Friday, January 29, 2021

Last Call For The Coup-Coup Birds Come Home To Roost, Con't

It's far past time for the nation to refer to the events of January 6th as what they really were: a coordinated domestic terrorist attack that was designed to aid and abet Donald Trump in taking the presidency from Joe Biden.

The two pipe bombs that were discovered on Jan. 6 near the U.S. Capitol shortly before a mob stormed the building are believed to have been planted the night before, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation and video footage obtained by The Washington Post.

The explosive devices, which were placed blocks from one another at the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic national committees, have been largely overshadowed by the violent attempted insurrection at the Capitol. But finding the person suspected of planting both bombs remains a priority for federal authorities, who last week boosted the reward for tips leading to the person’s arrest from $50,000 to $75,000.

The FBI said its agents are “using every tool in our toolbox” and have interviewed more than 1,000 residents and business owners in the neighborhood where the devices were found. On Friday morning, the FBI released additional information that confirmed The Post’s reporting about the timing of the placement of the bombs and raised the reward offered to $100,000.

The Post spoke to residents, property managers and business owners to obtain exclusive video of the suspect in the moments before the individual allegedly placed the bomb in an alley behind the Republican National Committee, one block from the Capitol grounds.

On Jan. 5 at 8:13 p.m., a security camera captured the suspect carrying a backpack, according to a resident who reviewed the footage and provided a copy to the FBI. The suspect was walking eastbound on C Street SE, headed toward an entrance to an alley that curved toward the Republican National Committee building. The Post did not obtain that footage but confirmed the homeowner’s account with a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation.

Seconds later, in video obtained by The Post, the suspect can be seen in the alley, known as Rumsey Court. The individual is wearing a light-colored sweatshirt and carrying a backpack near their waist, matching photographs that have been released by the FBI, and walks west past a row of homes. The suspect is believed to be walking toward the area behind the Republican National Committee building and the Capitol Hill Club to place the explosive device, according to the official familiar with the investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.

Another video shows the suspect carrying a backpack near their waist as they approach the area where the bomb was discovered on Jan. 6. They appear to be wearing a mask and gloves. According to the law enforcement official, this is the last known sighting of the suspect before the placement of the bomb.

When federal officials asked the public for information about the suspect, they circulated still images drawn from this video. For unknown reasons, the suspect did not immediately leave the area. Another video obtained by The Post shows the suspect retracing their steps on Rumsey Court at 8:16 p.m., again walking westbound toward the RNC building. The individual is moving at a brisk pace and still carrying a backpack near their waist.

One minute later, the suspect is seen walking eastbound on Rumsey Court — away from the area where the pipe bomb was discovered. They are wearing the backpack on their back.

The same person is suspected of placing the bomb at the Democratic National Committee building, according to the FBI. It is not clear which bomb was placed first. On Friday, the FBI released an image of one of the devices. The bureau described the suspect as wearing Nike Air Max Speed Turf shoes in yellow, black and gray and said that the person is believed to have placed both bombs between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 5.
Again, the plan was coordinated and disseminated, with all indications that Republican members of the Trump regime and Congress were directly involved with the terrorists.

The video’s title was posed as a question, but it left little doubt about where the men who filmed it stood. They called it “The Coming Civil War?” and in its opening seconds, Jim Arroyo, who leads an Arizona chapter of Oath Keepers, a right-wing militia, declared that the conflict had already begun.

To back up his claim, Mr. Arroyo cited Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona, one of the most far-right members of Congress. Mr. Gosar had paid a visit to the local Oath Keepers chapter a few years earlier, Mr. Arroyo recounted, and when asked if the United States was headed for a civil war, the congressman’s “response to the group was just flat out: ‘We’re in it. We just haven’t started shooting at each other yet.’”

Less than two months after the video was posted, members of the Oath Keepers were among those with links to extremist groups from around the country who took part in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, prompting new scrutiny of the links between members of Congress and an array of organizations and movements that espouse far-right beliefs.

