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babylonsister's Journal
babylonsister's Journal
October 31, 2021

Josh Marshall: The Most Damning Jan 6th Revelation Yet


The Most Damning Jan 6th Revelation Yet
New Emails Show Trump and Eastman Saw the Insurrectionists as the Foot Soldiers of the Coup. They Cheered Them on and Used Them in Real Time.
By Josh Marshall
October 30, 2021 11:58 a.m.


The Post has emails – presumably emerging out of the committee investigation – of what happened during the insurrection. As the insurrectionists were storming the Capitol and Pence was holed up in a secure location as they hunted for him and members of Congress, Eastman emailed Pence and his top aide saying that the insurrection was Pence’s fault for not going through with the coup plot. With the President’s supporters ransacking the Capitol Eastman demanded Pence shift course and do the right thing.

These exchanges capture something we suspect and know in some way. But here we’re getting the details, the documentary evidence. Eastman didn’t recoil when the President’s rally escalated to violence. He clearly saw the inside coup plot and the insurrectionists on the street as part of the same effort. This isn’t surprising to most of us. The insurrectionists were laying siege to Pence in the Capitol because Pence wasn’t going along with the plan. And the answer was to go along with the plan. Eastman recognized the insurrection as the paramilitary wing of the coup plot he was part of and as the Capitol was under siege used it as a cudgel to force Pence’s hand.

Again, this won’t come to a shock to many of us. But here we’re getting the receipts. At least the first of them. To date the actions of Eastman, the President, his various coconspirators – during the hours of the assault on the Capitol – have largely been a black box even as we’ve learned more and more granular detail of the ransacking of the Capitol itself. We’ve had brief glimpses in reported accounts. There was the notorious phone call between Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Trump in which McCarthy demanded Trump call off his insurrectionists. Trump notoriously responded, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”

In real time, Trump’s message was the same as Eastman’s. You brought it on yourself and they’re my guys. The way to lift the siege is to do the right thing and support the coup. They both recognized the insurrectionists as their foot soldiers and expressed as much in real time to the members of Congress under siege. And of course they did since they were their foot soldiers.

It’s hardly surprising that both Trump and Eastman were cheering on the assault on the Capitol in real time or seeing it in the same terms. They were part of the same war room. They were leading it. Directly or indirectly McCarthy was the source of those quotes from the conversation with the President. It was reportedly anger and expletive filled. Of course he later fell in line. Much of the resistance to the investigation was his effort not to be placed under oath to reveal what happened on that day and the fact that he resisted it.

These are only two glimpses of the real story of January 6th. The Committee seems serious about getting the whole story.
October 31, 2021

Biden Adm Reportedly Considering $450,000 Payments To Families Separated At Southern Border

Fodder for the rw. That's some sum; who thinks this is a good idea?

Breaking|Oct 28, 2021,05:18pm EDT|139,137 views
Biden Administration Reportedly Considering $450,000 Payments To Families Separated At Southern Border
Anna Kaplan
Forbes Staff

The Biden administration is reportedly considering making payments of approximately $450,000 to each person separated from their family at the southern border, the Wall Street Journal reports, showing signs of a potential settlement for several lawsuits that claim the U.S. government’s policies left them with lasting psychological effects.

The U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services are in talks to offer each person who had been separated $450,000, the Journal reports, citing multiple sources close to the discussions.

The offer comes to nearly $1 million per family, as most families who crossed the border included one parent and one child, though the Journal reports the official number could change.

It is unclear how many people will be eligible for the settlement, but about 940 families have reportedly filed claims.



