Sunday Funnies: Tuna MeltsPosted: January 31, 2021 Filed under: Biden’s First 100 Days, Domestic terrorism, Donald Trump, Food, impeach trump, Joe Biden, morning reads, open thread, Political and Editorial Cartoons, the GOP 5 Comments
What’s going on?
So, now for some news links:
I wish this was the latest shocking news story…
But, as you will see…it’s not.
This vile Q bitch needs to go:
And I can’t stress this enough….what the fuck?
At least Biden is getting shit done.
This is an open thread.
Lazy Caturday Reads: Organizing The InsurrectionPosted: January 30, 2021 Filed under: just because 14 Comments
With each passing day, we learn more about the January 6 coup attempt and the people who supported and planned it. It’s clear at this point that it was in fact at serious efforts to overthrow the U.S. government. And, as I wrote on Thursday, it appears that there were meetings held at the White House and Trump’s DC Hotel to plan January 6 activities. The time has come for accountability.
Organizing the January 6 rally:
From today’s Wall Street Journal: Jan. 6 Rally Funded by Top Trump Donor, Helped by Alex Jones, Organizers Say.
The rally in Washington’s Ellipse that preceded the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was arranged and funded by a small group including a top Trump campaign fundraiser and donor facilitated by far-right show host Alex Jones.
Mr. Jones personally pledged more than $50,000 in seed money for a planned Jan. 6 event in exchange for a guaranteed “top speaking slot of his choice,” according to a funding document outlining a deal between his company and an early organizer for the event.
Mr. Jones also helped arrange for Julie Jenkins Fancelli, a prominent donor to the Trump campaign and heiress to the Publix Super Markets Inc. chain, to commit about $300,000 through a top fundraising official for former President Trump’s 2020 campaign, according to organizers. Her money paid for the lion’s share of the roughly $500,000 rally at the Ellipse where Mr. Trump spoke.
Another far-right activist and leader of the “Stop the Steal” movement, Ali Alexander, helped coordinate planning with Caroline Wren, a fundraising official who was paid by the Trump campaign for much of 2020 and who was tapped by Ms. Fancelli to organize and fund an event on her behalf, organizers said. On social media, Mr. Alexander had targeted Jan. 6 as a key date for supporters to gather in Washington to contest the 2020-election certification results. The week of the rally, he tweeted a flyer for the event saying: “DC becomes FORT TRUMP starting tomorrow on my orders!” [….]
Messrs. Jones and Alexander had been active in the weeks before the event, calling on supporters to oppose the election results and go to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Mr. Alexander, for instance, tweeted on Dec. 30 about the scheduled Jan. 6 count for lawmakers to certify the Electoral College vote at the Capitol, writing: “If they do this, everyone can guess what me and 500,000 others will do to that building.”
A hodgepodge of different pro-Trump groups were planning various events on Jan. 6. Several of them, led by the pro-Trump Women for America First, helped coordinate the Ellipse event; another group splintered off to lead a rally the night before, at which Mr. Jones ended up speaking, and the group organized by Mr. Alexander planned a protest outside the Capitol building.
Right-wing religious nuts were also involved in planning the insurrection. Sarah Posner at Reveal: How the Christian right helped foment insurrection.
The Jan. 6 Save America March, where then-President Donald Trump incited a crowd to attack the U.S. Capitol, opened with a prayer. Trump’s longtime spiritual adviser and White House adviser, the Florida televangelist Paula White, called on God to “give us a holy boldness in this hour.” Standing at the same podium where, an hour later, Trump would exhort the crowd to “fight like hell,” White called the election results into question, asking God to let the people “have the assurance of a fair and a just election.” Flanked by a row of American flags, White implored God to “let every adversary against democracy, against freedom, against life, against liberty, against justice, against peace, against righteousness be overturned right now in the name of Jesus.”
Within hours, insurrectionists had surrounded the Capitol, beaten police, battered down barricades and doors, smashed windows and rampaged through the halls of the Capitol, breaching the Senate chamber. In video captured by The New Yorker, men ransacked the room, rifling through senators’ binders and papers, searching for evidence of what they claimed was treason. Then, standing on the rostrum where the president of the Senate presides, the group paused to pray “in Christ’s holy name.”
Men raised their arms in the air as millions of evangelical and charismatic parishioners do every Sunday and thanked God for allowing them “to send a message to all the tyrants, the communists and the globalists, that this is our nation, not theirs.” They thanked God “for allowing the United States of America to be reborn.”
Who were the “Christian” backers of the attempted coup?
