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!

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Discussion: Are Republican Politicians and Activists Above the Law?

Let's start with the
 former grifter-in-chief.

Trump has got away with being impeached twice (a feat no other American president has accomplished).

Despite numerous investigations into his political and private life (for decades), Trump is still not behind bars. 

Above the law? Why? How?

Not far down the list there's people like Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who has recently refused a prosecutor's demand for his records of appearances at a pro-Trump rally that preceded the assault on the Capitol.

Paxton has a history of putting himself above the law. In 2020, eight of Paxton's top deputies accused him of bribery, abuse of office and other crimes in the service of a supporter.

Most of the time Paxton has been in office he's faced a separate felony indictment. He pleaded not guilty to three state securities fraud charges but has yet to face trial.

The FBI has been investigating those charges. For two years! Still nothing. Why? Is he above the law? It sure seems like it.

Republican right-wing activists joined at the hip to Republican politicians, are gleefully refusing to answer subpoenas from the Jan. 6 Committee.

Trolls Traitors like Steve Bannon, Alex Jones, Roger Stone, Kevin McCarthy, Mark Meadows, Steven Miller, Kayleigh McEnany, Daniel Scavino, Kashyap Patel, Rudy Giuliani, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Jeffrey Clark, John Eastman, Michael Flynn, Bernard Kerik, Jason Miller, William Stepien and Jeffrey Clark, are bragging and fundraising on their obstruction to respond to the committee's requests and subpoenas.

There're fifty more individuals who haven't responded yet, as many of them are negotiating with the committee.

Only two of the rogue's gallery above have been referred to the DOJ for criminal contempt. Steve Bannon and Jeffrey Clark.

There's still no word (they were turned over to him last year) from Attorney General Merrick Garland on what the two men's fate will be. Does this mean they too are going to get away with their defiance?

The big question is why Trump and his minions have not paid a price for their illegal activities?

It's been a year since the coup attempt at the Capitol and there's still ongoing efforts to rig future elections by the same bad actors listed above.

Thus far, almost all the miscreates are still free to attack our democracy. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

How A One-Time Hero Turned into a Traitor

He was perhaps the most famous law enforcement official in America once. 

He was the bane of New York's organized crime families and Wall Street crooks. In 1989, he stepped down after six years as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York 

He was the hero of 9/11.

They called him America's mayor.

Queen Elizabeth II named him a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for supporting bereaved British families in New York.

The man I'm talking about is Rudy Giuliani, a washed-up lawyer in the 21st century with no moral direction. A drunkard who hitched his destiny to the most corrupt president America has ever seen. 


                 He's also a traitor.

Trump campaign officials, led by Giuliani, oversaw efforts in December 2020 to put forward illegitimate electors from seven states that Trump lost, according to the Jan. 6 Select Committee.

Giuliani and his allies coordinated the nuts and bolts of a plan to overthrow President Biden's victory. 

The scheme involved using fake electors in seven swing states to stop the counting of electoral votes by Vice President Pence on Jan. 6. The real electors were to be thrown out.

It was part of a larger plot that involved churning out reams of misinformation and outright lies about the election being stolen.

His efforts to throw out election results, coupled with right-wing propaganda campaigns like "Stop the Steal" exposed Giuliani for what he's been reduced to ...a stinking traitor. 

You have to wonder what happened to him? How he could have gone so wrong? The answer is, of course, he hooked up with Donald Trump.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

You Are Now Entering the Nation of Florida

Welcome!

I'm your guide to the new nation of Florida.

The now alt-right sanctioned state is an authoritarian's dream under the current dictator Ron DeSantis.

You'll be pleased to hear that a bill to protect vulnerable white students was recently introduced by "Lil" Caesar DeSantis. It would prohibit Florida's public schools and private businesses (Say what?) from making people feel uncomfortable or "guilty" based on their race, sex or national origin.

In other words, history classes are going to have to ignore large portions of our American journey because strongman DeSantis can't handle the truth about anything.

The first step was taken last June when DeSantis ordered the Florida Department of Education to say critical race theory (CRT) cannot be taught in schools.

I know. It was never taught in Florida public schools but it's a favorite claim among the alt-right crowd, and you can count on other actions being taken - like banning books for instance. Needless to say, new families are welcome in this authoritarian paradise.

