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babylonsister

babylonsister's Journal
babylonsister's Journal
October 27, 2021

Tom Cotton Yells Random Questions at Garland, Leaves Senate Hearing in a Huff



https://www.thedailybeast.com/unhinged-sen-tom-cotton-lashes-out-at-ag-merrick-garland-before-puffing-out-of-senate-hearing?ref=home


Tom Cotton Yells Random Questions at Garland, Leaves Senate Hearing in a Huff
SENATOR SOAPBOX
Corbin Bolies
Breaking News Intern
Published Oct. 27, 2021 1:40PM ET
Tasos Katopodis/Pool/AFP via Getty


Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) could barely contain himself during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, lashing out at Attorney General Merrick Garland over a variety of Republican talking points... some of which had nothing to do with Garland. He initially tried to get Garland to accuse Dr. Anthony Fauci of lying to Congress over conspiracy theories regarding his agency’s funding of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, on which Garland said it was outside his scope of knowledge. When that didn’t work, Cotton accused the Department of Justice of trying to prosecute parents over school mask mandates. Garland was scarcely able to get a word in but repeatedly said was not the case.

As nothing seemed to stick, Cotton went for his ultimate power move, yelling: “This testimony, your directive—your performance is shameful. Thank God you’re not on the Supreme Court. You should resign in disgrace, Judge!” Cotton then got up and left the room, though Garland was given a chance to respond. “I wasn’t sure there was a question there,” he said.


https://twitter.com/i/status/1453399055887970318
October 27, 2021

Who Messed Up Devin Nunes' Campaign Records This Bad? His Mom.

womp womp

https://www.thedailybeast.com/who-messed-up-devin-nunes-campaign-records-this-bad-his-mom?ref=home

Who Messed Up Devin Nunes’ Campaign Records This Bad? His Mom.
‘Mangled’
It turns out that Rep. Devin Nunes’ mom has produced errors in his campaign-finance reports going back 17 years.
Roger Sollenberger
Political Reporter
Updated Oct. 27, 2021 5:36AM ET / Published Oct. 27, 2021 4:58AM ET


This spring, after receiving a number of federal warnings about a series of accounting errors, the campaign committee for Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) embarked on a financial reckoning.

As a result of that reckoning, the campaign has now had to correct a slew of reports, and two of Nunes’ affiliated committees removed his treasurer—his mom—as their government contact.

But over the last few months, Nunes’ mother, Toni Nunes, has filed a confounding series of financial disclosures. The reports attempt to correct an array of accounting errors and oversights, some dating back to 2004, and because the errors carry over from one accounting period to the next, all subsequent filings were also incorrect—meaning the California Republican’s books have been off for 17 years.

snip//

In 2019, Nunes, a voracious litigant, cited his mom in two lawsuits. One was a $77.5 million civil action filed in an Iowa district court charging Esquire and journalist Ryan Lizza with defamation for a report that suggested the Nunes clan had tried to hide the use of undocumented labor at their Iowa dairy farm. A judge tossed the lawsuit the next year.

A separate $250 million defamation suit filed that same year in Henrico County, VA, targeted an array of defendants, including an anonymous parody Twitter account called @DevinNunesMom, who according to the complaint “falsely impersonated Nunes’ mother, and created and maintained an account on Twitter (@DevinNunesMom) for the sole purpose of attacking, defaming, disparaging and demeaning Nunes.”

The complaint cited tweets calling Nunes a “Putin shill” and a “treasonous shitbag,” and demanded the court unveil the human entity behind the parody account. A judge tossed the lawsuit this summer.

October 27, 2021

Sen. Wyden Unveils Plan to Raise Billions by Taxing 700 Most Ridiculously Wealthy Americans

https://www.thedailybeast.com/wyden-unveils-billionaires-income-tax-plan-to-raise-billions-by-taxing-700-most-ridiculously-wealthy-americans?ref=home

Sen. Wyden Unveils Plan to Raise Billions by Taxing 700 Most Ridiculously Wealthy Americans
PAYBACK TIME
Jamie Ross
News Correspondent
Published Oct. 27, 2021 6:55AM ET
Reuters/Isaiah J. Downing


