely taken credit for founding a veterans support program. And, most recently, he claimed that former President Donald Trump had never said the 2020 election was stolen.

The campaign source painted a picture of an operation that for months has been at the mercy of a volatile, deceitful candidate.

“A campaign’s worst nightmare,” the source said. “It’s like a shitshow on a train in the middle of a wreck.”

But if the campaign is headed for a disaster, the Republican Party appears to be in the dark about just how bad it is.

In conversations with GOP higher-ups, senior Walker campaign aides have held back on their ongoing struggles with containing, directing, and cleaning up after Walker—even if, internally, they believe he’s a serious liability, according to this source who is familiar with those conversations......
 

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'In North Carolina they still can': Roy Cooper signs executive order guaranteeing abortion rights
Aysha Qamar

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As the battle to protect reproductive rights continues, some state leaders are stepping up to ensure not only their residents but those visiting are guaranteed their right to abortion. Although abortion is still legal in North Carolina until fetal viability despite the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 263 on Wednesday to ensure reproductive health services in North Carolina remain accessible in the state.

“The Supreme Court ripped away the constitutional right to reproductive freedom that women have relied on for five decades,” Cooper said in a press release.

“For now, it’s up to the states to determine whether women get reproductive health care, and in North Carolina they still can, thanks to my veto and enough legislative votes to sustain it. I am determined to keep it that way and people need to know that their votes in state legislative races this November will determine the fate of women’s health and freedom in our state.”
.........
The order not only prohibits state agencies from forcing a pregnant state employee to travel to another state where there are no protections for the health of the pregnant employee, but also directs the Department of Public Safety to work with law enforcement to prohibit anyone from blocking access to a health care facility.

Additionally, it protects not only in-state patients but those from out-of-state by prohibiting investigations into out-of-state patients. As a result, those who travel to the state for abortion procedures cannot be prosecuted.

“This order will help protect North Carolina doctors and nurses and their patients from cruel, right-wing, criminal laws passed by other states,” Cooper said Wednesday at a news conference. He was joined by executives from Planned Parenthood.

Experts predict an increase in out-of-state patients, especially in states like South Carolina where bans are in place. As a result of bans across the country, many pregnant individuals seeking abortions are expected to travel over 100 miles for services. Clinics are being forced to close nationwide as a result of state bans.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research group, at least 26 states are “certain or likely” to ban or limit abortion due to the overturn of Roe v. Wade, while 16 states have laws that protect the right to abortion.

“Abortion is a normal part of reproductive health care. Every person is the expert in their own life, and we must trust them to make their own decisions about their health, their family, and their future,” said Dr. Katherine Farris, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic.

According to the Associated Press, Planned Parenthood clinics in North Carolina are scheduled to perform abortions for nearly 200 out-of-state patients this week. This makes up only one-third of their scheduled appointments.

"Our objective is clear: to keep abortion legal in this state," said Jenny Black, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic. "North Carolinians must elect candidates who will protect access to sexual and reproductive health care at the state level and ensure Governor Cooper has the necessary votes to sustain his veto of the all-out attacks on reproductive freedom that are sure to come."

 

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Jan. 6 probe holds two hearings next week; one slated for prime time
Brandi Buchman

The Jan. 6 committee is poised to host two public hearings next week, first on Tuesday, July 12 at 10 AM and then again on July 14, according to reports first out by Punchbowl News. The exact time of the July 14 hearing was not formally announced Thursday, but it is expected to air in prime time. This schedule, it is important to note, could change.

The hearing on July 14 is expected to be the committee’s final hearing until it releases its report this fall.

The hearing on July 12 will reportedly be led by Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, and Stephanie Murphy, a Florida Democrat. This session will focus on the extremist elements underpinning the Capitol assault and more specifically, the roles that groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys played in the attempted overturn of the 2020 election results.

Former President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to these groups will be examined for what will be the committee’s seventh hearing. During its most recent hearing, testimony from witness Cassidy Hutchinson, the former aide to Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, proved revelatory.

Hutchinson testified under oath that on the eve of the attack, the 45th president asked Meadows to contact GOP operative and ally Roger Stone and former national security adviser retired Army Lt. General Michael Flynn. Meadows complied, though Hutchinson told investigators she ultimately did not hear what unfolded on that call.

