Monday Reads: A bit of this and that!Posted: July 25, 2022 Filed under: abortion rights, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Crimes against Children, Discrimination against women, Domestic terrorism, Donald Trump, religious extremists, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Justice, Reproductive Rights, Republican Code Words and Concepts, Republican presidential politics, right wing hate grouups, Treason and Sedition Republican Style, Trump Trash, white nationalists, Women's Rights | Tags: The Great Replacement Theory and Racism 24 Comments
Good Afternoon Sky Dancers!
There are a lot of long-form articles up today that are worth a read. I’m going to start with a few on the abortion issue since Kansas has a significant vote today. Kansas is the first state to have a Post-Roe vote. This is from The New York Times: “‘Everybody Is Dug In’: Kansans Fiercely Debate the First Post-Roe Vote on Abortion. The Aug. 2 ballot question will decide whether the State Constitution will allow legislators to ban or further restrict the procedure.”
Kansas voters will decide next week whether to remove protections of abortion rights from their State Constitution, providing the first electoral test of Americans’ attitudes on the issue since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
The election could give the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature authority to pass new abortion limits or to outlaw the procedure entirely, potentially reshaping the map of abortion access in the nation’s center. The vote, which has been planned since last year but took on far higher stakes after the federal right to abortion was eliminated, is expected to send a message far beyond Kansas as politicians nationwide weigh new abortion measures and watch for signs of how the public is reacting.
“Kansas is the bull’s-eye of the United States in terms of its geography, but it’s also the bull’s-eye where all the energy that has emerged from the Supreme Court decision has now focused,” said Pastor Randy Frazee, who leads a large church in suburban Kansas City, and who like many clergy members supports giving legislators the power to restrict abortions.
A good deal of my family is still in the Kansas City area. One of my great grandfathers was a Methodist circuit rider back in the day when Kansas had a healthy abolitionist movement. We’ll see if the old Kansas idea of Christian social justice is still there. FiveThirtyEight discusses “How The Fight To Ban Abortion Is Rooted In The ‘Great Replacement’ Theory.” It’s also firmly rooted in the idea that men own women and whatever activities they can do. This analysis was written by Alex Samuels and Monica Potts.
Throughout colonial America and into the 19th century, abortions were fairly common with the help of a midwife or other women and could be obtained until the point that you could feel movement inside, according to Lauren MacIvor Thompson, a historian of early-20th-century women’s rights and public health. Most abortions were induced through herbal or medicinal remedies and, like other medical interventions of the time, weren’t always effective or safe.
But the dynamics surrounding the procedure changed by the mid-19th century, as America’s elites began to fear a rising tide of immigrants from Ireland, Italy and other European countries (people often viewed as “inferior”), suffragists seeking new freedoms and recently freed Black people, whom these elites feared were reproducing at higher rates than the white population. Laws limiting abortion, it was believed, would ultimately force middle- and upper-class white women — who had the most access to detect and terminate unwanted pregnancies — to bear more white children.
“There were concerns that these other groups were demographically outpacing white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant women. And so they thought to limit the bodily autonomy of white women and limit access to contraception in order to force them to have children. That they felt would keep up with the demographic birth rate,” said Alex DiBranco, the co-founder and executive director of the Institute for Research on Male Supremacism.
It took time for the anti-abortion movement to attract supporters, and unlike today, religious groups were not originally an active part of it. Still, momentum built as a small but influential number of physicians began arguing that licensed male doctors — as opposed to female midwives — should care for women throughout the reproductive cycle. In the late 1850s, one of the leaders of the nascent anti-abortion movement, a surgeon named Horatio Robinson Storer, began arguing that he didn’t want the medical profession to be associated with abortion. He was able to push the relatively new American Medical Association to support his cause, and soon they were working to delegitimize midwives and enforce abortion bans. In an 1865 essay issued by order of the AMA, Storer went so far as to say of white women that “upon their loins depends the future destiny of the nation.”