The richest 700 people in the United States are the target of plans for a special new tax on the super-rich that were released by the Senate’s top tax writer early Wednesday morning. Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) said his plan would only affect people who have more than $1 billion in assets, or who earn more than $100 million three years in a row. His so-called Billionaires Income Tax would stop America’s richest people from deferring certain taxes—a move the senator claims would raise hundreds of billions of dollars every year. In a statement, Wyden said: “The Billionaires Income Tax would ensure billionaires pay tax every year, just like working Americans... No working person in America thinks it’s right that they pay their taxes and billionaires don’t.” The ridiculously wealthy would be hit with multibillion-dollar tax bills under the plan, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Tesla CEO Elon Musk who has lashed out at the plan.
October 27, 2021

Birx: 130,000 Americans Would Be Alive Today If Trump Hadn't Been "Distracted" by the Election

Levin Report
Birx: 130,000 Americans Would Be Alive Today If Trump Hadn’t Been “Distracted” by the Election
That, and if he weren’t an anti-science megalomaniac who doesn’t care about anyone not named Trump.
By Bess Levin
October 26, 2021


As America learned last year, one of the many problems with electing an anti-science megalomanic who doesn’t read, won’t listen, and thinks windmills cause cancer is that when a highly contagious virus comes around killing people with alarming speed, he’s the last person you want in charge. A brief, in no way conclusive list of the ways Donald Trump reportedly made the COVID-19 situation worse in the U.S. includes but is in no way limited to:

Ignoring early warnings in January and February about the seriousness of the virus;
Actively lying to the public about how dangerous it was;
Listening to his idiot son-in-law, who decided the whole thing wasn’t a “health reality”;
Refusing to invoke the Defense Production Act because corporate CEOs asked him not to;
Sidelining doctors and and scientists;
Scrapping national testing plan because the virus was mostly hurting blue states at the time;
Touting unproven drugs instead of masking and social distancing;
Nixing a plan to send free masks to every household in the country;
Regularly holding super-spreader events;
Comparing it to the flu;
Claiming it affects “virtually nobody” under 18, even though he personally contracted it and had to be pumped full of experimental drugs;
Just being himself.


And while no moment in his presidency would have been an ideal time for the pandemic, according to Deborah Birx, M.D., the timing of the COVID crisis was extra unfortunate given that it coincided with the 2020 election, which Team Trump was apparently more focused on than saving people‘s lives. How unfortunate? 130,000-people-would-have-been-alive-today unfortunate. Per The Washington Post:

The Trump administration was “distracted” by last year’s election and ignored recommendations to curb the pandemic, the White House’s former coronavirus response coordinator told congressional investigators this month. “I felt like the White House had gotten somewhat complacent through the campaign season,” said Deborah Birx, who President Donald Trump chose in March 2020 to steer his government's virus response, according to interview excerpts released by the House select subcommittee on the pandemic. Birx, who sat for interviews with the subcommittee on Oct. 12 and 13, also detailed advice that she said the White House ignored late last year, including more aggressively testing younger Americans, expanding access to virus treatments, and better distributing vaccine doses in long-term care facilities.

More than 130,000 American lives could have been saved with swifter action and better coordinated public health messages after the virus’s first wave, Birx told investigators.

“I believe if we had fully implemented the mask mandates, the reduction in indoor dining, the getting friends and family to understand the risk of gathering in private homes, and we had increased testing, that we probably could have decreased fatalities into the 30-percent-less to 40-percent-less range,” Birx said. More than 735,000 Americans have died of coronavirus-related complications since the pandemic began, including more than 300,000 since President Joe Biden took office.


more...

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/10/deborah-birx-donald-trump-covid-election-deaths
October 27, 2021

Joe Biden Reminds Trump He's a Has-Been Who Lost the Election



https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/10/donald-trump-joe-biden-january-6-executive-privilege

Joe Biden Reminds Trump He’s a Has-Been Who Lost the Election
Cue Trump screaming in a pitch only dogs can hear.
By Bess Levin
October 26, 2021


During the four anni horribiles that Donald Trump was in office, he and his lawyers regularly tried to hide behind the office of the presidency when it came to legal issues. Sued for defamation by a writer whose rape accusations he claimed were a lie while insulting her looks to boot? According to then attorney general William Barr, Trump was acting in his official capacity as POTUS at the time, and therefore should be defended by the Justice Department. Suspected of committing fraud relating to hush-money payments to a porn star and Playboy model? In that case, his personal attorneys made the bold claim that it was unconstitutional for presidents to be investigated for any crimes whatsoever while in office, including shooting a person on Fifth Avenue.

