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The officers agreed: Jan. 6 was an act of terrorism and the perpetrators are terrorists


In addition to the riveting, highly disturbing testimony of the four Capitol and D.C. police officers recounting their personal experiences defending the Capitol against the Trump-incited terrorist mob, Tuesday’s hearing before the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks included some harrowing video from some the officers’ body cameras. Some of that video had been previously disclosed but some appeared never to have been displayed before. The video clips played by the committee made it abundantly clear that had these people managed to reach them, many members of the Senate and House, and probably some members of their staffs, would now be dead.

D.C. Police officer Michael Fanone’s bodycam footage is linked below. His testimony after viewing it durin Tuesday’s hearing follows the footage.

This bodycam footage as well as much of the video already available to the public leads to the inescapable conclusion that these people were fully intent — and in fact had fully prepared — to kill members of the U.S. government.  Other, previously released video depicting the terrorists warning police to “prepare to die today,”  and shouting “where the fuck are they?” upon entering the building supports this conclusion as well.

“Terrorists” was the word  the officers used unsparingly and frequently in describing the violent mob. Metropolitan police officer Daniel Hodges explained why that term is appropriate in describing the perpetrators of the Jan. 6 insurrection. As reported by Politico, Hodges came prepared to defend his use of that word:

 “I can see why someone would take issue with the title of terrorist. It’s gained a lot of notoriety in our vocabulary in the past few decades, and we’d like to believe that no, that couldn’t happen here. No domestic terrorism. No homegrown threats,” Hodges said.  

“But I came prepared,” he continued. “U.S. Code title 18, part 1, chapter 113b, as in brown, section 2331: The term domestic terrorism means activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any state and, B, appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping and occur primarily during the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”

Officer Fanone echoed his fellow officer in describing the insurrectionists as “terrorists.”

It’s understandable why House Republicans attempted to stage “counter-events” in order to distract from Tuesday’s hearings. As time has passed and people’s memories have faded, it becomes easier for Republicans to attempt a re-write of history, in order to re-fashion the public’s memory of what most saw for themselves on their TV screens nearly seven months ago. Some current members of Congress now have a vested interest with their constituents — many of whom have been brainwashed into believing the election was “stolen” — in recasting the motives of those who perpetrated this crime as somehow less treacherous, less violent and less deserving of condemnation and prosecution.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) gestures toward a crowd of supporters of President Donald Trump gathered outside the U.S. Capitol to protest the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's electoral college victory Jan. 6, 2021 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. Some demonstrators later breached security and stormed the Capitol. (Francis Chung/E&E News and Politico via AP Images)
This is what supporting terrorism looks like.

Those efforts took a severe hit today. In fact, if anything was clarified in today’s hearing about these people, it is that the relatively mild sentences being meted out to some of those arrested for their actions on Jan. 6 are not severe enough.  As Officers Hodges and Fanone made clear, these were the actions of full-fledged terrorists, collectively bent on overthrowing the government of the United States through premeditated acts of violence.  Those who support their actions or try to justify them are aiding and supporting terrorism, pure and simple.

All in the media need to follow the officers’ lead here and call the perpetrators of the Jan. 6 insurrection exactly what they are.


Gym Jordan is in some serious trouble


SIdney Blumenthal’s  article  in The Guardian which I was referred to by Eric Boehlert’s twitter feed.   No wonder McCarthy, Jordan and the rest of the treason caucus are shitting themselves over these hearings.    https://t.co/0BcdKW2op6?amp=1

Good News Roundup – Wednesday, July 28


Good Day, Gnusies! Another Wednesday has rolled around and it’s time for Curlygirl and me to bring you some good news.

Yesterday’s harrowing testimony by Capitol police officers was not “good news” in that we heard first hand about their traumatic experiences on that terrible day. The good news is that these accounts are at last being heard and the truth is being laid out before the American public.

Our Joe has done all that? Wow!

When I consider that it has only been just over 6 months since President Joe Biden was inaugurated, and he faced not just the destruction of the past four years in every nook and cranny of the federal government, but also the entire 40-50 year Republican long game that led inevitably to TFG and the attempt to overthrow democracy — well, I am astonished at just how much he has done already and how much more he has set into motion.

Joe Biden rescued the country — from the pandemic (still ongoing, to be sure, but we are so much better off now than we were before Joe and his excellent team got to work) and from the economic disaster caused by Republican failure to manage the pandemic sensibly nor to protect the people and the economy from their failures.

In addition, Joe is winding down the forever wars — in as measured and careful way as is possible in such fraught situations; facing into climate change with the urgency needed; tackling inequality and social justice; restoring the DOJ, the courts and every governmental department and agency; in short, Joe is righting the ship of state in rough waters in the middle of very stormy weather. And he’s only six months into his term.

I’m so thankful we have President Biden and the superb team he has gathered around himself. I’m feeling optimistic about our future!

🎶 Musical Introduction 🎶

A Look at President Biden’s Progress So Far

The Political Brilliance of the American Rescue Plan, Mike Konczal, The Nation, July 25, 2021.

The success of the American Rescue Plan is such that it’s already receiving blowback. The criticisms, however, often contradict one another. Some detractors argue that the money was too front-loaded and will be spent too fast, while others say that too many people benefited and that the funds will largely be saved. It is difficult for both of these claims to be true, but the arguments will blur and fuel attacks that the government shelled out too much. Yet it’s important to remember the plan’s political brilliance: By eliminating the need to go back and secure more funding later, the American Rescue Plan took the question of recovery off the table, so that the Democrats can focus on passing large-scale economic reforms.


This is where it contrasts the most with President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was too small and a mix of short- and long-term investment efforts. Many in the Obama administration assumed they’d be able to go back and pass an additional stimulus bill if necessary. But high unemployment and weak job growth intensified discontent with the Democratic Party, and austerity programs imposed by the states offset the federal response. The Democratic Party had to split its priorities between transformative change and simply getting the economy going again. Centrists and Republicans, in turn, used their power to block bills that would increase temporary spending as leverage to demand long-term cuts and austerity.

