March 07 | 2017
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June 29 | 2022
Former President Donald Trump lashed out at ex-White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson during her explosive testimony before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol on Tuesday afternoon.
Hutchinson worked closely with Trump in the West Wing and was also a special assistant to then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Her office was only a few yards away from Trump's.
Hutchinson's appearance at the Committee's unscheduled sixth session – which was announced on Monday – provided new insight about what went on inside Trumpworld in the leadup to, on, and following the events of January 6th.
Her sworn statements included recollections of Trump throwing his lunch against a wall, demanding that armed supporters be permitted to attend his Stop the Steal rally so that he could deploy them to the Capitol, and one incident in which Trump tried to grab a Secret Service agent's clavicle and commandeer the presidential limo when his security detail refused to drive him down the street.
Hutchinson further stated that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and other senior staffers believed that Trump felt that his mob's threats to assassinate Vice President Mike Pence were justified.
"I remember Pat saying something to the effect of, 'Mark, we need to do something more, they're literally calling for the vice president to be f*cking hung.' And Mark had responded something to the effect of, 'You heard him, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn't think they're doing anything wrong.' To which Pat said something -- 'This is f*ckng crazy. We need to be doing something more,'" Hutchinson said.
CNN reported prior to the hearing that Trump was 'nervous' and 'blindsided' by the news of Hutchinson's cooperation. And as he has frequently done in the past, Trump engaged in what his long-term personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen recently described as a "distance, disparage, and destroy" effort against Hutchinson.
"I hardly know who this person Cassidy Hutchinson, is, other than I heard very negative things about her (a total phony and "leaker"), and when she requested to go with certain others of the team to Florida after my having served a full term in office, I personally turned her request down," Trump wrote on his Twitter-knockoff Truth Social app.
"Why did she want to go with us if she felt we were so terrible?" Trump continued. "I understand that she was very upset and angry that I didn't want her to go, or be a member of the team. She is bad news!"
Read it below or at this link.
Meanwhile, the Select Committee tweeted after the conclusion of its hearing that unnamed individuals whom they have interviewed may be victims of witness tampering by Trump and his associates.
We commonly ask witnesses connected to Trump whether they have been contacted by anyone attempting to impact testimony.— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 28, 2022
Below are examples of answers we have received to this question. pic.twitter.com/pwxyJBf7Kl
Another possible instance occurred on Monday in an angry missive directed at Meadows that Trump posted to Truth Social.
File with this targeted threat to Meadows. pic.twitter.com/sMveZ4mchx
— Tom (@TomTomClub510) June 28, 2022
Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
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June 28 | 2022
Just one week after declaring pregnancy a sacrament, the Supreme Court announced a bold ruling in favor of performative Christianity. Never mind this tiresome business about no establishment of religion, the very holy Republican majority in their priestly robes have liberated the nation’s public school football coaches to get on with the serious business of saving souls.
Can I get an amen?
The court ruled in favor of a coach in Bremerton, Washington who had lost his lawsuit against the school board that let him go after he refused to stop holding post-game prayer meetings with his players at the 50 yard-line after high school football games. The justices held that Coach Joseph Kennedy’s showboating for Jesus was exactly like “a Christian aide…praying quietly over her lunch in the cafeteria.”
As near as I can determine, the author of the decision, Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch, never attended a public school: a total academic hothouse flower. In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor whose life experience is considerably broader, took the rare step of attaching photos from the evidentiary record by way of demonstrating that what Gorsuch characterized as private devotional moments were, in fact, public spectacles.
She added that athletic coaches have considerable influence over their young charges: “Students look up to their teachers and coaches as role models and seek their approval,” she wrote.
“Students also depend on this approval for tangible benefits. Players recognize that gaining the coach’s approval may pay dividends small and large, from extra playing time to a stronger letter of recommendation to additional support in college athletic recruiting.”
If the coach holds a prayer session, what sophomore quarterback will feel free not to drop to his knees? And if he’s a Jew, a Muslim or a Hindu? As Jay Michaelson put it in The Daily Beast, such devotionals tend to be about “as official as a fire drill.”
Remember, this is a public school, not a private religious academy.
Here’s how a Republican-appointed justice at the Ninth Circuit described the evidence in rejecting the coach’s appeal: Coach Kennedy “prayed out loud in the middle of the football field” at game’s end, “surrounded by players, members of the opposing team, parents, a local politician and members of the news media with television cameras recording the event, all of whom had been advised of Kennedy’s intended actions through the local news and social media.”
Starting with the coach’s own Facebook page. In short, he staged a religious publicity stunt at a public high school where students are supposed to be free from government-sponsored proselytizing.
Here’s what Coach Kennedy’s Lord and Savior said about theatrical displays of religiosity in Matthew 5: 5-6: “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and at street-corners that they may be seen by men… But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father…and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
No matter. Nothing more excites a certain kind of zealot more than ignoring the plain meaning of what they otherwise affirm as divinely-inspired scripture. Also, some pious exegete can no doubt be found who will construe the meaning of “your room” as “football stadium.”
Blessed are the linebackers, for they shall stand strong.
For the rest of us, the clear message of this dreary little episode is that in the United States Supreme Court, it’s not about facts and evidence. It’s about who’s got the votes. It’s as rigged as the College of Cardinals. If Justice Gorsuch describes a come-to-Jesus pep rally at a homecoming game as a quiet devotional, and if five of his like-minded colleagues agree, then ecclesiastical ceremonies can commence all across the country.
And no doubt they will, particularly in red states and rural communities where religious minorities already know their place. Because it’s only partly about religion to begin with. Mostly it’s about tribal identity: who belongs, who’s in charge, who’s a Real American, and who is merely tolerated. There is no chance—zero—that this Supreme Court would have ruled in favor of a religious minority.
And if you don’t like it, Pilgrim, well tough.
Christian nationalism is what it’s called, a perversion of both patriotism and faith. How you can tell is that Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), the second-dumbest person in the U.S. Congress, is all excited about it.
As reported in the Denver Post, Boebert told a Colorado religious gathering “the church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church. That is not how our Founding Fathers intended it.”
She spoke of her disgust with “this separation of church and state junk that’s not in the Constitution. It was in a stinking letter,”
The stinking letter, of course, was written by Thomas Jefferson.
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