Thursday, August 05, 2021

Inside man.

 


A friend of mine had his ticket punched from the practice of law a few years ago because of what he claimed was an "honest mistake". Whether you believe him or not, you have to wonder how people like Jeffrey Clark are still being allowed to thrive in the practice of law after being one of the former guy's point men in his attempted coup. on the American government. 

Here is a little background from New York Magazine: 

"Top members of the Department of Justice last year rebuffed another DOJ official who asked them to urge officials in Georgia to investigate and perhaps overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in the state – long a bitter point of contention for former President Donald Trump and his team – before the results were certified by Congress, emails obtained by ABC News show.

The “DOJ official” in question was Jeffrey Clark, the acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Division, who in late December drafted a letter to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and the Republican leaders of the Georgia legislature urging them to convene a special session to investigate alleged 2020 voter-fraud claims. Given Kemp’s refusal to back Trump’s lies about Georgia’s vote, it’s understandable (if bizarre) that Clark’s draft letter also suggested the legislature call itself into session to consider whether it should appoint electors to rival the Biden slate already certified by Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Subsequent reporting by MSNBC indicates that Clark had drafted similar letters to Republican leaders in five other states carried by Biden but which Trump claimed to have won.

The one truly surprising thing about this gambit was its late timing. All along, as I noted on December 1, the most feasible avenue for a Trump election coup was to mobilize Repset yublican state legislatures to usurp the selection of electors on his behalf:

[I]t was obvious by mid-November that Trump’s only hope was to create enough phony doubt about the outcome in key states to justify a power grab by Republican legislators. The idea, which was fully aired in many of the preelection “red mirage” speculations … was that state legislators would assert aconstitutionally sanctioned (if controversial and arguably in conflict with their own statutes) right to appoint electors themselves since “fraud” had tainted the popular-vote results. Trump publicly called on GOP legislators to do just that, as Politico reported on November 21.

It didn’t work in November, but Clark (and very clearly Trump himself) wanted to give it another try based on the exotic constitutional theory that the whole Electoral Count Act process for certifying and confirming electors violated the sovereign power of state legislatures over electors (there was a parallel claim, shot down by the federal courts a few days later, that the Constitution gave then Vice-President Pence the power to disregard state certifications of electors and count them however he wanted). [Source]

It didn't work, but the former guy sure gave it the good old college try. The thing is, though, it could happen again. And this time the former guy and his fascist minions are working harder to make sure they get it right the next time. They have loaded up state houses with hyper partisan right-wing loyalist, and their media conglomerates are doing everything in their power to undermine the electoral process and sow seeds of doubt in the way that our democracy is currently set up.  

The really scary thing is that there seems to be no outrage, and Americans seem to be just chalking it all it up to the former guy being the former guy.  Still, there might be hope. Some news organizations are starting to take notice.

"CNN's Marshall Cohen, Jason Morris, Christopher Hickey and Will Mullery have put together an in-depth timeline of Trump's efforts to corrupt the US government and the Georgia government. It is exhaustive and shocking."

But is it shocking enough for us to do something about it? 

Merrick Garland, the ball is in your court.     


  

 


  

Sunday, August 01, 2021

CAPTION SUNDAY.

 


 

Caption this picture. 




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.   

          Tuesday, June 29, 2021

          Some thoughts.



          I just have a few thoughts before I let you get back to you regularly scheduled life.

          Remember when riht-wingnuts were trying to tell us all that climate change wasn't a thing and it's all a hoax?

          "Record-breaking temperatures have soared well past 100 degrees across the Pacific Northwest, where the area is trapped beneath a blistering "heat dome."

          In a region where average temperatures are closer to the 70s this time of year, houses can be seen with blacked-out windows covered with blankets to help with the heat. The area's normally mild summers mean many households don't have air conditioning."

          The historic heatwave is bringing with it fears about what could follow over the rest of this summer. "

          It's not only the Northwest, the entire country is gripped in a serious heatwave. It's hot as hell (no pun intended) in damn near every state in America right now, and we're still in June. 

          Isn't it funny how republicans are outraged about Gwen Berry, but were totally cool with the January 6th insurrectionists? 

          "Sen. Tom Cotton is calling for Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry to be removed from the Olympic roster for turning her back on the U.S. flag during the national anthem over the weekend.

          “I don’t think it’s too much, when athletes are competing to wear the Stars and Stripes, to compete under the Stars and Stripes in the Olympics, for them to simply honor that flag and our anthem on the medal stand,” the Arkansas Republican and former Army infantry officer told Fox News. “If Ms. Berry is so embarrassed by America, then there’s no reason she needs to compete for our country. She should be removed from the Olympic team.” 

          These are the same folks who were down with MAGA rioters beating police officers with the American flag, and storming the capitol of the United States. The former guy's supporters are threatening to start a civil war and this clown is worried about an Olympic hammer thrower exercising her Constitutional right. 

          Finally, there is a new imaginary threat to America, and it's called critical race theory. It's funny, because I'm pretty sure that ninety percent of the people crying a river about it have no idea what it is. It's just the latest tool in the right- wing arsenal to create a wedge between the American people and throw red meat to their base. And, as it turns out,  this isn't new. 

