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Supreme Court Rejects Graham's Attempt To Evade Georgia Grand Jury

The Supreme Court today rejected an attempt by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to evade testifying before the Fulton County special grand jury investigating former president Donald Trump's efforts to reverse his election defeat in Georgia. The brief order handed down by court included no dissenting views.

Graham had insisted his actions on behalf of Trump, which included calls to Georgia state officials, should be regarded as legislative activity protected by the Constitution’s “speech or debate clause” -- and thus not subject to a summons from the grand jury. The high court's unsigned order noted that lower courts had protected the South Carolina Republican from answering any questions related to his Senate work.

A temporary stay granted to Graham by Justice Clarence Thomas was vacated by the court's action.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is overseeing the probe of Trump's attempted coup, has demanded that Graham appear by testify by November 17. Several Trump lawyers, including John Eastman, Rudy Giuliani, and Boris Epshteyn have already been forced to testify. A US District Court judge has also ruled that former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows must testify.

'Too Soon?' Don Jr. Mocks Brutal Attack With 'Paul Pelosi Costume' Meme

Donald Trump Jr. mocked the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul on social media by sharing a "Halloween costume" intended to represent the hammer-wielding intruder.

Trump Jr. shared an image Sunday night showing a hammer lying on top of a pair of Hanes underwear with the comment: "Got my Paul Pelosi Halloween costume ready."

"The internet remains undefeated … Also if you switch out the hammer for a red feather boa you could be Hunter Biden in an instant," Trump Jr. wrote.

He also posted a screenshot of the image on his Instagram, racking 88,000 likes. The underwear in his post appears to reflect a debunked rumor that the intruder was in his underwear at the time of the attack.

Paul Pelosi was "violently assaulted" with a hammer in his California home on October 28, according to San Francisco Police Chief William Scott. He suffered a fractured skull and injuries to his right arm and hands and underwent surgery on Friday.

The intruder planned to keep him tied up until the speaker returned home, law enforcement sources told CBS News.

The suspect, who was identified as David Wayne DePape, had a list of people he wanted to target, according to law enforcement sources that spoke with CBS News.

DePape's social media revealed memes and conspiracy theories he posted about Holocaust denial, COVID vaccines, pedophiles in the government and claims that Democratic officials run child sex rings.

The speaker posted a statement on Twitter saying that her family is "heartbroken and traumatized" by the "life threatening attack" on her husband.

But right-wing personalities on Twitter mocked the attack on Paul Pelosi — with some even spreading falsehoods and amplifying misinformation.

Larry Elder, a conservative radio host, reacted to the assault by ridiculing Pelosi for his prior charge of driving under the influence.

"First, he's busted for DUI, and then gets attacked in his home. Hammered twice in six months," he wrote, adding, "Too soon?"

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA)., called the media a "source of misinformation" and continued to promote the falsehood that the intruder was Paul Pelosi's friend.

"The same mainstream media democrat activists that sold conspiracy theories for years about President Trump and Russia are now blaming @elonmusk for 'internet misinformation' about Paul Pelosi's friend attacking him with a hammer," Greene tweeted.

Others went as far as suggesting the attack was fake. Dinesh D'Souza, whose widely-debunked recent film "2000 Mules" pushed Trumpist election conspiracy theories, continued to spread misinformation on Twitter.

"The Left is going crazy because not only are we not BUYING the wacky, implausible Paul Pelosi story but we are even LAUGHING over how ridiculous it is. What this means is that we are no longer intimidated by their fake pieties. Their control over us has finally been broken," D'Souza wrote.

Far-right Arizona Republican lawmaker Wendy Rogers retweeted a post mocking the attack as "fake" and displaying a bloody hammer.


The skepticism regarding the incident seems to have grown after Evan Sernoffsky, a reporter at the Fox-affiliated local news outlet KTVU, tweeted that the attacker was in his underwear at the time of his arrest. Sernoffsky deleted the tweet and said that sources told him this was untrue.

Some people have even floated the baseless conspiracy theory that Paul Pelosi and DePape were lovers.

The Telegram channel for Bannon's "War Room" show shared a story from "The Republic Brief" that repeated some of "the same uncorroborated details about the encounter, including that the suspect was found in his underwear," the Washington Post reported.

D'souza also amplified the theory on his Twitter.