Don't like CDC COVID rules? You've come to the right place. DeSantis and cronies have pushed back on any regulations regarding safety for the public. And get this, you can find a lineup of alternate cures for COVID from bleach to ivermectin in local stores.

Still want to hear more about what we offer in Florida?

Tighten your seatbelt. When it comes to voter suppression you've found the state (a nation of its own) that offers numerous obstacles to disenfranchise black voters.

Shades of Old Dixie! That's what brewing for future elections as DeSantis works on putting together a police force to monitor election activities and to change the ballot results when necessary.

Don't worry. The madman who thinks he's a demi-god has even bigger plans for Florida. His own militia. Who needs the National Guard that abide by state and federal rules? DeSantis's army will only answer to him. 

Pretty exciting, eh?

Imagine living where a jet set of trolls, the who's who of Trump world, and crooked politician's come to vacation year around? You can submerge yourself in new realities where democrats don't exist.

Have a great day and I hope you enjoy your stay.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Dead Bill Walking: Voting Rights Legislation Fails in Senate

It was a bad day for democracy.

The voting rights bill never had a chance. 

Trump Republicans were in lockstep, like zombies mindlessly and viciously overwhelming a school board.

Trump might as well have been sitting in a corner of the senate floor on a throne festooned with the spines of Republican senators.

A debate was held. Kinda. What really happened was a litany of fairytales pushed by Trump's Republicans who all were reading from the same seditious script. 

The Democrats kept pointing out reality. They appealed to their fellow senators by pointing out the days when they had spines and really wanted everyone to be able to vote.

Shame didn't work on the shameless. They hid their embarrassment behind the Big Lie - the only thing that matters now among the once party of conservatives.

The fact that Democrats brought up the vote - despite knowing it was a dead bill walking because of Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema's opposition - was an act of pure desperation.

The progressives in the party wanted to see something done about voting rights now. Not next year, or the year after. 

So, the show went on. As the hours labored away it was like watching a soap opera with each senator trying to give an award-winning speech that would melt the other sides opposition away like molten wax.

There was never a debate. The outcome was all but set in concrete. It was performance art spurred by political calculations on both sides. 

It was an example of the theatre of the absurd where the play focuses on what happens when human existence lacks meaning, or purpose and communications break down.

An effort to protect American's voting rights was squashed by a gaggle of gutless GOP senators who fear Trump more than anything in this world.

The whole thing was high drama performed by politicians who secretly pine to be movie stars.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

A Modern-Day Pandora's Box is About to Open and There's Going to be Some Red Faces!

Before getting to the heart of this post I think it might be helpful to explain who Pandora was in Greek mythology.

She was the first human woman created by Hephaestus on the instructions of Zeus.

Basically, what happened is she opened a forbidden box (also described as a jar) releasing all the evils of humanity.

Ghislaine Maxwell who was Jeffrey Epstein's accomplice in sex trafficking with minors, has been convicted and faces up to 65 years in prison.

Up until just recently she has been protecting the identities of seven individuals named in the case.

Her attorney told the court Friday that, "After careful review of the detailed objections submitted by Non-Party Does 17, 53, 54, 55, 73, 93 and 151, we no longer have any objections to publicly naming them."

Oh boy! I wonder who those folks are?

Some of the names I've seen floating around are famous (or infamous). Donald J. Trump. Bill Clinton. Alan Dershowitz, and Prince Andrew. 

At the moment Prince Andrew finds himself being tried for having sex with a minor, as a civilian. Mom pulled all of his royal titles and gently pushed his lying ass out the door to the courts.

What do you want to bet Trump, Clinton, and Dershowitz will be named? Possible trouble lies ahead there.

Frankly, I'm not sure if it'll even faze Teflon Trump's popularity whose known for grabbing pussies anyway. 

But Billy, who still carries around his bad boy creds from his fling with Monica Lewinsky, may face a new round of sex accusations with minors.

As for Dershowitz, he's busy defending "Stop the Stealers" and other Trump minions. I expect he'll just lie and sue if he gets called in for fondling young girls.

As for the remaining "Does" there may be some surprises there yet.

Who knows? As a bonus, Maxwell may even try to cut off years of her sentence by testifying against some of the cretins I mentioned earlier.

About Precious Time in Our Lives

Overheard; " There's not enough time in the day." And   "Time is moving faster as I grow older." Then I read that,  ...