There’s a lot more in the article if you can stand to read all the misogyny, racism, and basic WASP nationalism. From Cameron Joseph, at VICE we learn exactly how deep the Republican Party’s hatred of women has become. “JD Vance Suggests People in ‘Violent’ Marriages Shouldn’t Get Divorced. The Ohio Republican Senate nominee claimed people “shift spouses like they change their underwear,” and that it had damaged a generation of children.”
“This is one of the great tricks that I think the sexual revolution pulled on the American populace, which is the idea that like, ‘well, OK, these marriages were fundamentally, you know, they were maybe even violent, but certainly they were unhappy. And so getting rid of them and making it easier for people to shift spouses like they change their underwear, that’s going to make people happier in the long term,’” Vance said.
“And maybe it worked out for the moms and dads, though I’m skeptical. But it really didn’t work out for the kids of those marriages,” Vance continued. “And that’s what I think all of us should be honest about, is we’ve run this experiment in real time. And what we have is a lot of very, very real family dysfunction that’s making our kids unhappy.”
Vance was responding to a moderator who referenced his grandparents’ relationship before asking, “What’s causing one generation to give up on fatherhood when the other one was so doggedly determined to stick it out, even in tough times?” And those comments came immediately after he brought up his grandparents’ relationship and how it differed from his parents’ generation. He described their marriage as “violent” in his best-selling book “Hillbilly Elegy,” though they’d reconciled by the time he came along and helped raise him, giving him a sense of safety and stability his mother was unable to provide.
“Culturally, something has clearly shifted. I think it’s easy but also probably true to blame the sexual revolution of the 1960s. My grandparents had an incredibly chaotic marriage in a lot of ways, but they never got divorced, right? They were together to the end, ’til death do us part. That was a really important thing to my grandmother and my grandfather. That was clearly not true by the 70s or 80s,” he said.
How about once women actually get choices, where they can take care of themselves and their families, that makes the horrid man in their life irrelevant? I endured one marriage of 20 years and believe me, never again. He’s working on his third btw.
So, one more topic I want to cover today is how the Republicans are trying to form a new kind of servitude on everyone but white Christian men and billionaires. First up from The Daily Beast: “The Four Stages of Republican Misinformation. The right has a tested formula to brainwash its base. From the Big Lie to attacking a 10-year-old rape victim, here’s how they do it.” This is written by Wajahat Ali.
The entire right-wing ecosystem unleashed its full arsenal to discredit the 10-year-old girl as a liar, intimidate her physician, demonize liberals, and continue its march backward, undeterred, in its quest to make Handmaid’s Tale cosplay a reality—in an America that subordinates and punishes women for having the audacity to control their own bodies.
To achieve its goal, the right uses a now familiar four-part strategy.
First, Republicans use any means necessary to achieve power and promote their unpopular, extremist, counter-majoritarian agenda.
Second, they create and promote disinformation and lies to frighten their base and Jedi mind-trick them into believing they are being oppressed by the actual victims.
Third, they create a specific villain, target them, and then attack them through scapegoating, smearing, and intimidation.
Fourth, they never apologize or back down once their lie is exposed, but instead, they double down, and in times of doubt, always pivot towards racism and fear-mongering.
To illustrate the strategy, look no further than the GOP’s rationalization of the Jan. 6 insurrection and embrace of the Big Lie—which gave them the successful blueprint to promote their hateful anti-abortion policies.
First, Donald Trump deliberately promoted lies and conspiracy theories about election fraud conducted by Democrats. Instead of accepting his defeat, he unleashed a premeditated, coordinated strategy to engage in a failed coup, which eventually resulted in thousands of his supporters overtaking the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn a free and fair election.
To get to the point where a 10-year-old rape victim has to cross state lines for an abortion, look to the GOP’s four-decade effort to kill Roe v. Wade. Republicans finally got their wish by packing the Supreme Court with right-wing extremists in black robes handpicked by the Federalist Society. Sen. Mitch McConnell stole Merrick Garland’s seat by refusing to hold a confirmation hearing, citing the need to wait until after the 2016 election. Then, he went against his own bullshit precedent and bum-rushed Justice Amy Coney Barrett on to the Court after millions of votes had already been cast in the 2020 election. That’s how they got a right-wing majority to dutifully overturn Roe, which led to Republican-controlled states imposing draconian laws that are punishing women and their health-care providers.