The American Rescue Plan does the opposite. By spending at the scale of the problem, it takes pressure off the tense political negotiations that are consuming the Senate. As Jake Blumgart, a reporter at Governing, noted, this has left the Democrats free to focus on trying to overhaul the economy for the future. No one knows what will happen in the Senate, or whether the administration will be able to spend enough to address the long-term problems we face. But the mere fact that President Biden and the Democratic leadership can attempt to secure trillions of dollars for these priorities without having to debate how to address the unemployment rate is a massive political win. To the extent that the Democrats—and Joe Biden—accomplish anything, addressing stimulus spending first will have played a central role.

Biden’s Measured Winding Down of the Forever Wars

Biden, pulling combat forces from Iraq, seeks to end the post-9/11 era, Anne Gearan, Washington Post, July 26, 2021.

President Biden has announced the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. He has started transferring prisoners from Guantánamo Bay in hopes of eventually shutting down the prison. And on Monday, he will welcome Iraq’s prime minister to the White House for an expected announcement that U.S. combat forces will leave that country within months.

The moves reflect what is emerging as an unmistakable pillar of Biden’s foreign policy: seeking to push America past the post-9/11 phase of its history, ending 20 years of relentless focus on the Middle East and terrorism rather than threats like China and cyberattacks. The United States needs to “fight the battles for the next 20 years, not the last 20,” Biden has said. ✂️

Biden and Kadhimi will shake hands on a plan to formally end the U.S. combat mission within about five months, the administration official said.

The U.S. military will retain a training and advisory role, however, and it is not yet clear whether the current force of about 2,500 would actually get much smaller. The United States had about 170,000 troops in Iraq in 2007, at the height of the U.S.-led war against al-Qaeda and other militant groups. ✂️

For Biden, the persistent U.S. presence, and the ongoing risk to U.S. troops there, makes no sense in Afghanistan and only a little in Iraq at a time when an increasingly powerful, wealthy and aggressive superpower like China is on the rise.

The long view

Day-to-day, Biden’s agenda looks rocky. But congressional Democrats say things are far rosier if you take the long view. Paul Kane, Washington Post, July 24, 2021,

A hallmark of President Biden’s agenda on Capitol Hill is that, viewed inside a given six-day window, it usually looks like choppy waters.

But take the long view, over the past six months, and things appear a bit more smooth. Biden has been slowly but steadily notching accomplishments that have solid support from voters. ✂️

“Political momentum and political capital is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the more of it you have. It is not like a finite resource that you can run out of if you spend too much of it. What happens is that if we do a lot of positive things, then we’ve got more political clout to do even more positive things,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said. ✂️

“When you go into a job like this, there’s an acute sense of the clock ticking and you don’t want to spend the rest of your life regretting what you didn’t do. And I think he’s decided that he’s going to make the most of this opportunity,” he (Sen. Angus King (I-ME)) said.

🎶 Music for Can-Do Joe 🎶

💉 Health News 💉

When President Biden was a Senator from Delaware, he co-sponsored the Americans with Disabilities Act, so it is no wonder he is now fighting for people suffering from long covid who have been left with a permanent disability:

Biden says long-term effects of covid-19 can be considered a disability under federal civil rights laws, John Wagner, Washington Post, July 26, 2021.

“These conditions can sometimes rise to the level of a disability,” Biden said. “So we’re bringing agencies together to make sure Americans with long covid, who have a disability, have access to the rights and resources that are due under the disability law, which includes accommodations and services.” ✂️

As part of that effort, the Department of Education issued a document providing information about the responsibility of schools to provide services and “reasonable modifications” for children for whom long covid is a disability.

The guidance issued by the administration makes clear that long covid is not automatically a disability and that an “individualized assessment” is required to determine whether a person’s long-term symptoms “substantially limits a major life activity.”

Be smart: Resume wearing masks in some situations

CDC Tells The Vaccinated To Mask Up In Some Settings. Our Questionnaire Can Guide You, Sheila Mulrooney Eldred, NPR, July 27, 2021.


If you hung your mask up in May after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said face coverings were no longer necessary for vaccinated people, you’re probably not eager to start masking up once more. And with today’s announcement that some vaccinated people should mask up again in certain situations because of the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, your head may be spinning.

The new guidance is targeted at vaccinated people who live in areas with “high and substantial transmission” and focuses on indoor settings.

Given that the recent rise in hospitalizations is probably due to people no longer wearing masks at the appropriate time, says Charlotte Baker, assistant professor of epidemiology at Virginia Tech, many health experts welcomed the reversal.

But there are many unanswered questions, as people look for guidance in specific situations: Do I really need to mask up at the grocery store? How about on a college campus that requires students to be vaccinated? What about roller coasters?

(Go to the NPR link above to get the lowdown)

This is an enlightening thread on the social psychology of con artist “marks” and offers a solution for cooling them down:


Medical Groups Call For Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines For Health Care Workers, Nina Golgowski, HuffPost, July 26, 2021.

More than 50 major health care organizations have signed a letter urging health care and long-term care employers to require their employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as cases begin to rise again across the U.S.

“We call for all health care and long-term care employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” the organizations said in the letter published Monday. The American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Physicians are among the groups that signed on to the letter.

The groups cited the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus, which has been spreading among unvaccinated people, for the recent surge in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths across the U.S.

“Vaccination is the primary way to put the pandemic behind us and avoid the return of stringent public health measures,” the letter states. “Unfortunately, many health care and long-term care personnel remain unvaccinated.”


They thought that would supercharge their already happy prospects for 2022 by riding an anti-vax or anti-vax mandate wave. And now they’re thinking they may have miscalculated.”

Is Vaxed America Running Out of Patience? Josh Marshall, TPM, July 25, 2021.

