My man, Don McGahn

Don McGahn, Trump’s first White House lawyer, is a dedicated conservative who was largely responsible for the selection and lifetime appointments of Messrs Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. After Trump fired FBI director Comey, for refusing to commit to personal loyalty to the president and for not dropping the “Flynn Thing” (Mike Flynn’s illegal contacts with Russia that he lied about), the DOJ appointed a Special Counsel to investigate numerous connections between the Trump campaign and Russia and Trump’s suspicious loyalty to Vladimir Putin, a foreign leader who had openly (and secretly) helped Trump win the “close” election of 2016.

During his famous Oval Office reaction to the news of Robert Mueller’s appointment as Special Counsel, Trump said “this is the end of my presidency, I’m fucked!” according to sworn witnesses. You can look it up. Trump was outraged at this intrusion on to his unlimited executive powers. Partisan witch hunt was a common cry, conducted by “sick and dangerous individuals” who he would punish when the time was right. After a moment of self-pity Trump exploded at his team for letting this witch hunt start in the first place, and his vendetta against the loyal, but not loyal enough, Jeff Sessions began in earnest.

Members of Trump’s inner circle lied to Mueller’s investigators, in exchange for the promise of a pardon from the big guy, which they got. Mueller found 140 instances of coordination, working together, direct communication, collusion, between members of Trump’s campaign and the Russian government, a foreign actor who worked tirelessly to swing the election to Trump. Mueller found there was no doubt of the ongoing collusion, which is not a legal term, but that there was “insufficient evidence” of a criminal conspiracy. Mueller also noted evidence had been withheld and numerous witnesses had lied to him. Hence Barr’s finding of “no collusion” and the announcement that Mueller had “exonerated” Trump of all wrong-doing.

When Mueller started digging he encountered so much lying from Trump’s people, the president’s refusal to answer even written questions his lawyers had agreed to have him answer, defiance of every subpoena and numerous other maneuvers to avoid production of evidence that he began to investigate Trump’s apparent obstruction of justice. One of the ten instances Mueller gave to illustrate what appeared to have been a consistent pattern of obstruction (a substantial pattern that did not allow Mueller to exonerate Trump, even if he also couldn’t directly accuse him of — per DOJ memo about accusing a sitting president of a crime — Mueller took that extra step– if he can’t be prosecuted, it’s unfair to accuse him) involved White House counsel Don McGahn.

At one point Trump asked McGahn to fire Mueller. McGahn advised the president that firing the Special Counsel investigating obstruction of justice would look bad, could bite him hard. As McGahn told Mueller’s investigators, he’d refused to fire Mueller, consulted his own lawyer, packed up his office and wrote a letter of resignation to Trump. Trump didn’t accept McGahn’s resignation, instead asking him to write a memo stating that they had never discussed firing Mueller. McGahn revealed all this, under oath, to Mueller’s investigators.

When Congress sent McGahn a subpoena to appear before a committee looking into impeaching Trump, McGahn filed a federal suit seeking a ruling on whether Congress had the right to subpoena him, whether such a subpoena would violate attorney-client privilege and any other defense to giving testimony that he could think of. The suit dragged on for a couple of years, long past both Trump impeachments. The predictable delay prevented McGahn from giving public testimony that could have seriously hurt his demanding, sometimes lawless, former client. While nothing McGahn did was illegal, it certainly fits into Trump’s pattern of doing everything possible to obstruct any investigation into anything he has ever done.

Recently McGahn agreed to testify in Congress, behind closed doors, with his own lawyer, and Trump’s lawyer, in the room. According to the deal he struck with those who had subpoenaed him years earlier he would not answer anything outside of the scope of what he had revealed to Mueller under oath. I started reading the transcript of his testimony, which was released in its 240 page entirety the other day. I made it to page 8 where I read:

In a nation of angry, divided, freaked out citizens, this McGahn shit is a dead letter, ancient history, irrelevant, Trump already got away with obstruction of justice, and nobody is going to do anything about his incitement to riot, we’ve seen it a hundred times over now — he publicly did many things far worse than asking his lawyer to lie for him and make a written record of the lie.

Moderate Merrick Garland’s DOJ is so far following up on all of Barr’s objections to investigations into Trump’s monkeyshines. No public disclosure of Barr’s lying, falsely classified memo, we appeal the judge’s ruling, no prosecution of Trump and Barr for using teargas, horses and batons against a peaceful protest for Trump’s photo op, we move to dismiss the lawsuit, no penalty for a president defaming a private citizen “during the scope of his duties,” we appeal the denial of our right to substitute ourselves for the former president in this lawsuit according to federal law.

I may be the only person, certain the only poor bastard I know, who is wondering “what the fuck?!” as I read the words from the McGahn transcript “although this interview is not under oath” you’re still not allowed to lie, you know.

My only hope, I think, is that my head will explode before too much longer. We live in Berlin 1932 and we are watching the principled, decent, reasonable, elected Weimar government let the angry right call all the shots, many of them based on outright, easily demonstrable lies. Alternative facts, driving new laws that could help Trump loyalists overturn the next election, if Americans turn out in large numbers to vote the wrong way again, next time. What could fucking go wrong?

You can say “seig heil!” can’t you you? I know you can.

Right Wing Billionaire At Work

A guy like Rupert Murdoch doesn’t even have to try. You just put it out there under the banner of the newspaper you own, the one with the fourth largest circulation of any US newspaper (as of 2019, anyway) et, voila, millions influenced! Tulsa “massacre” a hundred years ago? BULLSHIT. Biden’s a liar like the rest of them, trying to divide us with hate.

This one you have to see to believe, the clip is less than two minutes long. It is not remarkable because the claims of the Post are incendiary, or because of clever editing of the president’s remarks or the heavy laying on of editorial spin. It is amazing because they don’t even bother, the title does all the work — read the headline and you’ve digested the story. Case closed, fucking Biden’s a divisive liar.

What is divisive, according to Murdoch, is presumably the president’s assertion that politicians in most states are trying to restrict the right to vote. He’s presumably lying when he falsely claims that voting is an essential right of democracy. Maybe Biden was lying when he called the orgy of racially motivated mass-murder in Tulsa a “massacre”, rather than the more popular, race-neutral “riot” usually applied to uprisings (real or imagined) of Black people.

Biden’s divisive and false Tulsa speech

I know it gets tedious, me constantly trying to bring facts and reason into a conversation where hot-blooded patriots are ready to kill as many fellow citizens as it takes to avoid their worst nightmares, where a single lie does the work of all of your so-called libraries, all your maddening so-called facts. A violent mob doesn’t need the truth, they need the fuse lit.

In Tulsa, one hundred years ago, a false accusation against 19 year-old Black man Dick Rowland lit the fuse. Rowland’s crime? He’d gone to use the only colored bathroom in segregated downtown Tulsa, and in the elevator, he supposedly made a seventeen year-old white girl, Sarah Page, who was operating the elevator, shriek.

What happened next remains murky, according to historians and reports about one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history. Rowland may have accidentally stepped on Page’s foot, prompting her to shriek. Or tripped and bumped into her.

When the elevator doors reopened, Dick Rowland ran, and a clerk in Renberg’s called police.

Rowland was arrested and accused of assaulting a White girl. Though the charges were eventually dropped and Page later wrote a letter exonerating him, the accusation was enough to infuriate White Tulsa.

Three hours after the Tulsa Tribune hit the street with the headline “Nab Negro for Attacking Girl in Elevator,” hundreds of White men gathered at the Tulsa courthouse, where Rowland was being held.

Black World War I veterans who wanted to protect Rowland from being lynched rushed to the courthouse to defend him. A shot was fired and “all hell broke loose,” a massacre survivor recalled later.

“As the whites moved north, they set fire to practically every building in the African American community, including a dozen churches, five hotels, 31 restaurants, four drug stores, eight doctor’s offices, more than two dozen grocery stores, and the Black public library,” according to a 2001 report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. “By the time the violence ended, the city had been placed under martial law, thousands of Tulsans were being held under armed guard, and the state’s second-largest African American community had been burned to the ground.”

source

All hell broke loose, indeed.

