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“Before you decide if the former president is responsible for the Capitol riots, remember that in America you’re innocent until proven guilty, then proven guilty again, then proven guilty again and they hold a hearing in primetime to show everyone how you’re really, really guilty.” —Stephen Colbert
Clip of cultist Rep. Steve Scalise at press conference on gun violence: We had AR-15s in the 1960s. We didn’t have those mass school shootings. Samantha Bee: Okay, then. Let’s go back to the 1960s when AR-15s were only available to the military. Amen! —Full Frontal
“When we throw more cops into schools as an easy way out of that difficult and necessary conversation [on gun control], we not only fail to keep our kids safe from gun violence, we condemn them to a system that criminalizes the very essence of childhood. Kids deserve to be annoying without being arrested, to be sad and angry without being body slammed. They deserve to have tantrums, throw carrots, do science experiments, talk shit, and carve their names into stuff without risking being thrown in the back of a police car.” —John Oliver, on the epidemic of terrorism against elementary school students by police overstepping their sole job duty—to stop bad guys with guns
“A man recently threw cake on the protective glass of Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa painting at the Louvre in Paris. He also threw some on a Picasso, but no one noticed.” —Seth Meyers
And now, our feature presentation…
Cheers and Jeers for Friday, June 10, 2022
Note:Chef Billy’s secret for the perfect 1-minute omelet: Cook an omelet in one minute and eat it. Try it this weekend. I think it’ll become a cherished family favorite.
CHEERS to a jolly good show. I watched the January 6, 2021 insurrection, during which Donald Trump, his inner circle, and terrorist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers tried to overthrow the United States government, in real time on my TV. And I’ve followed all of the developments since then. So I had no interest in reliving it all over again last night. Besides, the committee explained what they were going to do hours before they did it, making it possible for me to watch my Star Trek rerun (don’t judge me—it was the Khan episode) and do my New York Times crossword:
[T]he prime-time event will be packed with new video, audio and other information proving that former President Donald Trump was at the heart of the attack.
“We will be revealing new details showing that the violence on Jan. 6 was the result of a coordinated, multistep effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election and to stop the transfer of power from Donald Trump to Joe Biden,” a committee aide said in a call previewing the hearing with reporters on Wednesday afternoon, “and indeed that the former president Donald Trump was at the center of that effort.”
“It’ll change history,” said Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of the two Republicans who serve on the panel.
Now all we have to do is sit back and wait for that whole history changing part. I just hope it involves traitors changing into prison duds.
JEERS to my last will and testament. Since Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling officially turning the United States of America into a Gestapo hellscape that makes it inevitable that I’ll be abducted and murdered by ICE, I should probably make this public as soon as possible:
I leave everything to my squirrels.
I hope they use the $54.97 in my secret offshore tax haven wisely.
JEERSto lies and the lying liars who tell them. Do you remember this bit of nonsense as well as I do?
Shortly after George W. Bush’s installation as president by the Supreme Court in 2001, White House staffers accused Bill Clinton’s people of tearing the White House apart before they left—even going so far as to remove the “W” keys from all the computers. Remember that? That was our first concrete clue that conservatives without conscience (to use John Dean’s famous phrase) were running the show. Well, it was 20 years ago this week that Congressional investigators released a report on the “scandal.” Their conclusion basically said,“Don’t you have anything better to do than waste our time?”Tragically, they did: hire incompetent cronies, invadeIraq, ram No Child Left Behind through, give no-bid contracts to Halliburton and free passes to polluters, run up record deficits, let New Orleans drown, authorize torture…and so on and so forth.
BRIEF SANITY BREAK
A juvenile Victoria’s Riflebird performs his elaborate courtship dance to an unimpressed female.
CHEERSto a good start. OnJune 11, 1776, the Continental Congress formed a committee inPhiladelphiato draft a Declaration of Independence. Here are three of those members—Adams, Franklin and Jefferson—hashing out the particulars in one of my favorite scenes from the HBO miniseriesJohn Adams:
The Declaration itself was nice, but what really floors me is: a committee actually did something useful.
CHEERS to home vegetation. Look, you should be old enough by now to figure out what’s on your various screens this weekend. But, dang it, you’re just so adorable I’ll do for you again. Nothing of note tonight, but the MSNBC hosts will be worth a look as they digest last night’s hearings.
Sunday night at 8ET (CBS) the Tony Awards will be handed out for excellence in over-emoting while reading memorized lines aloud—or as politicians call it, a day ending in y. (Full nominees liost is here.) And the weekend wraps up with another Tally-ho’rrific edition of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight on HBO.
Now here’s your Sunday morning lineup:
Meet the Press: TBA
This Week: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA); Gov. Ned Lamont (D-CT); Mark Oliva of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Face the Nation: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) of the Jan. 6 committee; Dr. Jillian Peterson & Dr. James Densley of The Violence Project; Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz Mohamed El-Erian.
CNN’s State of the Union: Gabby Giffords; Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands).
Fox GOP Talking Points Sunday: Gov. Asa Hutchinson (The Cult-AR); Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE).
