Finally Friday Reads: Republican Freak Show Edition

Good Day Sky Dancers!

I’ve gotten some of the tests results back on Keely Kitty.  She doesn’t have any viruses, and she’s slightly anemic. The vet thinks she has some inflammation somewhere in her brain of undetermined cause. She’s on phenobarbital and doing better taking her pill from me.  She’s getting some chicken-flavored anti-inflammatory liquid that will serve as her nightcap. They’re compounding it now. She hasn’t had a seizure since the two she had on Monday, so we’re taking this as a good sign.  A few more blood tests coming, and then we’ll see what happens next.  At least I can sleep through the night, making me not so churlish.

CPAC is incredibly gross this year, as it appears to be a parade of perverts and insane people.  Attendance is sparse and CBS reports that many usual suspects have stayed home.  It appears that most folks in attendance are Trump Dead-Enders.  Writing about this is going to require a post-blog shower. The elected officials that came are all pretty gross.  Trump’s former Vice President is one noticeable MIA.  The tweet below has more names.

This is from US News and World Report“Trump Set to Headline Diminished Gathering of Conservatives. The annual Conservative Political Action Conference was once one of the premier gatherings on the GOP campaign calendar.”

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference was once one of the premier gatherings on the GOP campaign calendar — a must-stop for serious contenders testing the waters on presidential runs.

No longer.

Many of the party’s best-known likely candidates — from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to former Vice President Mike Pence — are skipping the marquee event kicking off Wednesday as the group grapples with controversy and questions over its place in a movement that remains deeply split over its allegiance to former President Donald Trump.

Adding to the turmoil: A lawsuit filed by an unnamed Republican campaign staffer against Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union, which organizes the conference. The suit accuses Schlapp of groping the staffer during a car ride in Georgia before the November election.

Schlapp, who has denied the staffer’s account, did not address the allegations against him as CPAC programming began Thursday, but did make a nod to the notable absences.

The media is not ignoring the sexual battery charges facing Schlapp. The Guardian has some analysis at the link.  However, the main stage show is the worst of the worst of the Republican Congressional baboons.

I will change topics to several interesting reads at various Substack blogs. It helps to get out of the mainstream media, which will cover a group of tin hat crazies in detail but ignore serious news.

First up,  from America, America,  “The Recklessness of Rupert Murdoch. The Fox owner knew Donald Trump was lying and chose ratings over responsibility. What will it take to stop the dangerous propaganda?”   This is the Substack of Steven Beschloss.

Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham (to name just three) continue to spew their poison into the political bloodstream, despite their knowledge that they are feeding their millions of viewers lies.

Keep in mind Carlson’s texted response to Hannity after learning that a Fox reporter had fact-checked Trump’s election lies: “Please get her fired. Seriously What the fuck? I’m actually shocked. It needs to stop immediately, like tonight. It’s measurably hurting the company. The stock price is down.” We have no reason to assume they’re going to change their money-obsessed tune without the demand of their ultimate boss, who still has shown no sign of stemming the pollution.

How about $12 billion or $14 billion?

“What should the consequences be when Fox News executives knowingly allow lies to be broadcast?” Dominion lawyers asked Rupert in their deposition, parts of which were made public on Monday.

“They should be reprimanded,” Murdoch replied. “They should be reprimanded, maybe got rid of.”

Dominion: “You are aware now that Fox did more than simply host these guests and give them a platform; correct?”

Murdoch: “I think you’ve shown me some material in support of that.”

Yet, asked about Fox endorsing Trump’s lies, he was quick to differentiate Fox the corporation from its “commentators.”

Dominion: “In fact, you are now aware that Fox endorsed at times this false notion of a stolen election?”

Murdoch: “Not Fox. No. Not Fox.”

Murdoch was asked about hosts Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Jeanine Pirro and Sean Hannity.

Dominion: “All were in that document; correct?”

Murdoch: “Yes, they were.”

Dominion: “About Fox endorsing the narrative of a stolen election; correct?”

Murdoch: “No. Some of our commentators were endorsing it.”

