TrumpReich in action

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by jserraglio » Tue Jun 13, 2023 12:27 pm

maestrob wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2023 12:15 pm
Rallying behind Trump, Republicans defend keeping classified material in the bathroom

ImageA photograph released by the U.S. Justice Department shows boxes of documents in a bathroom in former President Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida in early 2021.Credit...via Department of Justice
If you zoom in and look just above the shower curtain rod on the top right and top left of the photo, you’ll see exactly why Trump stinks to high heaven.

No way this poor slob could possibly take a shower!

And Speaker McCarthy is absolutely right. It was only logical for these documents to be boxed up without delay and in situ, as soon as Donald de-assified them.

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Mon Jun 19, 2023 9:50 am

G.O.P. Targets Researchers Who Study Disinformation Ahead of 2024 Election

A legal campaign against universities and think tanks seeks to undermine the fight against false claims about elections, vaccines and other hot political topics.

By Steven Lee Myers and Sheera Frenkel
June 19, 2023, 5:01 a.m. ET

On Capitol Hill and in the courts, Republican lawmakers and activists are mounting a sweeping legal campaign against universities, think tanks and private companies that study the spread of disinformation, accusing them of colluding with the government to suppress conservative speech online.

The effort has encumbered its targets with expansive requests for information and, in some cases, subpoenas — demanding notes, emails and other information related to social media companies and the government dating back to 2015. Complying has consumed time and resources and already affected the groups’ ability to do research and raise money, according to several people involved.

They and others warned that the campaign undermined the fight against disinformation in American society when the problem is, by most accounts, on the rise — and when another presidential election is around the corner. Many of those behind the Republican effort had also joined former President Donald J. Trump in falsely challenging the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

“I think it’s quite obviously a cynical — and I would say wildly partisan — attempt to chill research,” said Jameel Jaffer, the executive director of Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute, an organization that works to safeguard freedom of speech and the press.

The House Judiciary Committee, which in January came under Republican majority control, has sent scores of letters and subpoenas to the researchers — only some of which have been made public. It has threatened legal action against those who have not responded quickly or fully enough.

A conservative advocacy group led by Stephen Miller, the former adviser to Mr. Trump, filed a class-action lawsuit last month in U.S. District Court in Louisiana that echoes many of the committee’s accusations and focuses on some of the same defendants.

Targets include Stanford, Clemson and New York Universities and the University of Washington; the Atlantic Council, the German Marshall Fund and the National Conference on Citizenship, all nonpartisan, nongovernmental organizations in Washington; the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco; and Graphika, a company that researches disinformation online.

In a related line of inquiry, the committee has also issued a subpoena to the World Federation of Advertisers, a trade association, and the Global Alliance for Responsible Media it created. The committee’s Republican leaders have accused the groups of violating antitrust laws by conspiring to cut off advertising revenue for content researchers and tech companies found to be harmful.

The committee’s chairman, Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a close ally of Mr. Trump, has accused the organizations of “censorship of disfavored speech” involving issues that have galvanized the Republican Party: the policies around the Covid-19 pandemic and the integrity of the American political system, including the outcome of the 2020 election.

Much of the disinformation surrounding both issues has come from the right. Many Republicans are convinced that researchers who study disinformation have pressed social media platforms to discriminate against conservative voices.

Those complaints have been fueled by Twitter’s decision under its new owner, Elon Musk, to release selected internal communications between government officials and Twitter employees. The communications show government officials urging Twitter to take action against accounts spreading disinformation but stopping short of ordering them to do, as some critics claimed.

Patrick L. Warren, an associate professor at Clemson University, said researchers at the school have provided documents to the committee, and given some staff members a short presentation. “I think most of this has been spurred by our appearance in the Twitter files, which left people with a pretty distorted sense of our mission and work,” he said.

Last year, the Republican attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana sued the Biden administration in U.S. District Court in Louisiana, arguing that government officials effectively cajoled or coerced Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms by threatening legislative changes. The judge, Terry A. Doughty, rejected a defense motion to dismiss the lawsuit in March.

The current campaign’s focus is not government officials but rather private individuals working for universities or nongovernmental organizations. They have their own First Amendment guarantees of free speech, including their interactions with the social medial companies.

The group behind the class action, America First Legal, named as defendants two researchers at the Stanford Internet Observatory, Alex Stamos and Renée DiResta; a professor at the University of Washington, Kate Starbird; an executive of Graphika, Camille François; and the senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, Graham Brookie.

If the lawsuit proceeds, they could face trial and, potentially, civil damages if the accusations are upheld.

Mr. Miller, the president of America First Legal, did not respond to a request for comment. In a statement last month, he said the lawsuit was “striking at the heart of the censorship-industrial complex.”

The researchers, who have been asked by the House committee to submit emails and other records, are also defendants in the lawsuit brought by the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana. The plaintiffs include Jill Hines, a director of Health Freedom Louisiana, an organization that has been accused of disinformation, and Jim Hoft, the founder of the Gateway Pundit, a right-wing news site. The court in the Western District of Louisiana has, under Judge Doughty, become a favored venue for legal challenges against the Biden administration.

The attacks use “the same argument that starts with some false premises,” said Jeff Hancock, the founding director of the Stanford Social Media Lab, which is not a party to any of the legal action. “We see it in the media, in the congressional committees and in lawsuits, and it is the same core argument, with a false premise about the government giving some type of direction to the research we do.”

The House Judiciary Committee has focused much of its questioning on two collaborative projects. One was the Election Integrity Partnership, which Stanford and the University of Washington formed before the 2020 election to identify attempts “to suppress voting, reduce participation, confuse voters or delegitimize election results without evidence.” The other, also organized by Stanford, was called the Virality Project and focused on the spread of disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines.

Both subjects have become political lightning rods, exposing the researchers to partisan attacks online that have become ominously personal at times.

In the case of the Stanford Internet Observatory, the requests for information — including all emails — have even extended to students who volunteered to work as interns for the Election Integrity Partnership.

A central premise of the committee’s investigation — and the other complaints about censorship — is that the researchers or government officials had the power or ability to shut down accounts on social media. They did not, according to former employees at Twitter and Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, who said the decision to punish users who violated platform rules belonged solely to the companies.

No evidence has emerged that government officials coerced the companies to take action against accounts, even when the groups flagged problematic content.

“We have not only academic freedom as researchers to conduct this research but freedom of speech to tell Twitter or any other company to look at tweets we might think violate rules,” Mr. Hancock said.

The universities and research organizations have sought to comply with the committee’s requests, though the collection of years of emails has been a time-consuming task complicated by issues of privacy. They face mounting legal costs and questions from directors and donors about the risks raised by studying disinformation. Online attacks have also taken a toll on morale and, in some cases, scared away students.

In May, Mr. Jordan, the committee’s chairman, threatened Stanford with unspecified legal action for not complying with a previously issued subpoena, even though the university’s lawyers have been negotiating with the committee’s lawyers over how to shield students’ privacy. (Several of the students who volunteered are identified in the America First Legal lawsuit.)

The committee declined to discuss details of the investigation, including how many requests or subpoenas it has filed in total. Nor has it disclosed how it expects the inquiry to unfold — whether it would prepare a final report or make criminal referrals and, if so, when. In its statements, though, it appears to have already reached a broad conclusion.

“The Twitter files and information from private litigation show how the federal government worked with social media companies and other entities to silence disfavored speech online,” a spokesman, Russell Dye, said in a statement. “The committee is working hard to get to the bottom of this censorship to protect First Amendment rights for all Americans.”

The partisan controversy is having an effect on not only the researchers but also the social media giants.

Twitter, under Mr. Musk, has made a point of lifting restrictions and restoring accounts that had been suspended, including the Gateway Pundit’s. YouTube recently announced that it would no longer ban videos that advanced “false claims that widespread fraud, errors or glitches occurred in the 2020 and other past U.S. presidential elections.” ... n=Business

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Mon Jun 19, 2023 7:46 pm

The GOP Wehrmacht SS springs into action with their 2024 offensive: ... 05146.html

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Wed Jun 21, 2023 11:54 am

The High Price of Petulance in the Senate

June 21, 2023
By David Firestone

Mr. Firestone is a member of the editorial board.

Instead of showing up for work last Tuesday, Senator Tommy Tuberville, Republican of Alabama, went to Donald Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J., to hear the former president rail against his latest criminal indictment. Mr. Tuberville’s absence gave the Senate an opportunity to end his one-man blockade of all military promotions, a campaign he has been waging for four months to protest the Pentagon’s policy paying for service members to travel for an abortion if they live in a state where it is illegal.

But did the Democrats in the Senate seize the moment and try to get a vote on the promotions? Not a chance.

“One of the unwritten rules of the place is you don’t take advantage of a person’s absence,” said Senator Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, defending an indefensible Senate tradition that lets a single member defeat the will of the majority and hold up virtually any issue for any reason.

Senators could abolish this practice with a majority vote, but have locked themselves into so many hoary old-boy logrolling traditions that they can no longer see why voters are increasingly repulsed by their inaction. In theory, holds and other obstructive privileges are all about personal courtesy to other senators, but they are the height of discourtesy to the voters who elected a majority of the chamber and expect something other than endless procedural delays.

The real reason senators won’t abolish the personal hold is that they might one day want to exercise the privilege of bogging down the Senate themselves. And in Mr. Tuberville’s case, the use of a “hold” has lately become so weaponized that Democrats knew another Republican would probably step up and continue the blockade in his stead.

On the same day, for example, Senator J.D. Vance, Republican of Ohio, announced that he intended to block all of the Biden administration’s nominees for Justice Department jobs, because he’s angry that the department indicted Mr. Trump for purloining classified military secrets from the White House and then lying to investigators about it.

“If Merrick Garland wants to use these officials to harass Joe Biden’s political opponents, we will grind his department to a halt,” Mr. Vance said of the attorney general. It’s not clear if Mr. Vance somehow expected the department to withdraw the indictment, but whatever his actual demand, his hold will make it much more difficult for the Senate to approve nominations and promotions.

Republicans are hardly the only abusers of this privilege. Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, said this month that he would block President Biden’s nominee to be director of the National Institutes of Health until the administration released its plan to lower prescription drug prices. In 2021, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, blocked Mr. Biden’s nomination for a top position at the Education Department in a dispute over reforms to the student loan program.

But what’s new about the latest version of these Senate holds is the breadth and long-term nature of their effects. Holds have generally been used in the past to delay a single nominee while calling attention to a related issue, or for a fairly brief period until a point was clearly made. In 2020, Senator Tammy Duckworth, Democrat of Illinois, held up more than 1,000 military promotions to ensure that a witness in the impeachment proceedings against then-President Donald Trump, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, got a promotion to colonel that Mr. Trump had tried to block. But she dropped the hold 12 days later after Colonel Vindman retired and she received assurances that he would have been promoted.

By contrast, Mr. Tuberville’s petulant demonstration has been going for more than four months. He announced his blockade in mid-February, holding up at least 150 pending promotions for generals and admirals. Since the Pentagon has no intention of changing its policy — which reimburses military personnel for travel to another state for an abortion because many states have banned the procedure — and since the senator has resisted even the pleas of Republicans to back down, the hold now threatens hundreds more promotions. In a few weeks, the Marine Corps is likely to be without a confirmed leader.

“He is effectively accomplishing what our adversaries could only dream of: denying our military of its leadership and degrading our ability to fight and win the nation’s wars,” said Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, who leads the Armed Services Committee, in a recent floor speech.

Similarly, Mr. Vance must know the Justice Department will never withdraw the indictment of Mr. Trump, so his blockade of the department’s promotions and executive hires could go on indefinitely, no doubt pleasing Mr. Trump and his supporters. Preventing new federal prosecutors from taking their jobs, however, will eventually have a serious effect on the government’s ability to fight federal crimes and should alarm anyone who cares about the rule of law.

Individual senators gain the power to effectively block nominations by dragging out old and tedious Senate rules of procedure that are in desperate need of an update. Usually, the Senate majority leader brings up batches of routine military promotions and gets unanimous consent to approve them. But if a single senator breaks that unanimity, then each promotion has to be brought up one by one; at two or three days per vote, that can take a great deal of time, far more than the Senate has. In each two-year Congress, there are approximately 65,000 military appointments and promotions and 2,000 civilian nominations for the Senate to consider, and if the vast majority are not approved by unanimous consent, many arms of government will cease to function.

The hold is a cousin of other undemocratic privileges in the Senate, like the blue slip process, which allows home-state senators to block nominations for federal judges, or the filibuster, which raises the threshold for passage of most legislation to 60 votes. Brian Fallon, a former aide to the majority leader, Chuck Schumer, said those kinds of privileges are artifacts of a racist past, used by white Southern senators to prevent passage of civil rights legislation or nominations that might have interfered with their way of life. But lately they are being taken to new heights by the MAGA wing of the Republican Party.

“If one senator is angling to get on Fox News, it gives them an outsized power to gum up the works,” said Mr. Fallon, now executive director of Demand Justice, which advocates the installation of progressive federal judges. “This is why the Democratic Party needs to understand that reforming the Senate is a necessary step to make democracy viable in 2023.”

Reform could be accomplished with a simple majority vote, just as the filibuster was eliminated for executive nominations. Among other methods, the Senate could change the types of vacancies that require its approval to fill, or it could put a time limit on holds. There are many ways that senators could make their chamber a more democratic institution, but first they have to want to do so. For now, they would rather look the other way as extremists turn their body’s courtesies into chains. ... holds.html

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Wed Jun 21, 2023 12:49 pm

And the Dems blink again.

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Fri Jun 23, 2023 10:22 am

Far Right Pushes a Through-the-Looking-Glass Narrative on Jan. 6

An ecosystem of true believers is promoting a tale of persecution rather than prosecution that has migrated to the heart of presidential politics.

