10,000 on ignore, Book 156: The Days of Reckoning, Part 15.....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Dozens of former national security, military officials push for Jan. 6 commission GOP is blocking
Joan McCarter

Congressional Republicans have done everything in their power to stop the Jan. 6 commission from happening, succeeding thus far in covering up their own culpability and accountability for what happened on the attack on the Capitol. In response, 140 former senior national security, military and elected officials are using their clout to urge Congress to get on the ball.

In a letter to every member of Congress, they write "We are former senior national security, military, and elected officials who have represented or served Democrats, Republicans, or administrations of both parties. We write to encourage this Congress to establish an independent and bipartisan national commission to investigate the January 6th assault of the U.S. Capitol Complex and its direct causes, and to make recommendations to prevent future assaults and strengthen the resilience of our democratic institutions."

They're doing this now, they write "with great urgency in light of what we collectively see as an exigent and growing threat," because what happened on Jan. 6 "exposed severe vulnerabilities in the nation’s preparedness for preventing and responding to domestic terrorist attacks." They detail the "complex national security threats" exposed by the attack: "coordinated disinformation campaigns, nontransparent financing of extremist networks, potential foreign influences, and white supremacist violent extremism, which the Department of Homeland Security identified in an October 2020 report as among 'the most persistent and lethal threat.'

.........
Unfortunately, that's the part of the rationale behind the commission that Republicans in Congress are most intent on blocking. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proposed a commission consisting of 11 members, seven of them picked by Democrats—three members chosen by President Biden, two by herself and two by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The remaining four would be chosen by Republicans, two by House leader Kevin McCarthy and two by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. Of course Republicans balked at that, demanding equal representation. Pelosi has indicated she'd be flexible on the commission make-up, but there's a bigger problem behind the Republicans blockade: the scope of the investigation, the "complex national security threats" the former national security officials are warning about.

Republicans, led by McConnell and McCarthy, are insisting that antifa and Black Lives Matter will be dragged into any investigation examining the domestic terrorism of Jan. 6 if Pelosi insists on a commission with an investigative scope beyond the limits of the failure of Capitol security on that day. If she wants to look at anything leading up to Jan. 6, McConnell says that it should also examine "the full scope of the political violence problem in this country."

"Rioting and political violence are abhorrent and unacceptable no matter what cause the mob is advancing. These are not forms of political speech," he said. "We cannot have artificial cherry-picking of which terrible behavior does and does not deserve scrutiny." McCarthy echoed that threat: "What are the other things that happened as well? With Antifa, and others, I think there should be a lot of investigations."

That's what any Republican either McConnell or McCarthy put on the panel would be there to do—to force the scope of the "investigation" away from the white supremacist Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol, away from the dark money forces that helped them, away from the far-right networks that egged them on. Trying to find agreement with McConnell—his commission proposal would give him the ability to pick the majority of its members—is probably futile for Pelosi. McConnell can filibuster any legislation to create the commission if he doesn't agree with it. Until and unless Senate Democrats get rid of the filibuster, this is one more thing that's not going to move through the Senate.

In the meantime, Pelosi is moving forward with House committee investigations. Before the House left for Easter recess, chairs of seven committees sent letters to 16 agencies overseen by the White House and Congress demanding "all communications sent between agency officials regarding Congress' Jan. 6 session, when lawmakers certified Joe Biden's Electoral College victory," as well as "all relevant documents and messages from Dec. 1, 2020, to Jan. 20, 2021."

"We understand that the Department continues to investigate and prosecute individuals involved in the events on January 6, 2021," they wrote to the Justice Department. "We are happy to work with you to ensure that the document requests in this letter do not interfere with ongoing investigations and prosecutions." The Biden Justice Department is quite likely to be happy to work with Congress, too, in determining what happened that day, and what led up to it. Republicans are going to bet on their ability to paint any information that comes from these committee investigations as "partisan," and also on the hope that as the day recedes in time, the horror of it will as well.

Republicans will not listen to the urgency of 140 Democratic and Republican national security professionals and their former colleagues. They won't listen to the widow of a Capitol Police officer who died by suicide in the days after the insurrection.
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Mississippi official frets that greater ballot access will allow 'woke' college students to vote
Aldous J Pennyfarthing

There are a lot of people I’d like to keep home on Election Day—about 74 million, by last count. But they have every right to tick a sad little box for a bloviating mound of venal earwax, no matter what I think about it.

