Weekend Open Thread
[guest post by Dana]
First news item
Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy:
A federal grand jury has returned an indictment against former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon for contempt of Congress, the Justice Department announced Friday.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has been under tremendous political pressure to indict Bannon since the House referred the Trump ally to the Justice Department for contempt on October 21.
“Since my first day in office, I have promised Justice Department employees that together we would show the American people by word and deed that the Department adheres to the rule of law, follows the facts and the law, and pursues equal justice under the law,” Garland said in a statement Friday.
“Today’s charges reflect the Department’s steadfast commitment to these principles.”
Bannon, 67, was charged with one count related to his refusal to appear for a deposition and another related to his refusal to produce documents. Each count carries a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of one year in jail, the Justice Department said
You can read the indictment here.
Second news item
Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows did not appear for a deposition on Friday in front of the House select committee investigating January 6…setting up a potential showdown that could lead to the panel beginning a criminal referral process against him.
Committee staffers had been prepared to go forward with the interview and waited in a room on Capitol Hill with a stenographer, but started to file out of the room nine minutes after the deadline passed…
Ahead of the scheduled deposition Friday morning, Meadows’ attorney, George J. Terwilliger III, issued a statement saying his client would not cooperate with the committee until courts ruled on former President Donald Trump’s claims of executive privilege, noting “a sharp legal dispute with the committee.”
“The issues concern whether Mr. Meadows can be compelled to testify and whether, even if he could, that he could be forced to answer questions that involve privileged communications…Legal disputes are appropriately resolved by courts. It would be irresponsible for Mr. Meadows to prematurely resolve that dispute by voluntarily waiving privileges that are at the heart of those legal issues….”No matter how important the subject matter of the committee’s work, decades of litigation over Executive Privilege shows how critically important it is for a president to have access to advice and counsel without fear that political opponents in Congress will later be able to pull away the shield of confidentiality that protects candor in those communications.”
Meadows might want to re-think things:
The committee is now moving toward voting to issue a criminal referral for him to the Justice Department as well, the committee’s co-chairs –– Reps. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Liz Cheney, R–Wyo. –– said Friday. “Mr. Meadows’s actions today—choosing to defy the law—will force the Select Committee to consider pursuing contempt or other proceedings to enforce the subpoena,” they said in a statement.
“Mr. Meadows has failed to answer even the most basic questions, including whether he was using a private cell phone to communicate on January 6th, and where his text messages from that day are,” they said.
Third news item
In the past week, Republican Rep. Paul Gosar tweeted a video showing a character with his face killing a figure with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s face. Several of the 13 House Republicans who backed a bipartisan infrastructure bill said they faced threats after their vote. In one profanity-laced voicemail, a caller labeled Rep. Fred Upton a “traitor” and wished death for the Michigan Republican, his family and staff…
…GOP Rep. Liz Cheney…said Gosar should be censured “for his continued indefensible activities.” And she blasted House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy for his silence on the matter.
“It’s a real symbol of his lack of strength, the lack of leadership in our conference right now, and the extent to which he and other leaders seem to have lost their moral compass…In a moment where you’ve got an avowed white nationalist in Rep. Gosar who has posted a video advocating the killing of another member, the idea that our leader will not stand against that but that he’s somehow going after and allowing attacks against 13 members who are conducting themselves in a serious and substantive way is really outrageous.”
Fourth news item
Police officer was only going to give a warning:
A police officer testified Friday he planned to give Ahmaud Arbery a trespass warning for repeatedly entering a home under construction before the 25-year-old Black man was chased and shot dead by neighbors who spotted him running from the property.
Glynn County police Officer Robert Rash said he spoke several times to the unfinished home’s owner, who sent him videos of Arbery at the site between Oct. 25 2019 and Feb. 23, 2020 — the day Arbery was killed at the end of a five-minute chase by white men in pickup trucks.
Rash said he had been looking for Arbery, whose identity was unknown at the time, in order to tell him to keep away from the home that was being built. He said police had a standard protocol for handling people caught trespassing — a misdemeanor under Georgia law.
“Once we make contact with the person on the property, we explain to them the homeowner does not want them there, they have no legal reason to be there,” Rash said. He added: ”I explain to that person, if you ever come back onto this property for any reason, you will be arrested.”
The defense attorney for one of three white men on trial in Georgia for murdering Ahmaud Arbery apologized Friday, a day after he said he didn’t want “any more black pastors” in court after the Rev. Al Sharpton sat with the slain man’s family.