By Robert Draper
Reporting from Capitol Hill

June 23, 2023
Updated 8:39 a.m. ET

Six months since the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol completed its work, a far-right ecosystem of true believers has embraced “J6” as the animating force of their lives.

They attend the criminal trials of the more prominent rioters charged in the attack. They gather to pray and sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the outer perimeter of the District of Columbia jail, where some two dozen defendants are held. Last week, dozens showed up at an unofficial House hearing convened by a handful of Republican lawmakers to challenge “the fake narrative that an insurrection had occurred on Jan. 6,” as set forth by Jeffrey Clark, a witness at the hearing and a former Justice Department official who worked to undo the results of the 2020 election.

The 90-minute event was a through-the-looking-glass alternative to the damning case against former President Donald J. Trump presented last year by the Jan. 6 committee. In the version advanced by five House Republicans who attended the hearing — Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, Ralph Norman, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Troy Nehls — as well as conservative lawyers and Capitol riot defendants, Jan. 6 was an elaborate setup to entrap peaceful Trump supporters, followed by a continuing Biden administration campaign to imprison and torment innocent conservatives.

Writ large, their loudest-in-the-room tale of persecution rather than prosecution might be dismissed as fringe nonsense had it not migrated so swiftly to the heart of presidential politics. Mr. Trump has pledged to pardon some of the Jan. 6 defendants if he returns to the White House, and his chief challenger for the 2024 Republican nomination, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, has signaled he may do the same.

More than half, or 58 percent, of self-described conservatives say that Jan. 6 was an act of “legitimate political discourse” rather than a “violent insurrection,” according to a poll three months ago by The Economist/YouGov.

The counternarrative is in part animated by a series of particularly stiff sentences for the Jan. 6 defendants, including one of more than 12 years in prison handed down on Wednesday for a rioter who savagely assaulted a D.C. police officer, Michael Fanone.

The audience for the hearing in the Capitol Visitor Center included several of the most avid and successful promoters of the Jan. 6 counternarrative.

Among them were Micki Witthoeft, the mother of Ashli Babbitt, the Air Force veteran and QAnon adherent who was fatally shot by a Capitol police officer during the riot and is now heralded as a martyr by the far right; Nicole Reffitt, whose husband, Guy Reffitt, was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for his role in the riot and who now helps organize nightly vigils at the D.C. jail; Tayler Hansen, who has claimed to possess videotaped evidence of antifa elements instigating the violence at the Capitol, but who did not respond to a request from The New York Times to view the footage; and Tommy Tatum of Mississippi, who describes himself as an independent journalist and has inferred from various unidentified characters who appear in his own footage that sophisticated teams of plainclothes federal agents orchestrated the breach of the Capitol.

The Jan. 6 deniers range from true believers to flighty opportunists, with fevered arguments among them as to who is which. Mr. Tatum and William Shipley, a lawyer who has represented more than 30 Jan. 6 defendants, have for example accused each other on Twitter of cynical profiteering.

One generally admired within the group is Julie Kelly, a former Illinois Republican political consultant, cooking class teacher and pandemic lockdown critic who writes for the conservative website American Greatness. Ms. Kelly has asserted that the Biden administration is “on a destructive crusade to exact revenge against supporters of Donald Trump” and has accused Mr. Fanone, who was beaten unconscious by the rioters at the Capitol, of being a “crisis actor.” She was a frequent guest on Tucker Carlson’s prime-time show before Fox fired him in April.

Last month, aides to Speaker Kevin McCarthy gave Ms. Kelly and two other conservative writers, John Solomon of Just the News and Joseph M. Hanneman of The Epoch Times, permission to ferret through the Capitol’s voluminous Jan. 6 security footage, the only journalists other than Mr. Carlson to obtain such access.

In an interview the day before the House hearing, Ms. Kelly said she was scouring the video in hopes of learning the provenance of the infamous gallows that were seen on the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6. “Did Trump supporters go there and build that? I doubt it,” she said. Ms. Kelly also hopes to learn whether nefarious “agitators” were already inside the Capitol before the breach. She variously termed Jan. 6 “an inside job” and a “fed-surrection.”

Ms. Kelly recounted a meeting she and a fellow supporter of Jan. 6 defendants, Cynthia Hughes, had last September with Mr. Trump at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. She said she told the former president that the defendants felt abandoned by him: “They’re saying to me: ‘We were there for him. Why isn’t he here for us?’” Ms. Hughes informed Mr. Trump that the federal judges he appointed were “among the worst” when it came to the treatment of the riot defendants.

Surprised, Mr. Trump replied, “Well, I got recommendations from the Federalist Society.” Ms. Kelly said he then asked, “What do you want me to do?” She replied that he could donate to Ms. Hughes’s organization, the Patriot Freedom Project, which offers financial support to the defendants. Mr. Trump’s Save America PAC subsequently gave $10,000 to the group.

Others in the ecosystem contend that Mr. Trump’s contribution to the cause is manifest by the slings and arrows he has himself suffered since that day. “I call him Jan. Sixth-er Number One,” said Joseph D. McBride, perhaps the most visible of the lawyers representing the defendants. “He’s under the gun. He’s being investigated and indicted.”

Mr. McBride’s clients include Richard Barnett, who posed for a photograph with his foot on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk, as well as Ryan Nichols, who exhorted fellow protesters to target elected officials, yelling, “Cut their heads off!”

Mr. McBride also represented two Stop the Steal rally organizers subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee, Ali Alexander and Alex Bruesewitz. It was Mr. Bruesewitz who introduced Mr. McBride to Donald Trump Jr., which led to several invitations to Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s club in Palm Beach, Fla.

“I’ve lost count at this point,” Mr. McBride said, adding that the club “is a good place to network.”

Mr. McBride was also a frequent guest on Mr. Carlson’s show, including the time he claimed that a mysterious man seen at the Capitol on Jan. 6 with his face obscured in red paint was “clearly a law enforcement officer.” Shown evidence later that week by a HuffPost reporter that the man was a well-known habitué of St. Louis Cardinals baseball games, Mr. McBride replied: “If I’m wrong, so be it, bro. I don’t care.”

He did acknowledge a certain dubiousness to the claim that the mostly white male conservatives who showed up at the Capitol on Jan. 6 had the judicial deck stacked against them.

“Pre-Jan. 6, anytime you heard the term ‘two-tier system of justice,’ it’s Blacks, it’s Latinos, it’s the infringed, it’s the poor, it’s the drug addicted, it’s the marginalized, it’s the L.G.B.T.Q. community,” he said. That coalition of victims, Mr. McBride insisted, now included the MAGA supporters he represented.

Insha Rahman, the vice president for advocacy and partnerships at the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit focused on criminal justice reform, agrees, up to a point. Mr. McBride and the others are raising “unfortunately a fact of life for over two million Americans who are behind bars,” said Ms. Rahman, who has visited the D.C. jail several times and concurs that its conditions are inhumane, though no worse, she said, than detention facilities in Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston.

Still, she said, the privileges afforded the Jan. 6 pretrial detainees in their particular wing — individual cells, a library, contact visits, the ability to participate in podcasts — “are not at all typical.”

“But I don’t want to call that special treatment,” Ms. Rahman said. “That’s the floor for what every incarcerated person in America should have a right to expect.”

For now, the protagonists of the alternative Jan. 6 narrative are not particularly focused on prison reform. Nor are they willing to give up.

As Mr. McBride said: “Do I think we’ll ever get to the bottom of it? We still haven’t solved the J.F.K. assassination.” ... trump.html

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Fri Jun 23, 2023 11:50 am

After a bogus investigation, and total failure, Special Prosecutor and Trump-Barr hack John Durham is humiliated (rightly so ) by House Dems, and apparently lied to the House , a criminal offense of his own: ... 39097.html

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Sat Jun 24, 2023 9:49 am

Divided House Sidesteps Biden Impeachment Vote but Starts Inquiry

The Republican-led chamber moved to refer articles of impeachment to two House committees, charging that the president’s immigration policies are an impeachable offense.

By Annie Karni and Luke Broadwater
Reporting from the Capitol

June 22, 2023

The Republican-led House on Thursday quashed a move to quickly impeach President Biden but voted along party lines to open an investigation into his removal, as reluctant G.O.P. leaders bowed to a member of their hard-right flank who demanded to move forward with charges that his immigration policies constitute high crimes and misdemeanors.

By a vote of 219 to 208, the House referred two articles of impeachment against Mr. Biden — one for abuse of power and one for dereliction of duty — to the Homeland Security and Judiciary Committees. Speaker Kevin McCarthy engineered the move, which allowed the impeachment articles to advance without officially endorsing them. He sought with the referral to defuse pressure from right-wing lawmakers to immediately begin the process of removing Mr. Biden from office, despite a lack of evidence of any wrongdoing.

Representative Lauren Boebert, Republican of Colorado, prompted the action by pushing this week to force a vote on a resolution that accuses Mr. Biden of orchestrating an “invasion” of the United States through lax immigration policies, using language often associated with replacement theory, a racist conspiracy theory that asserts that elites are working to replace white Americans with people of color invading the country.

That thrust Mr. McCarthy, who had previously said he had yet to see any basis for impeaching Mr. Biden and was privately concerned that Republicans have yet to build a concrete case against the president, into a fraught debate some of this colleagues consider premature and politically risky.

“Well, people just all talked about it,” Mr. McCarthy said in defense of referring the impeachment charges for further study. “We take the investigations wherever the information tells us.”

It was the latest display of Mr. McCarthy’s weak hold on his fractious rank and file, and the lengths to which he is going to appease hard-right lawmakers who were enraged that he cut a deal with President Biden to suspend the debt limit and have since demanded more control over the agenda and what bills reach the House floor.

Democrats denounced the move as a farce and a reflection of how the Republican Party is catering to its extremes, and a craven move to distract attention from the misdeeds of former President Donald J. Trump, who was indicted this month on charges he mishandled classified national security information and obstructed and lied to investigators about it.

“When the MAGA wing nuts say jump, Speaker McCarthy says how high,” said Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts. “They can try to impeach Joe Biden all they want, but all they are doing is impeaching themselves and making a mockery of this place.”

Ms. Boebert exulted over the vote, arguing that Mr. Biden had “knowingly” violated federal immigration laws and should be removed.

“For the first time in 24 years,” she said, “a House Republican-led majority is moving forward with impeachment proceedings against a current president.”

Biden has presided over the largest spike in illegal migration at the southern border in decades. During the 2022 fiscal year, Border Patrol agents arrested migrants who crossed the border illegally more than 2.2 million times. The influx is part of a global migration trend, with people fleeing extreme poverty, violence and unstable regimes. It also led to large numbers of migrants crossing the border during the Trump administration.

In the past month, however, the number of crossings has decreased significantly after the Biden administration introduced new border policies that restrict access to asylum and created new legal pathways.

Ms. Boebert’s decision to push forward with her articles of impeachment frustrated many Republicans in the conference, who want to address border policies but concede that there is no clear evidence of crimes by Mr. Biden or members of his cabinet that would meet the bar of high crimes and misdemeanors warranting removal from office.

“Impeachment is one of the most awesome powers that Congress has to exercise,” said Representative Garret Graves, Republican of Louisiana. “It’s not anything that should be used flippantly, especially in just two days. That’s crazy.”

But he said he still voted to refer the impeachment articles to committee. “That doesn’t mean that I’m supporting impeachment,” he said. “Going to committee is the regular order process, which is how I think things should be done.”

Representative Stephanie Bice, Republican of Oklahoma and a prominent centrist, also voted for the resolution but warned, “We can’t make impulsive decisions because we’re angry.”

Mr. McCarthy has told his members that if the investigation by Representative James R. Comer, Republican of Kentucky and the chairman of the Oversight Committee, into the Biden family business turns up evidence of crimes, impeachment would be on the table.

But Ms. Boebert’s move left Republican leaders looking for an off-ramp to avoid an up-or-down vote on articles of impeachment, which would have divided Republicans and forced those from moderate districts to take a more difficult vote.

In an agreement with Ms. Boebert hashed out on Wednesday, after an emergency meeting of the Rules Committee, Mr. McCarthy’s team convinced her to accept a face-saving compromise: a vote to refer her impeachment articles to committees that had hearings on the border already planned. Referring bills to committee is also a tactic often used by lawmakers to quietly bury legislation they do not wish to pursue.

Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the former chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, bemoaned action he said had made the powerful panel into “a venue for a political presidential impeachment.”

“This cynical resolution has nothing to do with border security,” Mr. Thompson said. “It has nothing to do with constitutional law.” Instead, he said, it was a Republican effort to distract from wrongdoing by Mr. Trump, to whom he referred as the “twice-impeached, twice-indicted party leader.”

Some Republicans hinted that the vote was retaliation for Democrats’ treatment of Mr. Trump when they controlled the House. Representative Bob Good, Republican of Virginia, said that “impeachment should not be political, it should not be cavalier,” implying that Democrats had pursued two impeachments against Mr. Trump on partisan grounds.

“We are well aware that the previous president was impeached twice, and justifiably so,” Mr. McGovern said in response.

Thursday’s action was in some sense a mirror image of a decision Democrats faced in the Trump presidency. For months in 2019, top Democrats tried to hold off impeachment charges against Mr. Trump, toiling to avoid plunging into what then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi thought would be a divisive and politically perilous exercise.

But in July of that year, Representative Al Green, a progressive Democrat from Texas, moved to force a vote to impeach Mr. Trump for making racist statements. Rather than cutting a deal to allow Mr. Green to save face and put her party on the record in support of considering impeachment, Ms. Pelosi simply allowed the measure to fail in a 332-to-95 vote.

