TrumpReich in action

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Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Dec 29, 2020 5:59 pm

McConnell hopes to force Dems to allow a provision repealing/amending Sec.230, as the cost of getting $2000 vs.$600 , and as the cost of getting a veto over-ride on Defense Act. Trump gives a hoot about veto over-ride " embarrassment" and " wins" on the $2000 , PLUS gets what he wants on Sec.230 so he and his thugs can sue social media from now until 2024, every time social media tags one of their treasonous lies.Per Axios tonight, 2 separate stories , but connect the dots:


"Senate Majority Leader McConnell blocked Democrats' push to boost stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000. But the idea could come back up; McConnell hasn't disclosed his strategy."

"Next Big Tech fight: Prominent conservative groups are backing Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) for a top GOP antitrust role, Ashley Gold reports."

Buck is an alt.right fanatic.Check him out.

barney
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by barney » Wed Dec 30, 2020 7:49 am

Thanks Steve, but that's an invitation I feel I can pass. We have enough creepy-crawlies in Australia! I just had to kill a redback spider (what you call a black widow, I think).

lennygoran
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by lennygoran » Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:16 am

barney wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 7:49 am
Thanks Steve, but that's an invitation I feel I can pass. We have enough creepy-crawlies in Australia! I just had to kill a redback spider (what you call a black widow, I think).
Barney, "Related to the black widow, Australia's redback spider is dangerous like its North American counterpart. Perched in its tangled web, the redback spider lies in wait. She is a relative of the black widow; only the red dorsal stripe distinguishes them. ... The redback possesses a potent neurotoxic venom."

https://video.nationalgeographic.com/vi ... 2f8c1c0000

Deadly Cousin: The Redback Spider Regards, Len

barney
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by barney » Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:42 am

Thanks Len. Good analogy for Ken Buck then. Creepy and poisonous.

Much later: sorry, I think I meant Josh Hawley.

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:48 pm

Sen.David Perdue's latest ,lying, also racist , fundraiser email:

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff.
Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock.
Georgia Governor Stacey Abrams.

Police: defunded & abolished.
Second Amendment: overturned.
The Supreme Court: packed with radical Leftist judges.
Late term abortion: available on demand and paid for by your taxpayer dollars.

Friend, this sounds like your worst nightmare, right? Well, this is actually Stacey Abrams DREAM.

She wants nothing more than to turn Georgia BLUE and impose dangerous socialist policies throughout our state AND our nation.

What terrifies me is that she is working overtime recruiting radical Leftists everywhere to make this dream a reality--and her scheme is rapidly gaining ground. The polls are statistically tied AND we are being increasingly outraised.

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:23 pm


Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:54 pm

Per Iowa Public Radio tonight:

"The Environmental Protection Agency has adopted a new rule restricting the types of scientific studies its own regulators can use to rein in pollution, the Trump administration's latest effort to undercut the use of science in establishing public health standards. The rule goes into effect on January 6 and applies to all future EPA regulations. The Biden administration could remove or rewrite the rule once they take office, but it would take months, if not years, to undo."

Just the Right thing to do anytime, but best to do during a pandemic.The Devil must be smiling.

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:53 pm

The Jan.6 violence is not over ; we are under attack as on Dec.7 and 9-11 except this time the enemy is “Americans”:
https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/08/us/onlin ... index.html

Giuliani schemes after 5 Americans died :
https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/08/politics ... index.html

Seditious GOP and media even after the assault:
https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/07/politics ... index.html

1930’s Nazi Nuremberg rallies deja vu:
https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/08/politics ... index.html

barney
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by barney » Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:19 am

Surely Giuliani must be charged for inciting violence? He was, as usual, despicable.

maestrob
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:02 am

CNN's Chris Cillizza is absolutely right on this when he says:
The only way you can conclude that Trump is over is to believe that Wednesday's riot was seen by him and his supporters as a black mark on not just his presidency but the presidency. Instead, all available information suggests they saw it as a triumph.And that's why neither Trump nor the movement he leads is going anywhere anytime soon.
And that's why Putin broadcast all of Wednesday's insurrection live in Russia. He, too, believes that democracy in America is doomed. Of course that's what he's been aiming for and helping create ever since he took power, as a former KGB man who bitterly resents America's triumph in the Cold War and the subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Empire.

Romney was right when he named Russia as our biggest threat on the debate stage years ago. He was ridiculed at the time, but his words were prescient, as we now know.

The damage of the Russian hack that Trump allowed to happen on his watch have still not been completely discovered or reported.

Useful idiot indeed! :twisted:

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:46 pm

A Texas Federal Judge joins TrumpReich.Texas AG Paxton is the Trump suckup who had Texas sue the 4 swing States to overturn their 4 votes, a case SCOTUS held Texas had no standing to bring. Trump's appointed Federal Judges,many determined unqualified bu the American Bar Association, will be standing in for Trump until 2024.


WAPO
Jan. 26, 2021 at 2:19 p.m. CST

A federal judge in Texas blocked President Biden’s 100-day deportation “pause” on Tuesday in a ruling that may point to a new phase of conservative legal challenges to his administration’s immigration agenda.

Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee, granted a temporary restraining order sought by Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, saying the state had demonstrated a likelihood of facing immediate harm from Biden’s pause. (Rach3: BS. See below.) The court order will be in effect for 14 days while Tipton considers a broader motion by the state for a preliminary injunction.

Though the order is temporary, the state’s lawsuit portends more legal challenges by Biden opponents appealing to a judicial branch reshaped by the confirmation of hundreds of Trump appointees.

Paxton, a close Trump ally, celebrated the ruling as a “victory” and declared Texas “the first state in the nation to bring a lawsuit against the Biden (administration). AND WE WON.”

In one of his first executive actions, Biden ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to halt most deportations from the interior of the United States for 100 days. The pause was intended to allow ICE to overhaul its enforcement priorities, amid intense criticism from Democrats that Trump was using the agency to terrorize immigrants who had not committed violent or other serious crimes.

Biden’s moratorium did not apply to border-crossers who arrived to the United States after Nov. 1, and it allowed for other exceptions including matters of national security. Conservatives were incensed that Biden’s pause would prevent most deportations of criminals with violent felony convictions, potentially allowing for their release into the United States once they’d completed jail or prison sentences. (Rach3: DUH!! They would have served their time !! Paid their debt to society !! We allow white American violent felons to stay here after release , posing same harm risk to Texas. )

Texas argued the moratorium would place an unfair burden on the state, and the measure violated an agreement Paxton and Gov. Greg Abbott signed with Ken Cuccinelli, then-acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, less than two weeks before Biden was sworn in.Tipton’s ruling did not address the agreement, which the Biden administration does not recognize as legally binding.

The state also referenced a Fox News report citing an internal ICE email calling for the mass release of detainees. But government attorneys provided the email to the court Monday, indicating its contents had not been accurately reported by the network.

Paxton, a conservative firebrand who advised Trump during the former president’s failed quest to overturn the 2020 election, is currently under investigation for alleged state securities fraud and facing other legal troubles that include allegations of bribery.

In his tweet, Paxton described Biden's deportation pause as “a seditious left-wing insurrection,” repeating language used by lawmakers of both parties to describe the Jan. 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Tipton, who was appointed by Trump in June, made explicit in his ruling that the restraining order applies nationwide. He scheduled a new hearing Thursday, and called the issues raised by the DHS agreement with Texas “of such gravity and constitutional import that they require further development of the record and briefing prior to addressing the merits.”
Tipton also left open the possibility he would narrow his ruling in the coming weeks.
“The Court notes that the scope of this injunction is something it is willing to revisit after the parties fully brief and argue the issue for purposes of the upcoming motion for preliminary injunction,” he wrote. “Though the scope of this [temporary restraining order] is broad, it is not necessarily permanent.”

Tipton directed ICE to return to its previous operational posture, effectively directing the agency to resume deportations. An ICE official said the agency was preparing a statement.

The Southern District of Texas, where Tipton presides, is part of the Fifth Circuit, which is considered among the country’s most conservative.

