…a swift kick [DOT 28/6/22]

or not...

[…first things first…due to my being indisposed a few times in the foreseeable future…if anyone would care to volunteer to post a DOT for this sunday (July 3rd)…next sunday (July 10th)…or the following tues/thurs (July 12/14)…I for one would be exceedingly grateful]

…maybe a set of shifting goalposts would be a better allegory…but I was in a hurry & didn’t want to take too long looking for a header image

At last, Congress has passed its something’s-better-than-nothing package of gun-safety legislation. Though the vast majority of Republicans voted against the extremely modest law, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) assures us that they are “committed to identifying and solving the root causes of violent crimes.”

And what might those causes be? According to many Republicans: The United States doesn’t need more gun control; it needs more God.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), for instance, has said that “the secularization of society” is to blame for the massacre at a Texas elementary school. “I think the solution is renewed faith.” Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) said we needed to “embrace religious beliefs.” “The fact is,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), “before prayers were eliminated in schools, we didn’t have the kind of mass shootings we do today.” Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) blamed “the left” for having “taken God out of our classrooms.”
[…there’s a bunch of different stuff I had every intention of wanting to fit in today…but…I’m not done with this one, as it turns out]

…it’s painfully clear that the classroom isn’t the only place they plan on nailing up their conveniently dead & necessarily silent deity of convenience

The American right loves to trumpet their nation’s “exceptionalism,” the myth that the United States’ political system and values are inherently unique and implicitly better than anything found elsewhere in the world. But whatever the merits of the belief, the United States in recent years has been seen by its closest partners as exceptional for all the wrong reasons.
And Friday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade — scrapping the constitutional right to an abortion — led to a host of world leaders from across the political spectrum holding the United States up as a cautionary tale, a warning to the world of how fundamental rights can be lost.
The conservative majority on the Supreme Court is now in the spotlight. The court’s weaponization by the American right is the end goal of decades of concerted effort and campaigning. “The conservative movement’s control of the Supreme Court, its success in skewing the electoral process through voting restrictions and gerrymandering, and the Democrats’ likely collapse in the coming midterms have bolstered Republicans’ confidence that they can drastically reshape American society on their terms without losing power,” wrote the Atlantic’s Adam Serwer.

It is clear now, Serwer added, that “the Supreme Court has become an institution whose primary role is to force a right-wing vision of American society on the rest of the country.”

In that regard, the United States finds itself in rather unflattering company. Analysts point to Poland, whose illiberal nationalist ruling party has spent years re-engineering the judiciary in its favor, much to the consternation of the European Union leadership in Brussels. Last year, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal issued a ruling that made abortion, or abetting an abortion, a criminal act, with exceptions only for rape, incest and to protect the mother’s life.

…but…schools are definitely on the thin end of that particular wedge, it would seem

The games are for the kids — the players on the field, the band and the students in the stands. And it’s those kids who have been largely left out of the conversation about the Supreme Court case Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, which has hung over our community for more than six years.
I witnessed the team gatherings Kennedy led many times and assumed they were traditional postgame pep talks; the coach would stride to the school logo at center field and hold up a pair of helmets while the players would encircle him and take a knee. From the stands, I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but I assumed he was celebrating a game well played or motivating the players to come back stronger for the next game.

It wasn’t until 2015 that I, along with most of the community (and the rest of the country, once he started holding news conferences), learned that Kennedy often included Christian prayers in those postgame team meetings. I’ve known Kennedy for a long time; we worked together in the local shipyard for nearly 15 years, and he coached my son for a season. We were friendly, and I respected his work with kids in the football program.

