Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Jan 6th Hearings were needed, but nothing will change, and the real culprit will not be be held accountable.

Today, after listening to some of the testimony from some of those Capitol police officers during the Jan 6th Commission hearings, I realized that America, as we know it, no longer exists. It was both chilling and heartbreaking. Those poor men were at the mercy of a mob of terrorists who were being led on by the former president of the United States. 

Folks are still trying to figure out how it could have happened. I could save them all the trouble. I know how. Just look at the makeup of the crowd, who their leader was, and how much power he had at the time.

Anyway, today is a good day to revisit the following article from The Atlantic: 

"At the beginning of last week, former President Donald Trump referred to the 2020 election as the “greatest Election Fraud in the history of our Country.” By the end of the week, he had issued a statement saying, “As our Country is being destroyed, both inside and out, the Presidential Election of 2020 will go down as THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY!”

What else is new? These are the ravings of a 74-year-old sociopath, isolated and banned from social media, living in Mar-a-Lago, where he is crashing wedding parties and delivering rambling monologues.

Or at least, that would be the right way to look at things, if not for the fact that the GOP remains fully in Trump’s thrall, with its leadership more committed than ever to spreading his foundational lies and conspiracy theories. Under Trump’s sway, the Republican Party is becoming more fanatical, venturing even further into a world of illusion.

Trump’s grip on the Republican Party was on display once again last week, when Representative Liz Cheney was ousted from her leadership post as conference chair. Her fireable offense? Refusing to remain silent in the face of Trump’s ongoing efforts to undermine our constitutional system. She wants to “relitigate the past,” it’s said, despite the fact that it is Trump, not Cheney, who is obsessing over the 2020 election.

No former president, and certainly no president defeated after only one term, has so dominated his party after he left office. So Trump’s words matter. They mattered in the lead-up to, and on the day of, the deadly attack on the Capitol on January 6. They still matter. And if the Republican Party doesn’t counteract these lies rather than indulge them, political violence will become more acceptable and more prevalent on the American right.

THIS ASSESSMENT ISN’T based on mere speculation; we know that many of the people who participated in the violent assault on the Capitol believed that they were acting patriotically, foot soldiers in the 21-century version of the American Revolution, doing what they understood their leader was asking of them. As a Washington Post story put it, “The accounts of people who said they were inspired by the president to take part in the melee inside the Capitol vividly show the impact of Trump’s months-long attack on the integrity of the 2020 election and his exhortations to supporters to ‘fight’ the results.” The Post story points out that a video clip of rioters mobbing the Capitol steps caught one man screaming at a police officer: “We were invited here! We were invited by the president of the United States!”

"Jill Sanborn, the head of counterterrorism at the FBI, recently told Congress that “the FBI assesses there is an elevated threat of violence from domestic violent extremists, and some of these actors have been emboldened in the aftermath of the breach of the U.S. Capitol. We expect [that] racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, anti-government or anti-authority violent extremists, and other domestic violent extremists citing partisan political grievances will very likely pose the greatest domestic terrorism threats in 2021 and likely into 2022.”

Cheney told CNN that several Republican members of Congress had voted against impeaching Trump out of fear. “If you look at the vote to impeach, for example, there were members who told me that they were afraid for their own security—afraid, in some instances, for their lives,” she said. “And that tells you something about where we are as a country, that members of Congress aren’t able to cast votes, or feel that they can’t, because of their own security.”

Georgia Republicans who in the aftermath of the 2020 election would not go along with Trump’s false claims about election fraud in that state faced death threats, intimidation, and harassment, according to Gabriel Sterling, a Republican official in the Georgia secretary of state’s office. The home of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, also a Republican, was targeted too. This week I talked with a Republican election official in Arizona, Stephen Richer, who has spoken out against what he refers to as Trump’s “unhinged” claims about election fraud in Maricopa County. (Richer says Trump’s claims are “as readily falsifiable as 2+2=5.”) He told me he has received death threats and has been forced to take measures to protect his and his family’s safety. And these examples are hardly unusual.

While the threat of domestic terrorism is growing, a recent survey by the American Enterprise Institute found that 39 percent of Republicans agreed that “if elected leaders will not protect America, the people must do it themselves, even if it requires violent actions.” That result was “a really dramatic finding,” according to Daniel Cox, director of AEI’s Survey Center on American Life. “I think any time you have a significant number of the public saying use of force can be justified in our political system, that’s pretty scary.” [Source]

What's really scary is that they are getting away with it. And with all due respect to Nancy Pelosi, these latest hearings will not make a difference. The former guy will not be held accountable for his actions, and those who participated in his attempted coup will not be punished appropriately for their role in the insurrection.  

