What's Up With "Sloppy Steve" Bannon's Gross Courtroom Attire? - The Thursday AM Quickie 7/21/22
I really appreciated all the tributes to Michael Brooks yesterday on MR and elsewhere online. Like many of you I still feel his loss, and I think often how lucky I am to have called him a friend. - Corey
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THE BIG NEWS
Senators Want to Make Clear the Veep Doesn't Decide Elections
There's another episode of The Treason Show airing tonight in prime time -- specifically, at 8 p.m. Eastern -- and I'll be here to recap it for you tomorrow. In case you need a refresher on what we've learned so far thanks to the The House select committee investigating Donald Trump's Jan. 6, 2021 coup attempt, the Washington Post has woven recent testimony and evidence into a digestible narrative about how Trump's actions set the stage for violence. And there's a bunch of related news from yesterday to get caught up on prior to tonight's hearing.
- A bipartisan group in the Senate has struck a deal on reforms to the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which Donald Trump tried to subvert by roping Mike Pence into his scheme. Per Politico, the proposed legislative package, comprising two separate bills to be voted upon sometime before the end of this year, "would clarify that the vice president's role in counting [electoral college] votes is merely symbolic, as well as raise the threshold for when a member of Congress can challenge an election result."
- Pence and Trump will be rallying for rival Republican candidates for governor in Arizona on Friday. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell predicts "a crowded field" for 2024 GOP presidential contenders, which certainly worked to Trump's advantage in 2020. However, Politico reports that a consensus is forming among party insiders that "a significant portion of the rank-and-file may be tiring of the non-stop series of revelations about Trump," as revealed by polling and focus groups. In other words, the House committee investigating Jan. 6 appears to be accomplishing something with its televised hearings that few thought possible: damaging Trump's standing among Republicans. "It's not Trump hatred," one GOP strategist explains. "It's Trump fatigue."
- Secret Service employees received two emails reminding them to preserve the contents of their cellphones, including text messages, with instructions about how to do so, before agents permanently deleted messages relevant to Jan. 6 and sought by the House committee as well as the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General. NBC News reports that the exact timeline as to when the records were deleted and by whom remains under investigation.
- A New York judge yesterday ordered Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to testify before a grand jury in Atlanta, where Fulton County prosecutors are conducting their own criminal inquiry into Trumpworld's "coordinated attempts to unlawfully alter the outcome of the 2020 elections in this state."
- Reporting from the contempt of Congress trial for former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, which the presiding judge yesterday vowed to prevent from devolving into "a political circus," Vice News notes that "Sloppy Steve" evidently "wore the same three shirts, plus a jacket, two days in a row -- in 90 degree Fahrenheit heat." Is he risking a second contempt charge here? Ew.
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
The Climate Emergency Remains Undeclared for Now
The heatwave in Europe is receding, after killing more than 1,000 people, but now it's America's turn. More than 105 million people in 28 states are under excessive heat warnings. Temparatures in Magnum, Oklahoma hit 115 degrees Farenheit as a heat dome formed over the country from the central states to the Northeast, where temperatures aren't expected to peak until this weekend. In Britain, the extreme heat is prompting calls for the government to actually do something to cut greenhouse gas emissions, as critics describe the ruling Tories as being "out of touch with reality" regarding climate change and its consequences. In the U.S., President Joe Biden responded to the gutting of his climate agenda by West Virginia coal baron Sen. Joe Manchin III by announcing federal aid to communities affected by extreme heat, and a program to boost offshore wind energy. He is reportedly still dithering about whether to declare a climate emergency, even though he used that phrase in remarks yesterday. Oh, and the federal office that deals with the health effects of climate change has no money.
Ukraine Update: First Lady Appeals for More Weapons
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov yesterday announced that the country's war aims include southern Ukraine in addition to the eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk it already seeks to annex; these provinces would create a link to Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, and the Black Sea. In Kherson, one of the occupied cities Russia wants to absorb, Ukrainian forces used American-supplied artillery to strike a bridge that was vital to the occupiers' supply lines, although it remains unclear whether a full counteroffensive is in the works. Ukraine's first lady, Olena Zelenska, was in Washington, D.C. yesterday to ask Congress for more weapons. Finally, the Associated Press offers a detailed look at the terrifying bureaucracy of mass deportation and "filtration" that has moved up to 2 million Ukrainians to unfamiliar places deep inside Russia; many have since fled with the help of an underground network of Russians opposed to the war.
- Next British Prime Minister Will Be Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss A vote yesterday by Conservative Party parliamentarians knocked a third candidate out of the running. via the BBC.
- Sri Lankan Parliament Names New President Protesters are angry that it's the "bank robber" prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who called them "fascists" last week while ordering a crackdown. via the Guardian.
- Indiana Mall Shooter Announced Intent with Nazi-Glorifying Post The shooter frequented a disgusting online forum Tucker Carlson recently praised as a censorship-free zone. via Vice News.
- Uvalde School Police Chief Might Get Fired Pete Arredondo stands to lose his job because angry parents demanded accountability; he is one of only two cops to be put on leave after the massacre. via the Associated Press.
That's how big of a wage increase Kimberly Lane has received after two years of working at an Amazon warehouse, bringing her compensation to $15.70 an hour. The low pay led Lane to join a local organizing committee for the independent Amazon Labor Union, which is now seeking an election at the Albany, New York warehouse where she works.
ON THE SHOW TODAY
7/21: Emma is joined by Paris Marx, host of the Tech Won't Save Us podcast, to discuss their recent book Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong About the Future of Transportation.
Don't Miss MR Clips
Likely U.S. Voters Favor Democrats in 2022 Midterm Elections, Polling Shows For instance, John Fetterman is way up on Dr. Oz and it's no mystery why.
Jan. 6 Hearings Could Push Trump to Announce Presidential Run Early Which many think would be good for Democrats in the midterms.
"If anything, I want to be just a true Confederate."
-- Michael Peroutka, the former League of the South board member nominated this week as the Republican candidate for attorney general in Maryland, explaining why he doesn't like the term "neo-Confederate."
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