Thursday, December 08, 2022

What You Did vs Who You Are

I am a little fascinated by the story of the gun-shop owner on Gude Drive, in Rockville, who tried to kill a cop in the middle of the night last week. He ran after the police car shooting at it, put a few holes in the car but didn't hurt anybody, luckily.

This story is not going to get much publicity, because it does not further anyone's agenda.

Here's Bethesda Magazine's lede on it:

Andrew S. Raymond, 42, of Darnestown, was charged and arrested for shooting at a police officer in Rockville, early Tuesday morning, Montgomery County police announced in a release.

According to police, a county officer was patrolling the 700 block of East Gude Drive at around 12:30 a.m. when an employee of Engage Armament gun store ran towards the officer’s unmarked car and began firing shots, striking the vehicle twice.

Raymond was outside the store when the police officer drove into the parking lot of Engage Armament, police stated.

The officer saw the suspect running towards his vehicle while reaching inside his waistband, according to the MCPD news release.

According to the release, the officer activated his emergency equipment and signaled to Raymond that he was a police officer. Raymond stopped and dropped his weapon, raised his hands and was taken into custody, police said.

I drive past that place all the time. This is a hometown story.

Here's obviously what happened. Several gun shops in the area have been broken into lately. This shop owner figured he would defend his store, and sat out in the parking lot with a gun -- duh, it's a gun shop -- ready to kill someone. At the same time, the cops knew there had been recent break-ins and they were out patrolling, to, you know, catch criminals while they are criming. An officer pulled into this parking lot to make sure everything was all right, and this good guy with a gun came running out shooting at him, thinking it was bad guys.

Usually the media make a big deal out of somebody shooting at the police. In reality it is not a very dangerous job, they don't get shot very often, but it is a kind of story that people love to read because it confirms their preconceptions. This kind of story is most popular if there is a picture of a Black man, especially if he is funky looking. A Hispanic or African looking person will do, as well, especially if they have a foreign-sounding name. White people, only if they have tattoos or teeth missing, or really bad hair.

The media will not make a big deal out of this one. A man tried to kill the police but the story, I guarantee it, is going to be "it was an honest mistake." I predict that you will see a jovial photo in the news, cops laughing and having a beer with the guy who attempted to murder them, or similar. He will probably apologize. He shot real bullets at a real living human being but no prob, he didn't know it was a police officer.

This little story cuts across so many narratives. For one thing, stupid people here love to complain that Montgomery County is a dangerous place. They especially like to blame the County Council and County Executive for "skyrocketing crime rates." C'mon, people, Montgomery County? Some catalytic converters get stolen, there is an occasional burglary, but this is the sleepiest place in the world. And look what happens when the police act proactively to prevent crime. Citizens trying to kill them for it.

Of course the story here is that a "good guy with a gun" was shooting at another "good guy with a gun." Nobody likes to deal with the fact that most gun deaths are not bad guys breaking into innocent people's homes. Suicides and domestic violence, especially husbands killing their wives, make up more than half of US gun deaths. Walking around with a gun in your pocket does not actually make you safer, it just makes the rest of us less safe. Well you might shoot yourself by accident, but in any case the chance that your life will be threatened today by some violent person in Montgomery County is, statistically, zero.

The bookend story to this one was earlier this week, a guy was found not-guilty of anything after he shot a persistent panhandler on the Metro. There was video. The jury said it was justified. Well, of course, the shooter was a Good Guy. And the panhandler was a Bad Guy. He was rude and pushy.

Our society is having a kind of breakdown of law and order, and these incidents are so typical that they will not be talked about much. Nothing is going to happen to these people who shot at someone, because they are portrayed as Good People. Good People can do whatever they want. It is not easy to say what a Good Person is, it might be a regular guy but it helps to be rich or powerful. Almost certainly they are Caucasian. You will hear someone say, every day, "No one is above the law," but of course that is not true. People get hassled, beaten, killed, and locked up every day for nothing, but not white people with some privilege. Those people can break the law as they wish, they can even shoot at the cops, and nothing will happen to them. They are Good People and just made a little mistake. Maybe somebody died, oh well.

To my silly liberal mind, the law should be a set of criteria that people have to meet in order to avoid punishment. If you break the law you face the consequences. If you don't break the law then you are free to go. But that is not how it works. Instead, the police and court system are being used to reward Good People and punish Bad People, regardless of what the law says. It doesn't matter what you did, what matters is who you are. This post is about Donald Trump.


Anonymous Bill to Protect Same-Sex Marriage Rights Clears Congress said...

The House gave final approval to the measure, with lawmakers from both parties voting in favor. It now heads to President Biden to be signed into law.

December 08, 2022 11:56 AM  
Anonymous fan of our current Supreme Court said...

"Bill to Protect Same-Sex Marriage Rights Clears Congress"

thus bill doesn't protect or create any rights

it simply says if a state marries a couple of guys, states that don't marry two guys will have to recognize the "marriage"

so, it depends on legislation passed by states, not on rights

December 08, 2022 4:53 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous without that law if the Supreme Court strikes down the right to marry and some states ban same sex marriage same sex couples who are married in one state would not be married in another state, whether living there or just passing through. So, yes the law protects the right of same sex couples to be married in every U.S. state.

Happy Holidays, by the way.

Remember, a big party in the middle of winter is the reason for the season :)

December 08, 2022 6:22 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Things are looking pretty bad for Republicans in 2024. Their disastrous showing in the mid terms when typically the party without the presidency wins big they failed to do so despite high gas prices and inflation due to Putin's war in Ukraine. Those prices have nothing to do with Biden, of course, but American voters are very poorly informed and generally by default blame the president for anything they don't like that's going on in the world.

Not this time though. Trump's attempted coup and myriad legal troubles including a massive breach of security after he stole top secret documents have awakened the American public to his deep corruption and threat to American democracy.

Trump couldn't win in 2020 or 2022 and it will be even harder for him to win in 2024 as his legal culpability becomes more and more blatant and the democracy loving public rightly fears him and the Republican politicians supporting him. The Republicans could dump Trump for a new presidential nominee but that's just going to divide typical Republican voters as the right wing authoritarians supporting Trump won't desert him for any reason and many will sit out the 2024 election if Trump isn't the nominee.

Whether Trump is the nominee or not it looks very doubtful that a Republican can win the presidency in 2024. Hooray for American democracy!

December 08, 2022 6:41 PM  
Anonymous WJLA said...

Mr. Raymond is lucky to be alive.

December 09, 2022 6:55 AM  
Anonymous GOP Senator, Thom Tillis (NC) Is Stalling a Bill to Let Pregnant Workers Take Bathroom Breaks said...

According to Tillis, the bill—which would ensure pregnant workers receive accommodations like water bottles, stools, and bathroom breaks—is akin to government-funded “abortions on demand.” “As the husband of a wife who had two children while she was working and the grandfather of two grandchildren with a daughter who’s a nurse, I absolutely want to make sure those sort of reasonable accommodations are accounted for,” Tillis said. “However, in its current form, this legislation before us would give federal bureaucrats at the EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] authority to mandate that employers nationwide provide accommodations such as leave to obtain abortions on demand, under the guise of pregnancy-related conditions.”

December 09, 2022 7:25 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

My husband is a mechanic, statistically he's far more likely to be killed on the job than a cop.

I would think in a situation like this the law would want to make clear to this guy that a car entering your gun shop parking lot is not justification to open fire.

Now that the Georgia run-off election is over I'd sure like to see the Justice Department announce an indictment(s) of Trump - the criminality is overwhelming, any other American would have been imprisoned dozens of times over if they had done what Trump has. I'm confident Merrick Garland is going to indict Trump, I just hope he does it before the new year or I fear there will not be enough time to convict him before the 2024 election. A message has to be sent to Republicans that you do not get a free pass to attempt a coup or severely damage the country by carelessness with classified documents.

The hypocrisy of Republicans and the media over Trump's handling of classified information is astounding. There was never any evidence there was classified material on Hillary's email server, no evidence of any sort of crime, but it was "Lock her up! Lock her up!" and the New York Times ran story after story about "all the questions this raises and concerns" and yet no one complains about Trump carelessly spreading classified information to the four winds, probably selling it to America's enemies and Republicans act like this doesn't matter in the slightest.

December 09, 2022 6:00 PM  
Anonymous I wonder if Republicans agree with any part of the Constitution said...

Kari Lake, the Republican defeated in Arizona governor’s race, is formally challenging her loss to Democrat Katie Hobbs, asking a court to throw out certified election results from the state’s most populous county and either declare her the winner or rerun the governor’s election in that county.

The lawsuit filed late Friday by Lake centers on long lines and other difficulties that people experienced while voting on Election Day in Maricopa County. The challenge filed in Maricopa County Superior Court also alleges hundreds of thousands of ballots were illegally cast, but there’s no evidence that’s true.

Lake has refused to acknowledge that she lost to Hobbs by more than 17,000 votes.

The Donald Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate has bombarded Maricopa County with complaints, largely related to a problem with printers at some vote centers that led to ballots being printed with markings that were too light to be read by the on-site tabulators.

Lines backed up in some polling places, fueling Republican suspicions that some supporters were unable to cast a ballot, though there’s no evidence it affected the outcome. County officials say everyone was able to vote and all legal ballots were counted.

Jason Berry, a Maricopa County spokesperson, declined to comment on Lake’s request to throw out the county’s election results in the governor’s race. But he said the county “respects the election contest process and looks forward to sharing facts about the administration of the 2022 general election and our work to ensure every legal voter had an opportunity to cast their ballot.”

Hobbs in a post on her Twitter account called the lawsuit “Lake’s latest desperate attempt to undermine our democracy and throw out the will of the voters.” She posted a statement from her campaign manager that called the lawsuit a “sham” and said her camp remained focused on “getting ready to hit the ground running on Day One of Katie Hobbs’ administration.”

December 10, 2022 8:49 AM  
Anonymous I wonder if Republicans agree with any part of the Constitution said...

Although conservative pundit Tim Miller is a former Republican insider, he has since become a blistering critic of the party he once belonged to — a party he believes that Donald Trump and the MAGA movement have turned into a hotbed of hatred and authoritarian extremism. Miller, in a scathing yet humorous video for the conservative website The Bulwark, lays out some examples of MAGA Republicans attacking so many of the constitutional ideals they once espoused.

Miller opens the video, posted on December, by noting that Trump recently called for the U.S. Constitution to be suspended “so he can be installed as an unelected dictator.”

“This is insane,” Miller tells viewers. “For all the flaws of our other politicians, nobody in either party in my lifetime or my parents’ lifetime had proposed something as fundamentally un-American and radical as that. And it comes on the heels of his dinner with manic Nazi Kanye (West) and America’s leading virgin incel white nationalist livestreamer, Nick Fuentes.”

Miller, in the video, inserts a clip of Fuentes calling for the U.S. to “stop having elections” and enforce “Taliban rule in America in a good way.” Although Fuentes is not an Islamist, he believes the U.S. should become a full-fledged theocracy — only with a severe form of Catholicism instead of radical Islam and Shariah law. The Catholicism that Fuentes admires isn’t Catholicism as practiced by President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or Sister Mary Scullion (a liberal activist in Philadelphia), but Catholicism as practiced by the Spanish Inquisition.

Miller goes on to slam all the Republicans who still refuse to criticize Trump or rule out the possibility of supporting him in the 2024 election.

“So, when it comes to what to do about Trump now, you’d think this would be a layup for my former conservative pals,” Miller argues. “I mean, is it that hard to say, ‘Having dinner with Nazis and proposing that we shred the Constitution is a dealbreaker?’ That it’s time to terminate this guy’s bul****t? Hasta la vista, baby? Apparently so.”

Miller makes his point by including a clip of Rep. Dave Joyce of Ohio being interviewed by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, who asks, “Can you support a candidate, in 2024, who’s for suspending the Constitution?” And Joyce responds, “I will support whoever the Republican nominee is.”

Miller comments, “Being pro-Constitution and anti-Nazi-dinner is too big of a political risk? Is that really where the Republican Party is right now? This is the exact type of thinking that caused Republicans widespread losses in the midterms. They didn’t stand up to Trump, nominated a bunch of election-denying freaks who got their ass kicked. Case in point: the faceplant from Herschel Walker in the Georgia Senate runoff this week.”

December 10, 2022 9:07 AM  
Anonymous I wonder if Republicans agree with any part of the Constitution said...

A Republican Congressional district chairman in Michigan is calling for the aggressive closure of a public library over the presence of LGBTQ books, Bridge Michigan reports.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s office indicated it has opened an investigation into threats made by Shane Trejo, Michigan's 11th Congressional District Chair, against the Patmos Library in Jamestown Township, Mich.

Over the last two years, the library garnered national attention when it faced an onslaught of complaints and calls for defunding.

er the news outlet, the outcry stems from "a fight over graphic novels that some opponents liken to pornography or 'grooming' children to be sexually assaulted."

Now, Trejo is echoing the same claims and calling for the library to be shut down. However, he reportedly wants to do so with force.

Trejo, who resides in another city nearly 100 miles away from the library, recently took Facebook with a fiery post calling or the library to be shut down "by force."

“Time to shut down the library by force. And then perhaps charge the people writing these checks as accessories for child abuse," he wrote.

The news outlet notes: "The comments were made from a Facebook account under the name 'Sean Trujillo (also Shane).' The account identifies the owner of the account as 'chairman at Michigan’s 11th Congressional District Republican Committee.'”

After being requested to comment, Trejo emailed a statement to the news outlet saying that the “state should shut down this library and any library that has pornography books available for kids. It should not be allowed to exist on private funding or crowdsourced funding of any kind.”

Although officials at the library refused to remove the books from their inventory, they have moved them to another location inside the building.

December 10, 2022 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Republican who cried over Respect for Marriage Act called out by gay nephew said...

A Republican congresswoman who went viral for her tearful speech against same-sex marriage was shamed afterward by her gay nephew.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) broke into tears as she urged her House colleagues to vote against protections for same-sex marriage, which eventually passed with Republican support and heads to President Joe Biden's desk for signing.

"This is yet another step toward the Democrats' goal of dismantling the traditional family, silencing voices of faith and permanently undoing our country's God-woven foundation," Hartzler said in the speech.

Her nephew Andrew Hartzler posted a video afterward on TikTok calling her out after she claimed the Obergefell ruling was not in danger but faith institutions were.

"Aunt Vicky that's just not right," he said. "Institutions of faith like religious universities are not being silenced. They're being empowered by the U.S. government to discriminate against tens of thousands of LGBTQ students because of religious exemptions but they still receive federal funding. It's more like you want the power to force your religious beliefs onto everyone else, and because you don't have that power you feel like you're being silenced, but you're not."

Andrew Hartzler, who's a plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit seeking to end those exemptions, graduated in 2021 from the deeply conservative Oral Roberts University, where he was nearly expelled for being gay as a junior and said he attempted suicide his sophomore year.

Hartzler graduated a year ago from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He says it was the only college his father would pay for him to attend. In that bastion of evangelical Christianity, being gay was a violation of the school's honor code and could get a student expelled. Hartzler attempted suicide during winter break of his sophomore year and barely escaped expulsion his junior year.

"You're just going to have to learn to coexist with all of us," he said, "and I'm sure it's not that hard."

Vicky Hartzler’s gay nephew Andrew posted about his aunt crying over gay marriage on the House floor. [Great video]

9:47 AM · Dec 9, 2022

December 10, 2022 9:23 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The American public saw Trump and the Republican party for what they are, wannabe dictators and rejected their attacks on democracy. When I pointed Trump's dictatorial actions during his presidency Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous poo-pooed the idea that Trump was any sort of dictatorial threat, "it is to laugh..." they said. Well, it couldn't be any more obvious that I was right, Trump has called to terminate the constitution so he can be installed as dictator and many of his christian supporters are calling for a theocracy so they can deal with their most pressing concern, the natural existence of lgbt people.

This isn't going to work any better in 2024 than it did in 2020 or 2022. The American culture is rejecting the authoritarian push and attacks on women and gays 15 or 20% of the population so desperately wants. The right wing authoritarians are loud and demanding but they are a small minority. Over 70% of Americans oppose gay marriage bans, never has the American public been more accepting of lgbt people.

The right wing authoritarians gave it their best shot and although they haven't given up the bulk of the population, all the cultural momentum is towards the acceptance of lgbt people and the bigots aren't going to be able to overcome that.

"This is yet another step toward the Democrats' goal of dismantling the traditional family, silencing voices of faith and permanently undoing our country's God-woven foundation," Hartzler said in the speech.

Just non-stop lies out of these people. No one has dismantled any "traditional" family and there is no realistic concern any one will. The voices of "faith" most certainly haven't been silenced, they're still screaming at the top of their lungs and through every media available about how they hate lgbt people and we are "worthy of death". The United States was not in any sense founded on the religion of christianity, just as it says in the Treaty of Tripoli. There is no mention of Jesus, god, or christianity in the American Constitution. That's probably why so few Republican christians have been upset over Trump's calling for the termination of the Constitution.

December 11, 2022 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Sometimes Good Guys Try to Kill Good Guys said...

Regarding this blog post. It's no surprise to anyone that the Washington Post is supporting the gunman who tried to kill a policeman in Rockville. In this morning's paper, reporter Dan Morse published unverified facts that he obtained after interviewing one person: the shooter's lawyer, David Martella.

So you get statements like this: "Surveillance video from outside Raymond’s store recorded the SUV driving away and Raymond running after it. Seconds later, after the SUV turned around, it accelerated toward Raymond, who appears to jump away to avoid being struck, according to [defense attorney] Martella."

The reporter didn't even bother to look at the video himself, but took the lawyer's word for it.

Or this: "Martella said that before pulling out his gun, Raymond put up his hands to try to get the now advancing vehicle to stop. The officer did not activate his flashing lights and instead accelerated, according to Martella, nearly striking Raymond, who jumped out of the way."

Love this: "Martella said his client ran after the car to get the license plate number. He said that the video appeared to show the SUV driving directly at Raymond, nearly running him over and killing him."

The police report has the opposite story, that the policeman saw the gunman and began leaving the parking lot.

Also, the bullet holes were in the rear of the car. Maybe the shooter was shooting some of those newfangled boomerang bullets.

It will be nice when a Post reporter and photographer can attend the after-acquittal party where the cops and the good guy who tried to kill them enjoy a beer and a laugh. (Though there seems to be some problem with the judge, who is insisting on enforcing the law.)

December 11, 2022 4:12 PM  
Anonymous I wonder if Republicans agree with any part of the Constitution said...

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) suggested the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol would have been successful if she’d been running the show.

“I want to tell you something. If Steve Bannon and I had organized that, we would have won. Not to mention, we would’ve been armed,” she said of the Jan. 6, 2021, attempt by supporters of then-President Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election.