The white lynch mob went on an eighteen-hour rampage, a pogrom, during which, with the assistance of law enforcement, they murdered a few hundred blacks while burning down a 35 block black neighborhood in Tulsa. The mob employed airplanes to drop incendiary devices on buildings and American citizens. Whites were deputized to join the free-for-all arrest and murder of hundreds of Black citizens, people not even accused of any crime, outside of being “n-words” with no rights a white mob was bound to respect. Virtually every home in Greenwood was destroyed, along with dozens of prosperous black-owned businesses. Thousands were left homeless, the area, reduced to smoldering rubble, looked like a city ravaged by American fire bombs in World War Two. The thousands of Tulsans detained under armed guard after the massacre were all, coincidentally, Black. The brutality of the attack is sickening to read about. The exact number of dead is impossible to reckon, bodies were dumped in the river, the sites of mass graves are still being searched for, a hundred years later. No member of the murderous mob was ever arrested, tried or convicted of anything [1].

Black men in Tulsa are marched under armed guard during the race massacre on June 1, 1921. (Department of Special Collections/McFarlin Library/University of Tulsa/AP)

Dick Rowland, the intended victim of the original lynch mob, was not among the murdered Blacks.

While smoke still rose from the ashes of Greenwood, Tulsa’s sheriff, Willard McCullough, and his deputy, Barney Cleaver, one of the first Black lawmen in Oklahoma, hustled Dick Rowland out of town.

source

Though witnesses and memory can be unreliable, particularly years after the fact, we have this:

Ellouise Cochrane-Price, the daughter of massacre survivor Clarence Rowland and a cousin of Dick Rowland, claims Dick and Sarah not only knew each other before he stepped on the elevator but were in love and were planning to defy Oklahoma’s ban on interracial marriage.

“They were planning on getting married,” she told an audience at the Oklahoma Black Caucus gala last month. “They had spent many Sundays over my grandma’s house, at family dinners.”

When the White mob gathered outside the Tulsa courthouse, she said, “the mayor, the sheriff and the marshal were aware that Dick had not attacked Sarah. There had been no attempted rape of any kind. However, that information was not given up or not received by the mob that was gathered to hang Dick Rowland.”

In September 1921, the charges against Dick Rowland were dropped, according to records.

Charles Franklin Barrett, the Oklahoma National Guard adjutant general whose troops were called into Tulsa during the rampage, concluded the massacre was caused by “an impudent Negro, a hysterical girl and a yellow journal.”

source

Now as Rupert Murdoch and his fellow yellow journalists and right-wing entertainers claim — we have that deranged, violent demagogue Biden, digging up this ancient filth, dividing and lying to this great nation, and smearing our good name with feces and calling our finest white citizens the descendants of murderous racists. How are we supposed to heal when insane, doddering, “woke”, “politically correct” old men like that are divisively and lyingly picking at long closed scabs? The past is called the past because it’s in the fucking past. Jesus… what don’t you pathetic history-citing eggheads not understand about how the world actually works?

[1]

Outside of the corrupt Tulsa chief of police, who lost his job for “negligence” in not stopping the massacre, often called the “riot”:

[John A.] Gustafson was found to have a long history of fraud pre-dating his membership of the Tulsa Police Department. His previous partner in his detective agency, Phil Kirk, had been convicted of blackmail.[123] Gustafson’s fake detective agency ran up high billings on the police account. Investigators noted that many blackmail letters had been sent to members of the community from the agency. One particularly disturbing case involved the frequent rape, by her father, of an 11-year-old girl who had since become pregnant. Instead of prosecuting, they sent a “Blackhand letter.”[124] On July 30, 1921, out of five counts of an indictment, Gustafson was found guilty of two counts: negligence for failing to stop the riot (which resulted in dismissal from police force), and conspiracy for freeing automobile thieves and collecting rewards (which resulted in a jail sentence).[125]

source

No skin off my nose, pal

As the narrator of this tale, or the plaintiff in a related medical malpractice nuisance suit, I have the great advantage that you won’t need to squint or strain to see the fingernail sized permanent divot on the bridge of my nose. You can see what I’m peeved about at a glance, even in low light.

This lifetime scar gives me instant credibility as the teller of this particular story, and a bit of pathos too. Juries like pathos, if they shudder to imagine having been subjected to the same thing the plaintiff was forced to undergo.

It’s always a mistake, of course, to believe that a gratuitous scar on one’s face, inflicted by a doctor who has not performed the medical procedure he prescribed, the one authorized by insurance, is a legally cognizable injury.

Let the lawyers fight it out, I say.

“Is this scar going to fill in?” I asked the confident doctor three weeks after the surgery, a single gouge deep into the bridge of my nose, to remove a basal cell invisible to the naked eye, a large round wound which was then cauterized instead of stitched.

“No, that’s about as good as it’s going to look,” he said, with admirable candor.

My next question was based on the four or five previous Mohs surgeries I’d had to remove much more visible, deeper, more advanced basal cells (the most benign form of skin cancer). Each of these surgeries had taken several hours, as opposed to the 30 minute procedure his surgeon had done on my nose.

“I was supposed to have Mohs surgery, which removes one thin layer at a time to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible and minimize scarring. Your surgeon basically took a small, sharp ice cream scoop and scooped out all the surrounding tissue in one pass, down to the cartilage,” I said.

“Yes,” said the doctor. In that moment I didn’t have the presence of mind to say anything more. I suppose my psychic efforts were focused on not cauterizing the good doctor’s nose right then.

The doctor’s attitude about the prominent scar in the middle of my face was a slightly impatient “no skin off my nose, pal.” His body language said “are we done here? Any more rhetorical questions?” He thought for a moment then told me about a powerful prescription cream that reduces scarring.

“But your insurance won’t pay for it,” he told me a moment later. The kindly doc then sent his nurse off to find a few of the free sample tubes the pharmaceutical company rep had left him a case of. The cream, which came with no instructions except his nurse’s “apply in a very thin layer”, seemed to irritate the scar which became increasingly uncomfortable until I stopped using the stuff.

In the debate over “socialized” medicine we often hear the critique about the “rationing” of medical care not provided on a competitive, profit-driven “free market” basis. Healthcare, in Communist nations like Great Britain, Canada, Japan, France, etc. is rationed, we are told, because everyone is presumed to be equal when it comes to health care and so there is often a line for some procedures. While it’s true that the wealthy can skip the lines, even in those countries, by going to a private doctor, health care for most is still “rationed”. Here, under our system, the level of care you are “entitled” to is rationed by your ability to pay a monthly health insurance premium. The more you pay, the higher the quality of care you are entitled to, the less rationing you will be subject to.

Here in America every doctor, even the kind orthopedist I’ve visited a couple of times for the arthritis in my knees, knows exactly the level of your insurance coverage as you sit discussing medical options. “Unfortunately, your insurance won’t pay for it, though it works very well to keep the knee pain-free for six months or so while you strengthen the surrounding muscles,” she said of an injection she proposed. She nodded when I told her I’d be on Medicare soon, hopefully. Medicare will absolutely pay for the shot, she told me with a smile.

A cardiologist, who revealed himself as a mask-shunning Trumpist during the pandemic, billed almost $12,000 for each of the four procedures I had on veins in my calves. He’d told me confidently “your insurance will cover it.” My insurance paid him almost half. Not a bad hour’s work for those first three veins. I had a mirthless laugh when I got my “Explanation of Benefits” for the fourth and final venous ablation. He’d billed $12,000 and received zero. His office, apparently, had failed to renew the authorization to be paid. I guess their lawyers will have to fight it out, and good for them both.

A doctor working for a patient with low-cost health insurance (dictated under the ACA according to your declared income, the only choice a low-income patient has is to accept the offered insurance or reject it — and have none), knows exactly how much of the amount his office bills will be paid by the insurance company. This dermatologist motherfucker had every incentive, based on the small fraction of his billed Mohs surgery fee he’d receive, to get me in and out of his office as quickly as possible. Thus incentivized, I was in and out quickly. Even though the surgeon couldn’t see the tiny spot he was supposed to remove.

