QUESTIONS REMAIN: Can our nation survive this media structure?

TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2022

In our view, that question remains: Should Donald J. Trump be charged with federal crimes? Subjected to prosecution?

As we noted yesterday, Charles Blow says he should be charged with such crimes. We can't say that Blow is wrong—but we also can't say that he's right.

For starters, it all depends on a fairly obvious question. Has Trump committed any such crimes? 

In his new column, Blow didn't say what those federal crimes are. Journalistic life becomes amazingly easy when such permissive rules obtain.

In our view, Trump's behavior became increasingly crazy and irresponsible starting in 2011 when he began inventing himself as the Mother of All Birthers. In our view, his behavior was increasingly crazy and heinous throughout, right on through January 6, 2021.

Did he commit a federal crime in the process? We'll admit that we still aren't  sure. 

That said:

If Trump is charged with federal crimes, that will present an unprecedented challenge to our rapidly failing American system. 

No former president has ever been charged with a crime. Even if the indictment is warranted, some such prosecution would result in massive pushback from Trump's tens of millions of supporters. 

This would put a tremendous strain on our American system—and that is especially true, given our current media / communication / information / argument / journalistic structures.

We can't survive half slave and half free, Abraham Lincoln once said. 

Today, can we survive half red and half blue? Consider a fairly typical news report in today's Washington Post.

The report was written by Amy Wang. As she starts, Wang writes this:

WANG (7/26/22): President Donald Trump didn’t want to disavow the rioters who had stormed the U.S. Capitol in his name on Jan. 6, 2021, and he removed lines from prepared remarks the following day calling for their prosecution, according to new evidence released by a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.

Wang starts with a claim about what Donald Trump "didn't want." Within the world of blue tribe media, this claim is lovingly being reproduced wherever Blue Stories are told.

Question! Did Trump "remove lines from prepared remarks" on January 7? 

Yes, he certainly did.

That said, did he somehow refuse "to disavow the rioters" in the remarks he committed to videotape? We'd have to say that thumbs have possibly been on the scales a tad as our tribe has enjoyed versions of this pleasing claim in the past sixteen hours.

Wang's report is like every report on this topic which we've read and watched. It doesn't include the final text of what Donald J. Trump did say—of the lines he didn't remove—on January 7. 

To watch Trump's videotaped statement, you can just click here. As you will see if you watch the tape, here's how his statement began:

TRUMP (1/7/21): I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack on the United States Capitol. Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem.

I immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement to secure the building and repel the intruders. American is and must always be a nation of law and order.

The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy. To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will pay.

Those are the words Trump actually said at the start of his videotaped statement. We can't necessarily say what he actually thought or felt.

(As far as we know, there is no basis for the claim that Trump "immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement.")

Those are the words Trump actually said. We can't necessarily tell you what Trump was actually thinking  or feeling as he said them. But did he somehow fail "to disavow the rioters" in his videotaped remarks? 

We can't tell you what he was thinking or wanting. We can tell you what he said:

As he started, he said the rioters had conducted a "heinous attack on the Capitol." He said that he was "outraged" by their violence and their lawlessness.

He said the rioters had "defiled the seat of American democracy." He said they "don't represent our country." For those who had broken the law, he said that they "will pay."

We have no idea what Trump really thought as he delivered those remarks. For ourselves, we aren't entirely sure that Trump ever thinks or believes anything in any traditional sense.

We can't tell you what he thought, but we can tell you what he said. In our view, thumbs may perhaps be on the scales a tad when someone opens a news report by suggesting that Trump had somehow failed to disavow the rioters and their violent conduct.

Lizard brains will rush to say that we're just picking nits. These lizard brains will urge us to say that Wang's report captures the essence of what occurred as Trump chose to drop elements of those "prepared remarks"—remarks which had been prepared by someone else, though Wang doesn't say who that was.

Are public officials required to repeat every word some staffer composes? We're going to say that they aren't.

