FFFFFFreezing Friday Reads

Banky’s Umbrella Girl, New Orleans 2006

Good Day Sky Dancers!

The news about the January 6th Insurrection is getting crazier all the time. There’s so much for the Justice Department to move on that impatience spills over into every conversation you hear.  The Republican Party has simply become a massive propaganda machine with no actual political agenda other than to find underhanded ways to stay in power.

This New York Times headline just shows how far the radical right rump party has gone. “G.O.P. Declares Jan. 6 Attack ‘Legitimate Political Discourse’” The Republican National Committee voted to censure Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for participating in the inquiry into the deadly riot at the Capitol. Can someone please explain to me how a violent insurrection that included killing police officers, destroying public property, theft of public property, pipebombs, and actual lynching threats is not a mob of traitors? Legitimate Political Discourse? WTAF?  How far down the DoubleSpeak, DoubleThink, and NewsSpeak road have we traveled?

The Republican Party on Friday officially declared the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and events that led to it “legitimate political discourse,” formally rebuking two lawmakers in the party who have been most outspoken in condemning the deadly riot and the role of Donald J. Trump in spreading the election lies that fueled it.

The Republican National Committee’s overwhelming voice vote to censure Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois at its winter meeting in Salt Lake City culminated more than a year of vacillation, which started with party leaders condemning the Capitol attack and Mr. Trump’s conduct, then shifted to downplaying and denying it.

On Friday, the party went further in a resolution slamming Ms. Cheney and Mr. Kinzinger for taking part in the House investigation of the assault, saying they were participating in “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”

It was an extraordinary statement about the deadliest attack on the Capitol in 200 years, in which a mob of Mr. Trump’s supporters stormed the complex, brutalizing police officers and sending lawmakers into hiding. Nine people died in connection with the attack, and more than 150 officers were injured. The party passed the resolution without discussion and almost without dissent.

Rain , Vicent Van Gogh, 1889

Of course, the issue is that most of the US Republican Congressional members have themselves far up Trump’s ass and their actions and words match the very definition of sedition. This is a CNN Exclusive: “Newly obtained records show Trump and Jim Jordan spoke at length on morning of January 6.”

One entry in the White House records shows a request from Trump to get Jordan on the phone from the White House residence on the morning of January 6. A second entry shows that the length of the call was 10 minutes.

These call logs are among the documents the National Archives turned over to the House select committee investigating the riot after Trump last month lost his bid at the Supreme Court to keep them secret. The records have been crucial for congressional investigators as they try to build a complete narrative of what happened that day, and the call logs help to deepen that understanding.

Records show Trump did not leave the White House until 11:40 a.m. ET on January 6, 2021, to give a speech to thousands of his supporters gathered at the Ellipse. According to footage of House proceedings that day, Jordan spoke on the floor for five minutes starting at 1:32 p.m. ET during the debate over whether to reject Biden’s electors from Arizona.

Jordan later spoke to request a roll call vote on the Arizona challenge at 10:27 p.m. when lawmakers returned to the chamber after being evacuated as rioters interrupted the congressional proceedings.

On Friday, Jordan said, “I don’t recall,” when asked specifically if he spoke with Trump in the morning before the violence started. “I know I talked to him after we left off the floor,” adding that he did not remember how long his calls with the former President lasted that day.

Jordan’s previous recollections of his conversations with Trump on January 6 have been inconsistent.

And, once again, Senator Cassiday actually does a right thing. However, his policies still are completely uniformed for the most part so he made it up by saying stupid about gun laws to make up for it.  Oh, well, I have to take what I can get and given Kennedy acts like a certified moran, nothing ever good will come from him.

Rain, 1988, Gerhard Richter

Analysis at NBC argues that “At RNC gathering, rift emerges between Trump’s interests and the GOP’s. “I think the more you try to look backwards, the less likely you’re going to succeed in this business going forward,” one state GOP chairman said.”

None of the officials assembled here for the Republican National Committee’s winter meetings are writing off former President Donald Trump. They all recognize his singular hold over the party’s electoral base.

But a distinct chasm is emerging between Trump’s obsessions and the issues many GOP operatives consider crucial to winning the midterm elections in November. Republican candidates need to make voters’ concerns a central focus, as opposed to Trump’s day-to-day attacks, RNC members suggested this week.

Few will put it quite so bluntly; they are loath to antagonize Trump and possibly drive off his hard-core followers. Yet in interviews, party officials showed little appetite for organizing the GOP around Trump’s grievances.

A winning message would emphasize inflation and parental rights, they said — not the 2020 election, which Trump falsely insists he won. Strengthening the party would require opening it up to new voters — not punishing Republicans who have disagreed with Trump, they added.

The sentiments echo those of local GOP leaders, who said late last year that they were ready to move beyond the 2020 election, even if Trump wasn’t. They wanted to put issues like border security, the Afghanistan troop withdrawal and education front and center.