Coverage of the Capitol insurrection has focused on such far-right instigators as the White supremacist Proud Boys and the Three Percenters, a militia group. But a reconstruction of the weeks leading up Jan. 6 shows how a Christian-right group formed to “stop the steal” worked to foment a bellicose Christian narrative in defense of Trump’s coup attempt and justify a holy war against an illegitimate state. In late November, two federal workers, Arina Grossu – who had previously worked for the Christian-right advocacy group Family Research Council – and Rob Weaver, formed a new Christian right group, the Jericho March. The new group’s goal, according to a news release announcing its launch, was to “prayerfully protest and call on government officials to cast light on voter fraud, corruption, and suppression of the will of the American people in this election.” In fact, the Jericho March would help lay the groundwork for the insurrection.
The group held its first rally in the nation’s capital Dec. 12, the same day other protests against the democratic process took place there. That night in Washington, the protests devolved into violence as armed members of the Proud Boys roamed the city’s streets looking to fight, stole a Black Lives Matter banner from a historic Black church and set it on fire. The Jericho March rally, which had run most of the afternoon on the National Mall, featured a lineup of some the right’s most incendiary figures, blending conspiracies and battle cries with appeals to Christianity. Eric Metaxas, a popular author, radio host and unrelenting promoter of the false claim that the election was fraudulent, was the emcee.
In an interview from the rally posted on the influential disinformation site The Epoch Times, Weaver compared the marchers he enlisted to the capital to the story of Joshua’s army in the Bible, which encircled the city of Jericho as priests blew trumpets, causing the walls to tumble down so the army could invade. Grossu told an interviewer that the election had been “stolen” from Trump, citing Trump lawyer Sidney Powell’s baseless claims about voting irregularities. Grossu promised, “God can reveal all the election fraud and corruption that stole the election from him.”
David Corn at Mother Jones: “Stop the Steal” Organizer Called for “Execution” of Trump’s Foes.
Weeks before the murderous mob of insurrectionists stormed the United States Capitol on January 6 to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory, a leader of the so-called Stop the Steal movement stood before a crowd of angry Donald Trump loyalists in California and called for the “execution” of those who had supposedly plotted against Trump. Afterward, he posted video of his demand for blood on YouTube.
On December 12, Trump supporters, ahead of the official counting of electoral votes, staged protests across the country, with the main demonstration in Washington leading to violence, as the Proud Boys rampaged through the district and clashed with Antifa activists. A smaller gathering occurred in Huntington Beach, California. One hundred or so Trump devotees, some waving Trump and “Fuck Biden” flags, assembled at the town’s picturesque pier. The man leading that protest was Alan Hostetter, a police-chief-turned-yoga-instructor who last year became a prominent opponent of COVID shutdowns in the Golden State.
Hostetter, who heads a group called the American Phoenix Project, praised the Trumpers, “as America from the ground-up fights back agains this communist takeover of our country.” Reading from a prepared text, he declared, “Both foreign and domestic enemies and traitors surround us. They are protected and enabled by a corrupt and evil…mainstream media. And this mainstream media joined forces with an even more corrupt group of tech tyrants in the Silicon Valley.”
As the demonstrators cheered, he said, “President Trump and his ground troops here with the patriots—we’re going to fix this….There must, absolutely must be a reckoning. There must be justice. President Trump must be inaugurated on January 20.”
Hotsetter had a very specific idea of justice: “The enemies and traitors of America, both foreign and domestic, must be held accountable. And they will. There must be long prison terms, while execution is the just punishment for the ringleaders of this coup.” A woman at the front of the crowd yelled, “Gitmo!” Standing next to Hotsetter, thoughout this violent rant, was former GOP congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who long represented the area before losing his seat in 2018. (When Rohrabacher spoke, he vowed that the assembled would not allow “communists to take control of our government” through election fraud.)
More coverage of the extremist groups involved in the coup attempt:
The New York Times: Tracking the Oath Keepers Who Attacked the Capitol.
Donovan Crowl and Jessica Watkins — both members of the Oath Keepers with ties to its leader — have been accused by federal investigators of coordinating a Jan. 6 Capitol breach in advance and conspiring to obstruct Congress.
Visual evidence shows they, along with a third alleged conspirator named Thomas Caldwell, may not have acted alone. Ms. Watkins and Mr. Crowl first attended President Trump’s rally and then entered the Capitol building in close coordination with at least 10 other people who had been seen wearing insignia of the Oath Keepers, a far-right paramilitary group.
The full identities of the 10 are currently unknown, but after they left the Capitol, all of them can be seen gathered around the Oath Keepers’ leader, Stewart Rhodes, just 70 feet from the building, with Mr. Crowl and Ms. Watkins close by.
Read the rest at the NYT link.
Also from the NYT: Proud Boys Charged With Conspiracy in Capitol Riot.
Federal prosecutors investigating the violent riot at the Capitol this month announced their first conspiracy charges against the Proud Boys on Friday night, accusing two members of the far-right nationalist group of working together to obstruct and interfere with law enforcement officers protecting Congress during the final certification of the presidential election.