Now, of course, Trump is not president. Yet he still seems to believe the powers and the privileges of being president should apply to him, an assumption that the actual president has now, on two separate occasions, been forced to explain is about as laughable as the idea of Ivanka Trump being qualified to run the World Bank.

Per CNN:

President Joe Biden has once again refused to assert executive privilege over more documents that former President Donald Trump has sought to keep out of the hands of the committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. According to a letter obtained by CNN, White House counsel Dana Remus informed National Archivist David Ferriero on Monday that Biden would not assert privilege over additional materials that Trump requested remain secret as a matter of executive privilege. “President Biden has considered the former President’s assertion, and I have engaged in consultations with the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice,” Remus wrote. “President Biden has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States, and therefore is not justified, as to the documents provided to the White House on September 16, 2021, and September 23, 2021. Accordingly, President Biden does not uphold the former President’s assertion of privilege.”

As part of the House select committee’s sweeping investigation, the panel has sent requests for information to a number of federal agencies. The committee has specifically asked for “all documents and communications within the White House” on January 6, including call logs, schedules and meetings with top officials and outside advisers, including Rudy Giuliani.


After the White House refused to keep secret the initial batch of documents requested by the House committee, press secretary Jen Psaki explained that Biden had “determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not warranted for the first set of documents from the Trump White House that have been provided to us by the National Archives,” adding that the West Wing would “evaluate questions of privilege on a case-by-case basis, but the president has also been clear that he believes it to be of the utmost importance for both Congress and the American people to have a complete understanding of the events of that day to prevent them from happening again.”

For his part, Trump responded to Biden’s decision to allow Congress to find out exactly what he was up to on January 6 by suing Congress and the National Archives and claiming, via his lawyer, that Biden’s actions were all about “accommodat[ing] his partisan allies,” as opposed to believing in the importance of thorough investigation into one of the most shameful days in American history.
October 26, 2021

Dahlia Lithwick: Who Gets to Ask to "Move On" From Jan. 6

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/10/republicans-jan-6-who-asks-move-on.html

Who Gets to Ask to “Move On” From Jan. 6
It’s a show of untouchable advantage to remain wholly unaffected by what has occurred.
By Dahlia Lithwick
Oct 26, 20215:45 AM

snip//

“Looking forward,” whether justified by the need to pick your battles, or depoliticize institutions, or prioritize and triage existential crises, or ignore clownish attention seekers, is so alluringly, quintessentially, and optimistically American. That might be why looking forward and moving on is also the MO for the Biden Justice Department, which has largely opted not to hold anyone in the Trump administration accountable for past crimes or alleged crimes. Looking backward is plodding and past-focused and also aging for the skin. So when Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state, now the director of the Hoover Institution, said on The View that “it’s time to move on in a lot of ways” from the events at the Capitol on Jan. 6, it was of a piece with a larger public zeitgeist that holds that, look, man, everything sucks, everyone’s busy, COVID is awful, and democracy is basically self-reinforcing, so let’s think about tomorrow and leave yesterday where it belongs.

You can be impressed with Rice’s capacity for contortionism. On the one hand, there she was telling the folks at The View that she cried when she witnessed the events of Jan. 6 and reaffirming that “I don’t know how much more strongly I can say what happened on Jan. 6 was wrong.” But on the other hand, even as she insisted that institutions need to be protected, she also urged that now is the time for lawmakers to “move ahead and deal with the American people’s issues.” The institutions—and all the assorted vulnerable people who rely on them—will apparently have to fend for themselves. The rank hypocrisy of the move forward dammit contingent of the GOP is hardly limited to Trumpism—the writer Gore Vidal famously wrote in 2004 that “happily for the busy lunatics who rule over us, we are permanently the United States of Amnesia. We learn nothing because we remember nothing.”

