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Zorro's Journal
Zorro's Journal
March 3, 2022

Looks Like Devin Nunes Hitched Himself To A Broken Cow

Once upon a time Devin Nunes quit a whole seat in Congress so he could put a saddle on his cow and say "Hey girl, it's time for you and me to go to sunnier pastures." So they rode and they rode and they rode, much further south than cows traditionally go, all the way to Mar-a-Lago, so Devin could become the CEO of the Trump Media & Technology Group, which would be launching the wingnut free speech machine of everybody's dreams very soon, the long-heralded Truth Social.

He told his constituents that he had been "presented with a new opportunity to fight for the most important issues I believe in."

Yes we are talking about the same Donald Trump who couldn't keep a LiveJournal going for more than a few days last year. The one who's only doing all this because he's banned from Twitter.

Yes we are talking about the Donald Trump who is quite lit'rally one of the worst businessmen in America, who seemingly can't Art of the Deal himself out of a paper bag, based on everything we've ever read on the subject.

But, you know, it's like that old saying about Devin's brain: Nobody ever suggested askin' Devin to bring the poppers to the Mensa orgy.


March 2, 2022

Florida Republicans relying on trial lawyers to enforce conservative agenda

“It’s a sea change” for the GOP, which has traditionally resisted using lawsuits to enforce laws.

TALLAHASSEE — For decades, Republicans have railed against frivolous lawsuits and litigation, blaming them for driving up costs for businesses and governments.

But this year, Florida Republicans are turning to trial lawyers, one of their historic foes, to help enforce their agenda.

GOP legislators are advancing legislation that would allow Floridians to sue Big Tech companies over data privacy, sue primary schools that teach about gender identity or sexual orientation and sue cities for passing ordinances that damage their businesses.

The expanded use of lawsuits to enforce Republicans’ agenda is a shift for the party, and it has business groups concerned.

“There’s a populist strain of Republicans who have allied with supportive trial lawyers, and they’re working to create a slew of opportunities for social grievance lawsuits,” said William Large, president of the Florida Justice Reform Institute, a tort reform advocacy group.

March 2, 2022

Kim Reynolds shows the true face of the GOP -- but not the one she intended

Just after Donald Trump was impeached for withholding military aid from Ukraine to strongarm its president into doing his corrupt political bidding, Kim Reynolds took note of how badly the whole saga reflected on our nation.

“I think it was a sad day for history in America,” the Republican governor of Iowa told the Des Moines Register in 2019.

You’ll be startled to hear that the occasion for Reynolds’s sadness was not Trump’s extortion of a vulnerable ally pleading for help against Russian aggression. It was his impeachment, which she termed “ridiculous.”

When Reynolds delivered the GOP response to President Biden’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, she bent over backward to declare her party’s “solidarity” with Ukraine, as well as its outrage against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “tyranny.”

So it’s fitting that long before Reynolds was tapped for this national moment, she offered that absurd whitewashing of Trump’s appalling corruption, which was only one of an extensive series of official acts that aligned with Putin’s interests against those of Ukraine, the West and democracy.


March 2, 2022

Ukraine jets hit Russian column; Russia has used thermobarics, Ukraine military says

Source: Military Times

Ukraine armed forces have been striking that long line of Russian troops heading to Kyiv while the Russians have used thermobaric weapons against Ukrainian cities, the head of Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency tells Military Times.

“We are striking the enemy’s columns,” Brig. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov told Military Times in an exclusive interview Wednesday morning. “We burn many columns of the enemy.”

The strikes, he said, are being conducted by Ukraine Su-24 and Su-25 fighter jets, artillery and missile barrages.

“My intelligence officers and agents are directing and calling the strikes,” he said.

Marine Lt. Col. Anton Semelroth, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday morning he “would not speak to intel assessments.”

Read more: https://www.militarytimes.com/flashpoints/ukraine/2022/03/02/ukraine-jets-hit-russian-column-russia-has-used-thermobarics-ukraine-military-says/

March 2, 2022

Florida schools superintendent who defied DeSantis on COVID masks is ousted

The 3-2 vote to terminate the contract of Carlee Simon came late Tuesday night by the Alachua County school board.

GAINESVILLE — A Florida school superintendent who defied Gov. Ron DeSantis on pandemic masks for students has been fired by the local school board.

The 3-2 vote to terminate the contract of Carlee Simon came late Tuesday night by the Alachua County school board.

A key vote for termination was that of board member Mildred Russell, who was appointed in August by the Republican governor to replace a member who did not live within her district.

In a statement prior to the vote, Simon called it retribution for her stance against DeSantis and his opposition to mask mandates in Florida schools. Alachua County was one of about a dozen districts that risked loss of state funding by requiring masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

March 2, 2022

Ron DeSantis blames Joe Biden for just about everything

As world unites behind Ukraine, DeSantis seizes opportunity to divide.

The free world’s support of Ukraine in the immediate face of a Russian onslaught has been nothing short of inspiring and historic. In only days since Russia attacked, the West has authorized more than $850 million in military assistance to Ukraine. Poland and other border states have rushed to welcome more than a half-million refugees. The U.S., Europe and its allies have imposed the worst financial sanctions Russia has ever seen. Major global companies have announced they will abandon their Russian investments. And citizens across the globe have taken to the streets to lay this disaster squarely at the feet of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Then there’s our governor.

Ron DeSantis couldn’t get through a half-hour news conference about sidewalks and sewers Monday without detouring through a spiel on the crisis in Ukraine, which he (predictably) traced to President Joe Biden’s “weakness” and “lack of leadership.” His message was a flop, both in substance and style. After all, Donald Trump was president when Putin played the White House like a fiddle, turning MAGA Republicans into Moscow enablers. But aside from flubbing history, DeSantis showed another bad side — a seemingly insatiable appetite to divide Americans at every conceivable turn.

