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Zorro

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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 14,371

Journal Archives

What Trump Is Pushing the GOP to Do About Jan. 6 if They Win the Midterms

Sure, the conspiracy theory that the FBI was behind the Trump-fueled Capitol riot is bogus. But that’s not stopping Trump from encouraging the faithful to investigate it.

Since last year, Republicans have increasingly signaled how they plan to exact vengeance on those who’ve tried to make them and their leader, Donald Trump, pay any price for the coup attempt following the 2020 election. For his part, the twice-impeached former president has his own wish list of conspiracy theory-fueled ideas for how to get even—and he has personally pushed other GOP figures to commit to them.

According to three people familiar with the matter, Trump has privately told GOP lawmakers, congressional candidates, and operatives in recent months that Republicans on Capitol Hill should be prepared to launch a full-blown investigation to “get to the bottom of” how FBI agents supposedly caused violence and mayhem on Jan. 6. The theory that the feds somehow orchestrated or caused the rioting at the Capitol is groundless, but it has nevertheless been embraced in influential spheres of Republican politics, in Trumpland, and in right-wing media and online culture. The appeal, of course, lies in the attempt to shift obvious blame off of the 45th U.S. president and conservatives.

In these conversations, the sources recounted, Trump was emphatic that this should be a priority for GOP lawmakers next year, assuming that Republicans take back the House and Senate after the 2022 midterm elections—and regain all the aggressive oversight and subpoena powers that come with a majority.

Currently, liberals in the Democratic-controlled House are wielding those powers on the Jan. 6 committee, which is still investigating the deadly Capitol riot and the preceding Trump-led efforts to nullify Joe Biden’s 2020 election win. “The [former] president wants the same thing, but for his version of the history,” one of these sources, who’s spoken to Trump about this several times, said.

And Trump’s friends on the right are more than happy to back him up.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/what-trump-is-pushing-the-gop-to-do-about-jan-6-if-they-win-the-midterms

The question for the GOP: Trump or American democracy?

Republicans have resorted to a variety of excuses and lies to avoid breaking with the defeated former president: He didn’t mean to incite the violent insurgents on Jan. 6, 2021. He eventually asked for them to go home. It wasn’t that violent.

Like the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen, none of these hold up to the least bit of scrutiny. (The defeated president refused to say anything to the insurgents for 187 minutes, then expressed love for them. The violent images refute the lie that it was a nonviolent protest.) Moreover, the former president insists on hugging the violent insurgents — and insists the Republican Party hug him.

At yet another unhinged rally appearance on Saturday, he declared, “If I run and I win, we will treat those people from January 6 fairly. We will treat them fairly, and if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons because they are being treated so unfairly.” Even more incoherently, he insisted, “What that ‘unselect’ committee is doing and what the people are doing that are running those prisons, it’s a disgrace.”

This reaffirms a disturbing and incontrovertible fact that Republicans refuse to address: They stand by and may well nominate someone who sided and still sides with violent seditionists bent on overthrowing the duly elected government of the United States.

https://wapo.st/3ug6kta

The obvious GOP answer: Trump über alles.

Florida sets new record for Affordable Care Act enrollment

A record 2.7 million Floridians signed up for health insurance through the federal program known as Obamacare.

Sophany Nuth’s 30-hour a week job baking doughnuts doesn’t come with health insurance.

His weekly take-home pay is about $318. With rent, food and other bills, the 35-year-old Seffner father couldn’t afford the $400 a month quotes he got from private health insurers to cover him, his wife and two young children.

He was so worried, Nuth, considered moving his family to Canada or Australia, which have universal healthcare.

“It’s a big stress in the family,” he said.

But Nuth is staying in Florida after enrolling his family in a health care plan through the Affordable Care Act market place that he found with the help of navigators from the Family Healthcare Foundation. It will cost just $18 a month.

https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2022/01/31/florida-sets-new-record-for-affordable-care-act-enrollment/

People seen fleeing home before Hillsborough deputies' murder-suicide there

A neighbor said that before he heard gunshots, authorities ordered a man to come out of the home near the St. Augustine beach. A number of deputies were on vacation there.

