Mike Collins is one of just two Congressional candidates announced as a speaker for the incredibly shrinking "Justice for J6 rally" at the U.S. Capitol tomorrow. And he's using the moment to go full wingnut.
Collins, a trucking company owner, ramped up wild rhetoric Friday at what was billed as a "campaign kickoff" in Jackson GA -- even though Collins had announced his candidacy more than three months ago on June 8.
Collins "promised to stand up to 'liberal left-wing wackos, RINOS, elites — and even the Republican establishment," including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), promising to vote against him becoming Speaker of the House if Republicans take control of the chamber in 2023,' Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) reported Friday.
"And if by some odd chance he becomes speaker and he doesn't want to give me a committee assignment, then I'm fine with that," he said. "I'll make a great teammate for Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene."
He added: "The time for civility, the time for compromise, that's over with; the time for bipartisanship is done," he told. "There is no compromising."
Collins is among just a few speakers being billed for the diminished rally. But he's undaunted about that.
"He said his attendance at the D.C. rally is about fighting back against political persecution and tweeted that "America should not have a government that holds political prisoners," GPB reported.
"These people deserve their day in court; everybody deserves their day in court," he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "And I'm going up there to say to these people need their day in court, and it's time for it to happen."
Collins is the son of the late Rep. Mac Collins, who served in Congress from 1993 to 2005, leaving to mount an unsuccessful 2004 U.S. Senate race. The elder Collins died in 2018.
Saturday, September 18, 2021
The rift between the Biden administration and the oldest U.S. ally widened Friday, as French President Emmanuel Macron ordered the recall of France’s ambassador to Washington in response to this week’s announcement of a secretly negotiated U.S.-British deal to sell nuclear-powered submarines to Australia.
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called the unprecedented move an “extraordinary decision” that “reflects the exceptional seriousness” of the situation.
What he called “a new partnership” excluding France, and the resulting cancellation of a $66 billion Australian contract to buy diesel-powered French submarines, “constitute unacceptable behavior among allies and partners,” Le Drian said in a statement.
France also recalled its ambassador to Australia.
In a statement, the White House played down the breach. “We have been in close touch with our French partners. . . . We understand their position and will continue to be engaged in the coming days to resolve our differences, as we have done at other points over the course of our long alliance,” National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said in a statement.
“France is our oldest ally and one of our strongest partners, and we share a long history of shared democratic values and a commitment to working together to address global challenges,” Horne said.
There are a number of reasons. For one, the deal was of virtually unrivaled economic significance to France’s defense sector, said Pierre Morcos, a French visiting fellow at the D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The deal was crucial for “a whole network of small and medium enterprises” in France that were supposed to benefit from it, he said. The economic significance of the Australia deal has been compared to a landmark 2015 agreement between India and French company Dassault Aviation to supply 36 Rafale fighter jets.
Second, France stands to lose strategically as a result of Australia bowing out of its previous commitment. When the deal was struck, the French government celebrated a “strategic partnership … for the next 50 years.”
“This overall framework is now jeopardized,” Morcos said.
A third key reason for the French anger is the way the deal between Australia, Britain and the United States was announced. A French official said Thursday that Paris learned of the decision only through media reports — even though it had been negotiated among the three participants for months.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that France was “aware in advance” of the new agreement, although Secretary of State Antony Blinken indicated that awareness came only in the past day or two.
The fact that the Biden administration did not apparently anticipate the furious French reaction means that “we are heading toward difficult times between Paris, Canberra and Washington,” Morcos said.
France’s unusually blunt reaction to the deal suggests that it could have longer-term implications for President Biden’s pledge to reset transatlantic relations after four tumultuous years under President Donald Trump.
Within the European Union, the fallout could play into the hands of those calling for the bloc to boost its defense capabilities and to be less reliant on the United States. Such demands had already gained momentum over the past weeks amid the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
On Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen endorsed calls for a 5,000-person rapid-deployment force and announced two new measures: a forthcoming declaration from the E.U. and NATO, and a summit focused on European defense with French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been one of the most persistent proponents of “strategic autonomy” for the bloc.
