Tuesday, August 10, 2021

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

Republicans running for office in 2022 continue to shout the quiet part out loud now when it comes to white supremacists boilerplate bigotry, and they're absolutely counting on it getting them votes and campaign millions from angry white racists.
Billionaire tech mogul Peter Thiel’s favored candidate for an Arizona Senate seat went on a recent screed against “anti-white racism,” accusing liberal teachers of turning America’s students into self-hating automatons.

Blake Masters, a 34-year-old venture capitalist and protege of the PayPal founder, recently jumped into the race to face Democratic Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly. Weeks before he officially launched his campaign, he delivered a speech that was harshly critical of Critical Race Theory, which he claimed has permeated America’s classrooms.

“Too much of schooling in America has become a machine to uproot common sense and to replace it with something much more sinister. You’ve heard about Critical Race Theory,” he said. “All it does is teach kids to identify in racial terms. Right? You are good or bad, depending on what you look like. At this point it is straight up anti-white racism. I don’t think we’re allowed to say that. But let’s call it what it is. It is toxic, and it does not belong in our schools.”

“We’ve got to take back the schools and stop the indoctrination,” Masters continued.

The remarks, first reported by The Informant, were made just weeks before Masters officially announced his Senate bid at a May 25 rally in Phoenix. That event, billed as “America’s Comeback Tour,” was hosted by the right-wing group Freedomworks and headlined by right-wing British politician Nigel Farage.

The comments fall in a larger pattern of Republican candidates and operatives seeking to make the fight they’ve invented over Critical Race Theory, a once-obscure legal theory that America’s institutions are indelibly influenced by racism, into a cause célèbre arguing that America’s children are being brainwashed. This has cropped up in races big and small across the country.

And they’re not surprising for a candidate backed by Thiel, who as Buzzfeed News reported has extensive ties with the racist fringe of the GOP.

Masters is running to face Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, and is currently in a crowded primary that includes Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. And his anti-CRT attack isn’t just a one-off—he warned of “schools that teach our kids to hate our country” in his campaign launch video.

Nearly all of Masters’ career has come under the tutelage of Thiel, the founder of PayPal who was one of the tech tech billionaires to loudly back President Trump. Masters took a Stanford Law class Thiel taught in 2012, and began posting detailed notes of Thiel’s anti-globalization lectures online. Thiel asked him to turn them into a book, and later hired Masters as president of the Thiel Foundation, and later, as COO of Thiel Capital.

These chowderheads want a war, a bloody, deadly, shooting war where they get to live out their dreams of killing those people with righteous impunity, a war they believe will render anyone who isn't white in America a powerless non-citizen.
But they'll settle for getting that outcome without having to fire a shot if they can get it.

Cuomo's #MeToo Moment, Con't

The last person in the entire state of New York to realize that Andrew Cuomo had to go just figured it out in real time on national television.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday he would be resigning, effective in 14 days. His resignation comes one week after an investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James that found that he sexually harassed 11 women, including staffers and women who did not work for his administration.

"The best way I can help now is to step aside," Cuomo said at a new briefing.

Shortly before his resignation, his attorney, Rita Glavin, appeared to be outlining his defense. "This is about the veracity and credibility of a report that is being used to impeach and take down an elected official," Glavin said.

The New York Assembly Judiciary Committee said Monday that it is wrapping up its impeachment inquiry into Cuomo. He has until Friday to submit any evidence.

Brittany Commisso, one of the women who is referenced in Attorney General Letitia James' investigation, told "CBS This Morning" and the Albany Times Union that she believes Cuomo knows he broke the law and he needs to be "held accountable."

"There's a difference between being an affectionate and warm person. Sexual harassment is completely different," she said. "The governor knows that what he did to me and what he did to these 10 other women, whether it be a comment or an actual physical contact, was sexual harassment. He broke the laws that he himself created."

One of Cuomo's top advisers, Melissa DeRosa, resigned Sunday night.
There were rumors earlier this week that Cuomo wanted to finish out his term and would strike a deal to not run for a fourth term next year. The response, what changed, is the fact the NY General Assembly obviously came back and said that they had to votes to impeach and remove him from office.
Democratic Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be New York's first woman governor on the 24th. 