Months later, after allegations surfaced that Mr. Trump tried to pressure the president of Ukraine to investigate Mr. Biden, his political rival, Democrats voted to open the inquiry that would lead to his first impeachment.

Impeachment of Mr. Biden appears to be an unpopular prospect, and Mr. McCarthy has long been aware of the threat such a move could pose to his fragile majority. He has also warned his conference that spurious impeachment charges would have no chance of seeing a conviction in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

A national University of Massachusetts Amherst poll released last year showed that 66 percent of voters opposed impeachment, including 44 percent who said they strongly opposed the move.

Still, some members of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus have been eager to move forward, despite warnings from leaders that the move could backfire.

“There are people up here that are tired of, ‘Hey, we’ll get it done next week,’ or ‘Just hold off and wait,’” said Representative Eli Crane, Republican of Arizona. “I want to see some of these people up here have to take some hard votes.”

A White House spokesman, Ian Sams, said that instead of working with the Biden administration to create jobs, lower costs and strengthen health care, “extreme House Republicans are staging baseless political stunts that do nothing to help real people and only serve to get themselves attention.”

Eileen Sullivan contributed reporting. ... ew_arm_5_1

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Jul 04, 2023 3:39 pm

Sieg Heil,your Honor. ... index.html

The jerk intentionally apparently filed his order today.Could have waited until Wed.

Any doubts we are at war ?

Btw, from Axios today:

"A stunning stat in favor of the screening apparatus: The TSA says it stopped a record 6,301 firearms from being brought aboard airliners in 2022, the vast majority of which (88%) were loaded."

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Thu Jul 06, 2023 5:34 pm

Trump silent of course as his henchmen attack Federal prosecutors:

GOP still look themselves in the mirror.

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Sun Jul 09, 2023 8:28 am

An appalling rationale, ie dereliction of duty , by a 6th Circuit GOP-appointed Judge allowing a Kentucky anti-trans law to remain in effect since he thinks probably not unconstitutional:

"“Life-tenured federal judges should be wary of removing a vexing and novel topic of medical debate from the ebbs and flows of democracy by construing a largely unamendable federal constitution to occupy the field,” wrote Judge Sutton, who was named to the court by former President George W. Bush and became chief judge in 2021."

Yeah, be simpler just to put the Constitution aside as an anachronism , and let minorities get their " novel and vexing" protections from majorities as needed from State legislatures.

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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by barney » Sun Jul 09, 2023 7:11 pm

Rach3 wrote:
Sun Jul 09, 2023 8:28 am
An appalling rationale, ie dereliction of duty , by a 6th Circuit GOP-appointed Judge allowing a Kentucky anti-trans law to remain in effect since he thinks probably not unconstitutional:

"“Life-tenured federal judges should be wary of removing a vexing and novel topic of medical debate from the ebbs and flows of democracy by construing a largely unamendable federal constitution to occupy the field,” wrote Judge Sutton, who was named to the court by former President George W. Bush and became chief judge in 2021."

Yeah, be simpler just to put the Constitution aside as an anachronism , and let minorities get their " novel and vexing" protections from majorities as needed from State legislatures.

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Mon Jul 10, 2023 11:25 am

Tuberville Blockade Over Abortion Policy Threatens Top Military Promotions

The Alabama Republican’s bid to force the Pentagon to drop a policy ensuring access to abortion services for personnel could leave the Joint Chiefs of Staff with more temporary occupants than it has ever faced.

By Karoun Demirjian
Reporting from Washington

July 10, 2023, 3:00 a.m. ET

A lone Senate Republican’s bid to reverse a Pentagon policy ensuring abortion access for service members is delaying the smooth transfer of power at the highest echelons of the armed forces, including in the ranks of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as a monthslong partisan dispute over social policy drags on.

Senator Tommy Tuberville, a conservative from Alabama, has been single-handedly blocking hundreds of promotions for high-ranking generals and admirals since February, refusing to relent unless the Defense Department scraps a policy — instituted after the Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion last year — offering time off and travel reimbursement to service members who need to go out of state for abortions.

Now, Mr. Tuberville’s tactics are on the brink of disrupting the Pentagon’s ability to fill its top ranks. More than half of the current Joint Chiefs are expected to step down from their posts during the next few months without a Senate-approved successor in place, leaving the president’s chief military advisory body in an unprecedented state of flux at a time of escalating tensions with China and Russia.

The Biden administration and Senate Democrats have vociferously condemned Mr. Tuberville’s blockade as dangerous and misplaced. But while many Republicans are deeply uncomfortable with his tactics, G.O.P. leaders’ criticism has been more restrained.

“I don’t support putting a hold on military nominations,” Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, told reporters recently when asked about Mr. Tuberville’s actions. That has not been enough to dissuade the Alabama senator or his staunch supporters in the G.O.P. ranks, who have stood in for him when he was not at the Capitol to press his objections to a policy that has angered the anti-abortion Republican base.

The resulting impasse is beginning to take a tangible toll on the military. On Monday, the first of the departing Joint Chiefs, Gen. David H. Berger, the Marine commandant, will retire in a “relinquishment of office” ceremony, leaving his current deputy and nominated successor, Gen. Eric Smith, to take over without Congress’s blessing.

Over August and September, the staff chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, as well as Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, are expected to follow suit, leaving the organization with more temporary occupants than at any point in its history.

“We know that these holds are going to have a ripple effect throughout the department,” Sabrina Singh, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said last month, arguing that Mr. Tuberville was setting “a dangerous precedent” that “puts our military readiness at risk.”

Similar sentiments have been voiced by the White House, where the press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, argued last month that Mr. Tuberville’s tactics were “a threat to our national security,” and by Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, who denounced on the floor last month “the damaging impact that Senator Tuberville’s holds on senior military promotions is having on our national security and military readiness.”

Even some Senate Republicans who have stopped short of condemning Mr. Tuberville’s actions have nonetheless expressed concerns about how they might affect the military’s ability to respond to global threats.

“It’s a dangerous world right now, and we want to make sure that we’re not sacrificing readiness,” Senator Bill Cassidy, Republican of Louisiana, recently told Politico.

Some caution that such concerns are overblown.

Mr. Tuberville’s blockade “does not endanger the United States, but it makes the institutions less agile and adaptive,” said Mark Cancian, a retired colonel from the Marine Forces Reserve and a defense expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Referring to officials who are serving in an acting capacity, he said: “When you’re acting, you cannot give fundamental strategic guidance to the institution. You are a place holder.”

Mr. Tuberville rejects the notion that his objections will have a detrimental effect on the military, noting that in situations where a single senator denies the customary unanimous approval of a group of nominations or military promotions, the Senate can simply schedule individual votes on each one.

“There’s all this panic about, ‘Well, he’s not going to give unanimous consent to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs,’” Mr. Tuberville’s spokesman, Steven Stafford, said in an interview last week, pointing out that senators took a roll-call vote to confirm Mr. Milley as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff four years ago. “Maybe it’s OK for the Senate to take votes.”

But that process can be extraordinarily time-consuming given the Senate’s rules and customs, and trying to confirm each of the hundreds of promotions individually could tie the chamber in knots. That may be the point for Mr. Tuberville, who has co-sponsored legislation to declare that life begins at conception and filed a brief in support of the Mississippi law prohibiting abortion at 15 weeks that was upheld in last year’s Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Senate Democrats have challenged Mr. Tuberville at least a half-dozen times on the Senate floor to stop holding military promotions hostage, and the Armed Services Committee has continued to hold confirmation hearings for high-ranking nominees, in the hopes that the Alabama senator might relent. Gen. Charles Q. Brown, the Air Force chief of staff and President Biden’s pick to succeed Mr. Milley as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and Gen. Randy A. George, the Army’s vice chief of staff whom Mr. Biden nominated to take over as Army chief, are both scheduled for hearings this week.

But their efforts have thus far failed to dissuade Mr. Tuberville, who has dismissed his critics by arguing that Senate leaders have options to resolve the impasse. He has suggested that Congress pass Republican-sponsored legislation to reverse the Pentagon’s abortion access policy — or a competing Democratic bill to give the policy the force of law. He has dared Senate leaders to circumvent his blockade by voting on the promotions individually, arguing that he would be ready to approve some promotions if forced to take a vote.

But Senate aides say none of his suggested offramps are workable. Senate leaders believe it would be nearly impossible to collect enough votes, between the Democratic-led Senate and the Republican-led House, to send legislation either affirming or overturning the Pentagon’s policy to the president’s desk. And they are queasy about trying to get around Mr. Tuberville’s protest procedurally because of the amount of time it would take to plow through the Senate’s arcane hurdles for all the nominations he is holding up.

Senate leaders are also resisting pressure from rank-and-file lawmakers to make an exception for the Joint Chiefs, fearing that doing so would legitimize Mr. Tuberville’s protest — and encourage others harboring grievances with Pentagon policies to emulate his approach.

In the meantime, Mr. Tuberville has steadily rejected the compromises that Senate leaders have offered him. He refused to relent in exchange for holding a closed-door vote in the Armed Services Committee last month against a bill undoing the Pentagon’s policy. And he has publicly eschewed the idea of settling his dispute by voting on the Pentagon’s policy as an amendment to the annual defense policy bill, which is expected to begin moving through the House next week.

Senate leaders hope to change Mr. Tuberville’s mind over the next few weeks.

Challenges to the Pentagon’s abortion access policy are expected to figure in the House debate on the defense authorization bill. Republicans have already filed two proposals — one of them with more than 50 co-sponsors — to bar the Defense Department from using federal funds to reimburse any abortion-related expenses, which would effectively undo the Pentagon’s policy. A group of House Democrats has filed a competing proposal seeking to make the Pentagon’s reimbursement policy a requirement of federal law.

Even if either of those changes were made to the House bill, it would still face significant hurdles in the Senate — particularly since aides in both parties fear that if the must-pass defense bill is seen as a Trojan horse for abortion measures, lawmakers will vote against it in droves. But they hope that such a public referendum on the Pentagon’s policy would back Mr. Tuberville into a corner, creating public pressure on him to give up his quest.

It is not clear how much difference that will make to the him, however. Though Mr. Tuberville has few backers in the Senate, he has been buoyed in his resistance by support from home, where constituents have cheered on his protest, and billboards paid for by the conservative Heritage Foundation line stretches of highway.

They read, “Senator Tuberville, thank you for standing for life, and against wokeness in the military.” ... hiefs.html

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Fri Jul 14, 2023 9:12 am

Defense Bill’s Fate Teeters After G.O.P. Wedges In Social Issues

Democrats said they could not support the measure after the House adopted a raft of social policy provisions, including limits on abortions, gender transition procedures and diversity training.

By Karoun Demirjian
Reporting from the Capitol

July 14, 2023
Updated 7:34 a.m. ET

The fate of the annual defense bill was in doubt on Friday, after Republicans loaded the legislation with a raft of conservative social policy restrictions limiting access to abortions, gender transition procedures and diversity training for military personnel, alienating Democrats whose votes G.O.P. leaders had seen as crucial to passing the legislation.

Democrats pledged to oppose the bill in a vote expected on Friday morning, accusing G.O.P. leaders of having turned what began as a bipartisan bill into a hyper-politicized salvo in a wider culture war to please a small, right-wing faction of their party.

“Extreme MAGA Republicans have chosen to hijack the historically bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act to continue attacking reproductive freedom and jamming their right-wing ideology down the throats of the American people,” Representatives Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Katherine M. Clark of Massachusetts and Pete Aguilar of California, the top three Democratic leaders, said in a statement late Thursday in which they promised to vote against the bill.

Republican leaders expressed cautious optimism that they could unite their party behind the bill and pass it anyway, having added enough of the hard-line changes demanded by the far right to appease the holdouts in their ranks and compensate for Democrats’ near-universal opposition.

“I think we have enough votes to be the majority,” said Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma, who earlier this week had been predicting the potential demise of the bill if the G.O.P. lost Democratic votes. “It’ll be close, but I think we’ll win.”

At stake is an $886 billion bill that would grant a 5.2 percent raise to military personnel, include programs to counter aggressive moves by China and Russia, and establish a special inspector general to oversee U.S. aid to Ukraine.

The Republican-led House, prodded by right-wing lawmakers, attached a provision to undo a Pentagon policy adopted after the Supreme Court struck down abortion rights to provide time off and travel reimbursement to service members who must travel out of state to obtain an abortion.

Republicans also added measures prohibiting the military from offering health coverage for gender transition surgeries — which currently require a waiver — and related hormone therapies. They included language that would eliminate all diversity, equity and inclusion offices at the Pentagon, as well as the positions attached to them.

They adopted a measure barring the Pentagon’s educational arm from buying any book that contains pornographic material or “espouses radical gender ideology.” And with the help of nine Democrats, they approved an amendment that would prohibit Defense Department schools from teaching that the United States or its founding documents are racist.

The measures stand no chance of passing in the Democratic-led Senate, which is planning to begin considering its own version of the bill next week. Even if Republicans can muscle their bill through the House, the deep chasm between the chambers is expected to set off a protracted fight that could threaten Congress’s ability to maintain its six-decade track record of passing defense policy bills each year.

Representative Adam Smith of Washington, the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, lamented the Republican approach to the legislation, saying it had ruined a bill that had emerged from the panel on a near-unanimous vote. In a statement Thursday night co-signed by all of the top Democrats on the panel’s subcommittees, Mr. Smith said he “cannot and will not vote” for a bill that “has become an ode to bigotry and ignorance.”

The changes represented a win for the far-right Republicans who have been pressuring Speaker Kevin McCarthy to eschew working with Democrats, and instead cater to the party base, on major pieces of legislation. They spent weeks agitating for reluctant G.O.P. leaders to include the socially conservative amendments in the defense bill debate, ultimately forcing the issue by threatening to block progress on the legislation until they got their way.

