Saturday: Hili dialogue

June 18, 2022 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Cat Shabbos: Saturday, June 18, 2022: International Picnic Day. But no picnics on the Sabbath unless somebody else does all the work!

It’s Paul McCartney’s 80th birthday today! (See below.).

Stuff that happened on June 18 includes:

  • 1178 – Five Canterbury monks see an event believed to have been the formation of the Giordano Bruno crater on the moon. It is believed that the current oscillations of the Moon‘s distance from the Earth (on the order of meters) are a result of this collision.

The original report (from Wikipedia), which comports with what one expects when an asteroid or comet strikes the Moon.

Five monks from Canterbury reported to the abbey’s chronicler, Gervase, that shortly after sunset on 18 June 1178, they saw “the upper horn [of the moon] split in two”. Furthermore, Gervase writes:

From the midpoint of the division a flaming torch sprang up, spewing out, over a considerable distance, fire, hot coals and sparks. Meanwhile the body of the Moon which was below writhed, as it were in anxiety, and to put it in the words of those who reported it to me and saw it with their own eyes, the Moon throbbed like a wounded snake. Afterwards it resumed its proper state. This phenomenon was repeated a dozen times or more, the flame assuming various twisting shapes at random and then returning to normal. Then, after these transformations, the Moon from horn to horn, that is along its whole length, took on a blackish appearance.

In 1976, the geologist Jack B. Hartung proposed that this described the formation of the crater Giordano Bruno.

This is in now in doubt, however, since the crater appears from dating methods to be several million years old. The answer is “we just don’t know what the monks saw.”

Here’s the crater, 22 km across:

  • 1812 – The United States declaration of war upon the United Kingdom is signed by President James Madison, beginning the War of 1812.
  • 1858 – Charles Darwin receives a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that includes nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin’s own, prompting Darwin to publish his theory.

The paper came with a letter, which is the one letter missing from Darwin’s correspondence. While some have hinted darkly that Darwin destroyed the letter because someone else came up with the theory of natural selection (Wallace’s paper didn’t deal with “identical conclusions about evolution”), Darwin arranged for Wallace’s paper to be published back to back with Darwin’s own hastily-written precis of natural selection. Both men thus got equal temporal priority (you can see the papers here), but Darwin gets most of the credit because he went on to write up his Big Book in 1859 that described natural selection as well as evolution in much detail, and giving tons of evidence. [Addendum by GCM: The joint publication by Wallace and Darwin was a “win-win” for them, with both men jointly introducing natural selection, while establishing the independence of their discoveries, Wallace in this ‘Ternate Essay’, and Darwin through extracts from his essay of 1844 and a letter to Asa Gray from 1857. I wrote a short paper about the circumstances in 2002, which I revised and posted here at WEIT as part of the Wallace Year (2013) celebrations: Darwin and Wallace at Burlington House. For full historical accounts, see the references in that post, especially the paper by John van Wyhe and Kees Rookmaker (and have a look at John’s more recent publications).]

The mountain is 4,194 m high (13,760 ft). Here it is:

(From Wikipedia): The Aletschhorn (right) from the Oberaletsch Glacier

Here’s one of our earliest U.S. feminists, photographed around 1870:

Churchill didn’t have a particularly mellifluous voice, but oy, was he a great orator! Here’s a snippet of the speech with the “Finest Hour” bit (go to 4:53):

Joyce was hanged on January 3, 1946. Here is his anti-Semitic final statement, and a photo of him below (he was wounded in the buttocks during capture)

In death as in life, I defy the Jews who caused this last war, and I defy the power of darkness which they represent. I warn the British people against the crushing imperialism of the Soviet Union. May Britain be great once again and in the hour of the greatest danger in the West may the standard be raised from the dust, crowned with the words – “You have conquered nevertheless”. I am proud to die for my ideals and I am sorry for the sons of Britain who have died without knowing why.

Joyce on his way to captivity:

  • 1948 – Columbia Records introduces the long-playing record album in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
  • 1983 – Space Shuttle programSTS-7Astronaut Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space.

Here she is; tragically, she died at only 61 of pancreatic cancer.

Photo: NASA

DA NOOZ:

*It’s pretty clear that the Congressional hearings on the January 6 insurrection are largely designed to get Donald Trump indicted. I don’t know if that will happen, but I do think that these hearings have damaged the man—perhaps to the extent that he’ll never again be a viable candidate for President. (This despite the fact that other Republicans who voice support for The Big Steal scenario have won primaries in the last week.)

