More to ignore, Book 95....

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014

Ukraine update: Ukraine is across the Oskil, and across the Oskil, and across the Oskil, and ...

Mark Sumner

On Friday, the majority of the action when it comes to a counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces is along the Oskil River. But while attention has lately been focused on the city of Lyman and Ukrainian forces maneuvering to encircle the Russian forces there, it’s far from the only location east of Oskil seeing action.


Ukraine is pushing across the Oskil River in at least four locations.

While it’s easy to understand the attention being devoted to the southern end of this map, both because of the intense conflict around Lyman and the rapid expansion of the Ukrainian-liberated area immediately east of the river, at least three other areas are seeing active conflict along the river on Friday,

At the northern end of the line, Ukrainian forces launching out from Dvorichna have reportedly cross the river, secured Hryanykivka, and are engaged in fighting at Tavilzhanka. Conflict in this area was first reported over 12 hours ago, so Ukrainian forces may have been turned back, or may have secured the town. There’s simply no new information.

Next down the line is the city of Kupyansk. This is the location from which Russia originally launched its “Izyum salient” to the west, so it only seems right that it now become a point from which Ukraine can work to the east. That seems to be happening on Friday. Though earlier reports had Russian forces trying to reclaim the part of the city east of the river, it now seems that Ukraine has secured that area, including a small suburb, and has moved toward Petropavlivka. There has been geolocated video of Ukrainian forces advancing in the area, and the destruction of a Russian tank, but like Tavilzhanka, it’s now been several hours since there was anything new from this area.

Next … Kivsharivka. It’s on the map with a yellow pin, not because either side has attacked it, but because the one thing that all the messages coming out of Kivsharivka seem to agree on is that no one is there. Well, not
no one. Before the war, this was a substantial town of 20,000, and a good deal of that population still seems to be in place. It’s just that for something like five days running, there have been neither Russian nor Ukrainian forces present. The same may be true of Hlushkivka, which is that white dot just below Kivsharivka on the map. I just don’t have any information.

Senkove is the one place where Ukrainian forces have definitely reached the river on the west side, but don’t seem to have created a bridge to the east. It’s unclear why that may be.

Then it’s down to Horohovatka, across the river from Pidlyman and Borova. Pidlyman was apparently liberated five days ago, but conflict with Borova to the north has been sporadic. There have been some reports that Ukrainian forces are waiting for more troops to press south from Kupyansk before making a serious assault on Russian forces in this town.


Ukraine continues to expand its area of control west of Lyman

And that finally gets us down to the south end of the reservoir near Lyman. What’s going on in this area? What isn’t?

On the west side, Ukraine has reportedly secured Rubtsi and Korovii Yar (which may be the location with the most alternate spellings on the entire map of Ukraine). From there, Ukrainian forces have proceeded into Lozove, which may or may not be fully liberated. But if it’s not, that hasn’t stopped Ukrainian forces from moving north of the town and reportedly reaching Pisky-Radkivski (which is fun to say).

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces also seem to have made a thrust to the northwest. As in Lozove, there are some reports that Ukraine has liberated Karpivka, and there are reports of conflict both at Ridkodub and Nove. At end of daylight in Ukraine, there was reportedly a conflict going on in the fields midway between Ridkodub and Karpivka. Outcome unknown.

Swinging down to Drobysheve, there are reports that while the town is completely encircled by Ukrainian forces and under Ukrainian control, there remains within the town a group of Russian soldiers fortified in place. These are reportedly what remains of two Russian mercenary units identified as BARS-13 and BARS-16. In just the last half hour, Ukrainian sources have reported a Russian counter-counterattack on Drobysheve. It will be some time before we know if that effort was successful and whether the Russians trapped there were able to escape.

In Lyman itself, Russia still reportedly has artillery in the northern part of the city or in the area just to the city. There’s concern among Russian sources that Ukraine intends to drive from Drobysheve and Derylove to Stavky, then to come directly south at Lyman. That fear has led to some discussion of trying to get guns and armor out of the city now, while there is still a route of escape.

On the other hand, Lyman has been “about to be liberated” about twice an hour for the last five days. Except on those occasions when someone has declared that it was “already liberated.” So it’s hard to know how seriously to take any of the talk about Russian forces moving out.

If it seems like things are moving slowly around Lyman, here are a few dates from when Russia was coming the other way. Russia took Lozove on April 18, Serednje on May 8, and Lyman on May 27. It would be mid-June before they made their way down to Ozerne.

So give Ukraine a little more time. Things are going well.

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014

Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys are fighting a secret court battle to block a federal grand jury from gathering information from an expanding circle of close Trump aides about his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, people briefed on the matter told CNN.

The high-stakes legal dispute – which included the appearance of three attorneys representing Trump at the Washington, DC, federal courthouse on Thursday afternoon – is the most aggressive step taken by the former President to assert executive and attorney-client privileges in order to prevent some witnesses from sharing information in the criminal investigation events surrounding January 6, 2021.

The court fight over privilege, which has not been previously reported and is under seal, is a turning point for Trump’s post-presidency legal woes.

