10,000 on ignore, Book 189, The Days of Reckoning, Part 48.....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Texas Attorney General Clears Texas Attorney General Of All Charges.
KeithDB

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, in addition to pursuing frivolous election lawsuits, has been under indictment since 2015. The charges stem from allegations made by friend and former roommate (and fellow Republican) Byron Cook. Paxton tried to defeat the indictments in court, but failed.

Various employees subsequently accused Paxton of bribery and other crimes, which the FBI is investigating. The person who allegedly bribed Paxton (another Republican named Nate Paul) had his businesses raided by the FBI with a search warrant last August.

The allegations include that Paxton did a series of official favors for Paul in exchange for Paul getting a job for Paxton's mistress. What’s a Republican scandal without a the salacious element of a paid off mistress?

Today Paxton's office released a report concluding that Paxton did not violate any laws.
"AG Paxton committed no crime,”
said AG Paxton's office, presumably with a straight face. This report was unsigned by any actual people. You can review the report, on AG Paxton's letterhead, fully exonerating AG Paxton, HERE.

In the meantime the FBI investigation continues. The state prosecution for securities fraud, under the direction of a special prosecutor's office, continues.

Republican hutzpah continues.

notblindjustice.jpeg
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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NOW the Vaccine Truthers at FOX News Say FDA Approval Was Just a Distraction From Afghanistan
News Corpse

The relentless determination of Fox News to propagate phony stories and contrived outrage can really be rather impressive at times. And on Tuesday morning America's foremost right-wing propaganda source pulled a twofer, slandering President Biden and the COVID vaccine in one dangerously dishonest segment.

On Monday the FDA announced that it was giving a full approval of the Pfizer vaccine as a safe and effective means of preventing infection and transmission of the coronavirus. It took only minutes before Fox News was trashing the FDA and its motives. They asserted that the approval was rushed in the same segment in which they also asked "What took so long."

On Tuesday morning the "Curvy Couch" potatoes at Fox and Friends called in their medical contributor, Dr. Marty Makary, to comment on matters for which he had no qualifications. He was asked by co-host Brian Kilmeade about what he claimed was suspect timing for the FDA approval. Whereupon Makary accused the Biden administration of using the announcement of the FDA's full approval of the COVID vaccine as a distraction from critical stories about the Afghanistan withdrawal (video below):

"Three days after the viral video [of the Afghan airport] the FDA is going to approve the vaccine after sitting on it for nine months."

Makary, of course, has no expertise in either media analysis or military strategies. But that didn't stop him from questioning the FDA's action. Nor did the same ignorance on Kilmeade's part prevent him from implying that the FDA's decision - that Makary said was held for nine months - was too rushed, and then issued for political purposes:

"All of a sudden, out of nowhere, the FDA is going to give full approval to the Pfizer vaccine. And then that becomes a leak, and that becomes an announcement. Do you believe the timing is curious? [...] They make people doubt, because they look at this timing and they say wait a second, does it really get full FDA approval? Do we really need a booster shot? What are we worried about?

The one constant in all of the COVID coverage by Fox News is to trivialize the pandemic, disparage the vaccine, and frighten their audience away from partaking in it. Tucker Carlson has claimed outright that it doesn't work and that the authorities are hiding that "fact" from you. And Donald Trump told his cult rally that it was just a "money making operation." Meanwhile, Fox peddles toxic snake oil cures like the horse dewormer, Ivermectin.

Then there is the charge that the FDA was participating in a White House plot to deflect from news about Afghanistan. Makary and Kilmeade had zero evidence of any such scheme or any explanation for why the independent FDA would go along with it. It was purely floated to malign the FDA, the vaccine, and the Biden administration's kept promise to finally end the twenty year long war. Although it might be an improvement over their previous attack on First Lady Jill Biden as being at fault for everything.

In the end, Fox News is going to cause more suffering and grieving as a result of their pro-COVID propaganda. Simultaneously, they will disinform their viewers about the progress of the Afghanistan withdrawal, while inciting more racist responses to the arrival of Afghani refugees who helped American troops for the past couple of decades. Fox News doesn't care about any of these adverse and anti-American consequences, or the harm to human lives. Because the only thing they care about is their Republican power grab, and advancing their ultra-rightist agenda.

 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Trump Reveals His Plan for Afghanistan Was to Abandon Our Troops and Allies - Psaki Reveals His Lies
News Corpse

One of the problems that Joe Biden inherited from his predecessors when he became President was the two decades long war in Afghanistan. And he made it clear that he was determined to make certain that it wasn't handed down to another president.

Biden's goal was strewn with obstacles placed in his path by Donald Trump, whose abysmal deal with the Taliban has been lambasted by his own National Security Advisor as a "surrender agreement," that lifted all sanctions on the Taliban and freed 5,000 of their imprisoned fighters, including their leader.