ST. AUGUSTINE — Authorities were seen evacuating people Saturday evening through the second-story windows of a beach vacation rental where a Hillsborough County sheriff’s detective killed another deputy then himself, a neighbor said.

Detective Daniel Leyden, 31, shot and killed a deputy with whom he had a romantic relationship before turning the gun on himself, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. The shooting occurred in the bedroom of a vacation home in the Butler Beach area of Anastasia Island near St. Augustine.

The two were heard arguing in a bedroom by other deputies on vacation with them just before gunshots rang out, the Sheriff’s Office said. The office referred questions to investigators with the Sheriff’s Office in St. John’s County, where the shootings occurred The office did not return requests for comment Sunday and Monday.

A man who lives next door said dozens of deputies swarmed the rental at 5318 State Road A1A S after dark Saturday and ordered his family to stay inside their home. An hour later, the family heard the sound of gunfire, said the neighbor, William Wallace, 70.

Meantime, they saw people being evacuated from the home using ladders and heard authorities on a loudspeaker ordering a man to come outside with his hands over his head, Wallace said.

https://www.tampabay.com/news/hillsborough/2022/01/31/people-seen-fleeing-home-before-hillsborough-deputies-murder-suicide-there/

Former Miss USA Jumps to Her Death From New York City Skyscraper

Hours earlier, the pageant-winner and celebrity news correspondent had posted a photo to Instagram with the caption, “May this day bring you peace and rest.”

Cheslie Kryst, who won the Miss USA sash in 2019, has died after a fall from her high-rise Manhattan apartment building. She was 30.

Her family confirmed Kryst’s death in a Sunday statement. “Her great light was one that inspired others around the world with her beauty and strength,” it read. “She cared, she loved, she laughed and she shined.” The family said that the pageant-winner had “embodied love and served others” and that “her impact will live on.”

Her body was found on the sidewalk outside the Orion Condominium building in Midtown just after 7 a.m. Kryst lived on the ninth floor of the building, according to the New York Post. She was last seen on a terrace 29 stories above the ground.

Though her family did not provide a cause of death, sources in the New York Police Department have confirmed that Kryst had died by suicide, according to the Post and The Hollywood Reporter. The Post reported that Kryst had left behind a note leaving her possessions to her mother.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/cheslie-kryst-miss-usa-winner-and-extra-correspondent-identified-as-woman-who-jumped-from-nyc-high-rise

Very sad story. She must have been very troubled.

The Towers and the Ticking Clock

On a bright afternoon in June, James McGuinness arrived in the lobby of Champlain Towers South, one of the tallest condo towers in Surfside, just north of Miami Beach. Like its sister building, Champlain Towers North, the South tower was built in 1981, in the midcentury modern style so beloved by Florida developers of the era: squat and unlovely, with an L-shaped Duplo block footprint and heavy concrete balconies that jutted from the 13-story structure. Out back, there was a garden, and beyond the garden, the sea.

Although McGuinness had been the chief building official in Surfside for less than four months, he knew Champlain Towers South well. And not only because he lived in an apartment complex nearby: Between late May and late June, he made four previous trips to Champlain South, where the condominium board was upgrading the building’s “swing-stage supports” — the roof-mounted anchors used by professional window-washing crews. This trip, on June 23, would be his fifth and last.

“In retrospect, you look back at that moment — you search your memory,” McGuinness told me recently. “But I didn’t notice anything unsafe. I would never have stayed up there if I had.” Together with the building manager for Champlain Towers South and a trainee from Surfside’s building-inspection unit, McGuinness walked the perimeter of the roof, assessing the anchor placements. The day already felt uncomfortably hot, and the breeze, blowing at 15 miles an hour toward the ocean, did little to make things more pleasant. They said their goodbyes and rode the elevator back to the lobby.