Beyond that, we're going to say that journos like Wang should return to a more disciplined approach to their journalism. As part of that old-fashioned approach, they would include an account of what some public official actually said before they magically told us what that official supposedly "wanted."

Wang's report emerges from the Blue Tribe Journalism of the present day. Lizard brains will say that Red Tribe Journalism is much worse—and, in that particular claim, lizard brains may well be correct.

That said, our Blue Tribe Journalism is now working in deeply noxious ways, and the conduct is getting worse. Late last week, we saw major figures of our Blue Tribe Today deliver Conspiracy Theories From Hell as they speculated about plots to kidnap Vice President Pence on January 6—even to have him assassinated.

For the record, those deeply thrilling speculations were completely unfounded. No serious basis was offered for these speculations.

In our view, these speculations seemed to be straight outta an especially lurid episode of 24—and they seemed to show the direction in which Blue Journalism is going. 

This morning, with Joe and Mika away for a well-deserved rest cure, Jonathan Lemire was hosting Morning Joe. As the program began, he was accompanied by a Contingent of Six, each of whom was guaranteed to agree with Standard Blue Storyline.

Discouraging words would seldom be heard by people watching the program. For the record, two of the seven performers are currently selling books, though the other five are equally devoted to Standard Blue Narrative Line.

Late last week, this system was issuing unfounded but thrilling claims about kidnapping plots and intended assassinations. Major figures were pushing these tales. None of their colleagues pushed back.

Large parts of Red Journalism have long been insane, but our own Blue Journalism is closing ground. Whether Trump is charged with a crime or not, one major question remains:

Can our nation, or any other so conceived, survive this tribal arrangement? 

Tomorrow: The fruit of dueling closures

Quiet part out loud: Lemire is currently selling a book. So is the New York Times' Mark Leibovich.

At 6:16 this morning, Leibovich made the following wry remark to the Morning Joe panel. Here on our sprawling campus, several analysts screamed: 

"We all have books, right?"

In fairness, the scribe was making a wry remark. Arguably, he was also saying a bit of the quiet part out loud!


  1. Yawn.
    Fine, dear Bob, your TDS diagnosis has been confirmed. Again.

    So, what else is new? That your tribe's completely non-crazy and non-throughout-heinous banana-republic clowns -- Brandon, Pelosi, and ...what's his face? oh yeah, the totally normal Adam Schiff -- want to use law enforcement against their political opponent (which, of course, was a HUGE no-no just two years ago)?

    We already know this already. Where's the beef, dear Bob?

    1. Bob's post today breaks in half, the two points more
      honestly explored than Bob has accustomed us to in
      recent years.
      Bob says he doesn't know if Trump is guilty of crimes and he doesn't know what the pushback will be
      from the sad souls who love Trump should their be
      criminal indictments of him and his White House..
      Point one is no longer very convincing. If Trump is
      somehow less guilty than he appears, that is likely
      to be hashed out in the legal system.
      As to the second point, nobody can know
      exactly. Many Trump supporters are just nice people who have zero understanding of history or
      politics. Some have develop a mean streak over
      the years through over exposure to Fox and
      Limbaugh. They get made fun of a lot so the
      they do indeed "pushback." Some are true
      garbage people like our friend Mao here, who
      were not raised to think or respect others at
      any level. On one level these garbage people
      trashed their own souls are correctly ignored.
      Then there is the question of violence. Bill
      Maher tends to argue you should placate the right
      because they will kill you if you don't. Maher is
      a libertine with 50 Million dollars so it's easy for
      him to say. How much of a problem is this?
      Like Bob, nobody really knows. We can
      discern now, however, Bob is clearly Team Coward.

    2. Bob should look at who is praising his bothsiderism here.

  2. “there is no basis for the claim that Trump "immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement."”

    This is what’s known in ordinary parlance as a lie. There is sworn testimony from the Jan 6 commission that shows this.

    “Wang starts with a claim about what Donald Trump "didn't want." “

    We saw the video of outtakes of this speech. It is surely the case that Trump changed the original text because he wanted to change it. Why else would he change it?