Greene made the comment during a speech filled with “one-liners trolling the political left” at an annual gala hosted by the New York Young Republican Club in Manhattan.

The guest list included a range of high-profile right-wingers, including Rudy Giuliani and Bannon, both former Trump advisers, and Donald Trump Jr., who reportedly spoke after Greene. Members of the white nationalist website VDARE, right-wing propaganda group Project Veritas and far-right political operative Jack Posobeic were also at the event.

Republican speakers repeatedly voiced anti-democratic and authoritarian ideology, which received loud cheers from audience members.

Several newly elected Republican lawmakers were reportedly present, including New York’s George Santos, Georgia’s Mike Collins and Florida’s Cory Mills.

Last year, Rolling Stone reported that Greene and other far-right members of Congress participated in planning both Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss and the Jan. 6 events that turned violent, according to people who organized the pro-Trump rallies in Washington, D.C., that preceded the Capitol attack.

Greene has also been a loud advocate for people jailed over their roles in the deadly attack on the Capitol, referring to them as “political prisoners.” Nearly 900 individuals have been arrested in connection to the breach, including over 275 who were charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

December 12, 2022 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Confusing Republicans with the clever use of math said...

Fox News host Trey Gowdy on Sunday lambasted fellow Republicans for yet another version of election denial.

And this one involves solely the GOP.

After Rep. Kevin McCarthy won the GOP nomination for House Speaker last month in a landslide vote, some far-right House members have pushed back against the current House minority leader. Rep. Andy Biggs (Arizona) is running for speaker as well even though he has no chance of winning. The resistance could divert votes, ruining McCarthy’s chances to secure the speaker’s spot in the Jan. 3 floor election.

Gowdy, a former GOP congressman from South Carolina, had enough.

“Rather than coalescing around a legislative or investigative agenda, House Republicans are fighting with themselves over who will be the speaker,” he said. “Yes, your memory is correct. The primary for speaker was a month ago. Kevin McCarthy won with 85% of the vote. But a small yet vocal group of House Republicans will not support the winner of the primary.”

“So much for elections having consequences or respecting the will of the people or whatever platitudes uttered but only when convenient,” Gowdy continued. “This small band of Republican kamikazes are convinced Donald Trump won the presidency in 2020 with 47% of the vote yet somehow Kevin McCarthy lost the speaker’s race with 85% of the vote.”

Gowdy punctuated his protest with a punch line.

“Math never was their strong suit.”

December 12, 2022 9:25 AM  
Anonymous I wonder if Republicans agree with any part of the Constitution said...

Rudy Giuliani violated professional rules of conduct by helping former President Donald Trump try to overturn the results of the 2020 election, a disciplinary panel for the Washington, D.C., bar decided Thursday.

The D.C. Bar’s disciplinary counsel, Hamilton “Phil” Fox, said during the hearing that Giuliani should face the most serious penalty available: losing his license to practice law in Washington.

“I think the seriousness of misconduct calls for only one sanction, and that is the sanction of disbarment,” Fox said.

“What Mr. Giuliani did was use his law license to undermine the legitimacy of a presidential election, and by doing so to undermine the basic premise of the democratic system that we all live in, enshrined in our Constitution, which is that when an election is over and the results are determined, the losers concede and the winner governs, [a] principle that was established in 1800,” Fox said.

The panel declined to specify which rule Giuliani broke by falsely alleging election fraud had taken place in Pennsylvania, but it determined he violated at least one of them. The organization’s board will now take up the issue, with the ultimate decision resting with the Washington appellate court. Lesser potential penalties include a three-year suspension or a reprimand by the Board on Professional Responsibility.

The former New York City mayor’s law license was suspended in the state of New York in the summer of 2021 following the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Giuliani, flanked by his lawyers, argued Thursday that his reasons for believing Trump’s fraud claims during the 2020 presidential election were legitimate. He said he would have been able to show more evidence for the claims had the lawsuit he filed gone to the discovery phase. Instead, it was dismissed with a scathing order by a federal judge. There is no evidence that widespread fraud occurred in the 2020 election.

Fox said that in the 35 years he has been involved in the attorney disciplinary system, he could not “think of another case that approaches this in terms of the seriousness of the misconduct.”

“In the future, any lawyer that engages in this kind of misconduct, harming the country as this has done, has at least got to realize that his or her law license is at risk,” Fox said.

December 15, 2022 2:04 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Republicans reached a new low during COVID and have politicized medicine. At Trump's urging any medical discussion of disease had to be phrased in a way he approved or not mentioned at all. As we all know Republicans politicized the COVID vaccine telling Republican voters rejecting it was required to prove their loyalty to Trump. Now Republican affiliated voters are dying 50% more often from COVID than Democratic affiliated voters. But given that nothing matters but the pursuit of power Republicans like Florida's Ron DeSantis continue to oppose commonsense public health policies in order to energize their base of science denying Americans.

DeSantis has called for a bogus Grand Jury proceeding by reporting on vaccine data speciously to create the false narrative that the COVID vaccine is dangerous when in fact it has saved the lives of millions of Americans.

Congressional Republicans have forced the National Defence Authorization Act to repeal the requirement that military members get the vaccine. Now military members have been required to get vaccines for decades and no Republican was every concerned about their "freedom of choice". In fact military members currently are obligated to get 17 different vaccines to work overseas and of course Republican politicians aren't worried about them being forced to get any of those, it's only the COVID vaccine they've singled out for opposition because blind opposition to it makes their science denying voters more likely to get out to the polling booths.

It's a disaster that Republicans are killing Americans in order to make political hay. It's also ironic that they're killing more Republican voters per capita then Democratic ones and that can be enough to tilt an election in a Democrat's favour. We don't know how much better Republicans would have done in the mid-terms if they hadn't killed off millions of their voters, but they would certainly have done better than they did.

If Republicans want to keep turning their voters away from modern medicine and kill them off at unduly high rates which cost them future elections, no one can prevent them from doing so. The truth does not matter to them, lives do not matter to them, only gaining political power does.

December 16, 2022 10:10 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

More than 50% of trans and non-binary youth in US considered suicide this year, survey says

"More than 50% of transgender and non-binary youth in states across the US seriously considered suicide in the past year, according to new survey data on a worsening LGTBQ+ youth mental health crisis.

The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to LGBTQ+ youth suicide prevention, on Thursday released state-level data from nearly 34,000 queer and trans youth ages 13 to 24, showing alarmingly high rates of suicide attempts, depression and anxiety across liberal and conservative regions.

States where lawmakers have aggressively pursued anti-trans legislation, including Texas and Arkansas, have extraordinarily high levels of suicide risk, though the rates are nearly as high in some progressive states, including New York, California and Oregon.

The data release comes amid rising government restrictions on the rights of queer and trans people in conservative states, as well as a drumbeat of vigilante violence targeting LGBTQ+ events and spaces across the US. More than 150 bills to restrict the lives of trans people were filed in state legislatures in 2022, the highest number in the nation’s history, the Washington Post reported. Many of these bills targeted trans youth, including restricting their access to gender-affirming medical care, participation in sports, and ability to use bathrooms that match their gender identities."

It's part of the evolutionary psychology for some people to have a psychological tendency to want to seek out an "enemy" and to wage war on it. That's what we are seeing happen with Republican politicians and their attacks on the trans community in particular. Giving their supporters an "enemy" to focus on can unite a tribe and take their minds off of the real problems that aren't being addressed.

In Tennessee they passed a law to prevent trans girls from playing girls sports although there was at the time only one trans girl in the entire state seeking to play sports on a girls' team. Surely there are more pressing issues than singling out a single trans girl for attack in the name of "family values". Out of the millions of young women playing sports in the U.S. the bigots can only point to one or two examples of a transwoman winning a women's sporting contest. This is a "solution" in search of the problem. This affects virtually no non-transwomen but has a severe negative impact on the few trans females competing in women's sports. This cruelty in pursuit of votes benefits no one, it only takes resources away from solving real problems Republicans don't want to address.

December 18, 2022 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Defrocked said...

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has defrocked an anti-abortion U.S. priest, Frank Pavone, for what it said were “blasphemous communications on social media” as well as “persistent disobedience” of his bishop who repeatedly told him to stop his partisan activism for Donald Trump.

A letter to U.S. bishops from the Vatican ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Christophe Pierre, obtained Sunday, said that the decision against Pavone, who heads the anti-abortion group Priests for Life, had been taken Nov. 9, and that there was no chance for an appeal.

Pavone has been in conflict with the bishop of Amarillo, Texas, for over a decade over his pro-life and partisan political activities that came to a head in 2016 when he put an aborted fetus on an altar and posted a video of it on two social media sites. The video was accompanied by a post saying that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic platform would allow abortion to continue and that Trump and the Republican platform wanted to protect unborn children.

Even before then, Pavone successfully appealed 2011 restrictions on his ministry that Amarillo Bishop Patrick Zurek had placed on him.

Sun, December 18, 2022, 8:39 AM EST
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has defrocked an anti-abortion U.S. priest, Frank Pavone, for what it said were “blasphemous communications on social media” as well as “persistent disobedience” of his bishop who repeatedly told him to stop his partisan activism for Donald Trump.

A letter to U.S. bishops from the Vatican ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Christophe Pierre, obtained Sunday, said that the decision against Pavone, who heads the anti-abortion group Priests for Life, had been taken Nov. 9, and that there was no chance for an appeal.

Pavone has been in conflict with the bishop of Amarillo, Texas, for over a decade over his pro-life and partisan political activities that came to a head in 2016 when he put an aborted fetus on an altar and posted a video of it on two social media sites. The video was accompanied by a post saying that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic platform would allow abortion to continue and that Trump and the Republican platform wanted to protect unborn children.

Even before then, Pavone successfully appealed 2011 restrictions on his ministry that Amarillo Bishop Patrick Zurek had placed on him.

Pavone remained a firm supporter of Trump and in 2020 disputed the outcome of the election won by Joe Biden. Ahead of the election, the Amarillo diocese denounced Pavone's use of social media for political ends, distanced the diocese from him and said his positions weren't consistent with Catholic teaching.

Pavone relocated from Amarillo and was allowed to move to Colorado Springs, Colorado. His Twitter handle still features him wearing a “MAGA” hat with a background photo of former President Trump, who is praised by many conservatives for his Supreme Court nominees who helped overturn the constitutional right to abortion in the United States.

December 19, 2022 6:36 AM  
Anonymous Defrocked said...

In a tweet Sunday, Pavone sounded defiant, comparing his fate to that of the unborn.

“So in every profession, including the priesthood, if you defend the #unborn, you will be treated like them! The only difference is that when we are ‘aborted,’ we continue to speak, loud and clear.”

He later appeared in a social media video wearing a black leather biker jacket over his priestly collar against a faux backdrop of St. Peter's Basilica vowing that the anti-abortion “war” would continue and denouncing the “cancel culture” of the church that he said had persecuted him for decades.

In a statement on his Priest For Life website, he said that his laicization was “the result of an abusive process” and that he was considering unspecified legal action against unnamed U.S. bishops.

His supporters immediately denounced the defrocking, including the bishop of Tyler, Texas, Joseph Strickland, who referred to U.S. President Joe Biden’s support for abortion rights as “evil.”

“The blasphemy is that this holy priest is canceled while an evil president promotes the denial of truth & the murder of the unborn at every turn, Vatican officials promote immorality & denial of the deposit of faith & priests promote gender confusion devastating lives…evil," Strickland tweeted.

In his letter, Pierre cited information from the Congregation for Clergy that Pavone had been laicized — he can no longer present himself as a priest — after being found guilty in a canonical proceeding “of blasphemous communications on social media and of persistent disobedience of the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop.” The letter was first reported by Catholic News Agency.

The statement said Pavone was given “ample opportunity to defend himself” as well as to submit to his bishop. “It was determined that Father Pavone had no reasonable justification for his actions.”

The statement concluded that since Priests for Life is not a Catholic organization, it would be up to the group to determine whether he could continue his role “as a lay person.”

Laicization, or being reduced to the lay state, is one of the harshest sanctions in the church's canon law for priests.

December 19, 2022 6:37 AM  
Anonymous Bye bye, go buy buy some other play toy said...

Musk’s Twitter poll says he should step down from social network’s helm

The Twitter CEO has said he would abide by results of the 12-hour poll, which came after a chaotic stretch at the company he has owned since October.

December 19, 2022 6:46 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Alarmist conservatives and even liberals like Bill Maher have expressed outrage after a February Gallup poll showed 20% of Generation Z identify as LGBT or something other than heterosexual. Maher expressed his fear that more and more children were learning to become LGBT as time and acceptance goes on. Religious conservatives are claiming heterosexuality is going to go extinct if children are allowed to freely express their gender identity or sexual orientation.

The truth is the percentage of the population that is LGBT is not growing despite what the polls on sexual orientation and gender identity show. Rather than more people becoming LGBT what we are seeing is more and more people feeling comfortable admitting what they have always felt, that the majority of people are not entirely heterosexual. I recently saw a Christian conservative advise young men not to look at themselves in the mirror when they are naked lest they become sexually aroused by their own manly body and turn gay. A lot of angry conservatives know deep inside they experience same sex attractions and they are chronically stressed by trying to hide and suppress who they are. Research shows those who positively accept their sexual orientation are happier and better adjusted than those who do not. If you're afraid of looking at your naked self in the mirror because you think it might tempt you to be gay maybe it's time you accepted that having some sexual attraction to men is a natural and indelible part of who you are. If you're going through life rigorously guarding your thoughts to avoid same sex arousal it's really going to put you through a lot of needless stress.

Anti-LGBT professor Jordan Peterson fancies himself an intellectual but he hasn't thought deeply about this. He says "There's nothing honourable about masturbation." and advises young men not to masturbate. If you're looking to create frustrated, aggressive and potentially violent young men this is a great way to do it. I humbly submit that that is not a good idea. There's nothing honourable about about blowing your nose, going to the bathroom, coughing up phlegm or getting a colonoscopy, but that doesn't mean those actions should always be avoided. Maybe Jordan Peterson is being a bit short sighted in thinking that whether or not an act is "honourable" should be the sole criterion determining whether or not you engage in it.

If people are honest with themselves and don't fear admitting it, almost everyone will agree they have at least occasional same sex attractions. The natural state of man is that the vast majority of us are primarily opposite sex attracted with a secondary same sex attraction - very few of us have an entirely heterosexual or gay sexual orientation. Bisexuality evolved so that when we view others engaged in sex we are more aroused by those encounters with both sexes present. For example, most men who consider themselves heterosexual are more aroused watching a woman have sex with a man than without one. It wouldn't encourage heterosexual men to engage in sexual activity if they found disgusting or unacceptable the presence of a man in a sexual encounter they happened to see.

December 20, 2022 7:25 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bisexuality is the norm in the animal kingdom. Strictly heterosexual behavior is the exception. There are deep seated ancient evolutionary reasons for this that are necessary to the survival of a great many animal species. Bisexuality and gayness are deeply ingrained in our ancient evolutionary past, they are fundamentally and inextricably part of who we and other species are.

Throughout recorded history about 65% of human societies have been accepting of LGBT individuals. If we go farther back, before the dawn of agriculture and civilization, when we were all nomadic hunter-gatherers, the tribal acceptance of LGBT people was pretty much universal. We can still see it today, those few hunter-gatherer societies that have managed to not be changed by contact with modern human technology all have an accepted and honoured societal role for LGBT individuals. We are all harmed as individuals and as a society by the rigid enforcement of narrowly defined gender roles and expressions. We need to stop pointlessly crushing the human spirit and instead allow everyone to be who they naturally are. Let children decide sexual orientation and gender identity/expression for themselves instead of by default trying to force them to not be LGBT. No one is trying to encourage or lead children to become LGBT, we know how destructive it is to be pressured into pretending to be something you're not. The last thing we want is for any child to be pressured or encouraged to be something they didn't choose for themselves.

The greatest expressions of anxiety over the societal acceptance of lgbt people we are hearing now comes from those of us who can't admit to themselves they have secondary same sex attractions. They live in fear of experiencing these attractions and this is why some get very angry or even violent about it, which in itself can aid an individual keeping those desires out of their conscious awareness.

This societal suppression of people's normal, natural and harmless desires damages our mental health. People are ill-suited to being constantly on guard trying to hide and deny what they are feeling. Doing so keeps stress levels high and diminishes people's capacity for happiness and productivity. It is time modern society allowed people to freely be who they are and to thrive - almost all of us are bisexual to at least a small degree and teaching anyone to deny and hide this for a lifetime is a destructive.

There is nothing unusual or concerning about 20% of Generation Z identifying as lgbt. The growing acceptance of LGBT people in our modern society is not creating a greater percentage of LGBT people in the population, it's just allowing more people to be honest about who they always have been. And if we're all honest about who we are, most of us will admit we are bisexual even if we are mostly heterosexual.

There has never been an animal species or human society that has died out because it stopped having heterosexual sex. This just does not happen and will never happen. Heterosexuality is not going to go out of style just because we stop trying to force everyone to be strictly heterosexual. You can't stop heterosexuality just like you can't stop gayness. It's time to stop fearing the ancient evolutionary LGBT nature of humanity and to allow the full natural flourishing of humanity's spirit.

December 20, 2022 7:26 PM  
Anonymous Merrick Garland, Goresuch & Kavanaugh & Barrett....LOL!!!!!! said...

"Bisexuality is the norm in the animal kingdom. Strictly heterosexual behavior is the exception."

so is strictly homosexual behavior

perhaps it's the same in humans

the aversion most people feel to homosexuality may be a morally formed decision

animals also hunt and kill one another

people could too except for our conscience

the homosexual agenda has always held that homosexuality is not a choice

because then they can expropriate the gravitas of the civil rights movements

face it, if you hold that most have the capacity for bisexuality, then homosexuality is, indeed, a choice

a moral choice

btw, the recent legislation that nationalized gay "marriages" that were done in states where it is endorsed also legitimized that idea that religious groups can hold the view that homosexuality is immoral

never again can the homosexual agenda hold that view as "hate" speech

it is protected by all three branches of government

December 21, 2022 11:31 AM  
Anonymous happy holy days! said...

all three branches of government?


TTF loooves government

it was formed to support the status quo government program

they must be so happy!

December 21, 2022 12:48 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Hello Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous! My offer still stands, I'll refrain from referring to you that way if you pick a unique name to post under and only use that one name. The last time you directed a comment at me you said you were never going to respond to another one of my comments again, but it has been a long time, hasn't it? Thank you for your thoughtful questions.

I posted "Bisexuality is the norm in the animal kingdom. Strictly heterosexual behavior is the exception."

