Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Last Call For Confederate Relics

The House passed a bill to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol building. The Confederate statue running the US Senate probably won't even allow a vote.

The House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol, the latest effort by Congress to respond to the nationwide protests over systemic racism and injustice. 
The bill would remove the bust of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney from the Old Supreme Court Chamber, in the Capitol. Taney authored the Dred Scott decision in 1857, which declared African Americans couldn’t be citizens and was later widely panned. The Taney bust would be replaced with a statue of Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court justice. 
The legislation would also remove three statues of Americans who promoted slavery and white supremacy — Charles Aycock, John C. Calhoun, and James Paul Clarke — and require states to reclaim and replace their Confederate statues in the Capitol. There are 12 Confederate statues in the Capitol collection.

“Today will be a historic day in the history of the Congress of the United States and of our country,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said. “The House is taking a long-overdue and historic step to ensure that individuals we honor in our Capitol represent our nation’s highest ideals and not the worst in its history.” 
Despite overwhelming support for the bill in the House, it’s unclear whether the GOP-controlled Senate will take up the legislation. Senate Republican leaders have so far declined to take action on the issue, saying it is up to states to replace the statues they send to the Capitol. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to comment on whether the upper chamber will consider the House bill. 
It’s also unclear whether President Donald Trump would sign the bill given that he has used Confederate symbolism as a cause célèbre to rally his supporters in recent weeks.

GOP firmly on the side of the Confederacy here.

Remember that this November.

The State Of The Police State, Con't

Once again the goal is for the Trump regime to terrorize Democratic-led cities with troops to prevent anyone there from voting in November, and most likely we're going to see a trigger event soon that will lead to hundreds, maybe thousands of deaths.

Federal law enforcement agencies are gearing up to expand their footprint nationwide in the coming weeks, despite concerns about the recent scenes of violence and chaos in Oregon.

Department of Homeland Security officials have considered deploying mobile field forces to protect federal property in cities around the country that experience unrest, two people familiar with the discussions told POLITICO. And the Department of Justice is planning to expand “Operation Legend,” a law enforcement initiative launched by Attorney General Bill Barr earlier this month to fight “the sudden surge of violent crime” in Kansas City, Mo.
DOJ plans to announce this week that the operation, which involves agents from the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, will expand into more cities, a DOJ official told POLITICO. “We are seeing success in our Kansas City operation and have already arrested some wanted fugitives,” the DOJ official said.

The discussions have followed weeks of clashes between federal agents and protesters in Portland, which Trump on Monday called “worse than Afghanistan.” The president has vowed to use the power of the federal government to crush what his officials deem “violent anarchists,” wielding his authority to bolster the law-and-order theme he’s woven increasingly into his campaign messages.

The threat of force against cities whose residents overwhelmingly oppose the president has outraged Democratic lawmakers and mayors, several of whom told POLITICO they have yet to receive a formal heads-up about any forthcoming deployments.

Democrats say the federal units are unwelcome and unnecessary — if not unlawful. But the Trump administration insists they are needed to protect American cities from the more unruly elements of a movement protesting police brutality and systemic racism.

“Portland was totally out of control,” the president said on Monday, blaming “liberal Democrats” for incidents of vandalism and clashes between protesters and law enforcement. “They were ripping down — for 51 days, ripping down that city, destroying the city, looting it.”

Senior DHS officials said they expect the unrest to escalate at least through the November election, and noted that the protection of federal buildings falls squarely within their remit. DHS can temporarily authorize officers and agents from its other components — including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) — to protect federal buildings.
The Federal Protective Service (FPS), the DHS component that’s specifically responsible for securing federal buildings around the country, has been training officers and agents from other DHS components on its legal powers. And an FPS document reviewed by POLITICO shows more trainings are scheduled for this month. Those trainings are not routine, one person familiar with the situation told POLITICO, and the plans indicate the department is preparing to deploy more officers around the country.

“As DHS cross-designated components to Portland, they received additional training from FPS specifically so they can fulfil their mission,” a DHS spokesperson told POLITICO in response to a request for comment on this story. The spokesperson declined to discuss any other details of this reporting.