Dominion: “About their endorsement of a stolen election?”

Murdoch: “Yes. They endorsed.”

Asked his own opinion, Fox’s owner didn’t hesitate admitting the facts. “Oh, yes,” he replied when asked if he “seriously doubted” any claim of massive election fraud. From the beginning? “Yes. I mean, we thought everything was on the up-and-up. I think that was shown when we announced Arizona.” He even acknowledged in the deposition that some of Trump’s election lies were “bullshit and damaging.”

I will say that the CPAC circus of perverted clowns certainly draws attention away from these topics that we should be following closely.  I want to point out another story that should have some huge legs.   This is from Murray Waas’ Rule of Law. “EXCLUSIVE: After he left office, Donald Trump ordered his chief of staff to leak classified information to the press about an FBI agent and other adversaries. Experts believe that may be a felony. The ex-president may now face even greater legal jeopardy than previously known.”

Months after he had left office, former president Donald Trump, directed his former chief-of-staff, Mark Meadows to leak highly classified government records regarding Peter Strzok, the former Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, to the press.  In the final days of Trump’s presidency, Meadows had removed the classified files from the White House, which Trump and Meadows believed would discredit Strzok.

The explosive ramifications of such a knowing and willful leak of classified information by Trump, or by someone on his behalf, at his direction, after he left office, is that Trump would have potentially committed a felony.

As president, Trump enjoyed a virtually absolute and unfettered constitutional authority to declassify virtually almost any government secrets he so wished. But once gone from office, Trump no longer had any legal authority or power beyond that of an ordinary citizen to declassify government papers or; much less leak classified records. Any provision of classified information at that time would be a crime.

Brad Moss, an attorney specializing in national security law, explained to me: “Anything Trump had in his possession that was still classified and that he gave to a reporter or anyone else unauthorized to receive it, after 12:01 pm on January 21, 2021, was unlawful as a legal matter.”

Richard Immerman, an Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence during the George W. Bush administration told me: “Once a president’s tenure in office has ended, he or she has no authority to declassify documents. If he does, he’s breaking the law.”

This new issue arises just as special counsel Jack Smith is already conducting a federal criminal investigation to determine whether Trump broke the law by taking hundreds of pages of other classified papers from the White House to his home in Mar-a-Largo when his presidency was over. The Justice Department has also previously alleged in federal court that Trump “likely concealed and removed” classified documents from one place he was keeping them, to another less likely place where they would be found by federal prosecutors and the FBI, with a purpose to “obstruct” their investigation. Smith has also taken charge of the investigation of whether Trump obstructed justice.

As I have previously reported, Smith has questioned a small number of witnesses about Trump’s and Meadows’ mishandling of classified documents related to the FBI’s Russia investigation. But the issue does not appear, at least for now, to be a major focus for the special counsel.

There’s plenty out there to wade through, but we must know what the folks are selling their cult.  I’d still say following News on DeSantis and what he’s trying in Florida is more important than the Trump Rumpers, even though they are in Congress.  Here are more samples of why.  Both BB and I are committed to keeping up with his fascist governance.  This is from the Washington Post“DeSantis cannonballs into America’s deep blue states for war on ‘woke’ ahead of 2024. The Florida governor has used his trips to highlight his state’s accomplishments — citing statistics that sometimes mask far more complicated debates.”  This is reported by Maeve Reston and  Hannah Knowles.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has found a comfort zone as he moves closer to launching a campaign for president: America’s bluest states, where he is brawling with liberal governors and mingling with donors as he tiptoes around a direct conflict with Donald Trump.

DeSantis will travel this weekend to California, where the Republican has already drawn the renewed ire of Gov. Gavin Newsom, a frequent critic taunting him ahead of his visit. “Welcome to the real freedom state,” Newsom, a Democrat, said in a statement to The Washington Post, predicting his GOP counterpart is “going to get smoked by Trump” in the Republican primary. DeSantis aides did not respond to a request for comment.

DeSantis has used his blue state trips to contrast them with Florida — using statistics that sometimes mask far more complicated debates — and present himself as a combatant against the “woke” left. The arguments he has advanced serve as a foundation for the presidential campaign many expect him to launch later this year, though DeSantis has not said publicly if he is running.

