Monday, November 22, 2021
BY SARAH LAZARUS, BRIAN BEUTLER, & CROOKED MEDIA
** -Virginia Lt. Gov.-elect Winsome Sears ([link removed]) , when asked her vaccination status
New developments in the congressional investigations of the January 6 insurrection, and Donald Trump’s failed coronavirus response, along with the criminal-fraud investigation overseen by the Manhattan district attorney and the New York attorney general have us thinking: We’d like to see Ol’ Donny Trump wriggle his way out of THESE jams.
* With Steve Bannon’s criminal contempt of Congress trial pending, and the House January 6 Select Committee engaged in a standoff with other Trump confidantes—now including Roger Stone and Alex Jones ([link removed]) —Ithe investigators have a message for the stonewallers: Not everyone is willing to go to jail to protect the disgraced former president. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who serves on the committee told CNN this weekend ([link removed]) , “Certainly there have been people, part of the Trump administration, who have spoken to us and provided important insights that have led us to further questions.” Some of those witnesses requested subpoenas, according to Lofgren, so they can later stipulate that the committee compelled their testimony.
* What might they be testifying to? It’s hard to say at this point, but it may have something to do with direct cooperation between organizers of the January 6 rally (which metastasized into the violent insurrection) and the White House. Text messages obtained by Rolling Stone ([link removed]) suggest White House officials (including Trump) had a greater role in assembling the mob that Trump then directed down to the Capitol than we knew.
* The growing body of evidence pointing to Trump’s culpability for the insurrection continues to have federal judges wondering why the heck the Justice Department doesn’t seem to care. This time it was Judge Amit Mehta, sentencing an insurrectionist named John Lolos, who noted that nobody above the pawn level has faced any legal repercussions for trying to overthrow the government. “The fact remains that he and others were called to Washington, D.C., by an elected official, prompted to walk to the Capitol by an elected official,” Mehta said ([link removed]) . “We’re here today deciding whether Mr. Lolos should spend 30 days in jail when those who created the conditions that led to Mr. Lolos’ conduct, led to the events of Jan. 6 [haven’t been] held to account for their actions and their word.”
Meanwhile, other investigations keep chugging along.
* Prosecutors there are reportedly investigating ([link removed]) whether Trump routinely inflated property valuations for investors while drastically undervaluing them for tax purposes. In one instance under scrutiny, the Trump Organization told lenders that one of its Wall Street properties was worth over half a billion dollars, only to tell tax authorities that the entire building was worth just $16.7 million. On the other hand at least Trump has scammed the RNC into paying (some of) his legal bills in this case ([link removed]) ?
* In more “nothing to see here!” news, Trump seems nervous about what the House select coronavirus subcommittee seems to be learning. Responding to no one in particular this weekend, Trump offered the following, sweaty comment: “The Communist Democrats are engaging in yet another Witch Hunt, this time going after my Administration’s unprecedented and incredible coronavirus response [ed note: more than 750,000 Americans have died].... I’m telling Peter Navarro to protect executive privilege and not let these unhinged Democrats discredit our great accomplishments."
It’s been a long six years of watching Trump escape accountability for an incredible rap sheet of crimes and scandals, and hoping investigators will finally take him down has become a punchline. At the same time Trump has been out of office for less than a year and those investigators have only recently begun to access the evidence they’ve been seeking. At the very least he has more wriggling to do before we once again declare, “ah, well, nevertheless.”
Check out the latest episode of Offline with Jon Favreau! This week Stephen Colbert joins to defend his 8 hour-a-day screen habit, preach the benefits of a Twitter-free lifestyle, and discuss what some of the darkest days of American democracy looked like behind the scenes at the Ed Sullivan Theater. New episodes of Offline ([link removed]) drop every Sunday in the Pod Save America feed.
The global supply chain is on the mend ([link removed]) , a hopeful sign for getting inflation under control in the not-too-distant future. Coronavirus-related disruptions at Asian factories and ports have eased in recent weeks as case numbers drop, the cost of shipping containers across the Pacific has fallen, backlogs at Southern California ports have improved, and major U.S. retailers say they’ve managed to import most of the goods they need for the holidays. Supply chains will still be wonky for a while—labor shortages and shipping bottlenecks are expected to continue into next year—and any inopportune COVID outbreaks or major storms could send freight costs back through the roof. But things are moving in the right direction on multiple fronts, and it now looks like the worst may be behind us.