"Were Paul Pelosi and his attacker BOTH in their underwear? BOTH holding hammers? And the attacker didn't strike until AFTER police were on the scene? As a movie-maker, I gotta say this script must be rejected. Nothing about the public account so far makes any sense," he wrote.

Some conservatives have tried to spin the apparently politically motivated attack by tying it to crime in San Francisco. "Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver on Sunday called out right-wing claims linking the attack to bail reform after Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), complained on Fox News about letting "dangerous criminals" roam free and commit violence. McCaul suggested that the intruder who attacked Paul Pelosi was out on bail.

"Now, he's wrong about a few things there. Again, the suspect was not out on bail. Also, no one gets bailed out of prison—that's where convicted people go," Oliver said.

People have continued to spread falsehoods about the hammer attack, including new Twitter owner Elon Musk, who amplified a baseless conspiracy theory from a site suggesting that Paul Pelosi was drunk and in a fight with a male prostitute. "There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye," Musk wrote before deleting the tweet hours later.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Select Committee Subpoena Seeks Trump Testimony And Specific Documents

The House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters issued a subpoena to former president Donald J. Trump on Friday afternoon, demanding documents and testimony.

The committee asked Trump to provide requested documents by November 4 and to appear on or about November 14.

The Trump subpoena follows the unanimous vote by the committee on October 13 at the conclusion of its last public hearing. Like its eight previous hearings, that one presented new evidence and testimony showing that the January 6 insurrectionary violence resulted from Trump's words and actions during the weeks following his defeat in the November 2020 election.

“As demonstrated in our hearings, we have assembled overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and staff, that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multipart effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to obstruct the peaceful transition of power,” Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) and vice chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in a ten-page letter to Trump.

The letter also outlined 19 document requests, including Trump’s exchanges with Roger Stone, former Secret Service agent and Trump White House aide Tony Ornato, coup-plotting attorneys John Eastman and Sidney Powell, and various other Trump associates as well as leaders of extremist groups involved in his coup attempt.

The committee also asked for “information sufficient to identify every telephone or other communications device” that Trump used from November 3, 2020, to January 20, 2021, as well as any messaging conducted via Signal, an encrypted online messaging application, on any personal devices, or communication by any other means.

Steve Bannon Sentenced To Four Months Prison On Contempt Charges

A federal judge sentenced Steve Bannon, the neo-fascist advisor to Donald Trump and coup proponent, to four months in prison for refusing to cooperate with the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack by a pro-Trump mob. During a sentencing hearing on Friday, US District Judge Carl Nichols also ordered Bannon to pay a fine of $6,500.

Bannon was convicted last July on two counts of contempt of Congress for failing to provide documents and testimony. Each of the two counts was punishable by a minimum of one month and a maximum of one year in prison. He will be the first person sent to jail for refusing a Congressional subpoena in more than 50 years. The judge said Bannon could remain free pending his expected appeal. Members of the select committee voted last week to issue a subpoena to Trump himself for testimony and documents.

“Flaunting congressional subpoenas betrays a lack of respect for the legislative branch, which exercises the will of the people of the United States,” Judge Nichols said. Bannon “has expressed no remorse” and “has not taken responsibility for his refusal to comply with his subpoena.”

#EndorseThis: Is Herschel Walker YOUR Dad? Kimmel Wants To Know

We'll probably never know how many of Herschel Walker's potential offspring were aborted -- with his urging and financial assistance -- but it's at least theoretically possible to find out how many unacknowledged children the Georgia Republican Senate nominee has sired.

Or at least Jimmy Kimmel has an idea: If everybody would take a "34 and Me" swab test, we could begin to estimate how many kids can call the demented former football player "Dad." So his producers created an ad, and it's pretty damn funny.

Just click and chortle.

In Deranged Interview, Alex Jones Says He’s 'Hitler' and Shot Sandy Hook Victims

Alex Jones, the host of the conspiracy theory show InfoWars declared that he himself is Hitler and that he shot kids to death in an interview on Channel 5 with Andrew Callaghan.

When Callaghan asked Jones if he felt responsible for what happened to the Sandy Hook parents, meaning the harassment and death threats they faced after Jones told his millions of viewers that they were “crisis actors” who helped fake a 2012 school shooting in order to help the government confiscate people’s guns.

