Thursday, February 4, 2021

Last Call For Greene Light, Red Light

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was unceremoniously booted from her committee assignments today as her fake conspiracy theory denial apology fell on deaf ears, and Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer showed up with the receipts.

The House voted largely along party lines Thursday to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her two committee assignments, a precedent-shattering move by Democrats to rebuke a Republican who has espoused extremist beliefs that she publicly renounced in part just hours before the vote.

The vote against Greene reflected deep frustration in the Democratic ranks over the Republican leadership’s reluctance to take its own action to marginalize Greene (R-Ga.), their desire to yoke the entire GOP to her extremism, as well as their anger over a lack of accountability for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

As recently as last year, Greene had been an open adherent of the QAnon ideology, sprawling and violent web of conspiracy theories that played a role in inspiring the Capitol attack. In addition, she had made comments on social media suggesting some mass shootings were staged by supporters of gun control, that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by government forces and that a Jewish cabal had sparked a deadly wildfire with a space beam.

“I don’t understand what is complicated here,” said House Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern (D-Mass.), exhorting his colleagues to sideline Greene. “We know the result of these violent conspiracy theories. We saw that on Jan. 6. We know what it leads to. I don’t ever want to see that again. And we all should make clear where we stand on this.”

The vote was 230-199, with 11 Republicans voting with Democrats to strip Greene of her committees.
Her weak apology allowed 199 Republicans enough cover to scream CANCEL CULTURE and vote to allow the raging bigot anti-Semite racist to stay on the House Education Committee.
The vote came after Greene renounced some of her most egregious past remarks on the House floor, in a 10-minute speech that was more explanation than apology — one that doubled down on her attacks against the media and her political enemies while omitting some of her most recent behavior.

“These were words of the past, and these things do not represent me, they do not represent my district, and they do not represent my values,” she said.

Greene said the 9/11 attacks “absolutely happened” and that school shootings are “absolutely real.” She said she embraced QAnon in late 2017 out of her support for former president Donald Trump and her mistrust of government and of mainstream media sources.

“I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true, and I would ask questions about them and talk about them, and that is absolutely what I regret,” she said. “Because if it weren’t for the Facebook posts and comments that I liked in 2018, I wouldn’t be standing here today and you couldn’t point a finger and accuse me of anything wrong

She went on to describe the uproar about her comments as a “cancel culture” attack on the free speech of conservatives: “Big media companies can take teeny, tiny pieces of words that I’ve said, that you have said, any of us, and can portray us as someone that we’re not, and that is wrong."
Not an iota of remorse, and so she paid the price.

The 11 Republicans who voted to strip her?

  • Kinzinger(IL-11)
  • Fitzpatrick(PA-01) 
  • Giminez(FL-26) 
  • Malliotakis(NY-11) 
  • Katko(NY-24) 
  • Upton(MI-06) 
  • Kim(CA-39) 
  • Jacobs(NY-27) 
  • Salazar(FL-27) 
  • Díaz-Balart(FL-25) 
  • Smith(NJ-04)

They will pay the price too, from the GOP side. And note Liz Cheney's name isn't there. 

She's just as racist, as bigoted, and as evil as the rest of them.

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

Why yes, white supremacist militias aren't taking the arrests from the January 6 Capitol insurrection very well at all, and they are doing things like publicly telling newspapers that they now plan to secede from the union or to "collapse the American experiment" by whatever means necessary.

The leader of a private paramilitary group that provided security for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said he has formed alliances with other far-right groups to advocate for Georgia’s secession from the union, following the arrests of participants in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

“The way patriots are now being hunted down and arrested by fellow men and women who have taken the same oath has disheartened any faith I had in the redemption or reformation of the USA as one entity,” Justin Thayer, head of the Georgia III% Martyrs, said in a text exchange with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week.

Thayer said the Martyrs have allied themselves with fellow “Three Percenter” militia the American Brotherhood of Patriots and American Patriots USA (APUSA), a north Georgia group headed by Chester Doles, a Dahlonega resident who belonged to various racist and neo-Nazi hate groups before forming the new group in 2019. The combined groups will advocate for Georgia’s secession from the union through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution or through “the collapse of the American experiment,” Thayer said.