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous said "so is strictly homosexual behavior perhaps it's the same in humans"

That is exactly what I said, if that wasn't clear to you. The vast majority of us are at least a little bisexual but that doesn't mean there is no such thing as a man who is only attracted to men. Those men definitely exist and I would make an educated guess they represent 5% of the population (I'd expect a similar percentage of the population to be only opposite sex attracted). There are exceptions though. Penguins often form life long same sex bonds and some animals form life long heterosexual bonds. In dolphins the males engage predominately in same sex sexual activity with a group of close peers. Only on occasion do they engage in sex with females, then for only a short time, and then they are back to their mostly gay behaviour.

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous said "the aversion most people feel to homosexuality may be a morally formed decision".

You've gotten a lot of mileage out of that false claim. Throughout the vast majority of time humans have existed gayness was pretty much universally accepted. Even after the dawn of civilization (a tiny percentage of the time humans have been on earth) 65% of societies throughout recorded history have had an honourable accepted role for lgbt people. It's not normal or healthy to feel an aversion to gayness. That's going to stress the hell out of you as you constantly guard against feeling those attractions.

Wyatt/Regina/'bad anonymous said "animals also hunt and kill one another people could too except for our conscience".

Yes, nature is both a wonderful and horrible thing. A loving god who created the world wouldn't have created one where animals eat each other. Precious few people have a clear conscience when it comes to killing and eating animals, they're called vegetarians - that's neither you nor I.

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous said "the homosexual agenda has always held that homosexuality is not a choice"

It's obviously not. No one chooses the attractions they experience. If you are bisexual you can't stop experiencing attraction to both sexes and become exclusively gay or heterosexual. You can choose your romantic partners, but you can't choose your attractions.

December 21, 2022 3:16 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous said "face it, if you hold that most have the capacity for bisexuality, then homosexuality is, indeed, a choice".

You're dishonestly conflating two different things. You can choose the gender of the people you become romantically involved with but you can't choose the attractions you experience.

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous said "a moral choice"

Funny you should say that as you frequently deny that the only objection to same sex marriages is a religious one and you frequently post "I never said I was a Christian." and "I never said I was religious.". If your religion tells you same sex marriages are immoral, then by all means don't enter one, no one is going to force you to. But don't try to coerce everyone else to be heterosexual, that hurts them and society.

You sometimes repetitively post the false claim that most people who have HIV are gay and that it's gays fault heterosexuals get HIV. If, as you often imply, that it's immoral to be gay because promiscuity spreads disease then logically you best be encouraging gays and lesbians to settle down in monogamous relationships, just like you tell heterosexual couples to do. But you oppose or are indifferent to any attempts to mitigate the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases amongst gay men, so obviously your "moral" objection isn't based on a desire to minimize promiscuity related disease. It all comes down to your religious objections again, there is no secular reason to oppose same sex marriages, there is nothing immoral about same sex intimacy, it's good public policy to encourage gays to marry.

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous said btw, the recent legislation that nationalized gay "marriages" that were done in states where it is endorsed also legitimized that idea that religious groups can hold the view that homosexuality is immoral".

Religious groups have always been able to hold the view that gayness is immoral and always will be able to hold that view. No one has ever tried to stop you from believing what you want, only from trying to coerce others to live according to your religious beliefs even though those people aren't hurting you.

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous said "never again can the homosexual agenda hold that view as "hate" speech it is protected by all three branches of government"

Of course it's hate speech, people are allowed to engage in hate speech in the USA if they want to. When you teach that two loving men living harmlessly together in a monogamous marriage is sufficient reason to kill and torture them for eternity that's obviously hate speech. It's obviously not love.

December 21, 2022 3:17 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Four more sleeps until bacon day :)

I can't wait!

December 21, 2022 3:29 PM  
Anonymous An Unpublished Poem by Paul Newman said...

In 1995, The Nation was bought by a group of investors, including E.L. Doctorow, Victor Navasky, and my father, Paul Newman. A longtime reader of the magazine and sometime contributor, he understood the responsibility of having a public voice and chose his words carefully.

He was always embarking on unfinishable grand projects, immersing himself in research, locking himself in his office for weeks on end, lured away only by the siren call of a race car. As he said in an interview with his friend the writer Stewart Stern, “It takes me three days to write a poem, it takes me three days to write four little columns in The New York Times…. How could I write eight hundred pages?” I heartily supported his forays into shorter forms of expression.

To the end of his life he remained, as noted in The Nation’s obituary in 2008, “dedicated to civil rights, women’s rights and gay rights, committed to ending the nuclear arms race and determined to elect opponents of war and militarism.” He was practical in his allegiances, however, and was not averse to aligning with Republicans on occasion.

This poem was given to me by my sister Nell, who found it stashed away in my parents’ house. Uncharacteristically serious, it was scrawled and reworked on the back of a schedule of doctors’ appointments after my father’s diagnosis with lung cancer in 2007. I kept it tucked in a drawer for many years, unsure of his intention. Now seems like the right time to set it free, and as a longtime reader, The Nation the perfect perch.


Ed Doctorow arranged a dinner with Paul Newman. Paul brought Joanne Woodward with him—and at the time I was a little disappointed, because it had been my fundraising experience that when the wife was present, her role was to put the kibosh on any substantial investment. At the appropriate moment, Paul asked me how much money I was looking for. When I replied, “One million dollars,” he looked at me and said, “That’s very rich.” At which point, Joanne interjected, “So are you, dear.” He invested, we became friends—and I became a lifelong fan.

Half Lung

Half my lung,
Removed by knife,
Is tightly packed in plastic now
Along with other waste
Then dumped somewhere on Staten Island
Or Jersey.

I had other plans for it of course.
The lung.
A state funeral along with the rest of me
Honoring a life of plunder well-spent.

Malignancy’s a funny thing though
And it had other plans.
I’m fearful
It was payback
For Silence.

Who needs a full lung
For a mouth clamped shut in fear
By politics no less.

I can remember, I think I can
When I was on the stump
On the shout full voice full fury
Pissing way above my rank—
Good Lord the arc of it—
On Them, their Crowns their Hair
Dripped yellow in their eyes. Yup.
Used to.

I throw a blanket of silence now
Over things I’ve built.


December 22, 2022 5:47 AM  
Anonymous Clarence and Ginni Thomas are The New Republic’s 2022 Scoundrels of the Year said...

They beat Trump!

One day in 1986, in Ronald Reagan’s Washington, a man and a woman met. It was at a conference on affirmative action, which both vehemently opposed. They had made long journeys to get there. She was from comfortably middle-class Omaha, Nebraska, where her ultraconservative parents—her mother was an ally of Phyllis Schlafly, who led the opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment—steeped her in their politics. He came from poor and Black small-town Georgia, where he was instilled with no strong political passions; those came later, as an undergraduate at Holy Cross and after he grew to feel condescended to because he sensed that his Yale Law degree was assumed, in the eyes of those interviewing him for a job, to have been an affirmative action gift.

People meet in all kinds of different ways, but it’s of interest that these two asteroids from such different points of origin bumped into each other because of the movement to which each adhered. That movement has informed and solidified their bond. It has moved them further and further to the right over the years, as the movement has done the same. And it has made them, these three decades later, the most corrupt couple in Washington by far.

Clarence Thomas, now concluding his thirty-first year as an associate justice of the Supreme Court, has spent years flouting the ethics rules to which all federal judges except Supreme Court justices must adhere. Ginni Thomas has spent those same years in the thick of the right-wing infrastructure that has pushed cause after cause after cause—many of which have eventually made their way to the Supreme Court. She has maintained that the two operate in “separate lanes” professionally. It’s a line that kinda-sorta worked, since no one could ever prove that they whispered conspiratorially to each other at night that if she did this and he did that, voilà, Roe v. Wade would go down (although it makes one wonder what they did talk about, if not that sort of thing, given how immersed both are in the project to save America from liberals).

So it was always murky at best. But in 2022, it became far less so. She texted urgently with Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in late 2020 and early 2021 about strategies to overturn the election, as The Washington Post revealed in a blockbuster story back in March. In due course, the matter of Meadows’s emails and other White House documents relating to the January 6 insurrection came before the Supreme Court—an extremely conservative Supreme Court, remember, now with three justices appointed by Trump himself. And in January 2022, the only justice to vote against ordering the release of the material was the one whose wife’s scribblings were included within it.

In one of her 29 messages to Meadows, Ginni Thomas wrote, “Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!! … You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America’s constitutional governance at the precipice. The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.” In another: “Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators (elected officials, bureaucrats, social media censorship mongers, fake stream media reporters, etc) are being arrested & detained for ballot fraud right now & over coming days, & will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.”

December 22, 2022 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Clarence and Ginni Thomas are The New Republic’s 2022 Scoundrels of the Year said...

Ginni also brought to Meadows’s attention a crackpot YouTube video about supposed fraud made by a far-right commentator who had claimed that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a false-flag operation. “I hope this is true; never heard anything like this before, or even a hint of it. Possible???” she wrote. “Watermarked ballots in over 12 states have been part of a huge Trump & military white hat sting operation in 12 key battleground states.”

If we are to believe the “separate lanes” theory, then we accept not only that Ginni did not share the content of these messages with her husband, which is plausible, but also that she never said to him, over dinner or while relaxing with Fox News at night, that she had exchanged texts with Meadows. You can believe that if you want. But to do so, you have to think about the point of law on which Thomas might differ here from, say, Justice Samuel Alito, who joined the majority opinion in allowing the release of the Trump documents. The order itself gives us no clue as to Thomas’s legal logic. It merely includes one sentence that says: “Justice Thomas would grant the application”—meaning he’d rule for Trump.

Supreme Court justices are free to hide behind this Oz-like curtain of stentorian mystery, and Thomas has taken advantage of this for years. Justices, for example, are not supposed to headline or lend their names to dinners. Thomas has done so on several occasions, as Jane Mayer showed in her blistering New Yorker piece on the couple that appeared in January. Mayer reported on an episode when one of the organizations with which Ginni is affiliated gave an award at a dinner to Frank Gaffney, a hard-right foreign policy advocate who was a leading backer of Trump’s “Muslim ban.” Gaffney had hired Ginni’s firm to agitate for the ban—and had paid her, Mayer reports, around $200,000. (Hey, I might give him an award too!) His group filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of Trump’s position.

That brief was filed in August 2017. That December, Ginni gave Gaffney his award—at an event held, natch, at the Trump International Hotel. The matter of the Muslim ban was before the Supreme Court at the time. Clarence Thomas attended the dinner. Seven months later, the Supreme Court issued its ruling, upholding the ban 5–4, with Thomas in the majority.

The month after Mayer’s report, The New York Times Magazine’s Danny Hakim and Jo Becker weighed in with another devastating report on the Thomases, describing “the extent to which Justice Thomas flouted judicial-ethics guidance by participating in events hosted by conservative organizations with matters before the court.” They continued: “Those organizations showered the couple with accolades and, in at least one case, used their appearances to attract event fees, donations and new members.” Thomas has at least twice headlined events of Schlafly’s Eagle Forum. He headlined an event for the right-wing Council for National Policy in 2002 (a group with which Ginni later became affiliated).

December 22, 2022 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Clarence and Ginni Thomas are The New Republic’s 2022 Scoundrels of the Year said...

It seems quaint to say Supreme Court justices aren’t supposed to do this. And it seems positively antique to note that justices’ spouses aren’t supposed to be political. No, more: They’re not supposed to perform the kind of legal work that might end up before the court. When Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined the D.C. Court of Appeals, her husband quit practicing tax law and returned to teaching. When John Roberts was nominated for the high court, his wife left her law practice and resigned from a position at a pro-life group.

Not the Thomases. Make no mistake: The entire right-wing bloc has damaged the court’s credibility. They sit in service not of the law, and not even by this point of “originalism,” whatever that elastic concept means anymore. They are out to remake the country in a radical way. Thomas signaled that more loudly than anyone, in his instantly infamous Dobbs concurrence overturning Roe.

But no one has damaged the Supreme Court’s reputation more than the Thomases. It’s one thing to have a hard-right ideology. That’s bad enough, as it fundamentally redefines what this nation is, in ways that harken back to a time when the United States was a functioning democracy for only a small percentage of its citizens. But to impose that vision on the democracy while flouting its rules, which literally every other Supreme Court justice has followed? That shows contempt for the democracy they tell themselves they are saving, and it announces to the rest of us that nothing is more important to Clarence Thomas than using his remaining time on the court, and this earth, to do as much as he can—with Ginni surely egging him on—to force his extremist agenda on us. There’s a word for that, and it isn’t democracy.

December 22, 2022 10:43 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

There's a lot of similarity between the careers of Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh. Both sexual predators who feigned outrage at being "mistreated" when in fact they escaped accountability for their crimes only to wind up on the Supreme court making critical and compromised judgments for the USA.

December 23, 2022 6:29 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

28 Republicans Who Call Gay People 'Groomers' Just Voted Against a Bill Addressing Child Sex Abuse

For the past year, we’ve been subjected to an endless, escalating right-wing fearmongering campaign presenting LGBTQ adults as innate child sexual predators, or “groomers,” and any children in their vicinity as victims. People are literally throwing molotov cocktails into establishments that host drag events, under the guise of protecting children. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) have been the most front-facing proponents of this rhetoric (even though Boebert’s husband was jailed for exposing himself to teens in a bowling alley a few years ago).

Yet, on Wednesday, Greene and Boebart joined 26 other House Republicans to vote against the bipartisan Respect for Child Survivors Act, which overwhelmingly passed out of the House anyway and will address how the FBI has historically mishandled child sexual abuse cases. Neither Greene nor Boebert have publicly offered explanations for their votes, and frankly, they don’t have to—the gross hypocrisy of constantly lying that LGBTQ people pose a threat to children, all while declining to protect children from actual sexual predation, speaks for itself.

Other Republicans who voted against the bill include Rep. Paul Gosar (R-TX), perhaps most famous for being censured for posting an anime video of himself killing co-worker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and chronic far-right tweeter Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY).

What really can be said at this point? Long before their votes on this bill, Boebert and Greene’s obsession with “groomers” and child sexual predation were disingenuous, exclusively focused on a nonexistent threat posed by LGBTQ adults just living openly. Time and again, their claims, made with zero basis, have yielded violent consequences. Last month, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado became the site of a mass shooting amid an evening drag performance. For months, bomb threats have plagued an openly gay California assembly member, Scott Wiener, and Boston Children’s Hospital for providing gender-affirming care

Organized anti-LGBTQ attacks have been on the rise, in general, as top Republicans and conservative media spread lies about queer and trans people targeting kids—again, by merely existing...there were nearly 10 times as many anti-LGBTQ demonstrations in 2021 than in 2020, with 2022 set to surpass 2021.

At the same time that Republican lawmakers claim to be interested in protecting kids from LGBTQ people, states are rapidly introducing bills to target and write queer and trans youth out of existence.

December 23, 2022 6:43 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

2 kilograms of bacon
1 dozen eggs
A loaf of bread
A pot of coffee
and thou :)

Happy bacon day, everyone!

December 25, 2022 2:24 PM  
Anonymous HazumuOsaragi said...

I have a pet theory, which is that approximately 87.53% of right wing politics in this country is driven by the working out of various baroque forms of sexual frustration and repression.

Key groups include:

–Incel and Incel-adjacent Complainers
–Deeply Repressed Gay Men
–Gender Role and Identity Freak Out Parade

December 25, 2022 9:37 PM  
Anonymous George Santos is the Republican Party's future: A shameless con man said...

Trump opened the door — and now every grifter and two-bit criminal sees job security in pandering to the GOP base

One thing was dead certain within moments of the New York Times publishing its exposé on the many lies of George Santos: There was zero chance that this brand new Republican congressman-elect from New York would be shamed into giving up his seat. Perhaps that didn't seem obvious to everyone at first, especially those with lingering memories of the pre-Trump era, when we all pretended to believe that Republican voters cared about hypocrisy, lying, overt racism, sexual abuse or any of the other personal or professional scandals that used to take politicians down routinely. But I never doubted for a moment that Santos would move onward toward being seated and that the incoming Republican House majority would allow it.

On Dec. 19, the Times published its first article making clear that little or nothing on Santos' résumé was true. He had never worked for Citigroup or Goldman Sachs. He did not run a pet charity. He hadn't graduated from Baruch College or, apparently, from any other college. His "business," the Devolder Organization, appears to be fraudulent. Nothing in that article convinced me that Santos wouldn't be sworn into Congress, and neither did the evidence that he is almost certainly not Jewish, as he had claimed to be, and that he had lied about his grandparents escaping the Holocaust. My faith that he will be seated on Jan. 3 remains unswerving, and has only been strengthened now that Democrats are calling on GOP leadership to expel Santos, which will only make Republicans dig in harder.

Now questions about Santos' possible criminality are beginning to emerge. According to the Times report, he pled guilty to check fraud in Brazil but apparently left the country without serving is sentence. Despite numerous signs that Santos' business career is mostly fictional, and evidence of significant personal debt in the recent past, he somehow lent his congressional campaign $700,000. Indeed, pretty much everything we know about his professional career (which isn't much) comes with a field of red flags.

Despite all this, the only way he doesn't join Congress as an esteemed member of the Republican caucus is if New York prosecutors can nail him for something first. I believe this in the way I believe that chocolate is delicious and cats are cute. After all, what is the modern GOP, if not a holding station for every two-bit criminal and grifter who wants the job security that can only come with exploiting the endlessly credulous Republican base? The party can no more start kicking out the fraudsters than it can stop trying to cut taxes for the rich. This is just who they are and what they do. George Santos is in no sense an anomaly. He is the Republican present and, even more to the point, the Republican future.

That much was made evident by the painfully predictable reactions of GOP voters in New York's 3rd district, where Santos beat Democrat Robert Zimmerman — who actually is Jewish — for the seat left open by Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi. In interviews with Politico, random Republican voters justified their continued support with an epic display of what-about-ism, mostly based on Fox News-derived fictions about Democrats.

"Truthfully, I don't trust the Democrats on anything they say. I see it on the TV and I turn it off," said one woman, in a typical example. Santos' voters didn't exactly defending him so much as arguing, on no particular evidence, that whatever he did the Democrats are worse.

December 28, 2022 6:47 AM  
Anonymous George Santos is the Republican Party's future: A shameless con man said...

This is what gets delicately described as "negative partisanship" in mainstream media and political science textbooks, and all too often treated as an equal problem on both sides. Of course it's true that both parties include some voters who are more motivated by dislike of the opposing party than by support for their own. But with Democrats, that at least has some basis in real-world concerns, given that Republicans are the party of abortion bans and the Jan. 6 insurrection. But on the other side, Republican voters mostly coast on hyperbolic vitriol about the evils of Democrats, which are at best vague insinuations of corruption, and at worst outright lies and QAnon-style conspiracy theories.