Fifteen years ago in C&J: June 10, 2007
CHEERS to indecent proposals. Russian Tsar Vladimir Putin—helpful as always—yesterday proposed a different location for President George W. Bush’s missile defense shield. He wasn’t specific other than to say it’s bulbous, dimpled, hairy, split down the middle, erupts every now and then, and makes Laura feel queasy when she’s in the vicinity. Hmm…
And just one more…
CHEERSto a Loving legacy. When Mildred Lovingdied 14 years ago at 68, she left behind a milestone that reached its dramatic height 55 years ago. OnJune 12, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled on a case calledLoving v. Virginia, striking down state miscegenation laws (Virginia‘s had been on the parchment since the mid-1600s). Since this is Pride Month, it’s worth revisiting the statement Loving issued on the 40th anniversary of the announcement of its ruling in her case. When she fought for equal marriage rights, she meant foreveryone:
The older generation’s fears and prejudices have given way, and today’s young people realize that if someone loves someone they have a right to marry.
Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry.
Ibelieve all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.
I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s whatLoving, and loving, are all about.
Have a great weekend. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?
When Vicki Baker cleared out her home in McKinney, Texas, in 2020, she filled two 40-foot dumpsters with her belongings. It wasn’t the way she’d pictured emptying the house as she prepared to begin retirement in Montana. But there was little else to be done with her tear-gas stained items after a SWAT team careened through her fence, detonated explosives to blow her garage door off its hinges, smashed several windows, and drove a BearCat armored vehicle through her front door to apprehend a fugitive that had barricaded himself inside.
A federal jury last week decided that Baker is entitled to $59,656.59 for the trouble. It’s both a controversial and surprising decision. Normally, people like Baker get nothing.
In July 2020, Wesley Little arrived at Baker’s house with a 15-year-old girl he’d kidnapped. Little had previously worked for Baker as a handyman, though she had fired him about a year and a half earlier after her daughter, Deanna Cook, expressed that something may be awry. Cook answered Little at the door that day; having seen him on recent news reports, she left the premises and called the police.
The girl was released unharmed. But Little refused to exit the home, so a SWAT team arrived and began to tear the house down around him in a process known as “shock and awe.”
They then kindly left Baker with the bill. “I’ve lost everything,” she told me in March 2021. “I’ve lost my chance to sell my house. I’ve lost my chance to retire without fear of how I’m going tomake my regular bills.” Those bills include treatment for stage 3 breast cancer.
Yet the only thing perhaps more absurd than a jury having to force the government’s hand in recompensing her is that Baker almost did not have the privilege to bring her case before one. Federal courts in similar cases have ruled that the government can usurp “police powers” to destroy your property and avoid having to pay it back under the Takings Clause of the 5th Amendment, which is supposed to provide a remedy for such circumstances.
After the ordeal, Baker sought that remedy through her home insurance, which stipulated that they are not on the hook if it is the government’s fault. And though the government didn’t deny being at fault, per se, they did deny that Baker was a victim, sending her on her way with a ravaged home, thousands of dollars in destroyed personal possessions, and a dog that went deaf and blind from the chaos that July day.
In November of last year, Baker’s luck began to turn. A federal judge denied the city of McKinney’s motion to dismiss her case. In April, that same jurist, Judge Amos L. Mazzant III of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, described the interpretation of the law barring Baker from suing as “untenable.” And last week, the jury handed down their ruling. The city may appeal, which will delay any payout.
In coming to his decision, Mazzant invoked another unfortunate case: that of the Lech family, who had their $580,000 home ruined by a SWAT team as they pursued an unrelated shoplifter who broke in. Greenwood Village, Colorado, did more for them than McKinney would do for Baker, forking over all of $5,000. A federal court ruled that the family could not sue, and the Supreme Court declined to take up the case.
“Even though a number of federal courts have gone the wrong way on this issue, they’ve done so with very cursory analysis,” says Jeffrey Redfern, an attorney at the Institute for Justice, the public interest law firm shepherding Baker’s case. He says this new ruling is different and should “be the one that everyone is looking at” as similar situations continue to pop up.
It does not set a precedent, however. “In this case, we put the city claims agent on the stand,” notes Redfern, “and she said, ‘Yep, I denied the claim, and I deny every claim like this, and if this happened tomorrow I would deny it again.’” Unfortunately for people like Vicki Baker, this will continue to be a familiar story.
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection issued a subpoena Wednesday to former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who has been linked to meetings in which lawyers debated strategies to overturn former President Donald Trump’s election loss.
The Committee said that it required Cipollone’s testimony after obtaining other evidence about which he was “uniquely positioned to testify.”
Pat Cipollone Can Testify To The Plot To Overturn The Election
According to Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony, Cipollone has intimate and wide-ranging details about the plot to overturn the election. Hutchinson testified that Cipollone warned that if Trump went to the Capitol, they would be charged with every crime imaginable.
Trump was already falling apart after Hutchinson’s testimony, and he could be in for a double whammy if his former White House Counsel testifies. The White House Counsel is not a personal lawyer to the president but represents the institutional interests of the Executive Branch.
If Cipollone testifies, it will be the bombshell that will level the rubble that was already smoldering after Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association