Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Last Call For Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

I know this is starting to sound like a track on repeat forever, but January 6th was a coordinated white supremacist terrorist attack on the US Capitol and it was encouraged by Donald Trump and the GOP with the express intent of killing enough lawmakers in order to install Trump as leader.
A key member of the Oath Keepers militia told associates he had coordinated alliances with the Proud Boys and other paramilitary groups in advance of Donald Trump’s Jan. 6 rally, according to new evidence filed by the Justice Department.

Spurred on by the president's incendiary rhetoric at that day's rally, Trump supporters, including Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, rioted at the Capitol and assaulted police officers later that day in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Kelly Meggs, the Florida leader of the Oath Keepers — who’s been charged along with nine others with conspiring to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election — said in private messages obtained by prosecutors that he’d been in touch repeatedly with Proud Boys leadership in particular. He said he had worked out a strategy to confront potential violence from antifa, a loosely organized collection of left-wing extremists.

“This week I organized an alliance between Oath Keepers, Florida 3%ers, and Proud Boys,” Meggs wrote in a Dec. 19 message to an associate via Facebook. “We have decided to work together and shut this shit down.”

In Dec. 22 and Dec. 25 messages, Meggs got more specific, describing tactical maneuvers they would conduct with the Proud Boys if they encountered antifa: “We’re going to march with them for awhile then fall to the back of the crowd and turn off. Then we will have the Proud Boys get in front of them the cops will get between antifa and Proud Boys. We will come in behind antifa and beat the hell out of them.”

The evidence is the first to suggest coordination among the various extremist groups as they prepared to descend on Washington. Oath Keepers attorneys have emphasized in court papers that evidence they were preparing for violence was limited to potential confrontation with antifa — not a plan to storm the Capitol.

But prosecutors say the planning, plus a growing body of evidence that the Oath Keepers executed a coordinated plan to enter the Capitol and rallied to the group’s leader, Stewart Rhodes, after first breaching the building, suggesting it was an element of their effort. In addition, prosecutors revealed messages of Oath Keepers celebrating the Capitol assault and promising to “reload” for further action.

Prosecutors unveiled an indictment last week against four Proud Boys leaders for similarly coordinating movements in advance of Jan. 6, with an emphasis on dividing into small groups ahead of their march on the Capitol. Along with the Oath Keepers cases, the Proud Boys charges are the gravest to arise from the Jan. 6 assault. Prosecutors have arrested more than 300 participants in the Capitol attack. Dozens unaffiliated with either militia have been charged with brutal assaults on police and breaching the building or causing property damage.
I'll keep saying that long after the convictions are in on terrorism and sedition charges, too.
The reason Republicans don't want these folks investigated is because the Republicans are aiding and abetting them.
The voters voting for these Republicans?
You're aiding and abetting them too.
If you don't want to be called what you are, which is a white supremacist, stop supporting the violent party of white supremacy.

The State of Statehood, Con't

Just a couple of years ago, DC statehood was a non-starter even among Democrats with 64% of the country and a vast majority of both parties against the notion. A lot has changed since July 2019 when that Gallup poll on statehood was taken, however. What hasn't changed are the terribly racist and stupid Republican excuses against DC statehood, knowing full well that it will give Democrats two more Senators.

Each time statehood comes before Congress, Republicans often cite the intent of the Founding Fathers in their opposition, along with a potpourri of other claims. Remember when Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) was concerned that D.C. statehood would impact his staffers’ ability to park their cars near the Capitol? Or when Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said that Wyoming was “more deserving” than D.C. of statehood, despite its smaller population, because it was a “well-rounded working-class state.” Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) echoed a version of this argument on Monday, asking D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser whether the District had mining, manufacturing, and agriculture, because “that’s how nation’s build wealth.”

“We do not have any mines, Congressman,” Bowser said, pointing out that D.C.’s diverse economy was not reliant on the federal government. She said in her opening statement that she was expecting a series of bad-faith arguments from statehood opponents.

The new argument du jour from Republicans came courtesy of Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), who said that D.C. ought not be a state because it didn’t have car dealerships, landfills, or airports. (The GOP witness, Zack Smith of the Heritage Foundation, said basically the same thing while putting it differently, contending that D.C. lacks the “amenities and resources found in many other states.”)