Stone has not been charged with any crimes connected to Jan. 6, but he has been unable to escape the flood of videos and pictures posted online that document his interactions with members of the extremist groups. Federal prosecutors that charged Oath Keeper leader Elmert “Stewart” Rhodes with seditious conspiracy allege Stone used members of the group as security. One Oath Keeper division leader who pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy, Joshua James, said he personally served on Stone’s security detail.

Members of the Proud Boys Florida chapter also joined Stone in Washington on Jan. 5 and on Jan. 6, and his relationship with Proud Boy leader Henry “Enrique” Tarrio is also well documented. When Stone was prosecuted for witness tampering in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, for example, it was the Proud Boys who helped him create an image he later posted to Instagram depicting the judge handling his case, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, with crosshairs above her head.

Stone apologized in court after the fact and said in court that the whole debacle was coordinated with the help of members of the Proud Boys in Florida, including Tarrio.



Flynn has had contact with members of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys too, as well as other far-right militia networks like the 1st Amendment Praetorian. Text messages unveiled in the Rhodes seditious conspiracy case have depicted how Rhodes and other Oath Keepers frequently discussed plans to provide security to Stone, Flynn, and others, including Trump ally and Infowars blowhard Alex Jones, plus the “Stop the Steal” movement founder Ali Alexander.

Flynn was subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee last December and investigators wanted him to answer questions about discussions involving the seizure of voting machines and suggestions to Trump that he declare a national emergency or invoke national security emergency powers to advance the widely debunked lie that fraud was widespread in the 2020 election.

Both Stone and Flynn received pardons from Trump; Stone was pardoned for no fewer than seven charges, including witness tampering, making false statements, and obstruction of the Russia investigation. Flynn was pardoned for twice lying to the FBI.

Both of the men, according to the Jan. 6 committee, were present for meetings at Trump’s so-called “war room” at the Willard Hotel mere blocks from the White House. The “war room,” as court records and witness testimony has suggested, was often a flurry of activity and planning to overturn the election, install Trump’s so-called “alternate” electors, and pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to go along with a scheme to disrupt or delay the joint session.

For its final hearing in prime time on July 14, the proceedings will be led by committee members Reps. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, and Elaine Luria, a Virginia Democrat. Kinzinger and Luria are expected to dive into what was and was not happening inside the White House during the attack. For more than three hours during the assault, the president was largely silent as pleas for help flooded the Oval Office.

Vice Chair Liz Cheney has referred to these 187 minutes of silence from the White House as proof positive of Trump’s dereliction of duty.
 

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Trump left the board of his beloved Twitter knockoff—just before feds subpoenaed it
Aldous J Pennyfarthing

“Truth Social” was always an odd name for a company founded by an antisocial pathological liar, but as we all know, gaslighting is what the ocher abomination does best. If Donald Trump started giving honest names to his shambolic business ventures, Trump Org would have been called Daddy Never Hugged Me, and So I Profane Your Skyline With This Gauche 58-Story Ape Phallus, Inc. Or maybe it would be an LLC. My commercial real estate expertise is even flimsier than Trump’s, if that’s possible.

But while Trump—who embraces failure like the cast of Alien embraced the face-mauling interlopers on their ship—is keen to take credit when things go well, he’s just as keen to transfer blame (and liability) to others when things go sideways—which in TrumpWorld happens somewhere between infinity times and always.

So now that the gendarmes appear to be at the door of Trump’s Truth Social, Trump himself is preemptively eyeing the exits and cutting doily patterns in everyone else’s parachutes.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune:

Donald Trump removed himself from the board of his Sarasota-based social media company, records show, just weeks before the company was issued federal subpoenas by both the Securities and Exchange Commission and a grand jury in Manhattan.
Trump, the chairman of Trump Media and Technology Group, was one of six board members removed on June 8, state business records show.
[...]

The SEC served Trump Media and Technology Group with a subpoena on June 27, according to a regulatory filing. Trump's media company owns Truth Social, an app similar to Twitter. Trump was banned by Twitter for inflammatory remarks concerning the insurrection.

In addition to Trump Sr., Don Jr. was also removed from the board. Then, four days after the SEC served its subpoena, the Southern District of New York subpoenaed the company, signaling that a criminal investigation could be in progress as well.

The investigations are apparently connected to a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) named Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC), which appears set to merge with Truth Social’s parent company, Trump Media and Technology Group. While SPACs are barred from engaging with a partner before going public, there appears to be some question about the timing of merger talks between the two entities.