But among the vaccinated there’s a growing realization that we’re going backwards, seeing rates go up, seeing some mask mandates come back because of the non-vaccinated. And people are getting frustrated. That is a big part of why you’re seeing Republicans not simply encouraging people to get vaccinated but even more trying to ditch the vaccine-resistant brand. They’re feeling exposed to shifting public opinion. In short, they don’t want to be accountable for what they’ve done.

exasperatedTo understand the politics, we need to take a different look at the numbers. We’re used to hearing the rather disappointing fact that even months into the vaccination drive and with surplus vaccines everywhere only just under half (49.1%) the US population is vaccinated. Epidemiologically, that’s bad news. But it looks different from an electoral perspective. 60% of adults (over 18) are vaccinated and fully 69% have received at least one dose. Shift our perspective in this way and you see that when you’re talking about the political nation, a big, verging on overwhelming majority are vaccinated. Among people over 65, the group that votes most consistently, 80% are vaccinated. Furthermore there is a lot of evidence that vaccination rates escalate with age. People in their forties are substantially more vaccinated than people in their twenties. So higher rates of vaccination align with propensity to vote.

If you’re vaccinated and are starting to wear a mask again at the grocery store or seeing reports that mask mandates may come back you know who is driving this: the voluntarily unvaccinated. It’s literally true. If 100% of the population over 12 was vaccinated none of this would be happening. Yes, there are breakthrough infections among the vaccinated – and more than we’d like to see. But that’s spill over from the unvaccinated community among whom Delta COVID is spreading like wildfire.

Thankfully, it looks like pressure is working on some:

Vaccination Rates Creeping Up As Summer Infections Surge, Philip Marcelo, HuffPost, July 26, 2021.

Infections are climbing across the U.S., and mask mandates and other COVID-19 prevention measures are making a comeback in some places as health officials issue increasingly dire warnings about the highly contagious delta variant.

But in a possible sign that the warnings are getting through to more Americans, vaccination rates are creeping up again, offering hope that the nation could yet break free of the coronavirus if people who have been reluctant to receive the shot are finally inoculated.

Vaccinations ticked up over the weekend, with about 657,000 vaccines administered Saturday and nearly 780,000 on Sunday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 7-day rolling average on Sunday was about 583,000 vaccinations a day, up from about 525,000 a week prior.

Mississippi Newspaper article 

It’s a good sign to see an article like this in a Mississippi paper. Evidence is mounting that even a mild case of COVID-19 can cause severe erectile disfunction in men, as well as reduced sperm count due to the virus invading reproductive tissue. Perhaps the potential loss of sexual function/fertility might persuade some vaccine refusers to reconsider?

COVID-19 Can Cause Male Infertility And Sexual Dysfunction—But Vaccines Do Not, Ranjith Ramasamy, Mississippi Free Press, July 27, 2021.

Contrary to myths circulating on social media, COVID-19 vaccines do not cause erectile dysfunction and male infertility.


What is true: SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, poses a risk for both disorders.

Until now, little research has been done on how the virus or the vaccines affect the male reproductive system. But recently, physicians and researchers conducting research here at the University of Miami have shed new light on these questions.

The team, which includes me, has discovered potentially far-reaching implications for men of all ages–including younger and middle-aged men who want to have children. ✂️

For the millions of American men who remain unvaccinated, you may want to again consider the consequences if and when this highly aggressive virus finds you.

Possibly a low-cost vaccine for the world!


🎶 Music Break! 🎶

👮🏼👮🏽‍♂️ House 1/6 Commission 👮🏽‍♂️👮🏼

For a good rundown of the highlights of yesterday’s hearing (including quotes from Chairman Bennie Thompson’s remarks and Liz Cheney’s, among others, check out hpg’s Evening Shade from last night.

Trump officials can testify in inquiries into efforts to subvert election outcome and Jan. 6 riot, Justice Dept. says. Katie Benner, New York Times, July 27, 2021.


“The extraordinary events in this matter constitute exceptional circumstances warranting an accommodation to Congress,” he wrote, noting that the information sought by Congress was directly related to the question of whether Mr. Trump tried to use the Justice Department to advance his “personal political interests.”

The department told former officials that they could provide unrestricted testimony “so long as the testimony is confined to the scope of the interviews set forth by the committees” and does not reveal grand-jury information, classified information or pending criminal cases. ✂️

The Justice Department is still sending the committee documents related to its inquiry, according to a committee aide. Documents sent to the congressional panels this summer revealed that Mr. Trump and his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, were pressuring Jeffrey A. Rosen, the acting attorney general, to investigate claims of election fraud that investigators had found to be baseless. ✂️

In parallel with the congressional inquiries, the Justice Department’s inspector general is examining how Mr. Trump and the White House pressured former department officials during their final days in office. Mr. Trump has argued that executive privilege prevents former officials from cooperating with the inspector general, but those officials are likely to consider the Justice Department’s contrary view in deciding whether to provide information.



Riveting Testimony Tuesday

TASING, THREATS, RACIAL SLURS: CAPITOL COPS’ ASTONISHING TESTIMONY, Jennifer Bendery and Ryan J. Rielly, HuffPost, July 27, 2021.

Four police officers who battled a violent mob of Donald Trump’s supporters in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol testified Tuesday about the horrors they faced that day, as Congress began its formal inquiry into the riot. The officers described vicious attacks, racial epithets and fears for their lives ― all during an event that some Republican lawmakers still say was nothing more than a tourist visit. ✂️

The testimony from the officers ― two from the Metropolitan Police Department, two from U.S. Capitol Police ― was a brutal rebuttal to Republican lawmakers who have tried to downplay the reality of the attack. The attack resulted in more than 140 injured police officers and three dead: Officer Brian Sicknick, who suffered strokes the next day, and two other officers who died by suicide shortly after the attack. ✂️

Dunn said there is no question that the Capitol attack was politically motivated and alluded to Trump as a “hit man” who sent his mob to storm the building. He didn’t seem to have a specific ask of the committee, but he offered a parting message to “the rioters, the insurrectionists, the terrorists of that day.”

