Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Last Call For Mitch Better Have My Money, Con't

Delusional Republican voters lie to themselves as much as their GOP politicians lie to them, so it all makes sense in the end that reality is meaningless as long as their side "wins".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for touting the benefits of the stimulus law for his home state of Kentucky. The $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief law cleared Congress in March without any Republican support.

"Vote no and take the dough," Pelosi wrote on Twitter.

At a press conference on Tuesday, McConnell swung between noting his opposition to the federal rescue package and crediting it with providing substantial financial relief for Kentucky.

"Not a single member of my party voted for it. So you're going to get a lot more money," McConnell said. "I didn't vote for it, but you're going to get a lot more money. Cities and counties in Kentucky will get close to $700-$800 million."

The Kentucky Republican said the state was projected to get $4 billion as a result of the stimulus law. "So my advice to members of the legislature and other local officials: Spend it wisely because hopefully this windfall doesn't come along again," McConnell said.

Republicans were staunchly opposed to Biden's stimulus law, which contained $1,400 direct payments, a renewal of federal unemployment benefits, and aid to state and local governments. They argued it was too large and costly after lawmakers had approved a $900 billion federal rescue package late in 2020. Not a single Republican in Congress voted for it.

However, at least a dozen congressional Republicans have since touted parts of the law, such as small business aid, even though they didn't support the law's passage. Biden rebuked the GOP earlier this year for "bragging" about the law, saying, "some people have no shame."

Also on Tuesday, McConnell pledged a bruising political brawl over Democratic efforts to bypass Republicans to implement their infrastructure spending plans. "This is not going to be done on a bipartisan basis," he said. "This is going to be a hell of a fight over what this country ought to look like in the future and it's going to unfold here in the next few weeks."
So Mitch to Kentucky:
  1. We didn't vote to give you anything.
  2. You're getting money because of Biden and the Democrats.
  3. We're taking credit for it anyway. 
  4. Vote Republican!

Dennis Beckett wasn't even sure he wanted to cash his stimulus check, especially after he received a letter from President Biden announcing its arrival. Beckett, a retired pipe fitter, owns 25 firearms and staunchly opposes the president's call for restrictions on high-capacity magazines.

After thinking about it for a few days, Beckett finally decided to use the money to fix up his century-old home, recently purchased for $30,000.

But even as the stimulus makes his renovation possible, Beckett also blames it for the rising cost of the construction materials he needs. “Ever since January 20th, everything has shot up,” Beckett said, referring to the day Biden was inaugurated. “Just look at gas — it’s $3 a gallon, when it had been $1.79.”

Beckett’s ambivalence is echoed across Monroe County, made up of small towns and family farms tucked in the Appalachian region of southeastern Ohio.

In this impoverished pocket of the United States, the most recent round of stimulus payments — $1,400 for Americans who earn up to $75,000 — was the difference between getting a medical treatment and not, enrolling a child in college and not. But political divisions are deep here, and Trump voters, who make up the great majority of residents, are blaming the payments for a range of ills.

Some here say the Biden stimulus checks are keeping people from work, fueling a sense that the undeserving are exploiting the system. As the price of basic goods climbs, others worry that the stimulus will lead to runaway inflation on wood, cars, even milk.

“My God-honest opinion was at first that it was nice that the government was helping people,” said Brad Jeffries, 50, a truck driver who was laid off for most of last year and used the stimulus to pay off bills. “But since we got that, everything has went up, so how is that helping people out?”

This former Democratic stronghold has shifted right recently, and many residents now refer to the area as “Trump country.” In 2020, President Donald Trump received an average of 72 percent of the vote in the 420 counties covered by the Appalachian Regional Commission, a joint federal-state agency that steers resources to the 13-state region.

Biden has promised to win some of those voters back with economic incentives like the stimulus and the expanded child tax credit program, which will begin monthly payments to parents in mid-July of $350 per-child under the age 6, and $250 per child for children between 6 and 17.

A Washington Post analysis estimates that more than 90 percent of Trump voters in Monroe County received stimulus checks, one of the highest rates in the region.

“The president understands when we raise the quality of life and achievement of rural America, we improve the quality of life for all Americans,” said Gayle Manchin, whom Biden appointed co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission this spring.

But many of Monroe County’s Trump supporters don’t see it that way. Danny Long, a 41-year-old truck driver, was unemployed for much of last year and was behind on rent and utility bills.

The stimulus helped him catch up. But he credits Republicans for the checks, noting that Americans also received two stimulus payments during the last year of Trump’s presidency. “Biden didn’t do this,” Long said. “Trump did.”
So either the Biden stimulus "caused inflation", rather than the basic economics of demand reasserting itself after a depression-strength crash, or it's the Trump stimulus and he gets the credit for it. Also, apparently only Trump voters matter. You'd never, ever, ever see a single story where the people who voted for Biden are happy that they got the money they needed.

You can't win over a self-delusional cultist.

Dems need to stop trying to save people who would literally rather die than be helped and save who want to be helped. You will never appease them, and they will never stop trying to destroy Democrats and their voters.

They will never, ever stop.

Hack The Planet, Con't

So it turns out that the July 4th weekend cyberattack on global companies was really cover for Russian-linked hacker group Cozy Bear to try to hit the Republican National Committee.

Russian government hackers breached the computer systems of the Republican National Committee last week, around the time a Russia-linked criminal group unleashed a massive ransomware attack, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The government hackers were part of a group known as APT 29 or Cozy Bear, according to the people. That group has been tied to Russia’s foreign intelligence service and has previously been accused of breaching the Democratic National Committee in 2016 and of carrying out a supply-chain cyberattack involving SolarWinds Corp., which infiltrated nine U.S. government agencies and was disclosed in December.