In a brief news release, the Justice Department said that an indictment had been filed against two Proud Boys, Dominic Pezzola, of Rochester, N.Y., and William Pepe, of Beacon, N.Y. But by late Friday night, the charging papers had not yet appeared in the Washington federal court database. Both Mr. Pezzola, a former boxer and Marine, and Mr. Pepe, an employee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, already had been facing lesser charges connected to the Capitol attack.
While more than 170 people have been charged in the deadly assault on the Capitol, most have been accused of relatively minor crimes such as disorderly conduct and unlawful entry. The only other serious conspiracy charges in the inquiry have been brought against three members of the militia group the Oath Keepers, who are accused of preparing for the Jan. 6 rally in Washington as early as one week after the election.
The Proud Boys, a self-described “western chauvinist” group that has a long history of bloody street fights with the activists known as Antifa, have drawn the attention of investigators because they are one of the extremist outfits that had a large presence on Capitol Hill during the assault.
Read more at the link.
Related stories, links only:
The Washington Post: Woman charged in Capitol riot said she wanted to shoot Pelosi ‘in the friggin’ brain,’ FBI says.
Mother Jones: A Major Trump Forum Scrubs Its Archives of Thousands of Pre-Riot Posts.
Buzzfeed News: Trump Taught Teachers Conspiracy Theories. Now They’re Te.aching Them To Students.
The Washington Post: House Democrats building elaborate, emotionally charged case against Trump.
Mother Jones: In a Pre-Election Video, Marjorie Taylor Greene Endorsed Political Violence.
The New York Times: G.O.P. Quiet as Pressure Mounts to Address Lawmaker’s Conspiracy Claims.
The New York Times: Republican Ties to Extremist Groups Are Under Scrutiny.
Kathleen Parker at The Washington Post: The GOP isn’t doomed. It’s dead.
It just gets worse and worse. When will Trump be prosecuted for fomenting the insurrection? As always, this is an open thread.
Friday Reads: Deplorables Do the DistrictPosted: January 29, 2021 Filed under: Domestic terrorism, right wing hate grouups 11 Comments
Good Day Sky Dancers!
We just can’t seem to get rid of them! It’s like there’s a plague of locusts in every nook, crack, and cranny of our government incessantly making a horrid buzzing sound and devouring everything in sight! I’ve read stories today about these persistent right wing pests in just about every level and branch. Trump’s Deplorables are hunkering down for a long fight.
Chief Judge Beryl Howell –chief Judge of the Federal Court in the District–has to deal with the capitol riot suspects. CNN has the story on one of them who is going to be in jail for some time.
The chief judge of the federal court in Washington scorched Capitol riot suspects during a hearing on Thursday, calling their actions an assault on American democracy and ruling that a man who had bragged about putting his feet on a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office should stay in jail as he awaits trial.
“This was not a peaceful protest. Hundreds of people came to Washington, DC, to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power,” Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the DC District Court said in the hourlong hearing for Capitol riot defendant Richard Barnett on Thursday.
Howell’s remarks are some of the first from a federal district judge over the more than 150 criminal cases that resulted from the siege. Her decision on Barnett also marks the first ruling in an appeal from the Justice Department after a magistrate judge out of Washington denied its request to keep a Capitol riot suspect in jail. At least four others are awaiting rulings from district judges in Washington after appeals.
Howell made clear she believes the crowd was trying to thwart the federal legislative branch from carrying out its duties.
“We’re still living here in Washington, DC, with the consequences of the violence that this defendant is alleged to have participated in,” she said.
“Just outside this courthouse … are visible reminders of the January 6 riot and assault on the Capitol,” the judge said, noting that she can see National Guard troops from the window in her chambers in the courthouse.
Barnett is charged with entering the restricted grounds of the Capitol, violent entry and disorderly conduct, and for theft of public property, after he allegedly took a letter from Pelosi’s office.
“The titles of those offenses don’t even properly capture the scope of what Mr. Barnett is accused of doing here,” Howell said at the hearing.
The judge noted that Barnett had bragged to a reporter that he had written “a nasty note, put my feet up on her desk and scratched my balls” in Pelosi’s office. Barnett’s lawyer says he hadn’t seen the report of that quote from his client in The Washington Post.
As BB wrote yesterday, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is a problem for every one with some of the most extremist, racist views as well as the entire Q Anon list of conspiracy theories as her guiding lights. Axios had this to say today: “Scoop: GOP ignored its early fears about Marjorie Taylor Greene”.
During previously unreported meetings last summer, House Republican leaders discussed — but then largely set aside — fears that QAnon-supporting conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene would end up a flaming trainwreck for their party.