          In the mid-1960s, in Orange County, California, a consortium of right-wing groups went to war against a textbook. Their ranks included concerned parents, right-wing members of educational societies, and members of the John Birch Society, a far-right extremist group that had risen in prominence by fearmongering about an internal Communist threat in the United States. The textbook in question — "Land of the Free: A History of the United States" — was the work of three progressive historians in response to a 1963 call from the Congress of Racial Equality’s Berkeley chapter to teach more inclusive history in elementary schools. It was a time when the Civil War was almost exclusively taught as a “states' rights” issue, a framing that elided or whitewashed the realities of slavery.

          According to historian Elaine Lewinnek, who memorialized the controversy in a 2015 Pacific Historical Review article, "Land of the Free" sought to integrate the struggles and triumphs of minorities throughout U.S. history. Critically, it opened with an admission that the United States had not lived up to its purported ideals from the very beginning, excluding Black people, Native Americans and women from the franchise, and from representation in office for the vast majority of its existence.

          Once the book became a mandatory part of the California state public school curriculum, the backlash from right-wing groups was swift and fierce. One John Birch society representative told The New York Times that the book would give white schoolchildren “a guilt complex.” Hundreds of parents aired their grievances to California’s educational authorities, Lewinnek found, protesting at school board meetings. They denounced the book for “stirring up past injustices,” “overrepresenting” Black contributions to American history, and being “unpatriotic” and “communist.” A shadowy extremist group funded a filmstrip attacking the textbook’s lead author, and called their work Education or Indoctrination?

          Fifty-four years later, that exact title would be reflected in a headline for the right-wing website The Daily Signal: “Education or Indoctrination? ‘Anti-Racist’ Teaching Sweeps K-12 Schools Targeting ‘Whiteness,'” the site blared in December of 2020." [Link]

          Whenever you tell the truth about American history you risk pissing off some folks who would like us to forget the ugly side of it. It's not un-American to tell the truth. It's un-American to run away from it and pretend that aspects of our history that we don't like didn't happen.  

          That's all folks. 



           

          Thursday, June 24, 2021

          Rudy has his ticket punched, and Matt gets schooled.

           




          Rudy Giuliani had his law license suspended in the state of New York today. Let's add him to the list of sycophants, lap-dogs, and lackeys who worked for the former guy, and who either lost their physical freedom, or their freedom to earn a living because of their slavish devotion to him and what he stands for. 

          I'm not sure how these individuals can live with themselves. Especially when the former guy continues to get away with all his illegal actions and misdeeds while they all continue to take the fall. People keep saying that  the former guy will get his, and it's just a matter of time before he has to face the music. My position is simple: Wake me when he is in handcuffs and doing a perp-walk. For the record, I don't think that anything will come of all these potential legal minefields facing him. He will continue to get away with all of it just like he has always done. Being the first modern day white supremacist president does have its privileges.

          And speaking of the former guy, can you imagine what type of authoritarian state we would be living in if he had been reelected? We are now finding out that dude wanted the DOJ to go after a television show and comedians for making fun of him. (He denies it of course, but we all know that when he denies something it means that it really happened.) And, if that wasn't enough, he wanted the military to "shoot" George Floyd protestors this past summer. Let that sink in for a minute.

          Finally, shout out to Mark Milley,  the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for putting a verbal beat down on potential sexual predator, Matt Gaetz. The politician from Florida was trying to grandstand and show off for the former guy when Milley let him have it.   

          '"First of all, on the issue of critical race theory, et cetera. I'll obviously have to get much smarter on whatever the theory is, but I do think it's important actually for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read.

          "And in the United States Military Academy is a university and it is important that we train and we understand."

          “I want to understand ‘white rage,’ and I’m white, and I want to understand it,” he said, per NPR. “So what is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out.”' 

          Good for him. And you know he touched a nerve with the white supremacist crowd because Tucker Carlson (who is becoming more unhinged with each passing day) called him a pig on his show tonight.

          When you 've lost Tucker, you just know that you're on the right side of history.   

          Saturday, June 19, 2021

          Caption Saturday.

           


          I need a caption for this picture. 

          Monday, June 14, 2021

          Ocean City police under scrutiny, and Mitch is at it again.




          Tonight I need all of you field hands to help me out with something. 

          Please watch this video ,and this, and tell me why you think that police officers would act out in this manner when they know that they are being filmed. And, not to mention, given all that has been going on with citizen interaction and the police over the past few months. 

          Who knew that vaping was such a serious offense?  

          Finally, I also need you all to tell me what it is that makes democrats so useless and afraid of their shadows in Washington. 

          A day doesn't seem to go by without Mitch and his boys running all over them. Now Mitch has straight up told them that if he becomes majority leader in 2024 they (the dems) will not get a supreme court nominee if Biden tries to fill a vacancy.  

          All those people who voted to get the former guy out of office must be now wondering if it was all worth it. 

          Apparently it wasn't, because as I write this post, Matt Gaetz, the former guy, and Bill Barr , have not been charged with a crime.