How the fight is resolved could determine whether prosecutors can tear down the firewall Trump has tried to keep around his conversations in the West Wing and with attorneys he spoke to as he sought to overturn the 2020 election and they worked to help him hold onto the presidency.

This dispute came to light as former Trump White House adviser and lawyer Eric Herschmann received a grand jury subpoena seeking testimony, the people briefed said.......

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014

Trump's Messiah Scam Increases His Threat To America


Donald Trump has built a cult around himself. This is dangerous to America and dangerous to democracy.

Cults of personality in governance are broadly incompatible with democracy. They usually erupt in dictatorships where the Great Leader’s face and sayings are splashed all over public places. Think Mao’s China, Stalin’s USSR, Hitler’s Germany, Kim’s North Korea.

On a smaller scale and in a different context, we see how destructive such personality cults can be with the deaths around Jim Jones’ Jonestown, David Koresh’s Branch Davidians, and Charles Manson’s Family.

This is what Donald Trump aspires to.

Back in 2000, Louise and I visited Egypt. Our guide was a retired professor of Egyptology from the largest university in the country, and as we were touring Luxor he pointed out some writing carved fifteen or so feet up a stone wall at the Temple of Karnack.

“This is from when Alexander the Great conquered Egypt,” he told us, as I recall. “It says that Alexander was the child of Amen, the god of all the gods, the one who was so great that even to this day we say his name at the end of prayers.”
“Why would Alexander make that claim?” I asked.
“Because” he said, “it’s a lot easier to seize and hold power when people think you have a connection to their idea of divinity.”

While modern Hebrew scholars may disagree about why “amen” ends our prayers, it was a lesson for me that I’ve kept in mind ever since. Beware of leaders asserting connections to divinity, particularly if they’re grasping for political or financial power.

Trump is now openly encouraging his followers to think of him as divine or, at least, divinely inspired. And this isn’t a new pitch, it’s just getting a new round of attention.

Back in 2019, when Trump actually was president, Dana Milbank noted for The Washington Post:

“On Wednesday morning, he tweeted out with approval a conspiracy theorist’s claim that Israelis view Trump ‘like he’s the King of Israel’ and ‘the second coming of God’ (a theology Jews reject). He shared the conspiracy theorist’s puzzlement that American Jews don’t view him likewise.
“Hours later, he explained why he has taken a tough trade policy against China: ‘I am the chosen one.’”

Followers of the Qanon cult and the Fox “News” cult appear to believe him. And, like those who followed the people mentioned above, it’s tearing apart families, devastating our politics, and causing deaths across the nation.

As a Cleveland newspaper noted a week ago yesterday:

“A man who authorities say killed his wife and dog and seriously wounded his daughter before being shot by police reportedly was depressed by Donald Trump’s loss in the presidential election and became fixated by online conspiracy theories such as QAnon.”

The man’s daughter who avoided being shot, Rebecca Lanis, told The Detroit News:

“It’s really so shocking but it really can happen to anybody. Right-wing extremism is not funny, and people need to watch their relatives and if they have guns, they need to hide them or report them or something because this is out of control.”

And she’s right: it is out of control.

Rational people know that messiahs don’t molest women and brag about it, don’t fleece people with a phony school who just want a college education, don’t encourage racial hatred, and don’t get crowds to try to overturn democracy and kill a policeman.

But Trump isn’t after the rational people. He’s a predator, and his prey are the psychologically and emotionally vulnerable, people crushed by 40 years of Reagan’s neoliberalism, now desperate for simple answers to complex problems.

We should have known when Trump said, in a Charles Manson moment, that he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and his followers would still support him.

Charismatic con men can make some people believe anything.

For example, nearly a third of all registered Republicans believe that top-level Democrats are running international child trafficking rings to torture and abuse kids before draining their blood.

Where did this modern-day variation on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion come from?

When I was young my favorite writers were Ernest Hemmingway and Hunter S. Thompson, and my favorite Thompson novel was his Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Which is why a caller last year who started on a rant about Democrats harvesting “adrenochrome” from children caused me to both cut him off the air and go back to my copy of the novel to see if my memory was right.

Sure enough, there it was. Thompson was bemoaning running out of hashish and being almost out of opium when his “fat Samoan” sidekick offered an alternative:

“As your attorney,” he said, “I advise you not worry.” He nodded toward the bathroom. “Take a hit out of that little brown bottle in my shaving kit.”
“What is it?”
“Adrenochrome,” he said. “You won’t need much. Just a little tiny taste.”
I got the bottle and dipped the head of a paper match into it.
“That’s about right,” he said. “That stuff makes pure mescaline seem like ginger beer. You’ll go completely crazy if you take too much.”
I licked the end of the match. “Where’d you get this?” I asked. “You can’t buy it.”
“Never mind,” he said. “It’s absolutely pure.”
I shook my head sadly. “Jesus! What kind of monster client have you picked up this time? There’s only one source for this stuff…”
He nodded.

“The adrenaline glands from a living human body,” I said. “It’s no good if you get it out of a corpse.”

When Thompson pushes his “attorney” about where the adrenochrome came from, the fictional character tells the fictional tale of having once been hired to represent a child molester/murderer who’d presumably extracted it from one of his victims:

“Christ, what could I say?” Thompson’s sidekick told him. “Even a goddamn werewolf is entitled to legal counsel. I didn’t dare turn the creep down. He might have picked up a letter opener and gone after my pineal gland.”