Second, the right-wing media ecosystem continues to amplify the Big Lie and fuel conspiracy theories, which has since resulted in a majority of GOP voters falsely believing Biden was not fairly elected. More than 100 Republicans who have won their recent primaries support the Big Lie, which has transformed into a MAGA litmus test for aspiring GOP candidates.
There’s more. It’s a brutally factual and honest assessment. This leads to a story sent to me last night by BostonBoomer. This is from The Atlantic: “America’s Self-Obsession Is Killing Its Democracy. The U.S. still has a chance to fix itself before 2024. But when democracies start dying—as ours already has—they usually don’t recover.” It’s written by Brian Klaas. I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but we must wake everyone up to all of this.
American democracy is dying. There are plenty of medicines that would cure it. Unfortunately, our political dysfunction means we’re choosing not to use them, and as time passes, fewer treatments become available to us, even though the disease is becoming terminal. No major prodemocracy reforms have passed Congress. No key political figures who tried to overturn an American election have faced real accountability. The president who orchestrated the greatest threat to our democracy in modern times is free to run for reelection, and may well return to office.
Our current situation started with a botched diagnosis. When Trump first rose to political prominence, much of the American political class reacted with amusement, seeing him as a sideshow. Even if he won, they thought, he’d tweet like a populist firebrand while governing like a Romney Republican, constrained by the system. But for those who had watched Trump-like authoritarian strongmen rise in Turkey, India, Hungary, Poland, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Venezuela, Trump was never entertaining. He was ominously familiar.
At issue was a classic frame-of-reference problem. America’s political culture is astonishingly insular. Turn on cable news and it’s all America, all the time. Other countries occasionally make cameos, but the story is still about us. (Poland is discussed if Air Force One goes to Warsaw; Iran flits into view only in relation to Washington’s nuclear diplomacy; Madagascar appears only in cartoon form, mostly featuring talking animals that don’t actually live there.) Our self-obsession means that whenever authoritarianism rises abroad, it’s mentioned briefly, if at all. Have you ever spotted a breathless octobox of talking heads on CNN or Fox News debating the death of democracy in Turkey, Sri Lanka, or the Philippines?
That’s why most American pundits and journalists used an “outsider comes to Washington” framework to process Trump’s campaign and his presidency, when they should have been fitting every fresh fact into an “authoritarian populist” framework or a “democratic death spiral” framework. While debates raged over tax cuts and offensive tweets, the biggest story was often obscured: The system itself was at risk.
Even today, too many think of Trump more as Sarah Palin in 2012 rather than Viktor Orbán in 2022. They wrongly believe that the authoritarian threat is over and that January 6 was an isolated event from our past, rather than a mild preview of our future. That misreading is provoking an underreaction from the political establishment. And the worst may be yet to come.
