Saturday, March 6, 2021

The Shaman's Story: Iconic Rioter Interviewed on Online Edition of '60 Minutes'

The TV show 60 Minutes is featuring the profile of a very sick man whose become famous for being involved in the Jan.6 coup attempt.

One of the most iconic figures during the Capitol Hill assault was a wacko wearing horns and carrying a spear. His name is Jacob Chansley.

It was an interview that should never have happened.

The lawyer for the horned shaman is in hot water with a federal judge after facilitating an interview with 60 Minutes that violated federal rules.

U.S. District Court judge Royce Lamberth dressed down Al Watkins for using his privileges as a lawyer to arrange the interview for the online edition of 60 Minutes.

The main topic was Chansley's request to be released prior to his trial. The odds don't look too good for that happening now.

I wonder if the 60 Minutes producer was aware that Chansley's lawyer was violating federal rules?

I suspect the producer of the popular Sunday show knew it was a hinckey setup, but that it would bring dynamite ratings. Of course, that's all that mattered.

The show must go on.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Tip of the Iceberg: Trump Appointee Arrested for Being on Front Line of Capitol Assault

        Trump appointee  Federico "Freddy" Klein emerges from car to join riot.

Federico "Freddy" Klein
is the first Trump appointee directly connected to the failed coup attempt in the nation's capitol, but he won't be the last connection to Trump's attempt to subvert democracy.

The FBI announced today that Klein, a schedule-C political appointee who began working at the state department in 2017 in the office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs, was busted by a tipster and a couple of witnesses and is in jail.___________________________

(BREAKING NEWS! Freddy is complaining he has cockroaches in his cell. I'm not kidding. My question is how does he know they're cockroaches and not fellow Republicans?___________________________

According to the charges leveled against Klein, he "pushed his way to the front-left side of the crowd and to the doorway to the Capitol building, where he physically and verbally engaged with the officers holding the line, thereby affecting their ability to disperse the angry crowd."

Call it an educated guess, but Klein's exposure won't be the last of Trump affiliated insurgents who had a part in the Capitol insurrection.

Congress is investigating everyone involved, including GOP lawmakers who may have played a part in the riot.

If connections are found between rioters and lawmakers, authorities could obtain a warrant to see the communications.

While several investigations continue to look at all aspects of the Capitol siege, there's going to be more examples of lawmakers and past administration personnel involved. Including Trump himself.

Count on it. 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

GOP Opposition To COVID-19 Relief Bill: A Made-For-Conservative-Cable-TV-Farce

The scene: Members of The House of Representatives aren't meeting today because of threats against the Capitol by rabid Trump minions.


Republicans don't care that the majority of Americans want Biden's COVID-19 Relief Bill as evidenced by recent polling.

Because the measure is so popular with Americans, Republicans plan on dragging out the procedure in the Senate. 

By slowing down the process they hope to discredit its contents to extract some political gains and deprive Biden of a clean win.

This drama play comes at a time when unemployment benefits for millions of Americans is set to run out within days.

Leading the opposition is conspiracy wacko Sen. Ron Johnson

He plans on forcing clerks to read the whole 900-page bill - that will take 10 hours to read.

That's just for starters

Johnson then plans on pulling stunts throughout the process to thoroughly muddy the waters and stretch out debate with an array of procedural traps.

The reason for this opposition is the belief that the most reliable path to power relies on its own radical, activist base and providing soundbites to conservative media rather than adopting policies that may appeal to a broader group of more mainstream Americans.

The opposition to the bill comes from the same political cauldron as the effort by many Republicans to solidify the "Big Lie" that Trump was cheated out of power.

In the end Republicans have chosen to make any legislation a made-for-Conservative-Cable-Farce in honor of their defeated president.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

QAnon Believers Waiting For Signal From Trump Hotel That He's Now The 19th President

     Conspiracy Central, aka Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Ave.

Only QAnon believers are going to hear the signal from Trump's Pennsylvania Avenue hotel on March 4th.

The much-anticipated signal will be broadcast from Trump hotel where Trump will be inaugurated again.

You, and I, won't hear the deadly signal. Most Americans won't. That's because the signal is only happening in the tiny feverish brains of QAnon acolytes.

Those diehard minions of Trump are also looking for signs with hints of what's going to happen that day, and how. 

Why March 4th?

