Hello! It’s Friday, July 22, the 203rd day of the year. Sunday is Parents’ Day because Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, the Global Day of Parents, and Grandparents’ Day aren’t enough. Sunrise in Boston was at 5:27 a.m. and sunset will be at 8:13 p.m. for 14 hours and 46 minutes of sunlight. The waning moon is 29 percent full.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has tips for working in your garden on really hot days: Weed in the early morning or wait until the evening when the bugs are out in full force; pace yourself, which I take to mean one minute outside then an hour on the couch; and stay hydrated, but I was bummed to learn they don’t mean with margaritas. I have a tip: The weeds can wait.
What’s it like outside? Still brutally hot, in the 90s, but with lower humidity. Same story all weekend: High temps, moderate humidity. Meanwhile, the entire country is baking, with two dozen states experiencing temperatures of 100 or higher.
Dave Epstein: It’s Day 4 of the heat wave, but it could last a week
From the Globe: How to recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke
Drought update: The area of Massachusetts designated as being in severe drought was expanded from the North Shore south to Boston and its suburbs and west into Central Mass. It now covers 26.5 percent of the state.
Breaking: Joe Biden appears to be doing pretty well fighting his COVID-19 infection, with his major symptoms being a runny nose and fatigue. His doctor reported today that the president started taking Tylenol when his temperature rose slightly (to 99.4), and he’s using an albuterol inhaler as needed.
Hey, sport: The Red Sox, floating just a bit above the cellar-dwelling Orioles in the AL East, begin the second half of the season with a 10-game homestand, starting with the barely better Blue Jays this weekend (7:10 p.m. Friday, 4:10 p.m. Saturday, and 1:35 p.m. Sunday, all on NESN). That’s followed by series against the Guardians and the Brewers.
From the Globe: What to watch for as the Red Sox emerge from the All-Star break
David Ortiz is being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday, and the Globe has several stories to mark the occasion, including a cool interactive feature about each of his career 558 home runs. The ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m.; coverage on MLB Network starts at 11 a.m.
The Sox will honor Big Papi at Fenway next Tuesday night in a pregame ceremony.
From the Globe: David Ortiz: Hall of Fame Class of 2022
Interactive: Explore each of David Ortiz’s 558 career home runs
The Revolution are in Ohio to take on the Columbus Crew (7:30 p.m. Saturday on TV38 and ESPN+). The Massachusetts Pirates indoor pro football team starts the playoffs tonight with a game against the Quad City Steamwheelers at the DCU Center in Worcester at 7:05 p.m.
Today’s US coronavirus / COVID-19 numbers in the US
From the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University
Confirmed US cases: 90,276,150
Confirmed US deaths: 1,026,521
So what’s next? As much as yesterday’s Jan. 6 House Select Committee hearing had the feel of a major wrapup, the fact is that the panel’s work continues.
While members take a break from holding public hearings, witness interviews continue. Indeed, as soon as the House lawmakers started airing some of the findings from the testimony of the more than 1,000 witnesses they had interviewed and the plethora of documents, e-mails, text messages, voicemails, etc. that they had obtained, even more witnesses emerged to talk.
In fact, the original plan was for the committee to hold six public hearings in June and issue a final report in September. But so much information started pouring in that they ended up holding eight hearings that bled into July.
So now the tentative plan is to spend August, when the rest of Congress will be in recess, writing a preliminary report of their findings that could be released in September.
The final report, including interview transcripts and exhibits, would be released in December. Remember, the committee is supposed to dissolve before the new Congress takes office on Jan. 3.
Meanwhile, the panel and its lawyers are still conducting its investigation, and members say there will be more hearings in the fall.
The New York Times: The Jan. 6 committee isn’t even close to being finished.
Speaking of the new Congress, if Republicans take control of the House, one of the first investigations they will launch — after Hunter Biden’s laptop, Hillary’s e-mails, and Barack Obama’s birth certificate — will be into members of the Jan. 6 committee.
If Representative Barry Loudermilk, a Georgia Republican, ends up as chairman of the House Administration Committee, he has vowed to hold hearings into the Jan. 6 committee members who he says engaged in “a narrative of pushing blame somewhere” and that the GOP should “look at things like the false allegations they’ve made against people.”
Gee, Barry, could you be referring to the committee’s concern about the guided tour of the Capitol complex you gave on Jan. 5 to people who were suspiciously taking pictures of things that tourists don’t usually photograph, like hallways, staircases, security checkpoints, and office numbers outside Democratic House members’ offices?