Why it matters: Greene has emerged not just as an embarrassment but a challenge for the GOP, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy now forced to weigh whether to maintain his policy of sanctioning members who make dangerous statements.
In a series of conversations described to Axios by sources with direct knowledge of their contents, former Rep. Mark Walker was especially vocal about the “crazy” Greene. Reps. Liz Cheney and Steve Scalise also spoke up. But McCarthy and others ultimately did little to stop her.
- A spokesperson for Greene did not respond to a call or email from Axios.
Behind the scenes: John Cowan, Greene’s opponent in August’s primary runoff for Georgia’s 14th District seat, recalls separate conversations he had with McCarthy and Scalise, the House GOP whip, in which both men acknowledged Greene was a serious problem for the party.
- Cowan detailed a phone conversation he had with McCarthy in July, during which he warned him about wild opposition research they had against Greene.
- “I said, ‘She’s bad for the party,'” Cowan told Axios during a 30-minute interview Thursday. “I said she has real problems and does not represent, at least what I think of as, someone who would be allowed even in a big-tented party. I mean, at some point, you have to say, ‘No shoes, no shirt, no service.'”
- While both McCarthy and Scalise condemned Greene, and Scalise endorsed and raised money for and donated to Cowan, it wasn’t enough to overcome the vocal support for Greene from Trump’s then-chief of staff Mark Meadows.
The backing of Meadows, his wife, Debbie, and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio was so strong that Cowan never had a real shot against Greene, he said.
- “The House Freedom Caucus put their fingers on the scale in a big way,” said Cowan, a neurosurgeon. “By default it was sort of, ‘She must be Trump’s person.’ If those guys are going to bat for her, she must be Trump’s endorsed person.”
Greene also came up repeatedly during McCarthy’s leadership meetings last summer, a source with direct knowledge told Axios.
- Scalise, Cheney and Walker gathered for the weekly meeting in the conference room of McCarthy’s office in the Capitol and plotted how they should deal with her.
- Walker, now running for North Carolina’s open Senate seat in 2022, strenuously argued they needed to do more to stop this “crazy” woman who threatened to bring down the party, according to a source with direct knowledge.
- Cheney (R-Wyo.) also spoke up aggressively in these meetings about the danger of having Greene in the party.
- Scalise (R-La.) and McCarthy (R-Calif.) ended up putting out statements condemning her, yet McCarthy didn’t do much beyond that once it was clear she was going to win the race by a healthy margin.
The bottom line: “Everybody was well aware of her previous persona and who she is. I would say they all knew she was going to be a problem,” Cowan told Axios.
- “Maybe they just assumed that the awe of winning an election would calm her down a little bit, and so she would actually be interested in governing and be interested in policy, and she’s just clearly not. She is literally there for a stage production.”
Greene’s a subject of Jonathan Chait’s latest and the list of her belief system just gets more over the top with every finding. You may have seen this little doozy down thread in yesterday’s post by BB. ” GOP Congresswoman Blamed Wildfires on Secret Jewish Space Laser”.
The top example of a conservative mischief-maker, presented in perfect symmetry, is Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Greene’s views are just a bit more controversial. They include, but are by no means limited to, the following:
The QAnon conspiracy theory, which holds that Donald Trump is secretly fighting a worldwide child-sex-slavery ring that was supposed to culminate in the mass arrest of his political opposition, is “worth listening to.”
• Muslims don’t belong in government.
• 9/11 was an inside job.
• Shootings at Parkland, Sandy Hook, and Las Vegas were staged.
• “Zionist supremacists” are secretly masterminding Muslim immigration to Europe in a scheme to outbreed white people.
• Leading Democratic officials should be executed.
The most recent Greene view to be unearthed comes via Eric Hananoki. Just over two years ago, Greene suggested in a Facebook post that wildfires in California were not natural. Forests don’t just catch fire, you know. Rather, the blazes had been started by PG&E, in conjunction with the Rothschilds, using a space laser, in order to clear room for a high-speed rail project.
Naill Stanage writes this in The Hill: ” The Memo: Center-right Republicans fear party headed for disaster”.
The centrists’ worry is that the party is branding itself as the party of insurrectionists and conspiracy theorists. This spells catastrophe for the GOP’s ability to appeal beyond a hardcore base, they say.
Ten House Republicans voted to impeach President Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 ransacking of the Capitol, but the chances of him being convicted in the Senate seem close to zero.
The GOP activist base still loves Trump, and a related ecosystem of bellicose conservative media has lambasted those who have broken from him.
Now the GOP is spending the critical early days of President Biden’s administration squabbling over what to do about Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).
Greene, a backer of the QAnon conspiracy theory, has also backed social media posts calling for the execution of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Video has emerged of Greene taunting David Hogg, the young gun control activist who survived the 2018 high school massacre in Parkland, Fla.
