Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

Everybody sing along with the chorus: Senate Republicans killed the January 6th committee because it would reveal that Republicans were plotting a coup. The thing is, we need to remember that while it was clearly the most obvious sign of a Republican coup on the government, the US Capitol wasn't the only building attacked and that several state legislatures were also besieged in the final days of Trump's reign. In Oregon, Republican State Rep. Mike Nearman just got caught red-handed planning out his part in coup to attack Democrats and now faces expulsion and almost certainly prison.

A Republican state lawmaker faces being expelled from office after a video emerged apparently showing him choreographing how he would let far-right protesters into the closed Oregon Capitol days before he did so in December.

The crowd entered the building during an emergency legislative session, and some sprayed chemical irritants at police.

On Monday, Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek introduced a resolution that would have the Democrat-controlled House expel Rep. Mike Nearman if two-thirds of its members vote in favor. She appointed a committee to consider the matter.

GOP members of the House also wrote a letter to Nearman on Monday, saying he should step down.

“Today, we strongly recommend that you resign from the Oregon State House of Representatives,” all 22 House Republicans said in the joint letter. “Given the newest evidence that has come to light ... it is our beliefs as friends and colleagues that it is in the best interest of your caucus, your family, yourself, and the state of Oregon for you to step down from your office.”

The lawmakers were referring to video that emerged late Friday in local news reports that appeared to show Nearman coaching constituents on how to text him so they could get into the Capitol.

The committee appointed by Kotek, a Democrat, will convene later this week. It is composed of three Democrats and three Republicans.

Nearman himself said Monday he believes there are enough votes to expel him, which he said would make him the first House member to be expelled by its members in Oregon history. He joked in a call to the Lars Larson Show, a conservative talk radio program, that this would eventually make him the subject of a question on TV’s “Jeopardy!”

He did not say whether he would resign.

“I’ll put myself in God’s hands and see how that works out for me,” Nearman said
Needless to say, if there was a bipartisan committee that looked into January 6th, they'd find Republicans who absolutely enabled, abetted, and assisted the mob to enter the Capitol with the intention of overthrowing the election. We'd have to do things like "arrest seditionist GOP lawmakers in Congress" and that would almost certainly lead to exciting new paradigms in political violence across the country. 

We can't have full accountability of course. That would be unacceptable. But the evidence is piling up that Republican lawmakers and Trump regime officials had a direct hand in the terrorist attack events on January 6th.

The U.S. Capitol Police had specific intelligence that supporters of President Donald Trump planned to mount an armed invasion of the Capitol at least two weeks before the Jan. 6 riot, according to new findings in a bipartisan Senate investigation, but a series of omissions and miscommunications kept that information from reaching front-line officers targeted by the violence.

A joint report, from the Senate Rules and Administration and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees, outlines the most detailed public timeline to date of the communications and intelligence failures that led the Capitol Police and partner agencies to prepare for the “Stop the Steal” protest as though it were a routine Trump rally, instead of the organized assault that was planned in the open online.

Released Tuesday, the report shows how an intelligence arm of the Capitol Police disseminated security assessments labeling the threat of violence “remote” to “improbable,” even as authorities collected evidence showing that pro-Trump activists intended to bring weapons to the demonstration and “storm the Capitol.”

“There were significant, widespread and unacceptable breakdowns in the intelligence gathering. . . . The failure to adequately assess the threat of violence on that day contributed significantly to the breach of the Capitol,” Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), chairman of the homeland security panel, told reporters. “The attack was, quite frankly, planned in plain sight.”

The bipartisan report is the latest to examine the security failures that contributed to the mayhem as Congress tallied electoral college results certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. Its release comes just days after the Senate rejected legislation to create an independent investigative commission that passed the House with strong bipartisan support, and as lawmakers continue to wrestle with how to pay for security improvements to the Capitol campus.

The report’s recommendations, which call for better planning, training and intelligence gathering, largely mirror those of other investigators who have examined the topic, and its contents steer clear of offering any assessment or conclusion about Trump’s responsibility for the riot.

Still, the report provides a vivid picture of how poor communication and unheeded warnings left officers underequipped to face violent threats about which they had not been made aware, leaving the Capitol vulnerable to an attack that otherwise might have been preventable.

According to the report, Capitol Police intelligence officers knew as early as Dec. 21 that protesters planned to “bring guns” and other weapons to the Jan. 6 demonstration and turn them on any law enforcement officers who blocked their entry into the Capitol. They knew that would-be rioters were sharing maps of the Capitol campus online and discussing the building’s best entry points — and how to seal them off to trap lawmakers inside. But that information was shared only with command officers.

A separate security assessment dated Dec. 23 made no mention of those findings. Neither did a follow-up Dec. 30.

The only hints about what the Capitol Police’s Intelligence and Interagency Coordination Division knew appeared at the end of a 15-page report released on Jan. 3, which stated that “there is the possibility that the protesters may be inclined to become violent,” and that their desperation “may lead to a significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike.” But even that warning was fleeting: In the days that followed, in the Capitol Police’s daily intelligence assessments, such notes about violence were nowhere to be found.