The ACLU, which lead legal opposition to Trump's immigration policies, and filed a brief opposing Paxton, criticized Tipton’s ruling.
“This lawsuit should not be allowed to proceed,” said Kate Huddleston, an attorney for the ACLU of Texas, in a statement.
“Paxton sought to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election by attempting to baselessly suppress votes; now he is attempting to force the Biden administration to follow Trump's xenophobic policies,” Huddleston said. “The administration’s pause on deportations is not only lawful but necessary to ensure that families are not separated and people are not returned to danger needlessly while the new administration reviews past actions.”
Kari Hong, an immigration scholar at the Boston College of Law, called Tipton’s ruling “baffling,” saying it opened the door for states to sue the federal government over any immigration policy change that might affect them.Just as Texas argued that a deportation freeze could impose financial burdens on its state budget, Hong said, California could sue by arguing that the separation of children from their deported parents places additional foster care costs.
Tipton “seems to invite states to be litigating matters of national policy, which is a slippery slope that will end in chaos,” said Hong. She also noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has chided lower courts for issuing nationwide injunctions and rulings.

ICE officials have long relied upon “prosecutorial discretion” to set and adjust immigration enforcement priorities, and during Obama’s second term, immigrants who did not commit violent or serious crimes were more likely to be spared from arrest and deportation.

Trump reversed that policy upon taking office, an approach his administration celebrated as “removing the shackles” on ICE officers who were given freer hand to arrest anyone who lacked legal status.

A new priority system Biden laid out, set to take effect Feb. 1, will more narrowly target serious and violent offenders once again. Tipton’s restraining order does not address that priority system, so Hong said ICE still has the discretion to deport — or not deport — whoever it wants.
“Tipton’s saying Texas has the right to stop deportations, but inherently recognizing that not all deportation will happen,” Hong said. “It’s an illogical decision that quickly falls upon itself.”

maestrob
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:42 am

Kari Hong, an immigration scholar at the Boston College of Law, called Tipton’s ruling “baffling,” saying it opened the door for states to sue the federal government over any immigration policy change that might affect them. Just as Texas argued that a deportation freeze could impose financial burdens on its state budget, Hong said, California could sue by arguing that the separation of children from their deported parents places additional foster care costs.Tipton “seems to invite states to be litigating matters of national policy, which is a slippery slope that will end in chaos,” said Hong.
Again, a Right-wing radical judge makes a decision without thinking through the consequences.

Typical. Chaos indeed! What goes around comes around. :mrgreen:

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:35 pm

maestrob wrote:
Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:42 am
Again, a Right-wing radical judge makes a decision without thinking through the consequences.
Typical. Chaos indeed! What goes around comes around. :mrgreen:
Tipton is a member of the alt.right Federalist Society, and a Southern Baptist, whose nomination by Trump was passed in the Senate 53-41.If. I recall, SCOTUS Justice Thomas’ wife , who spoke or Twittered support to the Jan.6 Capitol assault mob, is also a Society member.Justice Alioto and his wife attended a Society function recently.

maestrob
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Thu Jan 28, 2021 10:17 am

Rach3 wrote:
Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:35 pm
maestrob wrote:
Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:42 am
Again, a Right-wing radical judge makes a decision without thinking through the consequences.
Typical. Chaos indeed! What goes around comes around. :mrgreen:
Tipton is a member of the alt. right Federalist Society, and a Southern Baptist, whose nomination by Trump was passed in the Senate 53-41.If. I recall, SCOTUS Justice Thomas’ wife , who spoke or Twittered support to the Jan. 6 Capitol assault mob, is also a Society member. Justice Alito and his wife attended a Society function recently.
The madness continues...... :evil:

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:42 am

TrumpReich continues with new voter suppression bills in Georgia:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/02/politics ... index.html

maestrob
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:06 am

Rach3 wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:42 am
TrumpReich continues with new voter suppression bills in Georgia:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/02/politics ... index.html
"How pathetic is it to respond to election losses by changing election rules rather than changing course on policy and tone?" state Democratic Rep. Josh McLaurin tweeted.His message was echoed by Democratic state Sen. Nikki Merritt, who tweeted, "GA Republicans are so weak the only way they can win is by blocking your access to voting."Teri Anulewicz, a Democratic state representative, similarly tweeted: "Good legislation rights a wrong. It fixes a problem. Voter suppression won't change why GA rejected the GOP in Nov & January."
Indeed. I think that "RepublicanReich" would now be a more appropriate title for this ever-popular thread here.

White supremacy will fight on to the bitter end.

Never forget.

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:57 pm

What a ridiculous , transparent excuse.Iowa Fascists in action ; again :

From Iowa Public Radio tonight:

“ Local governments in Iowa wouldn’t be allowed to ban discrimination based on the use of housing vouchers under a bill advanced by Republicans on a Senate panel. Three cities—Des Moines, Iowa City and Marion—have ordinances that ban landlords from using an applicant’s receipt of a Section 8 federal housing choice voucher as the reason for denying them a place to live. Lobbyists representing Iowa landlords say these local regulations unfairly force them into business with the federal government.”

maestrob
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:18 am

Rach3 wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:57 pm
What a ridiculous , transparent excuse.Iowa Fascists in action ; again :

From Iowa Public Radio tonight:

“ Local governments in Iowa wouldn’t be allowed to ban discrimination based on the use of housing vouchers under a bill advanced by Republicans on a Senate panel. Three cities—Des Moines, Iowa City and Marion—have ordinances that ban landlords from using an applicant’s receipt of a Section 8 federal housing choice voucher as the reason for denying them a place to live. Lobbyists representing Iowa landlords say these local regulations unfairly force them into business with the federal government.”
Here are a couple of interesting things I found online about this topic:
A New York City law that makes it illegal for landlords to discriminate against tenants who receive government subsidies has passed its first major legal test, after a justice in Manhattan upheld a broad interpretation of the law.The law, which went into effect in March 2008, prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants based on their use of federal rent subsidies known as Section 8 vouchers, or any other form of local, state or federal government assistance.
https://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/nyre ... ssistance.
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) (42 U.S. Code § § 3601-3619 and 3631), a federal law, doesn’t bar landlords from discriminating based on Section 8. But some states and municipalities do, often as part of a broader ban on “source of income” or “public assistance status” under the state or local fair housing law. For example, Chicago’s municipal code includes a housing discrimination ban based on source of income that includes applicants who have Section 8 vouchers.
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia ... chers.html

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 11:11 am

From the Sioux City paper today :

DES MOINES -- The debate over mask-wearing continued at the Iowa Statehouse as lawmakers heard arguments against limiting the authority of colleges and universities to mandate facial coverings for students and employees when they are off-campus.

Last week, the GOP-controlled House rejected an attempt to require facial coverings in the chamber and in House committee and subcommittee meetings.

On Tuesday, lobbyists for colleges and universities told a house subcommittee that House Study Bill 162 poses risks for the entire campus community.

The bill would prohibit postsecondary institutions from requiring students or employees to wear face masks or social distance when they are off-campus.

maestrob
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:51 pm

On Tuesday, lobbyists for colleges and universities told a house subcommittee that House Study Bill 162 poses risks for the entire campus community.The bill would prohibit postsecondary institutions from requiring students or employees to wear face masks or social distance when they are off-campus.
And Republicans complain about how Democrats want to micromanage THEIR lives? :mrgreen:

Another example of scientific ignorance.

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:36 pm

Per WAPO tonight:

"South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) said her state handled the pandemic “better than virtually every other state.” But high death tolls and infection rates there show otherwise.

A Republican state lawmaker in Missouri ( home of US Sen. Josh Hawley ) boasted that her stem cell treatment was a potential coronavirus cure. It has neither stem cells nor curative properties, federal investigators say."

Hope our East Coast folks here are " weathering" their storm well.