    As far as Trump truly being outraged by the violence and dedicated to making the insurrectionists pay, that is totally negated by everything Trump has ever said since these prepared remarks. It can be safely asserted that Trump did not and certainly does not believe any of those remarks. He has called these people “peaceful”, “patriots”, unjustly prosecuted.

    But Somerby chooses to play dumb.

    Which crimes can Trump be charged with? There has been extensive discussion of that in the media, but you won’t find any mention of it here.

    1. In the second part of Bob's Post today he does his traditional thing, on the newly surfaced footage of
      President Trump making his post January 6th
      statement. In a semi con we've become accustomed
      to, he takes one seemingly exculpatory bit of
      Trump's statement, that contradicts the other
      95 percent of what he is saying, and calls Trump's
      critics liars on that basis. His heart isn't so much
      in it this time and that's understandable.
      mh does a concise job of disposing of point

    2. "For ourselves, we aren't entirely sure that Trump ever thinks or believes anything in any traditional sense."

      I concur. So, in this sense, the media speculating on what Trump "wants" is a waste of time. He is a bullshitting con-artist and will say whatever he *thinks* is politically expedient. That's about the only thing he "wants."

    3. If you cannot know what Trump believes, you cannot know that he doesn't believe anything (even in any traditional sense) either. This is Somerby's sophistry.

    4. We know Trump is a con-artist and bullshitter (surely you don't dispute this.) Therefore he doesn't necessarily "believe" anything - this isn't something we "know" it just follows logically. So it's *very likely* a waste of time to try to ascertain what he believes. Does a thief regret his crimes? Dumb question. If he is caught, he does.

    5. Your "Therefore" doesn't follow. A con-artist can believe things -- just not the things he is conning others about. It isn't logical at all to conclude that con-artists have no beliefs whatsoever. For one thing, he may believe it is OK or even clever to con others. He cannot believe the things he is conning others about, or it wouldn't be a con. But we cannot know what he believes, one way or the other.

    6. You don't think a habitual, lifelong con artist eventually believes in nothing? I guess this is the premise. But no, we can't know with certainty - but it still seems fruitless, like demanding to know whether a thief believes stealing is bad.

    7. No, I don't believe that. I believe that a habitual, lifelong con artist eventually believes he is infallible and entitled to con others. It doesn't change his own beliefs about the things he cares about. For example, Trump believes he is attractive to women. He is very invested in that belief. It justifies his treatment of them. He clearly thinks that the worst thing he can do to a woman is to tell her she is ugly, unattractive to him. I'm sure there are other things he believes too. He may believe he is a financial genius, that he doesn't have to read things to know about them. He thinks he is a strong person, not a coward, even when he behaves like a coward.

  3. The media aren’t mind readers. They have no idea what Trump was thinking, nor whether he was thinking at all.
    The media does the same thing when they report that GOP Senators believe tax cuts will spur investment in the economy. There is no way the media can know what GOP Senators believe.

    1. The main way the media can know what GOP Senators believe is to ask them questions about it and report the answers to such questions. Of course, the senators may lie, but then they will be compared to their former statements and such lies can be examined by the public. That is how journalism works.

    2. That doesn't really shine a light on what they "believe." The whole thing is a waste of time, just report on their statements. Journalism is not currently working.

  4. how much context does Bob leave out that clearly shows that Trump didn't want to condemn his supporters who violently overran the capitol, and did so only reluctantly after waiting three hours and only after Fox News (which Trump had been watching the whole time) indicated that the tide was turning, law enforcement was finally getting the situation under control, and therefore Trump's coup was bound to fail?

  5. Democrats are liars whose sacred tenets are carving children out of their mother's womb, sterilizing and castrating children, and spreading monkeypox.