Jones responded, “I went to that school. I pulled the gun out. I shot every one of myself. I mean, I’m guilty.” Later on, he repeats over and over again, “I killed them. I’ll admit it. I did it. I’m the bad guy…. I murdered those children. I did. I did it myself.”

The December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting left 26 people dead, including 20 children ages 6 and 7. Jones was not the shooter.

“We should bow five times a day to New Haven, Connecticut for the kids that died,” Jones said, before saying that people have been hypnotized into believing that they should give their guns to George Soros, a Jewish billionaire that anti-Semites think controls left-wing politics.

“I was actually Hitler. It wasn’t actually Hitler,” Jones said. “I did it. I was in a time machine in Germany. I did all that.”

Later in the interview, Jones said, “I was being sarcastic earlier. I didn’t kill the children. I’m not Jeffrey Dahmer. I didn’t invent hemorrhoids. I simply questioned things and they’re trying to demonize me to say questioning things is a bad deal.”

That’s a lie though. Jones himself said the shooting was fake, and he has said in court that he believed it was, though he now believes otherwise. He has also claimed that his company is broke, despite raking in millions in online sales.

“Nobody thinks you killed the kids,” Callaghan told Jones during their interview. “Nobody thinks that oh, it’s what you did. What you killed is [the parents’] ability to get over the death of children.”

Jones responded, “Everyone’s like yeah, ‘We’re gonna get him immediately.’ Like, they’ve built me up and like I’m this giant creature like all-powerful, like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and none of it’s real. So it’s like it’s funny, actually. It’s actually comical. I mean, it’s, it’s actually hilarious.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Endorse This! Dr. Oz Says He Owns 'Two Houses, Legitimately' -- And 10 'Properties'

Where ultra-wealthy TV quack doctor Mehmet Oz actually lives is a mystery. He doesn't seem to reside in Pennsylvania, where he is currently the Republican U.S. Senate candidate. He owns a mansion in New Jersey -- and what he calls "properties" in at least nine other places, although he claims to only "legitimately" two homes (whatever that means).

Not surprisingly, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, his Democratic opponent and a trolling master, has taken acerbic note of this curious situation in a certain television host's style -- and then dropped an amusing video via Twitter.

Watch the clip below:



Bannon Guilty On Both Counts In Contempt Of Congress Trial

A Washington, D.C. jury delivered a guilty verdict today against Steve Bannon, the fascist podcast agitator and longtime adviser to former President Donald Trump in his trial for contempt of Congress. Bannon had resisted testifying or delivering subpoenaed documents to the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack.

After a week-long trial that featured only two witnesses, Bannon was convicted under a criminal statute designed to enforce compliance with congressional subpoenas. During the weeks leading up to the trial, Bannon had bristled with blustering threats to “go medieval” on prosecutors and even President Joe Biden. But US Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, rejected his excuses and arguments. Bannon's defense called no witnesses.

Nichols scheduled sentencing for October 21. Each of the two misdemeanor counts i punishable by at least 30 days and up to one year in jail, and a fine of up to $100,000.

House Select Committee Issues Subpoena To Former White House Counsel

On Wednesday evening the House Select Committee investigating the Trump coup plot issued a subpoena to former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, following blockbuster testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who said the lawyer had warned of potential criminal activity by former President Donald Trump and his aides.

The committee summons to Cipollone followed long negotiations over his possible appearance and increasing pressure on him to come forward as Hutchinson did. Committee members expect the former counsel’s testimony to advance their investigation, owing to his knowledge of the former president's actions before, during and after the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Cipollone sat for an informal interview with the committee on April 13, according to a letter from the panel’s chairman, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MI), but has since refused to cooperate. He is likely to fight the subpoena in court.

Toddler Troll Margie Rants At British Reporter: 'Go Back To Your Country'

During a press conference Wednesday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) aggressively told a British reporter to "go back to your country" when questioned about gun violence nationwide.

At a press conference, Greene called out the 14 Republican senators — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — who had voted on Tuesday to advance the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a gun safety bill.

"These are the Republican senators that Republican voters do not support anymore," Greene said.

At the press conference, Siobhan Kennedy, a Washington correspondent for British broadcaster Channel 4, noted the disparity in gun violence between the United States and the United Kingdom.

"We don't have guns in the U.K., that is true, but we don't have mass shootings either," Kennedy said. "Children aren't scared to go to school."

