What seem to be the actual facts...


...about those Secret Service texts? According to our contemporaneous notes, the yelling began at 6:21 A.M.

Joe Scarborough had already been ranting for a while, taking his "analysis" well beyond what he actually knew.  

But at or around 6:21, the yelling began. Regarding those Secret Service texts, the cable star ended up saying this:

"This is a cover-up of a fascist takeover of American democracy!"

As recorded by The Wrap, Joe's more extended analysis went exactly like this:

JOE (7/19/22): The people the taxpayers pay to protect the presidency—not Donald Trump, but the presidency—they destroyed text messages that would’ve taken us to the heart of the fascist conspiracy to overthrow American democracy. This isn’t a normal day at the office, Merrick. This isn’t a normal day at the office for the head of the DHS. This is a cover-up of a fascist takeover of American democracy.

Is this a cover-up of a fascist takeover of American democracy? Would the presumptive text messages in question have taken us to the heart of this fascist conspiracy? 

And if those texts really were destroyed, were they destroyed as part of a cover-up? Were they destroyed deliberately, for a nefarious purpose?

We don't know how to answer those questions. That said, saying it louder makes it more true in the world Morning Joe has helped make. 

Indeed, as we list the (many) systems which are breaking down as our political culture nears its end, the disintegration of our cable news stars—our people like this—would have to be part of the list.

Meanwhile, what are the actual facts concerning those Secret Service text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021? It's still hard to find a coherent account of where the facts currently stand, but CNN's Jamie Gangel has seemed to come up with a written source—and with a few basic facts.

To read Gangel's rather jumbled account, you can just click this. As she starts, she cites a source the New York Times and the Washington Post didn't seem to have access to as of this morning's editions:

GANGEL (7/20/22): The Secret Service was only able to provide a single text exchange to the DHS inspector general who had requested a month's worth of records for 24 Secret Service personnel, according to a letter to the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, and obtained by CNN.


Inspector General Joseph Cuffari—having already received an initial batch of documents including "hundreds of thousands of disclosures of agency documents, policies, radio communications, emails, briefings and interviews"—requested in June 2021 text messages sent and received by 24 Secret Service personnel between December 7, 2020 and January 8, 2021, according to the letter, the details of which had not been previously reported. The letter does not identify the 24 personnel.

"The Secret Service submitted the responsive records it identified, namely, a text message conversation from former US Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund to former Secret Service Uniformed Division Chief Thomas Sullivan requesting assistance on January 6, 2021, and advised the agency did not have any further records responsive to the DHS OIG's request for text messages," Assistant Director Ronald Rowe wrote in the letter to the January 6 committee.

For now, let's stop right there. 

According to Gangel, CNN has obtained a letter to the January 6 committee. As she continues, her jumbled prose makes it sound like the letter was written in the past few days, though she doesn't quite make that point clear.

She says the letter was written by Assistant Director Ronald Rowe, though she doesn't quite manage to say what agency the gentleman is assistant director of. That said, the letter obtained by CNN seems to include a few basic facts:

Way back in the beginning, Inspector General Cuffari was seeking text messages sent by 24 different Secret Service agents, over a roughly month-long period. Presumably, these were the agents who were protecting Donald J. Trump, and possibly Vice President Pence, during the period cited.

Beyond that, we'd say things still aren't completely clear. It sounds like the Secret Service couldn't locate any text messages from any of these 24 agents.

That said, we'd still be slow to assume that's accurate, given the murky exposition found throughout the mainstream press with respect to this matter. As we've read through various accounts, dangerous words like "some" and "new" just keep confusing the issue.

At any rate, it sounds like any and all text messages were lost, though we're still not entirely sure about that.  Of one thing, though, we are quite sure:

Our mainstream press corps is one of the entities which is falling apart as our failing (or failed) society continues to slide toward the sea. As Joe and Lawrence rant and yell, clear exposition of fact disappears. 

It's all Storyline / ranting now. It's lock-them-up all the way down.

We bark out an assignment: According to Cassidy Hutchinson, Bobby Engel was one of the Secret Service agents in the Suburban with Donald J. Trump on January 6.

Do any text messages survive from Engel? Has he been interviewed about this matter?

What did Bobby Engel text, and when did Engel text it? We'd like to see our multimillionaire cable "journalists" create a list of definable questions like that.

Instead, our tribunes rant and yell. His agents were going to drive Mike Pence away and lose him in Luray Caverns!

