10,000 on ignore, Book 160: The Days of Reckoning, Part 19.....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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On Thursday, Tucker Carlson ruthlessly mocked positive media coverage of President Joe Biden’s first address to Congress, saying some commentators committed “a series of symbolic sex acts upon him.” He also said they were acting as though Biden were “Jesus in aviator glasses.”

Among the reactions Carlson panned was that of MSNBC’s Brian Williams, who said Biden’s “use of voice modulation was rather extraordinary;” CNN’s Van Jones, who described the speech as “really beautiful” and complimented Biden on his “grandfatherly voice;” and MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, who declared, “His connections to the people in this room – I’m not even sure all of them are deserving of them – but he does not care. He gives to them the benefit of the doubt.”

Carlson ripped into all of them.

Wait a second! Was that the President of the United States talking? No, that’s what you thought. In fact, it was Jesus in aviator glasses. What Joe Biden said last night was beautiful, beautiful. It was intimate, grandfatherly, indeed, Rooseveltian. Joe Biden spoke to the soul of America. He connected with people who don’t even deserve to be connected with. Hopeless sinners, redeemed by his voice alone. A voice that is not – and we want to be clear about this – the fading monotone of a 78-year-old man who is losing his grip. No, it’s not. Joe Biden’s voice modulates. It has the capacity to change pitch in a way that is – and we are quoting now – “rather extraordinary,” and so on.
We could keep going with this if we wanted. Cable news is a rich vein, but we will stop and return to reality. A powerful politician gave a speech last night about how he plans to change your life, so we feel obligated to tell you what he said and not simply commit a series of symbolic sex acts upon him.

Carlson proceeded to launch into an uncharitable interpretation of the agenda Biden laid out before Congress.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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A Minnesota man was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay $12 million in restitution for his role in damaging a Minneapolis police station amid racial injustice protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd.....
......
Robinson was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison and two years of supervised release, according to a news release from the District of Minnesota's US attorney's office. He was also ordered to pay $12 million in restitution.

Robinson's attorney has not responded to CNN's request for comment.

According to the indictment, Robinson and others allegedly "worked together in furtherance of their common goal of damaging and destroying the Minneapolis Third Precinct building by fire."

Robinson was accused of lighting an incendiary device that was held by another person who threw it toward the precinct "with the intent that it would start a fire or fuel an existing fire," according to the criminal complaint.

Protesters set the Minneapolis police precinct on fire after pushing past a fence that was surrounding it and climbing up the building, CNN reported. The Minneapolis Police Department had evacuated the precinct, the director of the department's Office of Public Information said at the time. There was no police present while the precinct burned, CNN reported.


Three other men, including Branden Michael Wolfe, have also pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit arson in connection to the fire at the Minneapolis police department's Third Precinct. They will be sentenced at a later date, the US Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota said.....
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Matt Gaetz is going on tour.

With Marjorie Taylor Greene.


Rocked by a steady stream of leaks about a federal investigation into alleged sex crimes, the Florida congressman is planning to take his case on the road by holding rallies across the nation with Greene, another lightning rod member of Congress.

Their targets? So-called RINOs and “the radical left.“

Together, they plan to attack Democrats and call out Republicans they deem as insufficiently loyal to former President Donald Trump, such as the 10 GOP House members who voted for his second impeachment after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

Gaetz and Greene will kick off their barnstorming “America First Tour” on May 7 in the mega-conservative Florida retirement community known as The Villages, a must-stop for any Republican candidate hoping to win the state or generate grassroots excitement. The idea is to send a message from the two controversial Republicans: They’re not canceled, they’re not going to be quiet and the infamy their critics attribute to them is translatable as fame and power in the conservative movement.

“The radical left is coming for you. And they know I'm in the way. Come stand with me as we fight back together against this radical president and his far left agenda,” Gaetz says in a new radio ad rallying conservatives to The Villages event.