Convincing Republican voters to believe that Democrats are literally the worst people imaginable certainly helps Republicans win elections. But it's also destabilizing the party from within, because shady characters of all flavors now understand that no sin or crime is so great that it cannot be wiped away by running for office as a Republican. The result is a party full of cranks, chronic liars and petty criminals, a situation that gets worse every election cycle, as demonstrated by the Santos fiasco.

As usual, Donald Trump didn't invent this problem, but only distilled it to its essence. This all goes back well before him, as evidenced by the gold bugs and snake-oil peddlers who have long been the dominant advertisers in right-wing media. Trump probably decided to run as a Republican because he saw how vulnerable the party was to manipulators and con artists, but his 2016 election dramatically amplified the problem. Every charlatan in the country watched as Trump paid no political price whatever for a barrage of scandals involving corruption, malfeasance, gaslighting, lies and, eventually, actual sedition. To this point he's paid virtually no legal price, either. It may be fun to laugh at Trump for ranting about his "total immunity" on social media, but when you consider that Attorney General Merrick Garland has steadfastly refused to arrest Trump for any of his dozens of possible or likely federal crimes, you might be forced to conclude that Trump has a point.

We still don't know where George Santos got the money that allowed him to run and win a congressional election in a pivotal swing district. But he's still likely to be seated next week with no serious impediment, offering America's swindler class another reason to believe that going into Republican politics is like getting a license to commit fraud. There's no real chance of political backlash in a situation like this, with the GOP voter base heavily dosed up on Fox News hate. Worse yet, it seems increasingly clear that federal law enforcement is too afraid of looking "partisan" to prosecute Republican politicians over anything, so there are no serious legal consequences either. Sam Bankman-Fried may be kicking himself for getting into cryptocurrency instead of GOP politics, if what he wanted was the ability to defraud whoever you like with impunity.

Consider that just three days after Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas, Trump rolled out his "MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT," which turned out to be a naked rip-off: A series of laughably terrible NFTs, priced at a whopping $99 a pop. They sold out almost immediately, despite having less intrinsic value than chewed-up bubble gum. Unsurprisingly, this enterprise may not have been entirely legal, due to some swiftly-documented copyright infringement issues. But nobody involved with this scam is worried about getting sued or facing prosecution, since "Teflon Don" has successfully conveyed the impression that the law can't touch him.

December 28, 2022 6:49 AM  
Anonymous George Santos is the Republican Party's future: A shameless con man said...

We'll see about that. There's a tendril of hope for justice after the criminal convictions delivered against the Trump Organization earlier this month. But we seem no closer to putting Trump in prison, and it's not even clear he will suffer financially from any of the charges and investigations he still faces. He'll just keep living like a billionaire, even if he's actually hundreds of millions in the red. Meanwhile, the Republican growth sector is visible in folks like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who treat the job as a social media grift and unabashedly side with far-right extremists and Jan. 6 insurrectionists, with no real fallout. When Santos is sworn in on Capitol Hill next week, it will send a Bat-signal across the land: Come hither, crooks and swindlers, con artists and hustlers all. You have a home with us, where you'll be free to cheat whoever you like and break any law. The base will forgive you pretty much anything, except being a Democrat.

December 28, 2022 6:50 AM  
Anonymous GOP Leadership Remains Silent Over George Santos' Falsehoods said...

WASHINGTON — House Republican leaders were silent on Tuesday after Rep.-elect George Santos admitted to a laundry list of falsehoods about his background but still vowed to be seated in Congress.

Santos acknowledged in a series of interviews Monday that he lied about graduating from college and made misleading claims that he worked for Citigroup or Goldman Sachs. He also acknowledged owing thousands of dollars in unpaid rent and denied committing a crime anywhere in the world, despite a New York Times report to the contrary.

The muted response from party leaders suggested that so far they were prepared to mete out little, if any, punishment to an incoming lawmaker who, while deceiving voters, flipped an open seat formerly held by a Democrat and helped Republicans secure their razor-thin House majority.

If Republican leaders demanded that Santos resign — and he did so — it would prompt a special election in a swing seat, a potential blow to Republicans’ already precarious majority. And the incoming congressman had pledged to vote for McCarthy for speaker next week, a critical display of support for the Republican leader, who is facing a mini-revolt on the right and needs every vote he can get.

Representatives for House leaders did not immediately respond to requests for comment or offer any statements on the record. Privately, House Republican leadership has appeared to concede that Santos’ situation is problematic, but has justified a lack of public condemnation by making the case that Democrats have their own problematic members.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., previewed that argument on Twitter on Tuesday, conceding that Santos “lied about his resume” before pivoting to accuse several Democrats of also telling lies.

By Tuesday, however, House Republicans’ campaign arm had scrubbed language claiming that Santos had earned degrees from both Baruch College and New York University, and that he had worked at Citigroup and Goldman, from his biography on its website.

Nick LaLota, an incoming House Republican who will represent eastern Long Island, called Tuesday for the Ethics Committee to investigate Santos. LaLota, the chief of staff for the Suffolk County Legislature, said that “countless Long Islanders” had expressed concern over the controversy and that he would support an investigation by law enforcement officials, if necessary.

“New Yorkers deserve the truth, and House Republicans deserve an opportunity to govern without this distraction,” he said.

Matt Brooks, the head of the Republican Jewish Coalition, an influential conservative group, said that Santos would no longer be welcome at its events.

Brooks said Tuesday that Santos had claimed to be Jewish, both in his public remarks and in personal conversations with the coalition.

“He deceived us and misrepresented his heritage,” Brooks said in a statement.

December 28, 2022 9:25 AM  
Anonymous QAnon bigwigs ignored her, how dare they? said...

12:11 PM · Dec 27, 2022
PatriotTakes ����

QAnon adherent quits in meltdown against QArmy after going 6 years without being acknowledged by Q, Steve Bannon, or Lara Logan.

12:11 PM · Dec 27, 2022

Does she kiss her kids with that mouth??

You'll have to click the link to enjoy this QAnon loon!

Or cut and paste it into your browser:

December 28, 2022 12:25 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The total corruption of the Republican party started with Ronald Regan and the Iran Contra affair. That was when Republican politicians abandoned any pretext of caring about the truth and fully committed to doing everything possible to seize power regardless of legality. For Republicans lying became cast as patriotism and those who lied to protect the guilty were now seen as heroes. Corruption and dishonesty was firmly cemented in the Republican party by Regan's Attorney General Bill Barr who refused to hold accountable a sweeping array of Republicans involved with Regan's arms for hostages conspiracy.

December 28, 2022 6:38 PM  
Anonymous kumbayah said...

"refused to hold accountable a sweeping array of Republicans involved with Regan's arms for hostages conspiracy"


more like a brilliant strategy to get hostages released without really giving up anything

those involved, who doubtless know how to spell Reagan's name, should have gotten the Nobel Peace Prize

the only people who might complain are foreigners with a history of mental illness whose resentment of the US has transformed into pathological hatred requiring therapy

December 28, 2022 10:12 PM  
Anonymous Inconvenient facts from Gallup polling said...

The above commenter is clearly just another lying GOPer

Gallup Vault: Reaction to Iran-Contra 30 Years Ago

"Nov. 25, 2016, marks the 30th anniversary of the Iran-Contra affair. On that day in 1986, President Ronald Reagan's attorney general acknowledged publicly that the administration was using profits from the secret sale of arms to Iran to help fund anti-communist rebels in Nicaragua. Soon after, Gallup found a 16-percentage-point drop in Reagan's job approval rating, from 63% in late October to 47% in early December.

The December 1986 poll also found 79% of Americans disapproving of the Reagan administration using profits from weapons sales to Iran for military support of the Nicaraguan Contras.

By the time of the Iran-Contra affair, Congress had passed several pieces of legislation aimed at restricting or preventing the administration from providing military aid to the Nicaraguan Contras. At the time of the December 1986 poll, 71% of Americans were bothered "a lot" by the fact that the funding provided secretly by the Reagan administration contradicted the will of Congress...."

December 29, 2022 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Agreed said...

"The above commenter is clearly just another lying GOPer" with a spelling fetish.

December 29, 2022 1:09 PM  
Anonymous I wonder if Republicans agree with any part of the Constitution said...

"more like a brilliant strategy to get hostages released without really giving up anything"

Except, you know, the rule of law, the Constitutional separation of powers, and the credibility of the office of the US president.

December 29, 2022 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Same MO: Another one bites the dust said...

Pavel Antov, a wealthy Russian politician who founded the meat conglomerate Vladimir Standard and criticized the shelling of Ukraine’s capital, died Saturday after an apparent fall from the third floor of his hotel in the Rayagada district in India, per The New York Times.

Antov had been traveling with his friend Vladimir Budanov, who died of an apparent heart attack on Antov’s 65th birthday two days before the fatal fall. Both hotel and hospital staff alerted local police to the deaths — with Antov’s fall remaining under investigation.

“Whether Mr. Antov’s death is a suicide is a matter of investigation,” Rasmi Ranjani Pradhan, who serves as an inspector with the Odisha Police Department in Rayagada, told local news outlets.

While Odisha police described the deaths as “unnatural” in a tweet on Tuesday, the BBC reported that the department’s superintendent, Vivekananda Sharma, said Budanov died of a stroke — and that Antov became so “depressed after his death” that “he too died.”

Odisha Police

DGP, Odisha has ordered CID-Crime Branch to take over enquiry into Rayagada Police Station UD Case No.34/2022 & No.35/2022. These cases relates to unnatural death of two Russian nationals in Rayagada Dist. @CIDOdisha
6:52 AM · Dec 27, 2022

According to Russian state news agency TASS per CNN, Antov — who was a member of the United Russia parliament party — was the richest civil servant in the country in 2018 and earned 9.97 billion rubles, or $137 million, that year.

Antov’s death follows several suspicious deaths of high-profile Russian oil chiefs, aviation tycoons and energy executives. It also comes on the heels of an anti-war message he allegedly posted online.

“It’s extremely difficult to call all this anything but terror,” a message on Antov’s WhatsApp account said last June, after Russian missiles struck Kyiv and killed a man and injured his 7-year-old daughter and her mother, per the BBC.

The businessman and lawmaker pledged his support for President Vladimir Putin in June 2021 and denied ever posting the statement. Antov called its appearance an “unfortunate misunderstanding and a technical error.” The message subsequently vanished.

Despite an apparent lack of a suicide note, and empty wine bottles reportedly found in Budanov’s room, Alexey Idamkin, the Russian consul general in Calcutta, told Russian state media RIA Novosti on Monday that neither police nor his colleagues suspect foul play.

December 29, 2022 1:45 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous fatuously posted "conspiracy? more like a brilliant strategy to get hostages released without really giving up anything"

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous, Reagan sent arms to Iran when there was an arms embargo on Iran - he broke the law. Further, U.S. policy was that the American government doesn't negotiate with terrorists. Reagan destroyed the credibility of the U.S. and advertised to the world that it's a great idea to take Americans hostage to make money. Then he further used the proceeds of the illegal arms sales to fund the overthrow of a central American government, also illegal. Then Reagan tried to cover it all up and claimed he never traded arms for hostages. People throughout the Reagan administration destroyed documents to prevent anyone from being held accountable and Republicans in general decided this sort of corruption and law breaking was a great way to do business as with Bill Barr's help they were able to keep anyone from being held accountable. It goes directly from Reagan's coverup and document destruction to Trump's total disregard of the law and stealing a vast array of classified information that he then dispersed to the four winds greatly compromising U.S. security and the security of it's allies.

Republicans went nuts over Hillary using a private email server just as members of the Bush administration had done. There was never any classified information found in her position or evidence any was compromised yet Republicans demanded she be locked up. Now with the security disaster that was Trump's handling of classified information Republicans say it's nothing to be concerned about, they'll riot in the streets if he is held accountable.

December 29, 2022 6:27 PM  
Anonymous no more loonies in the ladies' loo ! said...

"Except, you know, the rule of law,"

rule of law is quite a concept for hypocrites like you

truth is, every time a hostage is negotiated for, the rule of law is broken

the rule of law was was that Victor Bout, responsible for the death of thousands, was convicted and sentenced

by rule of law, he would serve his sentence

instead, we violated the rule of law to get Russia to let go some lesbian who was stupid enough to go to a place like Russia and violate their laws

didn't hear any TTF complaints about that...

I think there is some resentment here because liberals haven't produced a President with the stature of RONALD REAGAN

December 29, 2022 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Stature of the movie actor for all to see said...

December 29, 2022 9:11 PM  
Anonymous Biden's a bum said...

that a fanatic TTFer thinks stature and approval rating are synonymous...

speaks for itself

December 30, 2022 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Digby said...

When the 2020 presidential campaign was lurching into gear three years ago, former Vice President Joe Biden had led in the polls for months. Still, everyone kind of assumed he was a placeholder, a former office-holder with high name recognition whose campaign would nevertheless go the way of his two previous presidential bids, meaning nowhere. He was dull as dishwater compared to many of the others vying for the nomination, and nobody had ever really considered him presidential timber.

As the campaign took off, other candidates were winning in the early states even as Biden still led in national polls. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg looked like the major contenders after Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, states where Biden did poorly. Then he pulled off a sweeping victory in South Carolina and shortly thereafter the race was effectively over. He went on to win the rest of the primaries handily. America was reeling during the traumatic first year of the pandemic and there was a sense that Democrats were happy to have the race settled so they could concentrate on taking down Donald Trump, which was considered Job One by every faction of the Democratic coalition.

Even so, nobody expected much of Joe Biden. He had his charms, but he was a longtime creature of Washington with an anachronistic fetish for bipartisanship. All we could realistically expect, it seemed, was some relief from the chaos and a reliable, experienced staff to help right the ship. When the Democrats barely held onto the House and squeaked out a 50-50 Senate "majority" (thanks to the runoff elections in Georgia and Trump's constant whining) everyone assumed that the Democratic agenda promised during the campaign was pretty much dead. The best we could hope for at that point was to stop the bleeding and live to fight another day.

But Biden has turned out to be full of surprises. Rather than just acting as a kindly old caretaker president until the new generation can take the wheel, his administration has been a flurry of activity, passing more Democratic domestic legislation than any president since Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s. To name just a few, he signed into law the huge American Rescue Plan in the spring of 2021 (with no Republican votes); the $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act, with massive investments in climate policy and health care; the $280 billion CHIPS Act, funding a vital semiconductor industry in the U.S.; the PACT Act to help veterans; and the first federal gun control legislation in almost 30 years. In the big omnibus spending bill just passed during the lame-duck session, he got the Electoral Count Act included as a step toward avoiding another Jan. 6 debacle. Finally, Biden pushed through and signed the Respect for Marriage Act, offering at least some protection to same-sex couples against the inevitable assault from right-wing judges and legislators. Some of that legislation was even bipartisan, which seems like something out of an old black-and-white movie at this point.

These achievements really are impressive, and even more so because of the need to accommodate the two Senate divas — Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema — who needed to be the center of attention at all times and who were unfortunately crucial to passing legislation. It was often torturous watching the Senate sausage-making, with Biden himself often appearing unable to manage the negotiations despite his alleged mastery of the process. But somehow it worked.

A lot of important items were left on the cutting room floor, of course, largely due to the aforementioned Diva Twins: No voting rights reform, no new child tax credit and no subsidies for the elderly. There are a dozen other worthy programs I could name. Important tax legislation was nixed by Sinema for inexplicable reasons. Nonetheless, what remained is substantial and meaningful, and frankly kind of miraculous considering the narrow Democratic majority and the toxic political climate.

December 30, 2022 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Digby said...

Biden quietly led the party to those major wins but a lot of the credit must go to the Democrats in both houses who clearly appreciated that they had a unique opportunity to get things done before the batshit GOP regained some power. I wouldn't have bet on that happening either.

Biden has also been getting federal judges confirmed as quickly as possible, outpacing both Obama and Trump. Just as important, these judges are all highly qualified (unlike the crew of misfits the Trump administration put forth), and are the most diverse group in history: Three-quarters are women, two-thirds are people of color and 11 are former public defenders, which is more than the number appointed by all previous presidents combined. As he promised, he nominated the first Black woman, the impressive Ketanji Brown Jackson, to the Supreme Court.

As for foreign policy, Biden inherited a global mess after Trump stomped all over the world like an orange Colossus, befriending every tyrant on the planet and treating allies like dirt. Biden has reset many of those relationships and as a result has been able to deftly manage U.S. involvement in Ukraine, unquestionably a delicate and dangerous crisis.

The withdrawal from Afghanistan, which was proposed by both Obama and Trump but never actually carried out, was messy, but everyone knew it would be. Biden showed admirable resolve in going through with it anyway, even though he was hamstrung by Trump's blunderbuss negotiations, and deserves credit rather than the outrageous moral preening by the press, which suddenly decided it cared about the Afghan people after ignoring them for years. That was a sickening bookend to the rah-rah cheerleading the media delivered when George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan 20 years earlier.

Biden also decided, against the advice of the Beltway punditocracy and most Democratic strategists, to use the bully pulpit to fight the Republicans on their extremism and the obvious threat they posed democracy. Biden's critics claimed that people don't care about that stuff and the presidential bully pulpit is a waste of breath anyway. The results of the 2022 midterms suggest that they were full of it and Biden's instincts were correct.

I think some of this success, paradoxically, is because Joe Biden is our oldest president, not in spite of that fact. There's a certain YOLO quality to many people his age which he seems to have channeled into a willingness to take calculated risks that have largely paid off. Dark Brandon's seen it all — he doesn't scare easily.

None other than former Speaker Newt Gingrich issued a warning to his fellow Republicans not long ago that they're making a big mistake if they underestimate Biden and his team. He said that they were being foolish to obsess over Biden's age and need to recognize that they are "up against a very methodical machine which has done a remarkable job. ... When you look at results, you may dislike them philosophically, but you have to be realistic that these people have been effective. And you have to assume that they're going to go into 2024 with a pretty powerful machine, running a juggernaut."

Whether that football-coach analysis is accurate remains up for grabs but there is no doubt that the Biden administration has gotten a whole lot accomplished in two years under exceptionally difficult circumstances. Underestimating this president has been a mistake ever since he entered the race back in 2019.

December 30, 2022 2:26 PM  
Anonymous While they accuse the left of being "groomers" they are sexually abusing children said...

"rule of law is quite a concept for hypocrites like you"

Let me guess... you must be projecting again.

I got caught for speeding a few times - most of them 30 years or more ago. I grumbled a bit but paid the tickets in full, and didn't contest them.

I've never done ANY illegal drugs, tried to steal an election, or minimized the behavior of anyone who did.

Any more baseless slander you care to attack me with, desperado?

