Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Last Call For Mean Greene's Machine

House GOP embarrassment and racist conspiracy crank Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is being condemned by House GOP minority leader Kevin McCarthy, but McCarthy refuses to actually do anything about her because of "The Squad" on the Democratic side, and Rep. Ilhan Omar in particular. Omar's previous anti-Semitic remarks earned her a deserved drubbing by Jewish members of Congress on both sides, but the difference is Omar apologized when it was pointed out to her. Greene is even worse, and racist on top of that, so if McCarthy won't yank her off committees, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer will.

House Democratic leaders are gearing up to vote Thursday on legislation stripping Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) of her committee spots — unless Republican leaders do it first.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) spoke with his counterpart, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), about Greene's fate Wednesday morning, with Hoyer suggesting afterwards that the GOP leader is not ready to remove the controversial conservative firebrand from a pair of top committees.

"I spoke to Leader McCarthy this morning, and it is clear there is no alternative to holding a Floor vote on the resolution to remove Rep. Greene from her committee assignments," Hoyer said in a statement. "The Rules Committee will meet this afternoon, and the House will vote on the resolution tomorrow."

The proposal, sponsored by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), would remove Greene from two plum committee assignments — Budget, and Education and Labor — for the remainder of this Congress.

McCarthy, the House Republican leader, had huddled with Greene in his office in the Capitol on Tuesday evening. Afterwards, McCarthy hosted a second meeting with the GOP Steering and Policy Committee to discuss Greene's fate. No decisions were made, but leaders are expected to meet again on Wednesday, and the full Republican conference also has a planned gathering at 4 p.m, when the topic is sure to be a major focus.

Hoyer has already spoken with McCarthy about Greene at least once this week. Democratic leaders remain in the dark about how McCarthy will proceed, according to a Democratic leadership aide, but they're insisting that GOP leaders remove Greene from both committees, or Democrats will take that step themselves by moving the Wasserman Schultz bill.

Technically this is Steny Hoyer's wheelhouse as House Majority Leader, and while the avowed centrist has been in the House Dem leadership for decades along with Pelosi now, he knows when to swing a big bat, and this is the time.

McCarthy can either do it quietly, or Hoyer can do it publicly. It's McCarthy's choice.

Ridin' With Biden, Con't

A decent three-in-five Americans feel confident with Joe Biden in the White House, a figure that includes more than a quarter of Republicans, in Quinnipiac University's latest poll.

Two weeks into the presidency of Joe Biden, a majority of Americans say, 61 - 34 percent, that they are generally optimistic about the next four years with Biden as president, according to a Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pea- ack) University national poll of 1,075 adults released today. However, there are sharp divisions by party identification.

Democrats say 90 - 7 percent and independents say 62 - 35 percent that they are optimistic. Republicans say 65 - 27 percent that they are pessimistic.

Despite an overall majority being optimistic, 69 percent of Americans say they are either very dissatisfied (46 percent) or somewhat dissatisfied (23 percent) with the way things are going in the nation today. Twenty-nine percent say they are very satisfied (6 percent) or somewhat satisfied (23 percent) with the way things are going in the nation today.

A majority (56 - 35 percent) say Biden is doing more to unite the country than to divide it.

"Amid a palpable uncertainty about the months and even years ahead, there is a sense that President Biden is the man for the moment. And that moment can't come too soon," said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.

Americans were asked about several issues the United States is confronting right now and whether they think these issues are a crisis, a problem but not a crisis, or not a problem at all. Of the six issues, the coronavirus pandemic is the only one with a clear majority considering it a crisis.
  • Coronavirus Pandemic: 68 percent say crisis, 25 percent problem but not a crisis, 6 percent not a problem at all;
  • The State of Nation's Economy: 45 percent say crisis, 46 percent problem but not a crisis, 7 percent not a problem at all;
  • The State of Nation's Democracy: 45 percent say crisis, 43 percent problem but not a crisis, 9 percent not a problem at all;
  • Climate Change: 43 percent say crisis, 33 percent problem but not a crisis, 21 percent not a problem at all;
  • Racial Inequality: 41 percent say crisis, 42 percent problem but not a crisis, 14 percent not a problem at all;
  • People Believing in Conspiracy Theories: 34 percent say crisis, 41 percent problem but not a crisis, 21 percent not a problem at all. 
President Biden receives a positive job approval rating with Americans approving 49 - 36 percent of the way he's handling his job. Sixteen percent didn't offer an opinion.

"The Biden numbers are solid but not spectacular as the country tries to coalesce around a new administration that faces the dual challenge of daunting economic struggles and comforting a COVID-weary public," said Malloy.