The latest news is that the committee may start sharing transcripts of its findings with the Department of Justice as early as next month. As I said the other day, the DOJ has six prosecutors watching the proceedings full time, and there is only one man who has the power to get Trump indicted for federal crimes: Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Justice Department officials and top investigators, including Matthew M. Graves, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, are growing increasingly impatient to obtain the transcripts, which they see as an essential source of information needed to guide their own interviews with former President Donald J. Trump’s allies, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

The Justice Department sent the committee a two-page letter on Wednesday accusing the panel of hampering the federal criminal investigation into the attack by refusing to share interview transcripts with prosecutors.

The committee isn’t being deliberately truculent: its chairman just wants to get more accomplished before it turned over material to the DOJ.

*Trump is STILL criticizing Pence. According to the NBC Evening News as well as Reuters, Trump announced yesterday that “Pence had a chance to be great” (he coulda been a contender) but he “lacked courage.” To show the Trumpster’s continuing insanity, read the long letter he wrote criticizing the January 6 committee.  (Actually, someone probably wrote it for him, as it’s in English.) One snippet:

The January 6th Unselect Committee is disgracing everything we hold sacred about our Constitution. If they had any real evidence, they’d hold real hearings with equal representation. They don’t, so they use the illegally-constituted committee to put on a smoke and mirrors show for the American people, in a pitiful last-ditch effort to deceive the American public…again.

They TRIED equal representation, but only two Republicans wanted to be on that committee. I hope Liz Cheney doesn’t suffer cancellation for her sterling performance on the committee.

*For some enjoyment, read Andrew Sullivan’s epic rant about Trump and his role in Jan. 6: “A man and his mob“.

But this complexity misses something important — the contingent importance of individuals in human history. And the truth is: we would not be where we are now without Donald Trump, and Donald Trump alone. He is unique in American history, a president who told us in advance he would never accept any election result that showed him losing, and then proved it. He tried to overturn the transfer of power to his successor by threats and violence. No president in history has ever done such a thing — betrayed and violated the core of our republic — from Washington’s extraordinary example onwards. The stain of Trump is as unique as it is indelible.

Without Trump, January 6 would never have happened. It was his idea, and his alone. No one in his closest inner circle believed he had won the election on November 3. They all knew that the Trump presidency was “the rotten carcass of a boat, not rigg’d, / Nor tackle, sail, nor mast.” None of them would have attempted to keep it afloat.

*POLL! Just give your answer, as PCC(E) wants to know readers’ opinions:

Will Trump be indicted by the feds after the January 6 committee hearings?

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*Meanwhile, Uncle Joe is, as the Washington Post reports, sending “every signal that he’s running again” in 2024.

President Biden’s advisers have been studying a spring 2023 reelection announcement that would echo the timetable of former president Barack Obama. They have flooded 2024 battleground states with millions of dollars to build up Democratic operations in advance of the next presidential campaign.

And under the Biden team’s leadership, the Democratic National Committee has decided against preparing a debate schedule for a contested nomination fight.

The goal of his advisers is to send every possible message that Biden, 79, is ready, able and determined to carry the party banner into another presidential election, especially if the opponent is his nemesis, Donald Trump, 76.

. . . In public and private, Biden himself has emphasized that he is running, effectively shutting down any discussion of the topic between the president and his close advisers, according to interviews with more than a dozen Democrats close to the White House, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

I wonder whether he would run again should the Democrats get slaughtered in this fall’s election. Don’t get me wrong: I’d vote for Biden over Trump (or any Republican) any day.  But I think that somewhere out there, languishing unrecognized among the Democratic Party, is someone who could be a better President.

*This is tragic:  Nepal has had to move Everest Base Camp to a lower altitude because the famous Khumbu Icefall is melting due to global warming. That has created dangerous crevasses in the previously safe camp. It will also make climbing the mountain harder. But of course basecamp, and now much of the mountain, is full of litter from climbers. (h/t Andrew)

*Today Paul McCartney turns 80—16 years past the age he once saw as being old. To celebrate his dotage, Sir Paul was joined in his June 16 New Jersey concert by The Boss. To wit:

Here are McCartney’s favorite Beatles songs, though only two of them would make my own top five list (“Blackbird” and “Eleanor Rigby”).

  • ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’
  • ‘Hey Jude’
  • ‘Blackbird’
  • ‘Eleanor Rigby’
  • ‘You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)’

That last song is dreadful and doesn’t belong on the list at all!