I’ve also known my share of ignorant college students. I was one of them! I was all ready to vote for Ronald Reagan in 1984 … before I noticed that the line was prohibitively long, and so I went back to my dorm to watch He-Man and the Masters of the Universe instead—which, in retrospect, was a much better choice.

But, you know, secretaries of state who oversee statewide elections probably shouldn’t be decrying greater access to the ballot box—unless, of course, what they’re really trying to do is tip the scales in, erm, someone’s favor.

Like Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson.
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On March 26, Watson appeared on WLOX-TV in Biloxi, Mississippi, to discuss the dire scourge of “woke” college students voting. This earned a stern rebuke from Ray Mabus, a Democrat who served as Mississippi’s governor from 1988-1992.

We’ll get to that in a moment, but first, this ****ing fopdoodle:



Dude! There’s a history here, and it doesn’t exactly make Mississippi look good, so Republicans should tread carefully. As Mabus notes in the above tweet response, this smacks of literacy tests and other vote-suppression measures that have traditionally been used to ensure that only the white “right” people vote.

Also, the idea that Republican voters are studying the “issues” is patently absurd, unless believing Donald Trump was sent by God to shut down that chain of baby’s blood-themed Jamba Juices Hillary Clinton was planning to open in the D.C. metropolitan area somehow counts as an “issue.”

It’s pretty simple. Joe Biden and the Democrats want as many people as possible to vote, on the theory that an engaged electorate is a good thing. Republicans obviously fear voter participation, because they know they’d have to change their tune—and their pro-plutocrat policies—if “woke” people started participating in overwhelming numbers.

From Newsweek:

Democrats want to expand voting access and Biden's executive order directs the head of each federal agency to submit within 200 days a plan that outlines how they can promote voter registration and participation.
This would include increasing online and social media information campaigns, as well as distributing voter registration and vote-by-mail ballot applications.
The administration's push comes as legislatures across the country move to increase voting restrictions.
Hey, I get it: Watson doesn’t want “uninformed” citizens voting. I hate to break it to him, but that’s most of us. But I’m all for informing them. Maybe we could funnel some of that F-35 money into, you know, edumacation. A good, comprehensive, nationwide civics program would be a great start.

Maybe we should have a nationwide referendum on this. The Trumpies can stay home if they want, because that’s their constitutionally protected right.
 

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Marjorie Taylor Greene raised more than $3 million in the first quarter of 2021.

In preparation for what is likely to be a contentious reelection fight, freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has raised more than $3 million in the last three months, Politico reported Wednesday.

It’s a shocking total, one that dwarfs the nearly $728,000 Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) pulled in during the first three months of 2019, and it follows months of controversy that have dogged Greene since her election victory in November.

“I’m just getting started,” Greene tweeted Wednesday while celebrating the haul. “I am one of the people and the people are with me, and I will always be with them.”.....
 

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President Biden's family separation task force is scouring through thousands of unreviewed files to determine whether the Trump administration began separating families within the first six months of coming into office.

The task force uncovered 5,600 files from the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement from Jan. 20, 2017, the day Donald Trump was sworn in as president, to July 2017. A Department of Homeland Security official acknowledged the task force has yet to reunite families but noted it remains committed to that goal.

"We've begun a process for reviewing and cross-checking those files," said the DHS official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity. "This is a manual process, manually going through each file, looking for clues. And it's our hope and expectation that this process will review only a few additional families. But it's important to look through them and make sure."

Concerns that the Trump administration started separating families within the first months of taking office have grown since the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General found that children had been separated from their parents during a pilot program before the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, which was first implemented in mid-2018......
 

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Beshear signs law making it easier to vote as Kentucky bucks national trend


Gov. Andy Beshear signed into law Wednesday a significant election reform bill that will make it easier for Kentuckians to vote early, bucking a national trend of more restrictive election laws in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

“We showed during this pandemic that we can vote in a safe way, that we can eliminate any concerns about fraud while expanding access so everyone can make sure that they can cast their ballot,” Beshear said. “While some states have stepped in a different direction, I am really proud of Kentucky.”