…long story short…if I’ve followed this right…the coach has considerable form when it comes to arguably coerced “voluntary” participation in prayer from members of his team…complete with suggestions that as he was reprimanded he made increasingly more of a thing of it…in a way that you’d assume very much might lead to members of his squad getting it in their heads that objecting or failing to participate might well have an adverse effect on their odds of playing

…which the court in its supreme wisdom ruled entirely besides the point since that might have hampered their desire to view specific instances of prayer immediately after matches as being fine because participation was “voluntary” & somehow at that juncture they deem the coach to be in unique state of temporarily not being the coach for ostensibly legal purposes

…which at my most charitable I can only describe as suggesting that the “justices” demonstrating a more acute grasp of the fundamentals of quantum probability than I’d suspected them of possessing

…but when life imitates farce

…this kind of parody is dangerous

“Legitimacy is for losers,” a political scientist once said. It’s a profound concept. The winning side in a decision will gladly accept it without asking why. But the losing side — whether the decision is made by a basketball referee or the Supreme Court — will accept defeat only if they believe the decision was made fairly and by the book.

That’s why the politicization of the U.S. Supreme Court is so alarming. People on the losing end of Supreme Court decisions increasingly feel that justice is not being served. That’s a scary situation for the high court, and for American democracy in general.

“The Supreme Court has no power to enforce its decisions,” Daniel Epps, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, told me on Friday. “It doesn’t have an army. The only thing it has power to do is write PDFs and put them up on its website.”
The Supreme Court in some ways resembles the Federal Reserve. Its decision makers are unelected technocrats who use arcane methods and vocabularies (“stare decisis” for the court, “zero lower bound” for the Fed). The obscurity of what they do makes it all the more important for the public to trust that whatever is happening behind the curtain is on the up and up. Yet in the latest Gallup poll data, only 25 percent of Americans polled in the weeks before Dobbs said they had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the Supreme Court. That was a new low in nearly 50 years of polling.

…& without wanting to sound too much like a godless heathen…in the scientific sense when it comes to praying to be saved from harm…that stuff doesn’t show much efficacy in the saving lives department

…which brings us back to this bullshit

But let’s pretend that the “renewed faith” argument is made in good faith: They really believe more religion will equal fewer gun deaths.

This country already has a lot of religion, of course. Among citizens of wealthy Western countries, Americans are by far the most religious (and by far the most likely to die by gun violence). But with church membership falling along with the percentage of us who believe in God, it’s fair to say we’re more secular than we once were.

So … what if we all renewed our faith, put God back in classrooms and embraced religious belief — how exactly would that keep people from shooting children?

Seriously, Congressmen, please explain. How would it work?
Religion doesn’t magically erase evil; it doesn’t even claim to. In addition to rules of moral conduct, the religions practiced by most members of Congress offer steps to follow when someone breaks a rule. The Catholic Church includes penance, with confession and absolution, in its seven sacraments. Jews observe an annual Day of Atonement, which features a process of confession and repentance called teshuvah. Muslims have a rite of repentance or tawbah, in which a believer regrets the sin, asks Allah for forgiveness and promises not to do it again.

Why do religions spell out what to do next when people do wrong? Because they understand that everyone does. Even their adherents.

That’s why the prisons are not filled exclusively with nonbelievers. In fact, self-identified atheists make up just 0.1 percent of the federal prison population. As for morality, a 2021 study indicates that nonbelievers are just as concerned as believers with protecting vulnerable individuals from harm.

So, religious belief doesn’t make people moral, it doesn’t keep them from committing crimes and it doesn’t stop them from killing.

It does help in one way, though. It offers a consoling vision of life after death.

…admittedly I’m not about to get a cheque from the post (or pretty much anyone I can think of off the top of my head) for my opinion on the subject…but I’m pretty sure I’m on solid ground when I say that the pseudo-faith peddled by that bunch who have a thing about breakfasts attended by presidents is extremely big on its adherents being well-practiced in the forgiving of sins

their theological teaching of instant forgiveness has been useful to powerful men, providing them a convenient excuse for misdeeds or crimes and allowing them to avoid accepting responsibility or accountability for their actions.

…those parts make it into their selectively-edited & surprisingly slim patented edit of their “good book”…which is remarkably up front in terms of describing their attitude to the allegedly sacrosanct nature of the putative word of their lord & supposed savior

“We’re in for a long, tangled, chaotic and, in terms of human suffering, horribly costly struggle,” said the Harvard constitutional law professor Lawrence Tribe, who has described Friday’s decision as “unprincipled”.