In a statement Tuesday responding to the committees’ findings, the Capitol Police acknowledged an imperative to improve how it collects and shares intelligence internally and with its partners, saying “significant changes” have been implemented since the riot. But the agency insisted that, “At no point prior to the 6th did it receive actionable intelligence about a large-scale attack.”

“Before January 6, the Capitol Police leadership knew Congress and the Capitol grounds were to be the focus of a large demonstration attracting various groups, including some encouraging violence,” the statement says. “Based on this information, the Department enhanced its security posture and tried to get support from the National Guard. What the intelligence didn’t reveal, as Acting Chief [Yogananda] Pittman has noted, was the large-scale demonstration would become a large-scale attack on the Capitol Building as there was no specific, credible intelligence about such an attack. The USCP consumes intelligence from every federal agency. At no point prior to the 6th did it receive actionable intelligence about a large-scale attack.

“ … The known intelligence simply didn’t support that conclusion.”
The Trump regime plotted a coup. It almost happened.  We barely got through it, any number of things could have led to dozens of dead Democratic lawmakers and a true Trump dictatorship. If we don't start putting the people behind this plot in prison, they will absolutely try again.

An Air Force sergeant accused of killing law enforcement officers last year in California was part of an extremist cell plotting "war" against police, according to newly revealed court filings.

Alleged shooter Steven Carrillo was part of the "Grizzly Scouts" militia associated with the "Boogaloo" movement that conducted firearms training and conducted surveillance on protests as part of their preparations for an attack on police while posing as Antifa, or anti-fascist, demonstrators, reported the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

"It's the tactically sound option," Robert Jesus Blancas told other militia members, according to court filings. "[Police and Antifa] f*cking each other up only helps us."

A federal grand jury indicted the 33-year-old Blancas along with accused "Grizzly Scout" militants 29-year-old Jessie Alexander Rush, 23-year-old Simon Sage Ybarra, and 21-year-old Kenny Matthew Miksch.

The filings confirm Carillo, who is accused of killing an officer from Oakland and another from Santa Cruz, was a member of the group, which hoped then-president Donald Trump would invoke the Insurrection Act in response to protests over George Floyd's killing by a Minneapolis police officer."[T]hat ^^^ will be our sign," Rush allegedly texted to other militia members. "That effectively means the federal gov has declared war on things they're afraid of."

The militants described law enforcement officers as "enemy forces" and discussed taking some prisoner.

"POWs will be searched for intel and gear, interrogated, stripped naked, blindfolded, driven away and released into the wilderness blindfolded with hands bound," one militant wrote to the others.
They want a war. They may very well get it.

Taking Pride In America

The latest Gallup poll on same-sex marriage finds the highest support ever for it, a whopping 70% of Americans now approve of it, thirty points higher than just a dozen years ago.

U.S. support for legal same-sex marriage continues to trend upward, now at 70% -- a new high in Gallup's trend since 1996. This latest figure marks an increase of 10 percentage points since 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all states must recognize same-sex marriages.

These data are from Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 3-18.

Today's 70% support for same-sex marriage marks a new milestone in a trend that has pointed upward for a quarter of a century. A small minority of Americans (27%) supported legal recognition of gay and lesbian marriages in 1996, when Gallup first asked the question. But support rose steadily over time, eventually reaching the majority level for the first time in 2011.

By the time of the Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges decision in 2015, support for gay marriage had reached 60%. Since then, the issue has been less prominent in U.S. politics, and public support for same-sex marriage has continued to increase.

Gallup has recorded other shifts in Americans' ideas on marriage over time, historically, including expanded support for interracial marriage, which had 87% approval as of Gallup's 2013 update.

Republicans, who have consistently been the party group least in favor of same-sex marriage, show majority support in 2021 for the first time (55%). The latest increase in support among all Americans is driven largely by changes in Republicans' views.

Democrats have consistently been among the biggest supporters of legal same-sex marriage. The current 83% among Democrats is on par with the level of support Gallup has recorded over the past few years. This could suggest that support for gay marriage has reached a ceiling for this group, at least for now. Meanwhile, support among political independents, now at 73%, is slightly higher than the 68% to 71% range recorded from 2017 to 2020.
That's the good news. Even Republicans approve of it. Of course, the bad news is Republicans are still doing everything they can to attack trans folks and kids in particular, same-sex couples adopting children, and actually mentioning that same-sex marriage exists in TV and movies.

And why are Republicans coming around on same-sex marriage? The same reason Republicans "like" affirmative action: the main beneficiaries of both policies have been white people, from both a political and economic standpoint. It serves the GOP on both of those fronts to attack trans folks, too. Republicans can tolerate the L and G and even the B, as long as everyone agrees that the T need to go away.

Republicans haven't gotten "better" on equality. They just moved the goalposts to attack the most vulnerable and split the coalition. It's what they do.


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