To give Sir Paul more encomiums, here he is singing “Blackbird” live.  (Don’t miss the live version of “Eleanor Rigby” here.) Both songs are masterpieces; nothing in modern rock or pop comes close.) Long may he run—a driving force behind the greatest rock band of all time.

*Speaking of Stanford’s authoritarianism, as we did the other day, here we have a Stanford student who almost wasn’t allowed to graduate from Stanford because he didn’t get a covid booster after the first two shots. The weird thing is that the guy wasn’t even in California then: he was moving to Texas!   (h/t Mike)

Stanford announced its booster mandate in December, at which time I was recovering from a covid infection and moving to Texas.

But as I learned in April when Stanford almost gave me the boot, the booster mandate is “not predicated on history of infection or physical location.” I could have been living on a Pacific island the day before my graduation, and America’s finest university would still not be able to tolerate the fact that I was only “fully vaccinated” and not “boosted.” Two shots aren’t enough, science denier – no degree for you!

Spoiler: Stanford did eventually give in when I pointed out the absurdity of their plan to enforce the mandate against me from 2,000 miles away, but only after multiple rounds of protest and a stroke of luck with a single administrator.

Now that is gratuitous authoritarianism.

*And, for fun, after reading an article in Tablet (h/t Malgorzata), I tracked down the only existing recording by Thomas LaRue Jones, “Yidele, Farlir Nit Dayn Hoffnung” (“Don’t Give Up Hope, Mr. Jew”). Jones was a a rare breed: an African-American cantor from the early 20th century. And in case you don’t know what a cantor is, it’s normally a Jew who leads the congregation of a synagogue in song and prayer. Jones, known as “Tevye, der shvartzer khazn” (Tevye, the Black Cantor), wasn’t really Jewish, but he was good at singing traditional Yiddish songs, and made a living performing in public. Very little is known of his life (it’s said that his family was steeped in Judaism, though not Jewish), and there’s only one commercial record (below).

From the Tablet:

Endowed with a pleasant voice, the teenage Jones began a fledgling performance career singing Yiddish songs in local Jewish festive events. As early as 1915, a local Newark newspaper mentions his name, along with several other very Jewish-sounding names, as providing the entertainment for a Jewish wedding. A year later, the paper mentions his name as the person providing musical entertainment at another Jewish event.

. . . The 1920s were an opportune time for Tevye LaRue Jones to make his entrance. Cantorial performance was flourishing in America. Cantors were no longer confined to the sacred space of the synagogue. They recorded their music, at times accompanied by musical instruments which would not be allowed in the synagogue. Even women who would not be allowed to sing in the synagogue were performing hazzones on stage. Hundreds of records of cantorial music were produced, avidly consumed by a public that was also packing concert halls and vaudeville venues where cantors performed. Outside the synagogue the cantor was no longer serving merely as a “shliakh tsibbur,” the voice of his community, but also as a seasoned entertainer whose repertoire often broadened to include folk and Yiddish theater songs. In this thriving popular Jewish culture, a Black cantor would likely prove an attraction.

A poster (translation in caption):

‘The greatest wonder in the world/The famous Black cantor who has astounded all America in a concert of folk songs of Rosenblatt, Kwartin, Rovner and others in all languages/Toyve the Black Cantor.’ (Courtesy of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research) Source here.

And “the only known early 20th century recording of an African-American singing cantorial music.” The guy isn’t bad!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili still won’t give Kulka a break:

Kulka: May I come up there?
Hili: Don’t even think about it.
In Polish:
Kulka: Czy mogę tam wejść?
Hili: Nawet o tym nie myśl.

****************

From Ant:  Good thing they didn’t try to slice it!

From Frits:

From Stash Krod:

Please me some good tweets, as I’m running low except for those from Matthew.

Ah, God is such a wag! This tweet has been deleted, but all the important stuff is below:

What is more fun than this?

A tweet I found on Nellie Bowles’s weekly news summary on Bari Weiss’s site. Bowles said this:

University of Michigan emeritus economics professor, Mark J. Perry, broke down the latest numbers on how many professional diversity officers are on the U of M payroll, and how much these officers make: “126 diversicrats at an average salary of $93,600 with 38 making >$100K and a shocking record-high of $430,795.” The total payroll cost for “diversity equity and inclusion” programming is over $15 million a year, or in-state tuition for almost 1,000 students. One wild DEI idea: Fire every single one of them, and use that money to free 1,000 poor students from debt each year.