Kentucky already has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country. Even with the expansions included in the bill, the state’s voting laws in many ways remain more restrictive than the provisions contained in a controversial law that was recently signed in Georgia......
 
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U.S. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, a pivotal vote in the evenly divided Senate, said on Wednesday he was opposed to a process called reconciliation that makes it easier to pass bills without Republican support, a potential blow to President Joe Biden’s chances of passing a huge infrastructure measure........
 

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US President Joe Biden on Wednesday restored aid to the Palestinians, promising $235 million (€198 million) in assistance to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, or UNRWA.

A reversal of assistance cuts initiated by former President Donald Trump, the move was swiftly denounced by the Israeli government.

The funding "provides critical relief to those in great need, fosters economic development and supports Israeli-Palestinian understanding, security coordination and stability," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

The US State Department said the nation would contribute $150 million to the UN agency and give an additional $75 million in economic and development assistance for the West Bank and Gaza on top of $10 million for peacebuilding efforts.

The agency provides aid and relief services to around 5.7 million registered Palestinian refugees in the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and across the Middle East.


Historically the UNRWA counted on the United States as its top donor. But it has been facing a shortfall since Trump withdrew funds in 2018. The funding promise made Wednesday is still below the $355 million the US contributed in 2016......
 

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A top Georgia Republican said Wednesday that Rudy Giuliani's false claims of election fraud -- which were presented before state lawmakers -- created momentum for a package of voting rights restrictions that recently became state law.

"This is really the fallout from the 10 weeks of misinformation that flew in from former President Donald Trump," Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said on CNN's "New Day." "I went back over the weekend to really look at where this really started to gain momentum in the legislature, and it was when Rudy Giuliani showed up in a couple of committee rooms and spent hours spreading misinformation and sowing doubt across, you know, hours of testimony."

Duncan's remarks highlight the continuing aftermath from a pair of appearances Giuliani made before Georgia state lawmakers in December when he was serving on Trump's legal team. Giuliani tried, unsuccessfully, to convince legislators to convene a special session to overturn Joe Biden's victory in the state. In addition to building momentum for new voting restrictions, Giuliani's appearances have also piqued the interest of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is investigating Trump's efforts to influence Georgia's election results.

Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment in response to Duncan's remarks. But during his December testimony, Giuliani falsely claimed that thousands of dead people voted in the Georgia election, insisted that voting machines had changed people's votes and suggested thousands of others had voted illegally........
 

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PENSACOLA, FL—Wondering if this was a sign that their relationship was “official,” local 17-year-old high school student Sophie Garrett was overheard Wednesday asking her friend what it means when the guy you like wants a blanket pardon. “Has a guy ever mentioned something called a ‘blanket pardon,’” said the senior class treasurer to a reportedly more experienced friend, explaining that she didn’t want to look up the unfamiliar term on a school computer and risk getting detention. “He hasn’t directly asked me yet, but I peeked at some of his texts and it was mentioned several times—like, he was almost bragging about it. Not to sound like a prude, but is it normal hand stuff, or am I supposed to do more things, like, under the blanket? I don’t want to feel pressured into it, like when he asked to check if I was wearing a wire, but I don’t want him to break up with me either. Ugh, this is what I get for liking bad boys.” At press time, a note recovered at the scene confirmed that everybody at the school had already heard that Garrett did blanket pardons.
 

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Gallitzin State Forest, Pot Ridge reclamation site, 4/8/21

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'Not an ounce of oxygen left': Doctor details vile state Floyd left in as pro-cop PAC aims to profit
Lauren Floyd

Despite a medical doctor’s compelling testimony and myriad police officials deeming the force applied to George Floyd excessive in the widely-publicized murder trial of ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin, a political committee fundraising for pro-police candidates blamed the Black father for his own death.

In an April 1 email The Intercept obtained, a representative of the Protect Our Police Political Action Committee advocated for Chauvin's innocence and in effect, asserted Floyd's guilt in his own death. “Our founding fathers knew the importance of a fair justice system, but unhinged radical cop haters are taking every opportunity to pervert the law to advance their agenda,” the representative said in the email. “That’s exactly what’s happening in Minnesota to officer Derek Chauvin. Let’s get one thing clear: George Floyd tested positive for COVID-19 and was high on a lethal dose of fentanyl when he died May 25th, 2020… but the mainstream media doesn’t want you to know that!”