Nearly 150 House Republicans supported President Donald J. Trump’s baseless claims that the election had been stolen from him. But Mr. Gosar and a handful of other Republican members of the House had deeper ties to extremist groups who pushed violent ideas and conspiracy theories and whose members were prominent among those who stormed the halls of Congress in an effort to stop certification of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory.

Their ranks include Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona, who like Mr. Gosar was linked to the “Stop the Steal” campaign backing Mr. Trump’s effort to overturn the election’s outcome.

Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado has close connections to militia groups including the so-called Three Percenters, an extremist offshoot of the gun rights movement that had at least one member who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory, whose adherents were among the most visible of those who stormed the building, and she appeared at a rally with militia groups.

Before being elected to Congress last year, Ms. Greene used social media in 2019 to endorse executing top Democrats and has suggested that the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., was a staged “false flag” attack. The liberal group Media Matters for America reported on Thursday that Ms. Greene also speculated on Facebook in 2018 that California wildfires might have been started by lasers from space, promoting a theory pushed by followers of QAnon.

Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida appeared last year at an event also attended by members of the Proud Boys, another extremist organization whose role in the Jan. 6 assault, like those of the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, is being investigated by the F.B.I.
All this looks like guilt by association because it is.  We already have a domestic terrorism alert from DHS now. All indications are that more terrorists attacks against Democrats and the Biden administration are being planned and readied. 
And Republicans in Congress are part of that group of terrorists.

It's About Suppression, Con't

Republicans across the country are making sure that 2020 never happens again, with an all new round of dozens of state legislature bills designed to eliminate tens of millions of Democratic votes in 2022 and beyond.

After an election filled with misinformation and lies about fraud, Republicans have doubled down with a surge of bills to further restrict voting access in recent months, according to a new analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice.

There are currently 106 pending bills across 28 states that would restrict access to voting, according to the data. That’s a sharp increase from nearly a year ago, when there were 35 restrictive bills pending across 15 states.

Among the Brennan Center’s findings:

  • More than a third of the bills would place new restrictions on voting by mail
  • Pennsylvania has 14 pending proposals for new voter restrictions, the most in the country. It’s followed by New Hampshire (11), Missouri (9), and Mississippi, New Jersey and Texas (8)
  • There are seven bills across four states that would limit opportunities for election day registration
  • There are also 406 bills that would expand voting access pending across 35 states, including in New York (56), Texas (53), New Jersey (37), Mississippi (39) and Missouri (21)

The restrictions come on the heels of an election in which there was record turnout and Democrat and Republican election officials alike said there was no evidence of widespread wrongdoing or fraud. There were recounts, audits and lawsuits across many states to back up those assurances. Federal and state officials called the election “the most secure in American history”.

Myrna Pérez, director of the voting rights and elections program at the Brennan Center, said the surge in anti-voting legislation was “countersensical” given that there were Republican and Democratic wins in key races across the country.

“The volume of anti-voter legislation is certainly revealing that a nerve was struck,” she told me. “There are certainly people who are sensitive to the idea of more progress … It ultimately comes down to an anxiety over the browning of America and people in power are afraid of losing their position.”

Many of the restrictions have to do with placing new barriers around voting by mail, a process that a record number of Americans used in 2020 (46% of Americans cast a mail-in ballot in 2020, compared with just 19% four years ago). In Arizona, a state that Joe Biden flipped, Republicans are weighing measures that would make it easier to remove voters from a permanent mail-in voting list and to require voters to get their ballots notarized. In Pennsylvania, there are proposals in the GOP-controlled legislature to get rid of no-excuse absentee voting and to make it easier to reject a ballot based on a signature mismatch – an unreliable way to confirm a voter’s identity.

And in Georgia, a state where Democrats won stunning upsets in the presidential race and two US Senate runoffs, Republicans are exploring whether to eliminate no-excuse absentee voting and to require voters to submit a copy of their ID when they vote by mail. Again, this comes after an election in which there was record vote by mail turnout, and the state’s top election official, a Republican, loudly pushed back on accusations of fraud.