"You have mass stabbings, lady," Greene replied. "You have all kinds of murder. And you've got laws against that."

When the reporter attempted to highlight America's higher rates of violence, Greene replied, "Well, you can go back to your country and worry about your no guns. We like ours here."

The Georgia congresswoman later took to Twitter to boast about her xenophobic comments: "When British press wants to argue about our God-given American gun rights, my answer is: 'go back to your own country.'"

In 2020, the homicide rate per 100,000 people in the United States is 5.3, while the U.K. has a rate of just 1.2, according to WorldAtlas.

Moreover, the Washington Post noted that the United States, in fact, has a much higher rate of stabbing homicides at 6.3 per million residents, compared to the United Kingdom's 3.9 per million residents.

This is not the first time Greene has made xenophobic or anti-immigrant comments.

In April, while speaking to a far-right Catholic activist, Greene claimed that Christians who help undocumented migrants are under Satan's control.

In 2020, GOP House leaders condemned Greene's racist, Islamophobic, and antisemitic statements after Facebook videos uncovered by Politico showed the then-candidate saying that Muslims do not belong in government, calling Jewish Democratic megadonor George Soros a Nazi, and suggesting that Black people "are held slaves to the Democratic Party."

A final Senate vote is expected on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act this week.

The compromise bill does not include many measures Democrats have pushed for, such as universal background checks for gun sales, bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, or a national red flag law. However, it would take steps to disarm convicted domestic abusers, enhance background checks for gun buyers under the age of 21, and would expand gun dealer registration rules.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

'You Are Doing Nothing': O'Rourke Confronts Abbott Over Uvalde Massacre

Not long after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his entourage showed up on a stage in Uvalde, Texas, to offer the usual thoughts and prayers that follow a gun massacre, Democratic rival Beto O'Rourke suddenly strode up to confront him.

Pointing a finger at the governor, he yelled: "You're offering us nothing!"

A native of El Paso, where a white supremacist gunman murdered 23 people and injured 23 more at a Walmart in 2019, O'Rourke is way past fed up with Republican refusal to pass gun safety legislation of any kind.

"The time to stop the next shooting is now, and you are doing nothing," O'Rourke said, quite truthfully, before he was escorted out of the press conference by security.

Predictably, the Republicans present reacted with scorn. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told O'Rourke, who came close to defeating him in 2018, to "sit down," while Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick scolded the Democrat as "out of line and an embarrassment."

Following O'Rourke's departure Abbott went into saccharine mode: "There's no words anybody shouting can come up here — and do anything — to heal those broken hearts." But O'Rourke had no time for the governor's feeble condolences.

"I want us to do something right now," he said after leaving the auditorium. "We can do something right now. But if we continue to accept this, it is on us. It's not just the governor's fault, it is on us. I'm not going to accept it, so I'm here, I'm calling attention to it....And I'm calling on all Texans of good conscience — and I could care less whether you're a Republican, a Democrat or an independent — to stand up right now for yourself, for your kids, for our families and to stop the next shooting just like this one."

As O'Rourke said, the lax gun laws and regulations promoted by Abbott, Cruz, and Patrick have only made things much worse.

Action to stop gun violence, or more thoughts and prayers and NRA money? That seems like a simple choice, as we bury a couple dozen more innocent victims of American apathy.


Texas Appellate Panel Stays Lucio Execution, Returns Case To Trial Court

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals today stayed the scheduled Wednesday execution of Melissa Lucio, whose death sentence has sparked protests around the world as doubts have grown about her guilt in the 2007 death of her two year-old daughter Mariah.

The appellate court returned the case to the Cameron County, Texas court where Lucio was originally tried, to re-examine questions concerning her innocence -- and whether the state presented false testimony at trial and hid evidence from the defense. The court's ruling came only minutes before the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles was set to vote on a recommendation that the governor delay Lucio's execution for at least 120 days.

France Re-Elects Macron, Rejects Neo-Fascist LePen By 56-42 Margin

French President Emmanuel Macron defeated his neo-fascist challenger Marine Le Pen today by a substantial margin, according to the latest returns, winning a second term and preventing what threatened to be a catastrophe for France, Europe, and global democracy. Sunday saw the lowest turnout for a French presidential election in many years as some voters on the left, many of whom dislike the centrist Macron, stayed home in protest.