“Democracy went on that night,” said Dunn. “It still continues to exist today. Democracy is bigger than any one person and any one party.

“You all tried to disrupt democracy that day. You all failed.”

Capitol Police officer Daniel Hodges 

Capitol cop praised for mic drop answer on why he refers to pro-Trump rioters as ‘terrorists’, Tom Boggioni, Raw Story, July 27, 2021.

Responding to a question from Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) about his use of the term “terrorists” to describe the followers of former president Donald Trump who stormed the Capitol on Jan 6th, Capitol policeman Daniel Hodges read the definition of “terrorism” into the record to the applause of viewers watching the House hearing.

Hodges, who was filmed during the riot being crushed between doors as he defended lawmakers on that day, told the Democratic lawmaker, “I can see why someone would take issue with the title of terrorist, it’s gained a lot of notoriety in our vocabulary in the past few decades … But I came prepared.”


Adam Kinzinger found the line he would not cross to follow TFG

I give him credit here for what he won’t accept, but I won’t lionize a guy who voted with TFG 99% of the time in the first two years of the maladministration (including the trillion dollar tax cut for the 1%) and close to 84% of the time in the last two years,( including pulling us out of the Paris accord, allocating “emergency” spending on the border wall and refusing to vote at all on restoring parts of the Voting Rights Act). He is (and probably always will be) a conservative. (Source story: OneIllinois)


🎶 Music for Doing the Right Thing 🎶

Nice try, Mo — but you’re going to court

Justice Dept: Republican Rep. Mo Brooks may be sued over Jan. 6 speech to Trump supporters, Devlin Barrett and Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, July 27, 2021.

Past court opinions and Justice Department legal interpretations have given broad safeguards to protect elected officials who are sued over their public statements. But in the case of Brooks, the Justice Department decided he went too far.

The agency “cannot conclude that Brooks was acting within the scope of his office or employment as a Member of Congress at the time of the incident out of which the claims in this case arose,” the court filing said. “Inciting or conspiring to foment a violent attack on the United States Congress is not within the scope of employment of a Representative — or any federal employee.” ✂️                             

Brooks had also asked for the House to intervene in the lawsuit, but earlier Tuesday the general counsel declined, saying in a letter that it was “not appropriate” to get involved in a dispute between two members.

These losers were shut down — GOOD


$ Economic News $

The following story is well worth reading in full. It discusses the effort to get a $15 minimum wage in some detail (and what has been going on this year, thanks — yes, thanks to! —  the pandemic. Talk about a silver lining!)

$15 wage becoming a norm as employers struggle to fill jobs, Christopher Rugaber, AP, July 27, 2021.

It is hardly the official federal minimum wage — at $7.25, that level hasn’t been raised since 2009 — but for many lower-skilled workers, $15 an hour has increasingly become a reality.

Businesses, particularly in the restaurant, retail and travel industries, have been offering a $15 wage to try to fill enough jobs to meet surging demand from consumers, millions of whom are now spending freely after a year in lockdown. And many of the unemployed, buoyed by stimulus checks and expanded jobless aid, feel able to hold out for higher pay.

The change since the pandemic has been swift. For years, and notably in the 2020 presidential race, labor advocates had trumpeted $15 an hour as a wage that would finally allow low-paid workers to afford basic necessities and narrow inequality. It struck many as a long-term goal.

And when jobs are plentiful and pay is better, you get rising consumer confidence!


If you had trouble getting products fixed under warranty, the FTC wants to hear your horror story, Chris Velazco, Washington Post, July 2021.

Earlier this month, President Biden signed a broad executive orderthat — among other things — tasked the Federal Trade Commission with tackling “unfair anticompetitive restrictions on third-party repair or self-repair of items, such as the restrictions imposed by powerful manufacturers that prevent farmers from repairing their own equipment.” Then, just last week, the FTC followed the White House’s lead and unanimously voted to take action.

If this policy push ultimately leads to “Right to Repair” laws being passed, you might be able to easily fix your own ailing gadgets with official repair manuals and parts. Not exactly the handy type? That’s okay — you may also have access to a wider array of third-party repair shops and technicians to help you instead. ✂️

“It sends all of the right signals that the FTC is going to get more engaged around these issues,” said Aaron Perzanowski, a professor of law at Case Western Reserve University. “There are, of course, still lots of unanswered questions in terms of what specific enforcement actions would look like, how companies could respond and potentially what the courts have to say about those efforts.”

Walmart Stepping Up for Employees — including part-timers

This is a BFD. I cannot believe it is Walmart again doing something good (the other recent one was the cheap prescriptions deal), and I am very glad to see it. Walmart has more than a million employees and what a turnaround! From one of the worst (especially to part timers — Walmart made a dark art of keeping as many staff as possible PT to avoid having to give benefits like health plans) — now they are offering their staff — both full time and part time — something that could translate into a life-changing boost for thousands of people:

Walmart announces plan to pay 100% of college tuition and books for its associates, Lori Konish, CNBC, July 27, 2021.

In an effort to help curb soaring student loan debts, Walmartannounced Tuesday it will pay 100% of college tuition and book costs for its associates, starting Aug. 16.


Walmart, the largest U.S. private employer, will drop its existing $1-per-day fee for associates who participate in its Live Better U education program.

With the new plan, Walmart plans to invest almost $1 billion over the next five years in career training and development for its employees.

About 1.5 million part-time and full-time associates of Walmart and its Sam’s Club subsidiary will be eligible to learn new skills and earn college degrees, the company said.


This could truly be life-changing for a lot of people. I did my degrees like this — at my local university while working full time in retail. I’m feeling a lot more favorably disposed toward Walmart these days. 

🌱 Environment and Climate Change 🌱

Fighting climate change can be good for the economy, too!


EXCLUSIVE: Biden mileage rule to exceed Obama climate goal, Tom Krisher and Hope Yen, AP, July 27, 2021.

