Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Last Call For Orange Meltdown, Con't

Donald Trump's interview with NPR this week on The Big Lie went hilariously badly for both Trump and NPR.

Some Republican leaders are trying to move on from former President Donald Trump's failed attempt to overturn the 2020 election that he lost.

"While there were some irregularities, there were none of the irregularities which would have risen to the point where they would have changed the vote outcome in a single state," Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., said Sunday on ABC's This Week. "The election was fair, as fair as we have seen. We simply did not win the election, as Republicans, for the presidency. And if we simply look back and tell our people don't vote because there's cheating going on, then we're going to put ourselves in a huge disadvantage."

But Trump — who has endorsed dozens of candidates for the 2022 midterm elections and still holds by far the widest influence within the GOP — is trying hard not to let them move on.

"No, I think it's an advantage, because otherwise they're going to do it again in '22 and '24, and Rounds is wrong on that. Totally wrong," Trump told NPR in an interview Tuesday, referring to his false and debunked claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

The interview was six years in the making. Trump and his team have repeatedly declined interviews with NPR until Tuesday, when he called in from his home in Florida. It was scheduled for 15 minutes, but lasted just over nine.

After being pressed about his repeated lies about the 2020 presidential election, Trump abruptly ended the interview.
Trump was always going to leave the interview and then attack NPR, certainly we'll see his cultists call again to defund and destroy the public radio news network. But the real problem is that NPR happily gave Trump yet another platform to spread his lies upon, even if the hosts rightfully attacked those lies. It won't matter one whit to the people who believe them, and now NPR has been drafted as yet another strawman enemy which Trump can attack at will.

Expect Trump to unload on NPR at his Saturday hate rally in Arizona this weekend, which was the entire point of the exercise.
What did all this accomplish? Inskeep pushed back on a few points, but Trump threw out a Gish gallop's worth of allegations, all baseless but more than Inskeep was able to rebut. Wisconsin was corrupt! Arizona was corrupt! Detroit was corrupt! Philadelphia was corrupt! No Republican would regard Inskeep as the one who came away with a win, even if Trump did storm off. (Republicans like Trump's petulance.)

I wish Trump had been interviewed by someone ready to get in the weeds with him, someone with a deep knowledge of every conspiracy theory and of the facts that show they're all nonsense. No, there weren't more votes than people in Detroit -- here's the AP fact check. No, nothing fishy happened in Philadelphia -- even the Republican co-chair of the city's elections board acknowledged that. And so on. In the interview, Trump is essentially saying, "I won. Don't believe me? Do your own research." Imagine if Inskeep had geeked out and done his own research, in much greater depth, and brought the receipts.

Trump is used to rattling off the names of these allegedly suspicious locales and getting no pushback. Imagine if an anti-conspiracy election nerd had engaged him on his own terms. Then you really would have seen a walk-off -- and some serious public education.
But that won't happen. Trump is too crafty to go up against someone like that. Rolling Inskeep and the rest of our totally unprepared Village betters is exactly what Trump excels at.

All Inskeep accomplished was making NPR a target again.

Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) on Tuesday floated resorting to using the "Second Amendment" to deal with Democrats who are imposing what she described as a "tyrannical" government.

While speaking with right-wing media personality Sebastian Gorka, Greene slammed Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams for her policies regarding both vaccines and gun rights.

Greene then pivoted to talking about how Americans are guaranteed the right to bear arms to resist such supposed tyranny.

"Ultimately the truth is it’s our Second Amendment rights, our right to bear arms, that protects Americans and give us the ability to defend ourselves from a tyrannical government," she said. "And I hate to use this language but Democrats, they’re exactly -- they’re doing exactly what our Founders talked about when they gave us the precious rights that we have.”
"Sitting member of Congress calls for political enemies to be shot" is a regular feature of House Republican politics, and seemingly nobody cares. In the last week or so she's caught a permanent ban from Twitter, and accused the Biden Administration and doctors across the country of murdering thousands of COVID patients by refusing to allow horse dewormer Ivermectin as a treatment.

Now she's once again calling for Democrats to get shot and killed.

I guess it's going to take for that to happen for her to face consequences. Maybe multiple murders.

An Unconventional Proposal, Con't

January in state legislature land always means the crazy stuff happens, this time it's Nebraska Republicans wanting to join the more than a dozen Republican legislatures who want to completely rewrite the US Constitution.

Late in the 2021 legislative session, a resolution adding Nebraska to the list of states calling for a convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution appeared dead in the water.

The proposal (LR14) from Sen. Steve Halloran of Hastings had failed to advance from committee, and a motion to pull it onto the floor fell two votes short of reaching a simple majority of 25 senators.

But a motion to suspend the Legislature’s rules late in the 90-day session allowed the resolution to be considered in committee once more, and negotiations between Halloran and Omaha Sen. John McCollister produced the fifth vote needed to put LR14 on the floor.

The Legislature advanced LR14 to second-round consideration on a 32-10 vote after a first-round filibuster attempt was scrapped Monday afternoon, the first day of floor debate in the 2022 session.

Four senators were present but not voting.

“Honestly, I think most people were expecting the full eight-hour filibuster, and that didn’t happen,” Halloran said after the vote. “I was surprised.”

The resolution, and others like it introduced by Halloran and others in recent years, have failed to gain traction in the Legislature, despite many conservative senators supporting it.

LR14, like resolutions adopted in 15 other states, would call for a convention of states as outlined in Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

Under the resolution, convention delegates would be responsible for drafting proposed constitutional amendments imposing fiscal restraints on the federal government, limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government and setting term limits for officeholders and Congress.

Supporters said constitutional amendments are necessary to rein in out-of-control spending that has grown the country’s debt as well as the deficit. Halloran, a Republican, laid blame at the feet of presidents dating back to George W. Bush.

“The debt clock is ticking,” he said, referring to the U.S. Debt Clock, which puts the national debt at nearly $30 trillion, equal to about $89,000 for every person in the country.

While a constitutional amendment could erect guardrails for federal spending and limit the government’s authority to spend, opponents said Halloran’s resolution left room for delegates to interpret intent.
It's madness, for sure. Eliminating the federal government's spending power would drive tens of millions of American families into deep poverty with no way to help them, because of course this wouldn't affect a single dime of Pentagon spending. Executive agency regulations and programs would vanish overnight.
Of course, there's a good chance that will happen anyway if the Roberts Court decides to dismantle the Executive branch. 

Republican corporations need a stead stream of miserable peons to work until they die, you know. They're going to get it eventually.

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