The PAC representative went on to say: “Chauvin is facing trial for a murder he did not commit — leftist radicals want to make an example out of an innocent man that followed the protocol he learned in his training. They want to ruin his life for political gain.” Nick Gerace, a former Philadelphia cop and president of the PAC, later blamed the email—signed with his name—on a marketing firm the PAC hired.

"I terminated our relationship with this firm and the individual involved with this tactless messaging," he said in a statement tweeted from the PAC’s account. "Chauvin's actions were examples of bad policing and poor training that directly caused George Floyd's death in my opinion."



He continued in the statement:


"The kind of messaging and innuendo included in that single email is not in line with our mission and I vehemently denounce it. I am not a politician or an elected official. I will do what they rarely do. I am taking responsibility and I sincerely apologize for this mistake. This will never happen again. We can do better. We will do better. We must do better.
Since we started this organization 9 months ago, we never once defended the actions of Chauvin or blamed George Floyd for his tragic and unnecessary death. This touches on one of our main motivations for starting this organization."
Not all cops are bad or bastards. There are almost 800,000 law enforcement offices in the US and the vast majority serve the public with distinction and integrity. However, there can be bad police officers and there are certain reforms that are necessary to increase the overall safety of our community and our law enforcement. This will take adequate funding and effective training. Let me be clear. No one hates a dirty cop more than a good cop. Our organization stands for good cops and we will continue to advocate on their behalf and for public safety.”
However offended Gerace claims to be, the email was not out of accordance with other fundraising materials emailed by the PAC. The fundraising committee has declared progressive Philadelphia prosecutor Larry Krasner, who's up for reelection this year, a target for his policies, which are aimed at ending mass incarceration and pursuing alternatives to incarceration. The PAC also described the Black Lives Matter organization as an “anti-cop operation” and accused the Defund the Police movement, calling for the reallocation of a portion of police budgets to social services, of having "blood on (its) hands," The Intercept reported.

Interestingly enough, the PAC doesn’t seem to advocate nearly as fiercely for victims when officers have blood on their hands. As outraged as Gerace appeared to be, not a single tweet from his organization even mentions Floyd—except to retract the unnamed marketing firm’s email. That’s despite hours of heart-wrenching testimony from witnesses detailing how they felt frustrated and helpless as officers prevented them from doing anything to help Floyd.



On the ninth day of the trial, physicians analyzed in troubling detail the conditions that led to Floyd’s death. Doctors Martin Tobin, a Chicago pulmonologist and critical care physician, and Bill Smock, an emergency medical physician, both made a mockery of the defense’s notion that fentanyl detected in Floyd’s system caused his death. Smock testified that Floyd’s fentanyl use did not impact his breathing and there was no evidence of a blood clot, heart attack, or arrhythmia. “Mr. Floyd died from positional asphyxia, which is a fancy way of saying he died because he had no oxygen left in his body,” Smock said.



Tobin detailed in court how “a healthy person, subjected to what Mr. Floyd was subjected to, would have died.” He demonstrated signs of a brain injury four minutes before Chauvin stopped kneeling on him, the doctor said on the stand.



"Mr. Floyd died from a low level of oxygen. And this caused damage to his brain that we see, and it also caused [an arrhythmia] that caused his heart to stop," Tobin said. He explained that the level of oxygen in Floyd’s body dropped to zero, and at that point “there’s not an ounce of oxygen left in his body.”



Both Tobin and Smock analyzed for the jury images of Floyd pushing his fingers against the street to lift himself up. “To most people, this doesn’t look terribly significant, but to a physiologist this is extraordinarily significant, because this tells you that he has used up his resources and he’s literally trying to breathe with his fingers and knuckles,” Tobin said.