For example:

America last: Biden goes full Oprah, considers $450K payments to illegal migrants separated at border

October 30, 2021

Ron DeSantis Sues Joe Biden for Trying to Keep Americans Alive


Ron DeSantis Sues Joe Biden for Trying to Keep Americans Alive
The Florida governor has taken the president to court over vaccine mandates.
By Bess Levin
October 29, 2021

As the last 18 months have made clear, there are two types of elected officials in the U.S.: those who want Americans to live and those who…well, we’re not going to say they actively want Americans to die, but if that’s what happens, they’re seemingly not too broken up about it. In the former category, you have individuals like Joe Biden, who are actually trying to stop the pandemic and keep people healthy; in the latter, you have people like Ron DeSantis, who basically come up with a new idea each week to expose their constituents to COVID-19 and potentially kill them.

To date, DeSantis has banned schools from instituting mask mandates; docked pay from school board members requiring face coverings; told parents to feel free to send their kids to school after exposure to COVID-19; fined a county for requiring employees to get vaccinated; held a press conference with a man who claimed COVID vaccines change your RNA; appointed a state surgeon general whose work has revolved around spreading dangerous vaccine misinformation; and offered unvaccinated police officers $5,000 to relocate to Florida. So, really, it should come as little surprise that on Thursday, he sued the Biden administration over its vaccine mandate for federal workers, as such a policy might actually have a positive impact on the fight against the virus.

Per NPR:

The state of Florida on Thursday sued President Joe Biden’s administration over its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal contractors, opening yet another battleground between Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and the White House. The lawsuit, announced by DeSantis at a news conference, alleges the president doesn’t have the authority to issue the rule and that it violates procurement law. DeSantis has vowed legal action over federal vaccination requirements and fought masking and vaccine rules implemented by local governments in Florida. He recently announced he would call state lawmakers to the Capitol next month to pass legislation to combat vaccine mandates enacted by private businesses.

The case was filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa and names Biden, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson as well as White House contracting officials as defendants. In addition to a vaccine mandate for federal contractors, which is set to go into effect in December, Biden has also announced that private employers with 100 or more workers will have to require them to be vaccinated or tested weekly. The roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated. Additional details on the policies are expected to be released soon. Biden has argued that the sweeping mandates will help end a pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 740,000 Americans.

Republicans, on the other hand, are vehemently opposed to vaccine mandates because, again, they might actually help save people and end the hellish existence we’ve all been living for more than a year now. Earlier this week, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Georgia governor Brian Kemp will also be suing the Biden administration, having previously warned that he would “pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach by the Biden administration.“ On Wednesday, 21 Republican state attorneys general sent a letter to Biden claiming that his vaccine mandate “stands on shaky legal ground.”

As for Florida:
October 30, 2021

Let's Give DeSantis the Bolsonaro Treatment


Let’s Give DeSantis the Bolsonaro Treatment
Sovereign immunity can’t be a get-out-of-jail-free card for officials whose negligence, dereliction of duty and actions cost lives.
Irwin Redlener
Updated Oct. 30, 2021 3:13AM ET / Published Oct. 29, 2021 8:25PM ET

Now that a Brazilian Congressional panel has voted to recommend that President Jair Bolsonaro—whom Donald Trump has endorsed for re-election—should be charged with incitement to crime, violation of social rights, and crimes against humanity for his abysmal and lethal pandemic response, it is perhaps time that we considered similar charges against U.S. political leaders for their nonfeasance and negligent policies during the pandemic.


Citizens should be able to bypass sovereign immunity and sue state officials for willful and negligent disregard of local jurisdictions’ right to protect the health and safety of school children in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis banned the use of masks and mandatory vaccinations, actions which likely led to pediatric wards overflowing with COVID-positive children. Official CDC studies have even shown that schools without mask requirements see rates of child COVID-19 cases that are 50 percent higher than those requiring masks. Other pathways to liability for elected officials also exist through violations of specific state constitutions or via the Federal Tort Claims Act, among others.

Winning an election can’t be a get-out-of-jail-free card for negligence, dereliction of duty, and overt acts that endanger lives and undermine the well-being of their constituents. What’s clear is that self-serving political leaders who knowingly put the lives of their constituents at risk are not qualified to lead in a time of a lethal public health crisis.

