10,000 on ignore, Book 165: The Days of Reckoning, Part 24.....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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WITCH HUNT! Trump's Victim-Whining Over the Criminal Probe in New York Shows How Scared He Is
News Corpse

Throughout the one-term presidency of Donald Trump, he has been implicated in numerous criminal activities. They include making hush money payments to porn porn stars, collusion with Russians seeking to interfere with an election, obstruction of justice, financial and tax fraud connected to his real estate business, swindling his charitable foundation, and more election misconduct in Georgia.

Now out of office, the legal perils of the twice-impeached, former reality TV game show host continue to unfold. The New York Attorney General's office has announced that that office's civil investigations of Trump have been escalated to include criminal offenses. This significantly increases the severity of the charges against Trump and the potential sentences. Consequently, Trump is responding in a measured, rational, and intelligent manner to this difficult situation.

Just kidding! Naturally, Trump is flying off the handle with unhinged outbursts and preposterous countercharges. He posted his vexatious Temper TanTrump™ on the lame and poorly visited blog that he launched after being booted from Twitter and Facebook for lying. His rant began...

"I have just learned, through leaks in the mainstream media, that after being under investigation from the time I came down the escalator 5 ½ years ago, including the fake Russia Russia Russia Hoax, the 2 year, $48M, No Collusion Mueller Witch Hunt, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and others, that the Democrat New York Attorney General has 'informed' my organization that their 'investigation' is no longer just a civil matter but also potentially a 'criminal' investigation working with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office."

First of all, the news of the criminal probe wasn't "leaked." It was released to the press publicly by the New York Attorney General's office. However, it was nice of Trump to remind everyone of some of his flagrant misdeeds. It was also a nostalgic trip to the not-so-distant past to hear Trump yammering about the "Witch Hunt" again. Trump's tediously long post also complained that...

"...the District Attorney and Attorney General are possessed, at an unprecedented level, with destroying the political fortunes of President Donald J. Trump and the almost 75 million people who voted for him."

The evidence that somebody else wrote this for Trump is clear in the use of the third person to refer to Trump. This screed is also attempting to divert attention away from an investigation focused of his own perfidious behavior, to some kind of attack on those who voted for him. That's pretty delusional, but not quite as delusional as his closing:

"Working in conjunction with Washington, these Democrats want to silence and cancel millions of voters because they don’t want 'Trump' to run again. [...] No President has been treated the way I have."

If Trump and/or his voters were "canceled" (a vapid and overused buzzword that has lost all meaning), it isn't by this investigation. It was by the 81 million people who voted for President Biden. Trump still can't accept that reality. So he continues to propagate the "Big Lie" that the election was stolen from him. That inflammatory rhetoric - which incited a deadly insurrection in Washington, D.C., - is all over his blog, even as his Republican sycophants in Congress obediently regurgitate it.

At least Trump is consistent in his ambition to be the most whiny and cowardly president in the history of the United States. He never stops playing the victim despite having been a privileged, trust fund crybaby who never worked a day in his life. How anyone can regard this relentless bellyacher as a leader with strength is confounding.
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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DHS secretary orders termination of ICE contracts with two sites under federal investigation
Gabe Ortiz

It’s a rough day for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and that’s a good thing. The Washington Post reports that in a major victory for immigrants and their advocates, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas announced on Thursday that the Biden administration is set to end detention contracts at two facilities in Georgia and Massachusetts.

The Georgia site to be shuttered, Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC), is currently under federal investigation following allegations that detained women were forced to undergo unwanted procedures by a notorious gynecologist. Azadeh Shahshahani, one of the leading advocates fighting to close the privately operated facility, called the announcement a “momentous victory,” and “the result of years of organizing & exposing the human rights violations by orgs on the ground.”
......
“Irwin is the first detention center in Detention Watch Network’s ‘First Ten to Communities Not Cages’ campaign, launched in February, to be on the path to closure,” DWN said in a statement received by Daily Kos. Irwin was also among the sites recommended by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to be shut down. “Today’s announcements show the Biden administration’s willingness to decisively break from the immigrants’ rights abuses of prior administrations,” senior advocacy and policy counsel Naureen Shah said.