That little seed, entirely fictional, planted in the national subconscious back in the early ‘70s, has now blossomed into a full-blown flower of a belief held by literally millions of Americans.

As Rightwing Watch documents, uber-Trump cultist and “journalist” Liz Crokin explains in one of her many videos:

“Adrenochrome is a drug that the elites love. It comes from children. The drug is extracted from the pituitary gland of tortured children. It’s sold on the black market. It’s the drug of the elites. It is their favorite drug. It is beyond evil. It is demonic. It is so sick.”

People who have been ensnared by the QAnon cult and are gullible enough to believe this kind of thing are the explicit targets now in Trump’s crosshairs.

Similarly, when then-OMB Director Mick Mulvaney used the word “pizza” in a televised cabinet meeting, Crokin laid out how she and all the other Trump cultists were being flagged as to the “reality” of a pizza restaurant in a DC suburb being the place where the children were being held prior to being tortured and having their adrenochrome “harvested”:

“President Trump and his staffers are constantly trolling the deep state,” she said of Mulvaney’s reference as Trump nodded in agreement. “That’s President Trump’s way of letting you know that Pizzagate is real and it’s not fake. He’s constantly using their words against them and throwing it in their face and God bless him, it’s amazing.”

And now the cult that Trump has both adopted and built around himself is claiming its victims, as personality cults usually do.

Matthew Taylor Coleman, a 40-year-old Christian surfing school owner, drove his two children, a 3-year-old boy and a nine-month-old girl, to Mexico where he slaughtered them with a spear-fishing gun.

His children “were going to grow into monsters so he had to kill them,” said federal officials handling the investigation. Coleman told police that killing his kids was “the only course of action that would save the world” because they had “lizard DNA” and would grow up to threaten us all.

Federal officials believe he learned this from Qanon/Trump followers, as did Anthony Quinn Warner who died when he blew up his truck outside an AT&T building in Nashville on Christmas Day 2020 causing a widespread internet outage in an apparent attempt to cripple the “lizard people” network opposing Trump, which included Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Obamas.

The University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism notes that 68 percent of the open Qanon followers arrested at the US Capitol on January 6th who had also committed crimes before or after that coup attempt “have documented mental health concerns, according to court records and other public sources.”

Their psychological issues included “post-traumatic stress disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Munchausen syndrome by proxy.”

The “Qanon Shaman” of so many iconic 1/6 pictures has now pleaded mental illness as his reason for showing up at the Capitol, as have two others who “were found to be mentally unfit to stand trial and were transferred to mental health care facilities.”

Of the six women arrested on 1/6 who’d also committed crimes before or after the coup attempt, the researchers note, “all six…have documented mental health concerns.”

This should be no surprise: Donald Trump also has well-documented mental illness, as do most messianic cult leaders. But his mental illness is what makes him dangerous to society, just like Jones, Koresh, and Manson.

Psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee MD edited a compilation of articles by accredited mental health professionals discussing Trump’s issues and their possible impact on America, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. Psychiatrist Justin Frank MD wrote Trump on the Couch, a similarly chilling account of Trump’s issues and their consequences.

Even Trump’s niece, clinical psychologist Mary L. Trump PhD, has repeatedly and convincingly documented Trump’s mental illness and its causes deep in his twisted and unhappy childhood with a psychopathic father.

And, it turns out, certain types of mental illness are functionally contagious.

People with Trump’s malignant narcissism can, essentially, activate or bring out narcissistic tendencies in others, which may explain in part the explosion of air rage among Trump followers who were, until recently, infuriated by being told to wear a mask in-flight.

Followers yearning for a parent figure turn to a damaged leader, hungry for adulation and to create a symbiotic relationship that binds them together, notes Dr. Lee in an interview with Psychology Today.

When it reaches a lot of people, we see a repeat of the Salem Witch Trial-type of mass insanity that ripples through society. This is called shared

“When a highly symptomatic individual is placed in an influential position,” Dr. Lee notes, “the person’s symptoms can spread through the population through emotional bonds, heightening existing pathologies and inducing delusions, paranoia and propensity for violence – even in previously healthy individuals.”

We have multiple Republican governors now using the power of law, enforced by armed police, courts, and prisons to force women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, an emulation of Trump’s misogyny.

In an attempt to out-Donald his role model, Ron DeSantis is using Florida taxpayer’s money to fly Texas-based asylum-seekers to Martha’s Vineyard and elsewhere: it got him a standing ovation in Kansas this past weekend.

Half of the Republicans in Congress refuse to say if they’re vaccinated (although all probably are; outside of Gohmert, Greene, and Boebert these people are grifters, not idiots), thus modeling behavior that is destroying families and even today killing around 400 people a day in America.

Liz Cheney put down how Republicans in Congress refer to him as “Orange Jesus.”

Meanwhile, a clearly delusional pillow salesman promotes a democracy-destroying conspiracy theory that the Senate of the State of Arizona has endorsed and thrown a pile of cash at, while Republican state officials in Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Pennsylvania tried to emulate Arizona’s “audit.”