The success of those measures on the House floor creates momentum for those members to exploit in future debates over the budget, where the hard right is seeking similar changes across the government.

“It is core and fundamental to defense that we stop making the defense department a social engineering experiment wrapped in a uniform,” Representative Chip Roy, Republican of Texas and one of the ultraconservative ringleaders, said on the floor Thursday.

Nearly all Republicans voted for a measure to restrict funding to allow service members to travel to obtain abortions, which the House adopted 221 to 213, and for another denying transgender troops coverage for gender transition surgeries and hormone therapy, which passed 222 to 211. A measure by Representative Ralph Norman, Republican of South Carolina, that would eliminate all of the Pentagon’s diversity offices and employees, eked through by a narrower margin, 214 to 213.

The House defeated a broader measure by Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, that would have prohibited the Pentagon from spending any money on diversity training whatsoever. That measure failed on a vote of 210 to 221.

The votes came amid a heated floor debate in which Republicans and Democrats feuded over issues of race, sex and gender. Representative Eli Crane, Republican of Arizona, at one point made a reference to “colored people” while defending his amendment to keep diversity training from becoming a condition for obtaining or keeping Defense Department jobs. Representative Joyce Beatty of Ohio, a Democrat who is Black, demanded that his comments be stricken from the record, and Mr. Crane later said in a statement that he “misspoke.”

Later in the evening, Representative Jill Tokuda, Democrat of Hawaii, admonished her G.O.P. colleagues for the tenor of the debate.

“From the backwards, racially insensitive comments spoken on this floor, it seems D.E.I. training would be good right here in the halls of Congress,” she said.

The one point of bipartisan consensus on Thursday, it seemed, was widespread opposition to Republican efforts to reduce or eliminate military assistance and weapons shipments for Ukraine.

On a vote of 276 to 147, the House rejected a proposal to ban the Biden administration from sending cluster munitions to Ukraine, with two lawmakers voting present. The Biden administration announced last week that it would be sending the weapons to Kyiv, despite bipartisan concerns that the weapons posed too great a danger to civilians.

The amendment was offered by Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, who also failed in her effort to strip a $300 million program to train and equip Ukrainian soldiers that has been part of the defense bill for almost a decade. The House rejected that effort by a vote of 341 to 89, alongside a similar proposal by Mr. Gaetz to prohibit Congress from appropriating any more money for Ukraine’s war effort, which was defeated 358 to 70. ... -ndaa.html

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Fri Jul 14, 2023 9:53 am

Cedar Rapids, Iowa Gazette July 14:

"Tuesday’s debate over an abortion ban in Iowa brought me back to an exchange last October during the lone gubernatorial debate between Democrat Deidre DeJear and Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds.

DeJear told a story about a third-grader who was three months pregnant.

“With trying to dictate and regulate pregnancy in black and white the way that our governor chooses to do, that little girl has minimal options, if any at all,” DeJear said.

“So it’s late term abortion,” Reynolds snapped back, interrupting her opponent. “They believe that you can abort a baby right up until the moment it’s born.”

Reynolds thought she scored a big point with her untrue claim. But her lack of compassion was palpable. And that’s what it felt like watching the Republican-controlled Legislature pass a six-week abortion ban on Tuesday. No compelling arguments on how harmful this bill will be could break through. The bill was passed at warp speed.

The governor will get her chance to limit women’s option when she signs the bill Friday at the Christian Leadership Summit, a gathering of religious conservatives. There will be Republican presidential hopefuls on hand to fist bump the governor as she sends us back to the Dark Ages of repressed reproductive rights.

Twice Tuesday, Democrats offered amendments in the House and Senate exempting girls 12 and under from the abortion ban. Both times, Republicans voted them down.

“Girls will not survive a pregnancy like this,” said Rep. Timi Brown Powers, D-Waterloo.

Rep. Shannon Lundgren, R-Peosta, the bill’s floor manager, had one question for Brown Powers, whose amendment included the term “pregnant person.”

“Define a pregnant person,” Lundgren asked, noting that the GOP bill refers to a “pregnant woman.” They never miss a chance to take a cheap shot at transgender Iowans.

Republicans claimed the 12-and-under exemption would be covered by exemptions for rape and incest. But under the bill a rape must be reported within 45 days and incest within 140 days. Democrats argued the time frames would deny many women the option of terminating their pregnancy.

It’s true such cases are rare. According to the Guttmacher Institute, only about one in 7,000 kids gets impregnated at ages 12 and under. So why not exempt those rare, heartbreaking cases?

Exemptions for girls under 16 and for women suffering a mental illness, suicidality or substance abuse were also shot down. As was an amendment extending postpartum care under Medicaid from the current 60 days to a year.

“This legislation will kill women,” said Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, D-Ames. “Reasonable thought has left the building.

“If they’re not prepared to have a baby, they shouldn’t have sex,” said Rep. Brad Sherman, R-Williamsburg.

Democrats asked repeatedly how medical professionals will navigate the bill’s vague exception definitions. Get it wrong, and they face potential punishment from the Iowa Board of Medicine.

Republicans responded that the Board of Medicine will write rules to carry out the bill’s intent. Trouble is, the bill will take effect on Friday the minute Reynolds lifts her bill-signing pen. There will be no rules to guide doctors and others under a law that will make 98 percent of abortions illegal.

Of course, they may not have to navigate it for long. Planned Parenthood, the Emma Goldman Clinic and the ACLU are immediately challenging the law in court. A judge can issue an order stopping enforcement of the new law while it winds its way through the legal system. Eventually, the ball will be back in the hands of the Iowa Supreme Court. It could take a year or more.

There’s also an election in 2024. Maybe this is the overreach that finally dents the invincible Republican majority. It’s one option women still have in red state Iowa."

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Sat Jul 15, 2023 7:33 am

The GOP nut jobs in Des Moines with nut case Carlson.From Iowa Capital Dispatch:

Field of presidential candidates faces crowd of Christians

Republican presidential candidates worked to appeal to about 2,000 evangelical Christians Friday at a Des Moines conference – in some cases despite critical questioning in on-stage interviews by conservative commentator Tucker Carlson.

Carlson wrangled with former Vice President Mike Pence on his position that the U.S. should continue to support Ukraine with military equipment and money. He drew more applause than former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson when he proclaimed he had never received a COVID-19 vaccine and he pressed Hutchinson on his veto of a bill restricting gender-affirming health care for minors.

Abortion was not a central topic, even though the event featured Gov. Kim Reynolds signing restrictive abortion legislation on stage.

Most of the candidates praised Reynolds, but not all agreed Iowa’s law should be the national standard.

Pence said he heartily supports recently passed abortion laws in Iowa and other states, but he encouraged all the candidates in the field to endorse a federal 15-week abortion ban. “I believe it’s supported by a decisive majority of the American people,” he said.

Pence said as president, he would work every day to get a 15-week minimum abortion law enacted into law and “enshrined in the laws of the land.”

Ron DeSantis pledged to be a “pro-life president” during his interview, touting the six-week ban that he signed into state law as Florida governor.

“I don’t think Rome was built in a day, I think it’s gonna take time to make progress in some parts of the country,” he said. “But as president, I will be somebody who will use the bully pulpit to support governors like Kim Reynolds when she’s got a bill and other states as they advance the cause of life.”

Hutchinson commended Reynolds from the stage but told reporters afterward that other states can set their own standards. “But what’s been proposed at the national level of 15 weeks with the exceptions that I’ve talked about, is a place that we might be able to arrive at a consensus around in this country, very similar to what the standard is in Europe,” he said.

The conference was hosted by the Family Leader, a religious conservative organization that has long played a significant role in GOP presidential politics.

Some audience members said the person they were most excited to see wasn’t a presidential candidate. “Yeah, I mean, you know, obviously Tucker — there’s a lot of speculation on what’s going on in his little world. It’s nice to see him be able to do what he does well,” Linda Matkovich of West Des Moines said.Some have suggested Carlson might run for president. Matkovich seemed surprised by the idea, but added, “He’d get a lot of votes.”

Former President Donald Trump, the national frontrunner in polls, did not attend the event. Earlier this week, he drew a rebuke from Vander Plaats for criticizing Reynolds in a social media post for saying she would remain neutral in the caucus campaign.

“I opened up the Governor position for Kim Reynolds, & when she fell behind, I ENDORSED her, did big Rallies, & she won. Now, she wants to remain ‘NEUTRAL,’” Trump complained.

Vander Plaats responded on Twitter that “going after Iowa’s very popular Governor @IAGovernor is not smart.”

Reynolds sat in the front row of the auditorium with Ron DeSantis’ wife, Casey, and Vander Plaats during the Florida governor’s remarks.

Event attendee Candace Shuey of Cedar Falls said she had already decided she was going to vote for Trump, but she comes to the event every year. She said she also supports Reynolds, but sided with Trump on the question of endorsements. “She should have endorsed Trump,” she said.

Jodi Wiegand, a teacher from Marshalltown, said Trump would make a good president, if he would refrain from actions like his social media remarks towards Reynolds..

Wiegand said of Trump, “If he could just keep his mouth shut and be the president I think he would be great.”

Here are some highlights from the candidates’ speeches:

Tim Scott
With a large screen beaming “PRINCIPLE OVER POLITICS” behind him, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott was the first presidential candidate to take the stage at the 2023 Family Leadership Summit.

Politics were on the table within the first minutes, Scott broke down his disagreements with President Joe Biden’s strategies in the Ukraine-Russia conflict, and continued to share his thoughts on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“I think one of the failures of Biden has been his inability to articulate America’s national vital interest in the conflict, or the genocide in Ukraine,” Scott said in his one-on-one conversation with Carlson.

The conversation quickly shifted to the U.S.-Mexico border, an issue Scott said is the number one risk to America.

After Carlson suggested increased tariffs to hold Mexico accountable for fentanyl entering the U.S., Scott responded that the U.S. should use every tool available to stop fentanyl, no exceptions.

Scott said as president, he would enforce border policies by reallocating funds recently allocated to hire 87,000 IRS agents, and using the funds to defend the border.

“As president of the United States, I would sign my legislation and divert the resources from the IRS to the border so we can secure the border,” Scott said.

The money Scott referenced was approved last year by Democrats in a climate change and health care package. A 10-year plan from the IRS listed over half the money going toward enforcement activities by focusing on “segments of taxpayers with complex issues and complex returns where audit rates are minimal today, such as those related to large partnerships, large corporations, and high-income and high-wealth individuals.”

“We can stop fentanyl from crossing over our Southern border, by closing our Southern border,” Scott said of finishing the border wall.

“Take the billions of dollars, and put them where America’s security needs are first, which starts with our Southern border,” Scott said.

Carlson asked Scott how appealing to donors plays into his campaign, to which Scott said he has not raised as much as he would like.

“I like to hear they’re all flocking to me,” Scott said of financial support of his campaign. “I wish they would go out and write the check because I haven’t seen that yet.”

Mike Pence
Carlson’s conversation with Pence focused largely around Ukraine, and Pence’s role on Jan. 6, 2021, a common topic of discussion in Pence’s campaign so far.

Pence garnered a “boo” from part of the audience when he spoke on Ukraine, “My belief is that it is in the interest of the United States of America to continue to give the Ukrainian military the resources that they need to repel the Russian invasion and restore their sovereignty,” he said.

Carlson suggested Pence was promoting religious discrimination by supporting Ukraine, stating clergy members have been arrested. Pence, who said he met with a Christian leader in his recent visit to Kyiv, assured Carlson that Christians were not being persecuted.

“Other than the sanctity of life, there’s no higher priority in my life and preserving the freedom of religion in America and championing religious liberty around the world,” Pence said.

On the Jan. 6 events, Pence said, “All I know for sure, having lived through it, is that it was a tragic day. I’ve never used the word ‘insurrection’ in the last two years. It was a riot that took place at the Capitol that day.”

Pence supports holding those who unlawfully entered the Capitol that day accountable, as well as other rioters.

“It’s important that we hold those accountable who perpetrated acts of violence and vandalism in our nation’s Capitol, but also, I’m still waiting for equal vigor and equal prosecutions to be brought on those that brought hundreds of BLM riots to cities across America.”

Carlson suggested America get rid of electronic voting machines. “I would certainly be open to that,” Pence responded. “But what I believe, Tucker, is that states govern elections. States ought to conduct our elections.”

“If I’m elected president of the United States, I promise you I will fight every day to restore public confidence in elections in this country,” Pence said.

Asa Hutchinson
Carlson grilled former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on his veto of legislation in 2021 to restrict gender-affirming care for transgender minors.

Hutchinson argued for parental rights. “I believe that parents ought to be in control. And I also believe in the Constitution. I believe that God created two genders, and that there should not be any confusion on your gender. But if there is confusion, then parents ought to be the one that guides the children,” he said.

He said he would not have signed legislation allowing transgender surgery for minors because “no parents should be able to consent to that permanent change.”

Carlson, however, argued that some gender-affirming care, such as hormone therapy, causes permanent damage — an assertion most mainstream medical professionals dispute.

Hutchinson disagreed that hormone therapy amounted to a permanent change and stressed that the bill was unconstitutional. He said he opposes schools “pushing transgenderism” and believes schools should have to tell parents if a child questions his or her gender.

Carlson also asked Hutchinson how many COVID-19 vaccines he took and drew applause from the audience when Carlson said he was unvaccinated.

Hutchinson said he had been vaccinated and that he encouraged others in town halls to do likewise — but he said he refused to close businesses, he reopened schools before other states and his administration joined in suing the Biden administration against vaccine mandates for National Guard and other military service members.

He also disagreed that the U.S. should send the military to secure the Southern U.S. border, saying he believes it’s important to project strength to China from the Philippines in support of Taiwan and to Europe in light of Russian aggression in Ukraine. “And so the military has a lot of responsibility,” he said.

