10,000 on ignore, Book 199, Gethsemane, Part 2.....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Completely unprompted, Trump insists at GOP donor event that he's not into golden showers
Aldous J Pennyfarthing

Oh, yes. As every publicist knows, the best way to handle a PR crisis is to bring up the awful thing you desperately want people to forget about five or more years after the fact. This is the stable-iest, most genius-y thing I’ve ever heard. Donald Trump, whose numerous grievances tend to spontaneously burst forth like whack-a-moles when you least expect it, just reminded us that he is not—repeat, not—into golden showers. Though he obviously thinks about them frequently enough to bring them up five years after the Steele Dossier suggested that there might be a pee tape involving Trump, said showers, and some Moscow sex workers.

According to The Washington Post, golden showers were top of mind for Trump at a National Republican Senatorial Committee donor retreat in Palm Beach, Florida, on Thursday. Because, well, he’s Donald Trump, and he has no filter:

“It was all phony s---, okay. All phony stuff,” he said of the Democratic impeachment efforts and the investigation of his ties to Russia.
Unprompted, he brought up an unsubstantiated claim he had interactions with prostitutes in Moscow before he ran for president.
“I’m not into golden showers,” he told the crowd. “You know the great thing, our great first lady — ‘That one,’ she said, ‘I don’t believe that one.’ ”

Jesus Jell-O-Gargling Christ. That totes sounds like a dude who’s into golden showers.

Now, I’ve never forgotten about the pee tape accusations—I’ve written a movie treatment based on the alleged incident that I’ll be pitching to the Hallmark Channel later this fall—but I’m sure some Americans had. And now they remember it, too.

I have no idea if the allegations are true, of course, though I’ve been leaning toward disbelieving them. Now I’m not so sure.

But, hey, maybe Donnie can bring this up again closer to the midterms. It may distract Republican voters from his mounting legal troubles. Or not. Either way is fine with me.

Trump_Golden-Shower_Urine-Pour_Opt.gif




 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Donald Trump tried to destroy Andrew McCabe. A new settlement undoes some of the damage
Laura Clawson

Andrew McCabe, the former acting FBI director who became a frequent subject of Donald Trump’s rage, will get his pension after Trump pushed to strip him of it, with then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions firing McCabe hours before he could retire. The Justice Department has settled a lawsuit with McCabe, rescinding his firing and returning his pension and benefits, along with about $200,000 in back payments.

As acting FBI director following Trump’s abrupt firing of James Comey, McCabe drew Trump’s rage by approving the decision to investigate Trump’s possible ties to Russia and possible acts of obstruction of justice. McCabe also said publicly that on their first meeting, Trump had described his wife as a “loser” because of a failed Virginia state Senate run. Jill McCabe’s campaign as a Democrat became a frequent subject in Trump’s attacks claiming that Andrew McCabe owed political favors to former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and, through him, to Hillary and Bill Clinton.
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Trump made McCabe a frequent target and explicitly threatened his pension, saying in one tweet, “FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!” Go figure: When Sessions fired McCabe just in time to deny him his full pension, it looked suspicious. McCabe sued, claiming he was illegally fired for political reasons.

The Justice Department did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

“Politics should never play a role in the fair administration of justice and civil service personnel decisions,” McCabe said in a statement released by Arnold & Porter, the law firm representing him. McCabe added, “I hope that this result encourages the men and women of the FBI to continue to protect the American people by standing up for the truth and doing their jobs without fear of political retaliation.”

McCabe was also previously investigated for lying to investigators about authorizing a subordinate to talk to a reporter about Hillary Clinton’s emails, with the decision not to charge him coming in February 2020 and causing a new set of Trump temper tantrums. A judge in that case, Reggie Walton, warned about Trump’s public attacks: “I just think it’s a banana republic when we go down that road and we have those type of statements being made that are conceivably, even if not, influencing the ultimate decision.”

In a 2018 Washington Post op-ed, Jill McCabe described her husband as a “reliable Republican” and detailed their efforts to ensure that her candidacy did not pose ethical conflicts for him; nonetheless, Trump turned it into evidence of Andrew McCabe’s partisan intent.