If it all seems insane, that’s because it is.

There’s a very sad and very human aspect to all this.

We’re all primed to be a bit gullible when it comes to fantastical ideas. Childhood myths like Santa Claus and most organized religions teach us that things beyond our understanding were both real in the past and will cause events in the future.

We all grew up tiny and helpless, depending on giant magical-seeming adults to take care of our needs, and that little, frightened child who just wants to be protected and loved is still alive and buried deep in the psyche of each of us.

The 918 people who died at Jim Jones’ jungle camp in Guyana didn’t join the People’s Temple because they were suicidal: Jones’ own psychosis either infected them or wore them down to a passive compliance.

We’re all vulnerable to mass psychosis as a condition of our humanity.

That’s why true leaders like Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders openly refuse to allow cults of personality to form around them.

Back when Bush was president, Bernie ridiculed the idea of voting for him “because you’d like to have a beer with him” on my program. Vote for a politician’s policies, not his personality, Bernie said emphatically.

Even John McCain had the decency to correct a woman saying that Obama was a “secret Muslim.” While he appreciated political support, he was wary of cults around him or cults that were demonizing other politicians. He’d been in politics long enough to know it’s a two-edged sword.

So what do we do as a society when we’re confronted with a psychotic former leader who’s continuing to inflict and spread contagious forms of mental illness among our nation? How do we handle it, and repair the damage?

Dr. Bandy X. Lee says, “The treatment is removal of exposure.”

Point out as often and as clearly as possible what a criminal, hustler, con artist and genuinely damaged person Trump is, and put him safely in prison.

Break the bond with his followers by crushing his aura of invincibility: indict and convict him of very ordinary crimes like public corruption, tax fraud, bank fraud, treason, theft, and rape.

Make clear how corrupt and destructive his policies were when he was in office, his criminality and treason around classified documents he stole and perhaps shared with or sold to hostile nations, and the long con he’s run the past 20 months fleecing donors out of a half-billion dollars just since he was forced out of the White House.

If we fail to deal with Trump in this way and keep him in jail and out of the headlines for a good long time, it’ll be extremely difficult to rescue his followers who’ve fallen deeply into the Qanon/Trump rabbit hole. And in their induced psychotic state, the damage they could wreak in a country awash in 400 million guns is breathtaking.

Like so many infamous leaders in history, if Trump isn’t both stopped and imprisoned for at least another presidential election cycle (until 2028) he’ll simply attempt a comeback and further tear apart the psychological and political fabric of our nation. Hitler came out of prison stronger than when he went in: Trump would, too.

As Liz Cheney pointed out this Monday:

“Excuse by excuse, we’re putting Donald Trump above the law. We are rendering indefensible conduct normal, legal, and appropriate — as though he were a king.”

If we are to save America, we must convict and meaningfully imprison Trump for his lifetime of very real crimes. And we must do it now.

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014

....Luhansk Gov. Serhii Haidai accused Russian officials of taking down the names of people who voted against it. In online posts, Haidai also alleged that Russian officials threatened to kick down the doors of anyone who didn’t want to vote and shared photos of what appeared to be a pair of deserted polling stations......
Ivan Fedorov, the Ukrainian mayor of Melitopol in the Zaporizhzhia region, told The Associated Press that Russians and residents of Crimea were brought into his city to urge people to vote.

“The Russians see an overwhelming reluctance and fear to attend the referendum and are forced to bring people … to create an image and an illusion of the vote,” he said. “Groups of collaborators and Russians along with armed soldiers are doing a door-to-door poll, but few people open the doors to them.”.....

....Ukrainian partisans, sometimes working with special operations forces, have blown up warehouses holding ballots and buildings where Russian proxy officials preparing for the vote held meetings.

An explosion rocked the Russian-controlled southern city of Melitopol on Friday morning before the vote got underway. Ivan Fedorov, the exiled mayor, warned residents to stay away from Russian military personnel and equipment.....

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014

Putin exempts some Russian elite from his new draft of cannon fodder for Ukraine

Lincoln green

Today the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that it would exempt Russian men from the draft, if the men are college-educated and hold white-collar jobs in banking, information technology, communications, or Russian state media. This announcement was made shortly after the Russian business newspaper Kommersant published a report (in Russian) saying that Russian businesses were complaining that losing up to 50% to 80% of their employees could be bad for business, and said that losing even a few people could “seriously complicate or even paralyze” their work.

Although Russian airlines are particularly hard-hit by the draft, the Ministry of Defense did not exempt airline employees — presumably because they’re worried that functioning airlines would help more draft-age men flee the country.

In “Russia Announces Exemptions to Draft After Widespread Complaints”, the New York Times reported today that Russian businesses already had problems with IT specialists leaving the country after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began in February. The NYT article also contradicted Russia’s announcement Wednesday that only “those who served in the army” will be called up, and wrote that many men who are lacking even basic (and normally-mandatory) military service are being drafted.

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014

A Florida prosecutor suspended by Ron DeSantis for defying a new 15-week abortion law says a federal judge’s decision to send his reinstatement appeal to trial means a reckoning is coming for the state’s Republican governor.