It’s not known what data the hackers viewed or stole, if anything. The RNC has repeatedly denied that it was hacked. “There is no indication the RNC was hacked or any RNC information was stolen,” spokesman Mike Reed said.

In a statement following the publication of this story, Chief of Staff Richard Walters said the RNC learned over the weekend that a third-party provider, Synnex Corp., had been breached.

“We immediately blocked all access from Synnex accounts to our cloud environment,” he said. “Our team worked with Microsoft to conduct a review of our systems and after a thorough investigation, no RNC data was accessed. We will continue to work with Microsoft, as well as federal law enforcement officials, on this matter.”

In a statement, Microsoft declined to provide additional details. “We can’t talk about the specifics of any particular case without customer permission,” a company spokesperson said. “We continue to track malicious activity from nation-state threat actors -- as we do routinely -- and notify impacted customers.”

A spokesperson for the Russian Embassy in Washington didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The attack on the RNC, coupled with the recent ransomware attack, is a major provocation to President Joe Biden, who warned Russian President Vladimir Putin about cyberattacks at a June 16 summit. It’s not clear if the attack on the RNC is connected in any way to the ransomware attacks, which exploited multiple previously unknown vulnerabilities in software from Miami-based Kaseya Ltd.

The hackers are suspected to have attacked the RNC through Fremont, California-based Synnex, the people said, asking not to be identified as they weren’t authorized to discuss confidential matters. In a press release, Synnex said “it is aware of a few instances where outside actors have attempted to gain access, through Synnex, to customer applications within the Microsoft cloud environment.”

“As our review continues, we are unable to provide any specific details,” said Michael Urban, president of worldwide technology solutions distribution at Synnex in a statement to Bloomberg News. “As with any security issue, a full review of all companies, systems, third-party applications and related IT solutions must be completed before final determinations can be made.”
Now, I find it extremely interesting that the RNC is flatly denying that it lost any data at all, when politically it would benefit them to say that the effort "proved" that Biden was weak, or that Trump was strong, or that it was all a part of a grand Russian "collusion" conspiracy with the Democrats to hurt Republicans. Those accusations I'm sure are coming, but for now, the initial, immediate reaction was that the attack failed to accomplish the stated goal.

It's possible that the RNC is actually telling the truth, but, well, that's unlikely now, isn't it?

Anyway, there's two possibilities, that 1) the attack worked because the Russians absolutely want to keep the GOP under their thumb with possible blackmail material, or 2) it failed and eventually this all changes to "the Dems were in on it" which is ludicrous, but this is the era of flat earth, anti-vax, and the Big Lie.

There is a third possibility, that there was never an attack on the RNC's third-party provider at all and it's all a massive false flag, but who knows with cyberattacks? They have built in plausible deniability.

Anyway, don't take anything the RNC says at face value. But you already knew that...

Haiti President Jovenel Moïse Assassinated

Word this morning that Haiti's leader, President Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated by armed gunmen in his own home overnight, and that reports are that his wife Martine also succumbed to her injuries.

President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti was assassinated in an attack in the early hours of Wednesday at his home on the outskirts of the capital, Port-au-Prince, the prime minister said.

Mr. Moïse’s wife, Martine Moïse, was also shot in the attack, Prime Minister Claude Joseph said in a statement. Her condition was not immediately clear.

“A group of unidentified individuals, some of them speaking Spanish, attacked the private residence of the president of the republic and thus fatally wounded the head of state,” the prime minister said.

Mr. Joseph said in a telephone interview that he was the one running the country at the moment.

The news rocked the impoverished Caribbean island nation 675 miles southeast of Miami. Haiti has a long history of dictatorships and coups.

The country fought to emerge from one of the world’s most brutal slave colonies, one that brought France great wealth and that the colonial rulers fought to keep.

What started as a slave uprising at the turn of the 18th century eventually led to the stunning defeat of Napoleon’s forces in 1803. More recently, the country suffered under more than two decades of dictatorship by François Duvalier, known as Papa Doc, and then his son, Jean-Claude, known as Baby Doc.

A priest from a poor area, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, became the first democratically elected president in 1990. But in less than a year, he was deposed in a coup.

In recent months, the streets of Haiti have become clogged with angry protests demanding the removal of Mr. Moïse. He had clung to power, ruling by decree for more than a year, with many — including constitutional scholars and legal experts — contending that his term had expired.

Since a devastating earthquake 11 years ago, the country has not rebuilt, and many say it is worse off, despite billions of dollars of reconstruction aid. Armed gangs control the streets and have taken to kidnapping even schoolchildren and church pastors in the middle of their services. Poverty and hunger are on the rise, and the government has been accused of enriching itself while not providing even the most basic services.

Mr. Joseph said that the president had been “cowardly assassinated,” but that the murderers “cannot assassinate his ideas.” He called on the country to “stay calm” and said he would address the nation on Wednesday. He said the country’s security situation was under the control of the police and the army.

But international observers warned that the situation could quickly spiral out of control.

Didier Le Bret, a former French ambassador to Haiti, said he hoped Mr. Joseph would be able to run the country, despite his lack of political legitimacy.

“There is no more Parliament, the Senate is missing for a long time, there’s no president of the Court of Cassation,” Mr. Le Bret said, adding of Mr. Joseph: “Everything will rest on him.”
We'll see where this ends up, but it's going to be very tragic all the way around. The international community could finally get off its ass and help Haiti, it's been more than a decade. The earthquake there was a story I covered on ZVTS way back at our start.

Now another earthquake, the political kind, has devastated the place.

We talk about disasters a lot here, but this is definitely one of them.


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