In a major step against climate change, President Joe Biden is proposing a return to aggressive Obama-era vehicle mileage standards over five years. He’s then aiming for even tougher anti-pollution rules after that to forcefully reduce greenhouse gas emissions and nudge 40% of U.S. drivers into electric vehicles by decade’s end. ✂️

Making good on Biden’s promise during the presidential campaign, the regulatory action would tighten tailpipe emissions standards rolled back under President Donald Trump.

C’mon, let’s leave the gas-guzzlers behind and
build a better future with EVs!

Acknowledging Biden’s goal of cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least half by 2030, the rules would begin with the 2023 car model year and start by applying California’s 2019 framework agreement on emissions standards reached between Ford, Volkswagen, Honda, BMW and Volvo, according to three of the officials. The California deal increases the mileage standard and cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 3.7% per year.

Requirements ramp up in 2025 to Obama-era levels of a 5% annual increase in the mileage standard and a similar cut in emissions. They then go higher than that for model year 2026, one of the people said, perhaps in the range of 6% or 7%.

Biden administration to curb toxic wastewater from coal plants with new rule, Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, July 26, 2021.

In a new rulemaking process kicked off Monday, President Biden’s team is aiming to undo one of the Trump administration’s major regulatory rollbacks. Last year, the Trump EPA watered down rules forcing many coal plants to treat wastewater with modern filtration methods and other technology before it reached waterways that provide drinking water for thousands of Americans.

“What we found is that the Trump administration’s 2020 rule really is lacking,” Radhika Fox, the EPA’s top water official, said in an interview Monday. “We think that we can do better when it comes to reducing water pollution from coal power plants.”

The power plant wastewater rule is just one of dozens of Trump administration rollbacks that the Biden team is seeking to reverse in its effort to tackle climate change and reduce pollution that often overburden the poorest communities in the United States.

⚖️ Justice ⚖️

Criminal Justice


Housing justice

Brilliant! More of this everywhere, please!


🎶 Music for Home Sweet Homes for more Americans 🎶

😩😖 Consequences 😖😫

“Ambushing Tucker Carlson while he is in a store with his family is totally inexcusable — no public figure should be accosted regardless of their political persuasion or beliefs simply due to the intolerance of another point of view,” a Fox News spokesperson told Mediaite in a statement.”

Oh, So Now Fox News Is Suddenly Against Ambushing People, Amanda Terkel, HuffPost, July 26, 2021.

Fox News is outraged when their big-name hosts are ambushed, but it is totally fine with its big-name hosts doing the ambushing. Ambushes were a central part of the show of Bill O’Reilly, who was Fox’s most prominent host for years. (He left in 2017, under the disgrace of a series of sexual harassment allegations.) ✂️

I was far from the only person subjected to the Fox News ambush machine. In the three years before O’Reilly went after me, his producers ― such as Watters ― went after about 50 people. And the ambushes continued after my encounter. There were other journalists, college professors, judges, lawyers, bureaucrats and educators ― some of whom were hardly even public figures, especially for a national TV audience. ✂️

Watters also accosted regular, non-public individuals on the street for the sole purpose of making them look foolish. In 2016, he produced a racist segment mocking Asian Americans he “interviewed” in New York City’s Chinatown. After an uproar, he eventually apologized but said it had been intended to be “tongue-in-cheek.”

Fox News did not immediately return a request for comment on why ambushing me was fine, but ambushing Carlson was not.

Judge Comments On Flight Risk, Eye-Popping Size Of Bail Package At Barrack Arraignment, Josh Kovensky, TPM, July 26, 2021.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara agreed to impose strict travel restrictions on Barrack, demanding that he inform all private jet charter providers he had used for the past three years and send them copies of his bond agreement.

“I find that there are conditions to indicate the risk of flight is present,” the judge said.

In a later discussion of the consequences of Barrack potentially violating his historically large $250 million bail agreement, the judge said: “I believe that might wipe you out, sir.”

Republicans in Disarray

Looks like non-stop obstruction, corruption and insurrection kinda makes the rank and file start to get uneasy:

AP-NORC poll: Many Republicans uneasy about party’s future, Jill Colvin and Hannah Fingerhut, AP, July 27, 2021.

A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research captures widespread unease among Republicans over everything from the direction of the country to the state of American democracy and, in particular, President Joe Biden. Just 15% approve of the way Biden is handling his job, and 66% continue to say the Democrat was illegitimately elected, a lie perpetuated by Trump that underscores his persistent grip on GOP voters.

Republicans have plenty of concern about their own party, too. Fewer than half of Republicans, 41%, say they are optimistic about the GOP’s future. Just 13% say they are “very” optimistic. And one third, 33%, say they are pessimistic.

Just a few seats shy of majorities in the House and the Senate, Republican leaders hope they are within striking distance of retaking control of Congress in next year’s midterm elections. But the findings about the party’s lukewarm optimism could be an early warning sign of lagging enthusiasm among Republican voters, particularly without Trump on the ballot after he helped lift congressional candidates in 2020.

⚡️ Lightning RoundUp ⚡️

⚡️ Republicans Can’t Hide From a Bipartisan January 6 Investigation, Tim Murphy, Mother Jones, July 25, 2021.

⚡️ Opinion: The heroes of Jan. 6 expose the lies that Republicans keep telling us, Karen Tumulty, Washington Post, July 27, 2021.

⚡️ 7 Key Takeaways From The First Day Of Jan. 6 Commission Testimony, Sara Boboltz, HuffPost, July 27, 2021.

⚡️ Not a moment too soon: Pelosi exploded the myth of bipartisanship, Nicole Hemmer, CNN, July 27, 2021.

⚡️A very worthwhile read: The Christian nationalist assault on democracy goes stealth — but the pushback is working, Paul Rosenberg, Salon, July 24, 2021.