He called in the dermatologist for a quick consultation, they looked at the photos of the two biopsies (the second had been necessary because the first was done in haste) and concluded it was there, just next to that broken blood vessel. I had a strong reflex to hesitate, as if in a moment of precognition.

“If you can’t see it clearly, I’d rather wait a few months until it’s visible,” I said with mild panic, knowing that these slowly growing cells can be there for a long time with no terrible effect. The confident dermatologist told me that they concurred, knew exactly where the basal cell was and that there was no need to put off the surgery. Like a schmuck, I sat back and let the surgeon hurry to gouge out the entire surrounding area, taking out a circle of healthy tissue to ensure he got the basal cell.

I was in and out of the office in just over a half hour, less time than even the first phase of Mohs surgery usually takes, as I know from experience, having had the procedure now five times out of six. Cah-ching.

As for Dr. “No Skin off My Nose”, what are the odds that a patient with a scarred face, given one more small scar for good measure (and to maximize the good doctor’s billable hours) will have the ability to coherently make a case that a doctor who prescribed surgery A, had that surgery (as well as a skin graft to minimize the scar) authorized by the patient’s insurance and then provides surgery B, including the burning of the flesh around the unnecessarily large wound, deserves a little shit, from his medical ethics board and a payment from his malpractice insurance carrier for the nuisance he inflicted (I have pain at the site of the surgery months later, in addition to the small crater) to the guy whose nose he brutalized?

It may take me a little while longer, but this slick, confident operator needs his smug fucking face cauterized too, just a little. No? After all, it is really no skin off my nose.

On the other hand, WTF?

At 11 pm last night, in the last hour to do so, Merrick Garland’s DOJ appealed a federal judge’s order to produce the full nine page memo that Bill Barr “disingenuously” classified as a protected, deliberative memo he used to make his decision to dismiss the findings of the Mueller Report. The judge, who’d read the memo, ruled that it had been produced as a mere a rationale, for the decision Barr was determined to make regarding the Mueller Report since auditioning for the Attorney General job. Curiously, and shedding doubt on Barr’s story, it was dated the same day Barr wrote his immediate, misleading letter to Congress about Mueller’s findings.

Think back through the intense shit storm that was Trump’s term as president. After Mr. Trump’s cruel disappointment with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his first mainstream supporter, who, with complete disregard for his duty of loyalty to the president, honored an DOJ ethics ruling and recused himself from supervising the investigation into a matter he’d lied about his involvement in, the president got a beautiful audition memo from William Pelham Barr.

Barr’s position in the legal memo was that Mueller’s witch hunt was basically illegal from the git-go and that the AG, under current law, could therefore dismiss its findings. Trump loved it and hired Barr (who had both gravitas and experience in creatively covering up likely presidential crimes, as he had at the end of the George HW Bush administration) to take over from Sessions’s interim replacement, an angry weight lifter in over his head.

Barr distorted the findings of the Mueller Investigation (which concluded they could not exonerate Trump on ten counts of Obstruction of Justice), essentially carrying out his promise to Mr. Trump (quid pro… never mind). Recently a federal judge found that the memo he’d classified, a supposedly “deliberative” memo (again, prepared the same day as Barr’s misleading letter to Congress announcing that Mueller had basically exonerated Trump) was, in fact, a legal fig leaf to give the illusion of deliberation to a decision Barr had made before Trump hired him. “Disingenuous,” wrote Judge Amy Berman Jackson, ruling that the DOJ must produce the full memo — or appeal it by midnight May 25 (George Floyd Day).

In the last hour available to do so, Merrick Garland’s DOJ appealed the judge’s decision that the DOJ must produce the un-redacted memo. The DOJ released the first one and a half pages of the nine page memo, followed by seven and a half black pages.

Scroll to the bottom of the black pages of the memo and you are rewarded with this, the top of the un-readacted final page:

What the fuck?

Take it, Grey Lady:

“Although the special counsel recognized the unfairness of levying an accusation against the president without bringing criminal charges, the report’s failure to take a position on the matters described therein might be read to imply such an accusation if the confidential report were released to the public,” wrote Steven A. Engel and Edward C. O’Callaghan, two senior Trump-era Justice Department officials [in the last paragraph of the un-redacted section of the Barr DOJ’s controversial memo — ed]

The Mueller report itself — which Mr. Barr permitted to become public [1] weeks after his letter to Congress had created an impression that the fruits of Mr. Mueller’s inquiry cleared Mr. Trump of obstruction — detailed multiple actions by Mr. Trump that many legal specialists say were clearly sufficient to ask a grand jury to consider indicting him for obstruction of justice.

Those actions included attempting to bully his White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, into falsifying a record to cover up an earlier attempt by Mr. Trump to fire Mr. Mueller, and dangling a potential pardon at Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, to encourage him not to cooperate with investigators.

The new Justice Department filing also apologized for and defended its Barr-era court filings about the memo, which Judge Amy Berman Jackson had labeled “disingenuous,” saying that they could have been written more clearly but were nevertheless accurate….

“The government acknowledges that its briefs could have been clearer, and it deeply regrets the confusion that caused,” the Justice Department said. “But the government’s counsel and declarants did not intend to mislead the court, and the government respectfully submits” that any missteps still did not warrant releasing the entire memo.

Mr. Barr’s claim — which he made weeks before releasing the Mueller public [sic] — that the evidence gathered showed that Mr. Trump did not commit a chargeable offense of obstruction has been widely criticized as deeply misleading.

source

What the bloody hell?

See? Completely partisan witch hunt!

[1]

Would it not have been more accurate, NY Times, rather than this:

which Mr. Barr permitted to become public weeks after his letter to Congress had created an impression that the fruits of Mr. Mueller’s inquiry cleared Mr. Trump of obstruction

to state:

that Mr. Barr prevented publication of, including Mueller’s executive summaries, for weeks after he misleadingly dismissed the findings?

Nazi fucks among us: Mitch McConnell edition (with a side dish of Kevin McCarthy hock)

Talk about unprincipled, one-trick, power-mad, right-wing piles of dreck ready to weaponize any lie, no matter how transparently dangerous, to keep the millions from big donors coming in, to fund campaigns nationwide to regain (with the help of Manchin and Synema) intricately gerrymandered Republican majorities in both Houses in 2022 and another Electoral College presidency in 2024 (we’ve had two of those, Dubya and Trump, since 2000).

“Frankly, we’d rather see every average American slowly choke to death, or shoot himself, and every child in poverty die of starvation, than work with the hated opposition and give them anything they could call ‘bipartisan’ or a popular policy victory. Those evil Democrat [sic] radicals only pretend to be bipartisan, so they can steal from us! If retaking power (and then immediately ending the filibuster) requires publicly gang-banging an implacable Liz Cheney, Daughter of Satan, on the floor of Congress, so be it. Whatever it takes — by any means necessary, as an infamous Black guy once said.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch... - Congressman Adam Schiff | Facebook

Same position McConnell took while shamelessly hamstringing Obama, with the stated goal of making him a one-term president. In spite of his firm commitment to obstructing everything the evil Biden administration tries to do, Mitch is being attacked by hopping mad MAGA man, for being too weak to overturn the election results back in January:

For his part, the former president today attacked Cheney, and also Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and former Vice President Mike Pence, whom Trump blamed for refusing to stop Biden’s election.

Far from abandoning the Big Lie, Trump doubled down on it, insisting that the 2020 election was fraudulent. If only Pence and McConnell had been stronger, he wrote, “we would have had a far different Presidential result, and our Country would not be turning into a socialist nightmare!”

He ended with words that proved right the concern that he will continue to back attacks on our government: “Never give up!” he wrote.

source

Moral Monday To Stop McConnell's Misery, Meanness, & Mayhem — Repairers of  the Breach

Thinking about another, much less historically consequential contemporary Nazi fuck, I’m looking forward to House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy perjuring himself when called to testify before the January 6 Commission. To remain consistent with all recent public statements McCarthy has to insist he never had the shouting match on the phone with Trump on January 6th that was witnessed and described by colleagues.