* An SUV sped into a Christmas parade in Waukesha, WI, on Sunday night ([link removed]) , killing at least five people and injuring 48 others, including many children. Law enforcement has identified a suspect, who was fleeing the scene of a reported knife fight.
* The Supreme Court surprisingly did not issue a ruling on the Texas abortion ban on Monday ([link removed]) , nearly three weeks after hearing arguments in the wildly urgent case.
* A New York State Assembly investigation found “overwhelming evidence” ([link removed]) that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) sexually harassed at least a dozen women and made state workers help him write and promote his memoir.
* President Biden has nominated Jerome Powell ([link removed]) for a second term as Federal Reserve chair.
* Trump-backed Pennsylvania Senate candidate Sean Parnell has suspended his campaign ([link removed]) after losing his custody battle earlier on Monday. Parnell’s estranged wife testified that he had physically abused her and their children.
* Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) will run for re-election in Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux’s (D-GA) district ([link removed]) , after Georgia Republicans gerrymandered hers into a pulp.
* Nine FBI agents temporarily became CIA operatives at Guantanamo ([link removed]) while the CIA was using torture during interrogations, according to new evidence in Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s pretrial proceedings.
* Russia has amassed more than 92,000 troops on the Ukrainian border ([link removed]) and plans to attack by late January or early February, according to the head of Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency.
* Chilean voters on Sunday gave the lead in the country’s presidential race to far-right candidate José Antonio Kast ([link removed]) . He’ll face progressive former student activist Gabriel Boric in a December runoff.
* The State Department released a statement siding with the Philippines ([link removed]) after the Chinese coast guard used water cannons to turn away Filipino resupply ships in the South China Sea.
* Two Fox News contributors, Liberal Fascism author Jonah Goldberg and Iraq-war-promoter Stephen Hayes have solemnly donned matching hot dog costumes and resigned in protest of Patriot Purge ([link removed]) , Tucker Carlson’s January 6 special which pushed the conspiracy theory that the violence at the Capitol was a “false flag.”
Facebook knew that its half-assed hate speech policies were hurting Black and other minority users ([link removed]) , but decided not to fix them because it might have upset conservatives, according to the latest round of damning internal company documents. Last year, Facebook researchers presented executives with a plan to overhaul its algorithm to focus on removing the “worst of the worst” language on the platform: Hate speech directed at Black, Jewish, Muslim, Arab, and LGBTQ+ users. Facebook’s existing hate speech algorithms consistently failed to automatically remove that content, instead aggressively targeting posts that expressed contempt for white people and men. But top executives rejected the most substantive proposed changes, with a document prepared for Vice President for Global Public Policy and Top Republican Joel Kaplan noting that some “conservative partners” might be miffed because they feel that “hate
targeted toward trans people is an expression of opinion.” Another proud moment for America’s most conscientious company.
In 2021 mental health is finally a thing, especially as people are not feeling like their normal selves. Let’s support one another and talk openly. Whether or not therapy is your thing, knowing it’s available and affordable is important, for you or perhaps a loved one.
Millions of people are trying and loving online therapy. It doesn’t have to be sitting around just talking about your feelings.
So, what is therapy, exactly? It’s whatever you want it to be.
You can privately talk to someone if your stress is too much to manage, you’re battling a temper, having relationship issues, anxiety, depression, etc… Whatever you need, there’s no more shame in these normal human struggles. We take care of our bodies, why not our minds, too? Without a healthy mind, being truly happy and at peace is HARD.
BetterHelp is customized online therapy that offers video, phone and even live chat sessions with your therapist, so you don’t have to see anyone on camera if you don’t want to. It’s much more affordable than in-person therapy and you can start communicating with your therapist in under 48 hours.
It’s always a good time to invest in yourself, because you are your greatest asset. See if online therapy is for you by heading to BetterHelp.com/crooked ([link removed]) for 10% off your first month.
A $15 minimum wage ([link removed]) for federal contractors will go into effect on January 30, providing a likely raise for over 300,000 workers.
Vaccine mandates work, federal workforce edition ([link removed]) .
Vice President Kamala Harris ([link removed]) has announced a $1.5 billion investment to address the shortage of health care workers in underserved communities.
The Bureau of Land Management ([link removed]) will consider restoring protections for the greater sage grouse’s habitat.