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The Daily Take for Thursday

4 min read

Good morning! It’s cooler here today, so I’m writing this from the deck in our backyard (that I built last spring). Calm, shaded, birds calling, flower gardens – just a relaxing space.

In contrast, yesterday I listened to the 🔥latest podcast episode🔥 from Gaslit Nation. I have been a fan of Sarah Kendzior (I have all her books) and Andrea Chalupa since they started the podcast. They used their research backgrounds in authoritarian states to call out what was coming with Trump even before he was elected. Derided as alarmists early on, they are now acknowledged as having been right about most everything. If you are into podcasts, you should add them to your listening lists.

In their latest episode, they rip into the January 6th committee for narrowing the scope of their investigation, and into the DOJ for sitting on its hands for 18 months when it comes to the people at the top of the pyramid. Why hasn’t Roger Stone been indicted? Why give Jared Kushner a pass on his illegal money-grubbing schemes? Why rehabilitate the reputations of people like Bill Barr and Liz Cheney?

As usual, they make a number of great points, and they’ve got the receipts to go along with their accusations. They also go beneath the surface to lay out the roles of individuals I have never heard of before, and the history of each one. As I said, well worth your time.

My thoughts

Like Sarah and Andrea, I too wonder what in the world Merrick Garland and the DOJ are thinking and doing. It looks for all the world like they are satisfied to gather up the little fish, and let Trump and his cabal get away with everything. If that turns out to be the case, it will be a giant mistake. It will tell other would-be dictators and power-hungry politicians that they can act with impunity, and will put our democracy on even shakier ground.

As for the committee, it seems to me that they decided early on not to “boil the ocean.” Is there more than enough evidence to charge Trump and all those around him with multiple crimes? Of course. If the only thing you looked at was the self-dealing all through the Trump presidency, you could come up with tens or even hundreds of charges.

Instead, it appears the 1/6 committee decided to build a case focused solely on Trump and the conspiracy to overturn the election. Rather than a pyramid of charges, they are building a bulls-eye, with Trump at the center. And from where I sit, they’ve done a masterful job of that.

However, I am fully in line with the comments in the podcast episode about Merrick Garland and the DOJ. A number of other commentators have said to be patient – the DOJ is taking its time to build an air-tight case (or cases) before they come forward with indictments.

Guess what? We don’t know. They could have been meeting with a grand jury for the past year – or they could be “keeping their powder dry” for the time being.

At some point, they’ve got to put that dry powder in the blunderbuss and pull the trigger. They’ve got to do their part to save our democracy. They’ve got to remind everyone, on both sides of the political aisle, that the rule of law still holds in this country.

Dear Merrick Garland – We’re waiting.


  • I did a "News and Notes" yesterday. As I've noted in the past, I consider these posts to be part of the work of Forward Kentucky, even though they don't get much traffic. I'm going to try to do them on a MWF schedule. If you read them on the site, feel free to hold me accountable for doing so.
  • We are closing in on another milestone: 700 total subscribers. That's not a lot compared to some sites, but the audience for progressive Kentucky politics is fairly small.😉

All for today. Thanks, as always, for reading – and for supporting the work.


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And the home page ...

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The Daily Take is a newsletter containing observations and thoughts of publisher Bruce Maples, and is only available to Partners of Forward Kentucky. It is available via email, and is also available on the web site to logged-in Partners. The email version is sent to Partner members who have opted-in to receiving it via the Newsletters section of their profile.

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Bruce Maples

Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)

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