Crooked Media - What A Day: The Bennie-Hill show

Friday, April 29, 2022
BY BRIAN BEUTLER & CROOKED MEDIA

 -Maria Bartiromo, coaching Mark Meadows on coaching Trump on coup-ing

Members of the House January 6 Committee have begun dropping subtle clues that the long-awaited public-hearing phase of their investigation will be Very Bad for Donald Trump and his loyalists in the GOP, aka almost all of them.

  • The committee plans to hold eight separate public hearings beginning June 9, including some that will convene in primetime, according to its chairman, Bennie Thompson. First subtle hint: Primetime congressional hearings aren’t normally a thing, even in very high-profile investigations, which means a) the committee intends to reach the largest possible audience, and b) it has material that will match the build-up. 
     
  • Second subtle hint: Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who led the House impeachment effort after January 6 and serves on the January 6 committee, said, “We now have evidence to support the story of the worst presidential political offense against the Union in American history. The… hearings in June will expose every facet of the assault against our democracy and Constitution on 1/6.” Sounds like a good story!
     
  • Last, the committee has reached the inner-most circle of coup plotters. Rudy Giuliani will appear for a deposition next month, pursuant to a subpoena, as will Donald Trump, Jr., who has agreed to testify voluntarily. Thompson has also told reporters that the committee will invite coup-adjacent GOP senators to get their sides of the story on the record before the hearings go live. 

In other completely unrelated Trump violations of his oath of office, we’re somehow still learning more.

  • In a new memoir, Geoffrey Berman, who served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, will reportedly confirm what seemed apparent from the outside: that Trump’s Justice Department pressured him with “blatant efforts to bring weak cases against [Trump’s] political foes and squash worthy cases that threatened to tarnish allies and Trump himself.
     
  • Trump’s efforts to extort Democratic governors by threatening to withhold emergency federal resources also ran deeper than we knew. According to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA), he would tell governors he expected “reciprocity” for federal assistance that should be automatic, as he did when he granted federal permission to let a cruise ship filled with COVID-19-positive passengers dock in California. 
Democrats in Washington have finally begun to question whether their strategic fetal-positioning silence in the face of relentless GOP attacks has been for the best. Fortunately, if and when they resolve to go on offense, they have a lot to work with.

Check out the latest episode of X-Ray Vision! This week, Jason and Rosie discuss the greenlit Batman sequel from Matt Reeves, Kevin Feige’s announcement at CinemaCon of ten more years of the MCU, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness being banned in Saudi Arabia, and more. Plus, Cody joins to dive deep into the comics they are reading (and writing) right now, including Zig’s fantastic Spider-Punk, Rosie’s epic-looking Godzilla one-shot, a host of hero and non-hero comics recommendations, and a comics reading list to prepare you for Doctor Strange. New episodes of X-Ray Vision drop every Friday wherever you get your podcasts.

The Biden administration has formed a new task force aimed at countering foreign interference in U.S. elections and disinformation campaigns that persuade Central Americans to migrate in groups through Mexico to the U.S.. Republicans, naturally, are at pains to kill this task force, because they believe they benefit politically from foreign election meddling and images of migrants flooding the southern border. Housed in the Department of Homeland Security, the Disinformation Governance Board will seek to identify and counter foreign disinformation campaigns that undermine U.S. security either by overwhelming border security or by trying to affect election outcomes by smearing candidates or sowing doubt about U.S. election integrity. Republicans have dubbed the new board a “Ministry of Truth” and a “censorship board”—lies aimed at getting the U.S. government out of the way of these foreign operations so that Republicans can continue to benefit from them. And in this case, Republicans include incoming Twitter owner Elon Musk.

Thanks to Omicron and its multiple subvariants, along with some questionable policy choices, and right-wing efforts to discourage vaccine uptake, the COVID-19 pandemic ceased to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated. It’s more like a pandemic of the majority of Americans who are either unvaccinated or vaccinated but not boosted, and still poses a danger to boosted people who are elderly or otherwise at high-risk. Unvaccinated Americans are still far and away the most vulnerable subset of the population, and people’s risk of bad outcomes falls sharply as they complete their vaccination courses. But as the unvaccinated share of the population has fallen, and the vaccinated population has grown, the share of COVID-19 cases and deaths caused by breakthrough infections has increased. In the winter Omicron wave, vaccinated Americans accounted for about 40 percent of the 200,000 person death toll. This statistical reality is in part a reminder of the importance of booster shots and the damage done by those who sowed doubt about vaccines in general or the need for boosters specifically. It also reflects the toll of back-to-normal, individual-responsibility messaging, which has likely made seniors and those who care about them more cavalier about the risks they face than they might otherwise be. The lesson is that though vaccines are an incredibly powerful tool, they are imperfect, and under current policies, we would need much more vaccine and booster-shot uptake to make the toll of COVID-19 comparable to a flu season.

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The Starbucks unionization juggernaut continues in Augusta, GA

Scientists hope they can use machine learning to help identify people with chronic illnesses stemming from past COVID-19 infections.

Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD) think they can brighten Democrats’ midterm outlook by claiming the mantle of patriotism, given the GOP’s, well…everything.

The only Ohio Republican Senate candidate who rejects the Big Lie is surging in the polls ahead of next week’s primary.

. . . . . .


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