Wednesday: Hili dialogue

June 29, 2022 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, a Hump Day (or “Kupra diana”, as they’d say in Latvia), and National Almond Buttercrunch Day. (Eat a Heath Bar instead.)

Source and recipe

It’s also National Waffle Iron Day, National Camera Day, and National Statistics Day in India.

Stuff that happened on June 29 includes:

  • 1534 – Jacques Cartier is the first European to reach Prince Edward Island.
  • 1613 – The Globe Theatre in London, built by William Shakespeare‘s playing company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, burns to the ground. Here’s that first theater, and Julius Caesar was probably the first play. The second one, even spiffier, was shut down by the Puritans in 1642. 
Illustration of The Original Globe Theatre

Macdonell’s house still stands in Toronto (below), but it’s come down in the world. The store within should have been called Mystic MacMuffin:

  • 1880 – France annexes Tahiti, renaming the independent Kingdom of Tahiti as “Etablissements de français de l’Océanie”.
  • 1889 – Hyde Park and several other Illinois townships vote to be annexed by Chicago, forming the largest United States city in area and second largest in population at the time.

People often think that Hyde Park, where I live, is its own named town. It once was, but now it’s a section of Chicago (and a nice one). An aerial view looking north from Hyde Park is below. The oldish building with the green roof in the foreground is the Museum of Science and Industry, the last remnant of the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. I live very close to it. Lake Michigan is to the right.

Here’s the plane and also its landing at Wheeler Field Hawaii. Flight time: 25 hours and 50 minutes. Lindberg flew solo across the Atlantic five weeks earlier (the Bird had a crew of two) and perhaps for that reason got all the attention.

Atlantic-Fokker C-2 “Bird of Paradise” side view. (U.S. Air Force photo)


Atlantic-Fokker C-2 “Bird of Paradise” arrival in Hawaii. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Here she is in 1952 and just this year. She is still lovely:

  • 1972 – The United States Supreme Court rules in the case Furman v. Georgia that arbitrary and inconsistent imposition of the death penalty violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

This led to a national moratorium on the death penalty, but for only four years, as Georgia put someone to death in 1976.

I don’t know from ballet, but I’ve always been more impressed by the dancing of Baryshnikov than of Nureyev. Here’s an example:

  • 1987 – Vincent van Gogh‘s painting, the Le Pont de Trinquetaille, is bought for $20.4 million at an auction in London, England.

Here’s the painting, which I don’t consider a particularly good van Gogh. But it is a van Gogh, and that’s enough to give it a stratospheric value:

The court did approve of trials by military courts, but not by the military commissions set up by the Bush administration. Hamdan, however, who worked as a bodyguard and chauffeur for Osama bin Laden, was released in 2008—four years after he was captured.

Here’s ” The first iPhone on display under glass at the January 2007 Macworld show”:

Da Nooz:

*I hope they make a movie about the January 6 hearings, as I’m missing a lot of the juicy stuff. Take this NYT headline; how can you not click on it? Do it!

This is what the young folk call “hot tea”:

In extraordinary blow-by-blow testimony based on episodes she witnessed in the West Wing of the White House, Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Mark Meadows, the former chief of staff, revealed that the president had demanded to march to the Capitol with his supporters even as the riot was underway, at one point trying to grab the steering wheel of the presidential limo from a Secret Service agent when he was told he could not go.

Among the other revelations the committee presented on Tuesday:

  • Ms. Hutchinson testified that Mr. Trump demanded that his supporters be able to move around freely even though he knew they were armed, objecting to the presence of magnetometers to detect weapons. She testified that she was “in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the president say something to the effect of, ‘You know, I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f-ing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the f-ing mags away.’”

  • As rioters stormed the Capitol, chanting “Hang Mike Pence,” Mr. Trump endorsed the violence. Ms. Hutchinson testified that Mr. Meadows said of Mr. Trump, “He doesn’t want to do anything,” and “He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.”