To support his current position, McCarthy will have to lie about the former president refusing to intervene to stop the riot McCarthy now claims Trump immediately stopped, as soon as McCarthy explained to him that what Trump was busy watching on TV was actually a violent riot-in-progress that had disrupted a joint session of Congress and threatened the legislators and staff hiding in terror from a violent, angry mob calling for the execution of various elected officials [1].

I will like seeing McCarthy, not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, squirm (assuming Democrats muster the resolve to convene this Committee very soon, as their window to do so is quite possibly closing) as he denies that Trump told him “well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are…” or that he ever yelled anything like “who the fuck do you think you’re talking to?” at Mr. Trump, his not always truthful, sometimes disrespectful, commander-in-chief.

Call it hyperbole, if you like, but there is no difference in character between these spineless, power-mad, Big Lie embracing fanatics, and their lockstep willingness to sacrifice every virtue in demonstrating their loyalty to an insane, cruel and super-vengeful idiot, and any of the Nazi careerists that surrounded the equally brilliant, equally cool Mr. Hitler back in his day.

Our best hope today, which has been bolstered many times in recent years [2], is that Trump’s loyal, ambitious, terrified lackeys are, in the end, as vainly stupid as the ones who followed the hubristically triumphant Mr. Hitler to the very end.

[1]

From notorious Communist rag The Wall Street Journal:

“He’s getting reports of what is happening. He did not accept people doing this type of the behavior. I know he’s getting reports as well. I wanted to give him a first-hand report,” Mr. McCarthy told Fox News on Jan. 6.

But Mr. Trump initially claimed the protesters were linked to antifa, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R., Wash.) said in a statement Friday night, referring to the loose network of antiracist, antifascist protesters.

When Mr. McCarthy pushed back, saying that the protesters were Trump supporters, Mr. Trump fired back, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Ms. Herrera Beutler said in her statement, recounting the the conversation as described to her by Mr. McCarthy.

The call got heated and at one point, Mr. McCarthy angrily retorted, “Who the f—- do you think you’re talking to?” according to a person familiar with the discussion.

Mr. McCarthy’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the aftermath of the call, Mr. McCarthy wrestled with whether Mr. Trump was fit for office. He asked some GOP lawmakers whether he should press Mr. Trump to resign, according to someone familiar with the discussions.

One week after the riot, when the House voted to impeach Mr. Trump, Mr. McCarthy said Mr. Trump bore responsibility for the events of Jan. 6.

“The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said in a speech on the House floor, although he voted against impeaching [the vindictive, all-powerful party leader].

source

We are all, of course, following Kevin McCarthy’s defamation suit against the Wall Street Journal for reporting these baseless lies about a totally private conversation that was nothing like the one reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Plus, McCarthy has incontrovertible documentary proof that Donald J. Trump took immediate, decisive action to stop the riot, once McCarthy told him about it.

Not only did he post a one minute video on Facebook, thanking his righteous supporters, Trump also tweeted, in one of his final tweets, after federal law enforcement (whose deployment was delayed by three hours) had restored order at the ravaged Capitol, to call off any lingering violent MAGA rioters by tweeting this clear denunciation of the violence:

[2]

There are many good reasons for this hope, a partial list:

Trump’s bellowing, terrifying, essentially toothless threats against “Anarchist Jurisdictions,” his attempts to provoke nationwide riots by sending in troops authorized to use violence pursuant to his powerful Executive Order to Preserve American Federal Greatness and Monuments, sending armored riot troops against protesters during demonstrations after the murder of George Floyd, his threats to invoke the Insurrection Act and impose martial law on “anarchist jurisdictions”, liberal shitholes he’d also starve of federal tax dollars, during a pandemic Jared Kushner and Mike Pence were handling superbly, Louis DeJoy’s exhibitionistic attempts to hobble the USPS and disable mail-in voting for Democrats, federal judges finding Bill Barr’s rationale for misleading America about the Mueller Report, and his attempt to improperly classify and conceal documents to keep them secret, and dismissing the prosecution against and vacating a guilty plea by a close Trump ally, at Trump’s request, “disingenuous” (insincere, calculating, deceitful, underhanded, hypocritical, duplicitous, sly, dishonest, pretending that one knows less about something than one really does, being a lying sack of shit, etc.), the bungling of Trump’s many lawyers, increasingly less skilled and more crackpot, in literally hundreds of pre and post-election lawsuits, lawful application of the rules of evidence in those election cases, even by Trump-appointed judges, the distinct anti-Trump bias of fact-based debate, the many pending lawsuits against the most litigious winner ever to occupy the White House, including possible criminal prosecutions in Georgia and New York, the fact that even power-crazed, disingenuous culture warrior Bill Barr jumped off the sinking, criminal ship in the end — just days before Trump held a rally and called for violence to disrupt a joint session of Congress and prevent the peaceful transfer of power, etc.

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I’ll kill all of you insect bastards

Very fine corporate persons

Corporations are people too, the U.S. Supreme Court says so, over and over. They have a right to speak on political matters, an unlimited one, beyond the First Amendment rights of the individuals who make up the corporation. They have a right to infinite wealth, if they can get it. They have a right to lock customers they injure out of the courts with clever, binding arbitration clauses, developed by legal geniuses like our current Chief Justice John Roberts. They have a right to use negotiated loopholes in the tax code to pay zero tax, no matter how many billions in profits they make. Some of the wealthiest, like the fossil fuel industry, get generous cash subsidies from taxpayers, . It’s easy to condemn some of their practices, heck, most of them, but try being a corporate person– not so easy.

From the New York Times, almost a year ago:

When Bayer, the giant German chemical and pharmaceutical maker, acquired Monsanto two years ago, the company knew it was also buying the world’s best-known weedkiller. What it didn’t anticipate was a legal firestorm over claims that the herbicide, Roundup, caused cancer.

Now Bayer is moving to put those troubles behind it, agreeing to pay more than $10 billion to settle tens of thousands of claims while continuing to sell the product without adding warning labels about its safety.

source

Ten billion is a mountain of money, unless you do the math and view at it as a tiny percentage of Bayer’s profits (which I am too lazy at the moment to look up and calculate). Maybe the article sheds some light on this further down… no. But this will give a sense of scale:

Bayer, which inherited the litigation when it bought Monsanto for $63 billion, has repeatedly maintained that Roundup is safe.

I had a friend who spent years in federal court, on behalf of organic farmers Monsanto somehow countersued in connection with alleged unauthorized use of Monsanto products (which the organic famers hated, were suing to stop the use of and certainly had no motive to use themselves). Monsanto sent an army of brilliant lawyers, including one of Antonin Scalia’s spawn, to fight these cases brought by environmental groups trying to get the EPA [1] to enforce its laws against Monsanto. They fought most of the environmental suits to a draw. Monsanto has always been evil. Now they are owned by Bayer, which has also nakedly embraced evil whenever it had the chance.

When the massive work/death camp Auschwitz was constructed in occupied Poland after Mr. Hitler’s conquest of Poland, Bayer’s parent company, I.G. Farben (Bayer joined the giant chemical conglomerate in 1925), built a factory there, serviced by disposable prisoner workers they rented from the SS for $1 a day. The deal worked out great for pharmaceutical giant Bayer and also for the Nazis. Arbeit Macht Frei, indeed.

Of course, powerful corporate persons taking advantage of puny human persons is not limited to those who love the Nazi way of looking at things. The ostentatiously philanthropic billionaire Sackler family, certainly no Nazis, in the strict sense, (they’re Jewish) have done a lot of killing too, many tens of thousands of Americans have died at their own hands using Sackler products the Sacklers knew the dangers of — and lied about– as they aggressively distributed these powerful, highly addictive products — marketed as safe– under the corporate veil of Purdue Pharma. You can sue the hell out of Purdue, if you want, and they will declare bankruptcy (as they have) — but there seems to be no way to hold the Sacklers themselves responsible for decades of deliberate lying and tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of American deaths. The corporation did it, you see, not them! Only a small proportion of the $35,000,000,000 in Oxycontin profits the Sacklers made are reachable by prosecutors.

The great Bill Moyers once said “I’ll believe corporations are people when the state of Texas puts one of them to death.”

