Friday, January 28, 2022

The Unraveling: A Coup Within a Coup. Fake Electors Get Subpoenas

It looks like the ongoing story (nearly a year now) about fake electors is entering a final phase.

The Jan. 6 Select Committee has issued subpoenas for 14 Republicans from seven states who served on bogus slates of Trump electors in 2020 as part of the Trump campaign's scheme to subvert the Electoral College.

The 14 GOP leaders from the states served as "Chair" and "Secretary" of the slates of fake electors designed to be alternates to the duly elected electors.

The plan didn't work, fortunately for democracy.

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Here's a list of the would-be traitors in all seven states:

  • Nancy Cottle and Loraine Pellegrino from Arizona. Cottle is listed on the Arizona Federation of Republican Women's website as being the group's vice president.
  • David Shafer and Shawn Still from Georgia. Shafer is the chair of the Georgia GOP and was a plaintiff in some of Trump's longshot lawsuits to overturn the election in Georgia. Still was the Georgia GOP's finance chair and is now running for a Georgia Senate seat.
  • Kathy Berden and Mayra Rodriguez from Michigan. Berden was a national committeewoman at the Republican National Committee and served as a Trump delegate at the 2016 GOP convention. Rodriguez unsuccessfully ran for a Michigan House seat in 2020.
  • Jewll Powdrell and Deborah Maestas from New Mexico. Powdrell recently told the Albuquerque Journal that he signed the fake certificate at the behest of former Rep. Steve Pearce, the head of the New Mexico GOP. Maestas previously served in that role, leading the state GOP.
  • Michael McDonald and James DeGraffenreid from Nevada. McDonald is the Nevada GOP chairman and reportedly promoted false voter fraud claims in 2020. DeGraffenreid's Facebook page says he is a national committeeman from Nevada for the RNC.
  • The committee subpoenaed Bill Bachenberg and Lisa Patton from Pennsylvania. Bachenberg is a board member of the National Rifle Association and spoke at a pro-Trump fundraiser in 2020.
  • Andrew Hitt and Kelly Ruh from Wisconsin. Hitt is the former chairman of the Wisconsin GOP and a staffer for former Gov. Scott Walker. Ruh is currently an alderperson from the city of De Pere.
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They all have until February 11th to appear for depositions through the month of February.

Among the accusations leveled is that the Trump campaign lined-up supporters to fill the elector slots, secured meeting rooms in statehouses for them to meet on December 14, 2020, and circulated drafts of the fake certificates.

It doesn't look like it's going to be that difficult (with mounds of evidence) to prove there was a coup attempt by these fake electors and the Trump campaign.

It was literally a coup attempt within the coup attempt by the Oath Keepers who have already been indicted with insurrection and sedition.

America needs accountability for the near death of democracy. When the committees' final recommendations get to the Department of Justice it's up to Merrick Garland to see that justice is served.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Where Has All the Honor Gone? Long Time Passing


Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?

Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago?

Where have all the soldiers gone?

Gone to graveyards, everyone

Oh, when will they learn?

Oh, when will they ever learn?"

-Pete Seeger, 1955 Hit song 

Today I'm not talking about soldiers, but I am embracing the nostalgia behind Seeger's iconic song.

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Where has honor gone?

Once people believed in honor 

Where has that practice gone? long time passing

Where has honor gone?

Gone to right-wing graveyards, as we look on

When will people learn?

We can only hope honor will return

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Looking at the current state of our society becoming increasingly hostile, and the art of communication breaking down, many good traits have fallen to the wayside in the cultural chaos.

Honor is one of those things.

One of the things that trigger me is watching people openly lie when you know they know better. Anti-vaccination activists and politicians - who are often vaccinated and boosted - espouse the dangers of getting the shot. There is no way people like that have any honor.

Greed and power have supplanted facts and honor. There's no guilt when others die after listening to the conspiracy trolls who are laughing all the way to the bank.

Honor no longer seems to matter. Ask Ted Cruz. He lost his five years ago when Trump insulted his wife and grandfather.

A sense of honor is rapidly disappearing in a time when we need it more than ever. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

GOP Master Class - 101 Ways to Raise Money off of Lies and Rumors

Thanks for attending today's class on How to Raise Money off of Lies and Rumors.

The contributors to this GOP master class program come to you from the Dark Net. 

There are also public figures (think Steve Bannon) who will guide you step-by-step on how to reap profits from gullible partisan fools in three of the special courses

Today's lesson from Fox News is being brought to you by Rupert Murdock. Remember, fear is your best friend.

Headline

Michelle Obama in 2024?

Republican Senator Rick Scott was quoted, "We did not believe it when we first heard."

(That's because it - the bullshit story of Obama running for president - is a baseless rumor and lie)

Pay attention now. Keep in mind how fear works here.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee sent out fundraising appeals twice this week warning supporters that Obama is exploring a White House bid. 

Oh no! A black woman and an Obama! Dear Lord! That must never happen. Who do I give my money too?

The fundraising letter said,

"Yup, you're reading this right. Michelle Obama? Running for PRESIDENT in 2024? The left-wing Democrats KNOW they are going to LOSE their Majority in Congress this November, so they want to bring out an OBAMA to save them in 2024."

