Saturday, July 24, 2021

If You Come At The Queen...

The conservative House Freedom Caucus is urging Kevin McCarthy to try to boot Nancy Pelosi from her position as speaker, a sign of further escalating tensions after the California Democrat vetoed two of the House Minority Leader’s GOP picks from the Jan. 6 select committee.

In a letter Friday, the far-right group asked McCarthy to file and bring up a privileged motion by July 31 “to vacate the chair and end Nancy Pelosi’s authoritarian reign as Speaker of the House.”

“Speaker Pelosi’s tenure is destroying the House of Representatives and our ability to faithfully represent the people we are here to serve,” they write. “Republicans, under your leadership, must show the American people that we will act to protect our ability to represent their interests.”

The motion is all but guaranteed to fail in the Democratic House, but it signals a stewing anger on the right towards the speaker. The Freedom Caucus’ letter indicates that McCarthy would need to initiate the motion, and if he were to do so, it would further escalate partisan acrimony in the House that has remained high, and occasionally gotten personal, since Jan. 6.

They argue that Pelosi’s decision to reject Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) from the panel was “intolerable.” Pelosi, meanwhile, says she made the right call blocking the two Trump allies because of their “antics” in the months following the deadly insurrection.

Banks and Jordan “made statements and took actions that just would have been ridiculous to put them on a committee seeking the truth,” Pelosi told reporters.

A spokesperson for Pelosi did not immediately respond to request for comment.

That's because the spokesperson for Pelosi was too busy laughing for twelve minutes.

You know what? This is a threat more to McCarthy's role as minority leader than it is Pelosi's position as House Speaker, and if he doesn't play along, he may not be in that role much longer. Boehner and Ryan were both run out of town, Boehner by rail, Ryan by primary.

This is more his concern. Pelosi should even have to lose a wink of sleep, and won't.