Carlson interjected: “What responsibility is more important than protecting our own borders?”

Hutchinson tersely asked for the opportunity to finish his answer and added he believes the military is “trained to kill people” and has a different mission than law enforcement. “We utilize the National Guard but our regular military, I hope we don’t have to use them at the border, that we can solve the problem without them,” he said.

He told reporters afterward that he believed he won over some Iowans. “I think I gain in terms of Iowa. And, you know, there’s some candidates that chose not to appear here today. Some people didn’t want to be interviewed by Tucker Carlson,” he said.

Nikki Haley
The former South Carolina governor, who then served as ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration, said she would work to reduce government spending and overhaul certain federal agencies if elected.

“The American people don’t trust our intelligence agencies, they don’t trust our Department of Justice,” Haley said. “So you can’t just replace the person at the top, you’ve got to go through and really look at gutting those agencies and getting out a lot of that senior management.”

On government spending, Haley rebuked both Democrats and Republicans for deficit spending over the years that’s led to more than $31 trillion in national debt. She pledged that if elected president, she would veto any government funding legislation that doesn’t return federal spending to pre-COVID-19 levels.

That benchmark for spending has been a rallying cry this year for conservative members of the U.S. House Republican Party, though defense hawks have criticized that for shortchanging national defense accounts.

Haley said during the 25-minute interview that instead of meeting with the nation’s governors once a year, she would meet with them quarterly.

“I will meet with my governors once every quarter with the sole goal of — get the power that’s at the federal government, push it down to the states,” Haley said. “That’s how you empower people is pushing it down…that can be education, that can be health care, that can be benefits.”

Haley also spoke in detail about the country’s health care system, including the lack of support for people with mental illness. Haley criticized doctors for what she says is a tendency to over prescribe medication and for a lack of universal telehealth services.

“We have a broken health care system and we have to make sure that we completely tear it up from the insurance companies, to the hospitals, to the doctors, to the (pharmacy benefit managers), to the pharmaceutical companies, because right now … doctors love to just prescribe,” Haley said. “But doctors are never judged on the outcomes.”

Health care providers, she said, should be judged less on how many patients they see in a given day and more on whether those patients get better. The cost of health care should be much more transparent with patients involved in conversations about billing, instead of just hospitals and insurance companies, she said.

“So we will make it all transparent — make those insurance companies have to show us what they’re doing, make those hospitals show us what they’re doing, make these doctors have to say what they’re doing in the outcomes and let’s make sure pharmaceutical companies suddenly have to show us what they do,” Haley said.

Ron DeSantis
DeSantis, who spoke last, said he would name a new FBI director if he were elected president, and said it’s important that presidents-elect be ready to nominate all of the people they need in the executive branch on their first day in office.

“I believe Article Two of the Constitution means the president has the executive authority. We just say these bureaucrats somehow can’t be held accountable. I disagree with that,” DeSantis said. “I think you can fire them.”

“If we have an FBI agent going to harass a pro-life activist, like they did Mark Houck and send a SWAT team, I’d fire them immediately. When you have the FBI colluding with big tech to censor dissent, I would fire those people,” he added.

DeSantis said he would work to disseminate federal agencies throughout the country, including moving parts of the Department of Justice outside the Washington, D.C. area.

And, DeSantis said, his administration would look for anyone who should have been charged with a crime and ensure they are taken to trial. Others, who have been convicted, will have a pathway to request pardons from his administration.

“Part of what you need to do — if you have a two-tiered system of justice — you need to make sure if there’s some people that got away that shouldn’t have, they need to face the music,” he said “And if there are other people that are getting targeted through abuse of government, then there needs to be use of the pardon power.”

On foreign policy and the war in Ukraine, DeSantis said, if the United States is going to support one country in a conflict — either through aid dollars or by sending troops — the leaders making that decision should “have a concrete idea of what you’re trying to achieve.”

DeSantis said his goal for the conflict would be “a sustainable peace in Europe.”

Vivek Ramaswamy
“I’m the first millennial to run for U.S. president as a Republican,” Vivek Ramaswamy told attendees, continuing his campaign of appealing to young Republicans.

Ramaswamy, a 37-year-old businessman and investor, said he believes in the power of family, his pride in being an American and his stance on war in Ukraine.

Ramaswamy said he has differentiated himself in the field by being the first candidate to propose a plan on ending the conflict in Ukraine that advances American interests.

“If you want someone to fix a problem, you don’t turn over the keys to somebody who actually broke the thing in the first place,” he said of solving the conflict in Ukraine.

Ramaswamy suggested a deal to end the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, which included allowing Ukraine sovereignty, Russia exiting a military partnership with China and removing Russia military influence from several countries.

He continued and spoke on division in the United States, and, after sharing an anecdote of meeting students in a school in the south side of Chicago, told attendees, “I don’t think we are nearly as divided as we are taught to be.”

Ramaswamy said a candidate will stand out if they are pro-American, and whichever candidate can stand out will win in a landslide.

“I don’t talk about Republicans anymore. I try not to use the word, not because it’s a bad word, but because it doesn’t mean anything.”

In addition to appealing to a younger audience, Ramaswamy tried to ignite patriotism in the crowd of 2,000.

“I don’t think the dividing line in our country is between Republicans and Democrats,” Ramaswamy said. “I think it’s between those of us who are pro-American, who believe in the ideals of this country, and those of us who aren’t, and it exists in this country.”

Biden will not run for president, if Ramaswamy wins the Republican nomination, according to the first-time politician.

“I think we have an opportunity to do in this country in 2024 what Ronald Reagan did in 1980: deliver a landslide election, called the bluff on the division, much of it is artificial.”

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Sat Jul 15, 2023 8:15 am

Axios summary of Des Moines GOP rant:

DES MOINES, Iowa — A half-dozen GOP presidential contenders not named Donald Trump showed up at a convention center here Friday for their first big job interviews, and two things quickly became clear, Axios' Sophia Cai writes.

After ousted Fox News host Tucker Carlson questioned the contenders before about 2,000 evangelical Christians, the crowd's favorites were Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.

Former Vice President Mike Pence was booed as he defended his support for U.S. military aid to help Ukraine fight off Russia's invasion.

Ramaswamy's platform is straight from Trump's playbook: The 37-year-old has vowed to gut the FBI and the IRS and opposes U.S. military aid to Ukraine.

As he left Carlson's interview at the Family Leadership Summit on Friday, Ramaswamy got a standing ovation from the evangelical crowd, which gave a similarly warm exit to DeSantis.
Carlson peppered Pence with questions about his stance on U.S. involvement in Ukraine.

The tense exchange was symbolic of how Trump has changed the GOP: An evangelical former vice president who emphasizes national defense and his opposition to abortion — the top priority for many conservative Christians — was dismissed by a crowd of evangelicals.

🥊 Reality check: A healthy chunk of the crowd appeared to back Trump — and seemed to be shopping for a No. 2 choice, just in case.

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Sun Jul 16, 2023 8:56 am

Thanks for all the data, Steve! The inmates are definitely running the asylum.

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Sun Jul 16, 2023 10:35 am

In case you did not attend Charlie Kirk's Neo-nazi rally last week, from Axios:

"Former President Trump, touting his second-term border plans in West Palm Beach last night, said: "[W]e will use all necessary state, local, federal and military resources to carry out the largest domestic deportation operation in American history."

That was greeted by whistles and applause by the crowd at Charlie Kirk's Turning Point Action conference.

"When I return to office, the travel ban is coming back even bigger and much stronger than before," Trump added.

Trump's policy — upheld by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision in 2018 — banned nearly all travelers to the U.S. from seven majority-Muslim countries.

🌐 Such rhetoric is the backdrop for a new cover story by The Economist (image above) warning of Trump's "alarming" plans if returned to office:

"Thousand-page policy documents set out ideas that were once outlandish in Republican circles but have now become orthodox: finishing the border wall, raising tariffs on allies and competitors alike, making unfunded tax cuts permanent and ending automatic citizenship for anyone born in the United States."

🔎 Between the lines: Trump's inner circle relished the story because it suggests to a global audience that Trump is the inevitable GOP nominee."

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Sun Jul 23, 2023 9:53 am

This war is not going to end peacefully I fear.

NYT today:

"Two San Diego residents checked out almost all of a library’s Pride-themed books to keep others from reading them. Dozens of other people responded by donating books and money."

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Jul 25, 2023 9:25 am

From Axios today:

"Some House Republicans privately expect a spending fight to trigger a government shutdown in October, with one member saying they "wouldn't be making any plans" for that month, Axios' Juliegrace Brufke reports.

Why it matters: Speaker McCarthy's ranks include members who are skeptical he can pull off another survival move by the end of September — with worker furloughs and shuttered federal services at stake.

What's happening: House conservatives oppose the use of an "omnibus" to package all 12 must-pass appropriations bills together. But lawmakers are pessimistic about the odds of passing the bills individually by Sept. 30.

Many of the House GOP appropriations bills are being loaded with measures on hot-button topics like abortion that could threaten passage — and make it harder to negotiate with the Democratic-controlled Senate.

🔎 Between the lines: Congress can extend the existing budget with a continuing resolution to give members more time to hash out a deal.

🔮 What's next: Short of an omnibus, talk of "minibuses" — which could link some of the 12 appropriations bills together without being a single big package — is emerging, despite resistance by conservatives to bundling bills."


"Speaker Kevin McCarthy last night raised the possibility of an "impeachment inquiry" into President Biden and compared him to Richard Nixon, Axios' Andrew Solender reports.

Why it matters: McCarthy has dangled impeachment against Biden cabinet officials. But this is the closest he's come to making that threat against the president himself.

🔎 Between the lines: The House isn't ready to vote on Biden's impeachment yet — a move many swing-district moderates wouldn't go for. But McCarthy faces significant pressure from his right flank to go full bore.

Last month, the speaker went so far as to kill a right-wing effort to hold a House vote on impeaching Biden over his border policies.

📺 But McCarthy told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Monday that the House investigation into business dealings by Biden family members "is rising to the level of impeachment inquiry, which provides Congress the strongest power to get the rest of the knowledge and information needed."

Citing testimony by IRS whistleblowers to the Oversight Committee, McCarthy said: "This president has also used something we haven't seen since Richard Nixon — used the weaponization of government to benefit his family."

The other side: Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte, in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), offered to make U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who led the investigation into Hunter Biden, available for testimony."

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Fri Jul 28, 2023 10:46 am

Assault on Congressional pages ; and proud of it : ... 53102.html

Nice going,GOP voters.

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Mon Jul 31, 2023 4:46 pm

From AxiosPM today:

" House members finally reached their August recess this weekend after a string of unusual, and at times contentious, incidents that clouded efforts to avoid a government shutdown — and signaled that they needed a timeout, Axios' Juliegrace Brufke writes.

The big picture: The House has had a long year, from January's marathon speaker election to May and June's close call on defaulting on the federal debt — not to mention conservatives' unprecedented tactics to grind the House floor to a halt.

Add a surge in personal confrontations and bizarre incidents, and you've got a recipe for dysfunction.

💼 Case in point: Freshman Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-Wis.) was slammed by members on both sides of the aisle following a profanity-laced encounter involving the Wisconsin Republican screaming at a group of teenage Senate pages.

Speaker McCarthy and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) — who have long had a combative relationship — reportedly threatened to fight each other, with Swalwell calling McCarthy a p**sy on the House floor in June, according to The Daily Beast.

In another House floor incident, conservative firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) called Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) a "little b**ch" after she introduced a competing impeachment bill.

Multiple congressional staffers told Axios it was clear members need to get out of D.C."

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by maestrob » Tue Aug 01, 2023 7:42 am

"Works well with others" was obviously NOT on their resumes.

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by jserraglio » Sun Aug 06, 2023 9:31 am

January, 2025. The new Presidential Seal?


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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Aug 22, 2023 2:17 pm

Stephen Miller , Trump’s White Supremicist aid, making good on his threats , Miller a leader of the group as well: ... 30606.html

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Aug 22, 2023 4:52 pm

Rach3 wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2023 2:17 pm
Stephen Miller , Trump’s White Supremicist aid, making good on his threats , Miller a leader of the group as well: ... 30606.html
And more from Axios today:

The Supreme Court decision outlawing affirmative action in college admissions upended higher education.

Big business could be the next big legal target, Axios' Erica Pandey writes.

Why it matters: Corporate America has a diversity problem. Pushing companies to ignore race and background when recruiting could make things worse.

Some 89% of CEOs and CFOs leading the biggest companies in the U.S. are white, according to a paper in the Journal of Accountancy that examined 681 major firms.

What's happening: Edward Blum, the man who led the legal fight against affirmative action in higher education, is setting his sights on private companies, he told The Boston Globe in an interview.

Blum's latest target is Fearless Fund, which is focused on startups led by women of color, Axios' Dan Primack writes.

👀 What we're watching: Lawyers are warning companies to review their DEI policies to protect against legal fights.

Quotas, like those designed to increase diversity on company boards, are the most likely to face lawsuits, The Globe reports.

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Wed Aug 23, 2023 9:01 am

Trump tries to " fix" the Court cases ?

From NYT today:

By Maggie Haberman and Alan Feuer
Aug. 22, 2023

"An employee of former President Donald J. Trump changed his grand jury testimony in the documents case after the Justice Department raised questions about whether his lawyer had a conflict of interest in representing both the employee and a defendant in the case, prosecutors said in a court filing on Tuesday.

The prosecutors working for the special counsel, Jack Smith, had asked for a hearing to address the fact that the employee, who is a possible witness in the case, was represented by the lawyer Stanley Woodward. Mr. Woodward also represents two other possible witnesses and one of the co-defendants, Walt Nauta, a personal aide to Mr. Trump.

