Monday, January 4, 2021

Last Call For A Star, Chamber

With NOLA-area Congressman Cedric Richmond joining the Biden administration, the state is having a special election for his seat this spring and one very notable candidate has thrown his hat into the ring: Black activist Gary Chambers, who breaks out with this spectacular ad.

I know we've seen great introduction ads in the last two years, from AOC, from Jaime Harrison, from Cori Bush and others, (with widely varying levels of success and effectiveness) but I believe Chambers has a real shot at being a winner here. The seat isn't in any danger for the Dems being NOLA's House seat, and we need it filled ASAP. Any Dem would win on the general election ballot, so I'd like to see it filled with someone like Chambers.

We'll see how far he goes.

The Defense Of The Republic

All ten living ex-Secretaries of Defense, including Republicans Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Chuck Hagel, Mark Esper, and Jim Mattis, have signed onto an op-ed warning current acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller that the election is over, and that the US military cannot be used for whatever Trump may be planning in the coup department.

The U.S. presidential election, and the time for questioning its results, are over, all 10 living former secretaries of defense wrote in a forceful op-ed published on Sunday.

"Our elections have occurred. Recounts and audits have been conducted. Appropriate challenges have been addressed by the courts. Governors have certified the results. And the electoral college has voted," the 10 men from both Republican and Democratic administrations wrote.

"The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived," they said.

The bipartisan group of leaders published the letter in The Washington Post as President Trump continues to deny his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden. On Saturday, during a one-hour phone call, Trump even pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" votes to overturn his defeat.

Former Secretaries of Defense Ashton Carter, Dick Cheney, William Cohen, Robert Gates, Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, William Perry and Donald Rumsfeld signed the opinion piece.

Two Pentagon heads who served under Trump — Jim Mattis and Mark Esper — also signed it. Trump removed Esper in November as part of a major shakeup at the Department of Defense.

The op-ed comes as some Republican lawmakers in Congress plan this week to formally object to the certification of the Nov. 3 presidential election results.

Since the vote, Trump and his attorneys have repeatedly asserted false claims of voter fraud and blamed, without evidence, that his loss to Biden was due to widespread irregularities. But his insistence that the election was stolen has led to some speculation he could somehow use the military to remain in office past Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.

The 10 signatories made it clear that any effort to involve U.S. armed forces in resolving election disputes would take the country "into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory."

They wrote, "Civilian and military officials who direct or carry out such measures would be accountable, including potentially facing criminal penalties, for the grave consequences of their actions on our republic."

Former Defense Secretary Perry, who served under President Bill Clinton, wrote on Twitter that the idea for the statement originated with Cheney, a Republican who served under President George W. Bush as vice president and President George H.W. Bush as secretary of defense.

"Each of us swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We did not swear it to an individual or a party," Perry tweeted, reiterating the op-ed's lines.
We're really to this point, folks. 
Understand that war criminals like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld wouldn't be saying a word about this if they didn't believe there was a credible chance that Trump would resort to using the US military in a coup d'etat. To me, that means Trump has certainly called them and asked them about the possibility already, and this is their very public response.

Mark Esper signing this means that he believes the threat is real, because, again, he was almost certainly asked to do this. Same with Mad Dog Mattis. Imagine the phone call recorded Saturday by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and do the math from there.
Trump isn't fundraising, guys. He's trying to stay in power through whatever means necessary. Just because the coup attempt is ham-handed and obvious doesn't mean that it's not a serious and dangerous one if enough enablers allow it to happen
Eric Edelman, a former ambassador to Turkey and undersecretary of Defense for George W. Bush who endorsed Biden for president, said he organized the letter after talking to Cheney.

“I talk periodically to Cheney,” Edelman recalled in an interview Sunday. “This summer, when I was starting to get ready to help organize the national security Republicans who endorsed Biden, along with Sean O'Keefe, who was [Cheney’s] secretary of the Navy … I was talking to him about this on and off and expressing my concerns about Trump, much of which he shared.”

“When the David Ignatius piece came out,” Edelman continued, "that was alarming. It was not inconsistent with conversations I had with Esper after he resigned, in term of concerns about what might be going on with this clown car of people that they’ve got over there around Miller.

“When you are a former senior official, people you know are still there, you hear stuff,” he added. “I'd heard things that were eerily similar to what was in the Ignatius column.”
I said last month that Trump was gathering civilian Pentagon officials who wanted him to use the Insurrection Act to overturn the election. It's well past time we start taking that seriously.
Deadly seriously. 

Back To The Business Of Giving The Business

Good morning.

We're back to normal as of today.

President Trump on Monday is expected to give Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, according to someone familiar with the plans.

Nunes is a close ally of the president, and one of Trump’s most vocal supporters in his quest to undermine the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

During an interview with “Fox & Friends” in October 2018, Trump criticized the investigation of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and praised Nunes, then the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who had repeatedly accused FBI and Justice Department investigators of being biased against Trump. In the Fox News interview, Trump initially — and incorrectly — called for Nunes to receive the Medal of Honor, which is awarded for acts of military valor, before correcting himself and suggesting that Nunes receive the Medal of Freedom.

“What he’s gone through, and his bravery, he should get a very important medal,” Trump said.

Nunes has long supported some of Trump’s more outlandish conspiracy theories, including claiming that the intelligence community improperly “unmasked” the identities of several officials working on Trump’s presidential transition.

Trump — who is using his final days in the White House in part to reward friends and allies with pardons and other decorations — is also expected to give Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), another confidant, the same award next week, although those plans have not yet been finalized.
At this point, the Presidential Medal of Freedom should be renamed the "Presidential Medal of Patronage".
It's an insult to anyone who received one previously to 2017, and anyone who has gotten one from Trump should send it back to the White House in pieces.


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