    1. Anonymous at 10:35 is a liar whose sacred tenets are pretending an embryo is a child, forcing their superstitious religious nonsense on all of society, and helping a fascistic movement destroy American democracy

    2. You have no answer of rational for Trump's lies, so you attack. You were taught to do this at an early age, robbing you of the capacity to be a worthwhile
      human being. The proper response to you is pity.
      Much of blog post today is about if you should be
      be placated to the extent that the Nation embraces
      utter lawlessness. I vote no.

    3. It used to be that Republicans attacked Democrats by calling us big spenders who would increase national debt. Now we are called baby killers, child castrators, who are in favor of spreading exotic diseases. Why the escalation in false claims?

      It used to be that movies were about everyday people in difficult circumstances who prevailed through character and action. Now they are about superheroes (or anti-heroes) with unusual powers, fighting monsters, who only prevail after everyday life is destroyed around them in a massive battle.

      Republicans mobilize their base using fear. Is the real world now so scary that they must invent crazier sounding flaws in Democratic opponents or voters will not be moved to action? We have real problems in our society, but these are not interesting to Republicans, who must create worse and worse bogeymen on the left to keep their voters focused.

      Why can't the right look at the silliness of the claims offered to them and see for themselves that the likelihood of teachers "grooming" children makes no sense? How have they come loose from reality to the point of believing these ridiculous lies? Has the habit of denying climate change or mortgage failures or pandemic viruses caused them to deny the reality that teachers want to help, not hurt kids, and Democrats are their neighbors who simply have different priorities about change?

      Republicans cleverly made "woke" into a derogatory term, but Republican voters really do need to wake up to the reality of what our society needs now -- and it isn't to purge pedophiles from schools -- it is to purge the monsters from their own party and make Congress functional again.


    4. Hmm. Yes, by why "liars"? They appear to be quite open about their priorities: abortions, castrations, homo "sex".

      More like humanity-hating death-cult, dontcha think?

    5. Democratic priorities are those enumerated by Biden in the State of the Union address. These includes things like controlling the spread of covid, making health care affordable, creating jobs, controlling inflation and preventing recession, rebuilding the infrastructure, helping children who lost a year of schooling due to covid, dealing with climate change, reversing changes to environmental protections enacted by Trump, dealing with foreign crises (such as Ukraine War), increasing opportunities for minorities, dealing with the border problems and immigration issues, and so on. These priorities are evident in the legislation that Democrats have tried to pass since Biden took office.

      There is nothing in the Democratic Platform in 2020 or in the platforms of candidates for 2022 that says anything at all about castration. There is support for civil rights for all people, including minorities (as is stated in our nation's Constitution), including the right to make personal health-care decisions. Democrats are pro-choice not pro-abortion, because women should have the same right to make health decisions as men do.

      Mao, you are a useless piece of shit troll.

    6. Democrats use poverty to sell destructive policies in order to buy votes to protect their sacred priorities of abortions, castrations, and homosexuality.

    7. Liars because the OP reports they lie about disavowal in order to win votes to protect abortion, child sterilization and monkeypox,

      "As he started, he said the rioters had conducted a "heinous attack on the Capitol." He said that he was "outraged" by their violence and their lawlessness.

      He said the rioters had "defiled the seat of American democracy." He said they "don't represent our country." For those who had broken the law, he said that they "will pay.""

    8. I agree with Mao that Democrats can never be bigoted enough to get one Republican voter to switch parties.
      If only our Right-wing, corporate-owned media (AKA the media) was as smart as Mao.

    9. "Democrats can never be bigoted enough"

      Keep working on it, you're getting there.

    10. Wow.
      Mao’s quite the dainty little snowflake, isn’t he?

    11. liar because there's overwhelming evidence that Trump was on the side of his supporters who violently overran the capitol and only made his disavowal reluctantly after his coup attempt failed. liar because no one is trying to "protect monkeypox" or "maximize the number" of blah, blah, blah. liar because it's not banana-republic-ish to want someone who tried to steal the u.s. presidency and incited an armed, violent mob in an attempt to do so held accountable.