We're now in a critical phase. More than anything, Trump wants an excuse to use overwhelming, deadly force to kill his own citizens in order to maintain his power in November.  He wants a deadly event he can replay on campaign ads and at rallies and press conferences and wants his followers to take up arms and fight for him if he is willing to go that far.

If this was happening in another country, we would call it what it is, a military crackdown by a despotic tyrant.

This is happening now, in America, today, right now.

I have been warning about the slide into authoritarianism for years here.

We're finally on the edge of the cliff, in the storm, and the ground is starting to crumble beneath us.

If it goes, there's no easy way of turning back.  Not without catastrophic bloodshed in the middle of a pandemic.  What I fear most is national martial law and suspended elections, and a military willing to follow Trump's evil orders.

Be careful, folks.

This is where history has its eyes on us, as the song goes.

Why Don't You Golf-Huck Yourself

Donald Trump is the most corrupt human being on earth, it's not even close at this point, he has suborned the most powerful political office in the most powerful nation on Earth into making him sweet sweet kickback dollars from the rest of the planet, and it's embarrassing at this point.

The American ambassador to Britain, Robert Wood Johnson IV, told multiple colleagues in February 2018 that President Trump had asked him to see if the British government could help steer the world-famous and lucrative British Open golf tournament to the Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland, according to three people with knowledge of the episode.

The ambassador’s deputy, Lewis A. Lukens, advised him not to do it, warning that it would be an unethical use of the presidency for private gain, these people said. But Mr. Johnson apparently felt pressured to try. A few weeks later, he raised the idea of Turnberry playing host to the Open with the secretary of state for Scotland, David Mundell.

In a brief interview last week, Mr. Mundell said it was “inappropriate” for him to discuss his dealings with Mr. Johnson and referred to a British government statement that said Mr. Johnson “made no request of Mr. Mundell regarding the British Open or any other sporting event.” The statement did not address whether the ambassador had broached the issue of Turnberry, which Mr. Trump bought in 2014, but none of the next four Opens are scheduled to be played there.

Still, the episode left Mr. Lukens and other diplomats deeply unsettled. Mr. Lukens, who served as the acting ambassador before Mr. Johnson arrived in November 2017, emailed officials at the State Department to tell them what had happened, colleagues said. A few months later, Mr. Johnson forced out Mr. Lukens, a career diplomat who had earlier served as ambassador to Senegal, shortly before his term was to end.

The White House declined to comment on Mr. Trump’s instructions to Mr. Johnson, as did the ambassador and the State Department.

Although Mr. Trump, as president, is exempt from a federal conflict of interest law that makes it a criminal offense to take part in “government matters that will affect your own personal financial interest,” the Constitution prohibits federal officials from accepting gifts, or “emoluments,” from foreign governments.

Experts on government ethics pointed to one potential violation of the emoluments clause that still may have been triggered by the president’s actions: The British or Scottish governments would most likely have to pay for security at the tournament, an event that would profit Mr. Trump.
It was not the first time the president tried to steer business to one of his properties. Last year, the White House chose the Trump National Doral resort in Miami as the site of a Group of 7 meeting. Mr. Trump backed off after it ignited a political storm, moving the meeting to Camp David before canceling it because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Trump also urged Vice President Mike Pence to stay at his family’s golf resort in Doonbeg, Ireland, last year during a visit, even though the vice president’s official business was on the other side of the country. That trip generated headlines for the golf club, but also controversy. And Mr. Trump has visited his family-owned golf courses more than 275 times since he took office, bringing reporters with him each time, ensuring that the resorts get ample news coverage.

The Trump International Hotel in Washington has done a brisk trade in guests, foreign and domestic, who are in town to lobby the federal government. Turnberry itself drew attention when the Pentagon acknowledged it had been sending troops to the resort while they were on overnight layovers at the nearby Glasgow Prestwick Airport.

It's just sad at this point, the sheer amount of Trump corruption, Republican corruption, billions and even trillions of dollars at this point, while the other 99% of us suffer.

Not only are they not hiding it, they're doing it in the open because they know everyone's so tired of it that they'll simply stop caring.


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