Tribe told the Guardian that it may take generations to completely restore abortion rights but there may be opportunities to minimize the effects of the ruling.
“It’s foolish really to attempt to explain why the ruling wouldn’t have got the highest grade in a constitutional law class,” says Tribe, who is cited four times in Friday’s ruling. “The court should have talked about equality, no question, but it also talked about liberty and liberty embodies the idea of equality.”
“I would expect creative litigants to challenge state laws banning abortion on the basis of the state’s own constitution. If the state courts, which are in many cases elected, look at this through the same lens as the supreme court did, they won’t get anywhere,” Tribe said.

“But it is possible that in some states there are more liberal, progressive or pro-gender equality state courts that would interpret the state constitution as giving more rights to women than they have been given under the federal constitution,” Tribe added.
But, as Tribe pointed out, beyond legislative action guaranteeing abortion rights that few believe is possible, options are limited. “If you mean recourse to completely restoring to before the ruling, that may take generations,” he said. “If you mean minimizing the ruling’s damage, taking steps along the margins to reduce the devastation of the ruling then, yes, that certainly can be done.”

…but what would a heathen like me know about a thing like that…& I wouldn’t want to spark some kind of biblical flood scenario…at least…I don’t think I do?

This week, officials confirmed that Lake Oroville, the state’s second-largest reservoir, was at just 55% of its total capacity when it reached its highest level for the year last month. Meanwhile, Shasta Lake, California’s largest reservoir, was at 40% capacity last month – after the state endured its driest start to a year since the late 19th century.

It’s a dire sign for a state already struggling to manage water during the most severe megadrought in 1,200 years. The glittering turquoise water in both lakes have receded to expose dry, brown lake bed. Dramatic visuals compiled by the department of water resources contrast images of an abundant Oroville in 2019 with this year – when officials say the lake saw a “​​show a shocking drop in water levels”.
The Oroville and Shasta reservoirs back up the two largest dams in the state. Oroville is central to the State Water Project system, which can service up to 27 million Californians and 750,000 acres of farmland. And Shasta is the key reservoir in the federal Central Valley Project, which serves areas as far north as Redding – all the way south into Bakersfield.

Officials at the State Water Project announced earlier this year that it would only be able to provide 5% of requested water supplies to its contractors. The federal project, meanwhile, announced it wouldn’t be providing any water to the state’s agricultural belt, and that cities would be allocated only 25% of their historical water use.
Officials are also concerned that the reservoirs will be too shallow and hot for aquatic life this year. In an effort to protect endangered winter-run Chinook salmon, the bureau of reclamation and the department of water resources are seeking to install temporary chilling units at Shasta Dam to cool the water flowing into a national fish hatchery.
The current megadrought – which researchers found was the most severe in 1,200 years – is a sign that “we’re already seeing the effects of climate change in California”. Cooley said. “And we know that those effects are only going to get worse.”

…ever wondered what a “dead pool” was before the days of dirty harry?

Lake Mead’s water level on Wednesday was measured at 1,044.03 feet, its lowest elevation since the lake was filled in the 1930s. If the reservoir dips below 895 feet — a possibility still years away — Lake Mead would reach dead pool, carrying enormous consequences for millions of people across Arizona, California, Nevada and parts of Mexico.
“This is the 23rd year of drought, and we don’t know if it’s a 23-year drought, a 50-year drought or maybe it’s a 100-year drought,” he said. “We just don’t know what’s going to turn this around.”

…&…I’m no expert…but if you’ve “allocated” more water than there is in a river…that doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that exactly fills up reservoirs

…still…I dare say the GOP would tell you that your best bet is to pray for rain

West Virginia v. the Environmental Protection Agency has the potential to sharply curtail the power of the EPA.