You don’t think a corporatist 6-3 Supreme Court majority, the last three selected directly from the corporatist Federalist Society list, plus a billion dollar army of professional lobbyists in Washington, makes all the difference in the world? Think again.

Headline news recently about corporate giant Facebook, the brainchild of the arguably psychopathic Mark Zuckerberg, one of our most stable and successful American geniuses, dithering about possibly banning Trump for life from the popular platform. After Facebook gleefully collected dump trucks of ad money in 2016, from bad actors, including big buys from Putin in support of Trump, and played a huge role in the political rise of Trump, and QAnon and other pernicious fever dreams of sick minds, they decided that in urging his most rabid fans to storm the Capitol and take care of the weak, disloyal Mike Pence, the former president had gone too far.

After arguing in Congress, during the lead up to the 2020 election, that Facebook wouldn’t stop false political ads because Americans are smart enough to separate truth from a torrent of targeted, self-reinforcing lies constantly beamed to their computers and phones, Zuckerberg vowed to do more to control the wild (and hugely profitable) flow of dangerous lies on Facebook.

Zuck, we should note, is the same cuck who seethed, during an in-house address to his executives that one recorded and released, that if the US government tried to regulate Facebook, if it threatened something as “existential” as his right to make as many additional unlimited billions as fast as possible, “YOU GO TO THE MAT” and call out your armies of litigators. You don’t want to sue the US government, God forbid, but every corporate person has its limits.

If corporate persons had faces, this would be what they’d look like

So “Facebook” decided yesterday to revisit the question of Trump’s lifetime ban from Facebook in six months, presumably once MAGA-man learns the lesson Senator Susan Collins earnestly promised us all he’d learned after his first impeachment trial, a trial that exonerated him of all wrongdoing as strongly as Bill Barr had, as Barr promised to do when auditioning, by legal memo dismissing the Mueller Investigation as a partisan stunt, for the job of enthusiastic Trump gunsel [2]. Six months to clean up his scandalous act, and, of course, Mr. Trump has given us all every indication that he can learn another trick besides the reflexive doubling down on self-serving lies he learned as an abandoned, enraged, born-entitled two year-old.

[1]

The EPA:

The Environmental Protection Agency ruled last year that it was a “false claim” to say on product labels that glyphosate caused cancer. The federal government offered further support by filing a legal brief on the chemical manufacturer’s behalf in its appeal of the Hardeman verdict. It said the cancer risk “does not exist” according to the E.P.A.’s assessment.

Then in January, the agency issued another interim report, which “concluded that there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used according to the label and that it is not a carcinogen.”

This week, a federal judge in California referred to the agency’s pronouncement when it ruled that the state could not require a cancer warning on Roundup, writing that “that every government regulator of which the court is aware, with the exception of the I.A.R.C., has found that there was no or insufficient evidence that glyphosate causes cancer.”

Critics have countered that regulators based their conclusions on flawed and incomplete research provided by Monsanto. Several cities and districts around the world have banned or restricted glyphosate use, and some stores have pulled the product off its shelf.

source

[2] Dashiell Hammett (whose life would later be destroyed by the House Un-American Activities Committee*) snuck this one by the censors when he had Sam Shpade tell the heavy, in 1941’s The Maltese Falcon, to tell his gun-toting “gunsel” to back off. Hammett was referring to this definition:

Noun. gunsel (plural gunsels) (slang, dated) Synonym of catamite: a young man kept by an elder as a (usually passive) homosexual partner. (slang, dated) Synonym of bottom: a passive partner in a male homosexual relationship.

source

The word today, of course, is defined: a criminal carrying a gun.

*The HUAC was created in 1938 to investigate alleged disloyalty and subversive activities on the part of private citizens, public employees, and those organizations suspected of having fascist or communist ties.

source

Harkening back to that quaint, Hitlerian era, when patriotic Americans still opposed fascism, rather than opponents of fascism. From Wikipedia:

In 1939, the committee investigated people involved with pro-Nazi organizations such as Oscar C. Pfaus and George Van Horn Moseley.[15][16] Moseley testified before the committee for five hours about a “Jewish Communist conspiracy” to take control of the US government. Moseley was supported by Donald Shea of the American Gentile League, whose statement was deleted from the public record as the committee found it so objectionable.[17]

A very stable genius — a disingenuously fond retrospective

Pardon this trip down a hideous twist of memory lane, I’m trying to clean some crap (that caught my eye at on time or another) off of my computer’s home screen.

NOTE: do not attempt to look at this post while eating.

The collection of headlines from youTube tells the whole story, which is, sadly for us all, ongoing (hi, Liz Cheney, hi, voters, hi, First Amendment). A bullying scofflaw president, “exonerated” for trying to corruptly bully a newly elected foreign leader into helping him in the upcoming “rigged” election, proceeds to take revenge on every truthful witness he can think of. The vitriolic victory lap (nice turn of phrase, CNN) continues in defeat, since he and his party are united in claiming that he won the rigged, stolen, corrupt 2020 election — in a landslide, no less.

Anyone who points out this lie about a “landslide” and a “stolen election”, of course, is perpetrating the actual Big Lie, in MAGA world, just like anyone who claims Trump planned and caused a riot at the Capitol on January 6. “I know you are, but what am I?!!!” Liz Cheney has to go — she’s off message, lying about the lie that the liars who rigged and stole the country in a fake election are trying to insist is true.

A special shout out to Liz Cheney, whose unpardonable crime, as a leader of the MAGA party, is a refusal to lie about a direct and ongoing threat to democracy. I don’t like anything about her Cheneyesque political views, which are truly and consistently abhorrent, but I have to admire her unique refusal (among her colleagues) to lie about a violent anti-democratic insurrection fomented by a long advertised lie that the 2020 election was rigged and stolen. The line she won’t cross is the one between democracy and open fascism, a system of brutal one-party control always based on a myth of betrayal and a muscular vow to take revenge on all enemies. Good for her, Daughter of Darkness though she is!

Where is the principled Mitt Romney on this? Where is anybody in the Republican party beside Liz Cheney? Hello? Hello, you spineless lickspittles.

I’m watching you, disloyal pieces of shit…

Change and Terror of Change

The story of life is change, a reality that can be hard to embrace sometimes. Cycles of change, and life’s adaptation to change, are the animating force of nature, and the story of human history. The only constant in life, we learn, is constant change — and, as we also learn, constant resistance to change. Most human conflict has its origins in change and resistance to change.

I recall a racist teacher at my elementary school, snarling at some of the Black students who’d been bused into PS178 starting when I was in third grade. This nasty woman was a fifth grade teacher I would later butt heads with when I was in her class, but I barely knew her as I sat in the lunchroom that day. I had a front row seat, on the long lunch table bench, to her shameful performance shortly after the first Black students arrived in our quiet little public school on a hill.

She was on lunch duty, tasked with keeping order in the lunchroom. As a teacher years later I’d learn how odious this rotating duty was. It was a thankless job trying to keep a lid on childish energy during their lunch break, a work assignment, during what was usually your own lunch hour, requiring patience and humor — neither of which this woman had that day.

I vividly remember my disgust, as a boy, watching her mistreatment of a Black kid named Adrian, who was probably ten years old. For some reason, she was telling him over and over that he’d be on Welfare in a few years. I remember his face as he shot back that she’d be on Welfare, and her face. I didn’t know, at the time, that this snobbish woman was a racist, I barely understood what that was, but I know it very well now.

She was upset about a big change, I realize decades later, and being on the losing side of what she felt was a righteous war, and she was acting out like angry people often do. Her side had lost the long battle to keep PS178 segregated. There were two armed camps in the PTA, one stridently opposed to busing kids from other neighborhoods in to integrate the school as the Supreme Court had ordered a decade earlier (this group sometimes derided the other side as “Commies”), the other faction, the “Nigger-lovers,” (in the colorful phrase used in liberal NYC in the mid-sixties) put on a Brotherhood play called the Lonely Abelonian, shortly after the school was finally de-segregated when I was in third grade.