 

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'I am sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today': Gaetz pal's lawyer hints at reckoning
Aldous J Pennyfarthing

I’d like to say Matt Gaetz has taken an epic fall from rarefied heights, but who are we kidding? This is the guy who sarcastically donned a gas mask on the House floor at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and childishly trolled a fellow Republican after she voted to hold Donald Trump accountable for inciting insurrection.
So this isn’t a fall from grace so much as a tiny tumble from slightly less disgrace than two weeks ago, when he was merely a heinous House rep with an Igloo cooler-sized head full of Axe body spray fumes and perduring shame.

Now? After four years of wearing Donald John Trump’s ass as a hat, he looks like he may be well on his way to donning orange yet again.

But don’t take my word for it. The lawyer for Matt’s BFF and partner-in-grime, former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, is pretty confident that Gaetz is in deep shite, because his own client appears to be cooperating with federal prosecutors.


From POLITICO:

The potentially ominous development for the close ally of former President Donald Trump came as prosecutors and a defense attorney for Greenberg appeared before a judge here to discuss the next steps in a recently expanded criminal case charging Greenberg with sex trafficking of a minor, as well as stalking, bribery and defrauding the pandemic-related Paycheck Protection Program.
“I am sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today,” Greenberg's defense attorney, Fritz Scheller, said after the hearing.

Ouchies.

Scheller also said during today’s hearing that he expects the case to be resolved with a plea. And if the dozens of hours I’ve spent watching The Sopranos are good for anything, that tells me this could be curtains for Gaetz.

The new development signals potentially serious trouble for Gaetz as prosecutors now have someone close to the congressman apparently willing to provide an insider account of his activities. Such information and perspective can be vital to provide context for the financial and travel records prosecutors are known to be scrutinizing.

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!

I don’t know about you, but I love it when assholes get what’s coming to them. And this hot cup of comeuppance is downright delicious.

Let’s savor it as long as we can now, shall we?
 

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Revolving Bore: Former Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Joins Fox News
News Corpse

The relationship between Fox News and the Republican Party is an incestuous mess that repeatedly violates all standards of journalistic ethics. And now the revolving door between Fox and the defunct Donald Trump administration is spinning faster than a Hunter Biden laptop lie.

Fox News has just announced Trump's former Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo has been hired as a contributor. According to the Hollywood Reporter...

"Pompeo, who will make his first appearance in his new role on the channel on Friday's Fox & Friends, will appear across Fox News and Fox Business programming.
"In a statement Thursday, Pompeo said he intends 'to give viewers a candid, no-nonsense look at geopolitics, international relations and the America First policies that helped chart the course for unprecedented American prosperity and security.'"
It is entirely fitting that Pompeo will debut as a talking head with the "Curvy Couch" potatoes on Trump's favorite morning show, Fox and Friends. And his statement that Trump's policies charted "a course for unprecedented American prosperity and security," strikes just right tone of flagrant dishonesty to launch a budding career in nakedly biased media and propaganda. If Trump's policies were so successful he wouldn't have been evicted form the White House by an unprecedented majority of the American people.

However, nowhere in the announcement was it acknowledged that Pompeo is actively exploring a run for president in 2024. He has already made the requisite appearances in in the first primary state of Iowa. This hire is just another example of Fox News boosting Republican politicians. At the very least, Fox is proving to be the GOP's jobs program for failed pols with nowhere else to go. He is joining Trump castoffs...
  • Kayleigh McEnany, the former press secretary who is now a co-host of Fox's Outnumbered.
  • Larry Kudlow, the former economic advisor who has replaced Fox's Lou Dobbs, who was fired in connection with the billion dollar lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems.
  • Lara Trump, who, for the moment, is the wife of Eric Trump - her only qualification for the job.
Pompeo shares the distinction of being a prospective candidate with Lara Trump. She has been talking about running for the Senate in North Carolina for weeks. And another former Trump press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has already gone from Trump's White House to Fox News to a candidacy for governor of Arkansas.

There is no bottom to the ethical breaches by Fox News and the Republican shills they support. It is a brazenly biased confederacy of shameless dishonesty operating as a mutual benefit society for personal and political gain. Look for it to continue with other Trump/GOP fortune seekers who have been unable to find jobs anywhere else.
 