⚡️ I don’t agree with everything he says (for example, his solutions sound a lot like trickle down — give property owners more control and they will naturally do the right thing and stop NIMBYing — to which, I’d say NO, human experience is that people with power often do not do the right thing), but this analysis of the reality of systemic racism is very well presented to a Bible-believing audience, so worth reading!  

Structural Racism Isn’t Wokeness, It’s Reality, David French, The Dispatch, July 25, 2021. 

⚡️ Where Do Wars Come From? Michael T Klare, The Nation, July 19, 2021.

⚡️ More on righteous anger of the vaccinated: As Virus Cases Rise, Another Contagion Spreads Among the Vaccinated: Anger, Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, July 27, 2021.

⚡️ EXPLAINER: Employers have legal right to mandate COVID shots, Mae Anderson and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, AP, July 27, 2021.

⚡️ I posted a different article talking about this last week; here’s a new one (social connection is high on the hierarchy of human needs): How Trumpists Prey on Loneliness, and Loneliness Preys on Trumpists, Matt Lewis, Daily Beast, July 26, 2021.

⚡️ One way people seek social connection and meaning is through religion, and radical religion is another threat we need to recognize as a society: A Homicidal Church Is Ruining This Country With Putin’s Help, Will Cathcart,  Daily Beast, July 26, 2021.

💗 How Can You Help Build Our Democracy Back Better? 💗

Put your beautiful bleeding liberal heart into it! 🥰

Democratic litigation hero, Marc Elias was the legal eagle behind the 60 Big Lie losses after the election. Here’s his website, Democracy Docket. You can find information about current cases he is fighting to defend voting rights around the country, as well as actions you can take to help fight voter suppression at the link!

Write to voters around the country with Postcards to Voters. Progressive Muse usually posts an update on current campaigns in the comments and you can also check out the website. It’s easy, fun and it really works to GOTV!


🎩 Also, Goody posted a great list of links and I am going to borrow it because it’s great! 🎩

The only way they can win is by keeping people from voting.  They are working like heck to make that happen and we need to do all we can to keep 2022 from being a year when they grab the Senate and House back from us.

How do we do that?  Fight voter suppression!   

What can you do?

  • Contact your local representative NOW to encourage them to pass the For the People Act.  This link makes it easy to do!
  • The ACLU plays a key role in filing lawsuits that often stop voter suppression.  Get involved with them at this link.  
  • The League of Women Voters work year-round to combat voter suppression through advocacy, grassroots organizing, legal action and public education.   You can get involved with them at this link
  • Volunteer with Black Votes Matter at this link.   They have on the ground work in 10 states and people from other states can write postcards, phone bank, fundraise, and text.
  • Spread The Vote works to get voters IDs before voting begins.  You can volunteer with them at this link.  
  • CALL YOUR SENATORS and let them know that voting rights are at the top of your agenda!
  • Most important: DON’T LOSE HOPE.  This is a giant and important fight for us but, win or lose, we keep fighting and voting and organizing and spreading truth and light.  We never give up.


U.S. House of Representatives:* Telephone:  202-225-3121
* Website:  http://www.house.gov/ 

U.S. Senate:* Telephone:  202-224-3121
* Website:  http://www.senate.gov/

Find your member of Congress and contact him or her:
Contact your Representative
Contact your Senator


And remember, all politics is local and personal! Let’s work to flip state and local elected positions Democratic!

Sister District Project — organization that is working to help Dems win state legislature races.

💙 RoundUp WindDown 💙

This is how Miss CG lets me know it is time to stop
all that tapping and wind down for the night!

That’s a wrap for me and CG for another Wednesday. As always, I want to encourage you to give your own health and emotional well-being a high priority. You are needed and in order to be able to do all you want to do — in your private goals and in your determination to make the world a better place — you need to be in the best health that you can be in. 

So, eat nutritious food, get some rest and try — as hard as you can because this is not a little thing! — try to get outdoors for a little time each day if you can. Getting outside helps ground us to the earth and lets our spirits be refreshed gazing at trees and sky, hearing birds, seeing greenery. Even in the city, in the densest blocks of buildings crammed together — there is always the sky between the buildings, and a few dandelions poking up between the cracks in the sidewalk. Marvel at the resilience of life and know that you are resilient, too.

Time to get this little (big) pup out for a last evening constitutional. 

Happy Wednesday, Gnusies!

Cartoon: Tummy Hurts



House Goober Gang, including Greene and Gaetz, run off by protesters during cynical publicity stunt


In a cynical attempt at counterprogramming the Jan. 6 House Select Committee hearings, the 4G Goober Gang—Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, and Paul Gosar—sought to draw attention to the wretched state of the “political prisoners” who were arrested in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, many of whom remain in stir.

It didn’t go quite as planned.

The Hill:

The Republican lawmakers had gathered Tuesday to press the Department of Justice (DOJ) for a status report on individuals arrested following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, who they referred to as “political prisoners.”

But they were repeatedly interrupted and eventually ended the event after counterprotesters got too close to the speakers.

One protester repeatedly blew a whistle during the event, and other demonstrators were holding signs that read “Jan 6th was an inside job, vets for democrats” and “Traitors + Rapists: Sit Down,” the latter likely referring to Gaetz, who is under investigation for an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl.

Oh, and here are some clips, in case you prefer a visual:



Note that Rep. Greene backed down and stopped asking questions exactly 30 seconds after declaring, “We will not back down, we will not stop asking questions.” What a warrior.

Ah, but the MTG bum’s rush was just an aperitif. Tuck into this tasty morsel, folks:


So the only person at the press conference who actually refused to stop asking questions was this reporter, who wouldn’t relent in inquiring about Matt Gaetz’s (alleged) serial abuses. 

To be fair, we should be concerned about the rights of any person—citizen or not—who’s in jail or prison awaiting trial. But somehow I doubt the Goofus Brigade cares about the hundreds of thousands of nontraitors who are detained and awaiting trial in the U.S. If there really is a legitimate concern about the rights of the Jan. 6 rioters who are currently incarcerated, I’d rather hear it from Amnesty International than Assholes Incorporated.