Taiwan is a "sea fortress" blocking China's expansion into the Pacific and is willing to share with other democracies its knowledge of countering Beijing's efforts to undermine it, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told a U.S. audience on Wednesday.
The United States, like most countries, does not have formal diplomatic ties with Chinese-claimed Taiwan, but is the democratically ruled island's most important international backer and arms supplier.
China has stepped up military and diplomatic pressure against Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen first won office in 2016, seeking to force Taipei to accept Beijing's sovereignty claims, to the alarm of both Taipei and Washington.
Addressing an online forum organised by the Global Taiwan Institute on Taiwan-U.S. relations and attended by several former senior U.S. officials, Wu said Taiwan played a "significant role" in ensuring freedom of navigation in the strategically important Taiwan Strait and South China Sea.
"Both of them are critical to peace and stability in the Indo Pacific region," he said. "Most importantly, a democratic Taiwan serves as a sea fortress to block China's expansionism into the wider Pacific."
China claims Taiwan as its territory to legitimise its aggression and expansionism, Wu said, adding: "Isn't this irredentism precisely what gave rise to the Second World War?"
Taiwan faces not only military threats from China, but also cyber attacks, disinformation campaigns and other "grey zone" tactics, he added.
"Taiwan has learned valuable lessons and developed various means to tackle the threat to democracy, and we are more than willing to share this knowledge with fellow democracies."
There was no immediate response to his comments from China.
Earlier on Wednesday, China's Taiwan Affairs Office repeated warnings for Taipei's government not to try and seek formal independence for the island, saying such "wanton provocations and evil acts" would only threaten peace and stability.
The legal architect of the Texas abortion ban has argued in a supreme court brief that overturning Roe v Wade, the landmark decision which guarantees a right to abortion in the US, could cause women to practice abstinence from sexual intercourse as a way to “control their reproductive lives”.
Former Texas solicitor general Jonathan Mitchell, who played a pivotal role in designing the legal framework of the state’s near-total abortion ban, also argued on behalf of anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life that women would still be able to terminate pregnancies if Roe was overturned by traveling to “wealthy pro-abortion” states like California and New York with the help of “taxpayer subsidies”.
“Women can ‘control their reproductive lives’ without access to abortion; they can do so by refraining from sexual intercourse,” Mitchell wrote in the brief. “One can imagine a scenario in which a woman has chosen to engage in unprotected (or insufficiently protected) sexual intercourse on the assumption that an abortion will be available to her later. But when this court announces the overruling of Roe, that individual can simply change their behavior in response to the court’s decision if she no longer wants to take the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.”
The supreme court is due to hear a Mississippi case this term that experts say could lead to the reversal of the Roe decision by the court’s conservative majority. The argument was made in an amicus, or “friend of the court”, brief in which outside parties can present arguments on cases before the court. The brief was filed on 29 July, about four weeks before Texas’s abortion ban went into effect.
In the same brief, which calls for Roe to be overturned, Mitchell and co-counsel Adam Mortara, an anti-abortion activist and lawyer who clerked for the supreme court justice Clarence Thomas, said such a decision could open the door for other “lawless” rights and protections to be reversed, including the right to have gay sex and the right to same-sex marriage.
The lawyers argued that while it was not necessary for the high court to immediately overrule the legal cases that enshrine those rights, “neither should the court hesitate to write an opinion that leaves those decisions hanging by a thread”.
Those cases (Lawrence, which outlawed criminal sanctions against people who engaged in gay sex, and Obergefell, which legalized same-sex marriage) were “far less hazardous to human life”, they said, but just “as lawless as Roe”.
It is common for high-profile cases such as the Mississippi abortion case to elicit amicus briefs by activists and lawyers who are seeking to weigh in on the legal debate.
But Mitchell and Mortara’s brief is significant because conservatives on the high court recently ruled in a controversial 5-4 decision to allow a Texas law to stand that was designed by Mitchell and in effect bans abortions after about six weeks, before most people know they are pregnant.
While the majority of the justices stressed that they had not yet ruled on the constitutionality of the Texas law itself, the ruling showed that the majority was receptive to Mitchell’s legal strategy.