  • Ms. Hutchinson testified that Mr. Meadows was worried as early as Jan. 2 that Mr. Trump’s rally could get out of control, telling her “Things might get, real, real bad on Jan. 6.” Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, had told her it would be a great day, when the president would go to the Capitol and be with members of Congress.

Ms. Hutchinson had a lot more to say, but read about it at the NYT or elsewhere. The Washington Post has a list of four “bombshells” that Cassady dropped yesterday. One is that Trump sometimes threw dinner plates (with food) against the wall when he was mad. See? We knew he had childlike tantrums!

*HOWEVER, reader David says we should be a bit wary of what Cassidy Hutchinson said. I missed the news last night as I was back in the Pond doing a second duck rescue, and I haven’t watched the tv report or have seen the link below. Check for yourself. From David:

I suspect that you will spend some time on tomorrow’s Hili on the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson.  There was a quick item on ABC news tonight that may have just broken for the western edition of the nightly newscast that you should know about.
While she came across as very credible, an ABC News reporter, Pierre Thomas, said tonight that the Secret Service has asked for time to testify under oath and that a source has informed him that they will “push back” on Cassady’s testimony in that Trump did not grab the steering wheel or assault an agent in the car.  If they also testify that they did not make those statements to her, I hate to think of what her life will be like.  And of the damage this could cause the Committee. What was the rush to get this testimony out?  Did they not verify her story with the agents involved before she testified?
Here is the link to the broadcast.  The relevant reporting starts at about the 13:45 mark.
We’ll wait until the Secret Service testifies.

*Here’s a weird op-ed in the Washington Post by three public defenders in the Bronx: “The Supreme Court’s gun ruling was a victory over racist policing.” Remember, that’s the decision that overturned bans on New Yorkers carrying guns in public. Why was it a victory? Read on:

As public defenders in New York City who represent people charged with illegal gun possession — people who, according to the New York City Police Department’s own data, are almost invariably, Black and Brown — we see the majority’s decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen as an important step to ending mass incarceration. That’s why we joined other public defenders in filing an amicus brief in the case asking the court to abandon its ivory tower and consider the law’s impact on those people who bear the brunt of New York’s gun laws — our clients. Leading Second Amendment scholars agreed that New York’s law needed to be struck down because of the law’s racist impact.

In our brief, we shared stories of clients who made the personal choice to carry a firearm for self-defense. Of police ransacking cars to look for guns and frisking people on the streets. Of people who were arrested, couldn’t afford bail, and languished at Rikers Island, one of the most dangerous jails in the country.

Because possession of an unlicensed, loaded firearm is a “violent felony” under New York law, people with no criminal record who are convicted face a mandatory minimum sentence of 3½ years in prison; the maximum is 15 years. They can lose their jobs, their housing, their children and, if they are not citizens, their right to live in the United States. All for carrying a gun without ever threatening anyone or pulling the trigger — conduct that in many states is not a crime at all.

They aren’t describing racist policing, but what they see as racist laws, presumably because data show that blacks carry unlicensed and loaded guns more often than whites. But I disagree with the editorial, for I think the last thing we need is America’s biggest city full of people carrying loaded weapons.

*Reader Ken reports on the fate of Jeffrey Epstein’s procurer: a very stiff sentence:

You saw that Ghislaine Maxwell got a 20-year bid today — less than the 30 years the prosecution asked for, but much stiffer than the 5 years she was seeking?
Seems the judge wanted to give her a sentence she has a chance to outlive.

Maxwell has been detained pending trial as a flight risk. She has two years in, for which she will receive credit toward her 20 year sentence.

When I asked Ken if he thought Maxwell was, like Epstein, a suicide risk, he added this:

While in pretrial detention, she’s been held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn in a segregated housing unit. I’m sure they’ve kept a close eye on her to avoid the embarrassment of an Epstein replay.  Her “paperwork” (including the Judgment & Commitment Order and her Presentencing Investigation Report) will now be sent to the regional designator’s office of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and in the next 60 days or so, she’ll receive a permanent designation to a federal penal facility consistent with her security classification.