The Post reports that Mayorkas also ordered ICE “to immediately terminate its contract” with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office in Massachusetts, as well as termination of its 287(g) agreement, a flawed and racist policy that allows local law enforcement to act as mass deportation agents. “After this announcement, Plymouth County is the main remaining county in MA with a 287(g) agreement,” tweeted Oren Nimni, legal editor of Current Affairs.

Like Irwin, Bristol County Detention Center is also under investigation for allegations of abuses against detained immigrants. WBUR reported last year that the state attorney general’s office had determined the sheriff’s office had used violent force against detained immigrants, include the deployment of chemical agents. The Post reports that an administration official said those allegations played a part in Mayorkas’ decision to end the contracts. “In a memo to ICE directing the changes Thursday, Mayorkas said his ‘foundational principle’ is that ‘we will not tolerate the mistreatment of individuals in civil immigration detention or substandard conditions of detention,’” the report said.

“We welcome the Biden administration’s move to address two prime examples of the cruelty and senselessness of our country’s immigration system—but these are not outliers, they are part and parcel of a racist and broken system that needs to be reformed from the ground up,” Shah continued. “That starts by shutting down ICE detention sites throughout the country and ending the 287(g) program once and for all.”

“In today’s announcement we also learned that DHS will conduct a ‘sweeping review’ of detention,” tweeted Silky Shah, Detention Watch Network executive director. “As anyone who has been following this issue for even a short period of time knows, the evidence for ending this system is overwhelming. There is no humane way to detain immigrants.” She also took a moment to honor the fearless immigrants who have spoken out about abuses, some of whom have done so under the threat of deportation. “ICE attempts to deport multiple witnesses in gynecologic surgery scandal,” Vice News reported last year.

“But what’s most clear to me is that this win happened because of the movement that includes people currently and formerly detained, their loved ones, organizers, lawyers, advocates, and journalists, all of whom work tirelessly to expose the harms and free people from detention,” Shah continued. Advocates also expressed concern over the next steps for immigrants currently at these facilities, saying they should be released (which ICE has every ability to do), and simply not transferred to another facility. This appears to the case for Bristol. No women are currently being detained at Irwin.

“And as ICE detention sites close, the Biden administration must release the individuals detained there—rather than transfer them to detention sites elsewhere, which risks stranding these individuals far from their families and lawyers and exposes them to continued risks from COVID-19,” Shah said.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ted Cruz promotes Russian army recruitment video in order to disrespect the U.S. military
Walter Einenkel

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas mostly spends his days saying foolish and easily debunked things out loud and then tweeting out similar witless things. It’s not a unique stance for a Republican to take these days. In fact, it seems to be the GOP’s concept of a job description now that the party has zero policy ideas. On Thursday, Cruz decided to retweet an edited comparison of a purported 2021 Russian military recruitment commercial and the much-fretted about in the right-wingosphere U.S. military advertisement considered too “woke.” He wrote “Holy crap. Perhaps a woke, emasculated military is not the best idea....”

What passes as clever in right-wing circles is historically lame, and the intention of Cruz and the person that juxtaposed the videos is to show how soft and weak our country’s recruitment advertisements are in comparison to the very manly Russian recruitment video. One video is shot using single-light sources, with darkness and shadows adding dramatic grittiness, while the other video employs animation and bright colors to promise a more inclusive and positive experience. It’s a recruitment video, to be clear. The tweet was so homophobic, so sexist, and so archaic you wouldn’t believe someone could be so backward as to believe it funny. But of course, we are talking about Ted Cruz, the epitome of Republican “manhood.”
.......
Let me preface this by saying I’m not a fan of military recruitment ad campaigns in general. They give me the jingoistic willies and the use of the military as a funnel for military contractors and siphoning money away from more productive avenues of investment is a never-ending source of consternation for me and other commies. But the idea of a military recruitment video that attempts to attract people who look, and hopefully act, more like people such as Sen. Tammy Duckworth than, say, Sen. Ted Cruz, makes sense. In fact,
even if you are going by Cruz’s own old-timey concepts of strength, masculinity, and integrity, Tammy Duckworth is your still your soldier.

