Hump-Day Handouts

In case you were wondering, the US DOJ has been very busy:

By early summer, the grand jury investigation had taken another turn as several subpoenas were issued to state lawmakers and state Republican officials allied with Trump who took part in a plan to create fake slates of pro-Trump electors in several key swing states actually won by Biden.

At least 20 of these subpoenas were sent out and sought information about, and communications with, several lawyers who took part in the fake elector scheme, including Giuliani and John Eastman.

Why is this story so important? Because it clearly demonstrates (a few of) the dangers of Republicans being in charge of state legislatures. They may not have broken any windows, but their desire to disregard the will of the people is much worse than that. Speaking of petty tyrants, Mike Lindell is going to need a much fluffier pillow after the FBI (and a civil court) take bites out of his ass:

FBI agents seized a cellphone belonging to Mike Lindell, the MyPillow founder and prominent election denier, as part of a federal investigation into an alleged breach of voting machines in Colorado, according to Lindell.

The agents served Lindell with a search warrant and grand jury subpoena Tuesday afternoon in the drive-through area of a Hardee’s restaurant in Mankato, Minn., he said on his online TV show. Lindell said the agents questioned him about Tina Peters, the Mesa County, Colo., clerk who was indicted in March on charges that she helped an outsider copy sensitive data from the county’s elections systems in May 2021.

A document that Lindell displayed on his show, which he said was a copy of the search warrant, stated that the FBI was seeking information relating to tampering with Dominion Voting Systems equipment, the type used in Mesa and many other counties nationwide. Dominion has come under attack from former president Donald Trump and others promoting false conspiracy theories about election fraud. The company is suing Lindell, Fox News and prominent election deniers for defamation.

I just don't get it. I've always worked under the assumption you need to be really smart (or impossibly lucky) to become wealthy. There are a lot of smart people that have zero ethics, and many of them are wealthy. But Lindell is a bonafide, fall-into-an-abandoned-well moron.

Speaking of morons, Vladimir Putin is losing the war in Ukraine:

Moscow’s rapid loss of more than 2,300 square miles of territory in northeastern Ukraine has raised the prospect that the Russian military is spent as an offensive force for the foreseeable future, which could limit Russian President Vladimir Putin to defending the Ukrainian territory he already holds while leaving him open to additional defeats, according to military analysts.

Retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the former commander of U.S. Army Europe, said the Russian military had reached what military theorist Carl von Clausewitz called the “culminating point,” or the moment when an attacking force can no longer proceed. Hodges said Ukrainian forces helped bring that about.

“What’s happening now is the culmination of a couple of months of really hard work, of planning and preparation by the Ukrainian general staff, to disrupt Russian logistics, destroy command posts, destroy their artillery and ammunition supplies — to weaken them so they would be vulnerable to a counterattack,” Hodges said. The key now, he said, is: “Can the Ukrainians sustain this?”

“The Russians not only have manpower problems and will-to-fight problems, they don’t really have any friends,” Hodges said. “Iranian drones aren’t going to move the needle at all. I am very skeptical of reports of North Korean artillery ammunition coming in and making a difference.”

Listening to NPR this morning, about how embarrassed the Russian Military-Industrial Complex is, with their inability to supply vehicles, weapons, and ammunition during this conflict. But you know, back in the day (Soviet Russia) manufacturing issues were often the result of pissed off workers and middle-managers reacting to food shortages or police "crackdowns." Purely speculation, but Putin seems to be losing his internal propaganda war also. Film at eleven.

While most Republicans are dodging questions about abortion, Lindsay Graham (who isn't running again until 2026) decides to make it even more of an issue:

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has introduced a bill that would ban abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy across the United States, drawing rebuke from Democrats and reproductive rights advocates. The legislation, announced on Tuesday, has virtually no chance of passing in the Democratic-controlled Congress, but it highlights growing divisions in the country around abortion, just weeks ahead of the crucial midterm elections in November.

Abortion has taken centre stage in the lead-up to the November election, with Democratic candidates accusing their Republican opponents of pushing to violate women’s right to autonomy over their own bodies. In conservative Kansas, where Trump beat Biden by 15 percentage points in the 2020 presidential elections, residents overwhelmingly voted to preserve abortion rights in a referendum in early August.

Okay, that's enough to chew on for now. Be nice to each other...