What Ted Cruz and Condoleezza Rice and all the generals of the “move on” army thus perform here isn’t just a cynical manipulation of tempting, forward-looking ideas about “unity” and “priorities” and “real-world problem-solving.” This is, after all, the party of Benghazi and But Her Emails. It’s also a show of the kind of untouchable advantage they hold because they always remain wholly unaffected by what has occurred. To be able to ignore the Iraq war, to be free to ignore Trump’s pitiless immigration policies, to have the luxury of closing the door on Jan. 6, is not so much a marker of an open mind, an objective and temperate worldview, or a more capacious perspective on what the country needs to see happen next. It is also a mirror of which classes of people were harmed by those events and who remained untouched by them. If you are unable to just “get over” the Trump team’s assaults on the levers of democracy themselves, it’s not necessarily because you are vengeful and bloodthirsty or transactional. It may simply be, as Chauncey DeVega wrote last winter in Salon, that “to put oneself outside or above this present moment is to exercise the privilege of being separate and apart from history and its pushes and its pulls, successes and failures, joy and pain, lived consequences and experiences.”

In a perfect Ted Lasso world, we could all be the goldfish: blessed with a 10-second memory and the soothing capacity to sail past errors and regrets into a sunlit world of possibility and new beginnings. But there is a difference between processing, addressing, and remediating past wrongs and being directed by those in power to forget them. The former is the work of justice; the latter is the province of bullies. And as we enter another week in which the actions of Jan. 6 are being probed and evaluated by a select committee that has been stymied by those who insist that it’s time we all move forward—or else—it’s worth saying out loud that this isn’t about one-half of the country that seeks to look forward as another doggedly remains stuck in the past. This is, instead, about picking between two alternate stories we tell about the same past. One such story might at least pave a path forward to healthier democratic institutions. The other seems ever more destined to drag us into a future in which we are seemingly doomed to keep repeating the very horrors we are being told to forget.
October 26, 2021

Donald Trump Jr.'s 'Sick' Stunt Earns Him Scathing New Nickname From New York Daily News

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/donald-trump-jr-new-york-daily-news-front-page_n_61779f30e4b09314320f49e8

Donald Trump Jr.’s ‘Sick’ Stunt Earns Him Scathing New Nickname From New York Daily News
The tabloid slammed Donald Trump’s eldest son for topping “sick GOP” taunts of Alec Baldwin following the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Lee Moran
By
Lee Moran
10/26/2021 03:00am EDT | Updated 6 minutes ago

The New York Daily News slammed Donald Trump Jr. as the “SPAWN OF HATIN’” on its front page Tuesday.

The tabloid ripped ex-President Donald Trump’s eldest son for hawking shirts mocking actor Alec Baldwin over the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was shot with what Baldwin was told was an unloaded prop gun on the set of his new movie “Rust” last week.
https://twitter.com/NYDailyNews/status/1452827745549967362?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1452827745549967362%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffpost.com%2Fentry%2Fdonald-trump-jr-new-york-daily-news-front-page_n_61779f30e4b09314320f49e8

“Don Jr. tops sick GOP Alec taunts with slimy T-shirt,” the newspaper’s subheadline said of the garments emblazoned with the phrase, “Guns Don’t Kill People, Alec Baldwin Kills People.”

Other Trump-adoring Republicans, including Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Ohio Senate hopeful J.D. Vance, have also used the tragedy to taunt Baldwin, who impersonated the former president on “Saturday Night Live.”
October 25, 2021

Eric Boehlert: Who cares if anti-vaxxers quit their jobs?

https://pressrun.media/p/who-cares-if-anti-vaxxers-quit-their

Who cares if anti-vaxxers quit their jobs?
It's not news
Eric Boehlert
1 hr ago


Wringing its hands at the sight of workers walking away from jobs when faced with simple vaccine mandates, the Wall Street Journal over the weekend became the latest national news outlet to shower attention on the topic.

The sympathetic, 2,000-word Journal piece focused on a minuscule portion of the workforce that has irrationally decided not to take a free, safe, and effective vaccine. Instead of presenting these actions as delusional, the press often frames the quitting as being principled or even heroic. (The “resistance” is “unwavering,” the New York Times announced.)

The continued, hand-holding coverage — “brainwashing” is virtually never used — represents the latest example of the press helping to normalize irrational, nihilistic behavior by Trump followers.