Not one to be deterred by reality, Trump is still hammering away at Biden with blatantly dishonest representations of the situation now unfolding in Afghanistan. He released a statement on Tuesday via his spokes-shill, Liz Harrington (whose proxy Trump tweeting is violating Twitter's rules against circumventing a ban), that sound more like a madman on a street corner yelling at passing cars than a diplomat:

"Biden surrendered Afghanistan to terrorists and left thousands of Americans for dead by pulling out the Military before our citizens. Now we are learning that out of the 26,000 people who have been evacuated, only 4,000 are Americans. You can be sure the Taliban, who are now in complete control, didn’t allow the best and brightest to board these evacuation flights. Instead, we can only imagine how many thousands of terrorists have been airlifted out of Afghanistan and into neighborhoods around the world. What a terrible failure. NO VETTING. How many terrorists will Joe Biden bring to America? We don’t know!"

There's a lot to unpack in that hysterical harangue. Starting at the top, Biden did not surrender to terrorists. That was Trump. And Biden has not left a single American for dead, much less thousands. Trump appears to have ingested some powerful hallucinogens.

Moving on, Trump is surprised that 26,000 of the evacuees were Afghanis. He apparently doesn't know that there are far more Afghans in Afghanistan than Americans. He also doesn't seem to know that thousands of them served our troops loyally and bravely and deserve to be rescued from a dire fate at the hands of the Taliban. Trump is actually repeating the very same racist lines that he previously used on Mexican refugees, implying that they are all criminals being "sent" to America by wily foreign governments.

What's more, Trump is outright lying (surprise) about whether these Afghans are vetted before being evacuated. This question was raised at the White House daily press briefing by Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy. Which gave press secretary Jen Psaki yet another opportunity to publicly humiliate him. Doocy asked a loaded question suggesting that there are suspected terrorists among the evacuees. Psaki replied saying that...

"We have a stringent vetting process, which includes background checks before any individual comes to the United States. So I can’t speak to one individual, but I can tell you and confirm for you that we take the vetting of any individual who comes to the United States and comes out incredibly seriously and it’s an extensive process.
"I would say that this is now on track, Peter, to be the largest airlift in US history. And that is bringing American citizens out. It is bringing our Afghan partners out. It is bringing allies out. So, no, I would not say that is anything but a success."



Doocy, masochist that he is, persisted with another question suggesting that because Biden is hoping to stick to the August 31 date for the withdrawal to be completed, that the Taliban had "the same kind of influence over military planning as the Commander in Chief?" And once again, Psaki had to set him straight:

"Well, first of all Peter, the Taliban’s deadline was May 1st, struck in a deal with the prior administration. The President’s timeline was August 31st. That’s the timeline he set, and a period of time he needed in order to operationalize our departure from Afghanistan."



Anyone who had even a glancing knowledge of these matters knew that the Taliban and Trump had agreed to a May 1st exit date. So it's just a demonstration of his ignorance that Doocy didn't know that the August 31 date was Biden's decision, not the Taliban's. And Biden is preserving the option to extend that date if conditions on the ground require it. The Taliban has no role in that decision making process.

It's clear from Trump's remarks that his plan was to leave behind both Americans and Afghans. He had not initiated any operations to evacuate anyone prior to his evacuation from the White House, even though there were only three months between his exit and May 1st. That may have been his purposeful attempt to hamstring Biden, or it may have just been his incompetence and negligence.

Either way, Trump has no right to complain about how things are turning out. And the fact that the Biden team has evacuated nearly 50,000 people this month is a testament to what competent leadership can achieve. And he did it while also dealing with a surging pandemic (also Trump's fault) and a busy legislative agenda that included bills to provide relief payments to the American people, a historic investment in infrastructure, and an effort to preserve voting rights.
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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The FCC proposes largest fine in its history against right-wing robocall fraudsters
Walter Einenkel

Burkman_Wohl


The FCC just proposed the largest robocalling fine in the history of robocalling. Released on Tuesday, the proposal calls for right-wing fraudsters and racist robocall creators Jacob Wohl and John Burkman to pay a $5,134,500 fine for “apparently making 1,141 unlawful robocalls to wireless phones without prior express consent in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).” The proposal points out that besides being the largest fine for robocalling ever proposed by the FCC, “It is also the first action where the FCC was not required to warn robocallers before robocall violations could be counted toward a proposed fine, per Congress’s recent amendment of the TCPA.”

This comes comes as both Burkman and Wohl are facing felony charges in Michigan and Ohio for conspiring and breaking election laws after sending out robocalls targeting Black and Democratic areas of the states, and pushing misinformation about voting by mail. Wohl and Burkman’s robocalls erroneously told people receiving the calls that voting by mail would put a person’s information on a list that could be used for everything from debt collection to mandated vaccines. The proposed $5 million in fines comes after the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau investigation did their own dive into Wohl and Burkman’s activities running up to the 2020 election.
.......
The FCC’s proposed fine comes after its investigation showed that regardless of the racist content of Wohl and Burkman’s robocalls, they broke the law by not getting the required permission to hijack peoples’ mobile phone numbers to spread their racist misinformation campaign. In 2019, the TCPA was amended to “to make inapplicable a provision of the law that previously had required the Commission to issue citations to non-FCC-regulated parties that apparently violated the TCPA.” As a result, the FCC says that “These citation requirements did not apply to the Truth in Caller ID Act, which established caller ID spoofing limits and under which the agency has issued numerous, large fines.”