Greene has, so far, not been stripped of her committee assignments by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), even though this fate befell then-Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) in 2019 when he suggested that white supremacism was not offensive.
Tensions within the party are at boiling point.
The biggest problem is that our democracy is built on the assumption of two functioning parties in charge of the process and system. Today’s Washington Post notes: “Hostility between congressional Republicans and Democrats reaches new lows amid growing fears of violence”.
Open hostility broke out among Republicans and Democrats in Congress on Thursday amid growing fears of physical violence and looming domestic terrorism threats from supporters of former president Donald Trump, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi leveling an extraordinary allegation that dangers lurk among the membership itself.
“The enemy is within the House of Representatives, a threat that members are concerned about, in addition to what is happening outside,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a Thursday morning news conference.
But even as she and others sounded the alarm, Republicans continued to deepen their ties to the former president, who has been impeached on a charge of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Hours after Pelosi’s remarks, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) met with Trump in Florida. In a statement, the pair vowed to work together to take back the House. On Thursday afternoon, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a Trump acolyte, traveled to the district of Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), a member of the House GOP leadership, to hold a rally criticizing her vote to impeach Trump earlier this month.
The events reflected the extent to which the country’s legislative branch, which has for years been mired in partisan bickering, has reached new levels of animosity just as newly inaugurated President Biden is seeking to win passage of a massive bill designed to help lift the country out of the pandemic.
Some Democrats are expressing fears that Republican lawmakers — who in some cases have tried bringing weapons onto the House floor — cannot be trusted. Some have bought bulletproof vests and are seeking other protections.
And Democratic leaders are putting maximum pressure on the Republican leadership to denounce freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who once endorsed violence against members of Congress. One Democrat advanced a resolution to expel her from Congress.
The threat from right wing militia groups looms over the entire country.
The video’s title was posed as a question, but it left little doubt about where the men who filmed it stood. They called it “The Coming Civil War?” and in its opening seconds, Jim Arroyo, who leads an Arizona chapter of Oath Keepers, a right-wing militia, declared that the conflict had already begun.
To back up his claim, Mr. Arroyo cited Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona, one of the most far-right members of Congress. Mr. Gosar had paid a visit to the local Oath Keepers chapter a few years earlier, Mr. Arroyo recounted, and when asked if the United States was headed for a civil war, the congressman’s “response to the group was just flat out: ‘We’re in it. We just haven’t started shooting at each other yet.’”
Less than two months after the video was posted, members of the Oath Keepers were among those with links to extremist groups from around the country who took part in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, prompting new scrutiny of the links between members of Congress and an array of organizations and movements that espouse far-right beliefs.
Nearly 150 House Republicans supported President Donald J. Trump’s baseless claims that the election had been stolen from him. But Mr. Gosar and a handful of other Republican members of the House had deeper ties to extremist groups who pushed violent ideas and conspiracy theories and whose members were prominent among those who stormed the halls of Congress in an effort to stop certification of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.
This is from Nance’s op Ed.
This week, the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin warning that domestic violent extremists might be “emboldened” by the Capitol assault “to target elected officials and government facilities.” DHS is right to be worried. As an expert in counterinsurgency, I believe we need to take seriously the possibility that Trump’s most zealous supporters are now creating the conditions for long-term conflict — extending, at its worst, to persistent terrorist or paramilitary violence.
The 2014 U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual defines insurgency as “organized use of subversion and violence to seize, nullify, or challenge political control of a region.” The insurgent’s goal is to make existing governments seem powerless, feckless and incapable of protecting the common citizen — and then exploiting that vacuum to seize political power. The self-styled militia members, conspiracy theorists and Trump zealots who stormed the Capitol demonstrated their aspiration to thwart the workings of American democracy. How far are they willing to go?
Achieving Trump’s disruptive goals on a national scale might be simpler than we want to admit. An NBC poll reveals Trump commands the loyalty of 87 percent of Republicans — even after the Jan. 6 assault. And his followers have successfully employed a cultural tool so powerful many deny it even exists: White privilege.
During the assault on the Capitol, the deference encountered by some violent insurrectionists — in stark contrast to the massive preemptive deployments of force experienced by Black Lives Matter activists in similar situations — could only have served to confirm their assumption that they were protected by their Whiteness. Despite dire intelligence warnings that seizing the Capitol was the goal of the protest, the sergeants-at-arms for both the Senate and the House viewed it as bad “optics” to have National Guard troops present. The massive surge of insurrectionists, shielded by their inherent White privilege, were able to overpower the police, murder a policeman and freely hunt for elected representatives, including Vice President Mike Pence.
So long as these insurrectionists believe they are thus shielded, any act of defiance is within the realm of possibility. Subversion, sabotage, and attacks using snipers or explosives could be utilized to plague urban areas, damaging water- and power-supply systems or computer networks. Even spectacular deadly terrorist attacks, akin to Timothy McVeigh’s 1995 truck bombing in Oklahoma City, are not out of the question.