“For the last 150 years, the Imperial Yankee culture of the northeast has been molding Georgia — and the South in general — into its ‘perfect’ image,” he said.

In an AJC interview this week, Doles confirmed the groups were working together, but he would not say what they intended to do.

“Things are different now. Everything has changed,” he said. “We’ve seen our last Republican president in American history. The ballot box — we tried as hard as we could try. It’s not working.”

Folks, they're not longer pretending niceties here. We have a full-blown domestic terrorism movement on our hands and we have had them for years. They want out of America, and they are absolutely going to resort to deadly violence to achieve it. Now, they are banding together.

Researchers who study the far right say political unrest over the past year gave extremist groups opportunities to collaborate across ideological divides, forging alliances based on common grievances and enemies. The November presidential election and the proliferation of baseless conspiracy theories about its outcome only pushed groups closer together.

“We saw members of traditional militias, white supremacists, QAnon and other people in the same spaces and claiming very similar enemies,” said Amy Iandiorio, an investigative researcher with the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism.

This “shared victimhood narrative” around the outcome of the presidential election created the opportunity for “tactical” alliances among groups that normally wouldn’t mix, she said.

The Martyrs raised eyebrows this fall when they appeared as private security for then-candidate Greene at a rally in Ringgold with former GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Greene posed for multiple photos with the militia and said she needed them to protect herself from unspecified death threats she said she had received.

On Jan. 6, Thayer joined throngs of pro-Trump supporters who rallied to hear the former president’s baseless claims of a “stolen” election and condemnation of “weak Republicans,” but he said he did not take part in storming the U.S. Capitol immediately after it.

Doles has been working longer to build support for his political group, staging occasional public rallies and motorcycle convoys from his north Georgia base. He claims to have walked away from his career as a white supremacist activist with groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the National Alliance, while also maintaining ties to some figures in those movements. His attempts to insinuate America Patriots USA into mainstream conservative politics have met with limited success, however.

Doles championed Greene’s candidacy on his website and on social media, often posting a photo of Greene posing with APUSA members taken during her Republican primary campaign.

No, I don't actually expect a war. I do however expect more terrorist attacks in the weeks and months ahead.

We all need to face that reality. 

To Boldly Go And All That

Donald Trump established the US Space Force as a division of the US Armed Forces, much to the chagrin of absolutely everyone, and it looks like Joe Biden will keep them around.

Why it matters: After President Biden's election, some advocated that the incoming administration disband the newest branch of the military, first established by President Trump.

What's happening: "We are not revisiting the decision to establish the Space Force," Psaki said at a press briefing, adding that the Department of Defense's focus on securing space is a bipartisan issue.

Background: Psaki came under fire Tuesday when a top Republican lawmaker saw remarks she made in response to a question about the Space Force as dismissive of the guardians enlisted in the force. In response, Psaki tweeted Tuesday night that she would welcome Space Force officials to come speak to the press about their work.
"I'm very proud of the guardians in the Space Force," Gen. John Raymond, the chief of space operations, said during a press call Wednesday morning. "I see the value of this force each and every day, and I'm happy to talk to anybody about the great work that they're doing. I would welcome the opportunity." Raymond also said that he has not yet spoken with President Biden about space.

The big picture: Many experts within the space industry see the Space Force as an essential means of keeping satellites and other key assets safe from attack. From GPS to photos of difficult-to-reach parts of Earth, the U.S. is increasingly reliant on space. This is particularly true when it comes to fighting wars, and the Space Force is expected to shore up defenses and capabilities in orbit.

I mean I did just point out how vulnerable our GPS satellites are to hackers and sabotage, so I mean I guess somebody should be in charge of that, and even without Space Force, the Air Force's US Space Command would be doing it anyway, so frankly yeah, somebody should keep it.

I dunno if I'd want to be the US military force established by Trump though.
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