In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, could veto GOP-restrictions. But in Georgia and Arizona, Republicans control both the legislature and the governor’s mansion. 
There are a host of other voting restrictions states are considering:

Ten states are considering new voter ID requirements, including six states that do not currently require voters to present ID at the polls, according to the Brennan Center.

Two states, Mississippi and New Hampshire, are considering placing new limits on the kinds of IDs that can be used.
Here in Kentucky, the photo-ID requirement and absentee ballot ban was lifted for COVID-19, but that will never happen again, and in 2022 by-mail voting will be gone.
Even though Republicans have no real evidence to restrict voting due to "fraud", what constitutes fraud to them is that Democrats are ever allowed to win elections, and they will put an end to that very quickly. 

The Republican chair of Arizona's state House Ways and Means Committee introduced a bill Wednesday that would give the Legislature authority to override the secretary of state’s certification of its electoral votes.

GOP Rep. Shawnna Bolick introduced the bill, which rewrites parts of the state's election law, such as sections on election observers and securing and auditing ballots, among other measures.

One section grants the Legislature, which is currently under GOP control, the ability to revoke the secretary of state's certification "by majority vote at any time before the presidential inauguration."

"The legislature may take action pursuant to this subsection without regard to whether the legislature is in regular or special session or has held committee or other hearings on the matter."

A request for comment from Arizona's secretary of state was not immediately returned.

The move comes as the Arizona GOP has faced an intraparty fight after former President Donald Trump fueled baseless claims about the election after the state went to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election — the first time in 24 years a Democrat has won the state. 

So that's just it. In Arizona, Republicans seriously want the power to simply throw out a presidential election with a simple majority of the vote of the state legislature. And why wouldn't they?

Why wouldn't any GOP gerrymandered state legislature simply do that, so that a Democrat can never again win a presidential election in that state, ever?
Why stop at presidential elections?  Why not state elections too?  Why not invalidate every Democratic victory in the state, from the local justice of the peace on up to Governor?

Democracy means nothing to these monsters.

Jim Class Zeroes

Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan will apparently not be running for the Senate seat held by the retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman. With Jordan out, the seat doesn't have a frontrunner, but it also means that the Dems don't quite has a big a clown to run against.

That is if they can find anyone...

Jordan would have likely been considered a frontrunner in the GOP primary had he run for Senate. But in a statement Thursday, a spokesperson for his campaign said he would stay in the House rather than launch a Senate bid. His decision was first reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Jordan's decision has major implications for the race. As a prominent Trump ally and frequent guest on conservative news channels, Jordan would have been formidable in a Republican primary and could have kept other conservatives out of the race, though he was considered unlikely to entirely clear the field of contenders.

The remaining field of possible candidates is crowded and without an obvious frontrunner. Josh Mandel, the former state treasurer who lost the 2012 Senate race, is considering a bid and is expected to run. Jane Timken, the state GOP chair, is also considering running, and several members of the House delegation in the state are weighing their options.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and former Rep. Pat Tiberi both announced they would not run. But other statewide officials, including Secretary of State Frank LaRose, are potential candidates as well.

Republicans are favored to retain the seat in a state that has shifted rightward in the past decade: Trump carried it by 8 percentage points in November. But a crowded and potentially messy primary gives Democrats an opening they would not have had if Portman were running for a third term.

Jordan, who was first elected to Congress in 2006, was on the fringes of the House GOP conference for much of his tenure in the chamber, particularly given his fraught relationship with former House Speaker John Boehner, a fellow Ohioan. Jordan became more prominent in the Trump era, and was one of the founders and the first chair of the House Freedom Caucus, a hard-line group of conservatives who ultimately became close Trump allies after he won the presidency.
Frankly, Jordan passing on the seat doesn't change the calculus much. Ohio Dems are in even worse shape than Kentucky Dems, and the one Democrat who could win is already in the US Senate: Sherrod Brown.
Unless he gets cloned, or somebody steps up, this seat is as good as the GOP's for another six years.


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