“I have spent countless hours trying to understand how the president and so many others can share such destructive lies about me,” she wrote. “Ultimately I believe it somehow never occurred to them that I could be a serious, independent-minded physician who wanted to run for office for legitimate reasons. They rapidly jumped to the conclusion that I must be corrupt, as part of what I believe to be an effort to vilify us to suit their needs.”


Corrupt people tend to believe that others are behaving in a corrupt manner. Angry at McCabe for daring to challenge him, Donald Trump jumped to the assumption that McCabe must be corrupt, and did his best to ruin the man’s life. Getting back the retirement benefits he earned won’t undo the damage to McCabe’s family, but it’s at least a measure of justice. And Trump is probably in a bad mood today.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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'It gives everyone cold sweats': Republicans fret over Trump's involvement in 2022
Kerry Eleveld

Senate Republicans got an unwelcome intrusion into their swanky campaign donor retreat this week in Palm Beach, Florida, when Donald Trump issued a statement Wednesday threatening to tank turnout among GOP voters if Republicans didn't find a way to overturn the 2020 election results.

According to reporting from The Washington Post, Trump's ill-timed and self-serving statement cast a pall over the gathering.

“It gives everyone cold sweats over the Georgia situation and the prospect he could have some impact again,” said one party strategist, referring to Trump's effect on the Georgia Senate runoffs earlier this year.
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On Thursday, a Trump spokesperson followed up with a statement asserting that Trump was actually a GOTV machine. "There is no one in the country that does more to increase voter engagement and participation than President Trump. Through his endorsements and massive Save America rallies, President Trump is single-handedly rebuilding the Republican Party at the ballot box.”

Fascinating. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of depressed turnout among Republican voters in Georgia's runoffs included a quote from 61-year-old Craig Roland, who said Trump's message about the stolen election had discouraged him from voting in the runoffs.

“What good would it have done to vote? They have votes that got changed,” Roland said. “I don’t know if I’ll ever vote again.”

Trump, speaking to attendees at the Palm Beach getaway, offered a different view. The Post reviewed some audio from his speech, and it's a doozie. Trump bragged about all his electoral successes after four years in which the Republicans lost total control of Congress and the White House alike.

“It was a dying party, I’ll be honest," he told the room full of GOP operatives and Senators, who are now sitting in the minority. "Now we have a very lively party." That's one way of putting it.

Trump went on to blast certain Senate Republicans who have dared to publicly challenge him, name-checking Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Ben Sasse of Nebraska at their own retreat. Nothing like some uplifting rhetoric to foster that ol' team spirit.

“The Republican Party has to stick together,” Trump added. He wasn't being ironic.

Playing up his own baseless election fraud claims (which nearly every GOP senator knows are ludicrous) was a centerpiece of Trump's pitch to the crowd.

Trump called what happened in Georgia "a terrible thing" and said many states were "correcting all the ways we were all abused over the last election . . . last two elections if you think about it." Apparently, Trump is aware that 2018 wasn't exactly a home run for the GOP either.

Congressional Republicans see real opportunities for gaining seats and retaking majorities next year, but not with a message dominated by Trump's obsessive 2020 election fraud lies.

GOP Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska, who holds an urban/suburban swing seat, said Republicans could "win big" in 2022 with consistent messaging about foreign policy, inflation, immigration, and crime.

However, Bacon said, "If the party wants to make it about the election is rigged, we will lose. Independent voters don’t respond well to that."

The problem for Bacon and other vulnerable Republicans is that it doesn't matter what "the party" wants because no one in GOP leadership has the guts, integrity, or political juice to face down Trump, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who blew his chance to shiv Trump during the January impeachment trial. McConnell either couldn't muster the votes to convict Trump or didn't try—either way, he failed.

In the meantime, both the Senate and House campaign arms continue to avidly fundraise by invoking Trump's name and a potential 2024 presidential bid.