The case is an unusual one for the court. Instead of looking at a rule that has already been established, this one will set a precedent for future actions, specifically those tied to the EPA’s authority to regulate power plant emissions. Should the court rule against the EPA, that could hamper the Biden administration’s plans to combat climate change, as regulating authority could shift to Congress.
The case started last year, when a federal court ruling left open the possibility that policies putting caps on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants could be allowed. While there have been no moves to do that, a collection of Republican attorneys general and coal companies banded together to appeal the ruling.
The Biden administration has been expected to unveil power plant regulation rules this summer, a part of the president’s goal for the entire U.S. power grid to run on clean energy by 2035. This ruling could delay those, however—especially if decision-making authority is shifted to Congress.
Should the court rule against the EPA, it wouldn’t be the first time justices have said the agency is overstepping its authority on the issue of greenhouse gases. In 2014, the court ruled the EPA had overstepped its authority by rewriting the emissions threshold in the Clean Air Act, but at the time said the agency would still be allowed to regulate most stationary sources of greenhouse gases, including (ironically) power plants.

…though I for one wouldn’t trust them to tell you when it’s raining

About 110 countries have signed on to the Global Methane Pledge, vowing to cut methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas whose climate warming power is more than 80 times that of carbon dioxide over the first 20 years.

In the Permian Basin, the most prolific U.S. oil and gas basin, methane emissions in the first quarter of 2022 jumped 33 percent from the previous quarter, and soared by 47 percent from the first quarter a year earlier. The increase in methane emissions outstripped oil and gas output, thus increasing the methane intensity.

The emissions in the first three months of this year also exceeded emissions in the fourth quarter of 2019 — before the pandemic hit.

Halff said there wasn’t a concrete explanation for the change in methane intensity, but he suggested it could come from the rapid increase in oil and gas drilling over the past few months, including by drillers who might pay less attention to methane releases.

…you never know with these assholes, though…I mean normally they’re fans of backslapping for instance

A 38-year-old Staten Island store employee was arrested for allegedly hitting Rudy Giuliani on the back, an attack that the former New York City mayor says felt as if he had been “shot”.

A surveillance video showed Giuliani standing inside a ShopRite store with a group of people he later identified as his supporters. As he was standing, 38-year-old Daniel Gill walked up from behind Giuliani, slapped his back and continued to walk, the video showed.

The video, obtained and published by the New York Post, also showed Gill saying something to Giuliani as Gill walked past the group standing with the 78-year-old, who has also previously served as a lawyer to Donald Trump.

Gill asked Giuliani, “What’s up, scumbag?”, according to a statement from the New York police department. As the group of onlookers watched, the woman next to Giuliani immediately began patting his back as if to soothe him.
Giuliani claimed Gill said: “You … you’re one of the people that’s gonna kill women. You’re gonna kill women.” That appeared to be reference to the decision by the supreme court’s conservative majority to overturn the right to abortion that had been established nearly 50 years ago by Roe v Wade.
The elder Giuliani – who refused medical treatment – reportedly said he was pressing charges against Gill to create “an example that you can’t do this”.

…you can “piously” ban abortion…you can prosecute, persecute & effectively subjugate women by the thousands at a very real risk not only to their personal autonomy but to their very lives…but heaven forfend a dribbling mess of a white man be made to feel like his actions might have uncomfortable consequences in his god-given personal space…what more proof could you possibly need?

[…] in attempting to overturn election results in service of Trump’s lie about voter fraud in his defeat by Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race, Giuliani told an official the battleground state of Arizona: “We’ve got lots of theories. We just don’t have the evidence.”

…those pesky facts on the ground just keep managing to surprise these people who are so keen to assure us they have matters in hand…& yet so desperately averse to answering questions about their intended trajectory

We are where we are, though. So Liz Truss was in the Commons to introduce the second reading of the Northern Ireland protocol bill and to persuade herself that what she was doing was entirely normal and legal.
Truss’s gullibility is almost endearing. She lives in a tabula rasa world where every day starts again anew. She is in a permanent state of forgetting. So when it was repeatedly pointed out to her that the Convict had insisted his Brexit deal was compatible with the Good Friday agreement, she could only stick her fingers in her ears and start humming to herself.
“It’s OK to break the law because it’s a necessity,” Truss insisted. The SNP’s Joanna Cherry asked just whose legal opinion the government had sought. Citing necessity for breaking a treaty that she and the Convict had willingly signed and called an “oven-ready” deal barely two years earlier wouldn’t have fooled a five-year-old.