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:46 pm

Per Iowa Public Radio tonight:


" Republican Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley( grandson of moron Trump suckup US Sen.Chuck Grassley ) didn’t allow a Democratic representative to speak during a debate Tuesday because she was violating the dress code by wearing jeans. Democrats have asked Republican leaders to require masks as they continue the legislative session in person during the pandemic. Grassley has repeatedly claimed that he can’t enforce a mask mandate at the Iowa Capitol. A fifth case of COVID-19 associated with the Iowa House was also announced Tuesday."


The Dem. was wearing a mask, but felt if masks were not required, jeans should be ok , too , as wearing jeans is not known to transmit the virus. ( Although , jeans may excite " grab 'em by..." Trump and his GOP ilk ).

maestrob
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Thu Feb 04, 2021 11:43 am

Rach3 wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:46 pm
Per Iowa Public Radio tonight:


" Republican Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley( grandson of moron Trump suckup US Sen.Chuck Grassley ) didn’t allow a Democratic representative to speak during a debate Tuesday because she was violating the dress code by wearing jeans. Democrats have asked Republican leaders to require masks as they continue the legislative session in person during the pandemic. Grassley has repeatedly claimed that he can’t enforce a mask mandate at the Iowa Capitol. A fifth case of COVID-19 associated with the Iowa House was also announced Tuesday."


The Dem. was wearing a mask, but felt if masks were not required, jeans should be ok , too , as wearing jeans is not known to transmit the virus. ( Although , jeans may excite " grab 'em by..." Trump and his GOP ilk ).
Censorship? Free speech? :mrgreen:

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:13 pm

Another reason not to buy Wisconsin beer, cheese,milk,brats,cranberries,etc, or ever travel there.Per Axios tonight:

"Wisconsin’s GOP legislature repealed Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide face mask mandate. (He immediately issued a new order.)"

maestrob
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Fri Feb 05, 2021 11:23 am

Rach3 wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:13 pm
Another reason not to buy Wisconsin beer, cheese,milk,brats,cranberries,etc, or ever travel there.Per Axios tonight:

"Wisconsin’s GOP legislature repealed Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide face mask mandate. (He immediately issued a new order.)"
I remember when Gov. Evers was elected, the Republican-dominated legislature promptly passed extreme measures curtailing the powers of the Executive in that state. It seems they're at it again! :mrgreen:

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Mon Feb 08, 2021 8:13 pm

"Some Democratic lawmakers say Iowa GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds didn’t consult the Iowa Department of Public Health before removing the state’s partial mask mandate. In a weekly call, Rep. Lindsay James (D-Dubuque) says public health director Kelly Garcia reported that she was not consulted before hearing of the decision, and that it "took [her] breath away" that the governor did not consult her own public health experts before moving forward with the decision.

A sixth person associated with the Iowa House of Representatives has tested positive for COVID-19. That’s according to an email the chief clerk of the Iowa House sent to lawmakers and staff Monday. The email says this person was last in the statehouse last Tuesday and tested positive Monday. House Speaker Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford) said last week he won’t consider virtual options for lawmakers to participate in the session.

According to the Governor’s office, the state has administered 161,000 doses since moving into Phase 1B two and a half weeks ago. Nearly 90,000 of those doses have been administered in the past seven days, with officials saying they expect that number to further increase. According to the New York Times, just eight percent of Iowans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, making it the fourth-lowest in the nation.

An Iowa House subcommittee has approved a one-time appropriation of $30 million for schools that have been in-person during the pandemic. HSB 184 would qualify any school that allowed at least 50 percent of students to attend in-person to qualify for payments, and would give the largest share of funding to those that offered the most days of all in-person learning….One week from Monday, all Iowa school districts will again offer the option of fully in-person instruction. The change was mandated by a new law signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds. Dubuque Community Schools Superintendent Stan Rheingans anticipates upwards of 80 percent of the district’s students will be back in the classroom. Proper social distancing won’t be possible, he says. The transition back to the classroom comes as many school staff are still waiting to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.”

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:42 am

From NYT today. The complicit GOP:

LANSING, Mich. — Dozens of heavily armed militiamen crowded into the Michigan Statehouse last April to protest a stay-at-home order by the Democratic governor to slow the pandemic. Chanting and stomping their feet, they halted legislative business, tried to force their way onto the floor and brandished rifles from the gallery over lawmakers below.

Initially, Republican leaders had some misgivings about their new allies. “The optics weren’t good. Next time tell them not to bring guns,” complained Mike Shirkey, the State Senate majority leader, according to one of the protest organizers. But Michigan’s highest-ranking Republican came around after the planners threatened to return with weapons and “militia guys signing autographs and passing out blow-up AR-15s to the kiddies on the Capitol lawn.”

“To his credit,” Jason Howland, the organizer, wrote in a social media post, Mr. Shirkey agreed to help the cause and “spoke at our next event.”

Following signals from President Donald J. Trump — who had tweeted “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” after an earlier show of force in Lansing — Michigan’s Republican Party last year welcomed the support of newly emboldened paramilitary groups and other vigilantes. Prominent party members formed bonds with militias or gave tacit approval to armed activists using intimidation in a series of rallies and confrontations around the state. That intrusion into the Statehouse now looks like a portent of the assault halfway across the country months later at the United States Capitol.


As the Senate on Tuesday begins the impeachment trial of Mr. Trump on charges of inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol rioting, what happened in Michigan helps explain how, under his influence, party leaders aligned themselves with a culture of militancy to pursue political goals.

Michigan has a long tradition of tolerating self-described private militias, which are unusually common in the state. But it is also a critical electoral battleground that draws close attention from top party leaders, and the Republican alliance with paramilitary groups shows how difficult it may be for the national party to extricate itself from the shadow of the former president and his appeal to this aggressive segment of its base.

“We knew there would be violence,” said Representative Elissa Slotkin, a Michigan Democrat, about the Jan. 6 assault. Endorsing tactics like militiamen with assault rifles frightening state lawmakers “normalizes violence,” she told journalists last week, “and Michigan, unfortunately, has seen quite a bit of that.”

Six Trump supporters from Michigan have been arrested in connection with the storming of the Capitol. One, a former Marine accused of beating a Capitol Police officer with a hockey stick, had previously joined armed militiamen in a protest organized by Michigan Republicans to try to disrupt ballot counting in Detroit.

The chief organizer of that protest, Meshawn Maddock, on Saturday was elected co-chair of the state Republican Party — one of four die-hard Trump loyalists who won top posts.

Ms. Maddock helped fill 19 buses to Washington for the Jan. 6 rally and defended the April armed intrusion into the Michigan Capitol. When Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat, suggested at the time that Black demonstrators would never be allowed to threaten legislators like that, Ms. Maddock wrote on Twitter, “Please show us the ‘threat’?”

“Oh that’s right you think anyone armed is threatening,” she continued. “It’s a right for a reason and the reason is YOU.”

The lead organizer of the April 30 armed protest, Ryan Kelley, a local Republican official, last week announced a bid for governor. “Becoming too closely aligned with militias — is that a bad thing?” he said in an interview. Londa Gatt, a pro-Trump activist close to him was named last month to a leadership position in a statewide Republican women’s group. She welcomed militias and Proud Boys at protests, posting on the social media site Parler: “While BLM destroy/murder people the Proud Boys are true patriots.” Prosecutors have accused members of the Proud Boys of playing a leading role in the Jan. 6 assault.

Two weeks after the Statehouse protest, Mr. Shirkey, the Republican leader, appeared at a rally by the same organizers, onstage with a militia member who would later be accused of conspiring to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“Stand up and test that assertion of authority by the government,” Mr. Shirkey told the militiamen. “We need you now more than ever.”

After the riot in Washington, some argue such endorsements endanger the future of the party. “It is like the Republican Party has its own domestic army,” said Jeff Timmer, a former executive director of the Michigan party and a vocal Trump critic.


Norman Olson, founder of the Michigan Militia, appeared in June 1995 before a Senate committee investigating the growth of the anti-government movement after the Oklahoma City bombing that April. Dressed in military fatigues with a “Commander Olson” patch on his shirt, he spoke with contempt.