Trump is also set to keynote the fall dinner of the National Republican Congressional Committee. When NRCC chair Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota was asked about Trump's threat to sink GOP turnout next year unless Republicans overturned the 2020 results, all Emmer could muster was, "The former president, he’s a private citizen. He, of course, is entitled to his own opinion.” (That's clearly the best Emmer's going to do because it's the second time he's deployed the private citizen/own opinion messaging.)

Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel has also promised donors that the party would make "election integrity" a key focus in 2022.

Historically, congressional Republicans enjoy a huge advantage heading into next year's midterms simply because they are the party out of power. The problem for them is they have hung their hat on a guy whose delusional obsession with the 2020 "steal" is overwhelming the entire party. Trump is demanding fealty on that message from every one of his GOP primary endorsees and alternately promising primary challenges for anyone at the state and federal levels who defies him.

In Michigan, where Trumpers are currently knocking on doors trying to find evidence of 2020 fraud, Trump issued a statement threatening any GOP lawmaker who stood in their way.

“Hopefully, each one of these cowardly RINOs, whose names will be identified and forthcoming, will be primaried with my complete and total endorsement in the upcoming election,” Trump said in a Wednesday statement.

To date, the state's GOP-led legislature hasn't launched an audit and an investigation by the Senate Oversight Committee concluded there was "no evidence" of widespread fraud.


So whatever message GOP operatives and lawmakers might hope to feature in next year's midterms: They can kiss it goodbye. Trump is going to go to his grave spewing 2020 election fraud conspiracy theories and he'll happily drag the Republican Party with him.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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In a boring, ham-handed video, QAnon idol announces a congressional run in Arizona
Rebekah Sager

In another addition to the surreal era of the last five years, Ron Watkins, the man many believe to be the Q mastermind behind the voodoo conspiracy theory of QAnon, is throwing his hat into the ring as a Congressman representing the 1st District in Arizona.

Watkins, the former 8chan administrator, posted his announcement on his Telegram channel Thursday, appearing to read from cue cards in what can only be described as a wildly uncharismatic, awkward, and ham-handed speech. ......

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Tucker Carlson Attacks Pete Buttigieg Over White House Parental Leave - That FOX News Also Offers
News Corpse

Leave it to the Fox News Senior Hate Monger, Tucker Carlson, to find a way to malign fatherhood, while viciously insulting LGBTQ people, and simultaneously displaying rank hypocrisy, all with the smirk of an elitist, trust fund baby, shielded from consequences by his right-wing employer.

On Thursday evening Carlson was compelled to assault the institution of the family, an ironic position for the network that pretends to be the defenders of family values. Carlson's tirade was triggered by the audacity of Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, availing himself of the parental leave provided to all federal employees. But Carlson is apparently ignorant of the family leave policies of his own employer. This was revealed in a video contrasting Carlson's homophobic mockery of Buttigieg, with a clip of Fox and Friends co-host Todd Piro:



Carlson's crack about "breastfeeding" demeans all fathers who love their newborns enough to take some time off of work to care for them and their wives. That includes his colleague Piro, as well as Jesse Watters who, after the birth of his child with his second wife (a Fox News producer with whom he was cheating on his first wife), said that "Now I am pro-paternity [leave]. I used to mock people for taking paternity." That's the same brand of family "values" practiced by Donald Trump.

So Carlson deliberately neglects to mention that Fox News has a family leave policy that gives fathers six weeks off after the birth of a child. Even worse he criticizes Buttigieg for taking leave in the most insulting and infantile manner possible.

This, however, isn't the first time that Carlson as lambasted a Biden administration policy that mirrors those of Fox News. Carlson also attacked Biden's vaccine mandate policy. He characterized Biden's efforts to get more people vaccinated, thus saving lives, as tyrannical and as waging a war on the American people. Never mind that Fox News has a similar policy that is even stricter than Biden's, and which Carlson is abiding by.