From that NYT article:

If the conviction is upheld, Ms. Maxwell, with time potentially deducted for good behavior and credit for the two years she has spent in jail, could leave prison in her late 70s.

Ms. Maxwell, 60, the daughter of the British media magnate Robert Maxwell, was convicted on Dec. 29 of sex trafficking and other counts after a monthlong trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

*The NYT has an article by Carl Zimmer on what CRISPR gene-editing technology has accomplished. The occasion is the tenth anniversary of the paper in Science by Doudna, Charpentier et al. (those two won the Nobel for CRISPR) that laid out a way to do gene editing using CRISPR and the Cas9 protein.  It’s an excellent summary of how the editing works, how it’s been used scientifically and medically, and what’s in the offing. Will we see babies whose DNA is edited to “improve” them?

*A gazillion readers (thanks to all of you) sent me a link to this Guardian article that begs for refutation (click to read). It’s basically a rehash of the old controversy about the gaps in the “modern synthesis” of evolution. It also describes bogus “mysteries” that have supposedly eluded evolutionists (one is that old canard, the evolution of the eye). I volunteer to take it on, but give me a few days.

Reader Jez sent an archived article from The Daily Fail that it begs for a click (do so if you want to read it):

The highlights:

The transgender skateboarder, 29, who claimed first prize in a New York City women’s competition this weekend, defeating her 13-year-old and 10-year-old competitors, is a divorced, ex-Navy father-of-three who was rejected from the women’s Olympic qualifiers last year because her testosterone levels were too high.

Ricci And Tres, 29, beat 13-year-old Shiloh Catori to claim first prize at The Boardr street skating contest at the Lower East Side Coleman skatepark in New York City on Saturday, taking home $500.

The competition was open to all ages and abilities, but its heats and finals were segregated by gender.

Tween Shiloh, who won the event last year, insists she is ‘not at all upset’ by the result and says Ricci should be able to compete.

However others, including fellow skater Taylor Silverman, say it’s unfair that they have to compete against someone who developed as a man, making them taller and stronger than their competitors.

Now, can reveal that Tres tried to enter the Women’s Street USA Skateboarding National Championships in a bid to qualify for the Olympics, but that she was rejected.

Apparently Tres’s testosterone titer was too high for the Olympics but okay for this competition. She makes an unusual admission, though:

‘I know I will never be a woman, because women are miraculous, they have babies and create life and do all that awesome stuff. I’ll never have that ability but I feel like I am a woman.

‘I would have wished to be born one so I’ll try to fill that image as much as I can for myself and that pretty much involves being as cute as can be,’ she said.

Here’s a tweet about it, and I’ve found the same details at other sources, including ABC15 News, so the story seems legit.

One reader who read the story wrote me this:

This scene from Seinfeld comes to mind. It was funny because at that time, a scenario like this could only be fiction.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili can’t believe she was once bouncy like Kulka:

Hili: Was I equally wild at her age?
A: Yes.
Hili: Strange.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy ja też byłam w jej wieku taka rozbrykana?
Ja: Też.
Hili: Dziwne.

And here’s bouncy little Kulka:


Here’s a science meme I found:

From Ken, who says, “A fool continues to pursue her folly.” Yes, it’s La Boebert in full bull-goose looney mode, espousing a theocracy. She claims that the separation of church and state “is not in the Constitution; it’s in a stinking letter.” Has she read the First Amendment?

From Simon, who says, “If they paid, do they get a refund?”  I’m not sure what’s going on here. Do readers know?

From Barry, we have two snakes mating (I don’t know the species, but surely a reader knows. It’s America, so if it’s venomous they’re probably rattlesnakes.

And the sequel is the second tweet below.

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Matthew. First, one tweet about that godawful Guardian article:

Matthew’s favorite dinosaur gets drawn:

And I think this gets Tweet of the Month Award:

64 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. Not too long ago we had a snake in our garage. We didn’t think it was poisonous, but we didn’t really want it in there. Solution: moth balls. Spread a few of those around, and left the garage door open. No more snake. Several years ago we had an armadillo that dug a hole next to the house. I threw some mothballs down the hole.