    12. Please.
      Mao’s been sucking the dick of Establishment elites for years.
      Don’t fall for Right-wing lies that they don’t know it.

    13. Here’s the final list of Republican voters who care about something other than bigotry and white supremacy.
      Check it out, and see how many people you know.

  6. "As we noted yesterday, Charles Blow says he should be charged with such crimes. We can't say that Blow is wrong—but we also can't say that he's right.

    For starters, it all depends on a fairly obvious question. Has Trump committed any such crimes?"

    The DOJ, if and when it charges Trump with any crime, does so based on a probability, not a certainty. It is not the DOJ who tries Trump and determines his guilt. A jury will do that. The DOJ determines whether it can make a case against Trump, whether there is sufficient evidence to convince a jury of his guilt.

    Somerby always says he does not know or cannot know certain things. Well, neither does anyone else. We all must function based on likelihood of guilt given the evidence presented during a trial. No one has to crawl inside Trump's head (that would be icky). Facts about Trump's behavior will be presented and that will inform a jury's deliberations about whether to convict or acquit him.

    Somerby would most likely not be permitted to serve on a jury. His personal standard of certainty is not the one used by a jury, nor is it how judge's instruct juries to make decisions. If asked about whether he could follow such instructions, Somerby would have to say "no" and he would be dismissed from jury service. This is akin to the questioning about the death penalty, which some jurors cannot invoke as a matter of conscience. Somerby appears unable to make any decision short of absolute certainty, and that is not how juries function -- they make decisions based on strong probabilities that a reasonable person would conclude guilt from the evidence in hand. Somerby demands perfect knowledge, which is never attainable, else he withholds judgment -- he would hang any jury, whether it were Trump or anyone else, based on the way he discusses issues here.

    The rest of us must live in the real world, where we are constantly asked to make decisions based on incomplete evidence. Most of us do that and then hope for the best. If Somerby lives his life that way, he is paralyzed and cannot decide major issues, and can do little besides sit beneath his pear tree and contemplate his navel. Let us hope, for his sake, that this is a pose on his part, and not how he actually lives.

    1. I would argue Bob can discern obvious truths without making MAGA supporters dance on the head of a pin when he wants to. Sometimes he doesn't want to.
      What the Trump experience has done is show that liberals are better, more honest people than right wingers. It has done so by setting the bar amazingly LOW for liberals to jump over. Sadly, this still drives Bob crazy.

  7. Imagine having so few brain cells you think a government charge by a corrupt administration is reliable indicator of probability.

    1. imagine having so little independence of thought that you believe the Biden administration is corrupt

    2. I wouldn't have trusted Trump if he had tried to lock up Hillary, but Biden has shown no indication of being corrupt. Evidence matters, not knee-jerk distrust just because governments are powerful. Ours has checks and balances -- which were screaming at the top of their lungs during Trump's administration, starting with the lack of a transition team, failure to complete disclosure forms, lack of divesture of assets, campaign finance violations, all in the days before Trump took office. Not a peep from those who watch and regulate government during Biden's term.

    3. "If he had tried to lock up Hillary."
      He tried. Even for the hacks he brought in,
      manufacturing evidence was a bridge too far.
      John Durham is STILL employed by the DOJ.

    4. Durham showed indisputable evidence Clinton manufactured 'evidence' tying Trump to Russia and then took the information, knowing it was false, to the media and the FBI. And we have sworn testimony she signed off on it.

      Which was really interesting. Not that she should be jailed for it.

    5. At 12:38. Virtually none of that is true, it’s just garbage from Newsmax. Bottom line:Durham brought one Hail Mary, 11th hour case to the cheers of dolts like you. It was laughed out of Court in an afternoon..

    6. 12:47

      It's documented in the Sussman indictment. Which part are you disputing? Maybe you didn't read it.

    7. Are you.claiming the emails in the indictment are faked?

    8. You didn't read it. You should. My God. If Trump had been caught red handed like Hillary was, concocting a lie and bringing it to the FBI, you would be freaking out. But since it was Trump you're allowed to not even know it happened.

