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Profile Information

Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 89,632

Journal Archives

"America's Mayor"


"The People's Choice: Wyoming"


NYS drafts Constitutional Amendment on reproductive rights

Hutchinson Testimony Exposes Tensions Between Parallel Jan. 6 Inquiries

New York Times

WASHINGTON — The explosive testimony of a former Trump White House aide on Tuesday may have increased the likelihood of new prosecutions stemming from the attack on the Capitol, but it also bared lingering conflicts between the Justice Department and congressional investigators.

The federal prosecutors working on the case watched the aide’s appearance before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot and were just as astonished by her account of former President Donald J. Trump’s increasingly desperate bid to hold on to power as other viewers. The panel did not provide them with videos or transcripts of her taped interviews with committee members beforehand, according to several officials, leaving them feeling blindsided.

The testimony from the aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, who worked for Mr. Trump’s final chief of staff, Mark Meadows, came at a critical moment in parallel investigations that will soon converge, and possibly collide, as the committee wraps up a public inquiry geared for maximum political effect and the department intensifies a high-stakes investigation aimed at securing airtight convictions.


Committee members have repeatedly suggested that Attorney General Merrick B. Garland has not moved fast enough to follow up their investigative leads. But for reasons that are not entirely clear — classic Washington bureaucratic territorialism, the department’s unwillingness to share information or the desire to stage-manage a successful public forum — members have resisted turning over hundreds of transcripts until they are done with their work.

Senior Justice Department officials say that has slowed their investigation. Ms. Hutchinson’s name has not yet appeared on subpoenas and other court documents related to their investigation into the effort to overturn the 2020 election, and she did not seem to be a primary witness before the hearings.

Cheney defends Trump criticism and January 6 committee work in Wyoming debate

Source: CNN

(CNN)Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney cast the Republican Party as "threatened by fealty to an individual" -- former President Donald Trump -- and defended her work on the committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection during a debate with her four GOP primary challengers Thursday night.


Cheney went on the attack early in the debate, pointing out that Hageman's campaign had hired the consulting firm of Bill Stepien, Trump's former campaign manager. Stepien, Cheney noted, had told the committee he was happy to be part of "team normal" in the wake of Trump's loss in the 2020 election, as Trump and some of his allies began spreading lies and conspiracy theories about voter fraud.
"I'd be interested to know whether or not my opponent, Ms. Hageman, is willing to say here tonight that the election was not stolen. She knows it's not stolen," Cheney said.

However, Cheney said that doing so would cost Hageman Trump's endorsement. "If she says it wasn't stolen, he will not support her," the congresswoman said.

Hageman made several false claims about the 2020 election, citing the "2000 Mules" film that peddles conspiracy theories about ballot drop boxes and "Zuckerberg money" -- a reference to donations from the charity of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, to help local elections officials navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/30/politics/wyoming-primary-debate-cheney-trump-january-6/index.html

Pessimism about the economy is growing, a U.S. poll shows.

Source: New York Times

Americans are becoming more pessimistic about the economy, more worried about inflation — and now, more anxious about the job market, as well.

Fifty-two percent of American adults say they are worse off financially than they were a year ago, according to a survey conducted for The New York Times this month by the online research platform Momentive. That was up from 41 percent in April, and was by far the highest share in the survey’s five years. Only 14 percent of Americans said they were better off than a year ago, the worst in the survey’s history.

The dour mood is also reflected in other surveys. The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment this month hit its lowest level in its 70-year history. Another measure of consumer confidence, from the Conference Board, has also fallen, though less drastically.

There is no mystery as to what is causing consumers’ bleak outlook: prices that are rising at the fastest rate in a generation. More than nine in 10 Americans say they are concerned about inflation, according to the Momentive poll, including 70 percent who say they are “very concerned,” up from 63 percent in April.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/30/business/economy/economy-inflation-survey.html

The (new) GOP plan to defeat Raphael Warnock and Mark Kelly


Republican strategists have discovered a problem: Personal attacks on two of the most vulnerable Democratic senators are falling flat because of their likability.

Why it matters: In a broadly unfavorable national environment for Democrats, control of the Senate may rest on a pair of incumbents with two of the most compelling backstories in politics — Sens. Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Mark Kelly of Arizona.
* Warnock is the pastor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Ebenezer Baptist Church.
* Kelly is a former astronaut and the husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, a gun control activist who survived an assassination attempt in 2011.

After failing to defeat Kelly and Warnock in crucial special elections that decided the fate of the Senate in 2020, the GOP is changing tack.
* The National Republican Senatorial Committee is now spending most of its money trying to tie Warnock and Kelly to President Biden and his dismal approval rating.
* "Whatever you think of them as people — you may like Mark Kelly, you may like Raphael Warnock — they have interesting stories, personal biographies," Chris Hartline, the NRSC's director of communications, told Axios. "But the reality is they both went to Washington and became part of the problem."

Donald Trump seems concerned...


In all fairness, I feel like I'm looking at UFO photos...


State education board members push back on proposal to use "involuntary separation" (Texas)

Source: Texas Tribune

A group of Texas educators have proposed to the Texas State Board of Education that slavery should be taught as “involuntary relocation” during second grade social studies instruction, but board members have asked them to reconsider the phrasing, according to the state board’s chair.

“The board -- with unanimous consent -- directed the work group to revisit that specific language,” Keven Ellis, chair of the Texas State Board of Education said in a statement issued late Thursday.

The working group of nine educators, including a professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, is one of many such groups advising the state education board to make curriculum changes. This summer, the board will consider updates to social studies instruction a year after lawmakers passed a law to keep topics that make students “feel discomfort” out of Texas classrooms. The board will have a final vote on the curriculum in November.

The suggested change surfaced late during its June 15 meeting that lasted more than 12 hours. Board member Aicha Davis, a Democrat who represents Dallas and Fort Worth, brought up concerns to the board saying that wording is not a “fair representation” of the slave trade. The board, upon reading the language in the suggested curriculum, sent the working draft back for revision.

Read more: https://www.texastribune.org/2022/06/30/texas-slavery-involuntary-relocation/
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