Around 1:45 a.m., McGuinness was awakened by the buzzing of his mobile phone on the bedside table. The voice on the line belonged to Jason Greene, the assistant town manager for Surfside. There’d been an incident at Champlain Towers South. “Partial collapse, multiple fatalities — that’s all he could tell me,” McGuinness said. Outside, the air was choked with smoke and particulate debris as fine as snow; emergency vehicles were shrieking up Collins Avenue, the multilane thoroughfare that runs almost the entire length of Miami Beach.

McGuinness rounded the corner and felt the air leave his lungs. The building upon which he stood the previous day had nearly vanished. In its place was a heap of concrete and steel. “There was this tremendous gap in the horizon staring back at me,” he said. “An unspeakable scene. Unspeakable horror. That’s all I could think, even then: It was unspeakable.”

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/01/28/magazine/miami-condo-collapse.html?unlocked_article_code=AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACEIPuomT1JKd6J17Vw1cRCfTTMQmqxCdw_PIxfs9gGPzNiGeVTdcwqNPW9LavB-UIvAzIN460D2JRdlMd7ouTflzi-RYOUBqDgKvpp-NgI8IZSUprIb5FkUH46XwZ5Fquzn7cjv-b-Z52LClthmaMSa9RqyP2CBxIAtjvcczJVm13SFflbOWEbN3xoMtifglBZ8pRG8CYzKY_KW9U2UIM9WGbhjf6Ac3SrsZDWmVxYjAnupGJAZCClvGT2d94XI96b5cOdAVNKX8Jn0waZa0wOVRWiEzctDfV9BmTJPUlr5qrbfMtRWPrcG0zPw9H61e16jW8A702LcfknIsl0KnWZYo5w&smid=url-share

The next big squeeze: Florida orange juice could skyrocket in price

A citrus disease, freezing temperatures and more supply chain problems mean growers can’t meet heightened demand for the state’s “liquid gold.”

The next grocery item families could see skyrocketing in price: Florida orange juice.

The state’s orange crop will be the smallest since World War II, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report earlier this month. And the threats to Florida’s “liquid gold” continue: Weather forecasters predict this weekend’s freezing temperatures in Florida will further hurt the season’s crop.

Florida is the country’s largest producer of juice oranges, at its peak producing 244 million boxes of oranges annually. This year, the USDA predicts that will fall to only 44.5 million.

Demand for orange juice had cooled in recent years as consumers became concerned about the amount of sugar in fruit juices. But covid brought it back.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/01/29/orange-juice-prices-skyrocket/

Current weather: A blizzard of snowflakes in the red states

If we see any more snowflakes appear in red states, the National Weather Service is going to have to issue a blizzard warning.

Tennessee made news this week when it was reported that rural McMinn County took the initiative of banning from classrooms the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel “Maus,” by Art Spiegelman, which teaches children about the Holocaust by portraying Jews as mice and Nazis as cats.

So the state once celebrated for Davy Crockett’s bravery now fears a cartoon mouse exposing teens to indecorous language. Can’t get more snowflakey than that.

Spiegelman joins the good company of Nobel-laureate Toni Morrison (whose debut novel, “The Bluest Eye,” was banned in Wentzville, Mo., on Jan. 20), “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah (whose memoir survived a ban attempt in Osseo, Minn., last month) and Margaret Atwood (whose “The Handmaid’s Tale” was targeted in Goddard, Kan., in November) — as well as scores of other books, the vast majority of which have protagonists who are Black, or LGBTQ, or perceived as being anti-police.

McMinn County’s banning of Spiegelman’s mice comes almost a century after Tennessee tried to ban Darwin’s monkeys in the Scopes trial. The Volunteer State, apparently, is not evolving. And the political right, it seems, has undergone reverse evolution. Its new theory: survival of the fussiest.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/28/tennessee-bans-maus-snowflake-red-states/

Led Zeppelin Gets Into Your Soul



The musicians were diabolically bad as people, and satanically good as performers.