The employee was not named in the court filings but was identified by people familiar with the matter as Yuscil Taveras, an information technology worker at Mr. Trump’s private club and residence in Florida, Mar-a-Lago.

Mr. Trump was charged in June with mishandling classified documents he had taken with him upon leaving the White House and obstructing the government’s efforts to reclaim them. Mr. Nauta was charged alongside Mr. Trump, and prosecutors filed additional charges in July, accusing Mr. Trump of telling Carlos De Oliveira, the property manager at Mar-a-Lago, that he wanted security camera footage there to be deleted.

Mr. De Oliveira was also charged in the superseding indictment, which cited testimony from a witness who appeared to be Mr. Taveras. Mr. Taveras has not been charged in the case.

Mr. Woodward’s fees have been paid by Save America, the political action committee aligned with Mr. Trump. The PAC was seeded with small donations from Mr. Trump’s supporters, who responded to his calls to help him prove what he falsely claimed was widespread fraud in the 2020 election. No evidence of such fraud ever surfaced. Trump advisers have insisted that there is no connection between any witness’s testimony and payment of their legal fees.

Mr. Taveras originally told the grand jury he did not recall having any conversations regarding security footage from Mar-a-Lago that the government had subpoenaed in 2022 as part of its investigation into Mr. Trump’s retention of classified documents including national defense material. Mr. De Oliveira made similar statements.

According to the government, both statements were false.

After the government raised questions about Mr. Woodward’s representation of multiple people who could be connected to the case, the prosecutors said in their filing on Tuesday, the chief judge overseeing the federal grand jury in Washington, James E. Boasberg, offered Mr. Taveras a federal public defender to “provide advice” about potential conflicts.

“On July 5, 2023, Trump Employee 4 informed Chief Judge Boasberg that he no longer wished to be represented by Mr. Woodward and that, going forward, he wished to be represented by the First Assistant Federal Defender,” the filing said, referring to Mr. Taveras. “Immediately after receiving new counsel, Trump Employee 4 retracted his prior false testimony and provided information that implicated Nauta, De Oliveira, and Trump in efforts to delete security camera footage, as set forth in the superseding indictment.”

Mr. Woodward declined to comment. A Trump campaign spokesman and a Trump Organization spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

But Mr. Taveras’s revised statements about Mr. Nauta and Mr. De Oliveira appeared to have been key to the decision by Mr. Smith’s team to indict Mr. De Oliveira in late July in connection with alleged efforts to find ways to delete the security footage.

After the government raised questions about whether Mr. Woodward had a conflict of interest, the judge in the case, which was brought in Florida, Aileen M. Cannon, asked Mr. Woodward whether it was legitimate to have two grand juries in a single case.

Mr. Woodward said he thought it was not, and asked the judge to consider striking Mr. Taveras’s testimony for that reason. Judge Cannon has not yet ruled on that matter, but if she does ultimately move to strike Mr. Taveras’s testimony, it could hamper the superseding indictment brought by the government against Mr. De Oliveira and Mr. Trump.

Mr. Woodward’s situation in Mr. Trump’s legal cases is not unique. Other lawyers for people connected to the documents case represent multiple witnesses or even defendants.

The government is separately investigating the payment of lawyers by Save America. The PAC has settled more than $21 million in legal fees for Mr. Trump and several witnesses in the case since January."

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Aug 29, 2023 9:39 am


— With more than a year to go before the 2024 election, a constellation of conservative organizations is preparing for a possible second White House term for Donald Trump, recruiting thousands of Americans to come to Washington on a mission to dismantle the federal government and replace it with a vision closer to his own.

Led by the long-established Heritage Foundation think tank and fueled by former Trump administration officials, the far-reaching effort is essentially a government-in-waiting for the former president’s second term — or any candidate who aligns with their ideals and can defeat President Joe Biden in 2024.

With a nearly 1,000-page “Project 2025” handbook and an “army” of Americans, the idea is to have the civic infrastructure in place on Day One to commandeer, reshape and do away with what Republicans deride as the “deep state” bureaucracy, in part by firing as many as 50,000 federal workers.

“We need to flood the zone with conservatives,” said Paul Dans, director of the 2025 Presidential Transition Project and a former Trump administration official who speaks with historical flourish about the undertaking.

“This is a clarion call to come to Washington,” he said. “People need to lay down their tools, and step aside from their professional life and say, ‘This is my lifetime moment to serve.’”

The unprecedented effort is being orchestrated with dozens of right-flank organizations, many new to Washington, and represents a changed approach from conservatives, who traditionally have sought to limit the federal government by cutting federal taxes and slashing federal spending.

Instead, Trump-era conservatives want to gut the “administrative state” from within, by ousting federal employees they believe are standing in the way of the president’s agenda and replacing them with like-minded officials more eager to fulfill a new executive’s approach to governing.

The goal is to avoid the pitfalls of Trump’s first years in office, when the Republican president’s team was ill-prepared, his Cabinet nominees had trouble winning Senate confirmation and policies were met with resistance — by lawmakers, government workers and even Trump's own appointees who refused to bend or break protocol, or in some cases violate laws, to achieve his goals.

While many of the Project 2025 proposals are inspired by Trump, they are being echoed by GOP rivals Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy and are gaining prominence among other Republicans.

And if Trump wins a second term, the work from the Heritage coalition ensures the president will have the personnel to carry forward his unfinished White House business.

“The president Day One will be a wrecking ball for the administrative state,” said Russ Vought, a former Trump administration official involved in the effort who is now president at the conservative Center for Renewing America.

Much of the new president’s agenda would be accomplished by reinstating what’s called Schedule F — a Trump-era executive order that would reclassify tens of thousands of the 2 million federal employees as essentially at-will workers who could more easily be fired.

Biden had rescinded the executive order upon taking office in 2021, but Trump — and other presidential hopefuls — now vow to reinstate it.

“It frightens me,” said Mary Guy, a professor of public administration at the University of Colorado, who warns the idea would bring a return to a political spoils system.

Experts argue Schedule F would create chaos in the civil service, which was overhauled during President Jimmy Carter's administration in an attempt to ensure a professional workforce and end political bias dating from 19th century patronage.

As it now stands, just 4,000 members of the federal workforce are considered political appointees who typically change with each administration. But Schedule F could put tens of thousands of career professional jobs at risk.

“We have a democracy that is at risk of suicide. Schedule F is just one more bullet in the gun,” Guy said.

The ideas contained in Heritage's coffee table-ready book are both ambitious and parochial, a mix of longstanding conservative policies and stark, head-turning proposals that gained prominence in the Trump era.

There’s a “top to bottom overhaul” of the Department of Justice, particularly curbing its independence and ending FBI efforts to combat the spread of misinformation. It calls for stepped-up prosecution of anyone providing or distributing abortion pills by mail.

There are proposals to have the Pentagon “abolish” its recent diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, what the project calls the “woke” agenda, and reinstate service members discharged for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.

Chapter by chapter, the pages offer a how-to manual for the next president, similar to one Heritage produced 50 years ago, ahead of the Ronald Reagan administration. Authored by some of today’s most prominent thinkers in the conservative movement, it’s often sprinkled with apocalyptic language.

A chapter written by Trump’s former acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security calls for bolstering the number of political appointees, and redeploying office personnel with law enforcement ability into the field “to maximize law enforcement capacity.”

At the White House, the book suggests the new administration should “reexamine” the tradition of providing work space for the press corps and ensure the White House counsel is “deeply committed” to the president's agenda.

Conservatives have long held a grim view of federal government offices, complaining they are stacked with liberals intent on halting Republican agendas.

But Doreen Greenwald, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said most federal workers live in the states and are your neighbors, family and friends. “Federal employees are not the enemy,” she said.

While presidents typically rely on Congress to put policies into place, the Heritage project leans into what legal scholars refer to as a unitary view of executive power that suggests the president has broad authority to act alone.

To push past senators who try to block presidential Cabinet nominees, Project 2025 proposes installing top allies in acting administrative roles, as was done during the Trump administration to bypass the Senate confirmation process.

John McEntee, another former Trump official advising the effort, said the next administration can "play hardball a little more than we did with Congress."

In fact, Congress would see its role diminished — for example, with a proposal to eliminate congressional notification on certain foreign arms sales.

Philip Wallach, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who studies the separation of powers and was not part of the Heritage project, said there's a certain amount of “fantasizing” about the president's capabilities.

“Some of these visions, they do start to just bleed into some kind of authoritarian fantasies where the president won the election, so he’s in charge, so everyone has to do what he says — and that’s just not the system the government we live under,” he said.

At the Heritage office, Dans has a faded photo on his wall of an earlier era in Washington, with the White House situated almost alone in the city, dirt streets in all directions.

It's an image of what conservatives have long desired, a smaller federal government.

The Heritage coalition is taking its recruitment efforts on the road, crisscrossing America to fill the federal jobs. They staffed the Iowa State Fair this month and signed up hundreds of people, and they’re building out a database of potential employees, inviting them to be trained in government operations.

“It’s counterintuitive,” Dans acknowledged — the idea of joining government to shrink it — but he said that's the lesson learned from the Trump days about what's needed to "regain control.”

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by jserraglio » Tue Aug 29, 2023 11:42 am

second White House term for Donald Trump
Sorry, ain’t gonna happen, barring a successful coup in 2025.

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Aug 29, 2023 7:42 pm

From The New Yorker today:

How to Treat Right-Wing Violence in the U.S.
Does the far-right extremism of the Trump era represent an eternal pattern in American politics or a new one?
By Benjamin Wallace-Wells
August 29, 2023

In the days immediately following the January 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol, antifascists were comparing images online, trying to identify the culprits with methods that one might find in amateur detective guides: focus on the geometry of the ears, the curve of the nose, the parts that can’t easily be changed if someone gains or loses weight or grows a beard. The violent far right is often described as a shadowy and somewhat faceless force. But, to those who follow the movement’s major figures, it looks more like a repertory company, one whose members might take slightly different roles in different performances in different cities: a compact, delineated group of usual suspects. Ethan Nordean, who held the “war powers” for the Proud Boys on January 6th, had sat for interviews with Alex Jones on Infowars. Stewart Rhodes, the eye-patch-sporting Yale Law grad and founder of the Oath Keepers, had been a prominent militia leader, staging patrols of Cliven Bundy’s ranch and at Trump rallies, before he was charged with seditious conspiracy and sentenced to eighteen years in prison for orchestrating his group’s storming of the Capitol. I remembered Joe Biggs, a bearded Proud Boys leader and right-wing podcaster who broke through police lines at the Capitol, from an event that Roger Stone had staged during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, in 2016.

It can be disorienting to track these far-right cadres closely. You can lose yourself. Not long after the Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, in 2017, I sat in the kitchen of a likable young humanities professor at the University of Virginia who was devoting hours each day to identifying the marchers and posting the results to antifascist forums online. Wesley Lowery, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has written perceptively about both left- and right-wing street politics for a decade, knows these patterns well.“I’ve found, more often than not, when interviewing people who have devoted their professional lives to understanding perpetrators of racial violence, that they often share a similar, if diametrically opposite, radicalization process,” he writes in “American Whitelash: A Changing Nation and the Cost of Progress.” “They can identify the very moment their eyes were opened—when they first realized they’d never again look away from the evil they now saw."

The past few years have forced plenty of ordinary Americans to regularly wonder whether they should open their eyes to the far right in this way, too. Both choices are bad. Familiarize yourself with the activities of Patriot Front or the Boogaloo Boys and you risk letting a very tiny number of unoriginal extremists unnecessarily darken your world view. Ignore them, and you may feel naïve when, as at Charlottesville or on January 6th, they play a major role in political events. The events on Saturday, in Jacksonville, Florida, in which a twenty-one-year-old white gunman targeted Black customers at a Dollar General, killing three, were yet another reminder, as in Buffalo and El Paso and Charleston, that the problem of far-right and racially motivated violence isn’t going away.

Politicians tend to describe the far right almost spectrally—its protagonists are said to emerge from the dark recesses of the American past or the fringes and “fever swamps” of the present. In some ways, the batch of new books published about the far right represents a helpful corrective. Their authors tend to see American extremism as a more specific set of political patterns. But, taken together, they also suggest how little agreement there is on basic matters: what the far right wants, and whether it represents an eternal pattern in American politics or a new one.

Lowery’s focus is on race. He sees the right-wing tumult of recent years as a reaction to the increasing presence of nonwhite Americans and especially to the election of the first Black President. Even if racists sound much the same as they always have, Lowery thinks they were changed by the civil-rights movement, often referred to as the Second Reconstruction. “The advent of multiracial democracy through the Second Reconstruction and the perceived browning of America through immigration has forced today’s white supremacists to accept as a premise that they’re ‘losing,’ ” Lowery writes. “No longer can they claim, as their forebears did, that they aim to return to the norm of a white supremacist status quo. Today’s white supremacist movement is revolutionary—its explicit aim being to overthrow our maturing multiracial democracy.”

You might draw a straight line from this to Donald Trump, but Lowery takes a more episodic approach, tunnelling in on a few cases of racial violence, each of which made headlines at the time but whose details tend to be largely forgotten. Often, these atrocities turn out to be committed by longtime fanatics. Lowery relays the 2012 massacre at a Sikh temple, in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, in which Wade Michael Page, a forty-year-old skinhead who was active in the neo-Nazi music scene, fatally shot six people and wounded four others, in part, through the eyes of a pair of radicalism researchers. One of them found a Myspace photo of the then unidentified shooter, and exclaimed, “Oh my God! That’s Wade.” Lowery also lingers on the white supremacy of Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr., a prominent figure in the white-power movement for decades, who, at the age of seventy-three, killed three people at Jewish centers in Overland Park, Kansas. “I had good moral reasons for doing what I did,” Miller told a judge. “I’m going to prove to them that Jews are committing genocide against white people.”