Andrew Warren, a Democrat, was removed as Hillsborough county state attorney on 4 August after saying he would not enforce the abortion ban or prosecute providers of gender transition treatment for young people.

DeSantis cited Warren’s alleged “woke agenda” in reasons for his decision.

At a hearing in Tallahassee on Monday, Judge Robert Hinkle denied motions from DeSantis to dismiss Warren’s lawsuit, and another by Warren seeking an immediate return to office, instead requesting their differences be settled at a trial in the coming weeks.

“The governor now has to answer it to a court of law where facts matter and where you have to tell the truth,” Warren said in an interview with the Guardian.

“It’s a victory for the truth. A federal judge has ruled that the governor has to come into court to explain the reasons behind my suspension, to show that it wasn’t political, to show that it wasn’t in violation of my free speech rights, to show that it wasn’t in violation of the voters’ rights to have the state attorney of their choice.”
The closely watched case is expected to give clarity to DeSantis’s power to purge elected officials who disagree with him. In recent weeks, the governor has also removed four members of a school board in Broward county that defied him over Covid-19 mask mandates.

“The governor is entrusted by the people of Florida to utilize his constitutional powers and may suspend elected officials in Florida who refuse to enforce the law,” DeSantis’s office said in a statement following Monday’s hearing.

Critics, however, have accused the governor of selective application of the principle. The Orlando Sentinel noted that DeSantis has taken no action against so-called “constitutional” sheriffs who say they won’t enforce certain gun laws.

But he did act in 2019, suspending the Broward county sheriff, Scott Israel, a Democrat, for “neglect of duty”.

Warren said he believed a trial, which could begin as early as next month, would cut through any political posturing.

“This has always been a fight for democracy, and rule of law, and for elections,” he said.

“This is our fight for the truth. And now the people will get the truth because the governor is being forced to explain himself.

“Ultimately, he may be called to testify in court. The court was pretty clear that it wants to hear from the governor in terms of the explanations about the suspension to make sure that the reasons why I was suspended are consistent with Florida law, and with federal law.”

Warren said his reinstatement was not the sole objective of his lawsuit.

“I would have liked to be back in office already but there’s more at stake than just my job,” he said.
“Regardless of what party you belong to, or who you vote for, yours always matters. No elected official has the right to throw out anyone’s vote. And the governor here has tried to throw out the votes of hundreds of thousands of Floridians and overturn an election.

“If he gets away with it, what’s left of our democracy? What’s the point of having elections?”........


Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014

BOMBSHELL: 60 Minutes Reporting White House Switchboard Connected Call to Rioter on January 6th.

Rule of Claw

This is exactly what it sounds like:

Former senior technical adviser for the January 6 Committee, Denver Riggleman, said the White House switchboard connected a phone call to a Capitol rioter on January 6, 2021.

"You get a real 'a-ha' moment when you see that the White House switchboard had connected to a rioter's phone while it's happening," Riggleman told 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker. "That's a big, pretty big 'a-ha' moment."

Riggleman, an ex-military intelligence officer and former Republican congressman from Virginia, oversaw a data-driven operation for the January 6 committee, pursuing phone records and other digital clues tied to the attack on the Capitol. He stopped working for the committee in April.

Riggleman ceased working for the committee in April, and in the interest of context, the committee has been displeased with his lack of discretion.

In an internal email obtained by POLITICO that was sent Wednesday night, shortly after the interview aired, staff director David Buckley told colleagues that Riggleman’s appearance was “in direct contravention to his employment agreement.”
“I want you to know that I am deeply disappointed in his decision to discuss the Select Committee's work on television,” Buckley said in the email to the panel’s staff.
The conflict centers on a rare breach for a committee that has, by most accounts, operated with little internal drama and dissension. It’s also an unwelcome distraction for the panel on the eve of its long-awaited slate of public hearings, scheduled to begin next week.

This does not make Mr. Riggleman less credible, and for his part he denies it violates his employment agreement, but he is willing to talk.

Again, this bears repeating, a call was not switched into the White House, Riggleman alleges a call was made to an insurrectionist from the White House.
In other Jan. 6th news, we have this tidbit here:

WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Arizona ruled Thursday that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol can see the phone records of Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward and her husband.
U.S. District Court Judge Diane J. Humetewa rejected the Wards' arguments in a February lawsuit that the congressional panel should be prevented from getting the phone records of the couple, who are doctors, because it would violate medical privacy laws.

In January, the state GOP chair and her husband, Michael Ward, were among 14 of 84 so-called alternate electors subpoenaed by the committee because they had claimed in bogus documents that then-President Donald Trump had won the 2020 election in their states.

And a reminder to those in Arizona, about one of Kari Lake’s friends:


Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014

Veterans fight fascism with special report on Patriot Front showing prosecutors how to go after them

David Neiwert

There frequently is a kind of fatalistic acceptance among local authorities faced with the ascendance of openly neofascist groups like Patriot Front and the Proud Boys—entities who are openly waging a kind of low-level insurgency against American democracy, while wrapping themselves in pseudo-patriotic bunting, proclaiming their love for their country and their hate for their countrymen all at once. All too often, local officials like police chiefs, sheriffs, and prosecutors forced to deal with them shrug off their ability to do anything about it, citing the extremists’ free-speech rights.