Gaetz’s decision to step forward comes after weeks of national headlines and top-of-the-news-hour TV coverage related to the revelation that he is the subject of a federal sex-crimes investigation......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ten Thousan Marbles

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In early April, the leaders of the U.S. intelligence community outlined the most pressing national security threats facing the nation during testimony to the Senate and House intelligence committees. While the written testimony from the intelligence chiefs provided a window into the breadth of hostile and malign activities from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, as well as cross-cutting threats, this year’s hearing came across to this long-time observer as a warning of the limits of the intelligence community and affiliated national security institutions to protect the country from domestic efforts to undermine its own democracy.

Preserving U.S. democracy has always been a core national security interest; it just didn’t necessarily need to be said out loud until the country entered 2021 facing the upending of American lives, families and democracy itself in the wake of the Trump presidency, its handling of the pandemic, and then the January 6, 2021 insurrection. Efforts by political actors to cast doubt on the outcome of the November 2020 presidential election, willingness to exploit American’s fears about their liberty by flouting science and public health guidance to protect against the spread of the pandemic, and renewed efforts to make it harder for underrepresented communities to vote, are the most recent examples of the toxic brew of nationalism and truth abandonment threatening the United States’s ability to thrive.

Protecting national security means that Americans should both be, as a practical matter, and feel, as a theoretical one, reasonably safe at home. The United States spends close to a trillion dollars on defense, intelligence, homeland security and diplomacy. Americans should be able to live relatively free of fear of violence from threats, foreign and domestic, as a result. That includes protection from a nation state launching a nuclear weapon or from international terrorists flying passenger planes into skyscrapers. It should also include safety from a group of domestic terrorists invading the Capitol and sending lawmakers and their staffs hiding under tables.

Defending national security also means preserving the effective functioning of the Constitution and ensuring that public leaders uphold their oaths to it. This means that events prescribed by the Constitution like confirmation hearings, election administration and vote certification should take place safely and routinely. In a healthy U.S. democracy, it would not be a question that the election will be held on the first Tuesday of November in a designated year, or that the certification of the vote would proceed on the following January 6th. Some political drama is okay. System failure is not.

As a result, the current national moment demands that the national security and foreign policy priorities of the United States accurately reflect the most pressing challenges. Today, that challenge includes affirmative efforts to bolster U.S. democracy. To that end, three prescriptions are in order to address the national security threat posed by a U.S. democracy under assault from within.

The first is to reaffirm a commitment to the rule of law. The accountability of all people, regardless of position or privilege, to an unbiased and fair application of the law must be paramount. A commitment to the rule of law also means calling out where it’s being abused, that is, where rhetoric of “law and order” is used as a means to intimidate communities here at home, or where law is used as means to control and oppress, abroad.

The second is to recognize that working to diffuse domestic political polarization is a national security imperative. Political disagreement and debate are hallmarks of a healthy democracy. Destructive political polarization makes America weaker. Our foreign adversaries seize on these divisions, amplify them on social media, and use them to undermine American society. We saw this take place when Russian agents exploited racial divisions to exert influence in the 2016 election, and we see it again as they seize on misinformation concerning the efficacy of coronavirus vaccines. Political polarization and extremism are also taking root in the U.S. military and law enforcement communities. Focused efforts to reaffirm the apolitical nature of military and law enforcement service will be important in the years ahead.

The third is to strengthen our national security institutions, especially those involved in domestic security. This does not mean making them bigger or giving them more legal authorities at the expense of privacy. Instead, strengthening them means keeping their legal authorities relevant and useful, and giving them the access to people, technologies, and tools that will enable them to work more creatively and smarter. It also means investing in oversight, accountability and transparency to better provide an environment that enables the national and homeland security enterprise to do its work for the American people, and not be perceived as just an imposition on them.

In his address to the joint session of Congress on April 28th, President Biden emphasized that our democracy has been severely tested over the past year. And in his first major speech articulating the Biden administration’s foreign policy on March 3rd, Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized that disinformation, racial inequality and polarization are contributing to a weakening of American democracy at home. If left unaddressed, this weakening will contribute to a loss of confidence in the United States the eyes of our allies and partners. That strain on international partnerships will leave us less safe in the world, whether from a military aggressor or an invisible virus.


Focused attention on strengthening the foundations of our democratic system does not need to come at the expense of attention to other recognized threats that fall under traditional concepts of national security. Instead, this focused effort is critical to remind the national security and foreign policy public servants what, exactly, it is they are out there every day and night defending.
 