Racial violence has a way of drawing the eye back into the past because white supremacy is so deeply entwined with American history. Lowery is sharp in his attunement to the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim violence of the Bush years, which now look like a presage of Trumpism. One episode in his book concerns the Patchogue, Long Island, assault of an Ecuadorian immigrant named Marcelo Lucero, by a group of teen-agers who went out “beaner-hopping” days after Barack Obama’s election. Lucero was killed by a seventeen-year-old named Jeff Conroy, who stabbed him in the chest. Conroy, whose father ran the area’s youth football and lacrosse organization, turned out to have a swastika tattooed on his thigh. “I knew about it,” Conroy’s father later told a local journalist of the tattoo. “It was just one of those stupid kid stunts.”

There was a specific anti-immigrant political context in that part of Long Island following Obama’s election. In 2007, a legislator from nearby Amityville said that, if he saw day laborers gathered in his community, “I would load my gun and start shooting, period.” Some of this was channelled politically by the Suffolk County executive, an anti-immigrant Democrat (though he would later become a Republican and maintains that he was never anti-immigrant) named Steve Levy. In 2007, Levy told the Times, “Whether you are black or white or Hispanic, if you live in the suburbs, you do not want to live across the street from a house where 60 men live. You do not want trucks riding up and down the block at 5 a.m., picking up workers.” A little unexpectedly, Lowery writes that the closest analogue he has discovered for Trump is not Rudy Giuliani or Sarah Palin but Steve Levy.

Lowery’s book is elegant. He convincingly shows that, during the Obama years, conservative figures from Levy to Trump worked adeptly to stoke fear of displacement. But, in some ways, “American Whitelash” reads as a chronicle of a specific time—much of the action concerns the backlash to Obama’s Presidency, and the early years of Trump’s. The last deeply reported episode in the book, chronologically, is the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. That took place six years ago, which raises the question of whether the situation has changed since.

To revisit the Unite the Right rally, as the former CNN producer Nora Neus does in her excellent oral history “24 Hours in Charlottesville,” is to realize that the patterns of right-wing violence that are now familiar were then still new. “Just hearing lots of reports of people bringing guns. I was like, Oh my God, is this something we’re going to experience today?” a news photographer named Zack Wajsgras told Neus. Part of the novelty was how confident the militias were, raising Confederate and Nazi banners in the center of one of America’s premier college towns. In some ways, they behaved, nine months after Trump’s election, as if they were in control. Tom Perriello, a former Democratic congressman from the region who was at the rally as a counter-protester, told Neus, “You could not tell who was National Guard and who was white supremacist. They were in full camo. They had earpieces in. They were moving in formations. They had open long guns. They were, in every meaningful way, exactly how National Guard would be out in the streets. And they saw themselves that way.”

Charlottesville was understood as a statement of arrival by what was then called the alt-right, the extremist cadres, organized largely online, united by a confrontational white supremacy. They had entered the mainstream. The journalist David Neiwert argues in “The Age of Insurrection: The Radical Right’s Assault on American Democracy” that it was also their Waterloo. Neiwert has been following the far right since the late nineteen-seventies, when he was a cub reporter in Idaho—a center, at the time, of the white-power movement. His story, which spans a half century, is most interesting in its account of what happened to the movement after Charlottesville. Many of the alt-right’s principals wound up in jail. The Proud Boys and some affiliated groups, particularly in the Pacific Northwest and South Florida, pursued a running sequence of street fights with antifascist protesters. Richard Spencer, the white supremacist who once appeared frequently in the national media, had already effectively vanished from public view by the time a judge handed down a $2.4-million judgment against his organization, the National Policy Institute, in 2021, following a suit brought by a Charlottesville victim. Several members of the California-based Rise Above Movement, who were responsible for many of the most violent acts at Charlottesville, were sentenced to federal prison on rioting charges. These organizations and their slogans, Neiwert notes, fell into disuse. “The term—and, in most regards, the movement itself—was quickly discarded,” he writes. “No one identified as an alt-right group after Charlottesville.”

Neiwert’s contention isn’t that Charlottesville was a death knell for violent extremism: “Like a blob of mercury crushed under a thumb, they simply spread out into newer, smaller blobs.” Some of these new groups took turns toward religious conservatism, in ways that presaged the loose Christian millenarianism of the QAnon movement. Thomas Rousseau, who, as a teen-ager, had marched in khakis and a white polo at Charlottesville, founded an avowedly fascist splinter group called Patriot Front, whose members were dressed up in riot gear and arrested in a van on their way to a Pride event in Idaho. Nick Fuentes, who, at Charlottesville, had been an eighteen-year-old white-supremacist podcaster and Boston University freshman, now leads groups of his so-called groyper army in chants of “Christ is King” at anti-abortion and anti-vaccine protests.

Neiwert also traces a more consequential turn. By the pandemic phase of Trump’s Presidency, even mainstream Republicans had adjusted their approach to right-wing extremism. In Michigan, for instance, the Republican leader of the State Senate was seen at a political fund-raiser with one of the militiamen who, months later, would be arrested for participating in a plot to kidnap and kill Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer. (He has pleaded not guilty.) Senator Marco Rubio, of Florida, joined a wave of fellow Republican figures in amplifying false claims that “Antifa”—the Proud Boys’ street-fighting antagonists, but not otherwise a major political force—was preparing for violence. The former U.S. Attorney and G.O.P. pundit Joseph diGenova appeared on Laura Ingraham’s podcast in 2019 and insisted that “we are in a civil war” and advised viewers to buy guns to prepare for “total war.”

Neiwert emphasizes how closely the bug-eyed guys with guns follow mainstream politics. He writes that, among the deleted e-mails and online activity obtained during the prosecution of Christopher Hasson—a Coast Guard acquisitions officer and avowed white nationalist who was arrested, in 2019, for plotting a series of political assassinations—were planning notes for a bioweapons attack and shooting spree, and Google searches for “what if trump illegally impeached” and “civil war if trump impeached.” Neiwert writes, “It’s not hard to find the source of Hasson’s belief that civil war would erupt if President Trump were to face impeachment: By early 2019, civil war had become an endemic talking point and source of speculation among right-wing pundits.”

Many of the quotes that Neiwert lifts, from congressional speeches and cable-news appearances, show how spectral and apocalyptic Republican politicians and conservative media came to sound during the Trump era. Early in Trump’s term, the televangelist Jim Bakker warned that, if Democrats sought to remove the President from office, “there will be a civil war in the United States of America. The Christians will finally come out of the shadows because we are going to be shut up permanently if we’re not careful.” On the House floor, during Trump’s first impeachment, the Texas congressman Louie Gohmert declared, “This country’s end is now in sight.” Neiwert traces the fallout. An ex-Navy seal named Jonathan Gilliam used Gohmert’s remarks as a “springboard,” writing on Twitter, “I see exactly what he sees. Therefor it is time we begin considering the possibility of civil war.”

Even now, it is wild to be reminded of how simply weird Trump came to sound, toward the end of his term, when he was trying to animate conspiracies about the election and to genuflect to a base that had become much weirder itself. The journalist Jeff Sharlet recounts a remarkable interview Trump gave to Laura Ingraham, in the summer of 2020. When Trump suggested that Biden was a puppet, she asked who was pulling the strings: “Former Obama people?” she asked.

“People that you’ve never heard of,” Trump replied, “people that are in the dark shadows, people . . .”

“What does that mean? That sounds like a conspiracy theory. ‘Dark shadows,’ ” Ingraham said. “What is that?”

“People that you haven’t heard of,” Trump said. He continued, “There are people that are on the streets, there are people that are controlling the streets.” He went on to describe a plane full of “thugs” in “dark uniforms.”

In some ways, this is the major theme of the history that Neiwert tells—the opportunistic relationship between the extremist fringe and the Republican establishment. For most of that history, even through Charlottesville, the patterns of the far right were all bottom-up. By the lead-up to January 6th, the situation had become more complicated: now some of it was top-down.

Among those writers on the trail of the far right, Sharlet is the most anguished. Having been sent by the Times Magazine to scrutinize the religious elements of Trump’s rallies in 2016, Sharlet concluded that they were a version of the evangelical pastor Norman Vincent Peale’s “The Power of Positive Thinking,” with its prosperity-gospel preaching. (On the campaign trail, Trump had claimed that Peale, who died in 1993, had been “my minister for years.”) But, as the Trump era rolled on, and Sharlet travelled the country, visiting right-wing preachers and rallies, he began to discern a pattern of maga belief that he analogized to gnosticism, with its allusions to secret knowledge. At a rally in Bossier City, Louisiana, one pastor insisted to Sharlet that even the patterns of capitalization in Trump’s tweets have a hidden significance, “like Scripture.” In “The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War,” Sharlet makes his way across the fringe of a country that—he grows more certain—is headed toward an inexorable existential conflict.

A central figure in Sharlet’s quest is Ashli Babbitt, the protester killed by a Capitol police officer’s bullet when she tried to climb through a broken door on January 6th. “When she was a girl in rural Lakeside, California, she’d ride her horse to the 7-Eleven,” Sharlet writes. “She was a fast talker, a scrapper.” Babbitt spent fourteen years in the Air Force—two wars, at least eight deployments—and her favorite movie was “The Big Lebowski.” She voted for Barack Obama, then fell “all in” for Trump in 2016. If the extremists of an earlier era were understood to have a programmatic approach to politics, Babbitt’s beliefs seem to have been contingent, transitory, only intermittently political at all. “She believed the election was stolen,” Sharlet writes, quoting Babbitt’s social-media posts. “She believed Trump was ‘one of gods greatest warriors.’ She thought she’d be his ‘boots on the ground.’ She wanted to be ‘the storm.’ ”

Sharlet takes particular notice of the ways in which Trump’s protracted challenges to the 2020 Presidential election played to people like Babbitt. “The audit in Maricopa County, for instance, was absurd, yes, and also real,” he writes. “This is how you construct an alternate reality, the juxtaposition of the verifiable and the absurd, each vouching for the other.”

In Sacramento, Sharlet visited a Justice for Ashli Babbitt rally, at which an indicted January 6th terrorist insisted that no cops were hurt during the attack on the Capitol (in fact, around a hundred and forty were injured; one, Brian Sicknick, was killed, and several others later died by suicide) and that “schools are making our kids gay.” Babbitt’s mother said from the stage that “there’s no shame in what happened January 6th.” We see the pastor whom Sharlet met in Bossier City tell his congregation in Yuba City, California, that Melania Trump leads a “secret child-trafficking response team,” a nonsensical statement that, Sharlet notes, appears to go unchallenged inside the church. In Holiday City, Ohio, a tattooed pastor named Pete Garza explained to Sharlet that “there are pockets of fire that God is birthing forth.” Does it look like civil war? Sharlet pressed him, twice. Garza said, “It might. It might.”

As money quotes go, that one leaves a lot of room for doubt. Each of these encounters is a disturbing, fascinating scene, expertly recounted. But is the story they tell really of an incipient civil war? Daniel Byman, a former senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, has cited data from the New America Foundation, which found that, in the year following the Capitol assault, with the Justice Department’s lawyers slowly, procedurally, turning evidence into indictments and indictments into convictions, there was not a single death owing to right-wing violence. (In March, 2021, a twenty-one-year-old man raised in a conservative Southern Baptist church targeted a series of spas in the Atlanta area, killing eight people; the trial is ongoing and his motives remain unclear, but a Fulton County district attorney is pursuing a hate-crime charge.) At the beginning of 2022, Byman wrote, “The good news is that the number of deaths from terrorism and other extreme forms of violence was low, but the bad news for 2022 is that violent rhetoric and threats are becoming normalized in everyday politics.”

That is a decent summation of the current state of the far right. At each step in the Trump era, its path has been shaped by contingencies: by how closely prosecutors were willing to scrutinize the activities of extremists, by the issues emphasized by Republican politicians and conservative media, and—above all—by the attention Trump himself paid to the fringes of his base.

All of these books were written before the four major indictments of Trump that have taken place in the past five months. The authors might have been surprised by how muted the reaction to those arrests has been. Tucker Carlson, during his Webcast interview with Trump last week, suggested that Democrats were plotting to kill the former President. But the scenes of Trump’s arraignments around the country have been more about merch than civil war—“a carnival for those with several hours to kill in the middle of a workday,” as New York magazine reported from the scene of Trump’s Florida arraignment, in June.

One word for this might be exhaustion. Trump and his allies seemed to understand that the far right could operate as an arm of partisan politics—that extremists could be beckoned to see the stakes of elections and legislative hearings and policy debates as if they were existential, and to say they would fight to the death for them. But the fights that Trump has tried to marshal this energy behind have often been small and personal. And, starting with the 2020 Presidential election, he has generally lost them. The far-right scene looks different from how it did at the outset of his term: more scattered, more spacey, more incarcerated. Still, Trump maintains his position as the movement’s apocalyptic preacher. How many times can he keep insisting to his flock that the world is about to end before it stops believing him?

(Rach 3 : Wallace-Wells seems to ignore the fact that "his flock" is now in the large majority of GOP voters and caucus goers, and independents who think Biden is too old, the " flock" not just the crazed, criminal wack jobs of the alt.Right, not just the frauds like Carlson,Cruz,Hawley,McCarthy,, the " flock" now " ordinary Americans" , 74M in 2020,with Trump's 2023 approval ratings up each time he was indicted.No one of those "stops believing him".)

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Fri Sep 01, 2023 8:09 am

Per Axios today:

Each day, former President Trump's staff presents him with printouts of fan mail, supportive op-eds, favorable tweets and encouraging polls.