    9. Another right wing troll lying about Hillary.

    10. Do you think her campaign manager was lying on the stand when he testified she signed off on funnelling the false claims about Trump and Russia to the media?

    11. It's not a lie. It's all documented and sourced. It beyond dispute.

    12. Claims made in the filing of a lawsuit are not established facts.

    13. So ou feel like the emails are faked? They are not real? They are not actual emails between the Clinton campaign and their lawyers?

      The billing records are faked? Is that what you believe?

      What do you believe is a false claim from the indictment?

    14. Maybe you would like to forget the whole issue. Would you like to not talk about it and pretend she wasn't caught sleazily trying to tie Trump to Russia in late July 2016.with information she knew was totally false?

    15. I'm fine to pretend it never happened if that makes you feel good.

    16. This troll keeps forgetting that there was no conviction in this case. Not Guilty.

    17. Man you are stuck in Newsmax hell. Those crafty Clintons, got off for the ten millionth time. Why would Hillary have to “sign off” on this, and what would it matter if She did? They got off again? That just shows how guilty they are! Those fabulous hits of the nineties, play them again! What a sad loser you are.

    18. It's not me saying it. It's her campaign manager under oath.

      I'm not saying she's guilty of anything. It's just interesting that she would make up a lie connecting Trump to Russia and then give it to the FBI and the media knowing it was false. Isn't that interesting? You people are acting like it didn't happen.

    19. Do you want to pretend together that it didn't happen?

    20. She didn't make up any lie about Russia. Mueller Report showed that. FBI corroborated the Steele Dossier. Russia was involved in the election on behalf of Trump. Stop coming here and repeating right-wing disinformation.

    21. No. Wrong thing. Alfa bank. The lies the campaign made up and took to the FBI and the media. Hilary signed off on taking it to the press according to her campaign manager.

      Not that it was a crime.

    22. I'm a Hillary supporter.

    23. Come fall we should all go vote together.

    24. Asking the FBI to investigate something is not the same as making a false charge against Trump or anyone else. It is their job to investigate. There was a server in the Trump tower, and there is such a thing as Alfa bank in Russia. Finding out what was happening is the job of the FBI.

      If I look out my window and see what I think might be a crime in progress, reporting it to the police is not an accusation, but a concern about a crime in progress. If the cops determine that nothing wrong was going on, then that is the conclusion of their investigation. It doesn't mean that the person reporting their suspicion did anything wrong.

      The indictment was about an attorney who did some work for Clinton in a different context perhaps lying to the FBI. The accused person was found not guilty. There was nothing that connected Clinton to that attorney with respect to his request to the FBI to investigate the Trump server's ties to Alfa bank. Hillary said she had no objection to anything about the investigation -- she didn't pay for or order it.

      This is an attempt to smear Clinton, who isn't even running for office. Why? It makes no sense to keep beating this dead horse.

    25. A lot of your facts are.wrong. the Clinton campaign did paid for the lawyer to meet the FBI, he billed the Clinton campaign for it.

    26. You never read the indictment. So it's kind of boring to talk to you about it because you don't really know what you're talking about. You should read it!

    27. Would you like to go vote together?

    28. We could get on Zoom and go through the indictment together.

  8. Abortion is part of God’s divine plan, but Right-wingers think they know better than God.
    The narcissism of Right-wingers is out of control. It might be time to stop ignoring it, and do something about it.

  9. "Late last week, we saw major figures of our Blue Tribe Today deliver Conspiracy Theories From Hell as they speculated about plots to kidnap Vice President Pence on January 6—even to have him assassinated."

    What do we know about this situation?