“We stand against oppression and tyranny in government,” Mr. Olson said, “and many of us are coming to the conclusion that you best represent that corruption and tyranny.”

For many Americans, it was jarring to listen to self-appointed defenders of the Constitution justify taking up arms in a paranoid vision of government overreach. But back in Michigan they were used to it.

Roughly a dozen to 18 armed groups are scattered across Michigan in mostly rural counties, their membership fluctuating with political and economic currents. Estimates of active members statewide are generally in the hundreds.

The state’s lenient gun laws — it is permissible to openly carry a firearm in public — also make it a welcoming place for other armed extremists. Members of the Proud Boys or Boogaloo movement routinely showed up at protests in Michigan last year and sometimes got into fights with Black Lives Matter activists.

For many of the more traditional militias, however, socializing is often as much a priority as drilling. Firearms training is mixed with camping and family outings — last fall, members of the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia gathered for a picnic in a park where children tossed beanbags, mothers grilled cheeseburgers and AR-15 rifles leaned against lawn chairs. Some have websites where they sell T-shirts and carry ads for gun shops.

But woven through Michigan’s militia timeline is a persistent strand of menace. In the early 20th century, the Black Legion, a paramilitary group that included public officials in Detroit and elsewhere, began as an offshoot of the Ku Klux Klan and was linked to numerous acts of murder and terrorism.

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, who killed 168 people in the Oklahoma City bombing, were reported to have associated with militia members in Michigan, though Mr. Olson said they had been turned away because of their violent rhetoric. In the aftermath, militias were largely exiled to the fringes of conspiracy politics, preparing for imagined threats from the New World Order.

But in recent years, as the Republican Party has drifted further to the right, these groups have gradually found a home there, said JoEllen Vinyard, an emeritus professor of history at Eastern Michigan University who has studied political extremism. Much of their cooperation is centered on defending gun ownership, she said.

“I think there is a fair amount of sympathy in the Republican Party for these people that wasn’t there in the past,” Dr. Vinyard said. “It’s a much closer relationship now.”


If Michigan Republicans and militant groups had increasingly found themselves sharing the same ideological space, their common ground became literal last year, as an escalating series of events drew them together for protests and rallies. They began with objections to the governor’s lockdown orders.

Republicans have controlled both houses of the Michigan Legislature for a decade and held the governor’s mansion for the eight years before Ms. Whitmer took office in 2019. Mr. Trump’s brash nationalism had alienated moderate Republicans and independents while pushing the party to the right.

By last April 1, Covid-19 had killed more than 300 people in Michigan, primarily in Detroit, and Ms. Whitmer ordered all nonessential businesses closed. Ms. Maddock wasted no time rallying opposition, calling for a protest on April 15.

A national advisory board member of the Women for Trump wing of the president’s re-election campaign, she appeared often with Mr. Trump and his surrogates on their many visits to Michigan. Her husband, Matt Maddock, the owner of a bail bond business who has boasted of personally apprehending bail jumpers, is a state lawmaker from a Detroit suburb.

In the first major protest in the country against stay-at-home orders, thousands of cars, trucks and even a few cement mixers jammed the streets around the Statehouse in Lansing, in what Ms. Maddock called Operation Gridlock. About 150 demonstrators left their vehicles to chant “lock her up” from the Capitol lawn — redirecting the 2016 battle cry about Hillary Clinton against Ms. Whitmer. A few waved Confederate flags. About a dozen heavily armed members of the Michigan Liberty Militia turned up as well.


Ms. Maddock declared Michigan a “tyranny” that night on the Fox News Channel, though she later distanced herself from the armed men. “Of course the militia is disappointing to me, the Confederate flag — look, they’re just idiots,” she later told Bridge Michigan, a nonprofit news organization.

Mr. Trump tweeted “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” two days later, and Ms. Maddock’s protest inspired a wave of others around the country.

When local armed groups in Michigan began discussing more demonstrations, most Republicans shunned them at first. “They were scared of the word ‘militia,’” recalled Phil Robinson, a member of the Liberty Militia.

Ryan Kelley, the lead organizer of the April 30 armed protest, is now running for governor. “Becoming too closely aligned with militias — is that a bad thing?” he said in an interview.
But his group found eager promoters in Mr. Kelley, a real estate broker and Republican planning commissioner in a suburb of Grand Rapids, and Mr. Howland, a local sales consultant who had been posting online videos minimizing the pandemic. They called the stay-at-home restrictions “unconstitutional” and formed the American Patriot Council “to restore and sustain a constitutional government,” Mr. Kelley said in an interview.

As the Legislature met on April 30 to vote on extending the governor’s restrictions, Mr. Kelley and his militia allies convened hundreds of protesters, including scores of armed men, some with assault weapons. One demonstrator hung a noose from the back of his pickup. Another held a sign warning that “tyrants get the rope.” Dozens entered the Capitol, some angrily demanding entrance to the lower chamber.

“We were harassed and intimidated so that we would not do our jobs,” said Representative Donna Lasinski, leader of the Democratic minority. Lawmakers were terrified, she added.


Mr. Maddock, the Republican legislator and Ms. Maddock’s husband, recognized some of the intruders and left the House floor to confer with them. “I like being around people with guns,” he later told The Detroit News.

Mr. Trump sided with them, too. “The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire,” he tweeted. “These are very good people.”

Other Republicans also came to accept the presence of armed activists. Ms. Gatt, who took part in protests organized by Mr. Kelley and Ms. Maddock, said she felt “intimidated by the militia when I first started getting involved,” but soon changed her mind.

“I was able to see that they are patriots that love their country like the rest of us,” she said, adding that they are “all Republicans.”

Mr. Shirkey, the Senate leader, was initially more cautious. The founder of a manufacturing company who is known for singing hymns from the podium, Mr. Shirkey issued a statement on April 30 criticizing “intimidation and the threat of physical harm” and calling the armed protesters “a bunch of jackasses.”

Yet he had mingled with them in the gallery. Surrounded by militiamen about two weeks later in Grand Rapids, at an event also organized by Mr. Howland and Mr. Kelley, the senator said in a speech that they had taken him to task for his “jackasses” comment and he effectively retracted it.

He also met privately in his office that month with a handful of militia leaders — to establish a “code of conduct,” he explained in an interview. “Do you tell your people to make sure that there’s not a live round in a chamber?” he said, recounting the conversation. “That’d be a good start.”

In May, armed men stood watch for days outside a barbershop in Owosso, defending the proprietor from the police so he could cut hair in defiance of the lockdown.
Ms. Maddock, following suit, then arranged for hairdressers to offer their services on the Capitol lawn, again watched over by armed men.

The state G.O.P. quickly jumped into the fight. In June, a nonprofit group linked to the Republican Party began providing more than $600,000 to a new advocacy group run in part by Ms. Maddock that was dedicated to fighting coronavirus restrictions. A charity tied to Mr. Shirkey kicked in $500,000.


Critics argued that race was an unstated factor in the battle over the stay-at-home order. The Republicans who rallied against the rules were mostly white residents of rural areas and outer suburbs. But more than 40 percent of the deaths in Michigan early on were among African-Americans, concentrated in Detroit, who made up less than 15 percent of the state’s population.

Those tensions spilled into the open last summer when police killings of African-Americans set off protests around the country.

The Black Lives Matter protests in Michigan were rarely violent or destructive, and the largest took place in Detroit. But Republicans in the rest of the state reacted with alarm to the flashes of violence elsewhere around the country, and President Trump reinforced their fears with his warnings about “antifa.”


“Liberals look for trouble and civil unrest and conservatives PREPARE for it,” Gary Eisen, a Republican state legislator and owner of a concealed-weapon training business, wrote on his Facebook page. “I thought maybe I would load up a few more mags,” he added, later saying he had been joking.