On his handling of the response to the coronavirus, Americans approve 61 - 29 percent.
Biden's starting off as well as any post-Trump Democrat could be, frankly.  Sixteen percent say they have no opinion of his job so far, but that will change if Biden signs big bills into law...or doesn't get to sign them because the Senate GOP blocked them.

Luckily, it looks like Biden and the Dems are going to deliver, and soon.

Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

There's still plenty of white supremacist domestic terrorists out there, and they are itching for even more lethal violence after the January 6th coup on the US Capitol. Their only goal is to bring down the Biden administration, or die trying.

Hours after the attack on the Capitol ended, a group calling itself the Last Sons of Liberty posted a brief video to Parler, the social media platform, that appeared to show members of the organization directly participating in the uprising. Footage showed someone with a shaky smartphone charging past the metal barricades surrounding the building. Other clips show rioters physically battling with baton-wielding police on the white marble steps just outside the Capitol.

Before Parler went offline — its operations halted at least temporarily when Amazon refused to continue to host the network — the Last Sons posted numerous statements indicating that group members had joined the mob that swarmed the Capitol and had no regrets about the chaos and violence that unfolded on Jan. 6. The Last Sons also did some quick math: The government had suffered only one fatality, U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, 42, who was reportedly bludgeoned in the head with a fire extinguisher. But the rioters had lost four people, including Ashli Babbitt, the 35-year-old Air Force veteran who was shot by an officer as she tried to storm the building.

In a series of posts, the Last Sons said her death should be “avenged” and appeared to call for the murder of three more cops.

The group is part of the Boogaloo movement — a decentralized, very online successor to the ­­militia movement of the ’80s and ’90s —­ whose adherents are fixated on attacking law enforcement and violently toppling the U.S. government. Researchers say the movement began coalescing online in 2019 as people — mostly young men — angry with what they perceived to be increasing government repression, found each other on Facebook groups and in private chats. In movement vernacular, Boogaloo refers to an inevitable and imminent armed revolt, and members often call themselves Boogaloo Bois, boogs, or goons.

In the weeks since Jan. 6, an array of extremist groups have been named as participants in the Capitol invasion. The Proud Boys. QAnon believers. White nationalists. The Oath Keepers. But the Boogaloo Bois are notable for the depth of their commitment to the overthrow of the U.S. government and the jaw-dropping criminal histories of many members.

Mike Dunn, a 20-year-old from a small town on Virginia’s rural southern edge, is the commander of the Last Sons. “I really feel we’re looking at the possibility — stronger than any time since, say, the 1860s — of armed insurrection,” Dunn said in an interview with ProPublica and FRONTLINE a few days after the assault on the Capitol. Although Dunn didn’t directly participate, he said members of his Boogaloo faction helped fire up the crowd and “may” have penetrated the building.

“It was a chance to mess with the federal government again,” he said. “They weren’t there for MAGA. They weren’t there for Trump.”

Dunn added that he’s “willing to die in the streets” while battling law enforcement or security forces.

In its short existence, the Boogaloo movement has proven to be a magnet for current or former military service members who have used their combat skills and firearms expertise to advance the Boogaloo cause. Before becoming one of the faces of the movement, Dunn did a brief stint in the U.S. Marines, a career he says was cut short by a heart condition, and worked as a Virginia state prison guard.

Through interviews, extensive study of social media and a review of court records, some previously unreported, ProPublica and FRONTLINE identified more than 20 Boogaloo Bois or sympathizers who’ve served in the armed forces. Over the past 18 months, 13 of them have been arrested on charges ranging from the possession of illegal automatic weapons to the manufacture of explosives to murder.

Most of the individuals identified by the news organizations became involved with the movement after leaving the military. At least four are accused of committing Boogaloo-related crimes while employed by one of the military branches.

Examples of the nexus between the group and the military abound.

Last year, an FBI task force in San Francisco opened a domestic terror investigation into Aaron Horrocks, a 39-year-old former Marine Corps reservist. Horrocks spent eight years in the Reserve before leaving the Corps in 2017.

The bureau became alarmed in September 2020, when agents received a tip that Horrocks, who lives in Pleasanton, California, was “planning an imminent violent attack on government or law enforcement,” according to a petition to seize the man’s firearms, which was filed in state court in October. The investigation, which has not previously been reported, links Horrocks to the Boogaloo movement. He has not been charged.

Again, these are the same assholes, the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters, the Molon Labe folks, the sovereign citizens, the white supremacists, that I've been warning about on this blog for years now. They have military or law enforcement training (or both), they hate the US government, and they are willing to kill and die to destroy it.

They came the closest they ever have so far with Donald Trump's help last month. They have contacts in current military and law enforcement circles. They have shown the ability to coordinate using social media and the internet. They are extremely dangerous.

And they absolutely will try again.


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