We went to school one evening to watch the play put on by our mothers in the school auditorium. They were dressed as various animals, in pairs (my mother hopped around in a tan kangaroo outfit with her fellow kangaroo, their big ears flapping, their long, sturdy tails slapping the stage, my classmate Rani’s mother crawled on her stomach in a snake outfit alongside her snake friend played by my mother’s best friend Arlene). When the solitary Abelonian tried to join, she was shunned by the other animals. I recall my mother and the other kangaroo, turning tail and hopping indignantly away when the Abelonian asked “will you be my friend?” In the end, of course, everyone discovered the Abelonian was a lot like them, and remembered how painful it is to be lonely, and they were all playful friends as the curtain fell.

The white kids in school, as far as I recall, didn’t need the lesson of this idealistic play. I don’t remember any tension between neighborhood kids and the new students who arrived on the E, F and G buses (though, it could be, as is my prerogative as someone not the object of racism, that I didn’t see it because it wasn’t directed at me). The presence of Black kids, and their parents, was only a major problem to people like that racist teacher.

They no doubt felt that their perfect little school (it had the highest test scores in Queens, NY, possibly all of New York City, at the time) was being ruined by the forced admission of Black kids from other, less desirable, neighborhoods (with worse schools, kind of proving the whole point of de-segregation…), with all that goes with being forced to associate with people you didn’t want to associate with.

We can go down the catalogue of change in human history, and there is always this tension between those welcoming, or at least adapting to, a given change and those dreading it and resisting it by any means necessary. There are changes large and small, eternally taking place and the challenge we humans always face is adapting to our constantly changing world.

Sekhnet and I are both assailed by sometimes severe joint pain when the humidity is on the rise. When I grimace and grunt walking up or down the stairs the night before thunderstorms, she reminds me “you’re old.” I am old, and while most aspects of aging are fine, some changes are unwelcome. I don’t like having to acknowledge the wisdom of Kurt Vonnegut’s “be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.” I am also no fan of nocturia, or hematuria, for that matter.

I am constantly angry, for example, when confronted with corporate practices, routinized indignities, that are now ubiquitous in our Free Market. The people I complain to about having to wade through long recordings before you can elect to talk to a representative, the long waiting times on the phone, the constant advertising and blaring loops of muzak while you’re on hold, the endless reminders of how important my call is, and that I can get faster service on-line, and so forth … correctly regard me as a griping, cranky old bastard.

These people, I have to remind myself, never lived in a different world, have no concept that banks once paid interest to depositors, didn’t charge you a monthly fee to have an account, or every private business you deal with requiring your social security number (essential for collecting a debt against you), and an ironclad legal agreement not to sue them, no matter what, before you can do business with them.

Change is inevitable, as is resistance to change, which emerges from terror about change and/or anger about changes for the worse. Look at what’s happened to the Republican Party, as it was steadily taken over by fabulously wealthy right-wing liberty lovers like Charles Koch and associates and turned into the extremist John Birch Society.

What was the premise of the John Birch Society? It was a group of wealthy right-wing freedom lovers fighting a vast conspiracy of godless Commies who were using the imagined grievances of American Blacks, and other disgruntled Americans, to drive a stake into the heart of American society and our cherished liberties. You can visit their website today, the John Birch Society (founded by Koch’s dad a few years after the scandalous Supreme Court decision that ruled segregated schools were inherently unequal, and therefore unconstitutional), they are peddling the same pile of reeking scats right now, in our giddy age of Alternative Fact.

What is the current premise of the modern Republican Party, its hope for regaining power? That an election their candidate lost by a substantial margin was stolen by fraud, somehow rigged in a way that avoided detection, left no evidence, fooled election officials of both parties, and defrauded the American public of the one-party state we actually want, need and deserve. 70% of Republicans believe this wild conspiracy theory about a massive, vicious betrayal of democracy, no so-called “proof” needed. Alternative facts, that’s all. Let’s agree to disagree, you cheating, thieving fucks.

I heard the term Limpieza de Sangre, purity of blood, for the first time today. It came into use during the dawn of propaganda, when the Pope was using the printing press, and outfits like the Jesuits, Defenders of the Faith, to propagate the One True Faith, against the mounting Protestant incursion into Christianity. The Spanish Inquisition had made it a capital offense not to believe in the teachings of the Son of God and many of the tortures we know today were developed to torture the truth out of godless people trying to save their lives by pretending to worship and adore Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, while secretly rejecting His love.

The doctrine of Limpieza de Sangre was designed to separate Catholics of pure blood, born into a long line of devoted believers, from those who had converted from Muslim or Jewish backgrounds, simply to escape torture and death. You understand, the blood itself must be pure for your faith to be pure, as Jesus never taught.

Change is eternal, but the techniques of reaction have certain constant features. Every regime that has ever set armies to murder enemies has first had to reduce those enemies, whether civilian or another army, into hated, dangerous insects, deadly, inhuman infecters of the life blood of the rest of us. So we have the long line of insane ideas like Purity of Blood, used to justify the spilling of impure or polluted blood.

In the former slave states, during the “Jim Crow” era, the amount of Negro blood in a person’s lineage determined his or her status under law. Never mind that almost every drop of the “white” blood in a “mixed race” person was the result of rape of the darker person owned by the lighter one. You know, if you teach a disgusting thing like that to children you should be ashamed of yourself– and fired from your job!

OK, OK, calm down…

You have Homer Plessy, a light-skinned, blond-haired octoroon (one of his eight great-grandparents was Black), on an interstate train down south, sitting in a car reserved for Whites Only. His blood, you understand, made him, according to the laws of Louisiana, where his offense took place, a Negro. Looked as white as Ronald Reagan, boys and girls, but the law’s the law.

Plessy was a Negro, somebody blew the whistle on him as he sat in the Whites Only car and he had to be ejected from that car and put into the less plush Coloreds Only car. Plessy made a small fuss, I believe, and was arrested. He’d been planted there, in 1892, by civil rights activists, as was the person who outed him to the authorities, to challenge segregation under federal law (hence the interstate train, one of the few 14th Amendment rights recognized by the Supreme Court was the right to travel freely from state to state, and there was, possibly, also the Commerce Clause– federal oversight of interstate commerce).

The federal case got up to the Supreme Court where segregation was upheld, in Plessy v. Ferguson, under the famous slogan of “Separate But Equal”. Check out the photographs of the segregated south, the water fountains and bathrooms of the respective races.

Segregated Water Fountains in North Carolina, 1950 ~ Vintage Everyday

Also, consider: the southern racial blood laws were even stricter than the anti-Jewish Nuremberg Laws the Nazis promulgated decades later after studying the race laws of the states of the former Confederacy. Teach that in an American public school and you’re asking to be lynched, just sayin’…

Makes you think.

I think about the rash of police violence that has resulted in the killing of dozens of unarmed, mostly Black and brown, people just since the recently concluded trial of the murderer of George Floyd started. A long parade of victims, one as young as thirteen, shot dead or otherwise killed by police, leading to a series of scrupulously nonviolent protests in just about every case. Leading, in turn, to renewed urgency to pass a series of identical laws to redefine the term “riot”, making it harder for people to organize and participate in First Amendment protests without risking 15 years in prison for a newly created felony. Because, while the right to protest may be protected by the First Amendment, the “right to riot” may be forcefully prevented, and vigorously prosecuted under the criminal laws of the state.

It is, of course, no accident that these dozens of proposed anti-protest laws, like the 361 laws making it more difficult to vote, now being debated in 47 states, are more or less identical. They are drafted by the same highly partisan weasels, distributed to individual state legislators through outfits like ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. “Stand Your Ground” laws, for example, a law that allows citizens to shoot other citizens in the street if they are truly afraid for their lives, were drafted by ALEC.

The influential outfit, formerly known as the Conservative Caucus of State Legislators, was founded in 1973 to “counter the Environmental Protection Agencywage, and price controls, and to respond to the defeat of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election [1]. ” You know, to organize and fight progressive policies of any and all kinds in the interest of preventing meaningful change of the status quo.