How on earth did my mother know that Led Zeppelin was composed of satanists? Specifically, how did she know that Jimmy Page had “a great interest in the occult,” and owned a bookshop “somewhere down in London” dedicated to these pursuits? Presumably, some furtive Christian network or back channel had provided the information. It was more than I or my elder brother knew, and gave her a sinister advantage over us. In my memory, she looms as a column of judgment in the doorway of the sitting room, as Angus and I watch the closing frames of the concert film “The Song Remains the Same” on television. It was 1979, I think. Angus, five years older than me and provider of all musical contraband, was eighteen. He may have lost his soul already; mine was still in the balance.

Our evangelical parents always managed to materialize while something awkward was on the TV, but our mother, who could find inappropriately suggestive moments in “Doctor Who,” had surpassed herself this time. On the screen, the stage at Madison Square Garden had become a diabolical altar: half naked, Led Zeppelin’s lead singer, Robert Plant, was screaming and writhing like a downed angel, and its drummer, John Bonham, was stolidly abusing what appeared to be a flaming gong. And surely Jimmy Page was a bit suspect? We had watched him during “Stairway to Heaven,” grimacing in bliss, dazed in ecstasy, leaning back as he throttled his dark, double-necked guitar, like a man wrestling with some giant shrieking bird of the night. My brother was involved in his own spiritual struggle. A school friend of his had tickets to a Led Zeppelin summer show, at Knebworth; he was desperate to go. Stairway to Heaven? Chute to Hell, more like. Our parents had told him that if he went to Knebworth he would cease to be a Christian. Watching from the wings, learning how to deceive, I was mainly impressed by his honesty—why hadn’t he just told them he was going to see Peter, Paul and Mary?

In those days, stuck in provincial northern England as we were, musical information seemed to reach us years late, like news from panting messengers of wars that had already fizzled out. New to Led Zeppelin’s music, I had no idea that the group had become a ponderous joke, that Knebworth was to be its last gasp. Having an older brother was a mixed blessing in this regard. He both curated and retarded my education. The thirteen-year-old pupil was not expected to show any independence of taste. “Listen to this”—said as he flipped the LP onto the turntable—was a command more than an invitation. The stylus lay down in the groove, and wrote the law.

And, as my mother intuited, this law was a potent rival dominion, a law of negation, out to invert everything held sacred and respectable by parents, churches, principalities. Alice Cooper, who played alongside an equally uncelebrated Led Zeppelin at an early gig in Los Angeles, in January, 1969, voiced the essential rebellion with perfect ingenuousness in “I’m Eighteen”: “I’m eighteen / And I don’t know what I want / Eighteen / I just don’t know what I want / Eighteen / I gotta get away / I gotta get out of this place / I’ll go runnin’ in outer space.”

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/01/31/led-zeppelin-gets-into-your-soul-jimmy-page-robert-plant-and-bob-spitz-biography

'Let's Clear Some Cap Space,' Says Stone-Faced Bill Belichick Watching Players Dig Own Graves



FOXBOROUGH, MA—Standing in the freezing rain at a site adjacent to Gillette Stadium, a stone-faced New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was heard to utter, “Let’s clear some cap space,” on Friday as he watched players dig their own graves.

“This is always a difficult decision, but we’ve got to make some cuts and look to the future,” Belichick said while over a dozen dirt-covered Patriots veterans, including wide receiver Nelson Agholor, tight end Jonnu Smith, quarterback Brian Hoyer, and guard Shaq Mason stood waist-deep in holes they’d been digging for hours.

“This is what’s best for the team. We’ve got to get younger, and that means freeing up some roster spots. We don’t have room for all of you—c’mon, Kendrick [Bourne], keep digging!—and so your time here must come to an end. We thank you for your hard work as a member of the Patriots family, and we wish you the best of luck down there.”

At press time, a satisfied Belichick had reportedly returned to the bowels of Gillette Stadium, where he began asking several high-profile Patriots free agents chained to a radiator what it was going to take to get them to return on team-friendly contracts.

https://www.theonion.com/let-s-clear-some-cap-space-says-stone-faced-bill-bel-1848424486
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