Trump has already been removed by the voters, but for those who are still in positions of executive power we can’t wait to vote them out at the ballot box when their negligence and misfeasance is costing lives. We need lawyers, critical media, and concerned citizens to lift the veil of “sovereign immunity” which has for too long protected those who have abused their power and exacerbated the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Without near-term legal accountability, civil and criminal, we could unnecessarily lose thousands more American lives by the time the next election cycle rolls around.
October 29, 2021

Mark Levin: 'McAuliffe Is Preparing To Try And Steal The Election'

I wish they would at least be more creative.


Mark Levin: 'McAuliffe Is Preparing To Try And Steal The Election'
As we all know, Republicans simply do not lose elections. But if they do, it was stolen from them.
By Susie Madrak

Right-wing nutjob Mark Levin is pushing his party line that Terry McAuliffe is going to steal the Virginia gubernatorial election. Because as we now know, Republicans are never going to lose another election, no sir! They will shout and bully their way into winning, no matter what! Via Media Matters:

MARK LEVIN (HOST): And I will tell you now that Terry McAuliffe is preparing to try and steal the election. McAuliffe spends big in final days on sanctioned lawyer who sued to overturn Iowa House race.

[...] This is very important to understand. So they're going to try and steal the election. The same guy, McAuliffe, who said that Bush was illegitimate in the 2000 election because he stole it from Gore, the same guy, McAuliffe, in 2016 that said actually Hillary won, remember was the bagman for the Clintons. And Trump had lost, stole the election, Russia collusion.

Now, of course, if you dare to raise questions about 2020, "Oh, you must be a Na-- a white supremacist," but of course.

Marc Elias, of course, is the Democracy Docket election lawyer who has successfully fought back attempts by dozens of states to suppress voters. No wonder they hate him! Here's his latest win in Virginia:
October 29, 2021

Bipartisan Group of Former Lawmakers Files Brief Against Trump's Claim of Executive Privilege


Posted on Fri, Oct 29th, 2021 by Jason Miciak
Bipartisan Group of Former Lawmakers Files Brief Against Trump’s Claim of Executive Privilege


Sixty-six former lawmakers, including two dozen Republicans, have signed on to a legal brief urging a federal judge to reject former President Donald Trump’s effort to block Jan. 6 investigators from accessing his White House’s records.

The brief, which is slated to hit the docket in the D.C. federal District Court on Friday, contends that no possible argument about executive privilege could overcome Congress’ need for documents to probe the violent attack on the Capitol — one fueled by Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen.

The Court is under no obligation to consider the brief because it comes from a non-party. But given that it was filed by a powerful and wide-ranging group, the brief will almost surely capture the court’s attention.

Executive privilege is a bit of a tricky area because most issues (pre-Trump) were settled privately between Congress and the White House. There is not a lot of definitive case law. Many speculate that the lack of court guidance owes itself to the fact that both parties are terrified of the possible answers.

The brief is also more powerful than the typical third-party brief because judges do not live in a vacuum, oblivious to national politics or events. The judge (and coming appellate judges) surely know that the current Republican lawmakers are under excruciating pressure to support Trump in the matter. But former lawmakers have the freedom to say, “We as former lawmakers know that Congress deserves the right to demand these documents.”

Of course, there is no evidence, yet, that Trump played any direct role in the insurrection, or that Trump’s need for secrecy is based upon the fear that direct or circumstantial evidence exists. What is known is that Trump’s feral survivability was always based upon a fortress of secrecy. The bridge to this one may be crumbling. And God only knows what might lay behind.
October 29, 2021

Judge Says GOP Congressman Can't Be Left Alone With Evidence

Judge Says GOP Congressman Can’t Be Left Alone With Evidence
The judge was so concerned that Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) might compromise the case that he prohibited Fortenberry from looking at the evidence against him by himself.
Roger Sollenberger
Political Reporter
Updated Oct. 29, 2021 5:47AM ET / Published Oct. 29, 2021 4:50AM ET
Bill Clark/Getty

After Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) was indicted last week for lying to the FBI over foreign donations to his campaign, authorities took the rare step Thursday of trying to prevent the nine-term Republican from tampering with witnesses or handling evidence without supervision.