In June, about 50 militiamen called together by Mr. Kelley squared off against a few dozen Black Lives Matter protesters over a statue of a Confederate soldier in his town, Allendale. “There were children there, and militia members were pointing guns at people,” said Ali Bates, 20, an activist with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Mr. Kelley said he feared what was coming to Allendale. “Statues all over the country were getting torn down, people were lighting things on fire, there were riots everywhere,” Mr. Kelley said in an interview, echoing Mr. Trump. “You are not going to come here and destroy public property.”

He accused Democrats of encouraging violence. “The Democrats have got antifa; they have got BLM,” he said. “The Democrats championed all of this stuff from a leadership level.”

More prominent Michigan Republicans portrayed the Black Lives Matter movement as a looming threat, too. Ms. Maddock told the news site MLive.com that the “destruction” caused by the protests was “absolutely devastating” and “inexcusable.”

Armed militiamen responded by turning up at some protests as vigilante guards. In August, dozens of Proud Boys marched in Kalamazoo, Mich., the site of several Black Lives Matter demonstrations, saying they wanted to support the police. They took pepper spray and used it in fist fights with activists.


At the peak of the protests against police violence, though, Mr. Kelley’s American Patriot Council still aimed its sharpest attacks at Governor Whitmer and her stay-at-home order. It released public letters urging the federal authorities to arrest her for violating the Constitution by issuing a stay-at-home order. “Whitmer needs to go to prison,” Mr. Kelley declared in a video he posted on Facebook in early October that was later taken down. “She is a threat to our Republic.”

A few days later, federal agents arrested more than a dozen Michigan militiamen, charging them in a plot to kidnap the governor, put her on trial and possibly execute her.

At least two of the suspects had participated in the April 30 protest at the Capitol, as well as the gathering with Mr. Shirkey in Grand Rapids. Prosecutors said that the men had tried to recruit other conspirators at an American Patriot Council rally. (Mr. Kelley and Mr. Shirkey denied any knowledge of the plot.)

It was the culmination of months of mobilization by armed groups, accompanied by increasingly threatening language, and Mr. Trump declined to condemn the plotters. “People are entitled to say, ‘Maybe it was a problem, maybe it wasn’t,’” he declared at a rally in Michigan.

Hours after the Nov. 3 election, Ms. Maddock wrote on Facebook: “35k ballots showed up out of nowhere at 3 AM. Need help.” She urged Trump supporters to rush to “monitor the vote” at a ballot-counting center in Detroit. “Report to room 260 STAT.”

As the counting showed Mr. Trump had lost the pivotal state, Michigan Republicans began a two-month campaign to overturn the result and keep him in power, channeling the momentum of the previous year’s battles over Black Lives Matter and Covid-19.

Mr. Kelley, with Mr. Howland and their armed militia allies, showed up for a rowdy protest outside the ballot counting. Later that month Mr. Kelley told a rally outside the Statehouse that the coronavirus was a ruse to persuade the public to “believe Joe Biden won the election,” The Lansing State Journal reported. One woman held a sign saying “ARREST THE VOTE COUNTERS.”

When attempts to stop the counting failed, Ms. Maddock in December led 16 Republican electors trying to push into the Michigan Capitol to disrupt the casting of Democratic votes in the Electoral College. During a “Stop the Steal” news conference in Washington the next day, she vowed to “keep fighting.”

Marching toward the Capitol on Jan. 6, she tweeted that the throngs were “the most incredible crowd and sea of people I have ever walked with.”

She also pushed back on Twitter against an observer urging Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, to take control of his party. “That’s where you’re very wrong,” she said. “It’s Trump’s party now.”

Ms. Maddock has condemned the violence and said she took no part. “When it comes to militias or the Proud Boys, I have no connection whatsoever to them,” she wrote in an email.

Mr. Kelley and Mr. Howland were filmed outside the U.S. Capitol during the riot. Both men said they did not break any laws, and argued that the event was not “an insurrection” because the participants were patriots. “I was there to support the sitting president,” Mr. Kelley said.

Ms. Gatt, the Republican activist, had posted a video on Facebook of herself in Washington for a rally in December talking with members of the Proud Boys, saying: “I hang out with the Michigan Proud Boys.”

During the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, she climbed scaffolding set up for the inauguration: “I made it to the top of the Capitol,” she bragged on Facebook.

Mr. Shirkey, the Michigan Senate leader who came around to work with the militias, declined to follow the movement behind Mr. Trump all the way to the end. Summoned to the White House in November, Mr. Shirkey refused the president’s entreaties to try to annul his Michigan defeat.

But in an interview last week, the lawmaker said he nonetheless empathized with the mob that attacked Congress.

“It was people feeling oppressed, and depressed, responding to what they thought was government just stealing their lives from them,” he said. “And I’m not endorsing and supporting their actions, but I understand where they come from.”

David D. Kirkpatrick is an international correspondent based in London and the author of "Into the Hands of the Soldiers: Freedom and Chaos in Egypt and the Middle East." In 2020 he shared a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on covert Russian interference in other governments and as the Cairo bureau chief from 2011 to 2015 he led coverage of the Arab Spring uprisings. @ddknyt • Facebook

Mike McIntire is a reporter with the investigations unit. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and has written in depth on campaign finance, gun violence and corruption in college sports. @mmcintire

maestrob
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:21 pm

The lead organizer of the April 30 armed protest, Ryan Kelley, a local Republican official, last week announced a bid for governor. “Becoming too closely aligned with militias — is that a bad thing?” he said in an interview. Londa Gatt, a pro-Trump activist close to him was named last month to a leadership position in a statewide Republican women’s group. She welcomed militias and Proud Boys at protests, posting on the social media site Parler: “While BLM destroy/murder people the Proud Boys are true patriots.” Prosecutors have accused members of the Proud Boys of playing a leading role in the Jan. 6 assault.
Treason.

Never forget.

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Thu Feb 11, 2021 12:21 pm

Fascism continues its attack.In many places, there is little,if any ,GOP "defection."

Attacks on colleges and their employees:

A bill requiring polling of political affiliations of public university employees, and disclosure of research funding.

https://kwwl.com/2021/02/10/iowa-senato ... filiation/

A bill requiring an equal number of GOP professors as Dem professors.

https://www.thewrap.com/republicans-see ... rofessors/

Attack on transgenders again, in addition to the parental notification of a pronoun preference request by a student posted earlier.

https://www.kcrg.com/2021/02/11/iowa-se ... committee/

maestrob
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Thu Feb 11, 2021 1:40 pm

It is an article of faith in many conservative circles that left-leaning professors are trying to indoctrinate students into liberalism. The political party litmus test could create the same sort of dilemmas for professors as the communist witch hunt headed by Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1940s and 1950s, when public employees, including professors, were required to sign oaths stating that they were not members of the Communist Party.
The above paragraph stood out for me in the article in The Wrap.

Looks like Republicans support the Constitution only when they agree with it. :mrgreen:

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Sun Feb 14, 2021 11:30 am

From WAPO today:

"Welcome to Iowa, a state that doesn’t care if you live or die
The governor lifted all covid-19 restrictions — showing what we really mean when we say ‘Iowa nice’

By Lyz Lenz
Lyz Lenz is the author of "God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America" and "Belabored: A Vindication of the Rights of Pregnant Women."
Feb. 10, 2021 at 5:00 a.m. CST


Last weekend, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) lifted all pandemic restrictions. There was no explanation, no warning. Nor did the governor consult with the state’s Public Health Department before removing mask mandates and limits on gatherings and indoor dining. Whatever thin protections separated Iowans from the coronavirus were just gone. The announcement came the same week that new variants of the virus were detected in the state and just one day after Iowa surpassed 5,000 deaths.

Welcome to Iowa: A state that just doesn’t care if you live or die.