    Recently, I had occasion to listen to some Tahitian music (several 78 sides). I don’t know how representative it was of Tahitian music, but it struck me that it sounded a lot like traditional Cajun music.


    To release biology from the legacy of the modern synthesis, explains Massimo Pigliucci, a former professor of evolution at Stony Brook University in New York, you need a range of tactics to spark a reckoning: “Persuasion, students taking up these ideas, funding, professorial positions.” You need hearts as well as minds. During a Q&A with Pigliucci at a conference in 2017, one audience member commented that the disagreement between EES proponents and more conservative biologists sometimes looked more like a culture war than a scientific disagreement. According to one attender, “Pigliucci basically said: ‘Sure, it’s a culture war, and we’re going to win it,’ and half the room burst out cheering.”

    Yes they admit it’s a culture war not a scientific debate.

    1. I have to say I’m slightly befuddled by the still-there popularity of photography (I’m thinking especially those who buy actual cameras and are really in to it).

      I actually went to school for film and photography, and grew up loving photography.

      But once everyone had a camera in their pocket at all times, including me, and once the internet arose, it didn’t seem special any more. We take billions of photos. The internet is awash with everyone’s photos. I find it numbing, frankly, and the ease and ubiquity of smart phone photography utterly kills my interest in Wanting To Do It Even More and put money and effort in to cameras.

      It’s a bit like how streaming digital music has for me and many others made music feel more like wallpaper, less valuable in a way. (Which is one major reason I got in to vinyl).

      So I guess I’m amazed that many people who also live in this swamp of omni-present, easy photography are actually compelled to put more money and effort in to it, rather than become bored with it all.

      1. I can relate to that. One of my interests as a young adult was photography leading me to a BA in Mass Communications and a period of working as a photographer for a while. Other interests took over and I went in other professional directions. When our kids were born I became more of a snapshot photographer. As they left the nest I thought about getting back into it but I can’t bring myself to invest a few grand in equipment when my iPhone 13 max does pretty much all I need.

        OTH, I have a cousin who takes incredible wildlife photos with some high quality gear just for the fun of it. But he doesn’t live in a city.

      2. I was on a waiting list to procure a Nikon Z9 for over 6 months. I finally got my hands on one last week. The camera sort of obliterates your argument. But I do understand where your coming from, in general, and you make a good case. But the Z9 is so far and beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. Calling it a “camera” is an understatement. The ground breaking technology: it’s “mirrorless”, so it has no mechanical parts in the camera body. It is so damn fast, it can capture a bullet. The “burst mode” can shoot hi-res jpegs @ 30 frames a second. WTF? Just some casual shots blew my mind, burst mode for bird photography is non-pareil. I guess I’m saying, don’t give up on photographic technology, it still has the chops to wow and inspire!

        After all the needed accessories, this Z9 cost $7k. These prices will eventually drop as is the norm w/ new technology.

  3. Regarding Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony regarding happenings inside tRump’s vehicle… Regardless of what the Secret Service guys testify, she was reporting what she was told, not what she saw. If they contradict her it does not falsify her testimony.

    1. I agree. I would find it shocking, however, if anyone in fRump’s protective detail would ever testify about his behavior, regardless of what actually happened. I think those agents would rather face perjury charges than to ‘betray’ the confidence of their charge. Some may love him, some may hate him, but I don’t think any would risk permanently fracturing the sacred relationship between whomever POTUS is in the future and his/her/them protectors.

      1. I’m not so sure. There is precedent here. Clinton’s SS detail had to testify in response to a subpoena in 1998. I’m doubtful they would want to risk perjury charges out of loyalty to tRump.

        1. I think that’s right. Plus, whatever self-imposed duty of confidentiality by which the Secret Service agents may feel themselves bound, it would best be honored by refusing to testify and risking a contempt rather than by testifying under oath and lying.

          Also, I should think that the agents would feel themselves released from any such self-imposed duty of confidentiality if Trump were expressly to waive it by requesting that they testify.