I know most Americans don’t care much for history, or a nuanced debate over every little damned thing. We are organized into tribes now, embracing the big picture emotion of our tribe and reflexively believing what the rest of our tribe believes. This tribalism has been wildly accelerated by “social media” which constantly and instantly buzzes updated, self-confirming opinion into our phones, and ads:

I get all this, it just makes me crazy, being constantly forced to hear idiotic arguments over fact-based things like which Big Lie is actually THE Big Lie — the one about the 2020 fake election results that has been supposedly proved in the courts, challenged, confirmed by recounts, by bipartisan certification, all faked — or the one the always truthful leader of the loyal 39% says is a Big Lie — that an election without “integrity” was free of widespread fraud, a lie peddled by the dangerous, radical, corrupt liars who are trying to destroy our great, unified nation by violence in the streets by claiming the stolen election was NOT stolen by these evil maniacs. You know, Communists like Mitt Romney.

[1]

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a nonprofit organization of conservative state legislators and private sector representatives who draft and share model legislation for distribution among state governments in the United States.[2][3][4]

source

Fun Facts for the “controversial” January 6 Commission

Because, I perhaps foolishly, still believe that the facts are important for any intelligent discussion or debate, I’m going to try to pull together any publicly available information I find that could help the, eh, controversial January 6 Commission that Congressional Republicans are so dead set against, because, you know, the recent Party of Trump attempt to subvert democracy and forcefully impose a one-party cult of personality government is over.

It might be a different story, of course, if Trump was still insisting the 2020 election had been stolen from him, or if his party was changing election laws in numerous states to impose new hurdles to voters towards continued minority rule, or criminalizing many instances of the right of assembly, redefining “riot” to make a felony of various exercises of the first Amendment Right of Americans to peacefully dissent without infringement by the government.

So, according to reasonable Republican legislators there’s really no point, you see, in allowing nosy, partisan investigators in to look into the lead-up and execution of the MAGA riot that resulted in a violent breach of the Capitol, though admittedly 140 police officers were injured defending the Capitol and five died, of natural causes (trampling, heart attack and so on) in the course of the March for Trump that got a little too exuberant.

Even on January 6th (as the reporting below shows) we had a wealth of information about the lead up to the riot, the urging by Trump for patriots to attend the Stop the Steal rally, and the fiery speeches immediately before that incited the riot. We saw much of the violence on television, on January 6 and the days that followed. Much of the violence was so ugly and upsetting that YouTube requires viewers to swear they are adults before they can view it online.

The January 6 Commission would answer tricky questions like why federal forces were not immediately called in by Trump appointees to stop the riot, particularly once the mob attacked police, breached security and was inside the Capitol.

The riot, everyone knows, was set into motion by the constantly repeated Trump lie about massive voter fraud (he made the same claim when he won in 2016), and the infuriating idea that radical Democrats had stolen the presidency from the exemplar of all that is great in America. Here are two Republicans making their points very succinctly:

Republicans now urge bipartisanship and moving forward, and, for some reason, oppose any investigation into how close we came to a mass casualty event during the insurrection of January 6, 2021. As the recent Vice News video history of the riot shows, the pro-Trump crowd outside the Capitol as rioters overran police was HUGE. If all, or even 25% of them, had been hopped up enough to invade the Capitol, is it unlikely that Pence or Pelosi would have escaped alive. The riot would have likely killed many, many more.

The striking thing is how much solid information about this insurrection was out there in public, before, during and immediately after the MAGA riot. The second striking thing is how effective right wing propaganda has been since the riot in minimizing the seriousness of the far-right’s violent assault on democracy.

NOTE: all facts and quotations in this post are from January 3 and January 5, 2021 reporting from WUSA9, the Washington, D.C. CBS affiliate. I also refer you to two other reports, from right after the riot on January 6:

Highlights and analysis: Trump commits to ‘orderly transition’ after mob storms Capitol: Lawmakers were evacuated during the counting of Electoral College votes after supporters descended on the Capitol at Trump’s urging.

source

and:

Trump Told Crowd ‘You Will Never Take Back Our Country With Weakness’: As Congress prepared to certify the victory of his successor, President Trump railed against the election and helped set in motion hours of violence.

source

The facts that follow are from WUSA9’s January 5 article, the opinionated asides are, of course, my own.

The WUSA9’s headline the night before Trump’s “Stop the Steal Rally” read:

Here’s everything you need to know about the ‘March For Trump’ rally

source

This struck me, in light of the criminalization of First Amendment assembly (punishable as a felony with a 15 year prison sentence) enacted by Florida, and ready to be signed into law in other states:

Restricted vehicular traffic only allowed in the First Amendment Activity Zone for the January 6 ‘March for Trump’ rally

Presumably the organizers of the rally didn’t want any kind of Heather Heyer situation with people angrily driving cars into pro-Trump demonstrators, as is now permissible under several Republican state “anti-terrorism” laws, like Florida’s, that immunize drivers against presumably justifiable road rage (against demonstrators who are not white patriots).

The ‘March for Trump’ rally will not officially be a march for Trump

We kept hearing about the permit that Women for American Autocracy obtained for the march to the Capitol, making it perfectly legal. Here are a few details for the January 6 Commission to look into:

The March For Trump rally organized by the conservative women group, Women For America First, on Wednesday, Jan. 6 on the Ellipse Grounds is projecting about 5,000 Trump supporters to make their way to the nation’s capital…

The March For Trump rally will not be an organized march from the Ellipse, according to the permit approved by the Department of Interior. The organization stated in the permit that some participants may leave their rally to attend other rallies at the United States Capitol to hear the results of Congressional certification of the Electoral College count.

*Note: In accordance with the event permit approved and released by the Department of Interior, this event is not a march from the location of the rally.

source

As was openly and honestly stated in the permit that “some participants may leave their rally to attend OTHER rallies at the United States Capitol” such as the heavily armed (though not ‘fire-armed’) riot, for example.

We also note, surprisingly, that permission on the Public Gathering Permit for the First Amendment Rally at the Ellipse extended from 6:30 a.m. Saturday January 2 to 8 pm Friday, January 8th (see graphic below). Hell of a First Amendment Rally there, Brownie!

The President will address the March for Trump rally

The president tweeted Tuesday evening that he would be speaking at the Save America Rally on the Ellipse at 11 a.m.

Several pre-event rallies took place Tuesday, and DC Police said two arrests were made during the first day of demonstrations (as of the afternoon). Charges included carrying a pistol and rifle without a license, possession of high capacity feeding device, unregistered ammunition and firearms, no permit while driving an unauthorized van and possession of illegal fireworks  

Attendees rallying on Wednesday are holding the first amendment rally, “to demand transparency and protect election integrity” on the same day Congress is set to officially approve the 2020 election results. This event comes after President Trump warned via Twitter that there would be a “very big” and “wild” protest on Jan. 6 after he refuses to concede due to unfounded allegations of election fraud. 

I will be speaking at the SAVE AMERICA RALLY tomorrow on the Ellipse at 11AM Eastern. Arrive early — doors open at 7AM Eastern. BIG CROWDS! pic.twitter.com/k4blXESc0c

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2021

One of the former president’s last tweets before being permanently banned from the social media platform. His long, inspired speech to the fired up crowd on January 6 is worth a close read/listen by the January 6 Commission. He used the word “peace” once, proving he never meant to incite anything other than peace when he used the words “fight,” “fight like hell,” “stolen from you,” and “bullshit [election]” to great cheers from the crowd.

The president, in advertising the January 6 ‘March for Trump’ had tweeted “Be there, will be wild.” [1] For once Mr. Trump was telling the truth.

Speakers advertised for the Ellipse rally prior to the unofficial ‘March for Trump’ included Roger Stone and Diamond and Silk

Stone, architect of the 2000 “Brooks Brothers Riot” in Florida during the Bush/Gore recount, pardoned by Trump for felonies including lying to Mueller’s investigators, was apparently already down by the Capitol on January 6, with a contingent of Proud Boy Oath Keeper Bugaloos who provided personal security for the convicted felon and self-proclaimed “Political Dirty Trickster”. Members of the white supremacist militia who were Stone’s body guards in DC on January 5th and 6th are under indictment for violent actions during the MAGA riot.