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Matthew. It was about 38°C two days ago, but my ducks were fine; they stay in the water a lot and seek out shade when on land.

Sound up. This is like a horror movie!

Ah, that classic first line. You better know the book!

I’ve saved the best for last. This is stunning!

55 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. > The United States declaration of war upon the United Kingdom is signed by President James Madison, beginning the War of 1812.

    I miss the days when people actually declared war, in line with the US Constitution, Article 1 Section 8. The last time Congress declared war was June 5th, 1942. Just think: we’ve had 80 peaceful year.

  2. Can I ask what your other three top five Beatle songs would be? I think Blackbird is a very popular top five favorite. It’s a beautiful, haunting, simple song, and it’s impossible to get tired of it. A lot of simple songs become irritating after you’ve heard them too many times.

    Those ducks were 100 percent in the right to demand that the cats show the bread first.

    1. (That have not been mentioned yet – and this is Lennon/McCartney, I make no distinction here, and no Harrison because Paul is 80 today):

      For No One (highlighted here awhile back)
      Got To Get You Into My Life
      You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
      In My Life (masterful but singing – the “oooo – ooo / ooo” – is a tad off)

      I like post Beatles McCartney – nothing will change that :

      Mull of Kintyre
      … Calico Skies?
      Admiral Halsey/Uncle Albert
      Let ‘Em In
      … a few others…

        1. Oops, I see that AD had already posted that link below at #10. Serves me right for chipping in too soon.

      1. Post-Beatles McCartney is easily as good or better than post-Beatles Lennon or Harrison. I held off listening to McCartney’s 70s albums for a long time, but I was happily surprised at how much terrific material was on them. I’d like to put in a good word for “Little Lamb Dragonfly” and the unfairly slagged medley “Hold Me Tight/Lazy Dynamite/Hands of Love/Power Cut.”

        1. The extent to which they wrote together decreased over the years, from genuine collaboration to one writing, say, the bridge for the other or adding a line of lyrics, to small fine-tuning, to essentially nothing. They decided early on to credit all compositions either or both of them wrote without the other two to Lennon/McCartney.

      1. I’ve never liked Octopus’s Garden…but it was cool seeing Ringo play the piano and sing it on Jackson’s recent Beatles doc.

      2. A little revolution that’s numbered nine. Why snap me out of such a brilliant experience of an album with that crap?

    2. My personal favorite is “Baby You’re a Rich Man.” It’s not many other people’s favorite, but I’ve always loved it for encapsulating the spirit of the Beatles.

  3. If the next presidential election will be Biden vs. Trump again, that would mean a rather serious gerontocracy problem. In the early eighties Soviet Union both Andropov and Chernenko were youngsters compared to them and it was still ridiculed.

    1. We still aren’t over the last one. (Nor likely to be, ever.) And a rematch? A truly horrifying thought.

  4. … there is only one man who has the power to get Trump indicted for federal crimes: Attorney General Merrick Garland.

    I’m heartened finally to see some life from AG Garland on this matter. I’ve been concerned that, after so many years as a judge, Garland’s demeanor had become too judicial to fulfill the role of aggressive prosecutor, that he was, in effect, wandering the halls of Main Justice wearing the custom robes he had made but never got to wear on the SCOTUS bench — like Miss Havisham in her mansion, her wedding dress.

  5. Regarding the crater, it is also very odd that the monks decided to name it after a man who wouldn’t be born for several centuries. Sounds like aliens to me.

  6. ‘You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)’ isn’t at all among the Beatles’ best, but it’s hardly dreadful.

    It never got a lot of airplay when it was released as the B-side to the “Let It Be” single. But in the mid-Seventies, it was on the jukebox at a honkytonk where I used to shoot pool. It got a lot of play there, including by quarters pumped into the machine by me.

    It’s great tune to shoot pool to.

    1. I’m now imagining you in the 70’s as one of the lawyers who shows up in some sequel to Warren Zevon’s Lawyers, Guns and Money, with a pencil mustache and greased back hair, shooting pool in a dark dive bar when someone walks in with a bag of cash and whispers something about picking up their kid in Honduras…

      1. More like Chuck E from the Rick Lee Jones tune. Oh, Christ, like him, I even went a helluva long time without combing my hair:

        1. Such an underrated movie. Say what you will about Tom Cruise — and there’s a hell of a lot to say — but that man is one of the Last Great Movie Stars, and man does he commit to his roles. And damn was he great in that one. My first thought any time it comes up is of that scene. The flash of his smile, the buildup as he slowly dances from one ball to the next and then shouts “woooo” as he twirls his cue like a master swordsman. And the second thought, naturally, is the final shot of Fast Eddie. “Hey. I’m back.” Snap zoom. Balls break.