          1. Good point, Ken. Their loyalty, surely, is to the Office and not the Man, though. Whoever is POTUS, they have to uphold that loyalty by defending with their lives the life of whatever man (or woman) holds the office. But once the office-holder becomes a private citizen they owe him no official loyalty at all. (Yes I know that former Presidents receive Secret Service protection but as ex-Presidents, not as the guy who should still be in the White House but for The Steal…/sarc.)

            The nature of their work and the national secrets they might have overheard might give them some immunity about what they could be asked or restriction on what they could divulge. Those ground rules should be made clear before they open their mouths.

            I agree with you that if they felt a personal loyalty to D. Trump private citizen beyond what their job descriptions require, they would be better advised to go the contempt route, not the perjury route. Lying under oath to protect someone you have a duty to is one thing, but it’s still a terrible duty to put on a civil servant in the Treasury Dept. For someone you do not, and who has a record of throwing under the bus people who are no longer useful to him, it just seems brainless.

      2. “Reader David” seems to imply that the testimony of the Secret Service would be inherently more credible than the testimony of Ms. Hutchinson. I’m inclined to think that the Secret Service agents, who would presumably have taken a bullet for Trump, would be equally willing to step forward to protect Trump from injurious allegations — regardless of the actual circumstances.

        1. I’m seeing a bit of sleuthing on twitter reminding people that at least some of the secret service were Trumpers if not full out MAGA, and that the SS who offered to testify may be one of these.

    2. The only thing that would damage Cassidy Hutchinson’s credibility in this regard would be if White House aide Tony Ornato, who was with Trump and Secret Service agent Bobby Engle in the presidential limo known as “The Beast” after the rally on the Ellipse (and from whom Hutchinson testified she heard the story), testifies and swears under oath that he never said anything of the sort.

      1. Since you mention The Beast, it reminds me of another controversy being discussed this morning. Evidently The Beast is a Cadillac limo where it is impossible to reach the steering wheel (or much else) from the back seat due to all the communication equipment behind the front seats. Others point out that the vehicle that Trump is in that morning is NOT The Beast but a Suburban SUV where it is possible to reach into the front seat. Yet others say that any road vehicle that POTUS is riding in is called The Beast, much as any plane gets the Air Force One designation. Is there any truth to be had anywhere?

    3. Yeah, it was hearsay evidence based on what someone told her, so it doesn’t speak to the credibility of her direct testimony, I should think. Still, it may have been an error to have her bring it up, unless it is some strategic way of getting others to testify on record to refute it, in hopes of bringing other evidence to light.

      1. I think you hit the nail on the head. The more testimony the committee gets under oath, the more others will want to testify in order to be on the side of the angels, get a better deal at trial, refute others’ testimony, etc. It was suggested by legal pundits that this is why they wanted to get this testimony out in public instead of waiting a few weeks.

      2. I think, at a trial, Ornato’s statement to Hutchinson would qualify for the hearsay exception under Federal Rule of Evidence 803(b) as an “excited utterance.”

        But, yeah, I think you’re right; if Ornato and/or Engle were to testify in an effort to rebut Hutchinson, they may expose themselves to questioning regarding matters Trump may well wish to keep out of the record.

    4. I have not been watching the testimony, because I have work to do every day, but after the current kerfuffle regarding her testimony, I went back and read the transcript.

      One thing that stood out is Liz Cheney describing people with “military grade backpacks”, which seems an odd phrase to use.
      Ms. Hutchinson testified that Tony Ornato told her that Bobby Engel told him that Trump tried to take the wheel and fight the SS.
      They have been taking testimony for months, have had her testify several times, and have taken testimony from Ornato as well. I cannot imagine that they would have forgotten to ask him about such an allegation, or that a third hand account of events of such importance is sufficient for the committee.
      Ornato denies he told her such a thing, and Engel, who was actually in the vehicle, denies the event occurred.
      Additionally, she claimed to have written a note that Eric Herschmann says he wrote, and which he claims is in his handwriting. Obviously I have not had an opportunity to compare their handwriting with the note, but I am sure someone will do so.