    1. Trump pressured Pence to help him overturn the election, right up until the last minute before the senate convened, and was working on senators to lodge objections to certifying the vote.
    2. When Pence refused to help, citing the Constitution, Trump made bitter remarks to his staff and sent out a tweet to his followers that Pence had let him down.
    3. Those storming the Capitol had not only broken into the building to disrupt the proceedings, but had built a gallows on the Capitol steps and were shouting Hang Pence, as well as targeting Pelosi. Some did so on camera and claimed they would kill or physically harm them if they got their hands on them (Pence & Pelosi).
    4. When informed of this, Trump told his staff that Pence deserved it, and then he sent out a tweet saying that Pence had betrayed him. This further inflamed the crowd storming the Capitol.
    5. Pence was in his Capitol Building Office surrounded by secret service and staff when the building was breeched. They were worried about whether to evacuate to a safer space.
    6. Secret service guarding Pence were so concerned about the danger to Pence and themselves that they were sending personal message to their families and discussing when to leave and which paths might be safe. National security staff who heard such messages considered them to be upset and panicky, not the typically cool and calm secret service communications.
    7. The armed mob (yes, they were armed) ultimately came with 15 feet from Pence, down a corridor from where Pence was being evacuated from the building, just missing confronting Pence and his staff and secret service.
    8. When Pence reached the basement area where there were vehicles and an exit from the building, Secret service urged Pence to get into a car. Pence refused but other staff did enter the cars. Pence continued to monitor the situation by phone, standing by a loading dock in the basement, as shown on video during the hearings.
    9. It was Pence, not Trump, who coordinated with military and police to mobilize help during the attack on the Capitol. This was confirmed by testimony during the hearings. Trump did nothing.
    10. Senators within the building monitored progress of the insurrection and when it appeared to be more under control, began planning when to continue their vote certification duties. Pence was part of that via phone and returned to the building once it was safe for him to do so.

    This is what we know from hearing testimony, much of it on video as well as transcripts of sworn depositions, mostly by Republicans not Democrats.

    We do not know whether the plan was to delay certification by removing Pence, or to take retribution on Pence for his refusal to aid the coup. Trump does go after his enemies and he is vengeful and vindictive, as evidence by past actions against those he perceived as enemies. Had the rioters caught up to Pence, they may have engaged in violence that would be blamed on them, even if instigated by Trump with full knowledge of the danger to Pence. People did die in the insurrection, and police were brutally beaten as well.

    There is no evidence whatsoever that Trump did anything to mitigate or prevent potential harm to Pence.

    1. Cont.

      I believe it is entirely possible and well within the realm of reality to suppose that Trump intended harm to Pence. Whether there was a plan to kidnap or kill Pence remains to be seen, but testimony is arriving daily. The secret service seems to have over-reacted compared to their usual cool-headedness under fire. Why? Did they understand that they would be involved in a plan to kidnap Pence? Did they expect to be involved in a violent mob attack in which they would have to defend Pence? What made them so sure of trouble that they called their families, while still with Pence in his office, before encountering any mob? Does that seem premature or perhaps based on knowledge beyond the circumstances of the moment? It seems possible to me.

      Somerby considers the speculation by media to be far-fetched because he ignores all of this context. He listens to discount information, not to form a more complete picture of what happened. That is a kind of selective listening (or reading). It isn't a good way to make decisions about what may or may not have happened. Yet Somerby accuses the rest of us of being unable to reason properly!

      It is clear that something more than the superficial picture pained by Somerby was going on with Pence. We will find out more, but there is no reason to wait for complete knowledge, especially when decisions must be made now about what to think about this situation. That's why the hearings are ongoing, with new informants coming forward and a more complete picture emerging. It is not irresponsible to speculate. It is essential, since Trump is not going to suddenly confess and tell all. This is the best way forward in a situation that MUST be explored, for the good of our nation and all voters, Republican and Democratic.

    2. And a stairwell in an altogether different building was photographed. Don't forget these important issues that the 1-6 committee brought to light..

    3. Like every media personality and the 75 million Republican voters in this country, the 1/6 Committee failed to locate one Republican voter who cares about something other than bigotry and white supremacy.

    4. Does your hammering on that one thing remind you of anything? The selective reporting of a certain committee? Political animals decrying other political animals for playing politics, it's ironic of course...