Though it was more than good enough for Suella Braverman, who is currently cosplaying the role of attorney general. Most of the rest of us wouldn’t trust her to witness a signature. Braverman had wisely stayed away: no point returning to the scene of the crime.
Luckily, there were any number of Tory MPs who were only too happy to tell her she was a latter-day genius. First out of the blocks was John Redwood, who squirmed with excitement at the thought of telling the EU where to get off. Others were equally half-witted. Sally-Ann Hart was adamant. The Tories had a majority and they could do what they want. The law was whatever the government happened to say it was. And if it had changed since a few weeks ago, then tough. People had better just get used to it.

…supremely judicial of the lady, I’m sure you’d agree

Truss was quick to agree. The government had decided to break the law because it couldn’t think of any other way of dealing with the problem. It wasn’t her fault the EU had been unreasonable enough to stick to the treaty and expect the UK to do likewise. She as good as admitted that the treaty had only ever been a sham. Just something to con the more stupid backbenchers in her own party – that’s some low water mark – that the government could Get Brexit Done. Or, as it turned out, Get Brexit Don’t.

…one thing we’re not short of is talk

The overall message from the three-day G7 meeting will be that sanctions are slowly working in degrading the Russian war machine, and will be stepped up if damage to the wider world economy can be contained.
However, there is no guarantee that Vladimir Putin would not respond by cutting gas supplies further. Gazprom cut gas supplies by 60% last week, citing maintenance problems caused by the lack of supply of parts from Canada, an explanation that G7 leaders do not regard as credible. The Nord Stream 1 pipeline is due to shut down altogether for regular two-week summer maintenance in July and there are fears Putin would be prepared to take the hit to Russian and Gazprom revenues if he believed it would cause an industrial meltdown across Europe.
EU states are already allowing some coal plants to stay open longer than planned. The change in approach to fossil fuels including gas is reflected in the draft communique being less hardline about the need to end all future investments in fossil fuels, but the language is couched in such a way that it also retains commitments toward a radical green energy transition.

…not all of which is cheap


…though its value may be in question

Nato’s secretary general has said this week’s Madrid summit will agree the alliance’s most significant transformation for a generation, putting 300,000 troops at high readiness in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Jens Stoltenberg said the military alliance’s forces in the Baltic states and five other frontline countries would be increased “up to brigade levels” – doubled or trebled to between 3,000 and 5,000 troops.

That would amount to “the biggest overhaul of our collective defence and deterrence since the cold war,” Stoltenberg said before the meeting of the 30-country alliance, which runs from Tuesday to Thursday this week.

The rapid-reaction Nato Response Force currently numbers up to 40,000, and the proposed change amounts to a broad revision in response to Russian militarisation. Under the plans, Nato will also move stocks of munitions and other supplies farther east, a transition due to be completed in 2023.

…both immediately

A Russian missile hit a crowded shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Monday, killing and injuring scores of people, the Ukrainian authorities said.
The attack came on the day of a G7 meeting in Germany where leaders discussed ways to punish Moscow for its invasion and pledged to stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes”.

In a joint statement, the leaders of the G7 said Vladimir Putin’s attacks aimed at civilians were a “war crime”.

The statement said: “We, the leaders of the G7, solemnly condemn the abominable attack on a shopping mall in Kremenchuk.

“We stand united with Ukraine in mourning the innocent victims of this brutal attack. Indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians constitute a war crime. Russian president Putin and those responsible will be held to account.
Russia had stepped up its missile strikes on Ukraine as the summit came closer, hitting the capital, Kyiv, on Sunday and launching 20 rockets from Belarusian territory, raising worries in Ukraine that Moscow is aiming to drag its key ally Belarus into the conflict.