How many other Fox News directives does Carlson oppose, but is too dishonest and cowardly to say so? Who knows? What we do know is that Carlson is a weaselly hypocrite who will suck up to whoever he needs to in order to benefit himself. After all, before he was rescued by Fox News, Carlson was fired from PBS, CNN, and MSNBC. He also had a run in with Fox before they hired him that resulted in him calling them "a mean, sick group of people."

Now Carlson happily toils in Fox's lie-mining caves like a good supplicant. He furthers their ultra-rightist agenda by embracing and dispensing their hate, lies, and conspiracy theories. All while maintaining his hallmark smirk and confused (constipated?) expression.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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What the nunchuck is going on in Arizona? Attorney general’s video gets widely mocked on Twitter
Walter Einenkel

Arizona Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich must be under a lot of stress. He is considered the Republican Party’s best chance at turning Sen. Mark Kelly’s seat red this coming election. He’s the front-runner for the nomination to run against Sen. Kelly. But he’s also, up until recently, been on the list of MAGA-lite officials who aren’t delusional enough to support all of the fact-free conspiracy theories Trumpers would like investigated. Trump has attacked Brnovich for not complying with his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and has endorsed more overtly fascist candidates to replace run-of-the-mill fascists like Gov. Doug Ducey.

After Trump aimed one of his oafish attacks on Brnovich in May, Brnovich began adding more ultra-right-wing histrionics to his platform. This included writing some strongly worded letters to the Department of Justice about how they were being soft on immigration and calling the DOJ’s well-warranted leeriness over the Cyber Ninja election fraud farce-recount debacle in Arizona partisan. Recently, Brnovich has added some anti-vaxx nonsense to the public exhibits showing how low he will go to win his party’s nomination. It is all a posturing toward the two-dimensional, 1990s action star concept of masculinity that Donald Trump represents.

On Friday, Mr. Brnovich took that fragile masculinity to its foregone conclusion and tweeted this video of himself, showing everyone his nunchucks skills. Literally.



That’s real. He and someone or someones said you know what a good idea is? Why don’t I/You do that nunchuck thing you’re always doing. The Arizona attorney general then gave someone his phone, that person is either much taller than Brnovich or they got up on a stool, and then somebody says allrighty, let’s do this. Then, 54-year-old Mark Brnovich shows you his sweet nunchucks skills. As you might imagine, the responses were *chef’s kiss*.




 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Former Domino’s employee who stormed the Capitol provides FBI with 8 video clips of Jan. 6 violence
Aysha Qamar

Nine months after one of the most violent days in the history of our country, investigations are still ongoing as more than 670 people have been charged with involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence depicting the violence of the day, some officials are continuing to play dumb and ignore the brutality that occurred. To date, officials have reviewed more than 15,000 hours of footage, making it the largest digital crime scene in history.

The best part is that most of these videos have come from the rioters themselves. Participants in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection not only sent photos and footage to friends and family but posted to their social media accounts. In a recent incident, the government obtained at least eight videos of the Capitol insurrection after a Massachusetts man pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor Thursday. The man, identified as Brian McCreary, was famously photographed at the Capitol riot alongside the infamous ‘QAnon shaman,’ Jacob Chansley.
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McCreary’s plea comes nine months after he first told FBI investigators that it was not Trump supporters but "antifa" who stormed the halls of government. He was arrested Feb. 3, during which his cell phone was confiscated.

On Thursday McCreary accepted a misdemeanor plea of entering or remaining in a restricted building, a charge that carries a maximum of one year in prison but sentencing guidelines of zero to six months, according to the Court House News Service.

During McCreary’s hearing, U.S. Chief Judge Beryl Howell noted that McCreary provided eight video clips to the FBI that documented the violent mob.

“When you were filming, did you hear — as captured on video — ‘where are they counting the ****ing votes?’” Howell asked to confirm that McCreary partook in different activities inside the Capitol.

“A lot of people were yelling, your honor,” McCreary said. “I was trying to capture what was happening.”

McCreary also admitted to following the mob inside the Capitol and realizing he should have known that he wasn’t supposed to be there.

“I realized upon reflection that that should have been obvious to me,” McCreary said.