Cruz is
a man who let another man accuse Ted’s own father of murder and called Ted’s wife ugly and grotesque. Cruz then made arguably the lamest pantomime of what he clearly considers to be masculinity, which he promptly reversed course on when Donald Trump became president. What makes this cisgender bullshit bit of archaic heteronormativity quadruply pathetic is that the cis male douchebag pushing it so clearly fails in every category that he proclaims to believe proves one’s manhood. This is true of all the right-wing operatives. I’m looking at people like Tucker Carlson, whose shrill cries for things to revert 100 years backward don’t cover up the fact they they are bagmen for wealthier interests.

Forget the fact that the Russian military ad looks like a video game commercial for a World War II-themed game, and forget the fact that the Russian recruitment video is arguably the single most homoerotic thing you’ll see this year. Is Cruz under the impression that modern warfare consists of pushup contests and poorly lit cage matches? The last Republican president’s idea for a military advertisement used Russian military planes instead of American ones, by the by. The Twitterverse made sure Cruz got to hear the sound of a thunderous ratio.




For the old-timey among us.



Remember this?




How about this?



Food for thought.



And simply:


 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Madison Cawthorn lies. This time he's pretending he actually did something in Congress
Walter Einenkel

Republican lying person Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina should not be allowed in the halls of Congress let alone be allowed to serve in Congress. He should not have a job as an elected official. Sadly, Madison Cawthorn is not much different than a slew of conservative representatives and senators in our country’s legislative branch at this time. The fact that Cawthorn has arguably never said a single true thing about almost any aspect of his life is only unique in how nakedly shameless he continues to be in his lying ways.

On Wednesday, Rep. Cawthorn tweeted out “BREAKING: I am proud to announce that my office is the FIRST Freshman office to have a bill pass the House! This bill will provide our veterans with much needed assistance as they reenter the workforce! Never forget, America is the land of the free BECAUSE of the brave.” The tweet had American flag emojis bookending it for flavor. What bill did Cawthorn get passed through the House? How did we miss it? Were we all too busy wondering about whether or not he would be punished for being suspected of bringing a firearm onto the chamber floor? No. No, we weren’t. Madison Cawthorn isn’t the first freshman House member to pass anything out of his office except racist tweets and videos.

He isn’t even the first freshman Republican.

...........
In fact, Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, a first-year Democrat from Georgia’s 7th district, is the real first freshman member to pass a bill as the lead sponsor in the 117th Congress.

Rep. Bourdeaux proposed and wrote H.R. 1799, the PPP Extension Act of 2021. She introduced it on March 11 and it passed through the House on March 16, 2021. It was signed by President Joe Biden into law on March 30, 2021. In fact, with the exception of three Republican representatives, everyone, including Madison Cawthorn, voted for it.



Cawthorn, because he’s a dirtbag and a liar who is unable to be anything but a dirtbag and a liar, followed up with a correction tweet, saying “Spoke too soon! Turns out @RepGarbarino holds the honor of first Republican Freshman! Massive shoutout to him and his team! Very proud to be among the first!” Of course, Cawthorn isn’t the first or second or even third freshman legislator in this Congress to pass a bill. He’s not even the fourth, by the way.



That’s interesting. So, besides not being the hard worker he lies about being, the record shows that he is actually, arguably, the single laziest member in the 117th Congress. None of this is a surprise to anyone even superficially following Madison Cawthorn’s short and lie-filed career. Cawthorn has lied about his potential athletic ambitions and actions, he’s lied about his business acumen, and he has lied about his admission to a naval academy—lying and saying that the terrible accident that took the use of his legs was the reason he didn’t pursue that educational avenue.

Here’s another note: Republican Carlos Gimenez of Florida had H.R. 397 pass through the House on April 20, 2021. It is a Homeland Security bill that purports to codify chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear intelligence and information-sharing between the Office of Intelligence and Analysis of the Department of Homeland Security. Even that bill was only able to pass because Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland came up with a way of greasing the wheels of legislation, after Cawthorn’s fellow dirtbag Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene promised to make every possible thing on the House floor an individual voting affair in order to stop Congress from doing the job it was elected to do for the American people.


As for Cawthorn’s legislation, the one that passed the House on Tuesday and he took credit for: It was written and introduced into the House on March 23, 2021 by Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey. Sherrill is a real-life former Naval helicopter pilot, not a “lied about being rejected by the Naval Academy” lying liar person like Madison Cawthorn. Rep. Cawthorn got a few lines from one of his going-nowhere bills added into the amendment list of a bill that Democratic representatives did the heavy lifting on.

