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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
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David Corn: Newly Revealed Texts Show Mark Meadows Is a Liar

43 mins ago
Newly Revealed Texts Show Mark Meadows Is a Liar
The messages contrast sharply with his account of the aftermath of the 2020 election.
David Corn

Mark Meadows is a liar—at least by omission. And newly revealed text messages prove it. 

In 2021, the former White House chief of staff for Donald Trump released a book, The Chief’s Chief, which offered a sycophantic account of his tenure serving the reality-TV-star-turned-president. It made little news because it provided little news. In the book, Meadows fawns over Dear Leader. He blames Trump’s 2020 loss on Fox News’ less-than-enthusiastic coverage of Trump, other purported media conspiracies, and massive fraud. Of course, he cites no confirmed instances of significant voter fraud. But he insists it was clear Trump won. “I knew he didn’t lose,” he writes. How? Well, because of all the “palpable” excitement at the Trump rallies and the “feeling I got during the final days of President Trump’s campaign.” Alrighty, then. But there’s more: “If you looked at the social media traffic from that night—which, I did, constantly—there was no doubt about it: President Trump was going to be reelected by a healthy margin.” Talk about reality bias.

No savvy reader would expect Meadows to present an honest and accurate depiction of what transpired in the weeks after the election and on January 6. But he strives mightily to provide a phony recounting.
He cites debunked allegations of fraud and claims the Democrats and the liberal media had plotted for years to set up a pretext in which Trump’s assertions of fraud could be dismissed as conspiracy theory nonsense and labeled “crazy” or “paranoid.” He calls this the “long con.” In Meadows’ telling, Trump and his attorneys merely engaged in legitimate court challenges to “uphold the Democratic process.” (Meadows mistakenly capitalizes “democratic.”) The problem, apparently, was that the courts, including the Supreme Court, didn’t have the guts to support these challenges. And then Trump, on January 6, simply made a farewell address to his followers that “did not call for violence,” and afterward he left the stage, informing Meadows he had no intention to head to the Capitol himself. When moments earlier he had told his loyalists that he would march with them toward Congress, Trump “had been speaking metaphorically.” (According to testimony provided to the House January 6 committee, Trump was intent on leading the throng and even got into a physical altercation with a Secret Service agent who would not allow him to do so.) Meadows shares not a single detail about his or Trump’s actions—or inaction—during the ensuing riot. 

Meadows was peddling disinformation. His book says nothing about Trump’s multiple efforts after Election Day to overturn the results. Missing from these pages: Trump pressuring Georgia election officials to “find” him enough votes to win that state (an effort in which Meadows participated); the fake electors scheme; Trump’s attempt to force the Justice Department to declare the election corrupt; the crazy conspiracy nutters who met with Trump and pushed him to seize voting machines; Trump muscling his vice president to block the certification of Joe Biden’s victory; Trump’s refusal to take steps to quell the January 6 riot; and much more. 

Also missing: any mention of the hundreds of text messages Meadows received from Republican elected officials and conservatives who pled with him to take drastic—and perhaps illegal—steps to undo the election results. 


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Dec 15, 2022, 11:07 AM (29 replies)

White House to Restart Free Covid Home Test Program

I'm glad the adults are in charge. Take that, desantis.


White House to Restart Free Covid Home Test Program
December 15, 2022 at 6:42 am EST By Taegan Goddard

Politico: “The revival of one of the government’s most popular and widely used pandemic programs comes as the administration prepares for another potential winter surge.”

Posted by babylonsister | Thu Dec 15, 2022, 08:18 AM (25 replies)

New report shows frustration of those inside government who tried to warn of Jan. 6 violence

New report shows frustration of those inside government who tried to warn of Jan. 6 violence
Hunter for Daily Kos
Daily Kos Staff
Wednesday December 14, 2022 · 9:30 AM EST
Department of Homeland Security threat analysts knew in advance of the far-right plan to attack the Capitol and kill lawmakers. But they couldn't get DHS to issue a warning to the law enforcement teams who would soon face that violence.