I still hope Cuomo gets the book thrown at him by Tish James. There's still a lot that needs to happen here, and it ends with Cuomo in prison.

[UPDATE]: The reason behind the paradigm shift from Cuomo's deal-seeking 24 hours ago to resignation today is almost certainly the revelations in this Ronan Farrow New Yorker piece.

In April, 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo placed a call to the White House and reached Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama. Cuomo was, as one official put it, “ranting and raving.” He had announced that he was shuttering the Moreland Commission, a group that he had convened less than a year earlier to root out corruption in New York politics. After Cuomo ended the group’s inquiries, Preet Bharara, then the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, issued letters instructing commissioners to preserve documents and had investigators from his office interview key witnesses. On the phone with Jarrett, Cuomo railed against Bharara. “This guy’s out of control,” a member of the White House legal team briefed on the call that day recalled Cuomo telling Jarrett. “He’s your guy.”

Jarrett ended the conversation after only a few minutes. Any effort by the White House to influence investigations by a federal prosecutor could constitute criminal obstruction of justice. “He did, in fact, call me and raise concerns about the commission,” Jarrett told me. “As soon as he started talking, and I figured out what he was talking about, I shut down the conversation.” Although Cuomo fumed about Bharara’s efforts, he did not make any specific request before Jarrett ended the call. Nevertheless, Jarrett was alarmed and immediately walked to the office of the White House counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, to report the conversation. Ruemmler agreed that the call was improper, and told Jarrett that she had acted correctly in ending the conversation without responding to Cuomo’s complaints. “I thought it was highly inappropriate,” the member of the White House’s legal team told me. “It was a stupid call for him to make.” Ruemmler reported the incident to the Deputy Attorney General, James M. Cole, who also criticized the call. “He shouldn’t have been doing that. He’s trying to exert political pressure on basically a prosecution or an investigation,” Cole told me. “So Cuomo trying to use whatever muscle he had with the White House to do it was a nonstarter and probably improper.”

Cuomo’s outreach to the White House may have opened him up to sanction for violating state ethics rules and could be relevant in an ongoing impeachment inquiry by the New York State Assembly. “It’s highly inappropriate and potentially illegal,” Jennifer Rodgers, a former prosecutor in Bharara’s office and an adjunct clinical professor at N.Y.U. Law School, told me. Jessica Levinson, the director of Loyola Law School’s Public Service Institute, added, “If he, in fact, called a U.S. Attorney’s bosses and implied, ‘Stop this guy from looking into me,’ that could easily amount to an impeachable offense.” (Shortly after publication time, Cuomo announced that he would resign as governor of New York.)

White House officials at the time believed that prosecutors might want to interview Jarrett and assess whether the call had risen to the level of illegality. Instead, the Department of Justice notified Bharara. “Everybody basically just said we’re not going to do anything—we’re not going to stop Preet,” Cole said. “The investigation is the investigation, and I don’t care if Andrew Cuomo calls us or not.” Bharara’s office chose not to pursue charges, but he recalled being alarmed. “Andrew Cuomo has no qualms, while he’s under investigation by the sitting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, trying to call the White House to call me off,” Bharara told me. “Trump did that. That’s an extraordinary thing, from my perspective.”

Elkan Abramowitz, an attorney for Cuomo, said that Bharara’s office had asked Cuomo whether he’d had contact with the White House about Bharara and that Cuomo acknowledged that he had, without providing specifics. Abramowitz added, “If Bharara thought this was obstruction of justice, he would have said so at the time.” A spokesperson for Cuomo declined to answer follow-up questions, saying only, of the allegations that Cuomo interfered with the Moreland Commission, “This threadbare narrative has been litigated and re-litigated to death and no wrongdoing was found.”

