Monday, December 13, 2021

 -Elon Musk, Time's 2021 Person of the Year

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’s direct participation in planning a deadly coup attempt may not be generating a ton of splashy headlines, but what if we told you he may have done so via a personal email account? Somebody wake up James Comey.

  • Meadows sent an email on January 5 noting that the National Guard would be on standby to “protect pro Trump people” the next day, according to a 51-page document released Sunday night by the January 6 committee. It’s not clear who Meadows sent the message to, but it’s an extremely interesting comment to the investigators looking into whether Donald Trump had anything to do with the National Guard’s delayed response to the attack.
  • The committee’s report laid out its case for holding Meadows in contempt of Congress, describing other texts and emails he had turned over that raised follow-up questions, including messages establishing that Meadows was with or in contact with Trump as the violence unfolded. The panel also said it wants to know why Meadows had used a personal cell phone, a Signal account, and two personal Gmail accounts to conduct White House business—the most serious offense any government official can commit—and whether he had turned over all of the records from those accounts to the National Archives. 
  • The committee is set to vote to recommend a contempt citation for Meadows on Monday night, with the full House expected to adopt the measure on Tuesday. Meadows’s lawyer sent a letter to the committee on Monday urging it to reconsider and doubling down on the executive privilege argument that multiple judges have already laughed out of court.

Among the documents Meadows turned over before clamming up was an election subversion PowerPoint that he’s since tried to distance himself from, with limited success.

  • The 38-page PowerPoint titled 'Election Fraud, Foreign Interference, & Options for 6 JAN' (which may not be identical to the 36-page version going around on Twitter, but shares the same name and recommendations, reportedly) detailed various ways for then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election, urged Trump to declare a national emergency, and cited the very kookiest conspiracy theories about China and Venezuela taking control of voting infrastructure in swing states.Meadows’s lawyer has asserted that Meadows turned over the document because he had innocently received it in his email and done nothing with it. 
  • Except, that PowerPoint was originally circulated among Trump’s allies by retired Army colonel Phil Waldron, who was no stranger to Meadows. Waldron said that while he didn’t personally send the PowerPoint to Meadows, he had visited the White House multiple times after the election, spoke with Meadows “maybe eight to 10 times,” and briefed several members of Congress on January 5. Whether or not Meadows acted on the PowerPoint, he sure seems to have taken an interest in the guy behind it.

Even while refusing to testify, Meadows has managed to punch some serious holes in the GOP’s (and his own!) whitewashed story of the insurrection and Donald Trump’s role in it. Meadows willingly turned over a blueprint for a coup and evidence that Trump’s top concern on January 6 was not lawmakers’ safety; imagine what’s in the records he’s still trying to hide. 

This week on Offline, Jon Favreau talks to U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy about the intersection between the internet and our emotional well-being, the impact the pandemic has had on our mental health and makes the case for what it means to live a truly meaningful, connected life. New episodes of Offline drop every Sunday in the Pod Save America feed. Listen and follow wherever you get your podcasts.

A cluster of tornadoes ripped through at least six states over the weekend, killing dozens of people. Gov. Andy Beshear (D-KY) said on Monday that at least 74 people had been killed in Kentucky alone, with more than 100 people still unaccounted for and over 1,000 houses destroyed. President Biden announced he will travel to Kentucky on Wednesday, after approving Beshear’s request for an emergency disaster declaration for the state on Saturday. (Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has a history of voting against relief funds when blue states or Puerto Rico have faced dire emergencies, did not hesitate to request aid when his own state was affected.) At least six people were killed at an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, IL, and an unknown number are still missing, drawing attention once again to Amazon’s policy prohibiting workers from carrying cell phones on warehouse floors.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) has called for a citizen-enforced assault-weapons ban modeled on the Supreme Court-approved Texas abortion ban, in an elegant move to reduce gun violence and demonstrate the Court’s odious political agenda in one fell swoop. “If states can now shield their laws from review by the federal courts that compare assault weapons to Swiss Army knives, then California will use that authority to protect people's lives, where Texas used it to put women in harm's way,” Newsom said in a Saturday statement. In addition to calling the Supreme Court’s constitutional bluff, Newsom has supported a proposal to make California a “sanctuary” for people seeking abortions if and when Roe v. Wade bites the dust, and to fund abortions for low-income people who travel from other states.

If you have investments, odds are high that your money has been winding up in places you would never put it on purpose. Places like Mitch McConnell’s campaign coffers. Here’s the problem: A lot of Americans own S&P 500 index funds—these are funds made up of the 500 largest U.S. publicly traded companies available, and they collectively contain over $1.5 trillion dollars of Americans’ retirement money.

Unfortunately, when you buy an S&P 500 index fund, you’re buying stock in the following companies:


  • AT&T, which is already back supporting the election objectors in Congress, as well as the GOP sponsors of Texas’s abortion ban and voter-suppression law. It’s also a top donor to Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham.

  • ExxonMobil, which has misled the public about the dangers of climate change and spent huge amounts on Facebook ads to get Donald Trump reelected in 2020.

  • Halliburton, one of the nation’s biggest defense contractors, which has funneled millions to the GOP.

  • Lockheed Martin, which is one the largest weapons manufacturers in the world and one of Lindsey Graham’s top contributors.

The list goes on. But before you stuff all of your savings in your mattress and call it a day, you should know about DEMZ. 

DEMZ is the first investment product that allows you to get similar performance and exposure you would expect from the S&P 500,  without all the Mitch McConnell. It only includes companies who have made over 75% of their political contributions to Democratic causes and candidates. Since launching in November of 2020, DEMZ has outperformed the S&P 500 by 7 percent.

You can finally put your money where your vote is, even on Wall Street. Look for the DEMZ ticker wherever you invest, or 
visit to learn more

The Supreme Court declined to block New York’s vaccine mandate for health-care workers, which does not offer religious exemptions. 

California regulators voted to ban the sale of new gas-powered leaf blowers and lawn mowers by 2024.

Criminal-justice reform candidate Susan Hutson won the New Orleans sheriff’s race, becoming the first Black woman to be elected sheriff in Louisiana.

A team of scientists has launched an effort to map the world’s mycorrhizal fungi, which could help researchers learn how to accelerate carbon capture in forests. 

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