Among the videos of the violent mob, one showed rioters attacking Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman. Goodman a Black Capitol Police officer, heroically diverted a mob of angry Donald Trump supporters away from the Senate chamber during the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Video footage shared to social media depicted him acting quickly and selflessly as angry mob members stormed the building.



Two others pleaded guilty Thursday, bringing the total number of guilty pleas up to 103. Last week, U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan shared that he was afraid some rioters were taking early plea deals with no remorse for their actions, and were only saying whatever they thought prosecutors wanted to hear.

“It’s become evident to me in the riot cases … that many of the defendants who are pleading guilty are not truly accepting responsibility. They seem to me to be trying to get this out of the way as quickly and as inexpensively as possible and stating whatever they have to say in guilty pleas and hoping to get probation and leave,” Hogan said.

Most of the 100 rioters who have pleaded guilty have admitted to a lesser crime than what they were originally charged with, including parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol—Class B misdemeanors that carry a maximum sentence of six months in jail. As a result, many of these individuals avoid being tried on multiple charges, some of which carried more potential prison time.

Other newly released Jan.6 insurrection videos include the infamous Eric Munchel, coined the "zip-tie guy," and his mother, Lisa Marie Eisenhart, who worked their way through protesters to end up in the U.S. Senate gallery during the insurrection.

According to the Nashville Tennessean, a federal judge overseeing the case against Munchel and Eisenhart ordered the release of the 50-minute video that was recorded on a cell phone that the son wore on his vest during the riot. "I'm going to get me some of them motherf***ers," Munchel said in the video as he and his mother grabbed handfuls of plastic handcuffs or zip ties.

Both Munchel and Eisenhart are awaiting trial on federal charges.

Officials are strategically using footage posted online by those who attended the riots to prosecute them. As time continues to pass, more individuals are being charged daily.

“The country is watching to see what the consequences are for something that has not ever happened in the history of this country before,” U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said, “for actions and crimes that threaten to undermine the rule of law and our democracy.”

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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President Joe Biden on Friday said those who refuse subpoenas from the House select committee investigating the January 6 riot at the US Capitol should be prosecuted by the Justice Department.

Asked by CNN's Kaitlan Collins what his message is to those who refuse subpoenas from the panel, Biden said, "I hope that the committee goes after them and holds them accountable."

Pressed on whether he thinks those people should be prosecuted by the department, the President said, "I do, yes."

The President's comments, the strongest yet from Biden on possible repercussions for those who refuse to cooperate with the select committee's requests, upended days of discipline from the White House, which has sought to distance itself from the House's expected criminal contempt referral against Steve Bannon........
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Delay in Oath Keepers’ conspiracy trial for Jan. 6 insurrection forced by growing pile of evidence
David Neiwert

The federal judge overseeing the Oath Keepers conspiracy case in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection ordered their trial delayed this week, primarily because of the overwhelming amount of evidence still being produced in their cases. Though the delay was expected, its reasons are stark reminders that Jan. 6 will be one of the most complex prosecutions in history and that the investigation remains very active as more evidence piles up. There are likely some very big shoes still to drop.

U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta announced the postponement on Thursday, meaning the trial of the 18 members of the extremist “Patriot” group will not begin in January as scheduled, and is likely to be pushed out to sometime in spring or summer 2022. Three factors forced the delay: The large amount of fresh evidence still being filed, the ongoing investigation and the evidence it is still uncovering, and the difficulty defendants have had obtaining access to the electronic versions of the evidence while confined in the D.C. Central Detention Facility.
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“I can’t order the government to stop collecting relevant evidence,” Mehta said, noting that defendants have the right to a speedy trial as well.

“What I really want to know is ... when is this information going to become available?” Mehta said. “And I mean all of it. Not just a small piece of it. I mean all of it. And that’s something ... every judge on this court wants to know, and every defendant wants to know.”