Official results indicate that Macron secured 58 percent to 42 percent for LePen -- not nearly as close as some pollsters and analysts had suggested. LePen delivered a concession speech saying she looks forward to legislative elections in May.

Giant Russian Battleship Moskva Sinks After Ukraine Claims Missile Strike

Moskva, the giant flagship of Russia's Black Sea naval fleet, has sunk according to the BBC, which quoted Russian state media.

The huge vessel, with 510 crew members, was being towed to port when "stormy seas" caused it to sink, according to a public release from the Kremlin. Previous messages from the Russian government about the ship in distress claimed that it had suffered a fire onboard due to a munitions explosion -- and that the fire had been brought under control even as crew were evacuated.

But Ukraine officials have said their forces struck the Moskva with anti-ship missiles -- and claimed a victory in sinking the enemy flagship.

"We don't have the capacity at this point to independently verify that [missile strike] but certainly, the way this unfolded, it's a big blow to Russia," US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told Reuters.

Heavily armed with its own missile batteries, Moskva played a central part in one of the war's early episodes, when Ukrainian troops on Snake Island in the Black Sea urged the ship's commander to "Go fuck yourself" after he demanded they surrender.

History! Judge Jackson Confirmed To Supreme  Court By 53-47

In a historic vote, the United States Senate today approved the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. All 50 Democrats voted to confirm Jackson and were joined by three Republicans -- Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Every other Republican senator voted no.

Chosen by President Joe Biden in fulfillment of a campaign promise, Jackson is the first Black woman nominated and confirmed to sit on the nation's highest court. She currently serves on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and will replace Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, the most senior member of the court’s liberal bloc. Breyer, for whom Jackson clerked early in her legal career, announced his retirement months ago.

Vice President Kamala Harris, presiding over the Senate, pronounced the nomination confirmed as the chamber broke into applause. The Democratic nominee's triumph represents the culmination of a process that included vicious attacks on Judge Jackson and those who have supported her by the Republicans, both in the Senate confirmation hearings and in media.


Friends And Colleagues Mourn Admired Media Critic Eric Boehlert, 57

Eric Boehlert, the incisive and prodigious media analyst who became one of the most respected critics of right-wing disinformation and mainstream fecklessness, died on Monday evening in a tragic bicycle accident. He was struck by a commuter train while cycling in Montclair, New Jersey, where he lived with his wife Tracy Breslin and children Ben and Jane. He was 57 years old.

His dear friend, journalist and filmmaker Soledad O’Brien, announced his passing on Twitter, describing him as “a fierce and fearless defender of the truth,” and “an awesome human being, handsome/cool/witty dude who kicked ass on our behalf. Crazy devotion to facts, context, and good reporting, enemy of BS, fake news.” He was, she wrote, “Brutal to bad media on Twitter, sweetest guy in real life.” She was far from alone in that assessment.

To readers of The National Memo, Eric was a familiar and welcome byline whose writing appeared in these pages nearly from the beginning a decade ago. He was a former colleague of editor Joe Conason at Salon.com and a longtime friend.

“We were always thrilled to share Eric's articles,” said Conason, “first from Media Matters for America, later from Daily Kos – and over the past two years, he honored us by allowing frequent reprints from the PressRun site that he created in 2020.”

Kind and warm as well as astute, Eric was broadly admired despite the fact that he routinely published harsh judgments on the work of other outlets and reporters. He didn’t take himself too seriously but believed deeply that improving political media was crucial to the survival of a democratic society. He worked hard at that mission. And wherever he worked, he was loved for his humor, generosity, and friendship.

In the hours following his death, hundreds of tributes appeared on social media, where he had long been a powerful presence.

Media Matters, Salon, and Daily Kos issued moving statements recalling his contributions to their pages.


James Fallows, both a pathbreaking journalist and a penetrating critic of press myopia, explained why he will be missed. “I had met Eric only once in ‘real life. But I corresponded with him with increasing frequency over the years, especially this past year, and considered him a conscience and inspiration,” wrote Fallows on his own Substack. “He was fearless and absolutely unsparing in his writing about this era’s mainstream press.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted her appreciation of Eric, who began to exercise his independence from herd journalism when her husband was president.

Articulate and telegenic, Eric made many appearances on all kinds of media -- he was a popular guest on major television broadcasts but often lent his talents to far smaller independent media outlets. Among those who featured him most frequently was MSNBC's Joy-Ann Reid.