      From my reading of the transcript, it does not appear that Ms. Hutchinson’s claims were unexpected or even unpracticed. It was not an interrogation, it was a joint presentation. In that light, there was plenty of opportunity for fact checking and verification prior to the broadcast.

      1. Ornato denies he told her such a thing, and Engel, who was actually in the vehicle, denies the event occurred.
        Additionally, she claimed to have written a note that Eric Herschmann says he wrote, and which he claims is in his handwriting.

        Ornato, Engel, and Herschmann are, of course, more than welcome to come before the select committee, take the witness stand, swear an oath, and give their testimony subject to the penalties for perjury, as Ms. Hutchinson has.

        If and when they do, we’ll have something to measure Ms. Hutchinson’s credibility against.

        Say what you will about Hillary Clinton — and heaven knows, I’ve had many very critical things to say about her over the years, including in comments in this space — at least she had the gonads to show up before the fugazi Benghazi committee and answer everything Republican congressmen could throw at her for 11 hours, unlike so many of the chickenshit witnesses dodging subpoenas and the their duty to testify in this matter.

        1. PS — If memory serves, Liz Cheney’s phrase about “military grade backpacks” came directly from the recordings of radio transmissions (played at the hearing) between security people at the rally on the Ellipse, regarding attendees, some of whom were willing to pass through the magnetometer and some who weren’t.

        2. Gotta remember fugazi Bengazi😂😂
          But what IS the deal with military#style backpacks? They can carry more ammo and weapons?

  4. Skateboarder Tres talked about breaking the news to his three children last year:

    “Kids were 6,4, and 1. It must have been right before bedtime and we do this story time thing and I told them, you know like I feel like a female, I am a female, I’ve always felt this… this we, me, telling you I’m your father; your father is actually your mother, and he is actually a she and female…It took them [just] days to go to ‘Hi Mom, o she’s pretty.”

    And about his wife, whom he says was really supportive in the beginning: “Mistakes were made, and we’re divorced now.”

    Interview from Nov 9, 2021 with Robert Brink:

  5. This [Furman v. Georgia] led to a national moratorium on the death penalty, but for only four years, as Georgia put someone to death in 1976.

    SCOTUS approved several states’ revised statutory death penalty schemes, including Georgia’s, in the 1976 case, Gregg v. Georgia. But the first post-Furman execution wasn’t carried out until January 1977 in Utah, when Gary Gilmore was put to death. Gilmore had waived all his appellate and post-conviction rights after his murder trial and sentencing, and elected to be executed by firing squad. Gilmore’s life, crimes, trial, and execution were the subject of Norman Mailer’s Pulitzer Prize winning non-fiction novel The Executioner’s Song.

  6. The Guardian is very late with this article: much of a 2010 Altenberg 16 rehash. We’ve had already some 20 years of Extended Evolutonary Synthesis, and it has not made much impact. Perhaps because for all I can see standard Evolutionary Biology is very good at assimilating worthwhile ideas and shedding the crap.
    Culture war? A ‘Massimo Pigliucci Publicity Campaign’?

  7. I watched Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony live yesterday and, like the reporters and commentators on Fox News, felt she came off as highly credible, with no obvious axes to grind.

    The fellow below, however, had the chutzpah to send out an ersatz tweet on his crappy little media platform, Truth Social. claiming Hutchinson’s “body language is that of a total bull[shit] artist.” (Keep in mind that, when the bullshit artist nonpareil made the statements below, he had written checks in the Oval Office to launder payoffs to porn star Stormy Daniel’s through his lawyer’s operating account, disguised as legal fees.) Check out this body language:

    1. TRump’s body language always makes me want to toss my cookies (even yesterday’s cookies)🤢Was glued to Cassidy’s testimony yesterday afternoon. Totally credible. Very impressive young woman, even if she did work for Ted Cruz. Lauren Boebart went full bull-goose looney for sure. Is there a female version? Cow-goose loonette😂

  8. Whether Trump grabbed the steering wheel and an Secret Service agent or not probably doesn’t matter that much, though many are suggesting that the Secret Service detail surrounding Trump is a nest of “true believers” so they may be deliberately underplaying what happened. As many pundits are pointing out this morning, the SS agents did not dispute that Trump really wanted to go to the Capitol and join the insurrectionists.