This is another long read, but please check it out! I think I’ve saddled you with enough angst and anxiety for a while. Oh, and sorry, but I am on a Queen binge recently. So enjoy the killer lyrics and solo guitar by Brian May, the Freddie vocals, and the artwork that is this video.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
While the sun hangs in the sky and the desert has sand
While the waves crash in the sea and meet the land
While there’s a wind and the stars and the rainbow
‘Til the mountains crumble into the plain
Oh, yes, we’ll keep on tryin’
Tread that fine line
Oh, we’ll keep on tryin’, yeah
Just passing our time
While we live according to race, colour or creed
While we rule by blind madness and pure greed
Our lives dictated by tradition, superstition, false religion
Through the aeons, and on and on
Oh, yes, we’ll keep on tryin’
We’ll tread that fine line
Oh-oh, we’ll keep on tryin’
‘Til the end of time
‘Til the end of time
Through the sorrow, all through our splendour
Don’t take offence at my innuendo
You can be anything you want to be
Just turn yourself into anything you think that you could ever be
Be free with your tempo, be free, be free
Surrender your ego, be free, be free to yourself
If there’s a God or any kind of justice under the sky
If there’s a point, if there’s a reason to live or die
If there’s an answer to the questions, we feel bound to ask
Show yourself, destroy our fears, release your mask
Oh, yes, we’ll keep on trying
Hey, tread that fine line
Yeah, we’ll keep on smiling, yeah (yeah, yeah)
And whatever will be, will be
We’ll keep on trying
We’ll just keep on trying
‘Til the end of time
‘Til the end of time
‘Til the end of time
Sunday Reads: 🖤🤎❤️🧡💛💚💜💙🤍💖Posted: June 12, 2022 Filed under: 2021 Insurrection, 2022 Primaries, abortion rights, American Gun Fetish, Black Lives Matter, Civil Rights, Domestic terrorism, Donald Trump, fetus fetishists, Fox News, GLBT Rights, Gun Control, hate crimes, Human Rights, January 6 Committee Public Hearings, LGBTQ, morning reads, open thread, PLUB Pro-Life-Until-Birth, Political and Editorial Cartoons, Republican politics, right wing hate grouups, the GOP, The Right Wing, white nationalists | Tags: Trans Rights 50 Comments
Good morning, aside from this being #PRIDE month… I’d like to remind our Sky Dancing family that we are all inclusive.
Meaning all are welcome.
However, I’ve been a bit put off by some of the tone against a particular group of the LGBTQ community. Specifically the 🏳️⚧️ T as in Trans…
This dialogue has gotten me upset and uncomfortable, and I have to speak out. If we are to be a blog that accepts the concept that all humans deserve acknowledgment that yes…human rights are exactly what that is…human rights, then Trans rights are Human rights.
Just like Women’s rights are Human rights, Black Lives Matter, Immigrant rights are Human rights, Kids rights are Human rights…it is the statement…Human rights are the fucking floor here!
Respect is standard.
My point being, inclusiveness is the key.
And that is not always the message which comes through.
So…let me say, for my own personal self here, that certain opinions and statements in the blog’s comments do not reflect my beliefs in any way. I fully support the LGBTQ community and that includes all, the T for Trans too.
We can be a champion for Women, all Women.
Yes, Women and People get pregnant and Women and People have abortions.
Now that I’ve said what I wanted to say for some time…
Let’s start with something to clear the air:
Now, the cartoons:
Meanwhile…yesterday in Idaho:
“Reclaim America” is what is written on the back of that asshole’s shirt.
We had to put down Beef on Thursday, it turned out to be an exact year to the day since Bebe adopted him.
I’m going to end this post with a trip down memory lane…and this is not meant to be a comment on violence against women. It is more of a comment on how nice Alexis was, she packed up all that luggage for Blake and his “blond tramp” …
This is an open thread. (Please, no anti-Trans comments…at least on Sundays and Wednesdays…)
Have a safe day today. Be careful.
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?
Wednesday Reads: Tank Girl Says It…Dems Got The HousePosted: November 7, 2018 Filed under: 2018 elections, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Congress, corruption, Democratic Politics, Donald Trump, Elections, House of Representatives, legalizaton of drugs, morning reads, open thread, Political and Editorial Cartoons, racism, Republican politics, right wing hate grouups, the GOP, U.S. Politics, Voting Rights, Wednesday Hump Day Cartoons, white nationalists | Tags: Georgia voter suppression, Stacy Abrams 67 Comments
We can turn this shit around!
Hey, I know…that is a little too positive, coming from someone like me…but even I have to grasp at some rays of hope. Yesterday, on my way to practice I took a picture of the sunset. It made me think of the future, in this way:
I said a little prayer, may this setting sun be the last of “tRumpian unaccountability”…and will tomorrow’s morning sun bring hope for our democracy.