The reasoning is convoluted (no surprise there). 

Apparently some of the devout discovered that 75 years ago, the President used to be inaugurated on March 4th.

Okay. So how does this tidbit of history explain why Q wackos think Biden's going to disappear into thin air on that fateful day?

Strap yourself in, this is a crazy ride into an alternate reality where Trump's going to become the 19th president. 

The source of the insanity is borrowed from the discredited sovereign citizens movement that insists that a law enacted in 1871 secretly ended the United States government and turned the country over to the corporations.

That in turn means the last true president was Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president who was serving in 1871. 

Right now QAnon adherents are looking for validation and they recently received a sign from Conspiracy Central, aka Trump International Hotel.

Come one and all on March 3 and 4, the rooms are renting out like hotcakes!

Note: The least expensive room at the hotel comes with a king-sized bed with an opulent headboard topped with a gilded crown. It generally rents out from $476 to 596 per night.

However, because Trump loves his stupid followers he's charging them double, at $1,331 per night!

Because the loyal QAnon puppets are soaked in orange Kool aid, they think it's a good sign he raised his prices on that day, proving something special was going to happen.

They're right in one sense; that something special is their idol fleecing them!

Monday, March 1, 2021

CPAC's New Mission: Supporting Trump's Efforts To Suppress the Vote

I think Don Jr. was right when he called the gathering of the trolls "TPAC" in honor of his father.

It was unlike any other prior CPAC event because it was all about one man, not the future of the Republican Party.

One of Trump's central messages was that he was putting Republicans on notice that he intends to use grassroots to suppress the vote heading into the 2024 election.

Trump made it abundantly clear that he's out for revenge and he has a long list ranging from Republicans who don't support him to Joe Biden.

The last time Trump publicly used incendiary language like that was the day he encouraged a mob to attack the US Capitol and called for the execution of then vice-president Pence.

Despite being kicked out of the White House Trump's assault on the very foundation of our democracy continues.

How crazy was the event? Let's put it this way; Trump got his biggest applause when he refreshed the lie that he won in November.

The one symbol that will forever define the hate fest formerly known as CPAC was the golden statue of Trump in the lobby.

The attendees came to worship one man, not the Republican Party. 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Trump's 4 Years of Vilifying American Journalists Has Taken a Toll

Journalists have always faced the possibility of violence when covering news events, but after four years of Trump claiming reporters were the enemy of the people it's gotten worse.

Images of angry men and women desecrating "The People's House," was a natural progression after years of Trump's attacks on American institutions.

Alexander Marquardt, CNN's senior national security correspondent watched the riot in horror.

After returning to the U.S. in 2018 after a decade of covering hot spots like Egypt, Libya and Turkey, Marquardt said he never felt so vulnerable than he did on Jan 6th.

It's a sad fact that journalists around the world are facing more threats and intimidation, according to several studies.

It's also true that many American journalists are attacked by the police during demonstrations.

Take Linda Tirado who was covering a protest in Minneapolis. She was shot in the face by police with a "less-lethal" munition.

The incident last summer left her blind in one eye.

She said that she was not the victim of an accident, but a conspiracy, involving city leaders, police, and recently retired union boss (and Trump rally speaker) Bob Kroll to tolerate rank-and-file officers targeting the press.

She filed a court case and the judge has given it the "go-ahead."

Trip Jennings, who has worked for PBS and National Geographic, told Insider last June - just weeks after Linda Tirado was shot - that he believes he was likewise targeted by Portland law enforcement officers with a less-lethal round.

Fortunately for Jennings he was wearing protective eyewear.

As a journalist I can relate to these stories of abuse. It pisses me off that Trump has made things so much worse for my collogues.

It's going to take a lot of court cases and new laws protecting journalists for things to improve.

Meanwhile, keep your heads down my friends, and continue to do your very necessary work.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Republicans Gather for Grievance Event: Pity Party Includes Kissing Trump's Ring

This morning conservative commentators, activists, and conspiracy mongers are gathering in Orlando, Florida.

The occasion is the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Traditionally the Republican Party uses the event to plot their direction forward. This year however, is different.

The gathering of the tribe involves discarding traditional conservative goals and promoting one man as their supreme leader. This weekend is going to be no different that the usual Trump rally, but it's going to last longer.