    1. “the SS agents did not dispute that Trump really wanted to go to the Capitol and join the insurrectionists.”

      Exactly. Like everything else in this fiasco, it all hinges on proving intention, and who’s to say Trump didn’t want to go to the capital because he anticipated violence and wanted to prevent it (“They’re not going to shoot me”). Unlikely perhaps, but no more farfetched than that he was anxious to go there to participate in the violence.

      The only intention that’s clear in all this is that the Dems want to keep Trump from being eligible to run for office again, which is in itself a form of flattery. In the meantime, all they’re doing is keeping this egomaniac in the public eye. When it comes to Trump, the Dems just refuse to learn.

        1. “Actually, we have it from the horse’s mouth.”

          Actually, I think you mean the arse’s mouth or maybe the horse’s ass, but in either case that link clarifies nothing about why Trump wanted to march to the Capitol with his supporters.

          1. Do you think Trump would want to march with his supporters, or go to the Capitol in a vehicle, in order to help quell the crowd? Now that would really be unbelievable.

        2. Poor Trumpers 🙂 This must be at least the second time the Secret Service prevented him from going where he wanted to go. It happened in France a while ago:

          Secret Service said NO, too far from airport & big Paris shutdown.

          He is the servant of the people, and the people pay to keep him safe. I am sure he understands.

  9. I haven’t seen anyone in the media comment about how strange it is that the Secret Service could override a decision by Trump to go to the Capitol. As Trump said: “I’m the f-ing President”. How could his driver have the authority to prevent him from going there?

    Also, how could he have been in the front seat? There must be video of him in the vehicle. It would be interesting to see where he was sitting.

    I hope that Hutchinson’s testimony was pre-checked by the Commitee. If it turns out she was mistaken, we’ll never hear the end of it from the MAGA crowd. It would undercut all the work of the Committee to date.

    1. I believe that, in matters of presidential security, the ultimate call goes to the Secret Service. I recall that agents lifted Dick Cheney up by the arms and carried him to the bunker below the White House on 9/11/01.

      And agents didn’t give Jackie and LBJ much leeway at Parkland Hospital after the events in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.

        1. I think the Secret Service may have also hustled (a perhaps drunk) Dick Nixon back to the White House after Nixon and his valet, Manolo, took an unscheduled 4 am stroll over to the Lincoln Memorial to hold a “rap session” with the war protestors hanging out there.

          1. It doesn’t strike me as at all implausible that the Secret Service had veto power over Trump’s attempt to make an OTR (“off the record” — viz, unplanned for) trip to the Capitol to lead a protest by an armed mob, with only a small detail of agents to guard him.

            The alternative is that Trump was lying when he told the crowd at his rally at the Ellipse that he planned to accompany them to the Capitol. (Trump was obviously lying about his promise to “walk” with them over the slightly uphill two miles to the Capitol, given that Trump can’t be arsed to walk from the greens to the tees at his own country clubs, and given that had to be hauled in a golf cart when the six other leaders at the G-7 in Sicily took a 700-yard stroll.)

        2. Presidents can’t just show up at the Capitol Building. They need to be invited. And Secret Service agents don’t take oaths to the President, they (like other civil servants) take oaths to the Constitution. Their duty is to protect the President (and others) and this does not include having him join an armed mob to attack Congress. They are not his servants.

          1. “Presidents can’t just show up at the Capitol Building.”

            That can’t be true. Any random person can go to the Capital Building, though they can’t necessarily go in.

            1. The protocol is for a President to ask for an invitation and not just show up. It has to do with separation of powers. Not that such matters concerned The Former Guy.

              There’s precedent for Presidents being denied access.

              1. Can you give more details? I have trouble believing that a President can’t just walk onto the Capitol grounds, since any Joe Blow can do so.