The size of the case has been building over time. The original group of Oath Keepers were arrested in January, but the case deepened in March when they were charged with conspiracy with several others; their numbers kept mounting, and by the time prosecutors unveiled a fifth superseding indictment in August—and after a couple of them entered guilty pleas as part of a cooperation agreement, which in turn has opened new pathways in the investigation—the total number of group members facing conspiracy charges reached 18.

However, the case is far from settled. Evidence continues to pile up as investigators sift through the unbelievable mountain of video and social media data pertaining to the insurrectionists and their preparations for Jan. 6. Moreover, prosecutors have been circling Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes for months now, with multiple indications that he will eventually face conspiracy charges himself.

Court documents in the conspiracy case refer to Rhodes as “Person 1” in the unfolding assault on the Capitol. One such document, filed in March in the case of Oath Keeper Thomas Caldwell—who coordinated with militia members Jessica Watkins and Donovan Crowl, according to prosecutors, to create a “stack” formation that played a key role in breaking down police barricades—alleges that Rhodes exchanged texts with them before, during, and after the insurrection.

Rhodes used the encrypted platform Signal to chat with Watkins, 38, an Ohio Oath Keepers militia leader, and Kelly Meggs, 52, a militia leader from Florida charged in the insurrection in February, prosecutors said. The filing says he directed them to rally during the siege to the Capitol’s southeast steps, following which members forcibly entered the east side of the building.

Rhodes has heatedly denied any wrongdoing. “Just so we’re clear on this: We had no plan to enter the Capitol, zero plan to do that, zero instructions to do that, and we also had zero knowledge that anyone had done that until after they had done that—afterwards,” Rhodes told The Washington Post.

He instead blamed his members: “They went totally off mission. They didn’t coordinate with us at all while they were there. They did their own damned thing.”

In a late-March speech at a Texas anti-immigrant event, Rhodes quipped, “I may go to jail soon,” according to The Daily Beast’s Kelly Weill. “Not for anything I actually did, but for made-up crimes. There are some Oath Keepers right now along with Proud Boys and other patriots who are in D.C. who are sitting in jail denied bail despite the supposed right to a jury trial before you’re found guilty and presumption of innocence, were denied bail because the powers that be don’t like their political views.”

He also claimed innocence for his members. “If we actually intended to take over the Capitol, we’d have taken it, and we’d have brought guns,” Rhodes said. “That’s not why we were there that day. We were there to protect Trump supporters from Antifa.”

But evidence is still rolling in. At Thursday’s hearing, the attorney for Ohio militiaman Donovan Crowl, Carmen D. Hernandez, told Judge Mehta that just the week before that prosecutors had submitted an additional 14 chats taken from the encrypted messaging app Signal, “which the government claims includes evidence of planning and vital information to this case.”

Federal prosecutors have referred to 29 people under investigation, she told Mehta, noting that she knew the identities of eight of them.


“And some of the parties being investigated are key people. Person 1 is the head of the Oath Keepers,” the attorney said, referring to Rhodes.
 

McCloudersportLion

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Look at them honey theyre beautiful. Look at thise UFOs spinning and circles and making Vietnam movie sounds honey.
 

McCloudersportLion

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It was like my uncle Steamboast Danny said of the war of Daemg Hat Hu- dont get out the boat mai gai this isnt Willy Wonka 2
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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GOP national fundraising arm sends texts branding non-donors as 'traitors' and 'deserters' to Trump
Dartagnan

You only have to look at their fundraising tactics to gain a real appreciation for the sheer contempt Donald Trump and the GOP establishment feel toward their run-of-the-mill (non-billionaire) supporters. Trump’s perpetual, grift-at-all-costs technique for money-grubbing went into overdrive as the 2020 election approached, with his campaign adopting a tactic called “dark pattern design,” tricking unsuspecting small-scale donors into committing to recurring donations through a pre-checked box on his campaign website. This underhanded practice locked unsuspecting constituents into making regular payments through automatic deductions in their bank accounts or credit cards, a scam intended to bilk them for as much as possible until they discovered it. Ultimately Trump and the Republican Party were forced to return over $77 million in such “donations,” a figure which accounted for approximately 20% of Trump’s total fundraising for the year.

