Running Off That Hill
187 Minutes (Give or Take 76 Years). Weekend Whats, Feel Good Friday.
With its focus on Trump's refusal to call off the mob, the final summer episode of the January 6th hearing was billed as 187 Minutes. But they could've added 76 years to that number. Trump was hammering away at the legitimacy of elections throughout his presidency and he never really hid who he was or what he was up to. In some ways last night was like a confirmation hearing. Yes, there were some new details, but mostly these hearings confirmed what we already know because we saw it with our own eyes. I covered the build up to Jan 6 in near realtime in my book, Please Scream Inside Your Heart. A year and a half later, I don’t need to change a single word. The question at the conclusion of this summer's hearings is the same one we've had since the insurrection: What are we going to do about it? The fact that Trump was allowed to occupy the White House for the two weeks after January 6 is already a stain on America and democracy. Are we really going to let him run again? That's his plan. And it's a much more elaborate plan than what Trump attempted before. Axios: A radical plan for Trump’s second term. And from CNN: Takeaways from the January 6 hearings day 8. And WaPo: 5 things we learned in the Jan. 6 committee’s stunning hearing.
+ "I don’t want to say the election is over. I want to say Congress has certified the results without saying the election is over, OK?" The outtakes of Trump's Jan 6 video address could be used in post-grad psychology course to illustrate what it looks like when a malignant narcissist begins to decompensate into psychosis as his defensive delusions of grandeur collapse. (I suppose that's a little wordy for a Trump 2024 lawn sign.)
+ Of course the most discussed video of the evening was the one that showed the fisting Josh Hawley fleeing from Senate when the crowd he supposedly adored came too close for comfort. When the committee played the video of Josh Hawley his ass out of there, those in the hearing chamber burst into laughter.
+ There's no doubt these hearings are damaging the former president. But not everyone is watching. Jan. 6 hearing dominates top TV networks — except one.
+ Meanwhile, one of the subtexts of these hearings is that Pence acted presidential on January 6 while his boss acted homicidal, which sets up Pence as the supposed hero of democracy as he moves to distance himself from Trump for a 2024 run. It's worth remembering that the unctuous, smarmy, oleaginous, genuflecting, religious extremist fanned the flames of the The Big Lie right up until the last minute and had his head fully up Trump’s ass for four years of lies and corruption—and still doesn’t have the decency to testify. But credit where credit is due. He didn't follow Trump's orders to overthrow American democracy.
2. The Smile High Club
Everyone is dusting off the travel rust this summer. So the NYT (Gift Article) has a helpful guide on what you can carry on. Vibrators, Weed, Plants: What Can You Take on a Plane? "After some time searching through Ms. Welles’s backpack, the agent eventually grabbed a bullet-shaped vibrator from the bag and brandished it in the air. 'Is this an e-cigarette?' the agent asked. 'No, it’s a sex toy,' she responded with a smile, at which point her personal items were promptly returned to her and she was free to go." (I finally understand what causes turbulence.)
3. Pink Clink
"A few years ago, a strange trend started to sweep through prisons in Europe and North America. They began painting some of their cells pink. It became so common that in 2014, one in every five prisons and police stations in Switzerland had at least one detention cell that was painted a garish, flamingo pink. The decor wasn't intended as an aesthetic choice or to make millennial offenders feel more comfortable, but rather to leverage a well-known scientific study from the 1970s." BBC: How colors affect the way you think. (In 2016, they should have painted the Oval Office pink...)
4. Weekend Whats
What to Indie: Beach Bunny is one of my favorite female led indie bands and their new album Emotional Creature just dropped. Start with Oxygen.
+ What to Blues: Cristone "Kingfish" Ingram just got a major feature in WaPo that called him generational talent. So I checked him out. Oh it's good, folks. These blues will bring you joy.
5. Extra, Extra
Driving You Crazy: "Though the FCC had previously notified US telecom companies about the robocalls, Thursday's order is the first to force carriers to stop transmitting them." The FCC is cracking down on 'auto warranty' robocalls.
+ The Graine in Ukraine Is Finally on the Plane: "Russia and Ukraine signed separate agreements Friday with Turkey and the United Nations clearing the way for exporting millions of tons of desperately needed Ukrainian grain — as well as Russian grain and fertilizer — ending a wartime standoff that had threatened food security around the globe." (I hate when this invasion is referred to as a war or a standoff. One person is responsible for the death and destruction—and for the grain shortage starving people.)
+ Pump Fake: "Energy experts point to a couple of reasons heat pumps haven’t entered the mainstream. First is the name, which makes it difficult for people to recognize that it heats and cools." The global heatwave will drive the adoption of AC units in many countries where they're rare - which will in turn add to our climate change woes. WaPo on an underutilized tool. Heat pumps are efficient and eco-friendly. So why are they so rarely used? "Energy experts point to a couple of reasons heat pumps haven’t entered the mainstream. First is the name, which makes it difficult for people to recognize that it heats and cools."
+ Track Mark: "He finished so far ahead of the other runners in Thursday night's final at the World Athletics Championships that after crossing the finish line, he turned to stare down his only true opponent: the clock. But for agonizing moments, the on-field clock stubbornly showed Lyles' unofficial time as 19.32. The mark would elate any other runner in the world, but it was also the same time Michael Johnson set in the 200 meters at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Since then, it has seemed unassailable. Until now." Noah Lyles breaks Michael Johnson's U.S. record that stood since 1996.
+ Surf and Turf: I was attacked by a wild boar while surfing. "The pig pulled itself up and took a chunk out of the board with its teeth. There was a giant bite mark. That could have been me." (I've never been attacked while sitting on my couch and watching a surfing documentary.)
6. Feel Good Friday
"She stopped at her local Meijer grocery store and purchased 20 $100 gift cards and then proceeded to hand them out to random shoppers in the store — none of whom she knew. The 20 lucky recipients were stunned by the surprising gesture." WaPo: She won the lottery. Then she shared her windfall with strangers.
+ Local bank hides 500 piggy banks with $20 inside around Puget Sound. (In this market, that's probably the smartest place to put your money...)
+ Delaware will give free solar panels to low-income residents.
+ A 'true Lassie' helped a rescue team find his owner who fell 70 feet in Tahoe Forest. (My beagles would do this. My cats would just move in with the rescue team.)
+ The Marines are set to have the first Black 4-star general in their 246-year history.
+ Eerie glow in sky confuses Australian town and outs cannabis farm. (That eerie glow has been confusing my neighbors for years.)
+ "With its black-and-white checkered floor tiles and vintage signs, the historic ice cream parlor at 1999 Hyde St. hasn’t changed much from its early days in 1948. Richard Campana, the store’s current owner, has made it his mission to preserve the store’s authenticity." How 'corporate greed' nearly killed Bay Area institution Swensen’s ice cream. I grew up near a Swenson's. It gave my three sister's their first work experiences and me my first high blood sugar readings.
+ Bill Murray famously declared, I am the acorn that becomes the oak! Well, here's a timelapse of that happening.