Trump’s fledgling insurgents are embracing the narrative that they are a modern-day, hyper-patriotic version of the “Sons of Liberty” or the defenders at Lexington or Concord. For them, this faith in their own purity is a force multiplier, but it is also a major vulnerability. We must attack this belief head-on.
Here’s something from a cultist that got out of it. You’ll also note she was Bernie supporter prior to switching to Trump if you read the article.
And, then there’s this from The Guardian that reminds us who is most happy from the chaos the Trumpist regime has brought us: “‘The perfect target’: Russia cultivated Trump as asset for 40 years – ex-KGB spy”. BB has covered this before but this is from today with some updates in a book.
Donald Trump was cultivated as a Russian asset over 40 years and proved so willing to parrot anti-western propaganda that there were celebrations in Moscow, a former KGB spy has told the Guardian.
Yuri Shvets, posted to Washington by the Soviet Union in the 1980s, compares the former US president to “the Cambridge five”, the British spy ring that passed secrets to Moscow during the second world war and early cold war.
Now 67, Shvets is a key source for American Kompromat, a new book by journalist Craig Unger, whose previous works include House of Trump, House of Putin. The book also explores the former president’s relationship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
“This is an example where people were recruited when they were just students and then they rose to important positions; something like that was happening with Trump,” Shvets said by phone on Monday from his home in Virginia.
Shvets, a KGB major, had a cover job as a correspondent in Washington for the Russian news agency Tass during the 1980s. He moved to the US permanently in 1993 and gained American citizenship. He works as a corporate security investigator and was a partner of Alexander Litvinenko, who was assassinated in London in 2006.
It appears we cannot possibly relax completely even though the Biden administration is going through the Pentagon and other places trying to oust Trump plants. The WSJ today reported that the Russian hacks went deeper than just Solar Winds too. Plagues and Pandemics are not easy things to get rid of.
So, it’s been nice to see more signs of normalcy in the TV news but we’re hardly done.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Thursday Reads: Following Up On Trump’s Attempted CoupPosted: January 28, 2021 Filed under: morning reads, Republican politics | Tags: attempted coup, Donald Trump, January 6 riot, Kevin McCarthy, Lindsey Graham, Roger Stone, Seth Abramson, Suicide, Tommy Tuberville 14 Comments
As you can probably guess from the images, it is snowing here. It snowed Tuesday night into Wednesday and we might get a bigger snowfall over the weekend. It has been a snow-free January so far, but no longer.
As Congressional Republicans once again circle the wagons around Trump, the death and injury toll from the January 6 attempted coup is growing. A second policeman committed suicide and many more cops were injured than preciously known.
CNN: Two police officers died by suicide after responding to Capitol riot.
Acting Metropolitan Police Chief Robert J. Contee told the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday that two police officers have died by suicide since responding to the riot at the Capitol on January 6, according to Contee’s opening statement before the committee, which was obtained by CNN.
This is the first time the force has confirmed that two officers took their own lives after the attack.
“Tragically, two officers who were at the Capitol on January 6th, one each from the Capitol Police and MPD, took their own lives in the aftermath of that battle,” Contee said in his statement.
Another Capitol Police officer, Brian D. Sicknick, died the day after the riot “due to injuries sustained while on-duty,” the Capitol Police said in a statement earlier this month.
And don’t forget that one of the rioters also died by suicide.
The New York Times: The Capitol Police union says nearly 140 officers were injured during the riot.
Nearly 140 police officers from two departments were injured during the Jan. 6 pro-Trump mob attack on the Capitol, including officers who suffered brain injuries, smashed spinal discs and one who is likely to lose his eye, the Capitol Police union said on Wednesday.
In a statement, the union’s chairman, Gus Papathanasiou, faulted leadership of the Capitol Police for failing to equip officers with proper equipment ahead of the attack.
He was responding to the closed-door testimony on Tuesday of Yogananda D. Pittman, the acting chief of the Capitol Police, who acknowledged that the department had known there was a “strong potential for violence” that day but failed to take necessary steps to prevent what she described as a “terrorist attack.”
Chief Pittman took the reins of the agency after the siege, replacing Steven Sund, who resigned as police chief under pressure.
“We have one officer who lost his life as a direct result of the insurrection,” Mr. Papathanasiou said. “Another officer has tragically taken his own life. Between U.S.C.P. and our colleagues at the Metropolitan Police Department, we have almost 140 officers injured. I have officers who were not issued helmets prior to the attack who have sustained brain injuries. One officer has two cracked ribs and two smashed spinal discs. One officer is going to lose his eye, and another was stabbed with a metal fence stake.”