…& in the longer term

Oil and gas companies will benefit, potentially to the tune of £4bn, from a loophole in the government’s windfall tax, which allows exemptions for companies that invest in the exploitation of new fossil fuel resources. Legal advice provided to the campaigning group Uplift suggests fracking companies would also be eligible for this incentive, as the windfall tax – officially known as the energy profits levy – is currently written.
Tessa Khan, director of the campaign group Uplift, said: “Despite a historic cost of living crisis, the government is trying to rush through yet another massive subsidy for oil and gas companies. The energy levy is supposed to ease the burden of rising energy bills for UK households, but this investment loophole allows companies to slash their tax bill if they build more polluting, unsustainable oil and gas projects.
The Labour party said the loophole meant oil and gas companies would receive 20 times more in taxpayer incentives than renewable energy companies are eligible for. Analysis by Labour of government data shows that about £4bn could flow to oil and gas companies under the loophole in the windfall tax, and “super-deduction” tax credits.

According to Labour’s analysis, the new rules mean that for every £100 an oil and gas company invests in the North Sea, the company receives £91.50 from the taxpayer. For every £100 invested in renewable energy, the renewables company receives £25, but that will fall to £4.50 from April 2023.

If these incentives are extended to frackers, it could be enough to swing the economics of fracking in favour of new operations. Labour told the Guardian that for fracking companies the rules would mean that out of every £100 spent on fracking only £7.50 would be paid by the fracker, with the rest made up for by the taxpayer.

…given how folks in the states feel about gas hitting the $5 mark…for context

Unleaded petrol reached a fresh record of 191.05p a litre on Sunday, while diesel hit new highs of 199.09p on Saturday, meaning a 55-litre family car would cost £109.42 to fill up.

…that’s in the region of being…a lot closer to $9/gallon than $8…so you’d maybe expect a bit more of a fuss than they seem to be making about it…still…here & there it seems like attention is being paid to at least a few things there might be some money in

The public listing of former President Donald J. Trump’s social media company took a fresh blow on Monday when the cash-rich shell company merging with Mr. Trump’s company disclosed in a regulatory filing that a federal grand jury in New York recently issued subpoenas to the company and its directors.
The disclosure by Digital World is the first indication that federal prosecutors in Manhattan have joined in the scrutiny of the merger between Digital World and Trump Media, which has been under investigation by financial regulators for months. The investigation threatens to further delay the completion of the merger, which would provide Mr. Trump’s company and its social media platform, Truth Social, with up to $1.3 billion in capital, in addition to a stock market listing.
The S.E.C. investigation has focused on whether there were serious discussions between the leadership of Digital World and Trump Media before the SPAC went public in September and why those talks were not disclosed in regulatory filings. SPACs, which raise money to go public in the hopes of finding a merger candidate, are not supposed to have an acquisition target in mind when they raise money from investors.

Regulators also requested information about unusual trading activity in securities of Digital World before the merger announcement. There was a big surge in trading of Digital World warrants — a security that gives the holder the right to buy shares at later date and at a specified price — before the merger announcement.
The parallel investigation by federal prosecutors and securities regulators comes as the clock is ticking down on the Sept. 8 deadline for completing the merger. The proposed merger agreement permits the deadline for the deal being extended to March 8, 2023.

But shareholders in SPACs have become increasingly reluctant to extend the deadlines for completing mergers as the share prices of many SPACs have cratered in recent months.
If the merger is not completed, Digital World will have to return the nearly $300 million raised in the I.P.O. to shareholders. The $1 billion that dozens of hedge funds have said they would invest in a completed deal would be canceled.

…so…you’ll never guess who’s apparently crawling out of the woodwork

The leader of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which captivated a wave of Donald Trump supporters and infiltrated the Republican party, began posting again over the weekend, after nearly two years of silence.
Posts from Q are known to followers as “Q drops”, and they gripped thousands of Trump supporters during his presidency. QAnon T-shirts are still a common sight at Trump rallies, and the baseless theory has also entered Republican politics.
Earlier this year two separate linguistic studies determined that Paul Furber, a South African software developer, was behind Q’s early posts, before Ron Watkins took over the account in 2018.

Watkins’ father, Jim Watkins, owns the 8kun site – previously called 8chan – where Q posted their drops, and Ron Watkins is a former administrator of the platform.
Q’s new posts come as Watkins is running as a Republican for a congressional seat in Arizona. He has raised little money and secured no notable endorsements, and pundits are widely expecting him to be eliminated from the race when the primary is held 2 August.