              2. 1986. Reagan wanted to address Congress. Tip O’Neal refused to allow it. Now, Reagan wasn’t being a tourist. But neither would tRump have been there as a tourist. Presidents are never just “regular people”.

              3. What do you think tRump would be doing if he had gone there? Are you entertaining some fantasy that we’re discussing his desire to go sign up for a tour?

              4. Lou, I don’t understand your point. Presidents are not regular citizens. They are chief executives of a branch of government and because have to operate according to rules that don’t apply to Joe Blow. There are reasons presidents go to the Capitol. “Tourist” is not one of them. They don’t just show up. Especially as participants in insurrections.

        3. …in the middle of a riot, at Congress, Lou?

          Is the presence of the President in Congress ever necessary for any function of the U.S. government to go ahead? I can think only of the State of the Union address. But otherwise he’s just a tourist wanting to see where the laws are made. The Vice-President presides in the Senate but the President has no business there. AFAIK.

          (The Queen can not ever lawfully enter the House of Commons, in order that her praetorian guard can never again shut down Parliament. Thus the executive is kept separate from the legislature.)

          1. “…in the middle of a riot, at Congress, Lou?”
            Shouldn’t that be up to him/her? Although we know his intentions were bad in this case, theoretically he was the one person who could have gone there and stopped the riot.

            1. Actually no. The elected Head of State has a duty to stay alive and uphold the Constitution. He cannot be allowed to endanger himself. If the Secret Service says he can’t ride in an open limo with the top down, he can’t. If he was personally commanding a regiment of cavalry with accompanying scouts, infantry, and combat engineers, the Service might have allowed him to go ahead. (In the last day or two was a bit about King George II who was the last British King to personally command troops in battle. In 1742.)

        4. “Going to Congress” is about the mildest possible description for what Trump wanted to do. It’s not like he had an appointment with someone. How about attending an insurrection?

    2. When I made my comment above, I thought he had to be in the front seat of the car in order to grab the steering wheel and head for the clavicles of the driver, but listening to the testimony again, maybe it could indeed have happened from the back seat.

    3. How could his driver have the authority to prevent him from going there?

      I looked to see if the Secret Service could overrule POTUS. This guy says yes. But I don’t know who he is, and it does not seem like a government website.

      I could not find anything directly relevant in 18 U.S.C. 3056 – Powers, authorities, and duties of United States Secret Service.

      But it says

      Whoever knowingly and willfully obstructs, resists, or interferes with a Federal law enforcement agent engaged in the performance of the protective functions authorized by this section or by section 1752 of this title shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

      I wonder if that applies to POTUS 🙂

      But would a trip to the Capitol have been judicious? Given that it is the responsibility of the Secret Service to protect him, and given that he was POTUS and had plenty of authority, there might have been a conflict of wills; or rather, a conflict between Trump’s will and the Secret Service’s will not. In this case, if the reports are accurate, the Secret Service won. I find that plausible — I am not talking about the details, but that the Secret Service told him not to go, and that he was gently persuaded to agree. All my US friends tell me that what made Trump special was his extraordinary humility and respect for expert opinion. All the arm pulling, if true, was quite unnecessary. What on earth were they thinking?

      1. “What on earth were they thinking?”

        Something like “What are we going to do with this batshit crazy president?”

  10. Boebert’s current mission in life seems to be to show everyone that religion doesn’t make you a better person.

    1. She’s an attention whore who will say most anything that she believes will resonate with her base. Hopefully she will be history come the fall elections, but I am not holding my breath. I wonder if she would now support taxation of all church properties and revenue?

  11. They didn’t say he couldn’t go, just that he has to go in a way that is deemed safe. Hutchinson said there was two kinds of trips that POTUS could take, ones that are on the schedule and everyone knows he’s going to be there and others that are impromptu. Each has a set of rules and procedures that must be followed. The impromptu ones take at least an hour to plan and have conditions that must be met. It is highly likely a trip with a bunch of gun-toting idiots violated several of those conditions in a way that couldn’t be dealt with.

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