The order, handed down by Judge Stanley Blumenfield in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, also reveals that the government is pursuing multiple related investigations involving other “public officials.”

In the ruling, Blumenfield sided with the prosecution’s concerns that Fortenberry cannot be trusted to handle evidence about cooperating witnesses. The order prohibits Fortenberry from taking notes or “memorializing” the evidence, and even requires his lawyers to ensure he is “never left alone with any Cooperator Materials.”

“Defendant may not take any Cooperator Materials out of the room in which defendant is meeting with the Defense Team. At no time, under no circumstance, will any Cooperator Materials be left in the possession, custody, or control of defendant, regardless of defendant’s custody status,” the judge wrote.

“Because these materials could be used to identify the confidential informants or cooperating witnesses," the judge wrote, "the Court finds that the unauthorized dissemination or distribution of the materials may compromise the ability of such persons to participate effectively in future investigations in an undercover capacity and/or may expose him/her to potential safety risks.”


October 29, 2021

An On-Brand Biden Moment

I'm not religious, but I am happy President and Mrs. Biden got to meet with the Pope. I'm sure it meant a lot to him.


An On-Brand Biden Moment
October 29, 2021 at 10:09 am EDT By Taegan Goddard 8 Comments

President Biden to Pope Francis as he departed their meeting: “God love ya!”

October 29, 2021

Biden's Hidden Win


Biden’s Hidden Win
October 29, 2021 at 6:45 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Playbook: “Just when it looked like the day would end in embarrassment for Democrats, the Congressional Progressive Caucus issues a surprise endorsement of the president’s compromise plan — removing one of the last big obstacles in its way.”

“The CPC’s decision to back the new BBB framework got drowned out by the group’s refusal to allow a BIF vote Thursday before full text was drafted. That deprived Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the vote she was determined to hold on BIF, and yielded lots of headlines about Democrats’ failure to clinch the win.”

“But the dispute over sequencing masked a major achievement for the president: Hill progressives now appear ready to swallow this deal — and that means it’s likely a matter of when, not if, it passes.”

“The fact that the group isn’t making demands for major changes is quite something given that many of their priorities were significantly scaled back as moderates got most of what they wanted.”
October 29, 2021

A Texas lawmaker is targeting 850 books that he says could make students feel uneasy

Uneasy??? As an avid reader, this pisses me OFF! Cut out the censoring; if any book is too much for delicate sensibilities, don't freakin' read it!

A Texas lawmaker is targeting 850 books that he says could make students feel uneasy
October 28, 20211:00 PM ET
Bill Chappell

A Texas state lawmaker is asking schools statewide to tell him whether they currently hold any of around 850 books on a list he has compiled, explaining that he is targeting materials that "might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex."

The inquiry by state Rep. Matt Krause, a Republican, quickly set off alarm among the books' authors and the state teachers association. The unusual request, which was first reported by the Texas Tribune, also triggered confusion in school districts over how to comply with such a wide-ranging query.

Krause sent a letter on Monday to the Texas Education Agency and superintendents of school districts around the state, asking each official to confirm whether their schools possess any books on his list, along with a detailed accounting of where they are and how much money was spent on them.


The inquiry is a "disturbing and political overreach into the classroom" — and it might be illegal,
said Ovidia Molina, the president of the Texas State Teachers Association.

"Nothing in state law ... gives a legislator the authority to conduct this type of witch hunt," Molina said in a statement. She added, "This is an obvious attack on diversity and an attempt to score political points at the expense of our children's education."



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