December 30, 2022 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Shocked I tell you, shocked. Can’t believe there weren’t any red flags. said...

Misogynist right wing influencer Andrew Tate was arrested alongside his brother in Romania on Thursday, as part of an investigation into human trafficking. And adding an extra layer of humiliation to the serious legal problems he faces, it appears Tate’s failed attempt to start a social media fight with climate activist Greta Thunberg may have helped authorities locate him.

The Romanian Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism announced the arrest in a statement, though the statement didn’t identify the suspects. Tate’s attorney has since confirmed his arrest. According to Romanian authorities the brothers were arrested as part of a probe into what they say is a criminal organization involved in trafficking women.

4 individuals total were arrested, and authorities say at least 6 women were held captive by the suspects, sexually assaulted and forced to perform in pornographic videos.

According to local media, the scheme involved Tate and his brother luring women they met on social media to their home and then imprisoning them there. They ended up on law enforcement radar when one of their victims, an American woman, somehow managed to get her location information to a boyfriend who then brought the matter to the U.S. embassy. During the raid, several women, including one American and a woman from Moldova, were rescued.

Tate, a former professional kickboxer, is more famous as a right wing influencer who promotes an aggressively sexist ideology. He was banned from Twitter in 2017 after posting comments that blamed women for being raped, though his Twitter account was reinstated after Elon Musk purchased the site.

Hilariously, Tate appears to have led authorities to him because of his renewed activity on Twitter. His arrest comes just one day after he made an absolutely pathetic attempt to stoke a twitter beef with climate activist Greta Thunberg. Early Wednesday morning, he tweeted directly at her, bragging about his numerous cars. Tate also asked for Thunberg’s email address.

Thunberg’s response was brutal, and succinct: “”Yes, please do enlighten me. email me at”

That was the last thing she had to say on the matter. Nevertheless, Tate seemed obsessed with her, as he tried for more than 10 hours to get her attention again. This culminated in an embarrassing video during which he accidentally showed a box from a local pizza chain — which revealed his location. Whoops.

December 30, 2022 4:42 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous said "liberals haven't produced a President with the stature of RONALD REAGAN"

Of course they have, James Buchanan. Conservatives haven't produced a President any where near the stature of Jimmy Carter.

December 31, 2022 2:14 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

A center of anti-trans vitriol, Colorado Springs was ripe for violence.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — You stand in line at the grocery store and notice a man, holding his child's hand, turn to glare at you with naked disgust.

You are riding the bus when a man shouts Bible verses at you, calling you an abomination while the other passengers look away.

You avoid public restrooms, afraid you'll be attacked if you use one.

You get asked to leave the close-knit congregation where you dedicated decades of your life. You are told your former church is changing its bylaws to discourage you and other transgender people from attending services.

You receive three death threats. Your home is ransacked.

Your family, including your mother, refuses to speak with you.

You are preached at, hissed at, sneered at, and spat at.

You are called a "groomer" and a "pedophile." You are compared to an animal. You get the shit beaten out of you.

To be transgender in Colorado Springs is to live under siege.

The hate state
Colorado Springs wasn't always an epicenter of homophobic and transphobic vitriol.

But in 1984, Ted Haggard founded his New Life Church here, which grew to more than 10,000 congregants as he lobbied against same-sex marriage. Focus on the Family moved its headquarters to Colorado Springs in 1990, becoming a national base for an increasingly political Christian right. Soon, the city became home to more than a hundred Christian-right ministries, many of which have incubated anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and mobilized against LGBTQ rights in the decades since.

Through widely circulated pamphlets, slide decks, and podcasts, Focus on the Family now provides resources for how to advocate for your "parental rights" in opposing protections for transgender kids at school, supports conversion therapy for transgender youth, and reinforces anti-transgender messaging to millions of followers and millions more congregants of aligned Evangelical churches nationwide.

December 31, 2022 2:19 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Pastor Steve Holt has preached that transgender identity is "demonic," the result of "massive evil." Scott Bottoms, the pastor at Briargate, was elected as a state representative in November; he has called drag performers "pedophiles" and said the death penalty is "too nice for pedophiles."

A harassment campaign
Alejandra Caraballo, a clinical instructor at the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School who monitors anti-LGBTQ extremist content online, said transphobic hate is now so widespread — circulating among anti-trans feminists, the Christian right, and violent hate groups such as neo-Nazis and white nationalists — that it has become a "self-reinforcing cycle," producing ever more hateful, violent messaging.

This demonizing vitriol has done more than spark a wave of anti-trans legislation, according to Heron Greenesmith, a senior research analyst at Political Research Associates who monitors anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. "It is a harassment campaign," Greenesmith told Insider, one that may embolden perpetrators to take action.

An Insider analysis of five years of homicides targeting transgender people found that killings doubled between 2019 and 2021 as anti-trans legislation and rhetoric spiked.

The Colorado Springs killer may have been spurred to violence through active participation in a culture of online extremism. Experts call the killings that result stochastic, or "scripted," violence, because perpetrators are acting in response to demonizing rhetoric rather than to the command-and-control structure of a radical militia or extremist cell.

Extremists and hate-mongers on television and social media are "essentially creating a boogeyman and then unleashing forces on that boogeyman," Greenesmith said. Then they say, "Well, I didn't think this would happen," Greenesmith said. "The lack of specificity is the point."

December 31, 2022 2:19 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

It seems unlikely that anyone with a platform in 2022 could fail to see that such rhetoric risked being heard by the angry and unhinged as a call to action. Yet no one ordered a violent attack on Club Q, so those who trafficked in anti-transgender rhetoric have absolved themselves of responsibility.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, for example, whose congressional district is to the south and west of Colorado Springs and who was endorsed by the Family Research Council, has repeatedly described providing gender-affirming healthcare for transgender children as "grooming them" for sexual abuse. But she refused to take responsibility for the impact of her anti-transgender statements in the wake of the Club Q shooting.

"It's absolutely disgusting to try to blame this on me and try to say that I've had bad rhetoric about the LGBT community," Boebert told a Colorado radio program. "That is completely false."

Just weeks later, Boebert was back on Twitter mocking chosen pronouns and gender identities. Boebert didn't respond to Insider's request for comment.

Focus on the Family didn't respond to queries from Insider. But Jim Daly, the organization's president, issued a statement on November 25. "We recognize the community is hurting in the aftermath of the reckless and violent actions of a very disturbed individual," he said. "This is a time for prayer, grieving and healing, not vandalism and the spreading of hate."

In the days that followed, Focus on the Family was again publishing blog posts accusing transgender people of "gender madness" and distorting "God's clear, intended design."

December 31, 2022 2:19 PM  
Anonymous HAPPY NEW YEAR! The white, conservative Southern women who asked me to keep their abortions secret: My middle-class evangelical peers quietly took advantage of abortion rights, while publicly advocating against them said...

The day one of my closest childhood friends got married, she asked me to keep two secrets: The first was her high school abortion. "It was so long ago," she said in a terrified whisper, "I can't tell him; it doesn't even matter anymore." She was peeking down the hall, where everything was draped in rented white satin—a traditional, Southern wedding, officiated by an odious Calvinist preacher. She frowned at her family, who were busy decorating. "Nobody except you understood."

She was desperate not to be overheard, so I squeezed her hand to tell her wordlessly, We buried that memory together a long time ago. (Even now as I write this, I can't bring myself to type her name.) Her body relaxed, and she took a breath. As I opened her makeup kit, she added abruptly, "And don't you dare say a word about last summer, either."

A few months prior, my friend had had a second abortion—this one the result of an affair.

"You're the liberal, not me," she snapped. "That was just a one-off."

Too stunned to speak, I drew my fingers across my lips in a zipper motion and grabbed the mascara.

* * *

* * *

In my late twenties, I had a boss who asked me for help scheduling an elective abortion. She had married into her husband's family business, and apart from the Mexican workers she refused to speak to, I was the only female-identifying employee who didn't go to her church or share her last name. She was deeply anxious, so I asked as few questions as possible, called a clinic just over the state line, then covered for her at the office. A few weeks later I made a comment about a local political race, and she shot back, "I'm not voting for anybody who's pro-Muslim or pro-choice." I gave her a hard look. "That didn't count," she said, waving me off. "I'm not a slut."

Such dismissals are rooted in shame and indoctrination. During my years as a professor at a university in Madison Cawthorn's congressional district, I kept pamphlets in my office for the local Planned Parenthood clinic and offered advice to my evangelical students more often than any other demographic. Few of them changed their views on abortion afterwards. Even the relief of being freed from an unwanted pregnancy couldn't break through their cognitive dissonance. The women who think I'm a "baby killer" may have more abortions than my pro-choice friends, but they still refuse to hear the lesson of compassion we always offer in their time of need. They can also be unspeakably cruel to others who make the same choice. (When one dear friend of mine terminated a high-risk pregnancy, for example, her OB-GYN nurse whispered in her ear "You'll go to hell for this" right before wheeling her into surgery.)

I must pause here to clarify that I am not talking about people in abusive families or insurmountable circumstances. Obviously, many abortion patients need to be secretive for safety reasons. I am also not talking about rural communities, where clinics have been systematically stripped away and replaced with unethical crisis pregnancy centers. My specific beef, the doubt I am struggling with, regards my peers: middle-class suburban white women who have the means and education to access reproductive care easily, and do so on the sly.

Recently I posted a tweet about my observation that white conservatives frequently use abortion for birth control. The tweet went viral, with thousands of corroborating replies and anecdotes. The overwhelming consensus was that these hypocrites expect us to cover for them, but . never vice versa.

Now that Roe has ended, I have half a mind to out every last one of them.

* * *

January 01, 2023 8:07 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

" I am also not talking about rural communities, where clinics have been systematically stripped away and replaced with unethical crisis pregnancy centers."

This is one of the most glaring examples of conservative double standards. Republican controlled states passed laws requiring abortion clinics to post signs and verbally tell patients about organizations opposed to abortion who "help" women seeking an abortion to go through with the pregnancy. When some Democratic run states required "crisis pregnancy centres" to be up front about not providing abortions conservative justices ruled this was "forced speech" and struck down the laws requiring full disclosure by "crisis pregnancy centres". Then many conservative justices upheld the laws requiring abortion clinics to offer people the services of crisis pregnancy centres. So states could mandate speech for abortions clinics, but were not allowed to mandate speech for crisis pregnancy centres. This kind of hypocrisy and double standard by conservatives is destroying the foundation of society.

January 01, 2023 2:14 PM  
Anonymous House adjourns amid stalemate in speaker vote said...

For the first time since 1923, the House just took multiple ballots -- in a failed effort -- to elect the next Speaker.

January 03, 2023 6:01 PM  
Anonymous McCarthy loses fourth House vote for speaker said...

Pass the popcorn and watch McCarthy lose again.

January 04, 2023 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anti-GQPer said...

And again....

January 04, 2023 5:15 PM  
Anonymous They got nothin’ said...

If it was not clear before, it is clear now. The Republican Party, fueled since the Newt Gingrich revolution by the insecurities and grievances of white, Christian males in a changing world is reduced at long last to its essence (New York Times):

"After two days of chaos and confusion on the House floor, Republicans have made it abundantly clear who is leading their party: absolutely no one.

From the halls of Congress to the Ohio Statehouse to the back-room dealings of the Republican National Committee, the party is confronting an identity crisis unseen in decades. With no unified legislative agenda, clear leadership or shared vision for the country, Republicans find themselves mired in intraparty warfare, defined by a fringe element that seems more eager to tear down the House than to rebuild the foundation of a political party that has faced disappointment in the past three national elections."

Revanchism is all that’s left. There is no positive GOP agenda. No vision of a better tomorrow. No city on a hill. Just power for power’s sake, power enough to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.

All those years when Republicans swore they would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with something better-liked by their donors came to nothing. They failed to tear it down. They had nothing with which to replace it anyway. The unveiling of Donald Trump’s better, cheaper ACA replacement was perpetually two weeks out over his entire term.

“Infrastructure Week” became a running joke during Trump’s term. But in Kentucky yesterday, President Joe Biden, flanked by Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and a bipartisan mix of lawmakers, touted his infrastructure package that will take pressure off the troubled Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River.

“For decades, people have talked about the Brent Spence Bridge,” Biden said. “Folks, the talking is over. With the bipartisan infrastructure law, we’re finally going to get it done.”

The Republican Party led by a reality show host who bragged of his success at building things succeeded only at building a portion of pointless border wall to appeaze his party’s xenopohobes.

January 05, 2023 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Nothin' other than wrecking things said...

But wrecking? They’re hell at wrecking.

"That ideology of destruction defies characterization by traditional political labels like moderate or conservative. Instead, the party has created its own complicated taxonomy of America First, MAGA and anti-Trump — descriptions that are more about political style and personal vendettas than policy disagreements.

This iteration of the Grand Old Party, with its narrow majority in the House empowering conservative dissidents, represents a striking reversal of the classic political maxim that Democrats need to fall in love while Republicans just fall in line.

“The members who began this have little interest in legislating, but are most interested in burning down the existing Republican leadership structure,” said Karl Rove, the Republican strategist who embodies the party’s pre-Trump era. “Their behavior shows the absence of power corrupts just as absolutely as power does.”"

Events reveal that Trump was not so much a driver of the breakdown as a catalyst. He stood on the shoulders of the decades-old, grievance economy powering Fox News and right-wing talk. He taught followers they could publicly vent racial frustrations over cultural changes they perceive cost them social status to non-white minorities, and do so without blowback.

Trump retains no influence over Republicans in the House. They give him lip service but obeissance no longer. When Trump asked the insurgent bloc to knock it off, they responded by blowing him off.

“Our movement is embracing the chaos,” said John Fredericks, former Virginia chairman of Mr. Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns, and a right-wing talk host.

"“The movement has eclipsed its Trump leadership,” Mr. Fredericks said on Wednesday. “We found 20 new leaders.”

That’s a very different definition of a leader from the traditional image of a legislator muscling policy through Congress and reshaping American life. In the new conservative ecosystem, leaders are born of the outrage that drives news coverage on the right and fuels online fund-raising."

They are not interested in being legislators, the job for which they were hired, but influencers.

The greatest irony in coverage of this Speakership debacle is reporters asking Newtie where the fire came from. Anti-McCarthy Republicans, Gingrich said, are “playing with fire.”

“I think the guys in the House are doing substantial damage to the Republican Party and don’t even realize it,” said the man who in 1994 brought the matches.

January 05, 2023 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Tiedrich said...

pro tip: if you vote for clowns, don't act so fucking shocked when you end up with a circus

9:53 AM · Jan 5, 2023

January 05, 2023 1:28 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

This is another prime example of the conservative double standard: People are suggesting the Democrats be nice and come to McCarthy's aid and vote for him for speaker - if the roles were reversed no way would anyone be expecting the Republicans to help Democrats out.

January 05, 2023 7:15 PM  
Anonymous I wonder if Republicans agree with any part of the Constitution said...

There is no way Democrats should "help" Republicans on this.

Many of them voted to ignore the results of the last presidential election in favor of their own lying propaganda.

A number of those Republicans deserve to be in jail right now, not congress. They would have avoided this fiasco if they were still the "law and order" party, rather than the "lie and order" party.

January 06, 2023 11:14 AM  
Anonymous dancing through life... said...

how dreary to be a TTFer

how slimy, like a frog

to croak your errors the lifelong day

to an admiring bog

January 06, 2023 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Security breach said...

While many of us were unplugging from the internet to spend time with loved ones over the holidays, LastPass, the maker of a popular security program for managing digital passwords, delivered the most unwanted gift. It published details about a recent security breach in which cybercriminals had obtained copies of customers’ password vaults, potentially exposing millions of people’s online information.

From a hacker’s perspective, this is the equivalent of hitting the jackpot.

When you use a password manager like LastPass or 1Password, it stores a list containing all of the user names and passwords for the sites and apps you use, including banking, health care, email and social networking accounts. It keeps track of that list, called the vault, in its online cloud so you have easy access to your passwords from any device. LastPass said hackers had stolen copies of the list of user names and passwords of every customer from the company’s servers.

January 07, 2023 6:51 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Wyatt/Regina/bad anonymous said "how dreary to be a TTFer".

You're just as much a TTFer as anyone else on this site. Your obsession with harmeless gays and lesbians is rather bizarre, assuming this isn't all about you being self-loathing, which it probably is.

January 07, 2023 3:45 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Last weekend, my wife and I were on a cruise where we caught a New Year’s Day production of “Grease.”

It’s a super-dated show. But the songs are peppy, the cast was talented, and we were entertained.

Still, for those of you who don’t remember the lyrics from this half-century-old musical, here’s a sampling from “Greased Lightning”:

“You know that I ain’t braggin’, she’s a real p*ssy wagon.”

“You know that it ain’t sh*t, we’ll be gettin’ lots of t*t.”

Keep in mind: This was on a cruise ship run by Royal Caribbean, which markets itself to families and which welcomed children into the theater that night.

My wife and I thought the cruise line could’ve tweaked a couple of the outdated lyrics. But we also thought entertainers are capable of making their own decisions, parents are capable of raising their own children and customers are capable of spending their money where they want.

Boy, were we wrong.

Gov Ron DeSantis has taught us that neither parents nor customers deserve to make their own choices. Government should have total control.

DeSantis made that clear with his latest headline-grabbing effort as his business-regulation department tried to stop Orlando’s Plaza Live from allowing minors into a raunchy, comedic drag-queen Christmas show last week.

DeSantis doesn’t want parents to decide what’s appropriate for their kids. He wants government to.

Now, that strikes me as the polar opposite of freedom and parental rights. But I admit it’s intoxicating to think about the possibility of censoring anything — and anyone — I dislike.

Who cares what you think? Or what the Constitution says about free speech? DeSantis has convinced me the way to go is TOTAL GOVERNMENT CONTROL!

Just trust us. It will be much easier on your brain when we decide what you and your family are allowed to watch.

Obviously we won’t stop at drag shows. There are lots of plays, movies and comedians far more vulgar than this bawdy holiday drag show.

Until now, parents were allowed to decide these things for themselves. A movie might be rated R. But if a father wanted to allow his teenager to see it, he could.

Sorry, Pops. Not in DeSantis’ new world order. You don’t get to make that call anymore. Government does.

After all, why would the governor ban you from taking your 16-year-old to a drag show with sexually suggestive material but allow you to take your 8-year-old kid to some gross horror movie that showed body dismemberment? Or a play featuring sodomy or rape?

He wouldn’t — unless he lacked consistent principles and was just trying to beat on LGBTQ issues to score divisive political points. So obviously DeSantis has a lot more censoring to do.

January 07, 2023 3:46 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Ever heard of the play “Equus”? Well, in DeSantis’ Florida, you never will again — at least not until we decide you’re ready.