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Yahoo! News has gotten access to an unredacted version of the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General's report on the department's handling of identified far-right threats in the weeks and days before the Jan. 6, 2021 attempted coup. The Yahoo! News report adds a bit of meat to prior reporting on the subject, most substantively due to the uncovering of a four-page report from one of the DHS intelligence analysts who was trying frantically to get the department to warn relevant law enforcement offices of far-right plans to attack the U.S. Capitol, but the underlying story is one we've already known:

Intelligence officials inside DHS were aware of specific militia plans to capture or kill members of Congress. They were aware that maps of the tunnel systems lawmakers might escape from were being shared online. They learned of militia plans to smuggle weapons into Washington, D.C., and saw posts from extremists expecting to die in the planned-for firefight.

The DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis had been gathering a great deal of publicly accessible online data about a plan to violently attack the U.S. Capitol and kill lawmakers so as to create justification for Donald Trump to impose martial law and nullify the election lawmakers were gathering to certify—and that information went absolutely nowhere. No warnings were issued. Capitol police officers were flying blind on that day.

The obvious question remains why, and we're still publicly no closer to a satisfying answer to that question than we were in March. The Office of Inspector General's report blames miscommunications and confusion over new guidelines for data collection and report production, generally ascribing the lack of action to bureaucratic fumbles rather than an intent to brush threats of violence under the rug.

Institutional sluggishness is generally a far more likely reason for government incompetence than malice, and so the inspector general's report didn't exactly climb out onto thin ice when it ascribed the inability to warn law enforcement of the upcoming attack to internal confusion about what was reportable behavior and what was not. With that said, however, we know that the Department of Homeland Security under Trump was an absolute cesspool of malice; in fact, that's why the guidelines the analysts were frustrated by had changed in the first place—and you can blame Trump “acting” DHS secretary Chad Wolf in particular.

In the months leading up to the Jan. 6 coup attempt, the DHS group responsible for threat assessments was gutted by the Trump administration. The "slashing" of operations inside the department was a direct result of a Trump-era scandal in which top DHS officials used the department to promote known-false claims portraying Black Lives Matter protests as linked to organized "anarchist" and "antifa" extremism.

A internal DHS review blamed high-level officials for concocting false intelligence meant to support Donald Trump-pushed claims meant to discredit the protests. At the top of the scandal was Trump DHS "acting" secretary Chad Wolf, who aggressively pushed those false claims in public appearances.

At heart, the scandal revealed the abuse of the department's "threat assessment" capabilities in an attempt to boost partisan false messaging, the same sort of intentional hoax promotion that riddled Trump’s government and that led directly to a hoax-premised attempted coup. It was that Wolf scandal that led to review and reform of threat assessment guidelines dictating what analysts could and couldn't use as evidence of a "threat," changes that left analysts confused, in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 attack, as to what Proud Boys and militia-linked messages they were allowed to cite in justifying the release of a threat assessment to be distributed across government.

The delay wasn't due to a lack of online evidence, though. Yahoo! News reveals one message from a frustrated threat viewer complaining: "I mean people are talking about storming Congress, bringing guns, willing to die for the cause, hanging politicians with ropes but still not meeting threshold lol."

The inability of the DHS threat assessment group to issue a warning to law enforcement about online plans to capture and kill lawmakers, therefore, can be directly traced back to Chad Wolf and the Trump administration's abuse of the program to falsely implicate protesters in Portland, Oregon and elsewhere in a supposed leftist plot that never existed.
That's still not the only flag that Trump appointee mismanagement or outright corruption might have played a role in leaving Capitol Police in the dark about planned militia attacks on the Capitol, however.

Both Chad Wolf and his deputy, Ken Cuccinelli, were among the government officials whose text messages leading up to the coup were "accidentally" deleted in a phone "reset" that wiped out Congress-demanded data from DHS and the Secret Service. The DHS Inspector General was pointedly singled out for his own sluggishness in attempting to retrieve the data and for not notifying Congress of the deletions when he first learned of them.

None of that is conducive to settling the stomachs of those who believe that Wolf and other Trump appointees intentionally downplayed the threat of violence on Jan. 6 either to appease Trump, who orchestrated the event, or to assist him in provoking violence. Former DHS chief of staff Miles Taylor, who worked with Trump, is among those who believe Trump's aim on Jan. 6 was to manufacture such violence.