Cuomo’s vindictiveness, his attacks on officials who defy him, and his attempts to undermine inquiries about him are recurring themes in a report released last week by the New York attorney general, Letitia James. The report documents both allegations from women who say that Cuomo harassed them and claims that Cuomo and his inner circle threatened and smeared employees and political enemies. It is replete with accounts of state employees who say that they feared they would lose their jobs if they attempted to report misconduct by the Governor or his allies. It concludes that Cuomo and his team’s disclosure of confidential files related to one of his accusers, Lindsey Boylan, constituted illegal retaliation. It notes that Cuomo’s staff pressed former employees to call and secretly record women who had made allegations, apparently to collect information to use against them. When the recordings did not serve that end, Cuomo’s staff destroyed them—an act that legal experts said could also figure in ongoing inquiries. As the attorney general’s investigators worked on the report, Cuomo and his allies worked to discredit its authors; his aide Rich Azzopardi, who was instrumental in the disclosure of Boylan’s files, publicly suggested that James, the attorney general, had designs on Cuomo’s job. “There were attempts to undermine and to politicize this investigation, and there were attacks on me as well as members of the team, which I find offensive,” James said last week, as she announced the results of the probe.
So he wasn't going to be impeached just on sexual harassment charges, but ethics charges as well, and that was ballgame in the end.

The Buckeye Battle Royale

Everybody's after Ohio GOP Gov. Mike DeWine's job in 2022 as he faces tough challengers from both parties, the latest of which is Cincy Mayor John Cranley.
Two-term Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley joined the race for Ohio governor on Tuesday, pledging to modernize Ohio’s infrastructure and economy with proceeds from legalizing marijuana and to extract money from energy companies for homeowner rebates that will help lift family budgets.

With the launch of his campaign Tuesday, Cranley joins his friend, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, in the Democratic field. She announced her bid April 19. Republican Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to run for a second term, a campaign that will begin with a contested primary.

Cranley, 47, had been exploring a bid for the Democratic nomination for months and had raised more than $1.3 million for the effort as of July. Whaley reported raising more than $1.6 million.

First elected mayor in 2013, Cranley is term-limited from running again this year. He points to his record as chief executive of a major city that’s growing while others languish to show his capability to lead the state.

“Ohio needs a comeback and deserves a governor who has led a comeback,” Cranley told The Associated Press in an interview. “It’s not going to be easy to take a state like Ohio, which like so many in the Midwest has been in decline, and to have it come back again, but that’s what we’re going to do.”

He said the GOP-controlled state Legislature has been tainted by corruption and puts the interests of big corporations over workers. He said he will make “jobs, jobs, and more jobs” his priority.

Cranley’s economic plan calls for creating 30,000 new $60,000-a-year jobs annually in such areas as advanced manufacturing and renewable energy, and to improve Ohio roads, water systems and broadband networks.

He proposes using tax revenue from legalizing recreational marijuana, now legal in neighboring Michigan and 17 other states, to pay for his programs. He also would reconfigure Ohio’s privatized job creation office, JobsOhio. He also proposes offering Ohio homeowners $500 dividends paid for from energy company profits.

As mayor, Cranley, who twice lost congressional races against Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot of Cincinnati, aggressively pursued a new soccer stadium project that helped the city land a Major League Soccer franchise and helped Cincinnati police acquire a cutting-edge ShotSpotter gunshot detection system.

His 2018 feud with a city manager who accused Cranley of overstepping his authority to undermine the city manager’s role drew criticism from some fellow Democrats. The city manager eventually resigned with a severance agreement.

Although Cranley, a Roman Catholic, personally opposes abortion, he doesn’t think government should pass restrictions on the procedure that spark expensive, often unsuccessful, legal battles because “it’s just not a good use of scarce resources.”

“I’m pro-choice. I’ve struggled as a matter of faith,” said Cranley, who supports same-sex marriage. As governor, Cranley said he would veto any incursions on the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

While both Cranley and Whaley have managed to keep their noses clean in their respective city's federal bribery scandals on City Council, I just don't see how either one gets more than 40% of the vote in Ohio in 2022.

Of course, I'm expecting DeWine to be replaced by somebody far worse. Former GOP Rep. Jim Renacci has already stepped in on the Republican side and I can bet you dollars to doughnuts that more are coming over the next 12 months.

Stay tuned.
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