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CDW3333

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A Minnesota man was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay $12 million in restitution for his role in damaging a Minneapolis police station amid racial injustice protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd.....
......
Robinson was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison and two years of supervised release, according to a news release from the District of Minnesota's US attorney's office. He was also ordered to pay $12 million in restitution.

Robinson's attorney has not responded to CNN's request for comment.

According to the indictment, Robinson and others allegedly "worked together in furtherance of their common goal of damaging and destroying the Minneapolis Third Precinct building by fire."

Robinson was accused of lighting an incendiary device that was held by another person who threw it toward the precinct "with the intent that it would start a fire or fuel an existing fire," according to the criminal complaint.

Protesters set the Minneapolis police precinct on fire after pushing past a fence that was surrounding it and climbing up the building, CNN reported. The Minneapolis Police Department had evacuated the precinct, the director of the department's Office of Public Information said at the time. There was no police present while the precinct burned, CNN reported.


Three other men, including Branden Michael Wolfe, have also pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit arson in connection to the fire at the Minneapolis police department's Third Precinct. They will be sentenced at a later date, the US Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota said.....
Article doesn't mention it, but they're right-wing Boogaloo Bois and they shot up the station earlier in the day with AK-47s.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Investigation into Rudy Giuliani is focused on his role in removing Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch
Mark Sumner

AP_19319514943236.jpg


On Wednesday morning, federal investigators searched Rudy Giuliani’s home. Later in the day, it was learned they had also searched Giuliani’s office, as well as those of Giuliani’s associate Victoria Toensing. The connection between the two was obviously Giuliani’s effort to find evidence of some “scandal” in Ukraine that could help Donald Trump during the Mueller investigation. Additional reporting indicates a very specific point behind these raids: The role of Giuliani and Toensing in the dismissal of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

As The New York Times reports, the exact nature of the investigation remains unclear. Even if the events leading up to the dismissal of Yovanovitch are key, what’s not known is whether the DOJ is looking into how Giuliani convinced Trump to push the ambassador aside to make it easier to create the narrative he wanted to smear Joe Biden, or whether Giuliani knowingly acted as an agent of corrupt Ukrainian officials who wanted Yovanovitch out because she was also an obstacle to their efforts to undermine Ukrainian democracy and milk the country for every last hryvnia.

However, there is a clear answer to that dilemma: It was both. Giuliani was in Ukraine seeking support for a ridiculous conspiracy theory that went way beyond just lies about Hunter Biden. To make his scheme work, he needed support, and he found that support in the form of corrupt pro-Russian politicians who were being hurt by an ambassador who wouldn’t go along with their schemes. Getting Maria Yovanovitch out benefited both of their agendas.

And Donald Trump agreed.

.........
The whole purpose of Rudy Giuliani going to Ukraine was an effort to create a counter-narrative to the basic truth that Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign involved over 100 contacts with Russian operatives and members of Trump’s staff eagerly shared information with Moscow in return for Russian interference in the election. What Giuliani was seeking was not just dirt Trump could use to fend off Joe Biden in a 2020 race, but support for a ludicrous Q-Anon related claim that Russia hadn’t actually hacked into the email system of the Democratic National Committee. Instead, said this conspiracy theory, it had been hackers in the Ukraine who had just pretended to be Russians so that they could extract emails, hand them over to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and generate a series of stories played up by the Trump campaign. All at the bequest of — Hillary Clinton.

The full theory involved a supposed hidden server in the Ukraine, a U.S. cyber security company on the take, and a plan that would allow Trump to win the election, only to send him packing when he was connected to Russian agents. (Trump has even admitted that he sent Giuliani to Ukraine for this purpose, because he didn’t trust the FBI.)

The false claim that Joe Biden had used his position as Vice President to threaten Ukraine into ignoring crimes committed by a company connected to his son were barely more than a sideline to Giuliani’s original pursuit. However, those claims were easily even more incredible. Biden’s actions in Ukraine were part of a well-documented series of events in which U.S. allies asked for pressure that specifically removed a prosecutor who had refused to go after the oligarch behind Burisma Holdings. By removing that prosecutor, Biden opened Burisma to a long-deserved investigation and actually placed the company paying his son at greater risk rather than protecting them. And everyone knew it.