"I believe Donald Trump wanted people to die," Taylor has emphasized. "He wanted people to die … who were elected officials, en masse, so he could call out the military, so he could invoke the Insurrection Act, so he could prevent the peaceful transfer of power."

Taylor is not alone in believing Trump was looking to use the violence as justification for remaining in power. The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 coup attempt has assembled testimony from numerous individuals who confirmed that Trump resisted taking any action to quell the violence after telling his crowd to "march" to the Capitol, instead watching the attacks unfold on television. Trump sent a tweet singling out Vice President Mike Pence as an enemy as the crowd moved through Capitol hallways and offices; he did not send a video message telling rioters to disperse until after the violence had been largely quelled.

What we do not know is the full number of Republican allies in and out of government who took specific actions to help Trump achieve the violence he sought to use. With the discovery of albeit-incomplete text messages between the White House and those allies, however, we know that the number is not zero.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Dec 14, 2022, 11:23 AM (15 replies)

An Open Letter to Senate Democrats: Stand Up for the People That Gave You the Majority


An Open Letter to Senate Democrats: Stand Up for the People That Gave You the Majority
by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II | December 13, 2022 - 6:25am

The following is an open letter written to Senate Democrats by Bishop William J. Barber II on Monday, December 12, 2022.

Dear Senators,

I’m writing to you as I give thanks for Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock’s US Senate victory in Georgia—a victory in the South that demonstrates the power of a moral vision and moral leadership to galvanize a fusion coalition for a new America. Think about it: Senator Warnock won in Georgia and North Carolina has moved from 3 out of 13 seats, just a few years ago, to 7 out of 14 for Democrats. But there is also a sober reflection we must engage. As Senator Warnock noted, his victory was not the result of ending voter suppression. It is, instead, evidence of the exceptional efforts of the people despite voter suppression—especially poor and low-wage voters of different backgrounds who joined neighbors who oppose extremism to give you an expanded majority. This coalition wants to see bills that have passed the House and are sitting on Senator Schumer’s desk become law before this Congress comes to an end.

We know that voting rights protections, a $15 minimum wage, and protections for women’s rights have stalled because two Democrats have not been willing to unite around plans to carve out the filibuster and overcome the united obstruction of 50 Republicans. But in the way that the midterms have unfolded for the Senate, you have a mandate from the voters now. And you have a narrow window in which your party can unite to make a real difference for the people. Now is the time to act.

The people are with you, especially if you frame your actions not as Democrat or Republican, but as the right response for the future of the nation. You have the power to act. After McCarthy takes over the House, you will have no chance of passing any of these policies for the next two years.

Before you took control of the Senate in 2020, Senator Manchin supported the For the People Act and proposals to raise the minimum wage, but he withdrew his support as soon as you had the power to act. He sees this new power structure coming to the Senate and is clear he will have to work with them. Now is the time to act boldly for the good of the nation and the good of the people.

You cannot afford to let history record that over a two-year period you did not use every method at your disposal to pass the For the People Act, Voting Rights Act Restoration, $15 dollar minimum wage, and protection of a woman’s right to choose—measures that already passed in the House, but have been blocked by the Senate’s filibuster.

I am praying that you will call the votes and believe in the possibility of a Christmas miracle. You won infrastructure. You won the Inflation Reduction Act. You won protections for the right to marry whom you desire. Some said you could never gain a seat in this midterm election. But Warnock won because poor and low-wage voters showed up, young people showed up, women showed up, and people who might not have supported a Democrat before showed up to say that they want to see these things happen. Why don’t you confound the common sense about lame duck sessions and show the people who worked tirelessly to keep you in power that you are ready to go to work for them?

It has been more than 9 years since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act and 13 years since the federal minimum wage has increased. You would not have won the majority you now enjoy without the support of people targeted by voter suppression and low-wage workers. in this moment, you have the opportunity to vote for them. Now is the time to call the votes. God has given the Senate an opportunity to change the heart of democracy. I pray you will take it.

In hope,

Bishop William J. Barber, II

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Dec 13, 2022, 04:10 PM (1 replies)

Trump: People 'Wanted' The Jan 6 Insurrection To Happen


Trump: People 'Wanted' The Jan 6 Insurrection To Happen
Yeah, no they did not.
By Conover Kennard — December 13, 2022


Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, told The Dispatch that "the speaker of the House does not have the power to block an order from the commander in chief. This is fiction."