“My apologies to anyone who might have inadvertently been offended,” attorney Kevin Gough, who represents William “Roddie” Bryan, told the judge before testimony began for the day.
“I will let the court know that if my statements yesterday were overly broad, I will follow up with a more specific motion on Monday putting those concerns in the proper context.”
Fifth news item
I quit! You quit! We all quit!:
Americans quit their jobs at a record pace for the second straight month in September, in many cases for more money elsewhere as companies bump up pay to fill job openings that are close to an all-time high.
The Labor Department said Friday that 4.4 million people quit their jobs in September, or about 3% of the nation’s workforce. That’s up from 4.3 million in August and far above the pre-pandemic level of 3.6 million. There were 10.4 million job openings, down from 10.6 million in August, which was revised higher.
The figures point to a historic level of turmoil in the job market as newly-empowered workers quit jobs, often for higher pay or better working conditions. Incomes are rising, Americans are spending more and the economy is growing, and employers have ramped up hiring to keep pace. Rising inflation, however, is offsetting much of the pay gains for workers…
Quitting has risen particularly sharply in industries that are mostly made up of in-person service jobs, such as restaurants, hotels, and retail, and factories where people work in close proximity. That suggests that at least some people quitting are doing so out of fear of COVID-19 and may be leaving the workforce.
Related: Why was the White House surprised by bad inflation numbers??
Sixth news item
Newly released internal emails reveal that the National School Boards Association coordinated with the White House and the Department of Justice before sending President Biden the notorious letter that compared concerned parents to domestic terrorists. Emails provided to Fox News show that NSBA had coordinated with the White House for weeks beforehand.
Viola Garcia, the NSBA president whom the Department of Education later named to a federal board, sent a memo to NSBA members on Oct. 11 (but dated Oct. 12), providing a timeline of the NSBA’s interaction with the White House ahead of the letter to Biden, which the NSBA sent on Sept. 29.
Five days later, on Oct. 4, the DOJ issued a memo directing law enforcement to investigate threats to school boards. On Oct. 22, the NSBA issued an apology for the letter.
The government has no business conspiring with NSBA to compare upset parents to domestic terrorists. And parents have no business attacking school board members and/or school personnel as if they were domestic terrorists.
Seventh news item
Veteran’s heartbreaking message posted before he is believed to have killed himself at the Lincoln Memorial:
Nobody ever knows when their time will come. Even less, ever get to choose that moment. Life always has ups and downs, sometimes you don’t always come out on top. With a heavy heart, If you’re reading this, its because my time has come to an end at my own hands. (Not a joke) this is the last message to my friends and family.
The rest of the message will be on the comments since IG has a limit to text.
Thanks to all those who took the time to reach out. There was nothing you could do to save me.
Nobody ever knows who is struggling or [waging] wars the eye cannot see. What does chronic depression even look like? At times I think my close friends just tolerate me. Moreover, I feel truly alone. I always have. For a long time (years) I’ve known I would take my own life.
How to support veterans’ mental health here.
Veterans can call the Veterans Crisis Line here.
Eighth news item
Democrats need to deal with the woke:
Back to the Democrats. This ideology is of the left. You are the party of the left, not the right. If you do not kick away from the woke educational agenda you will own it. Republican operatives who don’t have a clue about the implications of woke ideology, or why it is so damaging, or how to answer it in the schools, will deftly hang it around your neck. Parents will demand you take a stand, for or against, and if against what will you do about it—tell the unions that fund and support you to knock it off?
Do that. You’ll look like you have some seriousness, some guts. You’ll look like you care about parents. And it would actually be sincere: I’ve never, ever met a moderate Democrat who personally approved of the woke education regime.
Moderate Democratic officeholders fear party progressives, who might challenge them in a primary. But the fight between the party’s energetic extreme and the majority of moderate Democrats can’t be managed or dodged anymore. The election of Joe Biden papered it over. Three months ago the battle was engaged in Washington, over economic issues. It will spread back home.
Ninth news item
On the right is Daran Duffy, former candidate for mayor in Kansas City, Kansas, who says the star on his chest isn't intended to be offensive but rather a reminder that everything Hitler did was lawful #ksleg https://t.co/qTCvwostbG
— Sherman Smith (@sherman_news) November 12, 2021
2021, am I right?!!
Great parents, great kid. More please!
This 13-year-old got a Make-A-Wish and wanted a wish that could last. So, he decided to use it to feed the homeless for a year. pic.twitter.com/QqphxvyBvf
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 12, 2021
Have a great weekend.