Every aspect of Giuliani’s “theories” were both absurd and bizarre. However, Giuliani readily found allies in the form of indicted fraudsters Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, along with attorneys Victoria Toensing and Joseph diGenova, all of whom were working with exiled pro-Russian oligarch Dmitry Firtash. With the help of Firtash’s people, Giuliani made additional connections to the pro-Russian (and pro-corruption) forces inside Ukraine, many of whom were connected to the regime put in power after Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort orchestrated an overthrow of Ukraine’s Western-leaning governments.

And soon enough, all of these people were focused on just one obstacle in their way: U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. Yovanovitch had the unfortunate properties of being knowledgeable, experienced, and honest. Not only was she refusing to let the fraudsters play their fraud games, they made it clear to Giuliani that so long as she was there, they wouldn’t be able to provide the “information” he needed to make his claims against Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.


What Rudy Giuliani wanted out of Ukraine was people willing to line up and back a series of ready-made conspiracy theories. The price for those lies was getting Yovanovitch out of the way.

On May 1, 2019, The New York Times ran the first in a series of stories breathlessly repeating Giuliani’s claims about the Bidens. Six days later, the fraudsters got paid—Yovanovitch was removed.

The same day that Yovanovitch was dismissed, Bloomberg published a piece showing that even a casual investigation into the claims Giuliani had made to The New York Times revealed that the story was completely false. Within a week, they turned up evidence of a real corruption scandal. Only the source of that corruption was Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani connected Ukrainian lawmaker directly with Donald Trump over the phone, so that Trump could share his excitement about setting up Biden. Then the lawmaker provided Giuliani with a letter supposedly written by former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko. However, the prosecutor’s spokesperson denied he’d written the letter and the claims in the letter were immediately shown to be false.

The scandal in Ukraine is right where it always was — with Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump. Because it looks very much like Giuliani and Trump conspired to remove a U.S. Ambassador at the behest of crooks like Dmitry Firtash so that they could expand their criminal empires. In exchange for removing a honest obstacle to their corruption, Giuliani and Trump took payment in terms of false testimony to support the preposterous theories they had been pushing about Joe Biden.


Exactly what crime that involves is not clear. Warrants suggest that Giuliani was acting as an unregistered agent of Ukraine in lobbying for Yovanovitch’s removal. But he was actually working for indicted Ukrainian oligarchs and a whole collection of ousted pro-Russian official and just plain crooks.

What’s also clear is that Giuliani has been under investigation since 2019. If that investigation was delayed because Trump or Bill Barr was issuing orders preventing the DOJ from moving forward with searches and arrests, that’s a whole other scandal, and a whole other series of crimes.


All of which are likely to include the word “conspiracy.” And that’s not just a theory.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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The apartment company of Jared Kushner violated Maryland’s consumer protection laws numerous times at Baltimore-area properties by collecting debts without the required licenses, charging tenants improper fees, and misrepresenting the condition of rental units, a judge has ruled.

In a 252-page decision issued Thursday, Administrative Law Judge Emily Daneker found that violations by Westminster Management and the company JK2 were “widespread and numerous.”.......

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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One party is passing legislation to help working-class voters. The other party is voting against it.

.....As Carville says:


Here’s the deal: No matter how you look at the map, the only way Democrats can hold power is to build on their coalition, and that will have to include more rural white voters from across the country. Democrats are never going to win a majority of these voters. That’s the reality. But the difference between getting beat 80 to 20 and 72 to 28 is all the difference in the world.

The last sentence is the key. He’s not suggesting Democrats try to dominate rural America. But he recognizes that, as a matter of national political survival, Democrats must claw back part of their old coalition.

His advice for doing it:

  • Get Democratic politicians to talk like normal humans and not panelists at an Amherst conference on gendered labor in remigration.
  • Do to the insane House Republican caucus what the GOP did with the Squad.
  • Improve the branding around liberal priorities and the Biden agenda.
I concur on all three, but I’d like to revise and extend the third item. Because Democrats don’t just need to do a better job branding the benefits of the Biden agenda.

They need to make the “working class” Republican party pay for opposing them......
 

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