June 2022

Big Picture

In the space of two days, the US Supreme Court ruled that states could not legislate to restrict rights affecting gun use; but that states absolutely could remove established rights that citizens have to control their own bodies.

Even as Congress passed the Safer Communities Act – the first meaningful gun law in a quarter-century – as an ultimately inadequate response to the recent spate of mass shootings, the Supreme Court moved to overturn Roe v Wade.


The Baltimore Orioles had their first winning month for five years. Start of a turnaround? Who knows…


10 June:

It’s probably just as well the next televised hearing of the Jan 6th Committee isn’t until Monday, since it gives America a chance to fully digest Thursday’s primetime opening session. Twenty million people tuned in across the networks to watch the committee start to set out their case for how the events of that day were connected.

Margaret Sullivan at the Washington Post wrote that while the content was sometimes “horrifying”, it restored her faith that a quest for accountability might succeed:

The broadcast networks, I figured, were the place where open-minded and perhaps even undecided Americans might stumble across the hearings and be struck by the raw evidence of that day’s carnage and chaos, where they might be forced to confront proof of the former president’s culpability.”

Stephen Colbert nailed the context with a live monologue, including a zinger about evidence from Ivanka Trump…

Fox News not only boycotted the live coverage, but kept primetime personality Tucker Carlson chained to his desk without an ad break in what must have been expensive counter-programming. It was “like an amateur magician who tries to distract kids when a performance falls apart”, according to CNN’s Brian Stelter.

The next hearing is Monday at 10am ET.


9 June 202

Pic: Tyler Merbier/Wikipedia CC

The House Select Committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol on January 6th 2021 and former President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the result of the previous year’s election will hold the first of six televised hearings today.

It’s going to be a big day for the media – and democracy.

Meanwhile, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was due to testify before a special grand jury investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Read related post: Stranger Things? or Lost?


3 June:

Today marks 100 days since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There have been many remarkable, heartbreaking images of what has happened there since (click here for a link to the work of AP photographers) but for me this shot by Pulitzer Prize-winner Emilio Morenatti, of people trying to escape Russian shelling by crossing the Irpin River near Kyiv, captures the insanity of how the “normal” world above becomes transformed into a new reality below.

The view of the billboards and two-lane bridge could be the road into any medium-sized city in the US. Imagine having to run for your life with only what you can carry out of Cincinnati, or Indianapolis, or Newark.

As a friend of mine commented: “it’s the haphazardly parked Smart car at the front of the bridge that tells my brain I’m not looking at something from the Second World War.”

Read previous related post: Not All Who Wander Are Lost



2 June:

President Biden addressed the nation tonight in primetime to appeal for Congress to act on gun reform. Urging lawmakers to restore a ban on assault weapons and expand background checks after the latest wave of mass shootings across the country, the President said: “Enough! For God’s sake, how much more carnage are we willing to accept?”

Read related posts:

Ten Days Later, Ten Years Later

Lawyers, Guns and Money


1 June:

As the fallout from the Uvalde, TX, shooting continues – and becomes increasingly confusing – coverage was interrupted on Wednesday by news of another mass shooting at a clinic in Tulsa, OK, in which four people plus the shooter died.


Finally, a verdict was reached in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation case in Virginia, which had become what some called a “trial by TikTok” and among its other implications has changed how people’s attention is captured by the cultural issue of the moment and used in the court of public opinion.