Sunday, February 27, 2022

Last Call For Lowering The Barr, Con't

Another month, another Trump regime slimeball trying to ooze their way back into polite political company with a tell-all book that trashes Dear Leader, all while making millions on the side, and this month is former Attorney General Bill Barr's turn.

Former Attorney General William Barr writes in a new book that former President Donald Trump has “shown he has neither the temperament nor persuasive powers to provide the kind of positive leadership that is needed,” and that it is time for Republicans to focus on rising new leaders in the party.

The release of the former attorney general’s 600-page book, “One Damn Thing After Another,” is coming as Mr. Trump, who remains the GOP’s dominant figure, contemplates another presidential run. Mr. Barr writes that he was convinced that Mr. Trump could have won re-election in 2020 if he had “just exercised a modicum of self-restraint, moderating even a little of his pettiness.”

“The election was not ‘stolen,’ ” Mr. Barr writes. “Trump lost it.” Mr. Barr urges conservatives to look to “an impressive array of younger candidates” who share Mr. Trump’s agenda but not his “erratic personal behavior.” He didn’t mention any of those candidates by name.

A spokesman for Mr. Trump didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Mr. Barr’s book. Last summer the former president called his former attorney general “a disappointment in every sense of the word.”

Mr. Barr’s memoir adds to a growing list of books by senior Trump administration officials and journalists about the former president. It is scheduled for release March 8 by the William Morrow imprint of HarperCollins. Both HarperCollins and The Wall Street Journal are owned by News Corp.

The recollections and conclusions by Mr. Barr are notable because he was one of Mr. Trump’s most powerful cabinet secretaries and was once such a close ally that Democrats accused him of acting more like the president’s defense attorney than an apolitical law-enforcement official.
Barr goes on to explain how everyone at the Trump White House and the Justice Department that he ran were all the real problem and not him, but he saves some ammo to blast Trump:

Mr. Barr also describes times when he was privately frustrated by Mr. Trump’s aggressive style and constant comments on the Justice Department’s work.

He provides the details of a contentious meeting on Dec. 1 in the Oval Office hours after Mr. Barr said publicly that there wasn’t evidence of widespread voter fraud in the presidential election that could reverse Joe Biden’s victory, contradicting Mr. Trump’s claims.

“This is killing me—killing me. This is pulling the rug right out from under me,” Mr. Trump shouted at Mr. Barr, according to the book. “He stopped for a moment and then said, ‘You must hate Trump. You would only do this if you hate Trump.’ ”

Mr. Barr writes that he reminded Mr. Trump that he had “sacrificed a lot personally to come in to help you when I thought you were being wronged,” but that the Justice Department had not been able to verify any of his legal team’s assertions about mass voter fraud.
Mr. Trump then launched into a list of other grievances he had with his attorney general: that the federal prosecutor Mr. Barr ordered to review the origins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Russia probe that preceded the Mueller report hadn’t released his findings before the 2020 election, and that Mr. Barr declined to prosecute former FBI Director James Comey after a department watchdog rebuked him for sharing memos that contained sensitive information about his interactions with Mr. Trump, a complaint brought up repeatedly by the president.

Mr. Barr countered by offering to submit his resignation, according to the book. “Accepted!” Mr. Trump yelled, banging his palm on the table. “Leave and don’t go back to your office. You are done right now. Go home!” White House lawyers persuaded Mr. Trump not to follow through with Mr. Barr’s ouster.

Mr. Barr resigned a few weeks later, bringing a tumultuous end to his time in office.

After the election, Mr. Barr said that Mr. Trump “lost his grip” and that his false claims of voter fraud led to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters trying to thwart the certification of Mr. Biden’s November, 2020, victory.

“The absurd lengths to which he took his ‘stolen election’ claim led to the rioting on Capitol Hill,” Mr. Barr writes.
So yeah, the real bravery was the Attorney General of the United States witnessing Trump breaking federal law and not doing a goddamn thing about it.




Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

A reminder that while there are several white supremacist domestic terrorism groups out there, by far the largest, most powerful, and most dangerous of those groups, is the Republican Party.

A Republican state senator fawned over the leader of a white nationalist movement on Friday and told his followers that she fantasizes about hanging her perceived enemies from gallows.

“I’ve said we need to build more gallows. If we try some of these high-level criminals, convict them and use a newly built set of gallows, it’ll make an example of these traitors who have betrayed our country,” Sen. Wendy Rogers, R-Flagstaff, said Feb. 25 in her speech to the white nationalist America First Political Action Conference in Florida.