It didn’t start out this way. Iowa’s first recorded cases came March 8, from a cruise to Egypt sponsored by a local bank. And at first, it seemed Reynolds would take the public health threat seriously: She shut down schools and many businesses and recreational activities, and people did their best to stay home. Yet Iowa was one of only five states that did not issue a stay-at-home order last spring. And it was confusing: Indoor dining was closed, but Hobby Lobby was open. Schools were shut, but in early April, the governor allowed a 600-person horse auction to continue. My dad, who works at a hospital in Texas, mailed me N95 masks because I couldn’t find any in the state. My daughter’s friends still held their birthday parties.
Governors who reject stay-at-home orders place ‘small government’ above lives

As the pandemic unfolded, the policy contradictions began to take on a cruel coherence, making clear whose safety mattered. Initially, Iowa’s biggest outbreaks were at food processing plants, which employ a large amount of immigrant labor. At first, the plants shut down; farmers, with no market for their hogs, euthanized them. Then a moral calculus was made: pork before people. Plants opened up. The governor praised the companies. In August, a lawsuit filed by families of workers alleged that management had lied to them about the risk and forced them to work without adequate personal protective equipment. Plant managers were taking bets on how many workers would get sick. The state still hasn’t reported how many food processing plant employees’ lives have been lost in this gamble.

It only got worse from there. The state-sanctioned denialism was made especially obvious by the way we treated those whose safety we supposedly held dearest: our children. Iowa was the only state in the nation that allowed high school students to play baseball and softball; at the time, the state was averaging between 250 and 300 cases a week.
Sara Anne Willette, who contracted with the Iowa State Education Association to track coronavirus data in schools, told me that she got threats every time she reported on cases in high school sports. A teacher in southwest Iowa said that her high school had a culture of not testing but that kids were calling out sick without explanation: “No one wants to ruin a game for the whole team.” Even as the cases rose, sports never stopped, and the state did not track if there was a connection.
I looked at pictures from the state volleyball tournament from October, held in my city: maskless players, maskless fans, everyone acting like no one was dying. It was like the whole state agreed to let high school students contract a deadly virus while everyone cheered from the sidelines. Meanwhile, at news conferences, the governor would remind us frequently that deaths were occurring in older individuals or individuals with underlying conditions, as if this justified the loss of their lives.

The lifting of restrictions now seems propelled by superficially good news: falling case counts and rising vaccine availability. But any true look at the state of the pandemic in Iowa reveals that the rationale is reckless and delusional.

Cases have decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 14 days, which seems good until you factor in the surge from the winter holidays and realize that the numbers remain higher than they were over the spring and summer. Yes, coronavirus vaccines exist now — but Iowa ranks as the 47th-worst state for per capita vaccine distribution from the federal government and 46th-worst in the rate of administering doses to residents.

The distribution patterns reveal which people the state considers disposable and which worth saving: According to state data, Hispanic people account for 6 percent of the population and 3 percent of covid-19 deaths in Iowa, but less than 2 percent of vaccinations. Black people make up 4 percent of the state’s population and approximately 2.5 percent of deaths, but account for 1 percent of vaccinations.

The orders now are just for Iowans to stay vigilant and for “vulnerable Iowans” to stay inside — an edict completely divorced from reality — as if our illness were a matter of personal choice. The orders make just as much sense as firefighters refusing to save people trapped inside a burning building and shouting at them to just stay away from the flames. The text of the proclamation does repeat, over and over, like a talisman, that business owners, employers and event organizers should continue to take “reasonable measures” — as if we were ever in agreement on what “reasonable” means. It’s the Pontius Pilate school of governance: Leave the decision of death up to the masses, then wash your hands of it all.

Iowa’s state motto is “Our liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain.” But our liberties are resulting in the deaths of our neighbors. And, in the absence of clear guidance, or even some shared understanding of the danger, people are turning on one another: In late December, a fistfight in a Coralville store erupted over masks. On Tuesday, my children’s school decided to end mandatory mask-wearing, though teachers have yet to be vaccinated; a few weeks earlier, Reynolds signed a bill forcing schools to offer a 100 percent in-person option for instruction. Over the weekend, free of limits on gatherings, my daughter’s friend invited her to a sleepover with 10 other girls. When I said no, the mother hosting the party called me “brainwashed.”]

In Iowa, 2020 was a year of cruelty, and we are not getting nicer. At the beginning of the 2021 legislative session, GOP lawmakers introduced a bill to bring back capital punishment. They also refused to enforce a mask mandate inside their chambers; several lawmakers have already tested positive for the coronavirus. News investigations continue to reveal how the state misspent vital aid on computer systems and how the governor gave special concessions to pork producers, who were and still are sacrificing their workers in the name of profits.

“Iowa nice” is a comforting myth Iowans tell ourselves about ourselves. That myth gets amplified every four years, when national reporters come through and tell happy little stories of fields, casseroles, politicians kissing babies and strangers happily offering directions. But the reality is that “Iowa nice” has become nothing more than Iowa do-nothingness: a passive acceptance of the carnage."

(Rach3: The Iowa GOP also has a bill to bring back capital punishment.)

maestrob
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:35 pm

We have relatives in Florida who go around everywhere without masks: both are in their 80's, living with their son who jsut survived a massive operation to remove cancer from his insides.

"Nice" just isn't the word to describe the denial of reality that is threatening the lives of American citizens in Republican-run states.

With only 4% of the world's population, the U. S. is still recording roughly 25% of the deaths world-wide from Covid-19. We are currently near the highest level in the developed world in number of deaths per 1 million population (9.51): only certain former client states of the Soviet Union, Portugal (17.21!) Spain (10.51!) and (sadly) the United Kingdom with its new, more contagious variant (10.15), rank higher. By contrast, China barely shows any (0.01) and Australia shows zero. Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea are similarly, for all practical purposes, free of the virus.

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-deaths ... AN~DEU~FRA

How the mighty have fallen.

Never forget.

Rach3
Posts: 3138
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:09 am

NYT today

Nick Corasaniti
By Nick Corasaniti
Feb. 15, 2021
When the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unanimously rejected a Republican attempt to overturn the state’s election results in November, Justice David N. Wecht issued his own pointed rebuke, condemning the G.O.P. effort as “futile” and “a dangerous game.”

“It is not our role to lend legitimacy to such transparent and untimely efforts to subvert the will of Pennsylvania voters,” wrote Justice Wecht, a Democrat who was elected to a 10-year term on the bench in 2016. “Courts should not decide elections when the will of the voters is clear.”

Now Pennsylvania Republicans have a plan to make it less likely that judges like Justice Wecht get in their way.

G.O.P. legislators, dozens of whom supported overturning the state’s election results to aid former President Donald J. Trump, are moving to change the entire way that judges are selected in Pennsylvania, in a gambit that could tip the scales of the judiciary to favor their party, or at least elect judges more inclined to embrace Republican election challenges.


The proposal would replace the current system of statewide elections for judges with judicial districts drawn by the Republican-controlled legislature. Those districts could empower rural, predominantly conservative areas and particularly rewire the State Supreme Court, which has a 5-to-2 Democratic lean.

Democrats are now mobilizing to fight the effort, calling it a thinly veiled attempt at creating a new level of gerrymandering — an escalation of the decades-old practice of drawing congressional and state legislative districts to ensure that political power remains in one party’s hands. Democrats are marshaling grass-roots opposition, holding regular town hall events conducted over Zoom, and planning social media campaigns and call-in days to legislators, as well as an enormous voter education campaign. One group, Why Courts Matter Pennsylvania, has cut a two-minute infomercial.

Republicans in Pennsylvania have historically used gerrymandering to maintain their majority in the legislature, despite Democratic victories in statewide elections. Republicans have controlled the State House of Representatives since 2011 and the State Senate since 1993.

Current schedules for the legislature make it unlikely the Republicans could marshal their majorities in the House and Senate to pass the bill by Wednesday and put the proposal before voters on the ballot in May. Passing the bill after that date would set up a new and lengthy political war for November in this fiercely contested state.

Republicans have some history on their side: Pennsylvania voters tend to approve ballot measures.

“You should be very suspicious when you see a legislature who has been thwarted by a Supreme Court in its unconstitutional attempts to rig the democratic process then trying to rig the composition of that Supreme Court,” said Wendy Weiser, the director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice.