(Pause for a fact check. It's marlarkey, as Joe would say. Michelle has long made it clear she's not interested in running for political office. She reminds people it was her husband who went into politics. As his bride she went along for the ride.)

Back to day's lesson.

1. Know your audience. If they believe in Jewish space lasers you need to connect with them and suggest Michelle is also behind the assault from the stars.

2. You can go fact free if you make your fundraiser into a conspiracy. The alt-right just can't get enough of them. They're also great donors.

3. When confronted by the nosy liberal press tell them, "I'm rubber, and your glue. Everything you say to me bounces off and sticks on you!"

For extra credit you can donate money to cover Trump's legal fees. In return you'll get his autograph on a photo of him desecrating the Oval Office with a row of canned beans stacked on the resolute desk.

Class dismissed.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

We're All Waiting for the Other Shoe to Fall Somewhere

The world is waiting for the other shoe to fall after witnessing Putin's military buildup on the Ukranian border.

Anxious countries like the United States are pledging to back up the Ukrainians who intend to fight until the last man if Putin invades.

War inches closer every day. It seems inevitable. All anyone can do is wait.

Americans are waiting for the other shoe to fall in the Donald Trump saga that led to a coup attempt that nearly succeeded.

For decades Trump has defied laws by gaming the court system.

The Jan. 6 Committee is putting the pieces together that led to the insurrection. What they have already discovered is enough to convict Trump of obstruction of justice and other equally serious crimes.

If it was anyone beside Trump, justice would prevail, and the perp would go to jail. But it's Teflon Trump. Americans wait with bated breath to see if Trump is truly above the law.

Libraries and schools across the nation are facing book censorship as teachers and librarians brace for the other shoe to fall. 

What's next? Free speech outlawed if it isn't praising fascism? 

Americans are waiting for the pandemic to go away. Their tired and cranky. 

Misinformation is muddying up any real chance of controlling the virus to the point where we can get on with our lives. The fact of the matter is the virus may never go away, and containment is the only path forward.

And we all wait for answers. Impatiently.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Now They're Coming For Our Books

 It can start with just one person.

Or one small group.

Either way they can spark a fire with help from their friends. 

The call to ban books which is blossoming across the country, has turned into demands that are funded by outside conservative millionaires and billionaires who have an agenda.

The agenda is simple. And anti-democratic. They want to scrub our history until it's a shiny white fantasy. 

These wealthy conservatives don't want to see teachers talking about the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans in U.S. society. Period. The other reasons for banning books are just window-dressing.

We're looking at a nationwide campaign of censoring books on a scale never seen before in this country.

Books have already been banned in schools in Texas, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming in the past year.

National groups have sprung up like deadly mushrooms after a rain and are teaching individuals and small groups how to ban books they don't approve of in schools and libraries.

The national groups lurk in the background of every so-called grass root effort. It's no coincidence that most of the banned books are about gender equality and race, at a time when Republicans are mounting efforts to prevent teaching race in schools by launching a campaign against critical race theory.

The campaign to ban books has soared through 2021.  

The following organizations are in the vanguard of this assault on our freedoms:

Parents Defending Education (PDE)

Moms for Liberty 

No Left Turn in Education

Whose funding PDE? None other than conservative icon Charles Koch. This national organization is against critical race theory and encourages parents to "spy on" teachers' online activity to seek incriminating (!) material against them.

The PDE doesn't just stop at banning books, however. Their other aim is to encourage conservative parents to run for school boards - an often-overlooked position that wields a considerable amount of power.

Other mega funders like billionaire Leonard Leo, who advised Trump on judicial appointments, are channeling cash into the efforts by Moms for Liberty and No Left Turn in Education.

George Orwell warned us what could happen when we ban books. Hitler showed the world how effective banning books was in his ascent to absolute power.

Extreme conservatives in America are trying to go the same route of dictators in order to assume control of our society.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Laugh. Laugh. Until You Die: Quotes About Congress for the Ages

The United States Congress has been called many things in the last 240 years. 

My favorite reference to that august body is it's a place where politicians go to retire.

Let's see what other offerings there are.

"Congress is so strange. A man gets up to speak and says nothing. Nobody listens - and then everybody disagrees." -Boris Marshalov

"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress: but I repeat myself." -Mark Twain

"The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets." -Will Rogers

"I don't mind what Congress does, as long as they don't do it in the streets and frighten horses." -Victor Hugo

"In my many years I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress." - John Adams, 2nd US president

"I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress." -Ronald Reagan

"We many not imagine how our lives could be more frustrating and complex - but Congress can." -Cullen Hightower

"Congress consists of one third, more or less, scoundrels; two thirds, more or less, idiots; and three thirds, more or less, poltroons." -H.L. Mencken

"You can lead a man to Congress, but you can't make him think." -Milton Berle

"If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?" -Unknown

That's it for today. I hope I got a smile out of you!

New Civilian Award Proposed for Parents Who Teach their Teenagers to Drive

I'll start this post off by pointing out that my wife taught our three sons how to drive.  By the time they were old enough to drive I ...