    5. Last comment was @12:11

    6. There's no point in addressing these lies because the trolls just post them again.

      Someone on that tour photographed the passageway where congressmen were taken from the chambers to the tunnel leading to a safer place. Security checkpoints were also photographed. The buildings are connected. The insurrectionists just missed Mike Pence as he was led to safety by Secret Service.

      And don't forget that Loudermilk lied repeatedly about the tour. Why would he do that if it were as innocent as described by this troll?

    7. "There's no point in addressing these lies because the trolls just post them again.

      [addresses the lies]"

    8. Yes, that you're of two minds and defy your own advice.

      On the subject of the tour photos? It certainly doesn't improve my opinion of the U.S. representative from Georgia or the insurrectionists. But that's not saying much, it's basically already zero.

    9. Some context for my last comment courtesy of wikipedia.

      He compared the 2017 Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare to the American Revolutionary War and World War II.

      In December 2019, Loudermilk likened the impeachment of Trump to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      In December 2020, Loudermilk was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania... On January 7, 2021, Loudermilk and 139 other House Republicans voted against certifying Arizona's and Pennsylvania's electoral votes, despite no evidence of widespread election fraud.

  10. Some time ago I quit entering into conversations at this blog, when it became clear that Somerby is a concern troll for the right. I haven't checked up here in awhile. Nothing has changed. Whoever pays him to do this would be unhappy if traffic here were to diminish significantly. It is a big world, there are far more interesting bloggers who aren't repetitive and such bullshit artists. Enjoy being likewise repetitive in your condemnation of his mountains of drivel, apparently enjoying shadow sparring with him, or get a new life elsewhere on the web. Not coming back, even to look. The place sucks.

    1. It takes a while for readers to realize that Somerby is lying about being liberal and is a right winger. Meanwhile, he had a presence as a liberal blogger back in 2000 when he wrote about Al Gore and the media. While Somerby keeps lying, he has the power to influence those who haven't caught on. It would be nice if he would just stop blogging.

      While there are other places to read (and most of us who comment here also read those other blogs), there are often too many comments for satisfying discussion. I find Disquis annoying and many other blogs us it or some other login system. As long as there are still a few real commenters here, I find myself learning new things. Not from the trolls and not from Somerby.

    2. Bob actually did his best work in Clinton time, which is really when everything went to hell. And he was effective in calling our Press groupthink and nonsense on both sides for awhile. He has a chip on his shoulder about the South, beyond that it’s hard to say what happened.

    3. I agree with that last assessment.

    4. Anon 1:14, TDH is certainly a liberal. He's also quite honest. Most of his obsessive critics here aren't "liberal" and constantly put their thumbs heavily on the scales.

  11. Why shouldn't journalists, politicians, not just academics, write books? Somerby hints that it is wrong or bad, when he refers to it as "the quiet part". Remember that old 1st Amendment right?

    The public will judge whether a craven official went along with Trump's demands during then complained about it later, and whether it would have been better had some journalist told the public about things he found out sooner, instead of waiting for a book deal. Writing or not writing a book (or any other format of publication) is any citizens right.


  12. Dear Bob is slow and methodical, but you dear dembots, shouldn't you forget the "insurrection" already, and start repeating 'There is no recession!', 'There is no recession!'?

    Why are you wasting pixels on yesterday's mud-slinging? You're not too well-organized, it seems...

    1. Raising taxes reduces spending, which lowers inflation.
      Fortunately, Congresspeople from both parties know this.

    2. If there is a recession it's always the fault of the party in charge, unless that's your party. Then it's the previous administration's fault.

      You may want to examine the belief that the party in power even has enough impact on the economy to be considered "to blame."

    3. the insurrectionists and their leader are the biggest immediate threat to American democracy. just ask REPUBLICANS Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.
      Trump shows every sign of intending to run again (unbelievable that the leader of a coup attempt is allowed to run for president). if Trump loses again in 2024, he and his mob might just be successful with their second coup attempt.