She added, “It is way too much control for one branch to have over another branch, particularly where one of its charges is to rein in the excesses of the legislative branch.”

If the Republican bill becomes law, Pennsylvania would become just the fifth state in the country, after Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Illinois, to wholly map its judicial system into electoral districts, according to the Brennan Center. And other states may soon join Pennsylvania in trying to remake the courts through redistricting.

Republicans in the Texas Legislature, which is also controlled by the G.O.P., recently introduced a bill that would shift districts for the state appellate courts by moving some counties into different districts, causing an uproar among state Democrats who saw the new districts as weakening the voting power of Black and Latino communities in judicial elections and potentially adding to the Republican tilt of the Texas courts.

Gilberto Hinojosa, the chair of the Texas Democratic Party, called the bill a “pure power grab meant to keep Blacks and Latinos from having influence on courts as their numbers in the state grow.”

These judicial redistricting battles are taking shape as Republican-controlled legislatures across the country explore new restrictions on voting after the 2020 elections. In Georgia, Republicans in the state legislature are seeking a host of new laws that would make voting more difficult, including banning drop boxes and placing sweeping limitations on mail-in voting. Similar bills in Arizona would restrict mail-in voting, including barring the state from sending out mail ballot applications. And in Texas, Republican lawmakers want to limit early voting periods.

The nationwide effort by Republicans follows a successful four-year drive by the party’s lawmakers in Washington to reshape the federal judiciary with conservative judges. Led by Senator Mitch McConnell, until recently the majority leader, and Mr. Trump, the Senate confirmed 231 federal judges, as well as three new Supreme Court justices, over the former president’s four-year term, according to data maintained by Russell Wheeler, a research fellow at the Brookings Institution.

In a state like Pennsylvania, which has two densely populated Democratic cities and large rural areas, this could give outsize representation to sparsely populated places that lean more conservative, particularly if the legislature resorts to a gerrymandering tactic similar to one used in Pennsylvania in 2011.

“Republicans have been good at gerrymandering districts in Pennsylvania, or good in the sense that they’ve been successful,” said State Senator Sharif Street, a Democrat. “I think they would like to remain successful, and they are confident that they can gerrymander judicial districts.”

Republicans in the state legislature argue that their proposed move would give different regions of Pennsylvania more representation.

Russ Diamond, the Republican state representative who is sponsoring the bill, said in an email that regional representation was necessary for the judiciary “because the same statewide consensus which goes in making law should come to bear when those statutes are heard on appeal, are applied in practical real-life situations, and when precedent is set for the future of the Commonwealth.”


State Representative Russ Diamond during a town hall meeting in Llewellyn, Pa. He sponsored the bill to reshape the judiciary, after first introducing a similar one in 2015.
“The overall goal is to include the full diversity of Pennsylvania’s appellate courts,” Mr. Diamond added. “There is no way to completely depoliticize the courts, other than choosing judges via random selection or a lottery system. Every individual holds some political opinion or another.”

Geographic diversity, however, rarely equates to racial diversity in the courts. The four states that use judicial districts in state Supreme Court elections — Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi and Kentucky — have never had more than one justice of color on the court at any given time, according to data from the Brennan Center.

While eight states use some form of judicial districts to elect judges, Pennsylvania’s proposal remains an outlier on a few key elements. First, a partisan legislature would have the power to redraw the districts every 10 years, whereas those elsewhere remain for longer or are based on statute. Additionally, the judicial districts in Pennsylvania would not be bound by or based on any existing legislative or congressional districts, created from scratch by the Republican-controlled legislature.

The move has caught the attention of national Democratic groups that are at the forefront of redistricting battles across the country.

“A decade ago, Pennsylvania Republicans gerrymandered themselves into majorities in the legislature and congressional delegation,” said Eric H. Holder Jr., the former United States attorney general and current chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. “Now that their grip on power has been forcibly loosened by the courts, they want to create and then manipulate judicial districts in a blatant attempt to undermine the independence of the judiciary and stack the courts with their conservative allies.”

Because the bill has already passed the House once, in 2020, it needs only to pass both chambers of the state legislature again to make it on the ballot.

Further stoking Democrats’ fears: The bill does not need the signature of Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat. Since it would be an amendment to the Constitution, it would head to the ballot as a referendum question to be voted on in the next election (if the bill passes before Wednesday, it would go to voters during the May primary). Historically, Pennsylvania voters have voted more in favor of ballot measures than against them, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Good government groups have teamed up with Democrats to mount a huge voter education campaign, anticipating that the judicial question may soon be on the ballot. Progressive groups including the Judicial Independence Project of PA, a new coalition that includes the voting rights group Common Cause, have been holding digital town halls about the judicial redistricting proposal, with attendance regularly topping 100 people.

On a Thursday evening late last month, more than 160 people logged into Zoom to hear from coalition leaders about the bill and to hatch plans to further mobilize against it. Rebecca Litt, a senior organizer from a local Indivisible group, proposed a call-your-legislator day. Ricardo Almodovar, an organizing director with We the People PA, another progressive group, noted the graphics and other social media campaigns already underway to help educate voters.

“We’re also trying to humanize the courts,” Mr. Almodovar explained during a smaller session with southeastern Pennsylvania residents, sharing stories of how specific court decisions “impact our lives.”

Throughout the full, hourlong meeting, organizers repeatedly sought to make the stakes very clear.

“We are in the last legislative session of this,” said Alexa Grant, a program advocate with Common

maestrob
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:27 am

In a state like Pennsylvania, which has two densely populated Democratic cities and large rural areas, this could give outsize representation to sparsely populated places that lean more conservative, particularly if the legislature resorts to a gerrymandering tactic similar to one used in Pennsylvania in 2011.
This has been Republican strategy at the national level for decades, so why not try the same strategy at the state level? :mrgreen:

The state of Montana has three people in Congress to represent the interests of roughly 600,000 gun-toting white folks, while California, with a population of nearly 40 million at last count (greater than Australia or Canada!) is represented by only two senators, the same as Montana or the two Dakotas (760,000 & 885,000 respectively), with two senators each.

barney
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by barney » Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:50 pm

It's surely an odd system. I suspect reform would be extremely difficult.

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 8:23 pm

America has never learned the lesson that we all must hang together or we will all hang separately.It was always possible to " Go West, young man." We have been out of "West" for some time. Europe seems to have that lesson better in mind , as does Australia. ( But then, who would want to go to Coober Pedy !? Wink. )

barney
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by barney » Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:36 am

Not me, Steve, but miners - in the US and Australia - are a hardy bunch.

maestrob
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:38 am

barney wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:50 pm
It's surely an odd system. I suspect reform would be extremely difficult.
Of course our system of government was enshrined in the Constitution when we were a country of East Coasters located in 13 states. It was a devil's bargain that the northern states made with the southern slave-owning states who did not want to be overpowered in Congress by the interests of the more populous North.

The result of that compromise was the Civil War, which began just 70 years after our Constitution was ratified in 1789, and the terrible myths and racial hatred that followed the defeat of the South have endured in our society until today.

The systematic brutal oppression of minorities has faded through the ensuing generations, but it continues still, even in our northern 'liberal" cities, where police forces vote overwhelmingly for Republicans.

As an example, just today, New York City's police have finally been ordered by our state supreme court to release records of the massive amounts of complaints filed against officers in their ranks (as well as firemen, etc.) to the public. It is still quite legal for police to lie and distort facts to people who are interrogated in order to force a confession, something that was outlawed in England generations ago, where interrogations are routinely recorded on video. Not so here until just recently, when a law signed by Governor Cuomo finally took effect in 2018.

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/govern ... now-effect
As of April 1, (2018), law enforcement investigators are required to video record interrogations of individuals accused of most serious non-drug felonies. The requirement applies only to custodial interrogations at police stations, correctional facilities, prosecutor's offices, and similar holding areas. Failure to record interrogations in applicable cases could result in a court determining that a confession is inadmissible as evidence, according to the new law. The change to the Criminal Procedure Law was adopted by the state Legislature along with other critical reforms proposed by the Governor as part of the FY 2017-18 state budget.
If you want to see an example of what happens in Republican-run states (in the South in particular), I suggest that you should rent or buy the brilliant recent (2019) film "Just Mercy," which details in stark terms the abuses of prisoners in the Alabama penal system.