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As some insurrectionists eye plea bargains, others are doubling down on claims of patriotism
David Neiwert

Thanks mostly to their own compulsive braggadocio, the evidence against the people charged as participants in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection—now at well over 350 of them and counting—just keeps getting deeper and deeper. At least one of the men facing charges, in fact, is now cooperating with authorities and providing what could prove to be even more damning evidence against the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers organizers who played key roles in the attack.

However, while some of the defendants have expressed remorse and claim that they were misled—even, in some cases, blaming Donald Trump for their misfortune—others instead are doubling down, defending the insurrection as an act of patriotism. Two of them from New England, in fact, appear to be embarking on a post-indictment career of fundraising around political rallies at which they appear onstage with other speakers to denounce President Biden and Democrats as “communists.”
.........
“Yeah, we are definitely not terrorists,” 46-year-old Mark Sahady told a crowd in suburban Bridgewater, Massachusetts, last month. “Make no mistake about it: This is a political prosecution.”

Sahady and his codefendant, Suzanne Ianni, are both charged with unauthorized entry of the Capitol and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds. Out on bail after their Jan. 19 arrests in Boston, they’ve chosen to embrace their martyrdom as “patriots,” leaning into the support that insurrectionists and the conspiracy theorists who inflamed them have received in the weeks afterward from establishment Republicans and right-wing media.

The Bridgewater event was a rally against COVID-19 restrictions, but Sahady and Ianni were its featured speakers, introduced to the audience as “freedom fighters” by organizer John Hugo. “We’re drawing a line in the sand; we’re pushing back,” Hugo told the audience.

Sahady, Ianni, and Hugo are the leaders of “Super Happy Fun America,” a proto-fascist group that organizes “protest” events that serve primarily as opportunities for street violence by Proud Boys and other far-right brawlers. In 2019, they organized a “Straight Pride Parade” in Boston that turned into just such a riot.

Hugo likes to claim that their group welcomes the Proud Boys, but that they are different since “we’re not trying to start fights.” However, Sahady has participated in several Proud Boys street marches—including in Providence, Rhode Island, and Portland, Oregon—that turned into violent riots as well.

It preaches a virulent politics claiming that Democrats and “violent” leftists are conspiring to take over America, institute a Marxist system and oppress conservatives and “normal” Americans.

“The American Democrats—they are the communists! They are the enemy of Americans, and all [the] human race,” Bao Chau Kelley, the group’s outreach coordinator, proclaimed at the Bridgewater rally.

Most other indictees in the insurrection are keeping a much lower profile. That’s particularly the case now that federal prosecutors filed a document in the case of Jon Ryan Schaffer, a heavy-metal guitarist/frontman from Indiana who faces six felony charges, indicating that Schaffer is considering a plea bargain in exchange for his cooperation and testimony in the case.

Schaffer, who was photographed wearing an Oath Keepers hat while assaulting police officers with bear spray and invading the Capitol, has distanced himself from the organization in court. According to the filing—which was mistakenly made public—Schaffer in March began engaging in "debrief interviews.”

"Based on these debrief interviews, the parties are currently engaged in good-faith plea negotiations, including discussions about the possibility of entering into a cooperation plea agreement aimed at resolving the matter short of indictment," the filing said.

As Marcy Wheeler observes, the filing’s accidental release—a notation clearly states that “the parties request that this filing be docketed under seal”—could complicate any such plea bargain. However, it also makes clear that cooperation agreements are under way in several cases, and indicates how prosecutors are proceeding, including review of the deals “at various levels of government.”

"Whenever you have a large group of people arrested," criminal defense attorney Martin Tankleff told CNN, it’s common for prosecutors to pressure defendants to flip on each other. "They're going to start talking. They're going to start sharing information."

Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola’s attorney wrote in court filings that he believed a so-called "cooperating witness" was sharing information about the Proud Boys. An earlier filing by prosecutors had revealed that this witness heard Proud Boys members claim that “anyone they got their hands on they would have killed,” including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and that they would have also killed then-Vice President Mike Pence “if given the chance.” The men—who all had firearms or access to them—also talked about returning to Washington for Inauguration Day, and that “they plan to kill every single ‘m-fer’ they can.” That witness, prosecutors noted, has not been charged with a crime.

Most of the defendants, as a New York Times piece recently explored, are facing substantial evidence of their crimes culled from videos and photos both in mainstream media and on social media. Indeed, a large portion of that evidence was provided by the insurrectionists themselves.