That image of Tank Girl, it is morning…she is having tea and putting on her boots…preparing herself for the day’s ass kicking. We can turn this shit around! Let’s see what comes from winning the House?
Meanwhile, in Georgia:
As of 8:45 this morning, only 75,386 votes separate Kemp and Abrams…
Brian Kemp’s Lead in Georgia Needs an Asterisk – The Atlantic
The Democrat Stacey Abrams, a black woman, made a valiant effort to win the governor’s race in Georgia, one of the original 13 states, whose commitment to human bondage ensured that the U.S. Constitution would treat slavery with kid gloves. A state that was part of the Confederacy. A state scorched by Union General William Tecumseh Sherman in the Civil War. A state that refused to accept the outcome of that war, treating its black residents as second-class citizens—if that—until the federal government forced its hand, a century later, with the Voting Rights Act. She tried to write a new narrative for this state.
Although Abrams has not yet conceded, citing uncounted ballots, it looks as though the other side has won, and the narrative is the same as ever. Abrams didn’t have to fight just an electoral campaign; she had to fight a civil-rights campaign against the forces of voter suppression.
Indeed, I can’t quite bring myself to say that Abrams “lost,” because there’s an asterisk next to her Republican opponent’s victory.
Brian Kemp, who billed himself as a “Trump conservative,” refused to step aside as Georgia’s secretary of state; he ran for governor of a state while overseeing the elections in that state. Former President Jimmy Carter, a Georgian with much experience monitoring elections abroad, stressed that this conflict of interest ran “counter to the most fundamental principle of democratic elections—that the electoral process be managed by an independent and impartial election authority.” Kemp had no intention of relinquishing a post he has held since 2010, and often wields as a weapon to cull Georgia’s electorate. He understood that he would need every trick in the book because he was up against a woman who, in addition to serving as the minority leader of the state’s House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017, founded a formidable voter-registration organization, the New Georgia Project.[…]Under Kemp, Georgia purged more than 1.5 million voters from the rolls, eliminating 10.6 percent of voters from the state’s registered electorate from 2016 to 2018 alone. The state shut down 214 polling places, the bulk of them in minority and poor neighborhoods. From 2013 to 2016 it blocked the registration of nearly 35,000 Georgians, including newly naturalized citizens. Georgia accomplished this feat of disfranchisement based on a screening process called “exact match,” meaning the state accepted new registrations only if they matched the information in state databases precisely, including hyphens in names, accents, and even typos.[…]Days before the deadline to register for the November election, the Associated Press reported that Kemp had put 53,000 applicants on hold due to exact-match problems. An analysis of Kemp’s records found that 70 percent of those applicants were black. (Georgia is roughly 32 percent black.) Separately, the Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union found that some 700 absentee-ballot applications and almost 200 absentee ballots were rejected by county officials due to a law mandating that the signatures on absentee applications and ballots visually match the signatures on file. Thus, poor penmanship was added to the list of crimes that can lead to disenfranchisement in Georgia.[…]
In the end, it looks like Kemp won. It’s impossible to know if his attempts to restrict the franchise are what pushed him over the line. But if the Georgia race had taken place in another country—say, the Republic of Georgia—U.S. media and the U.S. State Department would not have hesitated to question its legitimacy, if for no other reason than Kemp’s dual roles as candidate and election overseer. Of course, there were other reasons. As of this morning, he led by about 75,000 votes; more than 85,000 registrations were canceled through August 1 of this year alone.
Stacy Abrams is vowing not to concede until all votes are counted. I think she should demand a recount…as well.
This is a good thread to round up the tRump effect:
From down along this thread:
This piece of shit is gone:
On that note, here are a few cartoons:
Blue Shadow: 11/07/2018 Cartoon by Steve Artley
I think Boston Boomer had this in one of her post, but it is so good I have to repeat it:
Election Sticker: 11/07/2018 Cartoon by Rob Rogers
11/06/2018 Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson
I wonder what the rest of today will bring?
See you in the comments…this is an open thread.