Trump, black Sharpie in hand, often scrawls responses on them — then has aides text a photo of the comments back to the writer. The Trump-signed hard copies are then sent by U.S. mail, Axios' Sophia Cai reports.

Why it matters: The big stack is an ego-soothing exercise for Trump that often winds up creating viral threads, as recipients of Trump's comments — some of whom have big digital followings — post them on social media.

The result: a constant chain of support, commiseration and shared grievance — that can be printed out for him the next day.

Case in point: Paul Ingrassia, a former Trump White House intern, says he's received more than a dozen notes from Trump since October in response to supportive articles Ingrassia wrote for conservative outlets.

After he wrote Trump recently to flag an article "you may have overlooked," Trump wrote back: "Never! Just posted" — Trump had reposted Ingrassia's piece on Truth Social.

Recalling a visit Ingrassia had made to the former president's golf club in Bedminster, N.J., Trump added: "Great seeing you — the man behind the great writing — you are looking good."
Like many of Trump's pen pals, Ingrassia posts the former president's replies on his own social media. He says Trump's handwritten notes, which he's framing, encourage him to keep writing articles.

Trump's circle of flattery includes allies across the country who flag their own tweets — and video of their TV appearances — to Trump aide Natalie Harp, senior adviser Jason Miller or communications director Steven Cheung.

Trump's handwritten responses have come to be coveted by young Republicans.
One ally whose messages typically reach Trump is Laura Loomer, a far-right activist who narrowly lost a bid for the U.S. House last year in the district that includes Mar-a-Lago.

Loomer recently wrote she would "sniff out" Trump traitors.
"Sounds good to me," Trump scrawled next to "traitors."

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Sep 05, 2023 8:23 pm

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Wed Sep 06, 2023 5:21 pm

Racists complaining about racism ? WAPO today:

"A corporate law firm that was accused of racial discrimination for offering a diversity fellowship to law students of underrepresented groups has opened its program to students of all races, according to a change on its website.

The change comes a few weeks after Morrison Foerster, based in San Francisco, was sued for excluding nonminority students from the program. The lawsuit was brought by the American Alliance for Equal Rights (AAER), founded by conservative activist Edward Blum, who was behind the cases that culminated in the Supreme Court striking down affirmative action in college admissions. Now his groups are among those launching a broader campaign to dismantle diversity initiatives in the private sector.

Morrison Foerster is one of two law firms facing legal action over diversity fellowships. The AAER lawsuit alleges that the Keith Wetmore Fellowship for Excellence, Diversity and Inclusion at Morrison Foerster “excludes certain applicants based on their skin color.”

The application for the fellowship, which started in 2012, used to describe the program as being for first-year law students who are members of “a diverse population that has historically been underrepresented in the legal profession,” including Black, Latinx, Native American and LGBTQ+ people.

Weeks after the lawsuit was filed, all references to race have been removed from the program page on the Morrison Foerster website. The move signals uncertainty about how the fellowship and others like it will hold up to legal scrutiny as litigants try to translate the race-blind Supreme Court stance on college admissions to the private sector.

The program is now framed as recognizing “exceptional first and second-year law students with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.” The change was first reported by the Washington Free Beacon. Morrison Foerster did not respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post.

Among the criteria for fellowship applicants, Morrison Foerster includes an “ability to bring a diverse perspective to the firm as a result of your adaptability, cultural fluency, resilience, and life experiences” as well as a “demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.”

Universities and private employers are “looking for workarounds” amid the legal battle over diversity and inclusion efforts, according to Kenneth Davis, a professor of law and ethics at Fordham University. “In both arenas, they are facing a giant wave of pushback,” Davis said. “Human resource departments are scurrying trying to figure out, ‘How much ground do we have to give up without giving up the issue altogether?’ ”

The law industry has long struggled to diversify its workforce. Though Black people comprise about 14 percent of the population in the United States, less than 5 percent of practicing attorneys are Black, a share that has grown less than 1 percent since 2010, according to the American Bar Association. About 10 percent of practicing attorneys fall into other minority groups. Overall, the share of ethnic minorities in the legal profession has grown 6 percent since 2010, according to the association.

Since late June, when the Supreme Court ruled against affirmative action in college and university admissions, there has been a flurry of legal activity that seeks to test the high court’s view on the consideration of race in matters of employment.

In July, 13 attorneys general sent a letter to the Fortune 100 chief executives, warning the overturning of affirmative action could have ramifications for corporate diversity, equity and inclusion programs. America First Legal, the conservative nonprofit group backed by former Donald Trump adviser Stephen Miller, has filed complaints in recent months against Kellogg, Nordstrom and Activision Blizzard, alleging that their diversity and inclusion policies constitute racial discrimination.

Along with the lawsuits against Morrison Foerster and Perkins Coie, AAER has also sued Fearless Fund, a venture capital firm based in Atlanta, over its grant program for early stage businesses owned by Black women. In the cases against Morrison Foerster and Perkins Coie, AAER has alleged that the firms are violating a section of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 that prohibits racial discrimination in contracts.

“The law abhors racial discrimination. The lawyers who help administer that law are supposed to abhor it too,” the complaint against Morrison Foerster states. By operating a fellowship program specifically for law students of Black, Latinx and Indigenous descent, as well as members of the LGBTQ+ community, the complaint states the law firm “has been racially discriminating against future lawyers for more than a decade.”

Perkins Coie declined to comment on whether it plans to alter it program, referring to a previous statement on the complaint. “We will defend this lawsuit vigorously,” Perkins Coie spokesman Justin Cole said after the lawsuit was filed.

The Wetmore fellowship includes a paid summer associate position, guidance from attorney mentors and an award of $25,000 if the student completes the full summer program and an additional $25,000 if the student returns the following summer and accepts a full-time position upon graduation.

The lawsuits against Morrison Foerster and Perkins Coie seek temporary restraining orders that would bar the firms from selecting fellows, as well as permanent injunctions ending the programs. They also seek declarations stating the programs violate the civil rights statute. AAER “is awaiting a formal reply from Morrison Foerster to the district court to our motion for a preliminary injunction,” Blum told The Post."

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Sep 12, 2023 10:38 am

From NYT today:

A federal judge in Texas ruled that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is overstepping its bounds in its attempts to check whether banks and other financial firms are discriminating against Black Americans and other minorities.

The case was brought last year by big trade organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Bankers Association. On Friday, the judge, J. Campbell Barker, wrote in his ruling that the consumer regulator was “exceeding statutory authority” in its attempt to use a law that bars financial institutions from engaging in “unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices” to check for instances of discrimination during routine examinations of the firms.

State laws offer protections from discrimination, and the C.F.P.B.’s activities would get in the way of those, wrote the judge, who was appointed by former President Donald J. Trump. He also said that the law the C.F.P.B. wanted to apply in its new checks for discrimination, passed after the 2008 financial crisis, did not specify discrimination. Therefore, the phenomenon was outside its scope.

In fact, not every state has its own anti-discrimination laws. Georgia, for instance, does not broadly prohibit private employers from discriminating against employees nor private businesses from discriminating against customers.

“The agency instead must point to clear congressional authorization for the power it claims,” the judge wrote, citing a Supreme Court ruling that last year limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate emissions under the Clean Air Act.

Sam Gilford, a C.F.P.B. spokesman, said in an email that the agency was considering appealing.

“A longstanding and straightforward federal law prohibits unfair acts and practices, stating that financial firms cannot subject consumers to substantial and unavoidable harm,” Mr. Gilford said. “In our view, it is common sense that discrimination can meet that standard.” He added that the agency would abide by the ruling but would also continue to use “any available tool” to fight discrimination in the financial system.

Banks have long tried to limit the ways regulators can penalize them. While they say they aim to treat all customers equally, they also say that some customers may be at a disadvantage because of systemic inequality in American society for which they are not responsible.

In 2020, after George Floyd’s murder set off widespread protests against police brutality and the broadly unjust treatment of Black Americans, top executives from the major banks, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America, asked the Trump administration to hold off on their request to scrap anti-discrimination protections put in place under the Obama administration. Such a regulatory break would have seemed too out of step with public sentiment at the time, but more than three years later, the banks are getting relief on a scale similar to what they had chosen to forgo.

The trade groups behind the lawsuit had originally stressed that their main impetus for suing the C.F.P.B. was a question of process. The regulator had added “discrimination” to a manual provided to financial firms explaining how to prepare for the agency’s periodic checks on their operations. Officials should have given them more warning, the groups argued, and a chance to submit public comments on the matter before finalizing the change.

In a broader argument, the groups also claimed it wasn’t clear that the C.F.P.B. had any authority to test them for discriminatory practices. Judge Barker’s decision focused on that broader issue.

Rob Nichols, the president of the American Bankers Association, said in an emailed statement that his organization was “pleased” with the outcome of the case, adding that the ruling found that the C.F.P.B. did not have “open-ended and novel power to examine banks for alleged discriminatory conduct.”

Rach3: "Novel power " ??!! What a load of BS.
Last edited by Rach3 on Tue Sep 12, 2023 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Tue Sep 12, 2023 11:50 am

Deep in the trenches: ... index.html

Texas, of course.

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Thu Sep 14, 2023 11:41 am

WAPO today:

"Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo is advising residents under the age of 65 against getting the updated covid booster being rolled out this week, directly contradicting the federal government’s recommendation that all Americans 6 months and older get the shot, Cindy Krischer Goodman reports for the Sun Sentinel."

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Re: TrumpReich in action

Post by Rach3 » Mon Sep 18, 2023 5:37 pm

From WAPO tonight:

Indiana’s attorney general is suing the state’s largest health-care system for allegedly mishandling the case of a doctor who spoke out about performing an abortion for 10-year-old girl who was raped last summer. The procedure came days after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, which helped turn the girl’s case into a national story that quickly became politicized.

Attorney General Todd Rokita (R) claims that Indiana University Health improperly prioritized its physician, Caitlin Bernard, instead of the patient’s right to confidentiality, according to the lawsuit filed Friday.

The lawsuit is not even the most recent volley in the back-and-forth. Rokita violated professional conduct rules in speaking about this case, according to a ruling Monday from the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, days after the lawsuit was filed.

“Patients should be able to trust their doctors because trust is the foundation of a patient-doctor relationship. Without trust, we do not have reliable, honest health care,” Rokita said in a recorded statement announcing the suit.

A statement provided by an IU Health spokeswoman said the hospital system holds itself accountable every day for securing the privacy of its patients. “We continue to be disappointed the Indiana Attorney General’s office persists in putting the state’s limited resources toward this matter,” she said. “We will respond directly to the AG’s office on the filing.”

The lawsuit centers on Bernard publicly talking about, but not naming the patient in, the procedure she performed in late June 2022.

Bernard told the Indianapolis Star about the girl, who crossed state lines for an abortion because of Ohio’s trigger law. The trigger law implemented a ban on abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy as soon as Roe was struck down. (The girl was 9 when she was raped and turned 10 before having the abortion, according to the Associated Press. Indiana’s legislature was the first post-Roe to effectively ban all abortions.)
Forces in the Republican-led state came after Bernard.

Though an internal IU Health review cleared Bernard of wrongdoing, Indiana’s medical license board deemed she had violated state and federal privacy laws — including The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, HIPAA — by discussing the girl’s case publicly. The board fined her $3,000. Rokita, who appeared on Fox News talking about the case, opened an inquiry into her actions. Bernard at one point considered filing a defamation suit.

President Biden said the situation underscored that no child should have to cross state lines for an abortion. Some right-wing commentators and news outlets called Bernard’s story a hoax. But reporters at the Indianapolis Star and Columbus Dispatch proved the story was true.
Franklin County Children Services notified Columbus police of a pregnant 10-year-old in late June 2022, the reporters found. About a week later, on June 30, the girl had a medical abortion in Indianapolis. The girl identified Gerson Fuentes in a police interview, and investigators arrested him July 12 — the same day Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) told Gannett’s Ohio bureau that “I know the cops and prosecutors in this state” and “there is not a damn scintilla of evidence” the investigation existed.

Fuentes, 28, took a plea deal in July 2023 for a sentence of life in prison with the chance of seeking parole in 25 years for raping the girl.

Rokita’s lawsuit filed Friday in federal court said IU Health has been inconsistent, firing employees for less serious breaches while keeping Bernard. The lawsuit said that confusion is unacceptable for the state’s largest health network, with over 36,000 team members who serve 100,000 admissions every year.

“By publicly ratifying Dr. Bernard’s misconduct, IUH has revealed a systemic flaw in its implementation and administration of HIPAA rules that affect the privacy of all its patients,” prosecutors wrote.

The AG’s office wrote that IUH’s definition of personally identifiable information includes “all elements of dates.” It said IUH’s risk assessment that cleared Bernard “failed to consider that Dr. Bernard told the reporter the precise day she received the patient referral and the week during which the abortion procedure was to be performed.”

The Washington Post reported in July 2022 that it had obtained documents showing Bernard reported the girl’s abortion to the relevant state agencies before the legally mandated deadline.

The lawsuit asks the court to enter a permanent injunction requiring IU Health to, among other things, update or create rules to safeguard patient information and prohibit its staff from disclosing sensitive patient information without proper patient approval.

Rokita said he wants the courts to impose the maximum amounts of fines and damages.
Rokita’s office did not respond to The Post’s request for information on how many taxpayer dollars have gone into the lawsuit and other efforts of the attorney general to hold Bernard accountable.

Rokita’s comments on Fox News about the case were the focus of the misconduct charges against him by the Disciplinary Commission. Rokita pushed back against the complaint, invoking “cancel culture” and saying he was proud of his record.

Rokita’s office filed the lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana. On Monday, Joshua J. Minkler, a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, submitted paperwork to the court that he would represent IU Health in the case.

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