Still, Lumpy went there.

"Have you had 10,000 soldiers for, you know, hundreds of people, they wouldn't have gotten anywhere near the place... There would have been no January 6," the disgraced one-term President insisted.

"There are a lot of people that think they wanted it," Trump claimed without providing even an iota of evidence to support the claim.

"If you had soldiers circling and I recommended it strongly, but it's her decision," he falsely said.
"She's the one that has to make the decision. And nobody likes talking about that."

"I knew that a lot of people were coming down. They were coming down because they thought the election was rigged. And they were right," said Trump, who fed that lie to his supporters. "That's why they were coming down. And that's why they don't want to talk about that, and they don't want to talk about the rigged election."

Have you ever wanted to slap someone so hard that their eyes spin around like dice in their head as if you were in a cartoon? Yeah, that's me right now.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Dec 13, 2022, 12:16 PM (26 replies)

Samantha Bee Announces First Big Project Since 'Full Frontal' Cancellation


Samantha Bee Announces First Big Project Since ‘Full Frontal’ Cancellation
Matt Wilstein
Senior Writer
Published Dec. 13, 2022 10:00AM ET 
James Macari

In the nearly five months since TBS unceremoniously canceled Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, the comedian and former Daily Show correspondent has been laying very low, declining to speak publicly about that network’s decision to remove one of the few women in late-night TV from the air. Now, Bee is announcing that in the spring of 2023 she will embark on a national tour of a new stage show titled Your Favorite Woman that has echoes of the live theater run that Conan O’Brien performed after he was removed as host of NBC’s Tonight Show in 2010. “Many of the best segments we did on Full Frontal focused on making complex issues more accessible,” Bee said in a statement. “And I am called to do that once again. Not sure why. Nothing much is happening in the world of women’s bodily autonomy, so I am taking it upon myself to teach the parts of Sex Ed that should’ve been taught by your gym teacher.” In the final episode of her TBS late-night show, which aired just days before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade this past June, Bee urged viewers to take their collective fight for reproductive rights to the streets. “Because if Republicans have made our lives hell, it’s time to return the favor,” she concluded.

For more, listen to Samantha Bee on The Last Laugh podcast.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Dec 13, 2022, 11:45 AM (1 replies)

Marjorie Taylor Greene, Racists, and a Newsweek Editor Walk Into a Ballroom


Marjorie Taylor Greene, Racists, and a Newsweek Editor Walk Into a Ballroom
There was violent rhetoric and disreputable company at a Young Republicans event in New York City. Sadly, this is the absolute state of the new right.
Matt Lewis
Senior Columnist
Published Dec. 12, 2022 5:53PM ET 


Let’s face the facts: We have lost the ability to be shocked anymore.

Once upon a time, talk of fighting in the streets was off limits. Once upon a time, a mainstream Republican event that prominently welcomed white nationalists who mingled with members of Congress and journalists would have been met with disbelief—and outrage.

Today, it’s all been normalized. The important thing to realize is that, by definition, this was not a fringe right-wing conclave, it was a mainstream Republican gala that took place in Manhattan—not the Michigan militia trading posts on 4chan. This was also the Young Republicans, once the anodyne home of Alex P. Keaton-esque conservatives (I know because I was a YR).

Along with Greene and the aforementioned names, former White House advisor Steve Bannon was at the gala. “America’s Mayor” Rudy Giuliani was at the gala. Son of the former POTUS, Donald Trump, Jr., was at the gala. We’re not talking about the fringe anymore. We’re talking about prominent names in the world of politics and journalism.