Chief Pittman testified via videoconference before a meeting of the House Appropriations Committee that officers were outmanned during the riot, that internal communications were poor, and that officers lacked sufficient equipment and struggled to carry out orders like locking down the building.
Nevertheless, Congressional Republicans are mostly back in the Trump cult.
Stephen Collinson at CNN: In the Republican Party, the post-Trump era lasted a week.
Two roads diverged in American politics, and the Republican Party chose the one traveled by disgraced ex-President Donald Trump and QAnon conspiracy theorists.
While pundits ponder the GOP’s future — and traditionalists hope to change course out of the wreckage left by Trump’s insurrection — Washington’s power players and state activists have already made their choice.
Highlighting the former President’s lightning fast rehabilitation, the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will visit Trump in Florida on Thursday after repudiating his own criticism of the incitement of the US Capitol riot.
Only a week after Trump left the White House, it’s clear that his party is not ready to let him go. Extremists and Trumpists are on the rise, while lawmakers who condemned his aberrant conduct fight for their political careers. The anti-Trump wing — represented by members of Congress such as Sens. Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Mitt Romney of Utah and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger — look like a small and outmaneuvered force.
This week’s sorting will have significant implications for the GOP’s positioning as it heads into the 2022 midterm elections, and for President Joe Biden’s hopes of draining the poison from Washington in the name of national unity.
But it will also pose a fundamental question for the Grand Old Party itself. Is yet another doubling down on grassroots fury and the Trump base the best way to win back Americans? Especially those in suburban areas who rejected the ex-President who lost the House, the Senate and the White House in a single four-year term?
Asawin Suebsaeng at The Daily Beast: Republicans Come Crawling Back to Trump Three Weeks After Capitol Riot.
Immediately following the deadly Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill, several leaders and prominent figures in his own party wanted to ditch President Donald Trump, blame him for inciting the mob, or at least move on from him. It took less than a month for almost all of the official GOP to start crawling back to him.
GOP bigwigs who were, very briefly, prepared to throw Trump onto the ash heap of history following his primary role in sparking the MAGA riot and for helping the Republican Party lose the presidency and both houses of Congress are now beginning to shield the ex-president, once again, from his liberal foes. Top Republican lawmakers are increasingly signaling that they are ready to let Trump off the hook yet another time, and the former president has been working the phones from his new home base in Florida in an effort to make sure GOP senators vote to acquit him in an upcoming impeachment trial.
Of course Lindsey Graham is leading the pack in their rush back into the Trump orbit.
“He’s very interested in the outcome of the trial and I talked to him yesterday, and I told him the vote yesterday is a sign of things to come,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a close Trump ally, told The Daily Beast on Wednesday.
Graham was referring to a Tuesday vote for which Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) sided with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on a measure declaring Senate impeachment proceedings against an ex-president to be unconstitutional. Earlier this month, McConnell had publicly blamed Trump for “provok[ing]” the anti-democratic rioting, and had left open the possibility of voting to convict him in a potential trial.
Minority leader Kevin McCarthy is not far behind.
McCarthy is making nice with the former president—and his family, too. Days after his argument with Donald Trump, McCarthy got on the phone with Donald Trump Jr. Both sides of the conversation walked away believing that they remained on great terms with the other. Trump Jr. is currently planning to do whatever he can to help the GOP take back the House in 2022, according to a person familiar with the matter. “Don wants to see Kevin as speaker of the House,” this source said.
Moreover, multiple news outlets reported on Wednesday that former President Trump and McCarthy are scheduled to meet in person in Florida on Thursday.
Just a short time ago, both of these assholes were denouncing Trump for his attempted coup.
Yesterday, JJ posted a links to Seth Abraham’s reporting on a suspected planning meeting held on January 5, the day before the Capitol riot. Other news outlets are now reporting on the meeting.
Here’s Abramson’s summary of what is known so far. More Revelations About Secretive January 5 War Council at Trump International Hotel.
Reporting in the Omaha World-Herald, as well as social media screenshots and videos, confirm a January 5 pre-insurrection war council at DC’s Trump International Hotel. Also confirmed by the evidence is a list of the gathering’s (minimum) fifteen attendees.
The first Proof article on this subject can be found here.
The secretive January 5 meeting—which one attendee, Senator Tommy Tuberville, has already been caught lying about, and which another, Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster, has attempted to scrub his social media to conceal—included eight different components of Trump’s political machine:
Family members: Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Kimberly Guilfoyle (current girlfriend of Trump Jr., and a former on-air Fox News personality).
Trump’s legal team: Rudy Giuliani.
United States senators: Tuberville and at least two other senators (see below).
Administration officials: Peter Navarro and Charles Herbster.
January 6 organizers: Ali Alexander, Adam Piper, and Michael Flynn.