A goal of the RNC winter meetings, members said, was for Republicans to project “unity.” Yet Trump remains a source of division that has spilled into the party’s gathering. One of his allies, RNC member David Bossie of Maryland, submitted a symbolic resolution that would call upon congressional Republicans to expel Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., from the House GOP conference. Both voted last year to impeach Trump.

The resolution was watered down to a censure Thursday amid criticism from some members that it undercut efforts to show the party tolerated dissenting views.

The Manneport, Etretat in the Rain
Claude Monet
Date: 1885 – 1886

The Guardian–in a piece reported by Hugo Lowell–has more evidence Trump was behind and knew everything about the J6 uprising. “Revealed: Trump reviewed draft order that authorized voting machines to be seized”

Weeks after the 2020 election, Donald Trump reviewed a draft executive order that authorized the national guard to seize voting machines and verbally agreed to appoint Sidney Powell, a campaign lawyer and conspiracy theorist, as special counsel to investigate election fraud.

The two previously unreported actions of the former president – which is certain to interest the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack and Trump’s efforts to overturn his defeat – came during a contentious White House meeting on 18 December 2020.

Trump never followed through with issuing a formal executive order authorizing the seizure of voting machines or appointing a special counsel. But four sources with detailed knowledge of what transpired during the 18 December meeting described to the Guardian how close he came to doing so.

And, now we have Senator Milquetoast piping up.

Well, I’m not waiting on Susan Collins to say much but a few more Republican Senators should really buy some spine with all those campaign donations.

Jonathan Swan and Lachlan Markay of AXIOS have this to say about “The making of a modern Republican.”

Paths to power and winning electionsinside the GOP are changing rapidly and radically, spawning a new generation of kingmakers while diminishing the clout of many who lorded over the party for years.

Why it matters: Fourteen of the Republican Party’s top consultants and operatives across the country spoke in detail with Axios about how profoundly primary races have changed since 2014 — the last pre-Donald Trump midterm election and the last midterms in which a Democrat occupied the White House.

What we found: Those sources — whose clients range from as Trumpy as they come to establishment Republicans — described a clear shift in the party’s power brokers. They spoke of changes to the ecosystem across four categories: institutional upheaval, endorsements, conservative media and donors.

  • Axios granted them anonymity so they could speak with a degree of candor that’s not possible on the record because of personal and business relationships. Here’s what they told us:

Who had the power:

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • The NRA
  • The Koch network
  • Heritage Action
  • The Drudge Report
  • National Review
  • Conservative movement groups such as Tea Party Express, FreedomWorks, and the Senate Conservatives Fund.

Who has power now:

  • Donald Trump
  • Tucker Carlson
  • Family and former aides to Trump
  • Fox News
  • Club for Growth
  • Daily Wire
  • Breitbart News
  • Online influencers including Candace Owens, Ben Shapiro, Dan Bongino, Joe Rogan, Jack Posobiec, Charlie Kirk and Marjorie Taylor-Greene.
  • Steve Bannon
  • Susan B. Anthony List

Between the lines: Most of these changes weren’t gradual. They were triggered by the shockwave of 2016.

It’s that right-wing populism that has the patricians on the run.  But, it’s the voter disenfranchment that has American citizens on the run.  I want to close with this miscarriage of justice.

It’s obvious that there’s one justice system for white men and another one for the rest of us.

The case caught my attention for a few reasons. First, it is rare to see a prosecutor bring criminal charges against someone for election crimes, and I was curious whether this was a bona fide case of fraud or of someone who had made a mistake. Second, there has been growing awareness of racial disparities in punishments for election-related crimes. Black people such as Crystal Mason and Hervis Rogers have faced years in prison for making mistakes about their voting eligibility. White voters have received much lighter sentences for election-related crimes.

Hope the weather is gives us all a break here.  We could sure use it.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


15 Comments on “FFFFFFreezing Friday Reads”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Have a good weekend!!!! I’ve been trying to adult the last few days and it’s just so cold, dark, and dank that all I want to do is stay in bed and read! Plus, this dank cold makes me hurt now! I guess aging is not for those without courage as they say!

    I just want to know where the Sun went?

    • NW Luna says:

      No sun up here in the Pacific Northwest either! Just our usual drizzle, overcast, and light rain.

      I really like the rain paintings! Thought I’d seen every Monet painting there is, but ‘Etretat in the Rain’ is a new one.

      • dakinikat says:

        I keep finding paintings by artists that I thought I’d seen everything from! BB found a Matisse yesterday too! I’m just glad we can surround all this whacky news with some beauty!!!

      • roofingbird says:

        Sun is here in CA, day, after day, after day..There is a slight chance of rain late Feb. but everything is blooming at least a month early. So, I guess we know how our summer will be.

    • djmm says:

      Great post. Dear House Republicans: Violence is never “legitimate political discourse.” I am amazed that someone has to tell them that.

      I love the rain pictures! Think of the flowers to come…

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    • dakinikat says:

      Mike Pence today: “I heard this week that Pres Trump said I had the right to overturn the election. Pres Trump is wrong .. There is no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person can choose the American president.”

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