The same goes for comedians and other live performers who say nasty things. You no longer get to choose.

Admittedly, this will get tough. Because we’re going to have to ban teens from seeing everyone from comedians like Chris Rock to pundits like Tucker Carlson.

Carlson, as you may know, lashed out at one of the guests on his Fox News show a few years ago, telling his guest to “go f*** yourself, you tiny brain” before dropping some more F-bombs and calling his guest a “moron.”

Not only is that language vulgar, it’s a terrible way to teach children to debate. So obviously the governor will be banning parents from allowing their kids to see any of Carlson’s live appearances in Florida.

Sure, we don’t know for sure what Carlson will say at any given appearance. But that’s the beauty of advance government censorship. We don’t have to know. We just censor it anyway!

Now, some of you may be thinking: Wait a minute. This is my child. Don’t I deserve the right to raise my kid the way I want?

No, you do not.

Maybe you’re thinking: What if I wanted to accompany my teen to an adult-themed performance — whether it’s a vulgar comedian, risqué drag show or grotesque movie — and then discuss with them what they saw?

Not in our state, pal. Government is now taking over. Love it or leave.

Now, the Plaza Live tried to be responsible with signs last week warning parents that some people might consider the drag-show content inappropriate for minors. But that’s not good enough. The governor doesn’t want to allow parents to make that choice for their kids. He’ll make it for them.

That’s why the state threatened to go after the Plaza’s business license. Yay, freedom!

You have to respect the governor’s game. Obviously true small-government conservatives will be appalled at government trying to squash parental rights, free speech and private businesses.

But DeSantis is doing it anyway. What courage.

And I look forward to seeing him courageously threaten more Florida companies like Miami-based Royal Caribbean.

Because DeSantis obviously wouldn’t approve of children hearing grown men sing about how a fancy car can be a “p*ssy wagon” that will help them get “lots of t*t.” So he’ll soon be threatening that company as well … right?

Along with theaters everywhere that offer any kind of vulgarity.

We should soon have censorship galore. Ain’t freedom grand?

January 07, 2023 3:47 PM  
Anonymous AP: Shootings in Albuquerque share target: elected Democrats said...


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Bullets flew through one home’s front door and garage. At another home, three bullets went into the bedroom of a 10-year-old girl in a series of shootings that had at least one thing in common: They targeted the homes or offices of elected Democratic officials in New Mexico.

Nobody was injured in the shootings that are being investigated by local and federal authorities. Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said they’re working to determine if the attacks that started in early December and were scattered around the state’s largest city are connected.

The attacks come amid a sharp rise in threats to members of Congress and two years after supporters of then-President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol. Local school board members and election workers across the country have also endured harassment, intimidation and threats of violence.

Albuquerque officials have acknowledged they don’t know what motivated the shootings, but felt it was important to notify the public nonetheless. No suspect has been identified.

“We remain committed to finding the individual or individuals responsible,” Medina said on social media late Friday.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will analyze bullet casings recovered from the scenes to try to determine whether the same weapon was used or if the gun was used in other crimes, said Phoenix-based ATF Special Agent in Charge Brendan Iber.

The shootings began Dec. 4 when eight rounds were fired at the home of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa, police said. Seven days later, someone fired more than a dozen shots at former Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley’s home.

Albuquerque police said technology that can detect the sound of gunfire indicated shots fired in the vicinity of New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez’s former campaign office on Dec. 10. Nobody was in the building at the time, and police found no damage.

Just this week, multiple shots were fired at the home of state Sen. Linda Lopez — a lead sponsor of a 2021 bill that reversed New Mexico’s ban on most abortion procedures — and the office of state Sen. Moe Maestas. Maestas, an attorney who co-sponsored a bill last year to set new criminal penalties for threatening state and local judges. It didn’t pass.

Maestas said employees at his law office heard loud, rapid-fire shots just outside on Thursday and called 911.

“I don’t think it’s anything we did or said, but just the fact that we’re elected officials,” Maestas said. “Hopefully they (law enforcement) can get a semblance of a motive.”

O’Malley and her husband were asleep when the gunfire struck the adobe wall surrounding their home, she said in an email.

“To say I am angry about this attack on my home — on my family, is the least of it,” she said. “I remember thinking how grateful I was that my grandchildren were not spending the night, and that those bullets did not go through my house.”

Lopez said in a statement that three of the bullets shot at her home passed through her 10-year-old daughter’s bedroom. Other bullets penetrated a garage door and damaged a wall.

January 08, 2023 9:29 AM  
Anonymous What dishonorable conduct said...

A brand new Republican member of Congress from Florida tweeted a shocking joke about the 2022 vicious home invasion beating of 82-year-old Paul Pelosi, husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“Finally, one less gavel in the Pelosi house for Paul to fight with in his underwear,” wrote Rep. Cory Mills (R-Fla.) on Saturday.

The ugly tweet was apparently Mills’ version of a celebration of the ascendency to House speaker of Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

Mills was also making fun of the brutal attack on Paul Pelosi, who was beaten with a hammer in the middle of the night last October, allegedly by a violent Republican sympathizer out to get a list of Democratic targets.

Suspect David DePape pleaded not guilty last month to six criminal charges in the attack, including attempted murder and elder abuse.

Officials said DePape had planned to kidnap Nancy Pelosi — who was in Washington at the time of the attack — when he broke into the couple’s San Francisco home. Instead, law enforcement authorities said the 42-year-old defendant severely beat the then-speaker’s husband with a hammer in an attack that was witnessed by two police officers. The assault shocked America.

Pelosi was knocked unconscious and woke up in a pool of his own blood. He underwent surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands.

GOP conspiracists at the time spread wild conspiracy theories and tried in vain to baselessly spin the violence as a gay tryst gone wrong.

The message by Mills, who is an Army combat veteran, was retweeted by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), who said he wanted the public to “see the indecency that makes up the House GOP.”

“He owes Speaker Pelosi an apology,” Swalwell added.

Mills flippantly responded to Swalwell: “You owe America an apology.”

Mills could not immediately be reached for comment.


January 08, 2023 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Who wooda thunk a guy who spent $249 for an online legal course would lose in the Supreme Court? said...

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a Utah man’s long shot case challenging the 2020 election results and demanding the removal of nearly 400 federal officials.

Lower courts previously dismissed the case brought by Raland Brunson — who represented himself — for lack of jurisdiction, but Brunson appealed to the justices and demanded the removal of President Biden, Vice President Harris, former Vice President Mike Pence and hundreds of lawmakers who did not object to the certification of the electoral votes.

Brunson’s appeal garnered attention from right-wing figures like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), who falsely suggested last month in his newsletter that the justices had agreed to hear the case “appropriately” on the two-year anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.

The justices instead on Friday considered whether to hear the case in their closed-door conference, with four justices needed for the case to move forward.

They ultimately decided not to do so in an order made public on Monday, which came without surprise after the federal government previously waived its right to file a response to the justices.

Brunson’s case argued that 291 House lawmakers and 94 senators violated their oaths of office by refusing to further investigate unfounded claims of mass electoral fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

He had asked for $2.905 billion tax-free in damages and a removal of the officials from office.

“The petition was denied. We will now make our next move. A petition for reconsideration. Hang in their everyone,” Brunson wrote on Facebook following the decision.

Although Raland is listed as the complainant on the Supreme Court petition and is representing himself, his brother Deron Brunson says he is the legal expert of the family.

“I’m the guy who put it all together,” he said during a telephone conversation.

Deron forcefully claims that members of Congress who voted to certify Biden’s election win violated their oath of office and repeatedly said the lack of an investigation into claims of election interference was an “act of war.”

According to Raland Brunson’s website, Deron relies on an online course titled “How to win in court” for his legal expertise. The course costs $249.

January 09, 2023 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Stupid is as stupid does said...

Republicans have spent years promising to “drain the swamp.” So what’s the first thing they did after taking control of the House of Representatives?

They gutted the Office of Congressional Ethics.

There's nothing to see here folks.

Move on.

January 13, 2023 6:21 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

A lawmaker in Texas introduced his version of a “don’t say gay” law.

State Rep. Jared Patterson’s bill, HB 1155, requires schools to disclose all information related to students' mental health information to parents, which exposes children to being forced out of the closet by school officials and adds language to the state’s education code that would restrict the instruction of topics on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“A school district, open-enrollment charter school, or district or charter school employee may not provide or allow a third party to provide instruction regarding sexual orientation or gender identity: (1) to students enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grade; or (2) in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate,” the bill’s text reads.

In a statement on his website, Patterson touts his bill as an improved version of Florida’s draconian Parental Rights in Education Law, more often referred to as the “don’t say gay” law.

“This legislation would restrict all classroom lessons and discussions on the issue of an individual’s sexual preference or gender identity until high school, thereby protecting the youngest and most vulnerable children from unscientific, inaccurate, and inappropriate information,” the statement read.

“The sexualization of our children must stop. Parents and taxpayers have spoken loudly over the past year-plus. The message is no more radical ideology in the classroom – particularly when it comes to inappropriate or obscene content.” Patterson said in the statement. “Given what we’ve uncovered, this bill is needed to provide parents with the maximum transparency and control over health-related services in our schools.”

January 13, 2023 10:20 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The state lawmaker didn't elaborate on what he meant by "given what we've uncovered."

Critics of Florida’s legislation have complained that not only does forcing school officials to disclose whether students have sought ought services to assist them with their sexual orientation or gender identity unnecessarily puts kids at risk.

Similarly, as with Florida’s law, the language in Patterson’s bill fails to define what is specifically age or developmentally appropriate — another issue that critics and LGBTQ+ advocates have brought up.

Whereas Florida’s law restricts topics on LGBTQ+ matters through third grade, the Texas version would extend the prohibition of discussion through eighth grade.

Opponents argue that restricting access to topics on sexual orientation and gender identity well into puberty in grade eight and withholding valuable information during regular sexual education courses in schools is further damaging to LGBTQ+ young people.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the state’s measure into law in March 2022, sparking fiery debate between child welfare activists and GOP political operatives on the importance of teachers’ abilities to instruct students without fear of retaliation on the existence of LGBTQ+ people.

“Every LGBTQ+ person was once a child. And our school system is set up to prepare children for the life ahead of them,” Equality Texas communication director Jonathan Gooch told the Dallas Observer. “Teachers and educators have used their training and experience to sculpt age-appropriate materials about orientation and gender — things like a book about two male penguins that raise a child or a family with two moms — so why would we treat something so ordinary like it’s taboo.”

January 13, 2023 10:20 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

A newly popular Republican lie is that telling children lgbt people exist will "sexualize" them. They sure never expressed any concern over the sexualization of children that goes on in child beauty pageants. Heterosexual parents place their tiny children in "Little Miss" beauty pageants, cover them in make-up that would make an adult blush and put them in sexually suggestive clothes. Then they ask people to believe this does not sexualize children but seeing a drag queen read Babar does. The hypocrisy is as profound as it is hateful. No, the truth is, conservatives don't give a damn about sexualizing children, this is to try to force them not to be gay.

Ron DeSantis started a devastating trend of Republican lawmakers passing so called "parental rights" laws that effectively ban any mention of lgbt people in schools. These bills are intended to teach children that it's unacceptable and wrong to be lgbt and lgbt people deserve to be punished. DeSantis and his ilk insidiously claim these laws aren't "Don't say gay" laws as the bill itself "doesn't even contain the word "gay"". Or course when you say you can't teach sexual orientation but still teach heterosexuality you've singled out gays in your bill regardless of whether or not you have actually used that word. This is the kind of dishonesty and treachery Republicans are using to hide the fact that they are doing nothing to actually help Americans live better lives, it's all about providing a scapegoat for their voters unhappiness so the politicians don't have to do anything productive.

Now some Republican lawmakers are trying to ban gender affirming care for adults up to the age of 26. It's not the place of Big Brother to tell adults what they can or cannot do with their bodies, this is an attack on personal freedom to rally conservative voters. They first targeted gender affirming care for children, trying to ramp up fear by spreading the false claim that children under 18 are undergoing genital surgery when with extremely rare exceptions no children are getting these surgeries.

January 13, 2023 11:20 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The beliefs of uninformed politicians are no substitute for the best practices advised by a wide array of medical professional organizations. Gender affirming care, such as social transitioning to a male or female gender identity reduces suicidal ideation in transgender children and improves mental health in the vast majority of cases. Puberty blockers are essential to gender affirming care of children. They are reversible but Republican politicians are trying to force children to go through a puberty they don't want with permanent physical changes they are desperate to avoid. It simply isn't good enough to say "You can choose this once you're an adult and all the secondary sexual characteristics you want to avoid have already occurred and can't be mitigated. A trans girl is forced to develop facial and body hair, a masculinized face, deep voice and become taller than a typical female. A trans boy is forced to develop breasts he doesn't want and to begin menstruating. Puberty blockers allow the child to reach the age of 18 and decide if they want to continue with their transition or not without having experienced irreversible and undesirable physical changes.

The truth is a child isn't "sexualized" any more by knowing some boys want to marry a boy than he or she is by seeing Mom and Dad hug and kiss each other. Conservatives fear monger about "indoctrination" but they are the ones trying to force all children to be heterosexual and to strictly adhere to a rigid stereotypical gender expression and identity based solely on their sex assigned at birth. People are naturally lgbt, lots of us, maybe most of us. The majority of the public going through life in fear of experiencing same sex attractions or a non-traditional gender identity is making people carry unnecessary stress throughout life that will needlessly limit their happiness and productivity. Trying to force children not to be lgbt is harming society. To have the best possible society we need to allow children to be who they are. The prevailing Republican lie is that any effort to provide support or acceptance for lgbt children is an attempt to lure them into sex. The goal of this propaganda is to promote violence against harmless lgbt people - this harms us all.

January 13, 2023 11:20 PM  
Anonymous Ian Kumamoto said...

These School Bans On Pride Flags Should Freak All Of Us Out

High school students in Los Angeles take part in a rally on April 22 to support LGBTQ people as districts elsewhere in the nation see pride flag bans and other crackdowns.

Every single day, conservatives try new ways to make the queer community less visible by using the language of indoctrination. In many cases, it’s by spreading the belief that cisgender straight people can be influenced into “turning” gay or transgender. On Tuesday, the Central Bucks school board, which oversees the third-largest school district in Pennsylvania, exemplified this idea by banning teachers from displaying rainbow flags as part of a larger effort to stop educators from advocating for “political” issues.

The Central Bucks school board is just the latest group to frame LGBTQ-plus people as polarizing political subjects, rather than actual people just trying to live. In the past year, districts in Wisconsin, Michigan and New York have all cracked down on pride flags in schools, typically citing the belief that they are political in nature.

At first glance, the logic behind banning political symbols at school might seem reasonable enough. The problem is that the pride flag doesn’t represent a single institution, nor is it a dangerous tool to push a political agenda; it is a community-driven symbol of humanity and inclusion that can indicate to students of all gender and sexual identities that they are in a welcoming and open-minded space.

What’s more, it can show queer students that they are in a space that won’t be actively hostile toward them. In a 2019 survey, the education group GLSEN found that 86% of LGBTQ students experienced harassment or assault at school. The organization has also said that LGBTQ students who have supportive educators skip fewer classes and get better grades.

You can’t indoctrinate someone into the LGBTQ community, and queer visibility is a human rights issue, not an ideological one. Unlike a political organization, there is no central LGBTQ organ, headquarters or single representative whom LGBTQ people take orders from (except maybe Cher). For these reasons and many others, the designation of pride flags as political symbols doesn’t make much sense. The argument is yet another pretense to pathologize and exclude queer and trans people and to galvanize voters against a common enemy.

It’s hard not to see parallels between what conservatives are doing and what some violently oppressive countries do to justify silencing the queer community. For example, at last year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar, fans said they were prohibited from taking rainbow flags into soccer stadiums. Seeing the U.S. mirror aspects of totalitarian nations shouldn’t just be concerning for queer people; it should freak everyone out.

January 13, 2023 11:23 PM  
Anonymous skimmin' the surface... said...

how dreary to be a TTFer

how scummy, like a frog

to croak your lies the lifelong day

to an admiring bog

January 14, 2023 1:27 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

By all means, W/R, point out these alleged lies and your evidence that they are not true and then we'll discuss it.

January 14, 2023 3:09 PM  
Anonymous 172 years of global warming shown 90 seconds. said...

Adding carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere by using fossil fuels is transforming the Earth.

Here's the 90 second video of 172 years of earth's surface temperatures

January 15, 2023 6:24 AM  
Anonymous It looks like they found some 2020 voter fraud said...

Iowa GOP Official's Wife Charged For Voter Fraud Scheme

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — The wife of a northwestern Iowa county supervisor has been charged with 52 counts of voter fraud after she allegedly filled out and cast absentee ballots in her husband’s unsuccessful race for a Republican nomination to run for Congress in 2020, federal prosecutors said.

Kim Phuong Taylor, 49, was arrested Thursday and pleaded not guilty to the charges before being released on a personal recognizance bond, the Sioux City Journal reported. Her trial is scheduled to begin March 20.

Prosecutors allege in an indictment unsealed Thursday that Phuong Taylor filled out voter registration forms or delivered absentee ballots for people in Sioux City’s Vietnamese community who had limited ability to read and understand English.

She filled out “dozens of voter registrations, absentee ballot request forms, and absentee ballots containing false information,” and delivered absentee ballots, sometimes without the knowledge of the people whose names were used, according to the indictment.

Pat Gill, who is Woodbury County’s auditor and election commissioner, said Thursday that he notified the Iowa secretary of state’s office after someone contacted his office because a ballot had been fraudulently cast in their name in November 2020.

He said his office later provided the FBI with suspected fraudulent registration forms and absentee ballots.

Phuong Taylor committed the fraud before the June 2020 primary, in which her husband, Jeremy Taylor, a former Iowa House member, finished a distant third in the race for the Republican nomination to run for Iowa’s 4th District congressional seat, prosecutors allege. The winner of that race, Randy Feenstra, easily won election to Congress that November.

Prosecutors contend that Phuong Taylor committed the same fraud before the November 2020 election in which Jeremy Taylor was elected to the Woodbury County Board, according to the indictment.

Jeremy Taylor is not named in the indictment and is not accused of wrongdoing.

Kim Phuong Taylor’s attorney, John Greer of Spencer, Iowa, declined to comment on the charges, the Journal reported.

January 15, 2023 8:35 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The Orlando Sentinel reports:

Yovanna Pineda, hired more than a decade ago to teach Latin American history at the University of Central Florida, rebranded one of her signature courses last fall. Striking references to “dictatorships” and “human rights” from the title, she decided to simply call her class “History of South America.”

Pineda said many of her colleagues are making similar changes, either because they fear blowback from state leaders who say they are trying to eliminate “indoctrination” from university campuses or because they don’t want the hassle of additional scrutiny.