On the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, Madison Cawthorn spoke at the Stop the Steal rally in Washington, D.C., just hours before those people he was telling that the “Constitution was violated” overran the Capitol building and attempted to end our democratic process of presidential succession. That’s the most action Cawthorn has participated in politically as a freshman.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Republicans offer a vile new excuse for opposing a Jan. 6 commission

With Republicans gearing up to kill a commission to examine the Jan. 6 insurrection, they have offered a barrage of comically weak excuses. They say the commission is “slanted,” that its work will overlap with other investigations, that its mission fails to target left-wing “political violence” and that Democrats are driven only by politics.

Now, with debate beginning in the Senate over the bill creating a commission that passed the House late Wednesday, Republicans are offering a vile new excuse. It somehow manages to be both candid and evasive at the same time.

Yet this excuse also reveals how deep flaws in our public discussion of this whole matter — by neutral media and Democrats alike — unwittingly enable GOP spin.


The new excuse is that we shouldn’t be wasting our time re-litigating the 2020 election. ......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Reports of the Trump Justice Department's shady activities keep trickling out. What else is coming?
Laura Clawson

The digging-out of all the Trump administration’s dirt and rampant abuses of power continues—and it’s probably nowhere near done. CNN learned on Thursday that the Trump Justice Department had secretly obtained a reporter's phone and email records, a revelation that came just two weeks after The Washington Post learned that the Trump Justice Department had obtained call records for three of its reporters. In between those two revelations, we learned that the Trump Justice Department had also intervened in Rep. Devin Nunes' lawsuit against Twitter over the identity of the person behind the “Devin Nunes’ Cow” Twitter account.

The Justice Department’s actions in both cases related to reporting from 2017. The Washington Post reporters’ records were targeted in an effort to find the source of a story about then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ interactions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 presidential campaign. CNN does not know which of Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr’s stories the Trump administration was looking into, but according to the Justice Department (now) her sources, and not Starr herself, were the subject of the investigation. “During the two-month timeframe listed in the letter, Starr reported on US military options in North Korea that were ready to be presented to Trump, as well as stories on Syria and Afghanistan,” CNN reports.

.......
The Trump administration claimed national security concerns about the leaks the reporters obtained, but let’s be real—we know that they were trying to uncover who was leaking about links between a Trump campaign adviser turned Trump Cabinet secretary and the Russian ambassador. And this effort took place amid a broader pattern of the Trump Justice Department acting as the personal law firm for the Trump family and allies like Nunes.

”We are deeply troubled by this use of government power to seek access to the communications of journalists,” the Post’s Cameron Barr told Politico in early May. “The Department of Justice should immediately make clear its reasons for this intrusion into the activities of reporters doing their jobs, an activity protected under the First Amendment.”

“Now for the second time in just about as many weeks we've seen these disclosures that the DOJ has gone about obtaining records without advance notice to the journalist or to the news organization to give the reporter a chance to contest what DOJ is seeking," Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press executive director Bruce Brown said to CNN.

”Twice now we've seen in the prior administration that toward the end of their time in office they used this route to intrude into the very heart of what newsgathering is about,” he added. “It's deeply disconcerting and the new team at DOJ has a real imperative in front of it now to very quickly explain to these newsrooms, and to press freedom advocates, what happened and how did it happen, and why did it happen and what they can do to ensure in this administration and future administrations this doesn't happen again.”

After The Washington Post case came to light, but before the CNN one did, congressional Democrats called on Attorney General Merrick Garland for answers:



”Department leadership will soon meet with reporters to hear their concerns about recent notices and further convey Attorney General Garland's staunch support of and commitment to a free and independent press,” a Justice Department official said in a statement to CNN.

But while the Biden administration may—emphasis on may—rein in these abuses, without more solid guardrails in place, the next Republican administration is likely to look at what Team Trump got away with and use that information to calibrate just how much further it can go. It won’t take many repetitions of that before freedom of the press is truly a myth, along with the democracy Republicans are trying to simultaneously take out with their sustained attacks on the 2020 elections.