*Image from CNN.com

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Movie Tuesday.



I need a name for this movie. 

And what's up with Marjorie Taylor Greene's feet?  

Bad Field Negro being petty again.  :(  

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Are all of these tell-all books too late?


Now that all these books are coming out and revealing just what a psychotic, delusional, and unstable maniac the former guy was, let's not go making these people---- who are years later now writing books for profit, instead of alerting us of the dangers in real time----- to be heroes. 

Thankfully the guardrails of democracy stayed intact long enough before it all came crashing down. (Although it almost did on January 6th.) But when you read some of the excerpts from these books, you can't help but wonder: What the hell was everybody thinking?  

In one of the books it is revealed that the former guy allegedly told his chief of staff at the time that "Hitler did a lot of good things".  Huh?!

But there is so much more. Like, for instance, the birth of the "big lie."

"Everything came to a head on December 1, when Trump summoned Barr to the Oval Office. According to the book, one of the attendees said a red-faced Trump had "the eyes and mannerism of a madman," ranted and shouted at Barr, and even started banging on the desk.
    Trump went beyond the election and started hammering Barr for not prosecuting President Joe Biden's son or former FBI Director James Comey -- two of Trump's most vilified political targets.
    The book bolsters recent reports about emails sent to top Justice Department officials by Trump (through his assistant) and Trump's chief of staff, cajoling them to hunt for voter fraud. Trump responded to the excerpt by attacking Barr and doubling down on his false claims of voter fraud"

    "A new book from controversial journalist Michael Wolff includes details of what unfolded inside the White House while the Capitol was overrun. The book, "Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency," will be published July 27. Excerpts were published in New York magazine.
    Trump's senior advisers all knew Vice President Mike Pence would never go along with Trump's unconstitutional scheme to nullify the results from states that Biden won when Congress met to formally count the electoral votes. They knew Trump was experiencing "derangement," but were too scared to tell him that his dreams of overturning the election were hopeless, Wolff reported. "

    And still more.

    "A new book from Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender describes how Trump wanted to invoke the Insurrection Act and use the military to quash social justice protests last summer, some of which descended into riots in large cities. The forthcoming book, "Frankly, We Did Win This Election," is slated to be released on July 13. Axios reported some key excerpts Monday.
    Bender reports that there was an unprecedented shouting match in the White House Situation Room between Trump and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Trump exaggerated the level of violence, said he wanted to deploy the military into American cities and put Milley "in charge." But he was quickly rebuked by Milley, in an expletive-laced argument.
    "God damn it! There's a room full of lawyers here. Will someone inform him of my legal responsibilities?" Milley said to the other officials in the Situation Room, according to the book.
      Barr then told Trump that Milley was correct -- he couldn't do what Trump wanted him to do.
      In response to the excerpt, Trump told Axios that the argument "never happened." Bender said the incident was corroborated by "multiple senior administration officials" that he interviewed"

      Milley actually compared the former guy's behavior to a certain dictator from Germany. Imagine the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff comparing a sitting president's actions to that of Adolph Hitler. 

      There will be more books, including upcoming works from Kellyanne Conway and Jared Kushner.  
      If Kellyanne decides to finally come clean and tell the truth, and Jared doesn't mind sleeping on the sofa for awhile, these books should be interesting as well.  

      More insight into the craziness that surrounded the former administration may be good for us going forward.  

      Hopefully we will never make such a mistake ever again.      

      Saturday, July 10, 2021

      The right's war on science and facts.


      Remember when the right wingers were trying to tell us that climate change is a hoax? 

      "It's become a common concern in recent years — extreme heat waves plaguing the western United States. Now, for the third time since the beginning of June, a life-threatening heat wave is underway. While this event is not expected to be quite as unprecedented as the Pacific Northwest heat wave last week, all-time records will be challenged in major cities like Las Vegas, Fresno and Redding, California.

      This latest heat wave comes on the heels of the hottest June on record for the United States. A new study published Wednesday shows the Pacific Northwest heat wave from June 27 to June 29 was made at least 150 times more likely by human-caused climate change and, even in today's heated climate, is a rare 1-in-1,000-year event. The study, by a collaboration of 27 climate scientists, warned that if we keep warming the climate, extreme heat waves like that will happen once every 5 to 10 years by mid-century.

      Although the Pacific Northwest will be hot in the coming days, the core of this latest heat dome is centered further south, over the Desert Southwest and Southern California. "

      Never let them forget their ridiculous assault on science and facts to score cheap political points and fire up their base. We could have done more, but we didn't. It is now looking more and more like the world will look like one of those apocalyptic end of day movies in the not too distant future. 