DeSantis continued his campaign last week, appointing far-right activist Christopher Rufo to the Board of Trustees at New College of Florida. Rufo is best known for launching a national campaign against critical race theory. Rufo told The New York Times he and his new colleagues seek to transform New College into a public version of Michigan’s Hillsdale College, a conservative Christian school.

"UCF professors are renaming courses and removing phrases like “human rights”, “social justice”, “equity” and “equal” to avoid being targeted or tracked by the state. This is happening in 2023 in the United States under the new McCarthyism of Ron DeSantis.

And faculty members say they’ve seen other signs that the governor has gained a foothold on their campuses, including the removal of the words “social justice” from the name of an office at UCF, which has been rebranded as the Office of Civil Discourse.

UCF faculty members are even CANCELLING race-related courses out of fear of losing their jobs. This is not a hypothetical.

It’s what’s happening right now at my alma mater under threats from Ron DeSantis and it’s being called “freedom”."

— Carlos Guillermo Smith (@CarlosGSmith) January 14, 2023

While DeSantis and Republicans rail about "preventing indoctrination", they are doing their very best to indoctrinate students by essentially banning any mention of racism or disparate outcomes for minorities, or lgbt people. They are censoring speech to create the false impression that it's wrong or immoral to be lgbt and there is no racism in the United States and no steps need be taken to mitigate it's detrimental effects. DeSantis and the Republicans are opposed to equality, diversity and fairness. These are hallmarks of fascism.

January 15, 2023 3:29 PM  
Anonymous barefoot girls are dancin' in the moonlight... said...

how dreary to be a TTFer

filmy foul, like a frog

to belch your hate all day and night

to a scum-slurping bog

January 18, 2023 3:07 PM  
Anonymous I wonder if Republicans agree with any part of the Constitution said...

Solomon Peña, who unsuccessfully ran for a state House seat in New Mexico as a Republican last November, was arrested Monday in Albuquerque for allegedly paying four men to shoot at the homes of four elected officials, police said. They say Peña paid $500 — and that he took part in one shooting himself.

The criminal complaint against Peña includes chilling details. In one case, bullets tore through the walls of a 10-year-old girl's bedroom as she slept. Just before that attack, police allege, Peña had urged the gunmen to aim lower when they shot at politicians' houses.

Charges against Peña, whom police call the "mastermind" behind the string of attacks, include conspiracy to commit a felony, shooting at an occupied dwelling, and shooting from a vehicle. He was booked into the Albuquerque Metropolitan Detention Center late Monday.

Police accuse Peña of a political vendetta

Peña, 39, allegedly hired the men to target the elected officials, all Democrats, texting the politicians' home addresses to the men before the residences were attacked. In one case, Peña had visited one of the officials one or two days earlier, appearing at her home unannounced to complain that the election was stolen from him.

The evidence against Peña includes confidential witness testimony, cellphone records, bullet casings and surveillance footage, according to Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina. Court documents also show Peña appears to have taken a selfie with one of his accused co-conspirators.

"APD essentially discovered what we had all feared, and what we had suspected, that these shootings were indeed politically motivated, and that has basically been confirmed by this investigation," Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, a Democrat, said.

No injuries were reported from the shootings, but they set local and state politicians on edge, prompting law enforcement to look at ways to ensure elected leaders' safety.

"This type of radicalism is a threat to our nation that has made its way to our doorstep right here in Albuquerque," Keller said.

The violence broke out a month after the election

The first shooting happened on Dec. 4, when eight rounds were fired into the residence of Bernalillo County Commissioner Adriann Barboa. Four days later, the home of House Speaker Javier Martinez came under attack in the North Valley area. And on Dec. 11, more than a dozen shots were fired into the home of then-Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O'Malley.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, O'Malley and Barboa were two of the four county commissioners who voted unanimously to certify the general election results.

Barboa said she was coming home from Christmas shopping when she saw her home had been hit by gunfire.

"My house had four shots through the front door and windows, where just hours before my grandbaby and I were playing in the living room," she said in a statement. "Processing this attack is heavy, especially knowing that other women of color elected officials have also been targeted."

On Jan. 3, more than a dozen shots were fired at the home of state Sen. Linda Lopez.

Detectives had initially listed two additional shootings as being potentially part of the same pattern, but police now say they have no evidence linking those incidents to the others.

January 18, 2023 5:46 PM  
Anonymous I wonder if Republicans agree with any part of the Constitution said...

A 'spider' turned out to be a sign of gunfire

On Jan. 3, just before 1 a.m., automatic ShotSpotter sensors reported gunfire near Lopez's home. An officer who responded to the scene recovered shell casings, but saw no signs that bullets had struck anything. The state senator later said she heard loud bangs, which she attributed to fireworks.

But around the same time, Lopez's daughter, 10, came to her mother's bedroom saying "she believed a spider woke her up by crawling on her face," according to the criminal complaint. When Lopez took her daughter back to bed, the girl "asked why it felt like there was sand in the bed."

It wasn't until morning, when Lopez saw bullet holes in her house, that she realized what had happened and called police.

"As it turned out, sheetrock dust was blown onto Linda's daughter's face and bed resulting from firearm projectile(s) passing inside her bedroom overhead," the complaint states.

The last shooting brought a breakthrough

For the final shooting, Peña allegedly came along and pulled the trigger on one of the weapons, said Albuquerque Police Deputy Commander Kyle Hartsock.

According to the criminal complaint, a confidential witness told detectives that Peña apparently took part because he was unhappy the bullets hit high on the homes and the shootings took place late at night.

Pena, the complaint states, "wanted them to aim lower and shoot around 8 p.m. because occupants would more likely not be laying down." The witness adds that the more aggressive approach made the gunmen uneasy "since they knew doing so would more likely end in death or injury."

About 40 minutes after the attack on Lopez's home, a sheriff's deputy pulled over a silver Nissan Maxima for a traffic stop related to the car's tags, and the driver, José Trujillo, was found to have an outstanding felony arrest warrant. When the car was searched, police found 800 pills of suspected fentanyl, a large amount of cash, and two guns in the trunk: an AR-15 style weapon and a Glock 17 with a drum magazine. Tests later confirmed that the Glock had been used in the shooting at Lopez's home.

The Maxima that Trujillo was driving was registered to Peña, according to law enforcement. It was stopped less than five miles from Lopez's home. Describing the attackers' methods, police say the gunmen apparently stole cars to carry out several attacks. A newly stolen red truck was used in the Lopez attack, police say, suggesting that when Trujillo was stopped, the alleged gunmen had already gotten rid of the stolen vehicle.

Police later got a search warrant for the cellphone of Demetrio Trujillo — whose relationship to José Trujillo isn't spelled out in court papers, but who is named as Peña's main co-conspirator. On it, investigators uncovered a trove of messages from Peña, including exact addresses of lawmakers who were targeted.

Peña got 26% of the vote last November

Last year, Peña ran for the District 14 seat of the New Mexico House of Representatives as the Republican nominee, but he lost in the general election to Democratic incumbent Miguel Garcia, who won 73.6% of the vote.

Peña is a supporter of former President Donald Trump, and upon Trump's announcement that he would be running for reelection in 2024, Peña tweeted, "I stand with him. I never conceded my HD 14 race. Now researching my options."

Peña's arrest comes a day before the New Mexico legislative session resumes.

"I hope, personally, too, our legislators can breathe a sigh of relief," Keller said. "They can go back to focusing on the legislative session. I also know that fundamentally, at the end of the day, this was about a right-wing radical, an election denier who was arrested today, and someone who did the worst imaginable thing you can do when you have a political disagreement, which is turn that to violence."

January 18, 2023 5:48 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

W/R/BA said "to belch your hate all day and night"

The hate is all coming from you, we don't seek to harm you but you say people like me deserve to die and be eternally tortured - now that's hate!

January 19, 2023 3:01 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Ohio parents sue over LGBTQ-supporting badges for teachers

A group of parents in central Ohio want to prohibit teachers from wearing a badge supporting young LGBTQ students.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, eight parents of Hillard City Schools accuse school officials of letting teachers engage in “intimate conversations about sexual behaviors, sexual attitudes” with young students when they have questions about gender identity or sexual orientation.

When teachers want to show students they can feel safe to ask about LGBTQ issues, they can wear a badge that reads “I’m Here” next to a Pride rainbow, according to local television station WCMH-TV.

But in the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Ohio, the eight parents are asking the court to put an end to that.

The lawsuit also alleges that school officials are allowing “activist teachers” to have conversations about gender identity or sexual orientation with young children without parental consent.

Oftentimes, LGBTQ youth aren’t sure whether they will be fully accepted at home for being who they are or they feel they might encounter a hostile environment if they come out as LGBTQ.

Research shows that LGBTQ youth who live in a community that is accepting of queer and trans people report “significantly lower rates” of attempting suicide when compared to those who do not.

According to a survey released by The Trevor Project last year, only 37% of LGBTQ youth reported their home as affirming.

As far as “intimate conversations about sexual behaviors, sexual attitudes” goes, the teachers are not initiating these conversations, the troubled students are, which is fine. These conversations are not to discuss the mechanics of sex, but to address issues that come with being an lgbt child such as being bullied for who they are. LGBT children are rightfully fearful that their parents will react with abuse if they reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity. The majority of homeless children are lgbt children whose parents have thrown them out of the house. LGBT issues are clearly not an area of responsibility that can be trusted to parents in general, in this case the government rightly provides support to lgbt students even when parents foolishly oppose that.

January 19, 2023 3:16 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Ron DeSantis has banned the teaching of African American history in Florida schools. The controversial “Stop W.O.K.E. Act,” which was signed into law last April is part of a spurious effort to combat the teaching of “critical race theory” in Florida—and make other drastic changes to schooling in the state.

“It means an insult to me, it means an injury to me.” said Dr. Marvin Dunn, former professor of psychology at Florida International University and a specialist in the state’s Black history. “ Florida is doing its best to shut down discussions about race, slavery, anything having to do with a challenge to the idea that racism is still a real factor in American life today.”

In his march towards a possible presidential nomination, DeSantis has —at what seems a blistering pace— taken up a war on what he calls “woke” education in Florida. He has packed K-12 school districts with far-right extremists, pushed book bans, passed the notorious “Don’t Say Gay” bill and appointed right-wing advocates to the board of at least one liberal arts college.

And on Wednesday, the heads of Florida’s 28 state colleges pledged that they would not fund any program “that compels belief in critical race theory or related concepts such as intersectionality.”. The farce is that no one can "compel" anyone to think anything. Ron DeSantis is committed to deceiving school children into believing there is no such thing as racism in the United States and that minorities don't experience any inequities, injustice, or unfairness due to racism, systemic or otherwise. This is about protecting white privilege.

“Rejecting [the course] means that our students once again will not have access to a true definition of what history looks like from their perspective,” said Hillsborough County teacher Denise Thomas Ford, who works in a district with a high percentage of Black students. “And not just an African-American student perspective, but every student needs to have access to this information … If you’re you're not giving them all sides of something so that they can think, you’re damaging them. You’re giving them a biased education.”

Dunn explained that he sees these steps to take away students’ opportunity to learn their history as a warning shot for the country—and a call to vote.

“What just happened in Florida that this is coming your way. This suppression of Black history is going to become a national thing if DeSantis and people who support him gain control of the federal government and the White House,” said Dunn. “I say: You’ve been warned.”

January 19, 2023 3:27 PM  
Anonymous I wonder if Republicans agree with any part of the Constitution said...

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A lawsuit filed on behalf of several Missouri faith leaders on the 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision asks a court to throw out the state's abortion law, alleging that lawmakers openly invoked their personal religious beliefs in drafting the measure.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in St. Louis is the latest of many to challenge restrictive abortion laws enacted by conservative states after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. That landmark ruling left abortion rights up to each state to decide.

Since then, religious abortion rights supporters have increasingly used religious freedom lawsuits in seeking to protect abortion access. The religious freedom complaints are among nearly three dozen post-Roe lawsuits that have been filed against 19 states’ abortion bans, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

The Missouri lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction barring the state from enforcing its abortion law and a declaration that provisions of its law violate the Missouri Constitution. Plaintiffs include 12 Christian and Jewish leaders.

“What the lawsuit says is that when you legislate your religious beliefs into law, you impose your beliefs on everyone else and force all of us to live by your own narrow beliefs,” said Michelle Banker of the National Women’s Law Center, lead attorney in the case. “And that hurts us. That denies our basic human rights.”

Within minutes of last year's Supreme Court decision, then-Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Gov. Mike Parson, both Republicans, filed paperwork to immediately enact a 2019 law prohibiting abortions “except in cases of medical emergency.” That law contained a provision making it effective only if Roe v. Wade was overturned.

The law makes it a felony punishable by 5 to 15 years in prison to perform or induce an abortion. Medical professionals who do so also could lose their licenses. The law says that women who undergo abortions cannot be prosecuted.

Missouri already had some of the nation’s more restrictive abortion laws and had seen a significant decline in the number of abortions performed, with residents instead traveling to clinics just across the state line in Illinois and Kansas.

The lawsuit said sponsors and supporters of the Missouri measure “repeatedly emphasized their religious intent in enacting the legislation." It quotes the bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Nick Schroer, as saying that “as a Catholic I do believe life begins at conception and that is built into our legislative findings.” A co-sponsor, Republican state Rep. Barry Hovis, said he was motivated “from the Biblical side of it," according to the lawsuit.

Lawsuits in several other states are taking similar approaches.

In Indiana, lawyers for five anonymous women — who are Jewish, Muslim and spiritual — and advocacy group Hoosier Jews for Choice have argued that state’s ban infringes on their beliefs. Their lawsuit specifically highlights the Jewish teaching that a fetus becomes a living person at birth and that Jewish law prioritizes the mother’s life and health.

A court ruling siding with the women was appealed by the Indiana attorney general's office, which is asking the state Supreme Court to consider the case.

In Kentucky, three Jewish women sued, claiming the state’s ban violates their religious rights under the state’s constitution and religious freedom law. They allege that Kentucky’s Republican-dominated legislature “imposed sectarian theology” by prohibiting nearly all abortions. The ban remains in effect while the Kentucky Supreme Court considers a separate case challenging the law.

But Banker said Missouri’s lawsuit is unique because while plaintiffs in other states claimed harm, “we are saying that the whole law violates separation of church and state and we’re seeking to get everything struck down.”

January 19, 2023 6:18 PM  
Anonymous It looks like millennials figured out Conservatives don't give a damn about them said...

New data suggests that unlike previous generations, millennials are not becoming more conservative as they age – and people are ecstatic.

By studying voting surveys from both the UK and the US, The Financial Times’ John Burn-Murdoch found that millennials are actually defying historic patterns about how personal politics change.

They are less right-wing than previous generations and have shown no indication of copying their parents and grandparents by shifting on the political spectrum.

Burn-Murdoch suggested that it is not just the lack of house affordability making millennials more liberal, nor the after-effects of Liz Truss’s mini-budget which rocked the whole of the UK’s economy.

He explained: “That was a brief shock whereas we’re looking at a multi-year trend, and it can’t explain the same pattern in the US.”

Instead, he pointed out that most millennials came of age in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, which could explain why they are more in favour of redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor.

Brexit may also “now come back to bite” the successful conservative parties who championed leaving the EU, as well as may other culture wars – especially as millennial and Gen Z voters may outnumber their older peers at the next UK election.

It’s worth noting that more than 50% of Brits regret Brexit now, according to a YouGov poll from November – the first time there’s been more people against the drawn out EU exit than for it.

January 19, 2023 10:38 PM  
Anonymous A fan said...

RIP David Crosby

David Crosby


I heard the place [heaven] is overrated….cloudy

Enjoy the clouds!

January 20, 2023 6:54 AM  
Anonymous The GQP really isn't going to like this. Hillary will though. said...

A federal judge on Thursday imposed nearly $1 million in sanctions on former President Donald Trump and his lawyer for filing a since-dismissed “frivolous” lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and many others, which had claimed they tried to rig the 2016 presidential election in her favor by smearing Trump.

“We are confronted with a lawsuit that should never have been filed, which was completely frivolous, both factually and legally, and which was brought in bad faith for an improper purpose,” wrote Judge John Middlebrooks in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in his order sanctioning Trump and his attorney Alina Habba.

Trump’s suit, which sought $70 million in damages, accused Clinton and 30 other defendants of conspiring to “weave a false narrative” during the 2016 election that Trump and his campaign were colluding with Russia in their efforts to win the race.

Middlebrooks in his order Thursday noted that “Mr. Trump is a prolific and sophisticated litigant who is repeatedly using the courts to seek revenge on political adversaries.”

“He is the mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process, and he cannot be seen as a litigant blindly following the advice of a lawyer,” Middlebrooks wrote.

“He knew full well the impact of his actions ... As such, I find that sanctions should be imposed upon Mr. Trump and his lead counsel, Ms. Habba.”

Under the order, the Republican Trump and Habba, are jointly and severally liable for the total amount of sanctions the judge imposed to cover the defendants’ legal fees and costs : $937,989.39. That amount is about $120,000 less than what the defendants jointly requested for sanctions.

Clinton was awarded $171,631 in sanctions to be paid by Trump and Habba, with most of that money earmarked for Clinton’s attorneys’ fee.

That was the second largest amount awarded in Middlebrooks’ order, which gave the Democratic National Committee, its former chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, and a related corporation $179,685.

“The amount of fees awarded in this case, while reasonable, is substantial,” Middlebrooks noted.

The judge in November had sanctioned Habba and other Trump lawyers $50,000 in favor of another defendant in the lawsuit, Charles Dolan.

He called the legal pleadings filed in the case by Habba “abusive litigation tactics,” and said the original lawsuit and a later, 186-page amended complaint “were drafted to advance political narrative; not to address legal harm caused by any Defendant.”

“The Amended Complaint is a hodgepodge of disconnected, often immaterial events, followed by an implausible conclusion,” Middlebrooks wrote.

“This is a deliberate attempt to harass; to tell a story without regard to facts.”

Habba did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the order.

Trump, who is seeking the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, filed his suit in March against Clinton, who was the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.

January 20, 2023 12:56 PM  
Anonymous The GQP really isn't going to like this. Hillary will though. said...

The other defendants included the DNC, Wasserman Schultz, Clinton campaign chief John Podesta, the law firm Perkins Coie, the research firm Fusion GPS, the former FBI officials James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, as well as Christopher Steele, the ex-British intelligence agent who authored the notorious “Trump-Russia dossier” opposition research report before the election.

The suit claimed that Clinton and other defendants falsified evidence, deceived law-enforcement agencies and engaged in other skulduggery that made “even the events of Watergate pale in comparison.”