Trump’s dirty methods weren’t limited to his voting base. From the very start of his campaign in 2016 the supposed multimillionaire business mogul built a well-earned reputation for stiffing the venues — most often cash-strapped municipalities — he selected for his rallies. The Trump family skipped out of the White House in January this year owing nearly $2 million in unpaid debts to cities across the country. From Spokane, WA., to Albuquerque, N.M., to Wildwood, New Jersey, these debts were incurred by credulous local officials who provided the police protection and security those rallies required, in full expectation they’d be reimbursed. To date there is no indication that any of those debts were ever paid (The Trump organization has told these cities to try to seek reimbursement through the Secret Service, in effect, effectively thumbing their nose at them).

On a national level the fundraising arm of Republican Party has apparently internalized this mentality after four years of watching and learning from Trump. Their latest tactic, as shared by Forbes reporter Andrew Solender, involves cajoling intimidating individual donors with personal threats and insults.
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The following is taken directly from a text ad recently released by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC):

You’re a traitor… You abandoned Trump. We were told you were a tried & true, lifelong patriot. But when Trump said he’d run for President if we took back the House from Nancy Pelosi … You did nothing. Was Trump wrong about you? This is your final chance to prove your loyalty or be branded a deserter. We’re giving you one final chance to stand with Trump. You only have 17 minutes.”

The ad itself appears below:



From an outsider’s perspective it’s difficult to fathom why anyone receiving this text would feel anything but annoyance and disgust. It’s next to impossible to conceive of any Democratic fundraising entity, for example, employing this blatant of an approach. To understand why the NRCC feels this tactic might be successful, some insight into the nature of what the Republican Party has now become is necessary. In the context of this particular ad, there is actually more going on than meets the eye.

First, the recipient is provided with a fait accompli: You’re a traitor. Not, “you will be a traitor (if you fail to do this),” nor an exhortation to “not” be a traitor. The fact that the recipient’s betrayal is a given, something already accomplished, because he or she “abandoned Trump.” Note that the betrayal here is not towards the Republican Party, certainly not the NRCC, but to the individual persona of Donald Trump. Does anyone want to be a traitor? Of course not: The intent here is to put the reader on the defensive immediately.

Next, the readers are informed of the reasons for and depth of their betrayal. They’re told that by breaking faith with Trump they have let others down, specifically those who wrongly mistook them as a “tried & true, lifelong patriot.” This was a belief also shared by Trump, but the reader has grievously broken that faith by doing “nothing,” i.e., not contributing to the NRCC.

Lastly, the recipient is given a “final” warning — an opportunity to make amends — and is informed that his failure to do will result in being branded as a “deserter,” forever ostracized and vilified by the Republican Party, and — implicitly, of course — by Donald Trump.

Of course, this is cult mentality at its finest. Two near-universal hallmarks of cults are the elevation of an authority figure to near-Deity status and the threat of “shunning” and ostracism of those who try to leave the cult. Claims of “special” knowledge which only cult members possess— such as Trump’s promotion of the Big Lie— and an overriding “us vs. them” mentality, are also common characteristics of such groups.

The fact that this text boils down to a mere solicitation for money shouldn’t obscure the more profound and troubling fact that one of this country’s two major political parties has become so beholden to a single personality that all significant decisions it now makes, including how to raise funds, are inextricably tied to that person’s fortunes. The fact that this individual has a proven, lethal track record of treachery, deceit, and complete indifference to basic principles of good faith --let alone the welfare of the country and all norms of of human decency — makes that all the more remarkable. There has never been a state of affairs quite like this in our country’s history; the closest analogue was McCarthyism, nearly 70 years ago, but even Joe McCarthy’s sordid, demagogic personality didn’t permeate the Republican Party the way Trump has infected it.


When McCarthy finally fell from grace, his name became a curse, practically overnight. All of his power to control, intimidate and bully others simply vanished into thin air. Republicans so eager to emulate Donald Trump, now clinging so desperately to his coattails out of cowardice and opportunism, would probably do well to remember that.
 
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