Monday, April 22, 2024

Bits n’ pieces from east, west and beyond

by Compiled Lorraine H. Marie
Contributor | June 24, 2022 7:00 AM

East, west or beyond, sooner or later events elsewhere may have a local impact.

A recent sampling:

-Swedish manufacturer Modvion is making wind turbines out of wood. Their first prototype was 100 feet tall; they’re now working on a 300-foot model. Components include laminated veneer lumber. By not using steel

the lumber is expected to slash production of carbon emissions by 90%. The laminated boards are said to be better able to withstand high humidity, the Optimist Daily reported.

-A sketch of the third Jan. 6, 2021, House Committee hearing held June 16: an emphasis was laid on people in the U.S. have the right to choose their leaders; it is not made by just one person. Judge Michael Luttig, highly regarded in conservative legal circles, stated that Donald Trump’s plan was to destroy democracy and overturn rule of law, and that danger has not passed.

Again, significant testimony came from within the ranks of those at elevated positions in Trump’s administration. It revealed that instead of following the 1887 Electoral Count Act, Trump wanted Vice President Mike Pence to toss out votes for Joe Biden, under a plan developed by law professor John Eastman, [Eastman is a former clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas, the only Justice to support Trump’s effort to withhold documents from the Jan. 6 committee; his wife has been asked to testify about her role in attempting to undo election results. The committee has an email between Ginni Thomas and Eastman].

Eastman himself called his own plan illegal (in October 2020), and told Trump it was (along with telling numerous others). A judge testified that the vice president did not have any right to throw state votes out by calling them “disputed,” and there was no historical or legal precedent that the vice president could instead certify any proposed “alternative electoral slates.”

Nonetheless, testimony revealed continuation of efforts to create a second slate of pro-Trump electors, despite numerous White House players calling Eastman “crazy” and his plan legally indefensible. A Trump attorney testified that Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani agreed the Eastman plan could not stand up in court.

Giuliani later told the crowd at the Capitol that the Eastman theory was correct, then falsely claimed Thomas Jefferson had even used it.

Trump pressured Pence to play along, Pence refused, then Trump tweeted that he and Pence were in “total agreement” about changing the election outcome, an effort to corner Pence. Trump continued to badger Pence, to which Pence responded that his oath to support and defend the constitution prevented him from determining which electoral votes should be counted and which should not. After violence broke out at the Capitol, Trump tweeted that Pence “did not have the courage to do what needed to be done,” and the violence increased. Pence and his family were evacuated.

A Proud Boy member testified that, had Pence been found, he would have been killed (a mob was chanting “hang Mike Pence”); they missed finding him by 40 feet. Eastman persisted with his election-altering plan even after Jan. 6, and was advised that he would need a “great effing criminal defense attorney,” at which time Eastman put it into writing that he wanted a pardon.

In front of the House committee he took the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination over 100 times. The next day a member of the House Select Committee said “new evidence is breaking every single day now. Suddenly, a lot of people want to tell the truth.”

Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says in her upcoming book that she and other Cabinet members talked about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, MSN reported. She resigned Jan. 7, stating Trump’s rhetoric was at fault for the Jan. 6 riot that resulted in nine deaths.

-Ukraine-Russia headlines: US sending $1 billion more military aid to outgunned Ukraine; Russian journalist sells Nobel Prize for Ukrainian children; Kremlin claims captured American vets not protected by rules of war [which may mean the death penalty for “firing at our military guys.”]

-Blast from the past: 50 years ago this month a taped-open door led to the discovery of burglars in the

Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate building in Washington, D.C. The burglars were called “plumbers,” as in those who stop leaks; they were planning to install wiretaps. Then-President Richard Nixon was concerned about leaks. The plumbers were part of a crew who sought to control the political conversation by sabotaging opponents (such as planting fake letters in newspapers, placing spies in Democrats’ campaigns and wiretapping). It was pre-election, and the story gained no traction. Nixon won re-election.

But the story shifted when one of the burglars wrote to a judge that he’d been pressured to protect government officials, and therefore lied. The judge made the letter public, White House counsel began cooperating with prosecutors, and by April three of Nixon’s top advisors resigned. Nationally televised hearings began, and it was revealed that, contrary to Nixon’s denial of involvement, he had discussed the burglary over 30 times.

Then the existence of White House tapes was discovered, which Nixon refused to share. Heads rolled, as in firings and resignations, but eventually the tapes were released.

Articles of impeachment were passed in late July of 1974 and in early August 1974 Nixon resigned. Gerald Ford became president and granted Nixon a pardon. Roger Stone, a Nixon “operative” and political advisor to Trump, has a portrait of Nixon tattooed on his back.