By embracing Marjorie Taylor Greene and the cavalcade of weirdos, cranks, racists, and right-wing extremists she cavorts with, Republicans are preparing for another face-plant.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Dec 13, 2022, 06:47 AM (6 replies)

Capitol Officer Injured on Jan. 6 Resigns, Citing 'Trauma': Report


Capitol Officer Injured on Jan. 6 Resigns, Citing ‘Trauma’: Report
Brett Bachman
Night Editor
Updated Dec. 12, 2022 11:32PM ET / 
Published Dec. 12, 2022 11:31PM ET 

A U.S. Capitol Police officer who was injured during the Jan. 6 riot in Washington, D.C. announced over the weekend that he is leaving the force—citing the lasting “trauma” of that day. “It is with immense sadness that I announce my formal separation from the Department effective December 17, 2022 to continue to focus on healing, both physically and mentally, from injuries I sustained in the line of duty on January 6, 2021,” Sgt. Aquilino Gonell wrote in a letter obtained by NBC News. “After speaking with my orthopedic doctor, my mental health providers, and my family, I think it’s in my best interest to take time off away from the daily reminders that keep re-triggering my trauma.” He reportedly suffered injuries on one shoulder, his lower leg and his hands, and testified in front of the House Jan. 6 Committee that rioters called for his execution during the assault.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Dec 13, 2022, 06:30 AM (1 replies)

Jim Jordan Played A Lead Role In Trying To Overturn The Election According To Newly Published Texts


Posted on Mon, Dec 12th, 2022 by Jason Easley
Jim Jordan Played A Lead Role In Trying To Overturn The Election According To Newly Published Texts

A trove of more than 2,000 of Mark Meadows’s texts was published today, and they show that Jim Jordan played a lead role in Trump’s plot.

Jordan was one of 34 Republican members of Congress communicating with Meadows about overturning the election.

Rep. Jordan wrote to Trump’s chief of staff:

On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all — in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence.

�No legislative act,� wrote Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 78, �contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.� �The court in Hubbard v. Lowe reinforced this truth: ��That an unconstitutional statute is not a law at all is a proposition no longer open to discussion.� �226 F. 135, 137 (SDNY 1915), appeal dismissed, 242 U.S. 654 (1916). � Following this rationale, an unconstitutionally appointed elector, like an unconstitutionally enacted statute, is no elector at all.

Jordan was trying to use the Federalist Papers to say that the election was illegal and Mike Pence had the power to overturn it via the recognition of Trump’s fake electors, which is not what Alexander Hamilton meant.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Dec 12, 2022, 09:48 PM (34 replies)

"What's She Gonna Do, Sue Her Daughter?"...

“What’s She Gonna Do, Sue Her Daughter?”: Alexandra Pelosi Shows the World What It’s Like to Be Nancy Pelosi
Alexandra Pelosi has filmed her mom at work as the Democratic leader and House Speaker for three decades. She wants it to be a civics lesson on one of the most legendary leaders in American history: “I didn’t make this movie for Washington,” she tells Vanity Fair.
By Charlotte Klein
December 12, 2022

Nancy Pelosi has not seen her daughter’s new documentary about her. In fact, documentarian Alexandra Pelosi says she never actually asked the outgoing Speaker of the House for permission to film her. “This is not authorized,” Alexandra tells me over Zoom from New York City. “She never signed a release.” She adds, “As somebody who beautifully crafted her own career, I’m sure it’s gonna be very difficult for her to watch how she looks to her own daughter…. What’s she gonna do, sue her daughter? She’s not gonna sue me.”

“I hope. I hope.” 

Alexandra has been chronicling Washington and politics for years. Pelosi in the House—Alexandra’s 14th documentary film for HBO, to be released December 13—follows her mom over the course of three decades, from Nancy’s historic election as first female Speaker in 2007 to counting votes for the Affordable Care Act and drawing up the articles for Donald Trump’s first, and then second, impeachment. Some of Alexandra’s exclusive footage has already been seen. She was with Nancy on January 6 as rioters ransacked the capitol. The jarring footage from that day, where Nancy is seen taking calls with high-ranking officials while hiding somewhere on Capitol Hill, aired on CNN and at the January 6 committee hearing back in October. 

Nancy announced last month she would be stepping down from her leadership position in January, but would remain in Congress as Democrats transition back to the minority. “I think it’s a good civics lesson if nothing else,” says Alexandra—one that “would be in Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell’s interest to watch.” 

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Alexandra talks about the evolution of this yearslong project, why her mother stepping down was “the best day of my life,” the attack on her father, Paul Pelosi, and more. “I didn’t make this movie for Washington,” she tells me. “I think it will have a real shelf life as an educational tool for generations of people who have never been in a Speaker’s office. That’s what I’m hoping for this film.” 

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Dec 12, 2022, 03:50 PM (4 replies)
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