Zeroing in on the case of Proud Boys leader Joe Biggs—who claims he had a working relationship with FBI agents, providing information about leftist protesters, over many months prior to the Capitol siege—the Times notes that while Biggs faces the possibility of decades of imprisonment, he only need blame himself: “Like other Proud Boys, he helped document the prosecution's case.”

“Wanting to show how smart they are, they’ve basically outlined the charges against them,” Grant Fredericks, a forensic video analyst who examined the online evidence, told the Times.

The same was true for a New Jersey man who was arrested just this week for assaulting police officers during the insurrection and leading the push into the Capitol building. Christopher Joseph Quaglin of North Brunswick was arrested Wednesday and faces charges of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers or employees, civil disorder and obstruction of official proceeding.

Not only do multiple videos show Quaglin assaulting multiple officer and acting as one of the chief aggressors in the breach of the Capitol, he also bragged about doing so on social media afterwards. Quaglin posted that he was “in the middle of it” and was sure he was “going to make the news,” according to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

Prosecutors say he had booked six rooms at his hotel and actively recruited others to join him on Jan. 6. After the siege, he returned to the room and posted a video saying it was a “great time.”

“When you guys see the footage, I was in the red, white and blue uhh hoodie and the black helmet,” he said. “I’m absolutely on a loop on Fox News.”

The braggadocio underscores how thoroughly the insurrectionists believed the conspiracy theories and disinformation about the election that they all give as their reasons for storming the Capitol, but how little attachment they had to the reality of their criminal behavior until after the fact. “There’s a lot of bravado, but not a lot of forward thinking,” Fredericks observed to the Times.

That same delusional fervency fuels the kind of post-insurrection embrace of the alternative-universe characterization of the “patriotism” of the insurgents embodied by the “Super Happy Fun America” crowd.

The attention from having two key members arrested for being inside the Capitol has only fueled interest in their organization, the group’s leaders told The Washington Post. Hugo claimed that there are now about 400 “card-carrying” members of Super Happy Fun America, and that more than one-third of them had joined since Jan. 6.

At a two-hour “leadership meeting” the night before the Bridgewater rally, the group decided that its next move would be to target the mainstream media. Hugo declined to say how.

“We’ve seen an uptick in censorship, wholesale suspension of conservatives from social media,” said Hugo. “It’s like a snake, a boa constrictor, slowly squeezing us, squeezing us, squeezing us. There’s nothing left. We’ve been kicked out of the virtual public square.”
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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After drunken high-speed chase, Republican leader tries to fight "donut boy" police
Christopher Reeves

Kansas State Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop currently faces five counts, including felony fleeing the police, in a case that should simply be called the “Thank God I’m old and white in a nice car” case.

Suellentrop found himself going the wrong direction on I-70, an interstate highway, nearly careening into the divider before an officer was able to stop him. He refused a breathalyzer and decided running from the police wasn’t enough—he might challenge them by calling the arresting officer “donut boy” and offering to fight him. Don’t worry. He’s okay.
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From the Associated Press:
Kansas GOP Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop faces five counts, including a felony fleeing to avoid arrest and a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge stemming from his March 16 arrest on Interstate 70 in Topeka.
An affidavit submitted by Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Austin Shepley said tests indicated Suellentrop’s blood alcohol level was .17. The legal limit is .08.
After Suellentrop, 69, refused to take a breathalyzer test, he was taken to a Topeka hospital. At one point, he called Shepley “donut boy,” according to the affidavit, and said the events were “all for going the wrong way.”

The Republican was arrested and thrown into jail for an overnight. A judge found there were issues with the arrest and released Suellentrop from jail. His fellow Republicans noted the event and decided that the solution was to pray while they continued to work on voter suppression and anti-transgender legislation.......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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Biden slams ‘phony arguments’ against gun safety laws, calls for end to ‘epidemic’ of ‘gun violence'
Walter Einenkel

In the wake of another round of well-publicized and horrific mass shootings, we find ourselves as a country, once again, facing an existential crossroads of action versus inaction. The moral choice has long been clear, and the opposition from Second Amendment special interest moneymakers has amounted to a policy of selling as many guns as possible to as many people as possible. In fact, even as the country was in lockdown and only partially during the pandemic, gun violence and gun sales have continued to rise. While polls show that even the most basic background check legislation has overwhelming bipartisan support among American citizens, the McConnell filibuster will make any chance of passing popular legislation virtually impossible.