…still…while this sort of thing looks like falling short of clawing back from the precipitous over-reach


…it seems like there may be a lot of people who could do worse than to reach for this


…at least for today there’s something else happening at short notice that some might argue deserves attention from more than merely the eyes of history

The Jan. 6 committee will hold a last-minute public hearing Tuesday to present new evidence and hear witness testimony, after having previously said it would take a break until mid-July.

The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET, according to an advisory the committee sent out Monday. In an unusual move, the committee has not identified the witness, as it did for previous hearings.

“There is new evidence that is coming to [the committee’s] attention on an almost daily basis,” said a source familiar with the hearing. The committee was “just planning on working this week in preparation for the final two hearings, so this is unplanned.

“You can deduce from that that there will be a lot of significance to the hearing.”

…which at least some people think they might have a read on?

The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack is closely focused on phone calls and conversations among Donald Trump’s children and top aides captured by a documentary film-maker weeks before the 2020 election, say sources familiar with the matter.

The calls among Trump’s children and top aides took place at an invitation-only event at the Trump International hotel in Washington DC that took place the night of the first presidential debate on 29 September 2020, the sources said.
House investigators first learned about the event, hosted by the Trump campaign, and the existence of the footage through British film-maker Alex Holder, who testified about what he and his crew recorded during a two-hour interview last week, the sources said.

The film-maker testified that he had recorded around seven hours of one-to-one interviews with Trump, then-vice president Mike Pence, Trump’s adult children and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, the sources said, as well as around 110 hours of footage from the campaign.

But one part of Holder’s testimony that particularly piqued the interest of the members of the select committee and chief investigative counsel Tim Heaphy was when he disclosed that he had managed to record discussions at the 29 September 2020 event.

The select committee is closely focused on the footage of the event – in addition to the content of the one-on-one interviews with Trump and Ivanka – because the discussions about strategies mirror similar conversations at that time by top Trump advisors.
What appears to interest the panel is whether Trump and his children had planned to somehow stop the certification of the election on January 6 – a potential violation of federal law – and to force a contingent election if Trump lost as early as September.
The select committee found Holder’s testimony and material more explosive than they had expected, the sources said. Holder, for instance, showed the panel a discrepancy between Ivanka Trump’s testimony to the panel and Holder’s camera.

In her interview in December 2020, the New York Times earlier reported, Ivanka said her father should “continue to fight until every legal remedy is exhausted” because people were questioning “the sanctity of our elections”.

That interview was recorded nine days after former attorney general William Barr told Trump there was no evidence of election fraud. But in her interview with the select committee, Ivanka said she had “accepted” what Barr had said.

…I’ll get on with hunting for some tunes to whistle past the graveyard just as soon as I get a moment…but for now that’s where I’ll leave you for today…along with a repeat that the opening bit about volunteers is something I’d be grateful if a few folks could find the time for?



  1. On the water topic:. Did you not see ‘Last Week Tonight ‘?  The Utah R gov put out a PSA literally asking his people to pray for rain.

    On the Rudy thing: what a fucking pussy. This is the same guy who stood at a podium and shouted “let’s have trial by combat” on Jan 6.  How is HE not in cuffs?

    • …I’m a little behind on my john oliver at the minute…but neither part of that is as surprising as I feel like it ought to be

      …& if I could explain rudy wandering around at liberty to my satisfaction…these would most likely read pretty different…so your guess would be very much as good as mine, I fear

    • I can’t imagine a more depressing outing than showing up for a Rudy Giuliani meet-n-greet at a Shop Rite on Staten Island. And this wasn’t conveniently near the ferry, this was way at the other end, the southern tip, practically in New Jersey. I bet the parking lot has good views of Perth Amboy, though.

  2. It’s too bad that the G-7 has to leave Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps to race off to Madrid for the NATO summit. Just to the west is Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which is now a big ski resort and American military base, and though it’s too warm to go schlussing they might enjoy burgers and fries and listening to American Top 40 music.