If anything, the world has forged a sense of unity in response to Russia’s unprovoked invasion. The West’s most recent military package includes a third tranche of up to $350 million in U.S. assistance and the first-ever financing by the European Union of more than $500 million in weapons to a country under attack. The financial sanctions the U.S., Europe and its allies imposed are more punishing for Moscow than ever, causing Russia’s ruble and stock market to crash. Shell, BP and other global companies are divesting billions in Russia, showing the lengths multinational firms will go to protect their corporate brands. International sports organizations have either suspended Russian teams from competing or stripped the country of its right to host events. And even Microsoft and Airbnb have joined the fight, helping to protect Ukrainian infrastructure and security and deal with the humanitarian crisis of resettling refugees.

These actions were prompted not only by the horror of Russia’s attack, but by the images of courageous Ukrainians who took to the streets to defend their nation’s territory and fledgling democracy. Teachers and clerks spent last weekend collecting used bottles to refashion as Molotov cocktails. Parents hustled children onto trains headed for the border with only a hope for the best. These scenes stoked marvel across the globe for what they said about the value humans place on identity and kinship. Ukrainian pride reawakened the wonder of citizenship across the globe.

Then the governor in Florida pops up and blames the American president (again). So much for rising to the moment.

March 2, 2022

Hounds chased a National Park mountain lion into a tree. Then Greg Gianforte shot it.

The lion was killed late last year on U.S. Forest Service land. Gianforte’s office said the hunt was legal.

GARDINER, Mont.— On public land north of Yellowstone National Park late last year, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) shot and killed a mountain lion that was being monitored by National Park Service staff, after hunting dogs had chased it up a tree.

The mountain lion hunt, which has not been previously reported, occurred on Dec. 28 on a swath of U.S. Forest Service land southwest of Emigrant, Mont., according to residents familiar with the episode who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preserve relationships in the community. Less than a year earlier, Gianforte killed a Yellowstone wolf in a similar area that was wearing a tracking collar, prompting an outcry among environmentalists.

The 5-year-old mountain lion was wearing a GPS-tracking collar that Yellowstone biologists use to monitor the rare and elusive predators. Park staff knew the animal by its research number: M220.

Gianforte’s press secretary, Brooke Stroyke, confirmed on Monday that the governor had hunted the mountain lion. She said he had a valid license, drove the lion up into a tree and shot it on public land.

February 28, 2022

William P. Barr's Memoir Is Part Lawyerly Defense, Part Culture-War Diatribe

In “One Damn Thing After Another,” the former attorney general suggests that Republicans move past Donald Trump and his “madcap rhetoric,” but saves his harshest words for the former president’s critics.

“It was a lie,” the former attorney general William P. Barr writes early on in his new book — a “fabrication” that “was repeated and amplified in media coverage throughout the election and is still repeated.” Barr isn’t referring in this instance to Donald Trump’s insistent lie about “massive election fraud” in 2020, but to an event that happened nearly 30 years earlier, when Barr was doing his first tour as the attorney general, for President George H.W. Bush. The media misleadingly described Bush marveling at a supermarket scanner as if he had never encountered the technology before.

The suggestion that the first President Bush was some elitist patrician who didn’t know his way around a modern grocery store continues to rankle Barr three decades later. He parses the event in minute detail in “One Damn Thing After Another,” letting loose an extravagant pique that makes sense when you realize that being seen as out of touch is the kiss of death for establishment conservatives, especially now, when right-wing populism is ascendant.

Barr takes care in this book to present his childhood as more hardscrabble than a rarefied prep school education and an apartment on New York City’s Riverside Drive would have anyone believe. In Barr’s telling, it’s Democrats who are invariably the “smug elites,” while Republicans are the true defenders of “ordinary middle- and working-class Americans.”

“One Damn Thing After Another” is an intemperate culture-war treatise smuggled into a lawyer’s memoir: a seemingly sober recitation of events that’s periodically interrupted by seething tirades about “militant secularism” and a “Maoist” American left. He compares Trump’s opponents to “guerrillas engaged in a war to cripple a duly elected government” and calls the pandemic restrictions adopted by some states the most “onerous denial of civil liberties” in American history, second only to slavery.


Link is long but shared, so one can read the whole damning review.
February 28, 2022

How the American Right Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Russia

Last week, before Russian threats toward Ukrainian borders turned into an all-out invasion, one part of the American media landscape questioned why we weren’t supporting the invaders.

“Hating [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has become the central purpose of America’s foreign policy. It’s the main thing that we talk about,” the Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson said on Tuesday. “It might be worth asking yourself, since it is getting pretty serious: What is this really about? Why do I hate Putin so much? Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him?”

Interviewed on “The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show” on Tuesday, former President Donald Trump described Mr. Putin as “smart” and “savvy.” Then on Wednesday night, as reports of Russian explosions across Ukraine rolled in, Mr. Trump repeated his admiration for the Russian leader. J.D. Vance, a Republican candidate for Senate in Ohio, said during a Feb. 19 podcast interview with Steve Bannon, Mr. Trump’s former White House chief strategist, “We did not serve in the Marine Corps to go and fight Vladimir Putin because he didn’t believe in transgender rights, which is what the U.S. State Department is saying is a major problem with Russia.” Mr. Bannon, for his part, hailed Mr. Putin as “anti-woke” hours before Russia’s assault on Ukraine.

The American political right was long associated with Cold War hawkishness. But in recent years the trend has shifted toward fawning praise for autocrats, even those leading America’s traditional adversaries, as well as projecting our own culture wars overseas. Where once Russia and other autocracies were seen as anti-democratic, they have now become symbols of U.S. conservatism — a mirror for the right-wing worldview.


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