On Thursday, the Biden administration announced six executive actions to tackle gun violence. Biden offered a plan to crack down on so-called “ghost guns,” which are hard-to-trace gun kits that can be easily assembled at home and do not have serial numbers. The Biden executive orders also include regulation on arm brace devices like the one used by the shooter in Boulder, Colorado, that allowed him to turn his pistol into something even more lethal. A third executive action will create a more universal model for “red flag” laws that could be passed and implemented in each state. Red flag laws give law enforcement the authority to temporarily take away firearms from people deemed a threat to themselves or others. Studies of red flag laws have shown positive results reducing gun violence numbers. Also in the plan is money for violence intervention programs, as well as a directive for the Justice Department to study and report on gun trafficking in the country, something House and Senate Republicans have prohibited in the past.

President Biden, along with Vice President Harris and Attorney General Merrick Garland, spoke from the White House Rose Garden and did something we haven’t seen for a while: spoke about regulating guns and gun violence in our country.

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First Vice President Kamala Harris spoke, pointing out that her time as a prosecutor in California was one spent dealing with the fallout of gun violence. She reminded the country where we have been on the subject of gun safety for over a decade now: “Time and again, as progress has stalled, we have all asked what are we waiting for? Because we aren’t waiting for a tragedy, I know that.” Saying we have had “more tragedy than we can bear,” Harris went on to point out: “We aren’t waiting for solutions either, because the solutions exist. They already exist.”

Biden began by diagnosing the issue at hand very adeptly, saying that it’s not simply a “gun crisis” our country is facing, but “a public health crisis” related to guns. He called right-wing opposition to common sense gun safety legislation “phony arguments,” assuring Second Amendment heads that he wasn’t recommending that they lose their Second Amendment rights; instead, he was suggesting that not unlike the First Amendment, there are parameters of public interest and safety that must be drawn. “You cannot yell fire in a crowded theater.”

Biden explained that he was not trying to infringe upon the Bill of Rights; in fact, he was only doing what the head of the executive branch of our government is tasked to do: Enforce the Constitution and the laws of the land. It is historically inaccurate that the Second Amendment has always meant that there are no laws governing what kinds of firearms American citizens are allowed to own and use. “It is just bizarre, the idea that some of the things that we are recommending are contrary to the Constitution.”

He then gave a mission statement heard around these orange Daily Kos halls for a long time now: “Gun violence in this country is an epidemic. Let me say that again: Gun violence in this country is an epidemic, and an embarrassment.” He proceeded to talk about the many victims of gun violence, the children who parents have lost, the parents children have lost, the many people left to pick up the pieces after these out of control gun tragedies. He thanked them for having the courage to be at the event as painful as it is to continue reliving the worst tragedies of their lives, hoping that government would do even a little bit to make sure this doesn’t happen to more families and people like themselves.

Biden gave some of the terrifying gun violence numbers that the United States sees over the span of one week and then broke down the executive recommendations he was making, as well as outlining what his administration needs to happen going forward if we are going to be a country that does not just accept our unique gun violence epidemic as inevitable. “This is not a partisan issue among the American people. This is a view by the American people as an American issue. And I'm willing to work with anyone to get these done. And it's long past time that we act.”

Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy released his statement shortly after the Biden announcement that led with: “Today, President Biden announced his attempts to trample over our constitutional Second Amendment rights by executive fiat.” So, there really isn’t anything else to report on the Republican side of the aisle. McCarthy said something about law-abiding citizens losing their rights while something something border crisis and immigration. Arguably the most satirical part of McCarthy’s statement was mentioning that “murder rates in major American cities rose 33 percent last year,” and somehow blaming that on the new Biden administration. It isn’t surprising considering that McCarthy’s campaign tills are filled with blood-soaked NRA money.


Most of the Republicans topping the NRA and gun lobby money list are still in office, and they continue to rake in tons of blood money in order to stifle meaningful public health legislation around guns.