It turns out that this doesn’t sit right with a number of the very people who have proven their dedication to defending the nation: combat veterans. An organization of such veterans is now demanding that the nation’s prosecutors buckle down and get tough in their dealings with Patriot Front—and have even prepared a 239-page report detailing both its membership as well as the myriad criminal charges that could be filed against them.

Meet Task Force Butler, the brainchild of Kristopher Goldsmith, a veteran of the Iraq War and a longtime advocate for veterans’ rights. The group is named after 1920s-era Marine Gen. Smedley Butler, and cites his credo: “My interest is, my one hobby is, maintaining a democracy. If you get these 500,000 soldiers advocating anything smelling of Fascism, I am going to get 500,000 more and lick the hell out of you.” The group’s mission, according to its website, is “to engage veterans in the hobby of maintaining a democracy.”

Toward that end, they recently released a lengthy report, called “Project Blacklist,” detailing the history of criminal activities, along with the identities of Patriot Front members, and compiled with a team of 10 volunteers. Goldsmith and his organization sent it to a number of local and state law enforcement officials around the country, part of what it calls an effort to "hold Patriot Front legally accountable for their politically and racially-motivated harassment of vulnerable minority communities, their terrorizing of local residents in cities and towns throughout the United States, their acts of violence, and their use of American cities as backdrops to showcase for the media and the nation the ethno-nationalist agenda."

"After years of looking at this, I have been more than convinced that the FBI, states attorneys general and these local jurisdictions all have more than enough evidence to make moves on this neo-Nazi terrorist gang," Goldsmith told NBC News’ Ryan Reilly. "We as veterans are tired of watching fascists run around, hurt people, and not be brought to justice. So if someone needs to do the homework to make sure that justice is found, we're willing to do the homework."

Goldsmith told Daily Kos he was inspired to act after the Jan. 6 insurrection. “All of these far-right groups like the Oath Keepers and Patriot Front and Proud Boys have polluted the meaning of patriotism in this country, and it’s past time to call it out and correct that,” he said.

Project Blacklisted is their debut project, and it focuses entirely on Patriot Front, which the report explains “remains a violent, terrorist, racketeering gang that primarily functions to plan, train, and manufacture weapons for the explicit purpose of engaging in acts of violence and harassment against minorities, the LGBTQIA+ community, and others deemed ‘enemies’” by the organization’s founder and leader, neo-Nazi Thomas Ryan Rousseau of Haslet, Texas.

The report details the group’s founding by Rousseau after the violent 2017 “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville, where he marched alongside the man who drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing a woman and maiming dozens. It follows the history of the group from a small gathering of online white supremacists who were explicit in their politics—“We’re American, and we’re fascists” —to a nationwide hate group with chapters around the country and a growing notoriety for headline-grabbing stunts.

And it particularly focuses on three recent incidents in which Patriot Front engaged in criminal behavior: a July 2, 2021, march in Philadelphia at which a Black man was assaulted by the group’s members; the June 11, 2022, Pride in the Park event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, at which 31 members were arrested en route to a planned riot at the peaceful LGBTQ gathering; and the march less than one month later in Boston at which they appeared without warning amid the city’s normal July Fourth parade.

The report notes the organization’s startling brazenness:

Patriot Front is not deterred from engaging in violence by current piecemeal, local legal accountability efforts, and often uses local law enforcement’s tactics of escorting the group through urban spaces to create a permissive environment for their violence. The fact that multiple members of Patriot Front who were arrested weeks prior in Idaho participated in the Boston march on July 2, 2022 illustrates this phenomenon.

Moreover, there’s no reason for law enforcement to look the other way, since the organization poses a bona fide threat both to the public at large and to police officers themselves. “Every single criminal act that a Patriot Front gang member engages in on behalf of the organization is the result of a conspiracy by, with, and through the organization’s strictly hierarchical leadership structure, and should be treated as such by law enforcement,” the report says.

Although Coeur d’Alene city officials have proceeded with prosecuting the 31 arrestees on riot charges diligently, there is some cause for concern in the case—primarily because of a stark lack of apparent involvement from the Justice Department, including the Idaho U.S. Attorney’s office, which has ignored Daily Kos’ queries about investigating the near-certainty, as the report notes, that Patriot Front members violated federal law prohibiting crossing state lines as part of a conspiracy to engage in a riot. Goldsmith says he has received no acknowledgement of the report from any of the several Justice Department offices to which it was sent.

A significant portion of the report is dedicated to identifying the known members of Patriot Front, particularly those whose identities were revealed during the Coeur d’Alene arrests [Note: the report makes full use of this reporter’s photographs of those arrests published on Twitter and at Daily Kos.] This, Goldsmith explains, is why the project is called “Blacklisted.”

“Our objective is to get the individual members of Patriot Front who’ve been involved in these criminal conspiracies held responsible not just by the courts, not just in terms of criminal cases and perhaps civil litigation,” he told Daily Kos, “but we also want a company like U-Haul that is one of the most frequently used businesses for their major flash-mob events, to understand that when a member of Patriot Front is trying to rent one of their trucks, their trucks become a tool for violence.”