As we watch a parade of unreasonable people needlessly blow up their careers and walk away from good paying jobs with excellent benefits, the questions that linger are, should we care, and should this trend be breathlessly treated as Big News by the media? Should we care that a tiny percentage is embracing rabbit-hole conspiracies about a vaccine that nearly 200 million Americans have safely taken? Should we care that they’ve decided to believe non-stop lies to the point where they’ll likely be unemployable for months, and maybe years to come?

snip//

Brainwashed Covid zombies will continue to walk away from good paying jobs and put their families at risk, economically. But that doesn’t mean we have to care. And that doesn’t mean it’s news.
October 24, 2021

Jake Tapper Destroys GOP's 'Cruel' Response to Alec Baldwin Tragedy

https://www.thedailybeast.com/cnn-host-jake-tapper-destroys-gops-cruel-alec-baldwin-tragedy-response?ref=home


Jake Tapper Destroys GOP’s ‘Cruel’ Response to Alec Baldwin Tragedy
‘HEARTBREAKING, FOR NORMAL PEOPLE’
The CNN host went after Republicans Lauren Boebert, J.D. Vance and others for making “being a horrible person” part of the GOP job description.
Matt Wilstein
Senior Writer
Updated Oct. 24, 2021 11:49AM ET / Published Oct. 24, 2021 11:26AM ET
CNN


CNN host Jake Tapper used the last few minutes of his State of the Union broadcast on Sunday to unload on the conversative politicians who saw opportunity in the tragic death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Alec Baldwin’s movie Rust last week.

Noting that Hutchins was a “rising star” in her field who left behind a husband and young son, Tapper said, “Heartbreaking, for normal people. But there’s something about our politics right now that is driving people away from our shared humanity.”

He pointed to Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) who “apparently did some digging” and found a 2014 tweet from Baldwin about guns that she turned into a joke at his expense. “The Colorado congresswoman thought it was funny to exploit ‘hands up, don’t shoot,’ to make a joke at the expense of Baldwin,” Tapper said. “But more importantly, really to make a joke at the expense of Halyna Hutchins and her husband Matthew and their son Andres.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1452278005666025482

snip//

“Vance seems to want Trump to attack and mock for a global audience Alec Baldwin for killing a woman in what almost certainly was a tragic accident,” he continued. “Regardless of the pain of Matthew Hutchins or Andres Hutchins. And however this impacts Baldwin, and really, I mean, how might such an incident impact you? And he did this, J.D. Vance, why? Presumably because he thinks it will help him win supporters. He did it to win votes. In other words, the cruelty is a feature of his candidacy, not a bug.


snip//

He ended the show by recounting a text he received this week from an unnamed Republican official. “After J.D. Vance’s tweet,” it read, “being a horrible person is now actually a job requirement in this party.”

“I hope to God that that Republican official is wrong,” Tapper concluded.


October 24, 2021

Trump Advisers Enlisted Ex-Army Psy-Ops Specialist in Bid to Overturn Election

Goes to a lot of premeditation.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/donald-trumps-advisors-enlisted-ex-army-psy-ops-colonel-phil-waldron-to-make-case-for-overturning-election

Trump Advisers Enlisted Ex-Army Psy-Ops Specialist in Bid to Overturn Election
LEGAL EAGLE?
Blake Montgomery
Reporter/Editor
Updated Oct. 23, 2021 8:40PM ET /
Published Oct. 23, 2021 8:38PM ET


A team of Donald Trump’s lawyers and associates who launched a last-ditch effort to stay in power ahead of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot enlisted the help of a retired Army colonel who specialized in psychological operations, The Washington Post reports. The so-called legal “command center” at the ritzy Willard hotel in Washington, D.C. featured Rudy Giuliani, former NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerik, and former White House Chief of Staff Steve Bannon. John Eastman, the lawyer who authored the memo outlining how then-Vice President Mike Pence could suspend the Senate’s certification of the 2020 presidential election’s results, also made appearances at the “war room,” where Team Trump pushed the lie that he had won the election and reportedly devised ways to pressure Pence into stopping certification. Among those involved in the effort, according to the Post, was Phil Waldron, a former Army officer with expertise in psychological operations. Waldron led a team analyzing state election data he said gave credence to Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud.

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