The Big Lie, Con't

The Trump Traveling Circus And Hate Show comes to Arizona today, and the topic is going to be wall-to-wall attacks on the 2020 elections with The Big Lie.
In this narrative, truth doesn't merely take a back seat. It gets tossed to the side of the road. 
Take last week's GOP briefing at Arizona's state capitol, where Doug Logan, lead contractor on the review of ballots in Maricopa County, said "we have 74,243 mail-in-ballots where there is no clear record of them being sent," and 11,326 people whom he said were not on the Nov. 7 voter rolls but showed up on the final roll of voters on Dec. 4. 
Election experts, analysts and reporters quickly debunked Logan's claims online and in news stories, noting they seemed to be based on Logan misunderstanding or misstating how the voting process worked. 
But that didn't matter. Within minutes, and in the week since, Donald Trump and a slew of GOP election conspiracists trumpeted these supposed findings across social media as "proof" the election was stolen. And candidates touting their fealty to Trump were quick to tweet, re-tweet or otherwise post Logan's debunked claims and call for more audits. 
From the start, with Arizona Senate President Karen Fann hiring the Cyber Ninjas firm, a little-known firm inexperienced in election audits, run by a man who'd repeated wild conspiratorial fraud claims; to the review being funded with great secrecy by private, likely partisan sources; through the company initially handing auditors blue pens until a reporter pointed out they could be used to change how ballots are read; to, more recently, contractors sending reams of vote data off to a mysterious cabin in Montana, in the latest portion of the audit, the Arizona vote review has been fraught. 
There could scarcely be a deeper canyon than the one between how election experts see the audit and how Trump-backing GOP candidates describe it. 
"Was this deliberate from day one for fundraising?" asked Harri Hursti, founder of Nordic Innovation Labs, and a data-security expert who recently completed a conventional election audit in New Hampshire, about the Arizona vote review. "This whole thing is theater ... it's all smoke and mirrors and theater." The New Hampshire audit, by contrast, found that a borrowed folding machine in the town of Windham caused 400 ballots to be improperly counted, but that there was "no basis to believe that the miscounts found in Windham indicate a pattern of partisan bias or a failed election." 
Trey Grayson, a Republican and former Kentucky Secretary of State, co-wrote a recent report on the Arizona audit for the States United Democracy Center, a nonprofit focused on fair and secure elections. It detailed huge flaws in the audit's processes, poor security, high levels of built-in error and other problems. 
"If you are a Republican who has concerns about this election, you shouldn't trust the outcome of this review in Arizona," Grayson told CNN. 
"Routine audits of vote counts are important," said Mark Lindeman, acting co-director of Verified Voting, a nonpartisan election-integrity nonprofit that earlier this year worked with Georgia on a full hand count of its vote and with Pennsylvania on a risk-limiting election audit. Both indicated that the original results were substantially accurate. 
But in Arizona, he said, "The problem seems to be that Trump lost, and that's what they're trying to fix; but that's not what audits do." He called the procedures Cyber Ninjas and the other subcontractors in Arizona are following bizarre, adding, "It's a process that can only raise more questions, muddy the waters ... None of it makes much sense, except as a way to increase doubt." 
Maricopa County's GOP-led Board of Supervisors also has termed the Arizona Senate's audit unnecessary, with board chairman Jack Sellers last week issuing a statement that, "It's clear the people hired by Arizona Senate leadership to supposedly bring integrity to our elections are instead just bringing incompetence." 
But many of the GOP candidates and lawmakers visiting Arizona, who have eagerly fomented lies about the 2020 vote, and embraced vicious and radical rhetoric about those who disagree with them, dismiss such criticisms. 
"I don't care what a GOP board says; you have a lot of RINOs occupying positions they should not be in," said Oklahoma's Lahmeyer, using the term for "Republicans in name only." Lahmeyer, who touts his endorsement from disgraced former Gen. Michael Flynn, and hopes to unseat GOP Sen. James Lankford in 2022, termed Lankford "a traitor," for voting on Jan. 6 to certify President Biden's victory. As of June 30, Lahmeyer reported raising just more than $250,000 to the Federal Election Commission. Lankford's FEC reports show he'd raised $2.3 million as of that date. 
"Absolutely," the election was stolen from Trump, said Gray, the Wyoming lawmaker challenging Cheney. Trump has regularly attacked Cheney for voting to impeach him and for rejecting his claims the election was stolen, scurrilous claims and nonsensical rhetoric Gray eagerly echoed. "We've ... got to expose the truth, got to stop the fake news media, Liz Cheney and the coalition of radical socialists," he said. 
Jones, the former Georgia lawmaker, has called Gov. Kemp "a traitor" for rejecting election fraud claims. Asked about his visit to the Arizona audit and his claims of fraud in Georgia, Jones said, "It has helped my campaign. From day one, I've talked about things I described as violation of the Constitution, the procedures followed in counting absentee ballots." His fundraising website specifically asks for contributions to "ensure that Georgia's elections are never stolen by Democrats again."
Understand that the audits will never, ever end. Never. They will keep going until "the truth is found".  They will keep going until they justify violence and election theft by Republican lawmakers "decertifying" 2022 elections. And at the center of it all is Ringmaster Trump and his Circus of the Damned.

The Big Lie forever!

Guardians Of The Ballgame

Finally shedding a century of racism, Cleveland's MLB club will be known as the Guardians starting next season.

Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team will be called Guardians.

The ballclub announced the name change Friday — effective at the end of the 2021 season — with a video on Twitter narrated by actor and team fan Tom Hanks. The decision ends months of internal discussions triggered by a national reckoning by institutions and teams to drop logos and names considered racist.

The choice of Guardians will undoubtedly be criticized by many of the club’s die-hard fans, some of whom quickly went on social media to vent.

The organization spent most of the past year whittling down a list of potential names that was at nearly 1,200 just over a month ago. But the process, which the club said included 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders, front office personnel and a survey of 40,000 fans.

Owner Paul Dolan said last summer’s social unrest, touched off by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, spurred his intention to change the name.

Dolan is expected to provide more details on the choice and background on the change at a news conference at Progressive Field before the Indians host the Tampa Bay Rays.

Dolan said the new name mirrors the city and its people.

“Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity,” he said in a statement. “Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders. ‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us.”

“It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians.”

The change comes as the Washington Football Team continues to work toward a similar makeover. The franchise dropped its Redskins name before the 2020 season. Washington recently said it will reveal a new name and logo in 2022.

Cleveland’s new name was inspired by two large landmark stone edifices near the downtown ballpark — referred to as traffic guardians — on the Hope Memorial Bridge over the Cuyahoga River.

The team’s colors will remain the same, and the new Guardians’ new logos will incorporate some of the architectural features of the bridge.


The Atlanta Braves and Chief Nocahoma could not be reached for comment. 

Still, good for Cleveland, whose most embarrassing major league sports franchise is now officially the Browns.

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