Goldsmith’s hope is that if Task Force Butler gains traction, “we can help to make sure that extremists are not able to interact with businesses and with folks who, if they knew who these people were, would not want to interact with them. There’s one guy in there who works for a security company that provides security services at Jewish temples. We want that guy blacklisted from working security at an institution that he targets with hate, with genocidal intent.”

Former FBI agent Mike German of NYU’s Brennan Justice Center told NBC News that the group’s work could prove to be a valuable tool for prosecutors. “One of the frustrations that I’ve felt and that a number of other people in the community feel is that law enforcement is reluctant to use existing authorities to target white supremacist and far-right militant groups for investigations,” he said. “It’s the opposite problem when it’s anti-racism groups, environmentalists, Muslim Americans, where you see them understanding the broad scope of their authorities and using them very aggressively, even when there’s no history of violence or violent acts to point to.”

The report, he said, provides practical tools for confronting violent far-right actors. "I think a document like this is very helpful to law enforcement at all levels, to understand the nature of this group, and the criminal actions by individual associates of this group so, No. 1, they can understand the tactics and, two, structure a prosecution using all of the statutes available to them in these types of prosecution," German said.

Goldsmith thinks about Task Force Butler’s role in strategic terms. “You know, we hear so much about organizations rising up to defend democracy,” he told Daily Kos. “Well, that is great, and I am very happy to see that, but our mindset needs to change, because we’re at war right now, for the spirit of our democracy. You can’t win a war purely on defense.

“So we, Task Force Butler, are going on offense. We want to put hate groups on their back foot. We want them to stop being able to advance, and we will, within the bounds of the law, do everything we can to make space for frequently targeted populations and vulnerable folks.”

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014

Yeah, But Wouldn’t You Need a Functioning Brain to Think About Declassifying Something?



If anybody asks you what life in the United States was like in 2022, well, the big thing was Donald Trump trying to drive as many people as possible violently insane, because he figured the threat of further terrorism was his best shot at avoiding prosecution. The real bitch of it is, despite failing at everything from steaks to vodka to casinos (casinos!) to pandemic management, turns out the guy has a real gift when it comes to driving people violently insane........
So, Youngstown. Yikes. Yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiikes.

They have a salute now, I see. That’s…not great.

It’s gettin’ weird, innit? I mean, it’s always been weird, and I certainly didn’t expect Off-Brand Orbán’s tightening embrace of QAnon to lead to puppies and rainbows or anything, but I guess I was hoping we wouldn’t get to the cult music/saluting phase for a while yet.

Now, 99.9% of what goes down at these rallies is awful and depressing and frankly scary as ****, but I do enjoy the bit where the game show host takes the Big Fancy Wannabe Senator Man and rubs his face around in a pile of shit, just cuz he can. And, of course, that bit’s scary, too, it’s one of the fashier bits, but JD Vance doesn’t deserve dignity, and it’s fun watching it drain from him........
Well, turns out the Constitution did not imbue Judge Aileen Cannon with supreme statute-inventing authority after all, so proposed special master Judge Raymond Dearie barely had time for a quick You Drooling ****wits Expect Me To What Now? before the 11th Circuit put an end to this latest legal joyride, though I’m sure Cannon and maniac Trump appointees like her will be a source of fun, fascist ****ery for years to come.......

Undeterred by reality’s latest incursion into his Adderall-soaked fantasy world, the Deposed Dotard went on Hannity to claim he possessed the power to declassify whatever struck his fancy, simply “by thinking about it.” They only give that power to the really special Presidents, y’know…the cognitive test passers.

See, this is my favorite Donald Trump: the preening jackass who cannot stop himself from showing the world how badly his brain works. The guy who suggests disinfectant infusions and doctors weather maps with sharpies. No, there are no laws that allow anyone anywhere to declassify anything “by thinking about it.” That would be stupid. Why would anyone want that? Why would anyone
suggest that? What a stupid, stupid thing to say.........
And now, New York Attorney General Letitia James’ fraud lawsuit not only threatens the business empire his dad paid for but subjects the Velveeta Vulgarian to his greatest lifelong fear: public exposure of the truth about his pathetically overinflated claims of wealth. Must suck to be an unusually fragile narcissist when shit like that happens........
As delightful as Fat Q*bert’s courtroom faceplants always are, he’s hardly the only wingnut scumbag getting dog-walked through the justice system these days. From James O’Keefe to Alex Jones to Mike Lindell to the Hitler cosplay Capitol rioter, it’s been a veritable festival of consequences out there. Keep it up, sez me. At this moment in history, I feel like the rule of law is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition.........

With so many world-class asshats running for Senate seats and governorships, to say nothing of the election-denying conspiracy theorists seeking control of our voting infrastructure, it’s easy to overlook the skidmark brigade attempting to swell Kevin McCarthy’s Kooky Kakistocrat Kaucus, but SURPRISE they suck, too.