CNBC:

The Justice Department and the SEC, which regulates the stock market, are investigating the deal between DWAC and Trump Media. By merging with DWAC, which is a kind of shell company called a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, Trump’s firm would gain access to potentially billions of dollars on public equities markets.
Early criticism of the deal came from Sen. Elizabeth Warren in November. She wrote to SEC Chair Gary Gensler, telling him that DWAC “may have committed securities violations by holding private and undisclosed discussions about the merger as early as May 2021, while omitting this information in [SEC] filing and other public statements.”

Of course, it’s not necessary to understand the abstruse details of SPAC mergers to surmise that Trump may have started distancing himself from the company just as the wolf approached the door.

But the really funny part in all this is who remains on the board: namely, the company’s CFO, Phillip Juhan, and its CEO, former California congressman and fake-cowcatcher Devin Nunes, who is about to discover that decoupling from Trump is a bit like yanking your tongue off a frozen flagpole with a team of shitfaced Clydesdales.

There’s also the fact that Truth Social isn’t doing so great. As
Vanity Fair noted in May:

Like a crazy old man who spends his days shouting at an empty blender and thinks the government is performing mind control on people through their microwaves, Donald Trump apparently believes that the reason his newly formed social media company, Truth Social, is not a runaway success is because Google has internally decided to sabotage him. “Is Google trying to **** me?” the former president has reportedly been asking friends and advisers over the past several weeks.
According to Rolling Stone, Trump believes the tech giant has it out for him due to the fact that the Truth Social app is not yet available for Android users. Which, reporters Adam Rawnsley and Asawin Suebsaeng note, probably has less to do with Google trying to screw over the ex-president and more to do with the fact that, as of Tuesday, the company hadn’t “even submitted an Android app to Google to review for Play Store approval.” Nevertheless, Trump continues to labor under the idea that this is personal. “He keeps hearing about how Google and YouTube have it out for him…including on Truth Social, and I think he’s taking [it] seriously,” one source who’s discussed the matter with Trump told Rawnsley and Suebsaeng. According to the outlet, Trump, who reportedly doesn’t use email, once suggested that everyone in the U.S. should stop using computers, and reportedly calls iPads “the flat one,” has also asked if Google is is trying to “screw with me” or has simply wondered aloud, “What’s up with Google?”
In February, former California representative Devin Nunes, who left his job in Congress to be Truth Social’s CEO, said that the company’s “goal” was to have the network “fully operational” by the end of March, which obviously did not happen. In addition to reportedly being placed in waitlist purgatory, would-be Truthers have complained that attempting to use the app is a Kafkaesque nightmare.

Now, if Trump uses his new social media company to dishonestly enrich himself and/or screw over others, it won’t be the first time he made money off of his failurse. We all know that Trump failed big-time in the casino business—which is a little like shooting fish in a barrel and somehow hitting an emu—but that doesn’t mean he didn’t profit from it.

As The New York Times reported in June 2016, when we naively thought Trump’s history of lurid business failures might still have some impact on his electability, Trump made out like a bandit while running his failing casino operation, even as his investors got royally screwed.

His audacious personality and opulent properties brought attention — and countless players — to Atlantic City as it sought to overtake Las Vegas as the country’s gambling capital. But a close examination of regulatory reviews, court records and security filings by The New York Times leaves little doubt that Mr. Trump’s casino business was a protracted failure. Though he now says his casinos were overtaken by the same tidal wave that eventually slammed this seaside city’s gambling industry, in reality he was failing in Atlantic City long before Atlantic City itself was failing.
But even as his companies did poorly, Mr. Trump did well. He put up little of his own money, shifted personal debts to the casinos and collected millions of dollars in salary, bonuses and other payments. The burden of his failures fell on investors and others who had bet on his business acumen.

So, yeah, throwing his business partners under the bus when things get rough is kind of his M.O. Not sure why people keep falling for his snake oil pitches, but here we are.

Of course, it’s possible that Trump removed himself from the board of a company that was about to be subpoenaed by two separate government entities for a totally normal reason. Who really knows? But, as with all things Trump-adjacent, it sure doesn’t smell right.
.....

P.S. For the record, Truth Social, in a statement that sounds suspiciously like it was drafted by Trump himself, has denied that Trump was removed from the board. And since the denial was posted on Truth Social, you know it must be true.