Middlebrooks earlier dismissed the lawsuit against Clinton and all other defendants “with prejudice,” which bars Trump from refiling the complaint.

Middlebrooks’ order is the latest in a series of embarrassing legal setbacks for Trump, which have included the criminal conviction last month in New York state court of his Manhattan-based real estate company, The Trump Organization, for a years-long tax avoidance scheme.

Trump and his company also face a major civil lawsuit by New York’s attorney general for an alleged scheme to misstate the valuation of real estate assets for financial gain, and Trump also is being sued by the writer E. Jean Carroll, who accuses him of raping her in the mid-1990s in New York.

A state grand jury in Georgia recently completed gathering evidence and hearing testimony as part of an ongoing criminal probe into whether Trump illegally tried to overturn the results of the state’s 2020 election, which he lost.

And federal prosecutors are investigating Trump for his bid to reverse his loss in the national election to President Joe Biden, and his taking government documents to his Florida residence when he left office.

January 20, 2023 12:58 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Republicans are refusing to raise the debt ceiling unless Democrats make large cuts to the government. Defaulting on it's debt would be disastrous for the American economy and severely damage it's global credit rating. Essentially Republicans are demanding that the United States default on the debts it's already incurred. Funny how government spending is only a concern when there's a Democratic president, never when there's a Republican one. Republicans now want large cuts to Social Security and Medicare, something they had no desire to do when Trump or some other Republican was president. The hypocrisy of their sudden "concern" for the cost of government is laid bare by their concurrent attempts to defund the IRS and prevent it from collecting taxes owed by the richest Americans.

As it stands now the IRS doesn't have the enforcement personnel to collect all the taxes that are owed. Democrats and Joe Biden increased the IRS staff to allow it to finally collect these taxes. Republicans don't want the rich to pay what they owe and so are trying to defund IRS tax collection activities. Whenever a Democrat is president Republicans seek to maximize damage to the country in a ruthless attempt to take power again.

January 21, 2023 3:18 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

DeSantis seeks details on transgender university students

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking state universities for the number and ages of their students who sought gender dysphoria treatment, including sex reassignment surgery and hormone prescriptions, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Why he's conducting the survey wasn't completely clear. DeSantis has been criticized by LGTBQ advocates for policies seen as discriminatory, including banning instruction on sexual and gender identity in early grades and making it easier for parents to remove books related to the topic in public schools.

“We can see cuts in funding for universities to treat students with this condition, and I think an all-out elimination of services is certainly on the table,” said House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell.

“Our office has learned that several state universities provide services to persons suffering from gender dysphoria," Spencer wrote. “On behalf of the Governor, I hereby request that you respond to the enclosed inquiries related to such services.”

Driskell said DeSantis is trying to remake the state's universities “in his own image” as far as what can be taught and how students can be treated.

“I've never seen anything like this. It's a really terrifying place that we're at in Florida history,” Driskell said.

The survey requires a breakdown by age, regardless of whether the student is age 18 or older, of people prescribed hormones or hormone antagonists or who underwent a medical procedures like mastectomies, breast augmentation or removal and reconstruction of genitals.

It is EXTREMELY important for every voter in the Country to be aware of this story. This person, who wants to be President has made it absolutely clear that he believes he has the right to your personal health information. Add that to his every effort to keep voters away from polling places, keep education away from students, keep books out of libraries and use gerrymandering to prevent groups of people in his state from being heard and their needs provided for and if that's not enough to make you an informed voter. You can't be helped.

DeSantis is trying to force everyone to live according to the rigid, narrow, and suffocating gender roles he considers acceptable. Republicans hate Americans having the freedom to be who they are.

January 21, 2023 3:21 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Nearly 9 in 10 trans youth say recent wave of anti-LGBTQ policies negatively affected their mental health: poll

The recent explosion in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric across the country is dramatically affecting LGBTQ youth — especially transgender and nonbinary kids and young adults — according to a poll released Thursday.

An overwhelming majority of queer and transgender youth in the U.S. say the growing number of policies restricting their rights have negatively impacted their mental health, leading to feelings of anxiety, fear, sadness and stress, the poll found.

A record number of anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced across state legislatures in 2022 — more than 220 — according to The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ and questioning youth.

Late last year, researchers with the organization spoke with a national sample of 716 LGBTQ young people, ages 13 to 24, to gauge how the policies have affected their mental well-being.

They found 71% of LGBTQ youth said they were negatively impacted by the flurry of anti-LGBTQ bills across the country, while 27% said their mental health was affected “very negatively.”

Some 86% of trans youth — nearly nine in 10 — said their mental health was negatively affected, with 55% reporting being affected “very negatively.”

Forty-five percent of trans youth reported being victims of cyberbullying last year, while 29% reported not feeling safe to go to the doctor or hospital when they were sick or injured.

So far this year more than 140 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced or are under consideration in more than 20 states.

“We must consider the negative toll of these ugly public debates on youth mental health and well-being. LGBTQ young people are watching, and internalizing the anti-LGBTQ messages they see in the media and from their elected officials. And so are those that would do our community harm,” he added.

Proposed policies include bans on LGBTQ-themed books or conversations about sexual orientation or gender identity in class, attempts to outlaw gender-affirming care and trans youth sports bans. Protests against family-friendly drag events have also taken place in nearly every state.

January 21, 2023 3:22 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Republicans don't have a positive agenda for their country, they don't seek to address any real problems or improve Americans lives in any way. Instead their sole policy agenda is "owning the libs" by scapegoating black and lgbt Americans. They appeal to the naturally violent psychological tendencies of right wing authoritarians by giving them a fake enemy to fear and focus their unhappiness on. This has been a standard practice of authoritarian regimes throughout history, demonize lgbt people and attack them to create the false impression the dictator is doing something of value for the people when in reality he's destroying democracy and plundering the country to enrich himself and his key supporters.

Make no mistake about it, the MAGA wing of the Republican party, the right wing authoritarians want to turn the United States into Russia. This will lower the standard of living of almost all Americans and destroy the freedom of the press to hold the government accountable for it's corruption and failures.

January 21, 2023 3:28 PM  
Anonymous eight miles high... said...

how futile to be a TTFer

and disgusting, like a frog

to croak your claims all hazy day

to a similarly slimy bog

January 22, 2023 1:45 PM  
Anonymous No Longfellow said...

Wow, great elementary school poetry.

The following is not claims, it's facts.

Four Oath Keepers found guilty of Jan. 6 seditious conspiracy

The verdict is the the second of three seditious conspiracy cases charged in the U.S. Capitol breach

Four members of the far-right Oath Keepers group were convicted of seditious conspiracy Monday, joining founder Stewart Rhodes in being found guilty by a jury of plotting to keep President Donald Trump in power by force.

Seditious conspiracy charges are rarely used and even more rarely successful. At Rhodes’s trial only he and Florida Oath Keepers leader Kelly Meggs were found guilty of the crime, while three associates were convicted of less politically-loaded charges.

Joseph Hackett, 52, ; Roberto Minuta, 38; David Moerschel, 45 and Edward Vallejo, 64, were described by federal prosecutors as armed and dangerous traitors, and by their attorneys as hapless has-beens who stumbled into chaos.

“They claimed to wrap themselves in the Constitution, but they trampled it,” prosecutor Jeffrey Nestler said in closing arguments. “They ignored the will of the people,” he said, but “had the audacity to claim to be oath-keepers.”

Of the nearly 1,000 people charged with committing crimes at the Capitol on Jan. 6, only 14 were charged with seditious conspiracy, identified by the Justice Department as not just participants in a violent mob but leaders using brutality to further a political plot. The Oath Keepers verdict comes as five members of the Proud Boys face trial down the hall on seditious conspiracy charges.

January 23, 2023 2:42 PM  
Anonymous No surprise here: A lying GOPer now chairs the House Intelligence Committee said...

The incoming chairman of the House intelligence Committee tried to both-side election fraud deniers by lying about who went to the Supreme court to challenge the 2000 election results. Mike Turner said it was Al Gore today when it has always been George W. Bush.

Face The Nation host Margaret Brennan asked Turner if he had any concerns about the incredible number of election deniers joining his committee.

“Of the 26 Republican members on the committee, 19 of them denied the results of the 2020 election,” Brennan noted.

CBS then listed Turner’s treasonous colleagues.

“They all played critical roles in the former president’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election results. Do you have any concerns about working with these lawmakers?” she asked.

This forced Rep. Turner to try and both-sides the insurrection crowd with the Democratic party — so much so that he even lied about the 2000 election to do it.

“You know even on the Democrat side there’s been a number of people who objected to President Bush’s reelection and voted against certifying his election,:” Turner replied, refusing to address the question.

“I’m asking about you, your party and your colleagues,” Brennan said.

Then came the BIG LIE part infinity.

“There’s a long history of both sides having raised issues, including, you may recall, Al Gore taking President Bush’s election all the way to the Supreme Court,” Turner claimed.

Rep. Turner lied so severely he should be kicked off all TV networks forever and ever.

To refresh our memories.

On November 26, 2000, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris certified that Bush had won the election by a 537-vote margin. Gore then sued Harris because all of the recounts had not been completed when she certified the results. On December 8, 2000, the Florida Supreme Court sided with Gore, ordering that all statewide “undervote” ballots, or punch-card ballots that had been cast but not registered because of a problem called a “hanging chad,” needed to be recounted.

Bush immediately appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which ordered the recount halted on December 9, 2000 until it could hear arguments in the case.

It was George W, Bush’s refusal to abide by the Florida Supreme Court’s decision to keep counting the votes that led him to take it to the highest court. Not Al Gore.

January 23, 2023 5:31 PM  
Anonymous The lying head of the House Intelligence Committee is Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio said...

Brennan was trying to cut off Turner and maybe didn’t hear his outright lie.

Rep. Turner stayed with his prepared talking points of “there are election deniers on both sides of at isle.”

Turner then rattled on about the voters electing these seditious creeps.

The CBS host characterized Rep.Turner as some sort of the centrist , which is supposed to make him, I guess, in this context not to be an election fraud denier or conspiracy theorist.

So why would Mike Turner severely gaslight people over the controversial SCOTUS-decided presidential election of 2000?

In a nutshell: the entire Republican Party is full of corrupt liars.

And let’s not forget that once the Supreme Court ruled in that case, Al Gore conceded and that was that. And his argument was much, much more righteous that Trump’s ever was since he won the popular vote and the difference was just 535 votes in one state not tens of thousands across several states. Oh, and by the way, nobody stormed the capitol on January 6th that year and ransacked it in a big giant temper tantrum, either.

January 23, 2023 5:36 PM  
Anonymous government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem - remember the lockdowns said...

"Wow, great elementary school poetry

hey unlong fellow, Emily Dickinson is not generally paraphrased in elementary school

"The following is not claims, it's facts."

this page is not a newsreel

let's hear some actual thinking from you

we need a good laugh in this trying times with an senile buffoon in the Oval Office

January 24, 2023 9:09 AM  
Anonymous government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem - backlash boomerang boooing said...

Bill Maher says Biden admin ‘all-in’ on trans indoctrination of kids

A lot of parents, The New York Times’ Katie J.M. Baker reports, are upset that schools fostered their kids’ gender transition without telling them. Imagine that.

This is progress for the Times, with its hyperprogressive biases. And of course the piece gives plenty of voice to the advocates who support keeping parents in the dark, if that’s what the kids want.

Crucially, though, Baker admits that the question of “how schools should address gender identity cuts through the liberal and conservative divide,” even quoting a therapist, herself trans, who finds herself working with right-wing lawyers on this one cause.

And Baker visits a support group for mostly-liberal Westchester parents who “said they had been sidelined by their children’s schools.” Some “didn’t think their teenagers were really transgender. Others thought it was too soon to know for certain. Most said their children had mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder, or autism.”

Among their concerns: “What if their children had been unduly influenced by their classmates to ask for hormone treatments and surgery? What if teachers were encouraging students to see their families as unsafe? And were right-wing partisans their only sympathetic audience?”

It’s beyond doubt that, in parts of the country, activist-driven rules ignore not just parental rights but even the best interests of kids. One horrifying example comes from Virginia, where (as Laura Bryant Hanford reported at The Federalist), Appomattox County High School hid from parents a 14-year-old girl’s transition to boyhood in 2021. That led to the child being sex-trafficked twice.

Barring clear evidence to the contrary, laws ought to assume parents have their children’s best interests at heart — and are more fit to make decisions than often-incompetent, routinely overwhelmed school bureaucracies. It’s so obvious that even The New York Times is beginning to get it.

January 24, 2023 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Person, Woman, Man, Camera, TV "[The doctors] said, 'That's amazing. How did you do that?'" the president said...

"let's hear some actual thinking from you"

You're welcome to post some actual thoughts any time... spinning the wheel of right wing talking points doesn't count.

"we need a good laugh in this trying times with an senile buffoon in the Oval Office"

Ah, I see you prefer the senile rapist that was in the Oval office before... you know, the one that can't tell the difference between his ex-wife and his rape-accuser:

Donald Trump mistook E Jean Carroll, the writer who accuses him of rape, for his ex-wife Marla Maples during a deposition in the case last year, excerpts released in US district court on Wednesday showed.

“That’s Marla, yeah,” Trump said, when shown a photograph. “That’s my wife.”

The mistake was corrected by a lawyer for the 76-year-old former president. But observers said it could undermine Trump’s claim he could not have attacked Carroll because she is not his “type”.

It was not the first release of excerpts from Trump’s deposition, which happened in October. Last week, Trump was shown to have claimed Carroll “said it was very sexy to be raped”.

Carroll says Trump raped her in a department store changing room in the mid-1990s. Trump denies it.

This is the same guy that is famous for "I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. ... Grab 'em by the pussy. You can do anything."

Carroll sued Trump for defamation and under the Adult Survivors Act, a New York law which allows alleged victims of historical sexual assault to bring cases within a defined timeframe.

Trump was married to Maples, the mother of his daughter Tiffany, from 1993 to 1999, between marriages to Ivana Trump, his first wife, and Melania Trump, his third and current spouse.

The photograph he thought showed Maples shows Trump in Carroll’s company in the 1990s. In his deposition, Trump said it showed a “receiving line” at an event.

In the extracts released last week, Trump said of Carroll: “She said that I did something to her that never took place. There was no anything. I know nothing about this nutjob.”

He also accused Carroll of alleging he raped her in order to promote “a really crummy book”.

To Carroll’s lawyer, he said: “I will sue her after this is over, and that’s the thing I really look forward to doing. And I’ll sue you, too.”

Trump also called Carroll “mentally sick” and falsely claimed she had talked about enjoying sexual assault.

“She actually indicated that she loved it,” he said. “OK? She loved it until commercial break. In fact, I think she said it was sexy, didn’t she? She said it was very sexy to be raped. Didn’t she say that?”

Trump was referring to an interview with CNN in 2019 in which Carroll described why she preferred not to use the word “rape”, as some people think “rape is sexy”.

In Trump’s deposition, Carroll’s lawyer asked: “It’s your testimony that E Jean Carroll said that she loved being sexually assaulted by you?”

Trump said: “Well, based on her interview with Anderson Cooper, I believe that’s what took place. And we can define that … I think she said that rape was sexy – which it’s not, by the way.”

In her CNN interview, Carroll said: “I didn’t think of it as rape. I thought of it as a violent incident. I thought of it as a fight. And I’ll tell you how stupid … I thought I won because I got out.”

Trump is the only declared candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. A poll released on Wednesday gave him a 17-point lead over his nearest notional challenger, the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis.

A trial concerning Carroll’s rape claim is due to begin in April.

January 24, 2023 4:18 PM  
Anonymous What Republicans fail to grasp in statistics they make up for in cherry-picking said...

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has rejected a Republican National Committee (RNC) complaint claiming that Google violated US law by using Gmail's spam filter on Republican campaign emails. Republicans had claimed Gmail's spam filtering amounted to "illegal in-kind contributions made by Google to Biden For President and other Democrat candidates."

But an FEC decision last week, which Google provided to Ars today, said the commission found "no reason to believe" that Google made prohibited in-kind corporate contributions. The FEC, an independent agency of the US government, also found no evidence that the Biden for President campaign committee knowingly accepted illegal in-kind contributions in the form of spam filtering preference.

The FEC told Google in a letter that it has "closed its file in this matter" and that documents related to the case will be placed on the public record within 30 days.

"The Commission's bipartisan decision to dismiss this complaint reaffirms that Gmail does not filter emails for political purposes," Google said in a statement. "We'll continue to invest in our Gmail industry-leading spam filters because, as the FEC notes, they're important to protecting people's inboxes from receiving unwanted, unsolicited, or dangerous messages."

Republicans made their case in a joint complaint filed in April by the RNC, National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). "By overwhelmingly and disproportionately suppressing emails from Republican candidates, including President Trump and others, Google used its corporate resources to provide a massive service to their Democrat opponents by denying Republican candidates the same ability to communicate with voters," the complaint said.

The RNC complaint cited a North Carolina State University study that found "Gmail marks a significantly higher percentage (67.6 percent) of emails from the right as spam compared to the emails from left (just 8.2 percent)."

But the FEC decision said that "the NCSU Study does not make any findings as to the reasons why Google's spam filter appears to treat Republican and Democratic campaign emails differently." The FEC also described several limitations in the study:

"First, the NCSU Study observed a limited time period, and the authors note that they "cannot make inferences about the behaviors of the SFAs [spam filtering algorithms] in general. Second, a number of variables were outside the NCSU Study's control, including how many emails the individual campaigns sent; how long the campaigns had been active; and how many users outside of the study group had marked a specific email as spam. Thus, the study authors conclude, they "cannot determine the extent to which these factors influence spam percentages." Finally, the authors note that their study selected for particular variables, and that other variables may have other effects not shown in the NCSU Study. They state that "we have no reason to believe that there were deliberate attempts from these email services to create these biases to influence the voters."

The FEC decision noted that Google's response "contends that the NCSU Study was small, analyzing only *34* recipient email addresses when Gmail has 1.5 billion users, and over 'a mere 153 days, 27 of which were post-election.'" Google also responded that "only four Gmail accounts were included in each of the Read, Spam, and Inbox Groups," that "the emails sent by Republican and Democratic campaigns were not identical, and that there are multiple factors that impact the action of Google's SFA that were outside the authors' control," the FEC said.

January 24, 2023 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Marjorie Taylor Greene Blamed Wildfire on Jewish Space Laser said...

And MTG proudly spoke at the America First Political Action Conference, organized by white nationalist "groyper" leader Nick Fuentes.

Now Kevin "15 votes" McCarthy has appointed MTG to sit on the House Oversight and the Homeland Security Committees.

Like the Senate will approve any bills these lying GOPer idiots send their way.

January 25, 2023 3:06 PM  

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