    As if that weren’t enough, just to the north of that is Oberammergau, and this is the Passionsspiele year. It’s going on right now! This only happens once a decade, and it should have taken place in 2020, but Covid, so it’s been delayed until now. The whole town joins in, and the locals who get to play Mary and Jesus become celebrities. Here’s the cast. The male townsfolk are encouraged to grow beards which is why so many of them have them. Don’t they all bear an uncanny resemblance to itinerant Jews wandering the Holy Land 2,000 years ago?


    To the east, they might be interested to tour Hitler’s Alpine bunker, the Eagle’s Nest, and dine in the mountaintop restaurant, the Kehlsteinhaus. The host, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, might not be so enthusiastic about this outing, but it would provide him with an opportunity to do what Germans do best, which is to explain to non-Germans that they really aren’t Nazis at heart. It was all a misunderstanding, how could German citizens have possibly known what a monster Hitler would turn out to be after they democratically voted him into office after 10 years of non-stop politicking on a platform that promised exactly what Hitler put into place?

    Oh, I miss Deutschland, meine zweite Heimat.

  3. The Trump children caught on film planning the takeover in September 2020 is awfully interesting because Peter Baker, top DC reporter for the NY Times, just published a whitewashing account claiming Ivanka and Jared were crossing floods and fire to stop the coup according to “sources close to” Ivanka and Jared.

    Baker has long been known for letting GOP sources do his thinking and reporting for him, and the Times has happily published him. This time right on the eve of the January 6 Committee’s first public hearing.

    Just another example of how the Times is not really motivated by clicks — if they were, they would get huge exposure from burning their sources and running a narrative about the coverup. They would have a key witness in Baker.

    But their priority is keeping the GOP source network happy. And if that means being complicit in an ever more ridiculous, unsustainable narrative that undermines all of their credibility, well, it’s worth selling off their brand for peanuts.

    • i live uncomfortably close to some batches of bible belt here…and the properly pious are scary people….i mean…they can be nice…if you look and act like them…

      but i swear these fuckers wouldnt piss on you if you were on fire if you dont

      so im not terribly surprised by the results there….


    my dad has this cockamamie scheme to vote for the least likely to win republican. He’s pretty liberal, even more so after trump, so this is him secretly voting R. I can’t tell if this is a good or bad idea. They all seem like shitty candidates to me.

    • …pretty sure I started out meaning to mention that in the post…before getting distracted by…*gestures wildly*

      …other shit

      …so thanks for pointing that part out…& may all republicans prove ultimately unelectable

      • I always vote straight Dem. Dad’s plan was to sabotage a Republican ballot. We’re both in DuPage county but different districts.

        JB Pritzker won on the D side for governor, and Bailey i think won for R. There was an article this morning on Rolling Stone that the IL-D party funded “pro Bailey” ads which portrayed him as too crazy for IL. I guess it’s only pro Bailey if you voted for Trump, otherwise i don’t see the logic.

  5. …so…I haven’t made it to the end (didn’t have a chance to catch it live) but today’s installment of the jan 6th committee hearings is…some compelling shit to put it mildly?

    …if you get the time I’d recommend watching it…I’m pretty sure the version on the committee’s website lets you start at the beginning & can be found here:


      • …so…there’s the shit we basically know but may or may not be supported by admissable evidence that would make specific charges a slam dunk

        …& then there’s…shit, I barely know where to start…I mean, I know it’s like a couple of hours or something to watch it in full but there’s stuff that’s barely a footnote in context that alone would have skipped this shit past watergate & into most-damning-testimony-against-a-then-president territory

        …like…if I’d said that shit yesterday you’d assume I was reading some online bullshit because it couldn’t possibly be true kind of stuff

        …so…he just might, at that?

  6. fucksake…the gubment still wont officially say sorry for our history of slavery

    we’ve got individual cities apologizing and acknowledging the harm they’ve caused…..but the gubments like…yeah…nah…i mean…it was all very long ago and we should debate how much we really are to blame for shit we werent even alive for


    apologies for the non english linkie….but google translate is good nowadays

    i know why they want to not publicly appologize for our part in slavery….its coz they then might be on the hook for some monetary reperations

    but come the fuck on…..just admit we done fucked up before and try to get on with making things better?


    only going to own the shiney parts of our history are we?

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