      They are doing it again with COVID-19. They are refusing to get vaccinated even with all the science out there telling them that if they don't get vaccinated they could die.

       The folks in the red states are refusing to get  the COVOD-19 shots because they want to stick it to the libs, and own Joe Biden. (Ask Herman Cain how that worked out for him. Oh wait...you can't because he is dead.)

      The irony is, of course, that their dear leader himself scurried to get vaccinated after almost going to down to the meet his pals like Rush Limbaugh on a  permanent vacation where it's always very hot. 

      I am not sure where the hatred of facts and science comes from with the right. Now they are refusing to teach the real history of America in schools because it is too offensive to their sensibilities. God forbid that we teach the children what actually happened in this country before they try to totally rewrite the nation's history and pretend that it never happened. 

      They are now using the critical race theory bogeyman to continue their culture war (cause that's all they have) and punish truth- tellers who dare to want to teach our children the truth. Some states are now passing laws  that make teaching critical race theory illegal. This, in spite of the fact that most of those legislatures who voted to ban it don't' even know what critical race theory is.  

      Finally, speaking of laws and laws being applied unequally. 

      "A Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to five years of probation after pleading guilty to casting a vote in the name of his deceased mother in an effort to reelect then-President Donald Trump, according to court records and Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer's office.

      Bruce Bartman, 70, received the sentence Friday after entering a guilty plea to two counts of perjury and one count of unlawful voting. Bartman will also lose his right to vote for four years, pursuant to Pennsylvania statute, the district attorney's office said in a news release.
      Voter records show that Bartman used Pennsylvania's online voter-registration portal to register both his late mother, Elizabeth Bartman, and his deceased mother-in-law, Elizabeth Weihman, who died in 2019 -- illegally registering both as Republican voters, the district attorney's office said.
        Bartman then requested, filled out and sent in the absentee ballot for his deceased mother for the 2020 general election. Bartman's attorney, Samuel Stretton, told CNN that his client regrets the decision.
          Stretton said Bartman had explained to the court that because of the coronavirus pandemic, he had been isolated at home and was misled by "propaganda and statements" that were made about voter fraud. 

          "This was his way of misguided political dissent," Stretton said. "He accepts the responsibility."
          Trump repeatedly sought to sow doubt about the integrity of the general election and even falsely claimed victory over Joe Biden despite there being no evidence of widespread voter fraud in any US state. " [Source] 

          Five years probation.  

          Now check out this story.

          "The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said Wednesday that it will consider an appeal from Crystal Mason, a Texas woman sentenced to five years behind bars for casting a provisional ballot in the 2016 election.

          “She’s absolutely buoyed,” attorney Alison Grinter told NBC News on Wednesday. “Her family is just over the moon today that she literally lives to fight another day.”

          She said the appeal is Mason's last chance at staying out of prison; she is currently out on an appeal bond.

          Mason was on supervised release from prison in 2016 when she went to the polls. She wasn't on the voter rolls, and instead cast a provisional ballot with the help of a poll worker. Local officials determined she was ineligible due to her 2011 tax fraud conviction, and her ballot was not counted. Prosecutors later charged her with knowingly voting illegally." [Source]

          Five years in prison. 

          You get one guess to tell me the difference between the two perpetrators.  

          Sunday, July 04, 2021

          The truth will not replace them.

          Some MAGA brown shirts from Texas loaded up in some Penske trucks and tried to put their Independence Day stamp on Philly. As is to be expected (This is, after all, Philly.), it didn't go too well for them. Still, you have to think that after Charlottesville, Virginia, we would not see anymore of these neo-Nazi khaki wearing types parading through American streets. ("Jews will not replace us") At least not in this fashion. They have MAGA rallies which accomplish the same goals these days.  

          It's kind of scary how normal this has become since the former guy declared that there are "good people" among their ranks. The entire republican party seems to have become a haven for white supremacist and nut-job conspiracy theorists. 

          We haven't heard the last from these types and their sympathizers. January 6th might have been a dress rehearsal for much more ominous things to come. The former guy has not yet accepted defeat, and the "big lie" is just getting bigger and more mainstream.  

          “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” ~Joseph Goebbels~ 

          As the lie becomes bigger, expect to see more of the of types of things that we saw on display in Philadelphia on Saturday.

          And honestly, I'm not sure why the marchers in Philadelphia felt the need to cover their faces. I mean if you think about it they are no different than the crowd that gathered for a rally in Sarasota, Florida on Saturday.