Image

https://www.amazon.com/Just-Mercy-Digit ... -tv&sr=1-2

barney
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by barney » Wed Feb 17, 2021 6:00 pm

My wife came across Just Mercy a few years ago, and was hugely impressed. She made us watch it. It's also a book, I believe, which we have. Brian Stevenson truly is a hero. Edit: Pretty sure we had the book first. I don't think I saw the film, but my wife went to it at the cinema.

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:12 pm

Per CNN today:

Six US Capitol Police officers have been suspended with pay, and 29 others have been placed under investigation, for their actions in the January 6 riot, a department spokesman said Thursday.

"Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman has directed that any member of her department whose behavior is not in keeping with the Department's Rules of Conduct will face appropriate discipline," department spokesman John Stolnis told CNN.

CNN reported in January that the USCP had placed at least 10 officers under investigation, and two others had been suspended.

One of the suspended officers took a selfie with someone who was part of the mob that overtook the Capitol, according to Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat from Ohio. Another wore a "Make America Great Again" hat and started directing people around the building, Ryan said.

Last month, Pittman said the department "has been actively reviewing video and other open source materials of some USCP officers and officials that appear to be in violation of Department regulations and policies."

The suspensions and investigations come at a time of internal turmoil at the department as officers continue to grapple with the insurrection that led to the death of Officer Brian Sicknick. Members of the Capitol Police issued a vote of no confidence in the force's top leaders earlier this month.

At least seven officers in five other departments across the country have come under internal investigations as their presence in Washington during the assault comes to light through social media or other means.

One officer in New York, one in Philadelphia, two in Seattle, two in Virginia and one in Texas are under investigation by their departments for potential rules violations. Additionally, some departments have been contacted by the FBI as part of their criminal investigation into the overrunning of the Capitol.

The number may grow as investigators and the public sift through social media and lodge allegations that officers may have been involved in the siege."

Sieg Heil !

And the cowardly, suckup,lemming Trump Senators and Congressmen thought the Capitol Police were there to protect the Congress.

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:35 pm

GOP.Sen. and wacko Trumpist Utah’s Mike Lee spent the weekend doing a big GOP fund raiser in Florida at Mar-A-Lago for his 2022 Senate campaign, $10600 per couple, per MSNBC. AOC and Beto were raising over $5M for distraught Texans and both personally there.

SCOTUS Justice Thomas was unfit, intellectually at a minimum, to serve on the Court. He and his alt.right GOP wife have attended Federalist Society meetings, raising serious judicial ethics issues. His wife tweeted, in real time Jan. 6, support for the Capitol insurrectionists. Thomas should have recused himself from all pending SCOTUS cases involving Trump or the 2020 election, but he did not do so, and in fact issued a dissent in the main PA case. CNN must have a Trump mole as CNN chose to highlight his dissent on their website tonight suggesting Thomas found some merit in the Big Lie.

America the beautiful.

Belle
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Belle » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:34 pm

Appalling, absolutely hate-fuelled comments. How do you get to sleep at night with all that hatred on board? It's a serious question. People like you scare the hell out of many of us.

Trump has lost the election and the only thing keeping him from total obscurity and irrelevance is people like you. What a delicious irony. Your capacity for exaggeration has reached olympic-level proportions. Industrial strength, actually. In our family we've started to make jokes about Trump Derangement Syndrome; there simply isn't any other suitable response.

Or are you just deeply bitter than you've never made money and been as successful as some other people have? :oops:

jserraglio
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by jserraglio » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:51 am

Belle wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:34 pm
than you've never made money and been as successful as some other people have?
Image

Nothing succeeds like tootling your own success!

Rich Lives Matter.

Trump voter Jenna Ryan is a case in point. She hired a private jet to D.C. to participate in the Jan. 6 riot. Later arrested, she now faces four counts of trespass and disorderly conduct.

barney
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by barney » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:08 am

Belle wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:34 pm
Appalling, absolutely hate-fuelled comments. How do you get to sleep at night with all that hatred on board? It's a serious question. People like you scare the hell out of many of us.

Trump has lost the election and the only thing keeping him from total obscurity and irrelevance is people like you. What a delicious irony. Your capacity for exaggeration has reached olympic-level proportions. Industrial strength, actually. In our family we've started to make jokes about Trump Derangement Syndrome; there simply isn't any other suitable response.

Or are you just deeply bitter than you've never made money and been as successful as some other people have? :oops:
Didn't you know Steve is a billionaire? He's very modest about it, and doesn't generally want it known, but your jibe is out of bounds in any event. What if we started making comments about your sons? And how sad it is that for you the only measure of success is the bank account. Especially as you claim to support the little people, a patronising and contemptuous term typical of the right. Steve has a passion for justice totally alien to sneering right-wing culture warriors.

jserraglio
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by jserraglio » Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:10 am

barney wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:08 am
you claim to support the little people, a patronising and contemptuous term typical of the right.
LUCRE Unlimited is hard at work in support of the little guy. https://www.wsj.com/

Image
Last edited by jserraglio on Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rach3
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:36 am

Rach3 wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:35 pm
...America the beautiful.
IF interested, more on Justice Thomas’ dissent in the PA case, Sen.Lee on the Trump election suits:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/dissent-just ... 07739.html

https://www.deseret.com/utah/2020/11/23 ... y-giuliani

maestrob
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:01 pm

Barney, among the things that it seems Belle will never grasp is that many wealthy people support justice and the opportunity for everyone to have a good life, realizing that a prosperous population only adds to their own security and stability. For instance, even though Henry Ford was bitterly anti-Semitic, he insisted on paying his workers enough so that they could afford to buy the cars they were producing. Franklin Roosevelt was also quite wealthy, yet he totally reinvented the finances in our society so that the Great Depression could not happen again, and while his framework was in place, it didn't, until Republicans began to dismantle it under Ronald Reagan.

Having a solid, modern infrastructure in place in the USA made Americans more prosperous during the 1950's and 1960's than in any previous society. We put men on the moon for the first time in 1969, remember?

Yet we have wealthy cousins in Florida who loudly extolled the virtues of Trump's government by bragging about how much they do for the poor. I don't speak to them, but Teresa must, once a year at Christmas, however briefly.

Having a well-developed sense of social justice has nothing to do with one's bankbook balance, and everything to do with the very basic ability to connect with people. Some folks are born with that, others will never have it, while many of us are hopefully growing towards that sense of empathy.

It's what great plays and books are all about, as well as the study of history and religion.

God certainly hasn't granted us all an equal measure of wisdom, but I firmly believe that He has provided us with a framework for acquiring it, should we choose to search for it.

maestrob
Posts: 9405
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:06 pm

Virginia Thomas, a conservative activist and the justice's wife, apologized to her husband’s former law clerks for posting a series of messages supporting Trump's claims of fraud. Thomas has declined to comment on his wife's apology or her earlier pro-Trump statements.
Maybe Dominion will now contemplate a lawsuit against the Thomases? :mrgreen:

barney
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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by barney » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:27 pm

maestrob wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:01 pm

Having a well-developed sense of social justice has nothing to do with one's bankbook balance, and everything to do with the very basic ability to connect with people. Some folks are born with that, others will never have it, while many of us are hopefully growing towards that sense of empathy.

It's what great plays and books are all about, as well as the study of history and religion.

God certainly hasn't granted us all an equal measure of wisdom, but I firmly believe that He has provided us with a framework for acquiring it, should we choose to search for it.
Very well said, Brian

jserraglio
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by jserraglio » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:29 pm

Belle wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:34 pm
In our family we've started to make jokes about Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Image”TDS? Our fam’ly yuse to call it Doo-doo Economicz. Now it goes by jest plain ol’ Wonder Woman White Bread.”

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