What's the story on the texts? It sounds like, out of 24 agents, zero text messages survive, over a month-long period. 

Is that the current state of the facts? We'd like to see a sober account. First, though, the children must yell.


  1. "Is this a cover-up of a fascist takeover of American democracy?"

    Not "this", obviously, but your liberal tribe's activities in the last few years certainly do resemble something like a "fascist takeover".

    Oh well, we'll see how it goes. Have hope, dear Bob, have hope.

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  2. Hopefully the absence of texts whatever the cause will shorten the length of the waste of taxpayer dollars in yet another Democrat clown show.

    1. If they don’t, be ready for more SnowflakeFests from Right-wingers who can’t live in a worl where black peoples votes count in elections.

    2. 2:13,
      Be honest. How bad would it hurt your fee-fees if Democrats win more elections like Biden’s landslide victory in 2020?

    3. Claiming his victory as a "landslide" when all evidence makes it clear it was not? How very Trumpian of you.

    4. Biden beat Trump by the largest popular vote ever. Somerby calls them "wasted votes" but each one is a voting citizen who considered Biden a better choice than Trump. Think about that for a while.

    5. Trump calls losing the popular vote a landslide, so I think we can allow Biden a bit of leeway here…loser Trumpturds.

  3. Can you imagine ho much worse the childish Right-wing temper tantrum would have been if Biden hadn’t won the 2020 Presidential election in a landslide?

    1. It's a good thing liberals never act like a deranged passel of fascist creeps.


  4. It’s impossible to imagine a world where Right-wingers wouldn’t throw a childish temper tantrum, just because black peoples votes are counted in elections.

    1. A different formulation, keeping it fresh! You know I've always wanted to try my hand at the Hallmark thing too, if you'll allow...

      It brings to mind a time, from recent memory, a time when right-wingers were seen to throw a childish temper tantrum, due to the counting of black peoples' votes in the election.

      Kinda went for a little passive tense twist on it there. It's clumsy maybe I'll leave it to the expert.

  5. Both sides already knows Right-wingers threw a childish temper tantrum because black peoples votes were counted in the 2920 Presidential election.
    The Republican Party is only playing stupid about it. Don’t fall for it. Republicans aren’t stupid. They are bigots.

    1. "Pick a random Republican, and you've selected a bigot."

      Yeah? I think I'm picking this up, maybe I can quit my day job.

  6. Awkward... unless it's set up by how is a right winger like a lottery card or something. Not sure.

  7. It’s not funny, because it’s true.

  8. The only lesson the republican fascist party learned from Watergate was that Nixon should have burned the tapes. This is not debatable.

    Also, President Biden needs to fire Director James Murray immediately and take away his pension. Fair is fair.

  9. That goes on the back of the t-shirt?

  10. Is what happened with the secret service clear and understandable?
    No, not completely, that's for sure.
    Morning Joe is certainly not one of my favorite people,
    when he talks about a fascist takeover of the United
    States, let us use Bob's system: is there a reason
    HE might believe that is true?
    In the matter of President Donald Trump, only a fool
    at this point could deny he tried to take over the United
    States for his own use. How fascistic it was is perhaps
    open to debate, there has never been a evil crazy asshole
    like Donald J Trump in that situation before.
    Bob has idiotically done all he could possible do to
    rationalize all Trump and his enablers and supporters
    have done. When I say idiotically, I generously assume
    he does not want to help Trump continue to trash our
    nation, which at this point is indeed very generous.
    Bob doe not much go near afternoons on MSNBC
    these days, though he clearly hates them. It goes on
    and on about Trump, it's repetitive. But it's very hard
    to pick out anything at this point to dispute the basic
    premises. At worst, like on the Secret Service, it's hazy.
    Yet it's hard to call any of it false. For that Bob would
    have to go to the Right's response to the ten year old
    girl who got raped story, which seems to bother Bob
    not at all.

  11. First of all, why Somerby spends his early mornings watching Morning Joe is beyond me. The Morning Joe audience isn’t really a bunch of progressives, and that isn’t their target.

    But I agree with 5:18.

    There is enough in Trump’s behavior and the behavior of his supporters to lend plausibility to what Scarborough is saying. It’s indisputable that Trump tried to come up with ways, including an attack on Congress and illegal electoral fraud, to overturn the election, and that he tried to put people in positions of authority who would engineer this. And that he is still doing this. And many in the GOP are still doing this. Calling Trump delusional, as Somerby does, doesn’t invalidate the reality and the danger of it.

