Friday, April 8, 2022

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

The verdict on the trial for the four men accused of a plot to kidnap, ransom, and possibly execute Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: 2 acquittals, 2 deadlocks, and white supremacy protecting itself.

Jurors found two men accused by the government of plotting to kidnap and hurt Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer not guilty and failed to reach unanimous verdicts against two others.

The jury said it found Lake Orion resident Daniel Harris, 24 and Brandon Caserta, 33, of Canton Township not guilty and couldn't reach verdicts on accused Whitmer kidnap ringleaders Adam Fox, 38, of Potterville and Barry Croft, 46, of Delaware.

The four men faced kidnapping conspiracy charges, a felony punishable by up to life in prison. Three faced multiple charges, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Earlier Friday, jurors indicated they had reached a verdict on some counts in the case but were locked on others. Chief U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker announced the development just before 11 a.m. and encouraged the jurors in federal court in downtown Grand Rapids to keep deliberating in hopes of reaching a unanimous verdict.

"It is not unusual to come back somewhere along the line of deliberations and say 'we tried, but couldn’t get there,'" the judge said. "At least not on everything."

Around 2 p.m., the jury reemerged before Jonker to indicate they remained at an impasse. Jonker instructed them to return to the jury room to confirm the impasse and fill out forms to indicate what charges they were in agreement on if so.

On Friday, Jonker likened the situation to the game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” and the famous catchphrase “Is that your final answer?”

“Before that’s the final answer, I would like you to go back and make another effort to see if you can come to an agreement on issues you are stuck on as a group,” the judge told jurors.

The trial has coincided with jurors in federal court in Washington, D.C., hearing the first cases involving people charged in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Together, the trials provide the first tests of federal laws being used to punish extremist behavior that erupted nationally in 2020 and 2021 around the presidential election and pandemic.
Those laws failed. Here's the best part:
Two others, Ty Garbin and Kaleb Franks, earlier pleaded guilty and testified during the trial, telling jurors the plot originated with the group and that they were not entrapped by FBI agents and informants. Eight others are awaiting trial in state courts on domestic terrorism charges.


Remember this verdict when you believe you can find 12 people to convict Trump on anything.

The Return Of Lend-Lease

I didn't think it would happen, but in the wake of the largest ground military conflict since WWII, we have the United States gearing up to unleash the full might of American productivity with the return of Lend-Lease.
The Senate unanimously passed major legislation late Wednesday to revive a World War II-era program allowing President Joe Biden to more efficiently send weapons and other supplies to Ukraine amid Russia’s bloody invasion.

Senators quickly rallied behind the proposal, known as Lend-Lease, as Ukraine’s military proved it could fend off Russian troops who have been shelling Ukrainian cities and towns since late February. The Lend-Lease program created during World War II was seen as a game-changer in the conflict, as it allowed the U.S. to quickly resupply the Allies without time-consuming procedural hurdles.

Lawmakers are resorting to extraordinary tactics last used during the most significant global conflict of the 20th century — yet another sign that the U.S. and its allies in Europe believe Russia’s invasion presents an existential threat to liberal order.

It’s also an indication that the Western world believes Ukraine can now win the fight against the Russian invaders. Congress recently approved nearly $14 billion of military and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine, some of which has already been doled out. On Tuesday, the State Department announced an additional $100 million in funding for Javelin missiles and other materiel, bringing the total security assistance to $1.7 billion since Russia invaded on Feb. 24.

The necessity of resupplying Ukraine’s armed forces took on greater urgency in recent days as the brutality of Russia’s war was further exposed, with lawmakers reacting swiftly to urgent pleas from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in particular.

Horrific images emerged from the town of Bucha last weekend showing civilians laying dead in the streets with their hands tied behind their backs, prompting Western leaders to amplify their allegations of war crimes.
In a brief speech on the Senate floor Wednesday night, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the massacres “pure evil,” adding that Russian troops are carrying out a “genocide” in Ukraine.

“When we murder wantonly innocent civilians because of who they are, whether it be their religion, their race, or their nationality, that is genocide, and Mr. Putin is guilty of it,” Schumer said.

The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022, as it’s known, would expedite the transfer of critical military equipment and other critical supplies to Ukraine by cutting bureaucratic red tape. It allows for the de facto gifting of equipment, with provisions stipulating that recipient countries would repay the U.S. at a later date.

“As the war in Ukraine unfolds, delivering military aid as quickly as possible is pivotal for Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against Putin’s unprovoked attacks,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, the lead Democratic sponsor of the effort. “The Kremlin is committing horrific assaults throughout the nation on civilian infrastructure and targeting innocent men, women and children.”
Republicans wanted a separate vote on Russian trade/embargo status and got that today, also 100-0. The House will be voting on Russian sanctions later today. Whether the House takes up the Ukrainian Lend-Lease legislation before Easter break on Friday night isn't clear yet. I expect Pelosi will make it happen.

It's mostly a good thing, let's remember there's always blowback from American military weapons flooding a warzone, but in this case, considering what we're fighting, this is the right call and everyone in the Senate sees it.

Let's go, Lend-Lease!

The Big Lie, Con't

Some 17 months after the 2020 election, Arizona Republicans still haven't been able to find any evidence of that "widespread voter fraud" that Trump insists happened.

A report issued Wednesday by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich found no evidence of widespread voter fraud or irregularities associated with the 2020 presidential election in Maricopa County while raising concerns about some voting procedures.

The interim report, six months into an investigation, was detailed in a 12-page letter to Senate President Karen Fann. Brnovich, a Republican, said his office “has left no stone unturned in the aftermath of the 2020 election.”

Former President Donald Trump is pursuing a persistent pressure campaign to uncover any illegal activity that would support his false claims that he defeated President Joe Biden in Arizona 17 months ago.

Trump lost Arizona by less than 10,500 votes, and a GOP-commissioned review in Maricopa County confirmed Biden’s victory.

Trump repeated his Arizona claims as recently as January, when he alleged mass fraud at a rally where he was joined by three of the state's House Republicans — Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs and Debbie Lesko — who voted against certifying Biden’s victory.

“It’s far more than necessary to win the state of Arizona,” Trump said at the rally, where he referred to Brnovich.

“I think he’s a good man. I think he’s going to do his job,” Trump said.

Brnovich initially defended the integrity of election results — much to the disappointment of GOP gubernatorial front-runner Kari Lake.

“There is no evidence, there are no facts that would lead anyone to believe that the election results will change,” Brnovich said days after the 2020 election was called for Biden.

Lake called this week for the decertification of Biden’s victories in Arizona and Wisconsin.

Brnovich’s tenor toward the 2020 election began to shift under pressure from Trump and a host of Arizona Republicans. He is running for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Mark Kelly.

Although Wednesday's report did not find mass fraud or conspiracy in the 2020 election, it outlined his office’s concerns with "serious vulnerabilities" involving certain procedures during the campaign, including the signature verification process and the transportation of ballots from drop box locations.

GOP state Sen. Wendy Rogers blasted Brnovich minutes after the release of his letter. In a tweet, she said: “I don’t like letters. I like arrests and prosecutions. Criminals don’t respect legal gobbly-gook that just fills pages when really we can use handcuffs, jail cells and jump suits.” 

I still stand by my belief that Trump will instruct Secretaries of State to refuse to certify Democratic wins in red states due to "election fraud" in November. The evidence will simply be created.

They will make fraud happen.
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