The party leadership is going to be busy kissing Trump's ring... and ass, in a craven display of servitude.

The Republican Trump Party have been animated the last four years by rage, grievance and above all - fealty to Trump. 

The former president, who was impeached twice, will have a compliant audience. Recent polls shop the majority of Republicans falsely believe the election was stolen.

Based upon the programs listed the conference appears to be less about mapping the party's future than relitigating its past.

The bottom line is the event is going to be more of a pity party than an actionable way forward. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Lady Gaga's Dogs Stolen in Broad Daylight: Nationwide Dog Walkers Are At Risk

The pantheon of dangerous jobs in America has just expanded to include dog walkers.

Lady Gaga's dog walker was shot four times in the chest while taking her beloved canines for their daily walk yesterday.

Apparently two men in baseball caps approached Ryan Fischer and shot him before stealing Lady Gaga's French bull dogs, Koji, Miss Asia, and Gustav.

Miss Asia somehow escaped and was discovered later by the police.

When police arrived at the scene Fischer was unconscious. He was rushed to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

Why did those two men go to such an extreme to steal the dogs?

One thing is for sure, French bulldogs are notoriously expensive to buy. At this point, no one knows if it was a random attack, or if the thieves knew it was Lady Gaga's dogs.

Lady Gaga is offering a $500,000 reward for the return of the dogs with "no questions asked" according to news reports.

The whole incident highlights a very real problem that is increasing daily: Bulldog thefts nationwide.

Read: The Rise of French Bulldog Theft: What You need to Know and Solve

Watch: CRIME ALERT video: Dog Held For Ransom

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Political Disinformation on Trial

Finally, there's going to be an accounting for spreading lies and conspiracy theories in politics.

Pushed too far, the voting technology companies Dominion and Smartmatic have both brought libel actions against former president Trump's allies and attorneys, along with Fox News for spreading harmful untruths and conspiracy theories about the companies' roll in the 2020 election.

Yesterday Dominion announced it's suing Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow, for 1.3 billion over his baseless accusations of election fraud.

Disinformation is on trial

In recent years, libel law has been weaponized to generate publicity, to score political points and to extract revenge on critics.

These actions either have been dismissed or are highly unlikely to succeed on the merits as they go forward.

Smartmatic is suing a number of parties - Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, as well as Fox News and hosts Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, and Jeanine Pirro.

It's important to note that these cases come at a time of growing concern about the roll of disinformation in American politics.

They could be consequential. If successful, the cases will set a new standard for truth telling. Something this country desperately needs.

Facts are facts. Fiction is fiction. The two don't co-mingle.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

How Did This Happen? Lawmakers Examine Capitol Riot

What led to the coup attempt at the nation's capitol by Trump and his followers?

Lawmakers today are questioning law enforcement officials reactions to the riot.

Here's a Live link to the hearing

The hearing Today before a pair of senate committees will include testimony from three officials who resigned after rioters disrupted the joint sessions of Congress, imperiling lawmakers and Vice-President Mike Pence, who was presiding over the vote count that cemented Joe Biden's win over Trump.

The joint hearing before the Rules Committee and the Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee is expected to focus on why officials weren't better prepared for the attack and why it took so long to repel the mob from a building that had been considered one of the most secure in the world.

The hearing is just the beginning in understanding what happened on January 6th as there will be other hearings (federal and civil) in the near future.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Trump's Worst Nightmare Comes True: Supreme Court Clears The Way For NY Prosecutors

After years of fighting in court to keep his tax records secret the Supreme Court cleared the way for their release today.

What this means

The grand jury investigation in Manhattan will no longer be hampered by Trump's fight to keep the documents secret.

District Attorney Cyrus Vance finally has the tools to take down the former president.

Trump's kingmaking activities are threatened by the very real possibility of going to prison.

The Republican Party is going to be thrown in further chaos with Trump's dilemma as his minions scramble to support him.

The grand jury subpoenas span documents from January 2011 to August 2019, including his tax returns, from Trump's long time accounting firm, Mazars.

Trump has managed to use the courts to protect his corruption from being revealed for years. But that avenue has finally been blocked by the Supreme Court.

Now it's time for justice to prevail.

There's a New Reality in America: The Threats Artificial Intelligence Poses

For over 100 years science fiction writers have written about robots, cyborgs, and artificial intelligence (AI) . Their fictional musings ...