Rogers told the white nationalists who were assembled in the ballroom at the Orlando World Center Marriott that they were “patriots.”

She addressed the AFPAC crowd remotely, speaking from Arizona, where she said she was busy pushing legislation. Rogers effusively praised Nick Fuentes, the event’s racist organizer, who she said had been “de-platformed everywhere” because he says things that upset “the media and the far left.”

“I truly respect Nick because he’s the most persecuted man in America,” she said to loud cheers, adding later that he was “standing up to tyranny” by creating AFPAC.

Fuentes, an advocate of turning America into a nation only for white Christians, is one of the leaders of the so-called “groyper” movement — along with the founder of American Identity Movement, a white nationalist group formerly known as Identity Ervopa — and Rogers is one of its emerging icons. The groyper movement is a collection of white nationalists who seek to normalize racism and make it a part of mainstream conservative political ideology.

AFPAC opened with Fuentes soliciting a round of applause from the crowd for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The white nationalists chanted in response, “Putin! Putin! Putin!”

In his closing speech, Fuentes said “the United States is the evil empire in the world.”

“Now, they’re going and saying,’’Vladimir Putin is Adolf Hitler,’ as if that isn’t a good thing,” he said, before nervously laughing and adding, “Oops, I shouldn’t have said that.”

Rogers lamented that there was no longer freedom of speech, and said “we can’t even laugh at comedy any more” for fear of being banned from social media platforms. (The First Amendment protects people from being punished by the government for their speech, but it does not apply to businesses or exempt people from facing consequences for their speech.) She pined for the 1980s and 1990s, when “we could say the craziest stuff and people would just laugh and not take offense, because it was simply light-hearted.”

“Now, they deplatform and debank people like Nick Fuentes, and even President (Donald) Trump,” she said. “This is like the USSR, but worse.”

The crowd at AFPAC included prominent members of America’s white nationalist movement, among them Jared Taylor and Peter Brimelow. Taylor garnered a following as the editor of a now-defunct pseudo-academic magazine that published pieces from open racists, and he hosts an annual conference that the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a place “where racist intellectuals rub shoulders with Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.” Brimelow publishes a popular white nationalist website and has said “the U.S. is a white nation.”

One speaker at the event was Vincent James Foxx, a stalwart white nationalist who said he wanted to “criminalize” LGBTQ Americans and warned of the “Great Replacement.” That idea, popular among white supremacists, holds that white Americans are being replaced by non-white immigrants.

It has also inspired violence. Fears of immigrants undermining his vision of a white Christian Europe motivated Anders Behring Breivik’s murderous rampage in 2011 at a Norwegian youth summer camp. In the U.S., the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh in 2018 was the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in United States history. Just before it took place, the killer took to right-wing social media site Gab to say he believed that immigrants were being brought in to replace and “kill our people.” The next year in New Zealand, 51 people would be killed and 40 injured but not before the shooter would post a 74-page manifesto titled “The Great Replacement.”

After Foxx spoke, Rogers gushed over him on Telegram: “Vincent James run for office.”
Greene and Gosar are a problem, Wendy Rogers is a problem, but the larger one is the fact that the vast majority of Republican politicians and voters agree with them.

Sunday Long Read: The Tale Of The Terrible Thomases

Our Sunday Long Read is a vitally important story, as Danny Hakim and Jo Becker at New York Times Magazine presents the case as to why Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should be removed from the bench over his wife Ginny's unprecedented political activism, up to and including her influence on SCOTUS pertaining to Donald Trump's plan to steal the 2020 election with the Court's help.
The call to action was titled “Election Results and Legal Battles: What Now?” Shared in the days after the 2020 presidential election, it urged the members of an influential if secretive right-wing group to contact legislators in three of the swing states that tipped the balance for Joe Biden — Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. The aim was audacious: Keep President Donald J. Trump in power.

The group, the Council for National Policy, brings together old-school Republican luminaries, Christian conservatives, Tea Party activists and MAGA operatives, with more than 400 members who include leaders of organizations like the Federalist Society, the National Rifle Association and the Family Research Council. Founded in 1981 as a counterweight to liberalism, the group was hailed by President Ronald Reagan as seeking the “return of righteousness, justice and truth” to America.