          Brilliance.

          1. It’s not peak Scorsese, but it’ll do.

            The title comes from the sequel novel to The Hustler written by my old creative-writing prof, Walter Tevis, though none of the story comes from that book (which tells of the subsequent events in the life of the “Minnesota Fats” character played in the adaptation of original by Jackie Gleason).

            The screenplay for The Color of Money was written by Richard Price, the author of two of my favorite novels — Clockers and Lush Life — who also worked on several seasons of scripts for The Wire.

            1. It’s not peak Scorsese, but it’s well above his mediocre (for him) fare like Shutter Island. I think it’s why I’d call second tier Scorsese, with films like The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street, etc. Then you have the third tier — still pretty darn good! — like Cape Fear, Gangs of New York (unfortunately let down severely by pacing issues and any scene involving Cameron Diaz), and Hugo. The mediocre tier only has a couple I can think of, which are the aforementioned Shutter Island and Bringing Out the Dead.

              I can see how many people would argue it belongs in the third tier, but it’s really buoyed by the performances and Scorsese’s sure but uncharacteristically more subtle direction.

              1. Shutter Island may be the only Scorsese movie I haven’t seen. I read the novel from which it’s adapted by Dennis Lahane (whose Mystic River I loved, and who also wrote for The Wire) and was thoroughly disappointed, so couldn’t bring myself to see the picture.

                As for Scorsese, anybody who can do Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas, on the one hand, and The Age of Innocence on the other, has mind-blowing range.

                He’s put together quite the oeuvre.

  7. If our U.S. friends have concerns about a president who is too old: Konrad Adenauer was 73 years old when he was elected German Chancellor. He then ruled for 14 years, only to resign in 1963 at the age of 87.

    So, if Joe Biden were to be elected in 2024 and then complete his 2nd presidency by Jan 2029, he would “only” be 86 years old. 😉

  8. I voted “no” as to Trump’s indictment, though I do think the hearings are hurting him politically. But even if he is indicted, could there be anything but a hung jury? Could there ever be 12 impartial jurors when it comes to Trump? I doubt it…and the defense would definitely want at least one juror who is a “Trump can do no wrong” MAGA moron.

    1. Maybe but a jury would receive a much deeper take on Trump’s actions than most GOP voters do. And, the lawyers on both sides would be much more truthful than, say, Fox News or even CNN. The judge would not let either side present BS. The judge would also remind the jury as to what they are being asked to decide and the definition of any applicable laws. As far as MAGA morons are concerned, wouldn’t the prosecution weed them out during the jury selection process? Finally, jury deliberation would also make it hard for a member to decide based solely on party membership.

      1. You make good points. As far as presenting BS, Trump lawyers do that all the time in court; luckily, none of it has stuck (yet). And when it comes to the MAGA morons, I could imagine a juror pretending to be non-partial, but secretly would never convict Trump no matter what. Trump brings out the cynicism in me like no other. 😉

        1. I hear you on the cynicism. Nothing sticks to old Teflon Don. It pissed me off when Nixon got a pardon but nothing like it’s going to piss me off if Trump isn’t even prosecuted because “we need to heal the divide”, protect the two-party system, avoid civil war, or some such excuse. Screw that. No one should be able to do to our country what Trump has done, and continues to do, and get away with it.

          1. Totally agree. If Trump and his cronies get off scot-free, it will set up a precedent so destructive that I can’t even conceive the ultimate fall out. I also believe that if Nixon were prosecuted and went to jail, or even if Obama would have investigated W. regarding his lies getting us into Iraq, there would be no Trump. This corruption at the highest level has to be stopped and punished at some point, or this country is truly screwed.

    2. I think one crucial matter at play here is that Trump will feel he has to run — and feel he has to make his announcement early, maybe even as early as before the midterms, so as to preempt potential GOP opponents — to give himself a platform to try to fend off or defend against a potential indictment.

      I also think it’s almost certain that John Eastman will be charged. (His unsuccessful post-insurrection request for a pardon pretty much seals that fate.) My gut tells me that Eastman won’t stand up, but will instead flip on Trump (particularly given that Trump’s failure to grant him a pardon put Eastman on jump street).