Let’s start with John Gibbs in Michigan, who liked America better before all the uppity broads got to vote on shit like their so-called “bodily autonomy.” Be sure to dive into Gibbs’ scholarly musings on male supremacy, by the way. That there’re more gaps in his “logic” than in Donnie’s border wall certainly doesn’t interfere with the lad’s confidence, because there’s no effect realer than Dunning-Kruger.

Then there’s J.R. Majewski, seeking election in the new Ohio 9th, who understandably felt the need to embellish a resumé thin beyond Well I Painted Donald Trump’s Face On My Lawn Once, and figured a lil’ stolen valor would do the trick.

The Manchurian Manchild endorsed both these dolts, by the way, which is how they won their primaries in the first place. And maybe letting an emotionally stunted egomaniac handpick candidates based solely on their ability to capture his attention with public displays of obsequiousness isn’t a great system. Just a suggestion.

Lowering expectations before a debate is a time-honored tradition for idiots seeking office the world over, but Herschel Walker was always going to face an unusually steep climb here. Still, I think he got it about as right as humanly possible, telling reporters, “look, if I get through this without eating out of a cat box, I think I deserve a parade.” Or something very similar, I didn’t click the link........

I’m starting to think Ron DeSantis maybe didn’t think things all the way through before he pissed hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars away on that wacky human trafficking stunt last week. The investigations n’ lawsuits are piling up already, and despite the triumphal bleating of the right-wing jagoffosphere, not a single lib was owned. Still, this performative cruelty to dehumanized minorities will almost certainly boost his standing with Republican primary voters, and what a festive snippet of conventional wisdom that is.......
You might not have even noticed the House GOP releasing their sad, flimsy Contract With America II: Lazy White Nationalist Boogaloo. Lordy, what a flaccid regurgitation of grey, dusty Gingrich cud. I know there isn’t a lot of readin’ and writin’ going down on y’all’s side of the aisle lately, but goddamn.

Of course, all the energy Republicans save by never giving a single passing **** about any actual issues facing the nation goes into the elaborate construction of what Kellyanne Conway might call “alternative problems,” which are better than real problems, frankly, at least when it comes to riling up the rubes, since you’re free to manufacture maximum menace.

Like fentanyl. ****in’ FENTANYL, the demon drug that can kill you from like, ten feet away. Just reading the word “fentanyl,” here in this paragraph, will cause fatal overdoses in 3-4% of my readership, and I certainly apologize to the families affected. In many ways, it’s the anti-ivermectin.

And they’re putting it in YOUR CHILDREN’S HALLOWEEN CANDY!



Gibbering idiocy. Doesn’t come within ten ****ing miles of making sense. Not even a good lie. And still, major Republican officials belch this garbage up, on “news” programs. Ronna NotRomney. Kevin McCarthy. Fabricating catastrophe to distract from their own party’s very real assaults on our fundamental rights. It’s all very normal and healthy.......
Kash Patel, who is one of the Dennis Hopper types in this Aldi version of Kurtz’s camp, wrote a Big Lie children’s book, and I figure you’d need Steve Bannon’s Pornhub password to find anything as obscene as the idea of passing this demented ideology down to your kids. Christ. .....
House Republicans, called upon to love their country just enough to support the Hey Let’s Not Do That Coup Thing Again Act, once again failed to clear the lowest imaginable moral hurdle. Arming that flock of buttholes with committee gavels seems unwise. Vote in the goddamn midterms.......
I’m told a new MAGA dating service has encountered struggles attracting women, and gosh, we’ll need our finest detectives on that one.......
What else, what elllllllllse? Who’s getting death threats this week? Ummmmmm, the National Archives…lawmakers representing Martha’s Vineyard (for insufficient hatred of migrants, y’see)…presumably Eric Swalwell still…I dunno, pretty much everybody by now, surely.......
Look, Putin is totally winning the war in Ukraine, it’s just that he needs another 300,000 or so fresh bullet sponges to drop in front of those HIMARS, which sounds like a really fun job, though in completely unrelated news, draft-age men appear to be fleeing Russia in great numbers. Still want those history books to talk aboutcha, Vladkins? They’re gonna.......

It’s all just so stupid and exhausting. And stupid. And exhausting. I’m gonna go make myself some NyQuil chicken and watch a Star War. Please stay safe out there amidst the weirdness, my friends.

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014

...In part, the crisis stems from Putin’s fears that he will lose whatever counts as his international support. No ideology holds together the global autocrats’ club, and no sentiment does either. As long as they believed Russia really had the second largest army in the world, as long as Putin seemed destined to stay in power indefinitely, then the leaders of China, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, along with the strongmen running India and Turkey, were happy to tolerate his company.

But Putin’s supposedly inevitable military victory is in jeopardy. His army looks weak. Western sanctions make problems not just for him but his trading partners, and their tolerance is receding. At a summit in Uzbekistan last week, he was snubbed by a series of Central Asian leaders. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told him that “today’s era is not an era of war,” and Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his “concerns” as well. On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told PBS that he had urged Putin to end the war: “The lands which were invaded will be returned to Ukraine.” And those lands, he made clear, should include Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, following a sham referendum much like the ones it now plans to stage in other parts of occupied Ukraine.

But while losing support abroad is bad, losing support at home is worse, and there are some signs of that too.....

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