While the Constitution does not establish any prerequisites for states, Hice’s argument was especially befuddling because D.C. does have a number of car dealerships. When multiple speakers pointed that out, Hice responded that his claims were not arbitrary but instead “based in reality … I apologize for being wrong [about the existence of car dealerships in the District]. I have no idea where it is.”

But somehow, that didn’t put the car dealership question to rest. Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) piggybacked off Hice to note that, while D.C. may have a car dealership, it’s a Tesla dealership. Again, the Constitution makes no mention of an electric car exception, but Norman too was wrong, because that isn’t D.C.’s only car dealership.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said Republicans were “simply trying to gin up whatever argument they can think of,” saying that, while they accused Democrats of trying to pass statehood for partisan purposes, Republicans “are the ones trying to create a political and ideological test.”

Many Democrats, meanwhile, painted statehood as an issue of fairness and of racial equality. D.C. would be the only majority-minority state, as Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) mentioned. “D.C. statehood is a racial justice issue,” she said, noting that the measure could help diversify the halls of Congress.

While some of the specifics differed, the four-hour hearing mirrored ones and appeared unlikely to change any lawmaker’s mind on the issue. While the measure is likely to pass the House, it faces a larger challenge in the Senate. Advocates say it won’t make it to a vote unless the Senate abolishes the filibuster
And that's the bottom line.
Not a single Republican will ever vote for a majority Black state to be created, with two US Senators and autonomy and a budget in the billions. It's the most tacit admission yet that Republicans are racist assholes who know they will never be able to convince Black folks to vote for them.
That terrifies Republicans more than anything else on this Earth.

Going Viral In A New York Minute

Hizzoner Bill de Blasio is ending remote work for NYC employees and sending tens of thousands back to to offices, desk, and cubicles in May.


For the last year, New York City has been running in the shadow of a deadly pandemic, with many city and private sector employees forced to work from home, stripping New York of its lifeblood and devastating its economy.

But with virus cases seeming to stabilize and vaccinations becoming more widespread, city officials intend to send a message that New York is close to returning to normal: On May 3, the city will compel its municipal office employees to begin to report to work in person.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to bring the nation’s largest municipal work force back to the office represents a significant turnabout for a city that served as the national epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, coming to symbolize the perils of living in densely packed global capitals.

The move is meant to broadcast that New York City will soon be open for business, and to encourage private companies to follow suit — lifting the hopes of landlords whose skyscrapers have largely sat empty as office workers stayed home.

“We’re going to make it safe, but we need our city workers back in their offices where they can do the most to help their fellow New Yorkers,” Mr. de Blasio said Tuesday. “And it’s also going to send a powerful message about this city moving forward.”

Yet the move by the city has sparked concern among some workers and union leaders who fear the return to the office is premature. New York City has among the highest coronavirus case rates in the nation. Many workers will have to commute an hour or more on mass transit. Others will have to juggle their children’s episodic in-person school schedules with their new in-person work requirements.

Across the globe, government and business leaders have grappled with the question of how and when to safely reopen, as the worst of the pandemic seems to have passed.

In the private sector, commercial real estate landlords like SL Green and RXR Realty have made a point of bringing their own employees to the office during the pandemic. In London, JPMorgan Chase is planning to bring back some workers starting March 29, and it is hoping to bring interns back in June.

In Texas, municipal workers in the city of Houston are working both in person and remotely at the discretion of their department director, though the mayor has encouraged the remote option. Masks are strongly advised, even though the state has lifted its overall mask mandate.

In Philadelphia, city office employees are still working from home when possible.

The new policy in New York, which will be rolled out in phases over several weeks, will affect about 80,000 employees who have been working remotely, including caseworkers, computer specialists and clerical associates. The rest of the city’s roughly 300,000-person work force, many of them uniformed personnel including police officers, firefighters and sanitation workers, have already been reporting to work sites.

We'll see what happens, but all indications are we're going to see a spring COVID-19 spike and it's going to be pretty bad. Hopefully not as bad as December/January, but it's going to be bad, and tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, will die.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong.
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