Trump campaign officials: Corey Lewandowski (former), David Bossie (former).
Cyberintelligence specialists: Flynn (information operations) and possibly Phil Waldron (self-described—see more below—as skilled in “intelligence analysis”).
Trump donors: Mike Lindell, Daniel Beck, and Herbster.
Due to minimal ongoing coverage of this extraordinary pre-January 6 strategy meeting, questions about the Trump International Hotel gathering remain. This article outlines key questions and reveals the answers to several—all uncovered over the last 24 hours.
Read the rest at the Substack link.
From The Alabama Political Reporter: Trump appointee says Tuberville met with Trump family, advisers on eve of Capitol attack.
Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville through a spokeswoman Tuesday denied meeting with the then-director of the Republican Attorneys General Association and others inside Trump’s private residence at the Trump International Hotel on Jan. 5 — on the eve of the deadly U.S. Capitol attack.
But a photo posted to social media appears to show Tuberville in the hotel’s lobby that day, and a company CEO in a separate post describes meeting with Tuberville and others at the hotel that day and discussing “illegal votes.”
Charles W. Herbster, who was then the national chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Advisory Committee in Trump’s administration, in a Facebook post at 8:33 p.m. on Jan. 5 said that he was standing “in the private residence of the President at Trump International with the following patriots who are joining me in a battle for justice and truth.”
Among the attendees, according to Herbster’s post, were Tuberville, former RAGA director Adam Piper, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, adviser Peter Navarro, Trump’s 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and 2016 deputy campaign manager David Bossie.
A photo posted to an Instagram user’s account appears to show Tuberville standing in the lobby of the Trump International Hotel on Jan. 5. The user captioned the photo “Newly elected Senator Tommy Tuberville.” In two other separate photos, the person posted images of Flynn and Donald Trump Jr. inside the hotel on Jan. 5. Attempts to reach the person who posted that photo were unsuccessful Tuesday.
Daniel Beck, CEO of an Idaho technology company, in a Facebook post at 10:27 p.m. on Jan. 5 wrote that he’d spent the evening with Tuberville, Trump Jr. and girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, Michael J. Lindell, Navarro and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.
And Mother Jones has info on Roger Stone’s long-term involvement in preparations for the coup:
In the weeks before riled-up Trump supporters looking to overturn the election assembled in Washington, DC, Stone worked to raise money for “private security” and equipment for events there on January 5 and 6 that preceded the storming of the Capitol. But the “Stop the Steal” website where Stone solicited funds was subsequently taken down. Though he now claims to have merely encouraged “peaceful” protests of Congress, he struck a fiery and apocalyptic tone in speeches leading up to the Capitol attack. At a DC rally on December 12, he exhorted his rightwing fans to “fight until the bitter end” to prevent Joe Biden from taking office. Speaking at a rally in Freedom Plaza the night before the Capitol riot, Stone urged the crowd to join an “epic struggle.”
At that event, Stone appeared to be receiving protection from a security detail composed of members of the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia group. And Stone for years has maintained close ties to members of the Proud Boys, whose leaders treat him as a mentor. Members of both groups face criminal charges for their role in the assault on Congress.
There’s much more on Stone’s role at Mother Jones.
One more from Raw Story: Viral video renews interest in report Trump sons held pre-Capitol coup meeting to pressure’ lawmakers.
A clip from a video recorded by the CEO of a text messaging company is going viral after well-known attorney and activist Seth Abramson posted it to Twitter late Tuesday night.
In the original Facebook live video, posted at 11:32 PM the night before the January 6 insurrection, Txtwire CEO Daniel Beck claims to have just finished a meeting with “about 15” people at the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., including, he says, Rudy Giuliani, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr., My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, and “several Senators.”
It appears at least one of those Senators has now been identified.
The video itself would be interesting to those investigating the insurrection and Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the election, but it’s far more interesting given an article in the Omaha World Herald published January 6, that reports a Republican exploring a run for governor of Nebraska, Charles Herbster, appears to have attended that same January 5 meeting.
Read more at Raw Story.
So this could get very interesting. I hope big media will pick up on this story soon. It sure seems significant.
That’s it for me today, but there’s lots more happening. I’ll post more links in the comment thread and I hope you will too.
Wednesday Reads: On the 7th day…Posted: January 27, 2021 Filed under: Biden Harris 2020, COVID19, Domestic terrorism, Donald Trump, impeach trump, morning reads, open thread, Political and Editorial Cartoons, Senate, the GOP, white nationalists 9 Comments
This is a week out, with a new President, have you been sleeping better?
Now for a few news links:
And on the seventh day…well, eighth day, things seem to be getting unfucked nicely. However, all this tRumpian loyalty is disgusting and disturbing…
Then, we always have this:
This is an open thread.