Speakers at the Ellipse for the “March for Trump” rally (what I was originally looking for when I found the WUSA9 piece):

Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Alabama), 25 year-old Madison Cawthorn (R- N. Carolina), Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, campaign fundraiser/Don’s girlfriend Kimberly “The best … is … YET… to COME!!!” Guilfoyle and Eric’s wife, Lara, former campaign adviser Katrina Pierson; personal lawyer Rudy “Trial By Combat” Giuliani; “Women for America First” head Amy Kremer; law professor and conspiracy theorist John Eastman; former Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones, who announced from the stage that he was becoming a Republican. and, the star of the show, Donald John Trump himself. source

Pardoned felons Mike “Lock her UP!” Flynn and Roger “I never met Paul Manafort” Stone, as far as I recall, gave stirring speeches to whip up the crowd at a rally the night before the ‘March for Trump’ that was not, officially, a march.

D.C. Police were on alert, and sought National Guard assistance for January 6, 2021 in expectation of further violence.

MPD reached out to D.C. National Guard to assist D.C. officers with crowd management and traffic control, MPD Police Chief Contee said during a Monday news conference. He said this will allow District officers to focus on individuals that may instigate or agitate violence in the city.

Firearms will not be allowed in the city, Contee said. The department has already posted signs across the city.

RELATED: DC prepares for Pro-Trump rallies, MPD places new signs reminding people no guns allowed at protests

“We will not allow people to incite violence or intimidate our residence and cause destruction in our city. We are asking residents to avoid confrontations with people that may incite a fight,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said. “So we are asking people to avoid the areas.”

As a smirking Roger Stone might quip “I got your non-States’ Rights right here, Muriel Bowser”. Because D.C. is not a state, it had no authority to mobilize the D.C. National Guard. The March for Trump rioters attacked and overran the Capitol Police, broke into the Capitol and the MAGA riot raged unchecked by federal authorities for more than three hours.

The long delay of the National Guard’s intervention, after the riot was raging, was recently pooh-poohed by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Milley who concluded there was nothing deliberate about the three hour delay in mobilizing troops that were waiting less than 20 minutes away from the Capitol. The January 6 Commission should make the general repeat his credulity-straining claim under oath, and back it up with some kind of factual basis for his “opinion”.

As rioters ran amok inside, after the breach and before federal intervention, as bands roamed the halls of the Capitol taunting those they threatened to execute, frantic calls to Trump from Republicans locked down in the Capitol were not put through to him. The president was reportedly transfixed by the live television feed of the riot, admiring his handiwork. When House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy finally got through to him, eye witnesses say, the following tense exchange took place, as reported by the ultraliberal Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal:

“He’s getting reports of what is happening. He did not accept people doing this type of the behavior. I know he’s getting reports as well. I wanted to give him a first-hand report,” Mr. McCarthy told Fox News on Jan. 6.

But Mr. Trump initially claimed the protesters were linked to antifa, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R., Wash.) said in a statement Friday night, referring to the loose network of antiracist, antifascist protesters.

When Mr. McCarthy pushed back, saying that the protesters were Trump supporters, Mr. Trump fired back, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Ms. Herrera Beutler said in her statement, recounting the the conversation as described to her by Mr. McCarthy.

The call got heated and at one point, Mr. McCarthy angrily retorted, “Who the f—- do you think you’re talking to?” according to a person familiar with the discussion.

Mr. McCarthy’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the aftermath of the call, Mr. McCarthy wrestled with whether Mr. Trump was fit for office. He asked some GOP lawmakers whether he should press Mr. Trump to resign, according to someone familiar with the discussions.

One week after the riot, when the House voted to impeach Mr. Trump, Mr. McCarthy said Mr. Trump bore responsibility for the events of Jan. 6.

“The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said in a speech on the House floor, although he voted against impeaching [the vindictive, all-powerful party leader].

source

Of course, Trump and McCarthy worked things out a few days later during McCarthy’s visit to Mar-a-largo. McCarthy’s current position is that he and Trump, who he now claims knew nothing about the riot while it was going on — until his call– had a private conversation that is nobody’s business. And, as we continue to hear from Republicans like Ron Johnson from Wisconsin, those rioters probably were antifa, just posing as thousands of Trump supporters. You understand, like the actual outcome of the possibly rigged and jiggered 2020 election, we’ll never know!

As you can plainly see, there is nothing whatsoever to see here.

part of the MAGA crowd as Capitol was being stormed source

If you click on the link above, and scroll to 22:28 in the video, you will be as alarmed (or happily excited, if you love Trump) as I was when a MAGA rally participant, who had climbed a scaffolding outside the Capitol during the breach, panned to show the enormous crowd of Trump supporters who had rallied to “Stop the Steal”. Maybe Trump wasn’t lying when he said there were over 100,000 at the Ellipse and dared the lying media to show the size of the crowd, which I’d read was about 5,000, the number the permit for the First Amendment Rally cited.

Nothing to see here. No reason to investigate anything but Black Lives Matter and the radical left antifa, which is short for anti-fascist– unAmerican! No reason to think this was a serious attempt, by an unhinged maniac, on behalf of his fellow right wing billionaires, to overturn a legitimate high-turnout election by violence and install himself as an authoritarian who would certainly have invoked martial law to settle the matter of who rules this land, once and for all. Nothing to investigate!

Outside of the striking fact that even the pugnaciously partisan Bill Barr tendered his resignation prior to this scheduled, well-planned attempt to violently block the peaceful transfer of power.

Some charitably saw Barr’s resignation as related to Trump finally crossing a moral, ethical and constitutional line by refusing to accept the results of the election that Barr’s DOJ had certified as fair, after repeatedly sowing doubts about the fairness of the election and launching numerous investigations to support that doubt. I saw Barr’s well-timed skitter away from Trump as a strictly practical move to avoid potential prosecution as a key part of a conspiracy to commit insurrection.

The latest polls have the ex-president’s popularity among Republicans at 44%, though 69% believe, for unknown reasons, that the election was stolen from him. Most Republicans, of course, oppose the formation of a January 6 Commission. Why wouldn’t they? Joe Manchin himself probably opposes it. After all, how can you have bipartisan cooperation in the Senate if you accuse the other party of supporting a violent insurrection just because they held things up in the Senate on January 6, calling for a commission to investigate a possibly rigged, stolen election?

America’s greatest winner

[1] WUSA9’s January 3, 2021 reporting begins:

WASHINGTON — Trump supporters are planning a rally on Jan. 6, the same day Congress is set to officially approve the 2020 election results, according to a flyer on the Trump March website.

The organization’s website said they plan to “demand transparency and protect the election integrity” after President Trump warned via Twitter that there would be a “very big” and “wild” protest on Jan. 6 after he refuses to concede due to unfounded allegations of election fraud.

source

Anarchist Jurisdiction Propaganda

Can you believe what we are subjected to in New York City, walking down the street, minding our own business?

What next from these antifa/BLM liar sons of bitches? Hydroxychloroquine doesn’t cure Covid-19? The plague was not deliberately made in a Chinese lab by Satanic Democrat pedophile cannibals in league with Hunter Biden and Volodymyr Zelensky to rig the US election?

Seriously, what next? Sleepy Joe Biden honestly won the election in Georgia, along with that slick Black preacher and the smart-ass Jew journalist who “won” the run-off that had zero electoral integrity (before Georgia fixed its corrupt election laws)? Give me a break, 11,780 votes, come on fellas! You expect me to believe Biden won the Electoral College without massive illegal help from Ukraine?

Polls show that over 60% of Republicans know the real deal (Biden is as illegitimate as Obama was), which is why 43% of Republicans polled are dead set on freedom from tyranny, rather than obsequious obedience to the evil, coercive nanny State that is using “science” to take all freedom away by forcing “vaccinations” on them as it forcibly takes their guns away, craps on Christmas and God — and the Bible– no more Bibles! — and plots to kill their unborn babies.

Actual billboard in West Virginia:

Students for Life of West Virginia Appeals to Sen. Manchin to Continue  Defending the Filibuster on Billboards Up Now — SFLA Action

By the way, ever wonder what might have happened differently if that peaceful crowd that swarmed into the Capitol on January 6th actually did hang Mike Pence?