      The communications between Eastman and Trump are subject to the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege. The evidence adduced at the Jan. 6th hearings so far strongly suggests that Trump and Eastman had done some private cahootsing in furtherance of their coup plot. Eastman may have notes and memoranda regarding these meetings.

      1. I hadn’t thought about Eastman flipping on Trump but it does make perfect sense. Trump is going to wish he had granted him that pardon. In my mind, the biggest barrier to convicting Trump is Garland not wanting to establish the precedent of the incoming administration charging the outgoing one with political crimes, but it’s hard to know what’s really going on at the DOJ.

  9. For McCartney fans: the dear old Beeb has a 90-minute programme on BBC2 tonight called ‘Paul McCartney at the BBC’, which we are still watching as I write. It’s pretty well continuous clips of Paul singing and playing, plus a few short interview excerpts. No Beatles films, sadly, but plenty of his best songs, including ‘Blackbird’ and ‘Eleanor Rigby’ both of which reduced me to tears.

    Catch it if you can! Now excuse me; he’s doing ‘A Day in the Life’, so I must get my hankie out again….

  10. “The Justice Department sent the committee a two-page letter on Wednesday accusing the panel of hampering the federal criminal investigation into the attack by refusing to share interview transcripts with prosecutors.”

    Perhaps Congress will establish another Committee to investigate Congress’ obstruction of justice. “Obstruction” is said to be serious stuff. (I seem to recall endless accusations of someone’s “obstruction” during the Bob Mueller investigation and during one or both impeachments.)
    ………..
    “Without Trump, January 6 would never have happened.”

    Andrew,
    Almost certainly, Jan6 never would have happened had Nancy Pelosi and the Capitol Police heeded the warnings they received weeks earlier from Homeland Security and others of likely violence at the Capitol. (And, IIRC, days before Jan6 Trump himself urged Nancy to call in the National Guard.)

    [One might be forgiven for entertaining the thought that Nancy *wanted* a riot in the Capitol. It would provide a ceaseless and superb smear opportunity for the anti-Trumpers.]

    1. Almost certainly, Jan6 never would have happened had Nancy Pelosi and the Capitol Police heeded the warnings they received weeks earlier from Homeland Security and others of likely violence at the Capitol. (And, IIRC, days before Jan6 Trump himself urged Nancy to call in the National Guard.)

      These claims have been thoroughly debunked, as was discussed in a lengthy thread in the comments on this website a week ago.

      Of course, the debunking hasn’t stopped Donald Trump and his cultists from repeating these baseless claims.

  11. I’ve been following online commentary by people knowledgeable in criminal law, who believe the committee may be – probably not deliberately- sabotaging criminal cases being developed by the DOJ. One instance in particular- they showed testimony from Proud Boy Jeremy Bertino, who became a cooperating witness early on. Bertino gave testimony to the subcommittee that Trump’s statements and tweets had greatly increased the number of applications for PB membership. But he has also given testimony to a grand jury, and if the two testimonies aren’t fully consistent (these guys do seem to lie a lot), it would be argued that he is not a reliable witness, which could get all his testimony thrown out, seriously endangering the entire case against the other PBs charged with seditious conspiracy. The DOJ has apparently been begging the subcommittee to share testimony with them before broadcasting it to the world, and the subcommittee has balked at that (from what I hear). The cases have to be water tight and appeal-proof. So much is at stake.

    1. If there’s an actual trade-off here between making the case against the people who caused and organized the insurrection vs against those that were fooled by it and stormed the Capitol, I’d go with the former.

    2. … if the two testimonies aren’t fully consistent (these guys do seem to lie a lot), it would be argued that he is not a reliable witness, which could get all his testimony thrown out …

      Inconsistent statements provide a basis on which to impeach a witness’s credibility at trial, see Federal Rule of Evidence 613. Prior inconsistent testimony provides no basis on which to exclude a witness’s testimony at trial. Determining a witness’s credibility is quintessentially an issue to be decided not by a judge, but by a trial jury.

      1. Very late response here.

        “Beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal trials is a high hurdle. Why would the prosecutors even let the PB cases go to trial when the testimony of one of their chief witnesses can be thrown into such doubt? Think what’s at stake here- not just the waste of all the legal work done so far in building cases for charges of seditious conspiracy involving up to and including Trump himself, but also of further strengthening the credibility of the Big Lie and ongoing and future attempts by the GOP to steal elections.

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