So, this stuff, like everything BB shared with us yesterday, is disturbing and the wet dreams of authoritarians.  I’m reading and watching the news as much as possible, but it’s a hard job.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

10 Comments on “Finally Friday Reads: Republican Freak Show Edition”

  1. NW Luna says:

    I’m not going to say that they’re so crazy they can’t get any crazier because they probably will get crazier. Ooof! What a sludge pool to wade through for the post, dak. Thanks for summing it up for us.

    • bostonboomer says:

      You’re right. I don’t think there is a limit to their insanity. It is encouraging to see the crowds are so small this year. It will be interesting to see what happens with lawsuit against Schlapp.

  2. dakinikat says:

    Have a good weekend!

  3. NW Luna says:

    Florida’s state senator Brodeur is an admirer of Putin. Imagine that!

  4. dakinikat says:

    We’re fighting STRS again here. I got a call to do a survey from what looked like AirBnB and told them to run motel 6’s by the airport. This POS is one of the types we’ve got to deal with now.

  5. dakinikat says:

  6. dakinikat says:

    3 abortion bans in Texas leave doctors ‘talking in code’ to pregnant patients

    This past fall, when Lauren Miller of Dallas was 13-weeks pregnant with twins, she got horrible news. One of the twins had trisomy 18, a genetic abnormality that causes about 90% of fetuses to die before birth. The other twin was healthy.

    She learned from a genetic counselor that continuing to carry both fetuses could put the healthy one at risk. She saw a doctor who specializes in high risk pregnancies who told her: “You can’t do anything in Texas and I can’t tell you anything further in Texas, but you need to get out of state.”

    That’s exactly what she did. Miller traveled to Colorado and, at 15-weeks pregnant, she had a “selective reduction” procedure to help ensure her pregnancy with her healthy twin could continue.

    When she returned to Dallas and continued her prenatal care, she found herself navigating silence around abortion. She wondered, if the ultrasound technician knew she’d traveled out of state for an abortion, could she get reported? “You don’t know where anybody stands, so it feels like we’re all kind of talking in code,” Miller says.

    • NW Luna says:


      Also, “pregnant patients”? Women. It’s exactly because women are the ones who get pregnant that women’s bodily autonomy is threatened.

      • quixote says:

        Exactly. It’s 2023, and the shit is even deeper than when it was first noted that if men could get pregnant abortion would be a sacrament.

    • dakinikat says:

      LIFE AFTER ROE MAR. 2, 2023
      A Woman Has Been Charged for Allegedly Taking Abortion Pills

      A woman in Greenville, South Carolina, was arrested and charged this week on suspicion of taking abortion pills to terminate a pregnancy. According to The State, which first reported on the case, in October 2021, the then-33-year-old woman sought medical help at a hospital after experiencing labor pains. She told staff that she had taken abortion pills to end her pregnancy. The patient had a stillbirth, and a coroner determined the fetus was around 25 weeks and four days.

      While abortion remains legal in South Carolina until 20 weeks gestation, it is one of only three states in the nation that explicitly criminalizes self-managed abortion (the other two are Oklahoma and Nevada). The law had been in effect even before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer. It’s not clear why authorities charged the woman now; a warrant for her arrest was signed in September 2022, after an investigation determined she had illegally obtained and self-administered the medication, according to an incident report obtained by Greenville News. The State said it was not naming the woman owing to the charges being “related to a personal medical procedure.”

      Prosecuting people for terminating their pregnancies is deeply unpopular: only 14 percent of Americans believe women should serve jail time if they have an illegal abortion. However, even while Roe stood, at least 61 people were investigated or arrested for allegedly self-managing their abortions between 2000 and 2020, according to a report from If/When/How, a legal-aid network focused on reproductive rights and abortion access. According to a police report obtained by Jezebel, the woman charged in South Carolina was identified as Black; it’s worth noting that pregnant women of color and poor women have always been disproportionately criminalized in this country.