    And the secret service deleting texts from precisely the day of the attempted insurrection could of course be a coincidence. Anything is possible.

  12. There is nothing wrong with bottom and top surgery for trans boys and girls. Kids know at an early age if they are in the wrong body and these surgeries should happen as early as possible so that their bodies can’t develop any further.

    Right-wingers are just making it seem like a bad thing after they threw a childish temper tantrum just because black peoples votes are counted in elections.

    1. No one does "top and bottom" surgery on children. This is Republican propaganda, disinformation to scare its base.

    2. Boston Children's Hospital

      "Who is eligible for chest reconstruction surgery?
      People who choose to undergo chest reconstruction usually do so after taking other steps in the gender affirmation process, such as taking supplemental hormones. However, it isn't necessary to take hormones to qualify for chest reconstruction surgery. To be eligible for chest reconstruction surgery at Boston Children's Hospital, you must be at least 15 years old and meet certain criteria. In general, chest reconstruction surgery involves removal of most of the breast tissue and excess skin. The surgeon will also create a more masculine looking chest"

    3. "At Stanford Children’s Health, we offer reconstructive chest surgery to adolescents and young adults from board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons with advanced training and exceptional approaches to top surgery. We remove breast tissue and excess skin to create a masculine-looking chest."

    4. The quacks who do this should be prosecuted.

  13. What's important is that Tuesday was July 19, and today Wednesday it's STILL July 19.
    Has the earth stopped orbiting around the sun? It seems a distinct possibility--although, it's hard to be sure after reading Bob's murky exposition. "Is that the current state of the facts? We'd like to see a sober account." Secret Service texts really aren't that important. The earth crashing into the sun is.

    1. Somewhere between the earth crashing into the sun and today being July 19 lies the importance of Secret Service missing text messages. If a powerful, secretive law-enforcement agency is corrupt and/or partisan in some way under its Trump-appointed director and evidence of that corruption was deliberately deleted with these text messages, I’d say that’s pretty important, especially if members of the Secret Service participated in some way in the insurrection on January 6.

      Or do you think law enforcement agencies should have no accountability?
      Even Somerby understands the importance of this. That’s why this is his fifth or sixth post trying to downplay it.

    2. I agree. And if Somerby doesn't know how to answer a question about a fascist takeover, how can he know whether Morning Joe is yelling too much or too little?

    3. Yes. I've totally found it to be true that my growing inability to question fascist takeovers has also greatly impacted my ability to tell whether someone is yelling. I'm thinking of getting therapy.

  14. Somerby suggests that cable news hosts like Morning Joe do the work of our investigative agencies and the 1/6 Committee. That is entirely unreasonable, no matter what their salaries. Hutchinson's testimony has been corroborated already and has little to do with the disappearance of Secret Service texts. This is malfeasance and those involved need to be investigated and held accountable, not Hutchinson, who testified truthfully under oath.

  15. Oh yes, rapists of 10 year olds definitely are an oppressed minority. If not for Ketanji Brown Jackson's bravery (and brilliance), many of them could've been imprisoned. Imagine that!

    ...but at least undocumented immigrants' votes are now fully counted, so things are moving to the right direction...

  16. Are you suggesting a diptych now, with both messages on the back of the t-shirt? Sounds cool.

  17. Way to turn a terrible thing into a cheap way to score a point... classy.

  18. You're such a good person, dear dembot. Such a virtuous, empathic person.

    ...assuming you are indeed a person, as opposed to computer-generated drivel, which is certainly a possibility...

  19. Sure what if I just concede that all that is true, let's also add I'm a psychotic axe murderer. But can you address what I wrote or not? So who's the bot?

  20. Mao! While you're answering all my questions (or more likely running away...)

    Does one need to be "such a virtuous, empathetic person" simply to note how horrible the rape of a 10-year old is?

    Also, does it feel comfortable calling all who disagree with you "dembots" or do you occasionally feel like you've lost a little respect for yourself by making this your go-to cop-out blanket response and not actually engaging in conversation about anything, with anyone?

  21. Would it be okay if we identify you as 'dembot-preacher' in the future, dear dembot? But you'll need to stay in character, dear.

  22. The entire history of the country is a coverup of assaults on democracy. The founding documents of the country call the people "a great beast." When the people fought back they were called troublemakers and sinners and traitors and exiled and fired and shot and thrown into prison and siloed into racialized neighborhoods, taught to love war and killing and to be afraid of the powerless