Wohl and Burkman are also facing concurrent civil charges out of New York for breaking Section 2 of the Klu Klux Klan Act. As the New York Attorney General’s Office explains, Wohl and Burkman’s activities were designed “to prevent voters, especially Black voters in specific cities, from accessing absentee or mail-in ballots, which would prove to be a critical and secure method for preserving the elective franchise during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The two Trump-supporting fraudsters recently failed in their legal motion to have the criminal and civil cases separated.

Wohl and Burkman have already admitted to creating the phone calls. This is an example of the fake robocalls Burkman and Wohl spewed out to at least 85,000 Americans.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Feb 6, 2014
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New poll shows Floridians think Gov. DeSantis is kneecapping efforts to stop COVID-19
Aldous J Pennyfarthing

GettyImages-1311810390.jpg


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is to COVID-19 what Tokyo Rose was to the Japanese Empire during World War II. He sounds like a human being, but he propagandizes 24/7 for the virus. Not sure what the pro-COVID lobby is paying him—or if he’s doing all this work pro bono—but it’s been clear for some time whose side he’s on, and it’s not yours. Unless, of course, the rapidly mutating virus has recently evolved eyestalks and learned to read, in which case he may very well be on your side, Covey Coronavirus. Thanks for checking out my post! And welcome to the wild, wild world of sentient beings! MAGA, amirite?

Of course, as we all know, this modern-day Johnny COVID-seed has incomprehensibly done everything in his power to promote the virus, including banning school mask mandates and preemptively scuttling the use of vaccine passports, even as Florida is so polluted with coronavirus the famous Epcot Center geosphere is on the verge of sprouting giant spike proteins. (Well, maybe not, but wouldn’t that be a fun prank to pull on Florida? If one of y’all can make the big spikey doodads, I’ll help you attach them in the dead of night.)

...........
DeSantis is doubling down on disease because he wants to be president and hopes to dominate the already crowded “give me liberty and give me death” lane during the GOP primaries, which he no doubt sees as the easiest and “safest” route to the nomination. He probably knows that if he reverses course on his “freedom” bet now, he’ll be seen as weak, so lots more dead Floridians are deemed a necessary evil.

That said, his bet may be starting to backfire as Florida residents begin to grasp that it’s kind of impossible to enjoy your God-given freedoms if you’re trapped in an ICU bed with an intubation tube rammed down your throat.

Now, a new Quinnipiac poll suggests that DeSantis is wildly out of step with his constituents when it comes to COVID mitigation strategies.

WFTS-TV, Tampa:

According to the Quinnipiac University poll, most Floridians, 60-36%, support requiring students, teachers, and staff to wear masks in schools. But, like almost every facet of life in 2021, there is a stark political divide on the issue with 98% of Democrats supporting mandatory masking, 63% of independents supporting the policy, and 72% of Republicans opposing mandating masking.
In a separate question, the Q-Poll found that nearly 70% (68-29) of Floridians said that local officials should be able to require masks in indoor public spaces if they deem it necessary. Almost 60 percent of Floridians (59-39) said everyone should be required to wear masks while in indoor public spaces.

Hmm, I had no idea Florida was harboring so many freedom-haters. Even more concerning for DeSantis is the fact that 61% of Floridians surveyed said the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the state was preventable.

“Concerns about COVID-19 are palpable, and frustration with the surge in cases is reflected in the fact that a majority of Floridians say it should never have happened,” said Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy.

Other findings from the Quinnipiac poll:

While 41 percent say that Governor Ron DeSantis is helping efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Florida, 46 percent say he is hurting efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Twelve percent did not offer an opinion.
Nearly 6 in 10 (59 percent) say the spread of COVID-19 in the state is out of control, while 34 percent say it is under control.
Almost three-quarters (73 - 25 percent) think the spread of COVID-19 in the state is a serious problem at this time.

That can’t be good news for Captain COVID. It may bode well for DeSantis that 72% of Republicans in the state still oppose mask mandates, but before he becomes a viable presidential candidate, he has to get reelected in 2022—and despite what Emperor Caligulard may think, dead people don’t vote.

DeSantis probably thinks he can bide his time and declare victory in the end regardless of how many corpses he produces, confident that people will forget seeing their relatives drown in their own bodily fluids over Zoom, but he has to be at least a little concerned that the situation is spiraling out of control like it is. Then again, I doubt he’ll back down just to save a few thousand people—not with that brass ring so tantalizingly close.

That said, he has to be at least a
little sensitive to polling, even if he remains impervious to gruesome scenes of human suffering. Right? Right!? Oh, tell me I’m right. Please? Pretty please?