And that one of the guys taking those sorts of photos returned to the Capitol the next day — Jan. 6 — and recorded an ominous video message threatening that the mob was “coming for” Democratic lawmakers and there was “no escape?”
Is that what you’re talking about, Barry? Just curious.
There are lots of “Here are X number of takeaways” stories around that are very helpful in focusing on the salient revelations from the Thursday hearing. Here are three things that stood out to me:
1. Secret Service agents protecting Pence feared for his life and their own, even to the point where some of them called loved ones to say goodbye because they thought they could be slaughtered by the rampaging mob that Trump had deliberately riled up against Pence.
Somebody set off some sort of smoke bomb that filled a hallway near where Pence was holed up with his family in a room located near the Senate floor. In frantic radio calls that involved lots of yelling, his Secret Service detail struggled to figure out a safe path for Pence to leave the area.
They eventually evacuated him to a garage in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center, where Pence refused to get into a vehicle controlled by Trump’s Secret Service guys, who Pence figured had the goal of getting him out of the Capitol so he couldn’t certify the electoral college votes.
2. Trump didn’t simply fail to act, which is bad enough. He very purposefully chose not to act, and let everyone who was pleading with him to call off the mob — including his own daughter Ivanka — know that he wasn’t going to do a damn thing. He liked watching his supporters on TV trying to subvert the election.
3. Josh Hawley’s running man act elicited laughter from the audience in the hearing room. Not long after the Missouri Republican senator walked past the mob outside the Capitol and pumped his fist in a sick show of support, a video showed him running from that same mob in the halls of the Capitol.
But the best part are the “fist-and-flee” memes that almost immediately sprung up — and Hawley’s new nickname: Fistpump McRunpants, which appears to have been coined by Illinois Republican and committee member Adam Kinzinger.
Lots of folks set his slow-motion run to music ranging from Forrest Gump to Roadrunner, including the theme from “Chariots of Fire,” “Benny Hill,” and Springsteen’s “Born to Run.”
Here’s one Twitter account that posted several of them.
Others just had fun:
”’Hawling ass’ is now an American term” — Fred Wellman
”Where does Josh Hawley like to do his shopping? The flee market.” — Charlotte Clymer
”From now on, if political reporters ask Josh Hawley if he’s planning to run, he’s going to have to ask them to clarify.” — Gregg Kilday
”Josh Hawley sprinted like his mama was home early & he forgot to take out the chicken” and “Like Ted Cruz trying to catch a flight to Mexico” — Michael Harriot
The Black List founder Franklin Leonard suggested that Missouri Democrats hold an annual “Josh Hawley 5K” as a fundraiser. And the state’s Democratic Party immediately picked up on it, announcing a “Hawlin’ Hawley 5K.”
Finally, I was struck by a specific section of Liz Cheney’s closing statement at the end of the hearing.
We’ve seen bravery and honor in these hearings. And Ms. Matthews and Mr. Pottinger, both of you will be remembered for that, as will Cassidy Hutchinson. She sat here alone, took the oath, and testified before millions of Americans. She knew all along that she would be attacked by President Trump and by the 50, 60, and 70-year-old men who hide themselves behind executive privilege.
But like our witnesses today, she has courage. And she did it anyway. Cassidy, Sarah, and our other witnesses, including Officer Caroline Edwards, Shaye Moss, and her mother, Ruby Freeman, are an inspiration to American women and to American girls. We owe a debt to all of those who have and will appear here.
Cheney’s tribute to the women who testified was quite deliberate.
Like all women who dare to raise their hands or lift their heads, the backlash from insecure, sad men is oh so swift and oh so predictable, whether that woman is a member of Congress and powerful co-chair of a critical committee, a political aide not long out of college, or a journalist who points out hypocrisy, lies, and cowardice.
That backlash is always disgustingly vulgar and physically threatening, because that’s the only way these little men know how to deal with strong women. They don’t attack other men like that, however, unless those men are people of color or LGBTQ+, and even then the rhetoric doesn’t always rise to the crude, violent level that it does when a woman is the target. In fact, male colleagues are regularly shocked by the level of vitriol flung at their female counterparts.
Cheney certainly knows this. Any woman in the public eye does. That’s why the women who stepped forward during these hearings to provide public, televised testimony are not just remarkable. They are heroic.
Thanks for reading. As important as they are, it will be nice to have a break from the hearings. E-mail comments and suggestions to [email protected], or follow me on Twitter @BostonTeresa. See you next week.
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