Considering that Greene and Gaetz can’t find a venue in which to disseminate their mind poisons and the fact that their vaunted freedom tour is sucking up resources faster than Donald Trump Jr.’s sinuses, they might think about taking a break from their performative bullshit.

Then again, what the hell else are they going to do? Legislate? Yeah, that’s a good one. 

It made comedian Sarah Silverman say “THIS IS FUCKING BRILLIANT” and prompted author Stephen King to shout “Pulitzer Prize!!!” (on Twitter, that is). What is it? The viral letter that launched four hilarious Trump-trolling books. Get them all, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Just $12.96 for the pack of 4! Or if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.

Yes My Friends, It Was Literally Treason


Treason is the only crime defined in the U.S. Constitution. According to Article III, Section 3:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Does the fact that January 6th, 2021 insurrection was not done on behalf of an enemy nation constitute “levying war”? Why yes Ophelia, yes it does. 

Levying war isn’t limited to formally declaring war. It includes any forcible opposition to the execution of a public law. Such “forcible opposition” ordinarily requires actual use of force by multiple people with the common purpose of preventing some law from being enforced. Weapons aren’t always required; sheer numbers can be enough.

It’s hard to see how the above paragraph does not exactly mirror the insurrection of January 6th. Somewhere between 800 and 5000 insurrectionists stormed the capitol (fulfilling the requirement that it is by multiple people), calling for the heads of the vice president and members of congress in a desperate attempt to overturn a presidential election. Police were attacked and beaten, entry ways were forced open, glass doors and windows smashed (fulfilling the requirement that it must be forcible), all in an attempt to halt the execution of a constitutionally mandated electoral certification (fulfilling the requirement that the purpose is to prevent a law from being enforced) and it was all captured live and on camera by news media and millions of eye witnesses (easily fulfilling the two witness requirement).

It literally fulfills every single aspect of the crime of high treason. So while the Justice Department has declined to file treason charges, or even sedition charges against the insurrectionists for reasons of prosecutorial practicality, make no mistake. They know, and you should know that this was in fact treason.

We here should be on a mission to call this what it was, to never let the republicans or any others who supported it forget that it was treason, we know it was treason and it will always be remembered as treason. They, one and all are traitors to our country as they have chosen to support treason over the constitution.

To dispel some of this site's hysteria; aka the truth about Delta


This is going to be simple and relatively short.  There are no links to stories from the BBC, nor links to the NHS for medical information.  It’s simply a repost of answers I received today that cleared things up for me and should clear things up here.

I am a diabetic, and I went to my doctor today to request refills on some of my meds, as well as to ask a question about Delta.  I wear my vaccination card as a lanyard, on purpose, because my wallet was destroying the card and I’m rather proud of being vaccinated.

Now, for what my doctor told me when I asked him. 

1) Delta is faster and more contagious than normal; that is true.

2) Those who are vaccinated have almost no reason to fear it.  Breakthrough cases do happen, but the symptoms are weak and the recovery swift.

3) Masks are no longer required, but they are a good idea if you are in a large group of people.  In a small group, or on your own, the masks are no longer necessary. 

4) I was wise to get my vaccine when I did because of my diabetes.  For me, Covid was more dangerous for that reason, and being newly vaccinated doesn’t provide the protection straightaway that someone vaccinated in March (me) has. 

5) Delta is spreading rapidly, and is extremely dangerous:  To the unvaccinated.  It’s not doing much to the vaccinated.

6) There is no evidence that I need a booster shot yet.  That is what I came in to ask him, anyway.  If I needed a booster, and thus far, no.  (I have Pfizer).

So, this is still a thing and it is serious.  But hermiting away in your house isn’t warranted unless you can’t be vaccinated.  The breakthrough cases are few and ar between.  It could be (though he didn’t say this) that the breakthroughs may be happening to those who are only recently vaccinated.

Covid is a problem still.  Mostly for those who refused to be vaccinated.  But it is not King’s Superflu.  Precaution is wise, but total panic isn’t going to help. 

Keep your hands washed, mask up in crowds, remember that the vaccine’s protection doesn’t kick in immediately, and keep your head on straight. 

I hope this helps. 

WATCH Snowflakes Gaetz, Greene, et al, Flee Their Paltry Pro-Insurrection Press Conference


On Capitol Hill Tuesday morning a bipartisan committee initiated hearings on the January 6th insurrection incited by Donald Trump. The first session (which Trump to upstage) focused on the testimony of heroic police officers who were among the victims of the riotous mobs that hoped to disrupt the functions of Congress and to overturn the will of the American people. They failed.

Also on Tuesday morning, another less ethical group of representatives staged their own partisan sideshow in a pitiful attempt to draw attention away from the hearings. They also failed. However, the Republican Pro-Insurrection Caucus press conference did manage to score a mention in the congressional hearing by Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, who noted that…

We’ve got people right now in front of the Justice Department asking to release some of the very same people to be released, even though we’re testifying about the trauma and the agony and everything that happened to us. It’s pathetic, and they shouldn’t be elected officials anymore.”


The people that Sgt. Gonell was referring to at the Justice Department were the cream of the GOP’s Lunatic Brigade: Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Louis Gohmert, and Paul Gosar. They gathered together in support of the domestic terrorists who tried to shut down the U.S. Congress as it was carrying out its constitutional duty to certify the election. It did not go well for them.


First of all, it’s clear that the press didn’t appear to be particularly interested. The StormTrumpers were outnumbered by protesters and security. The protesters made sure to get their signs in front of the cameras with messages like “Pedophiles for Trump” and “Traitors and Rapists Sit down.” And a lone whistleblower added some audio activism to the affair.

Facing this handful of “intolerant leftists” (as one of the GOP shills called them) was apparently too much for the Trumpublicans. So they turned tail and bravely ran away. All the while complaining about having been “shut down.” Which is ironic considering that they didn’t care at all about their own Capitol being shut down by the cretins they were there to defend.

