PHILADELPHIA — The Wharton State Forest wildfire, possibly the largest fire in New Jersey in 15 years, has consumed about 13,500 acres of the Pinelands, and is 85% contained, officials from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service said late Tuesday morning. Officials said they have ruled out a lightning strike as a cause, and are focusing on an “illegal unattended campfire.” Two major roads, Routes and 542, which had been closed for two days, are now open. However, Batsto Village, Atsion Recreation Area, Mullica River Campground and Lower Forge Campground all remain closed. Nearby hiking and biking ...
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On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that listeners around the country to right-wing talk radio stations are being bombarded with breathless, and baseless, warnings that Democrats are about to steal the 2022 midterm elections — just like they supposedly stole the 2020 election from former President Donald Trump.
"Mr. Trump introduced the nation to a flurry of false claims about widespread voter fraud after his electoral loss in 2020. The extent of his efforts has been outlined extensively in the past couple of weeks during the hearings on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot — including a speech that day in which he falsely said Democrats changed voting laws 'because they want to cheat,'" reported Stuart Thompson. "Republican politicians and cable outlets like Fox News have carried the torch for Mr. Trump’s conspiracy theories ever since. But the loudest and most consistent booster of these unfounded claims has been talk radio, where conservative hosts reduce the jumble of false voter fraud theories into a two-word mantra: 'Democrats cheat.'"
The article gathered several instances from recent broadcasts in which right-wing talk radio hosts claimed that the fix is already in for 2022.
“These people are not going to sit by and just accept the big loss. They have the same poll numbers we do. What are they going to do? They're going to cheat," said one broadcast on KFAB-AM 1110 in Omaha. “The Democrats will hold on to the House and the Senate and the gubernatorial races, where they'll be able to cheat in the 2024 election. That’s the plan,” said another on KTRH-AM 740 in Houston. “They’re going to get smoked so bad it’s going to be embarrassing, if they can’t cheat. They got to be able to cheat, and the way they got to do that is with mail-in ballots,” said yet another on KEEL-AM 710 in Shreveport, Louisiana.
According to the report, however, talk radio hosts have conspicuously stopped going after Dominion Voting Systems, an elections equipment company that is a common bogeyman of right-wing conspiracy theorists. This comes after the company filed suit against Fox News and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, both of whom were instrumental in spreading false claims the company's voting systems switched votes from Trump to Biden.
Another concern for Republicans is that at least some of the listeners bombarded with all of these claims now think voting is worthless: "Callers repeatedly expressed doubts about voting at all, falsely claiming that elections are so rigged by Democrats that their votes no longer matter. In response, radio hosts have implored Republicans to vote in even larger numbers — so much so that a supposed Democratic cheat would prove ineffective. 'I’ll tell you what’s happened — and I give the Democrats a lot of credit for this,' said Michael Berry, a radio host based in Houston, 'is they have convinced a lot of people on our side that it’s not worth it to vote.'"
You can read more here.
'Very significant development': J6 panelist explains how Georgia is focused on Trump allies' 'bogus claims'
One of the most experienced members of the Jan. 6 select committee on Tuesday explained the significance of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis subpoenaing Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Trump attorneys Rudi Giuliani, John Eastman, Cleta Mitchell, Kenneth Chesebro and Jenna Ellis.
"Just a short time ago, the Jan. 6 committee announced its next hearing will be a week from today, July 12th, 10:00 a.m. It did not announce witnesses or the topic," CNN's Anderson Cooper reported. "Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), who is on the committee, previously said the next hearing will focus on, 'efforts to assemble that mob on the mall' as well as the connections between the former president's allies and extremist groups at the Capitol that day."
For analysis, Cooper interviewed select committee member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). Lofgren has experience in all four modern presidential impeachments, having worked for the House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Don Edwards (D-CA) during Watergate. When Edwards retired in Congress, Lofgren succeeded him and served during the impeachment of Bill Clinton and both of Trump's impeachments.
"What is your reaction to the news that several of the former president's allies were subpoenaed today by a Georgia special grand jury investigating the effort to overturn the election results?"
"I think that's a very big deal," said Lofgren, who also taught at the University of Santa Clara School of Law.
"These are the individuals who we have shown through our hearings conspired with bogus claims of fact, bogus legal theories, to essentially overturn the democracy and many of them have refused to really come in and tell the truth to us," she explained. "They're going to find a very different situation in Georgia and this criminal grand jury and I think it's a very important step forward."
"Obviously we have no way of knowing the details of the investigation, but I think it is very significant," Lofgren said.
Watch below or at this link.
Zoe Lofgren www.youtube.com
Trump is trying to sue two former FBI officials — but has failed to serve them papers six different times
On Tuesday, Business Insider reported that former President Donald Trump is trying to sue a pair of former FBI officials who have been at the center of a number of right-wing conspiracy theories about the Russia investigation — but that he has failed half a dozen times to locate them for service of the lawsuit.
"Former President Donald Trump has been trying since March to serve former FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok with a 108-page lawsuit — but hasn't been able to find either of them, according to new court papers," reported Laura Italiano. "Trump 'has attempted service unsuccessfully six (6) times' on both Page and Strzok, with the most recent attempts failing on June 30, his lawyers told a federal judge in Florida."
"The holdup in serving Strzok and Page was revealed in a brief status report on the massive lawsuit, in which Trump accuses lead defendant Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele and some 20 Democrats with a sweeping conspiracy to tie Trump to Russia during the 2016 presidential election," said the report. "It's not clear how, or where, Trump's lawyers have looked for the two, who have maintained a separate, but public, profile since their brief extra-marital affair became front page news in 2017 after the DOJ disclosed their private text communications to reporters."
Strzok and Page became targets of GOP anger in part because their private text messages appeared to show animus toward then-candidate Trump, while Strzok was part of the Russia investigation.
There remains no evidence that Strzok ever did anything to unduly bias the investigation, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe removed Strzok from the probe when the texts were made public.
Trump has long sought to paint the Russia investigation as a nefarious, politically-motivated plot by the intelligence community to ruin his chances of becoming president. Nothing of the sort has ever been substantiated, and special counsel Robert Mueller's final report on the matter indicated members of Trump's team did indeed seek to collaborate with Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election — although Mueller stopped short of charging anyone with a criminal conspiracy.