As Trump insisted, without evidence, that fraud had cheated him of victory, conservative groups rushed to rally behind him. The council stood out, however, not only because of its pedigree but also because one of its newest leaders was Virginia Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas and a longtime activist in right-wing circles. She had taken on a prominent role at the council during the Trump years and by 2019 had joined the nine-member board of C.N.P. Action, an arm of the council organized as a 501(c)4 under a provision of the tax code that allows for direct political advocacy. It was C.N.P. Action that circulated the November “action steps” document, the existence of which has not been previously reported. It instructed members to pressure Republican lawmakers into challenging the election results and appointing alternate slates of electors: “Demand that they not abandon their Constitutional responsibilities during a time such as this.”

Such a plan, if carried out successfully, would have almost certainly landed before the Supreme Court — and Ginni Thomas’s husband. In fact, Trump was already calling for that to happen. In a Dec. 2 speech at the White House, the president falsely claimed that “millions of votes were cast illegally in swing states alone” and said he hoped “the Supreme Court of the United States will see it” and “will do what’s right for our country, because our country cannot live with this kind of an election.”

The Thomases have long posed a unique quandary in Washington. Because Supreme Court justices do not want to be perceived as partisan, they tend to avoid political events and entanglements, and their spouses often keep low profiles. But the Thomases have defied such norms. Since the founding of the nation, no spouse of a sitting Supreme Court justice has been as overt a political activist as Ginni Thomas. In addition to her perch at the Council for National Policy, she founded a group called Groundswell with the support of Stephen K. Bannon, the hard-line nationalist and former Trump adviser. It holds a weekly meeting of influential conservatives, many of whom work directly on issues that have come before the court.

Ginni Thomas insists, in her council biography, that she and her husband operate in “separate professional lanes,” but those lanes in fact merge with notable frequency. For the three decades he has sat on the Supreme Court, they have worked in tandem from the bench and the political trenches to take aim at targets like Roe v. Wade and affirmative action. Together they believe that “America is in a vicious battle for its founding principles,” as Ginni Thomas has put it. Her views, once seen as on the fringe, have come to dominate the Republican Party. And with Trump’s three appointments reshaping the Supreme Court, her husband finds himself at the center of a new conservative majority poised to shake the foundations of settled law. In a nation freighted with division and upheaval, the Thomases have found their moment.

This article draws on hours of recordings and internal documents from groups affiliated with the Thomases; dozens of interviews with the Thomases’ classmates, friends, colleagues and critics, as well as more than a dozen Trump White House aides and supporters and some of Justice Thomas’s former clerks; and an archive of Council for National Policy videos and internal documents provided by an academic researcher in Australia, Brent Allpress.

The reporting uncovered new details on the Thomases’ ascent: how Trump courted Justice Thomas; how Ginni Thomas used that courtship to gain access to the Oval Office, where her insistent policy and personnel suggestions so aggravated aides that one called her a “wrecking ball” while others put together an opposition-research-style report on her that was obtained by The Times; and the extent to which Justice Thomas flouted judicial-ethics guidance by participating in events hosted by conservative organizations with matters before the court. Those organizations showered the couple with accolades and, in at least one case, used their appearances to attract event fees, donations and new members.

New reporting also shows just how blurred the lines between the couple’s interests became during the effort to overturn the 2020 election, which culminated in the rally held at the Ellipse, just outside the White House grounds, aimed at stopping Congress from certifying the state votes that gave Joe Biden his victory. Many of the rally organizers and those advising Trump had connections to the Thomases, but little has been known about what role, if any, Ginni Thomas played, beyond the fact that on the morning of the March to Save America, as the rally was called, she urged her Facebook followers to watch how the day unfolded. “LOVE MAGA people!!!!” she posted before the march turned violent. “GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU STANDING UP or PRAYING!”
But her role went deeper, and beyond C.N.P. Action. Dustin Stockton, an organizer who worked with Women for America First, which held the permit for the Ellipse rally, said he was told that Ginni Thomas played a peacemaking role between feuding factions of rally organizers “so that there wouldn’t be any division around January 6.”

“The way it was presented to me was that Ginni was uniting these different factions around a singular mission on January 6,” said Stockton, who previously worked for Bannon. “That Ginni was involved made sense — she’s pretty neutral, and she doesn’t have a lot of enemies in the movement.
That's right.
Ginny Thomas helped organize the January 6th terrorist attack on the US Capitol.
It actually gets worse ahead. This is one of the more important SLR articles in quite some time, folks.
Clarence Thomas has to go.


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