Notice that none of the protesters vandalized any property or assaulted anyone with flagpoles or bear mace. This is what a peaceful protest actually looks like. And it didn’t take much to send the QAnon Quartet scampering off. Greene tried to show some gumption. “To the guy that’s blowing the whistle,” she gamely declared, “we are not deterred.” Then she immediately deterred herself into her getaway car.

Gaetz was followed by a persistent reporter, Lauren Windsor, asking a perfectly relevant question. “Are you a pedophile, Congressman Gaetz” she aske at least eleven times. And with all of those opportunities, Gaetz didn’t bother to deny it even once.

This fiasco comes on the heels of another recent catastrophic political event headlined by Gaetz and Greene. They went on a national “Put America First” tour. But they forgot to put their financial house in order and, as a result

“Their campaigns and joint fundraising committee reported a combined loss of $342,000 within two months after kicking off their tour on 7 May at The Villages in Florida while pulling in less than $60,000 in contributions, according to Federal Election Commission reports reviewed by the publication.”

If this is any indication of how the 2022 congressional mid-term election is going, Republicans may be in a heap of trouble. But that is no reason for Democrats to get complacent. The future of American democracy is on the table, and those who value it need to work harder than ever to keep and expand the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. While episodes like this are entertaining and encouraging, they must not lead to letting down our guard. The stakes have never been higher.

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Fox Nation vs. Reality:
The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.

Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning


I came across this Slate article on drowning yesterday and decided it was fairly important to pass along. It starts:

The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the couple swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine; what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not 10 feet away, their 9-year-old daughter was drowning.

These weren’t bad parents; they just didn’t know what a drowning child looks like in the water. It’s very different from the TV version, with a person yelling and waving their arms. Most drownings are silent, and they can happen right in front of other people. In fact, the Instinctive Drowning Response prevents any vocalizations, or waving of arms to signal for help.

A child can go from swimming to drowning in less than a minute.

To give you an idea of what a drowning child actually looks like, please watch the video below. It’s painful but it’s necessary:

From the linked Slate article:

There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the No. 2 cause of accidental death in children, ages 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents)—of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult.

What do you look for? 

  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs—vertical
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder

To that I would add: Arms flailing at the sides, and head under the surface of the water for more than a few seconds.

For adults where kids are swimming, I’d also add: Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t depend on a lifeguard. If you’re close to kids in the water, look at them and check to see how they’re doing. The most horrifying aspect of the video I included above was how many adults were around the drowning child, oblivious to the trouble he was in. You are the lifeguard for kids close to you in the water.

If a child in the water is quiet, focus on them and find out why. They may be in serious trouble. 

The purpose of this diary wasn’t to encourage swim lessons, or provide information about how to prevent drowning, or how to rescue someone who is drowning. It was simply to make you aware of what drowning really looks like so that you can act when it starts rather than when it’s too late. 

Oh, and the 5 year old in the video? As the video text indicates, he thankfully lived.

Stay safe out there.

Marjorie Taylor Greene and Gaetz Heckled off Stage While Defending Capitol Rioters

House Republicans Call On DOJ To Answer Questions On January 6 Prisoners - Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
House Republicans Call On DOJ To Answer Questions On January 6 Prisoners – Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has made a career out of publicly harassing her imagined enemies. She got a dose of her own medicine on Tuesday when her joint press conference with Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) was broken up by protesters, one of which was armed with a very loud, very shrill whistle.

The presser outside the Department of Justice was primed to offer some counter-factual counter-programming to the January 6th hearing down the road at the Capitol, during which Capitol Police officers detailed the horror of what they experienced defending the building from rioters who beat them with batons, hurled racial slurs, and threatened to kill them with their own guns. The four G’s of the disinformation apocalypse were out to advocate for the rioters, arguing that they have been mistreated by the DOJ.

But the lawmakers were met by a large group of protesters. One toted a large, inflatable particular ex-president holding a signed that read “Pedophiles for Trump,” a reference to the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into whether Gaetz sex-trafficked a 17-year-old girl (Gaetz has denied any wrongdoing). Another held a board that read “Traitors + Rapists Sit Down.” Another would not stop blowing a whistle through his Covid mask. “First of all, to the guy who’s blowing the whistle, we are not deterred,” Greene said upon taking the podium.

Thirty seconds later, protesters crowded behind the podium and the press conference was called off. The whistle did not stop blowing.

“The Intolerant Left has shut down the patriotic press conference by @mtgreenee, @RepMattGaetz, @replouiegohmert, @RepGosar, @RepAndyBiggsAZ, & @RepBobGood!” Right Side Broadcasting Network wrote in a tweet that was retweeted by Gaetz. “The Left won’t let us get the answers that we demand!”

It’s fitting that the press conference was called off while Greene was speaking. The conspiracy theorist has a long history of aggressively trolling those with whom she disagrees. In 2019, she followed Parkland High School shooting survivor David Hogg in Washington, D.C., verbally harassing him about his support of gun control. It took Greene until early this year to admit the Parkland shooting actually happened, after previously having claimed it was staged.

Greene has used similar intimidation tactics since joining Congress. In May, The Washington Post reported that she trailed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) out of the House Chamber, yelling “Hey, Alexandria!” and asking why she supports Black Lives Matter, which she falsely labeled a “terrorist” group. A few months earlier, Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) tweeted about a similar encounter. “A maskless Marjorie Taylor Greene & her staff berated me in a hallway,” Bush wrote. “She targeted me & others on social media. I’m moving my office away from hers for my team’s safety.”

After the press conference to defend the Capitol rioters was shut down, Greene was whisked down the sidewalk, trailed by protesters shouting at her. She didn’t address them, just like Hogg didn’t address her in 2019. “He’s a coward,” Greene said then of the school shooting survivor. We doubt she’ll be applying the term to herself after her silent escape on Tuesday.