Friday, June 3, 2022

Last Call For Ron's Gone Wrong, Con't

Florida continues its descent into authoritarian control as GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis says he will now veto a $35 million training facility of MLB's Tampa Bay Rays after the Rays dared to speak out about gun violence and pledged a $50k donation to gun safety organization Everytown. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis plans to veto a $35 million legislation for a Pasco County facility that’s earmarked for the Tampa Bay Rays’ spring training, OutKick has learned.

DeSantis’s decision is in response to the Rays politicizing recent shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde ahead of a matchup with the Yankees in May.

Here’s what the Rays posted before the start of the game:



The decision follows DeSantis’ response to Disney earlier this year. In April, DeSantis revoked Disney’s special tax and self-governing privileges after the company injected itself into the debate over a Florida parental rights law, inaccurately dubbed as “Don’t Say Gay.”

DeSantis is giving a voice to the people who do not want their sports and children’s companies on the front lines of the cultural divide.

Florida residents had called for DeSantis to veto the spending anyway, saying that Floridians’ tax dollars should not help fund a facility for a professional sports team.

The Florida Senate has argued against this case, by listing the proposal as a “Sports Training and Youth Tournament Complex” and not mentioning the Rays. However, the Tampa Bay Times first reported the money would mostly help cover a new facility for the Rays.
In other words, this was the Florida GOP trying to sneak a fastball over the plate, but DeSantis instead now has his reason to take his ball and go home and make it all about punishing a company for daring to disagree with him.  There's probably nothing the Rays can do here, but DeSantis is more than happy to be a tyrant here.

Plenty of voters want a tyrant these days.

Another Day In Gunmerica, Con't

In remarks from a candle-lined Cross Hall at the White House, Biden recalled his visits to the memorials of recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York. Fifty-six candles burned behind him to represent victims of gun violence in all US states and territories. 
"Standing there in that small town like so many other communities across America, I couldn't help but think there are too many other schools, too many other everyday places, that have become killing fields -- battlefields -- here in America," Biden said of his visit to Uvalde. 
He added, "For God's sake, how much more carnage are we willing to accept?" 
The remarks amount to Biden's most fulsome speech about guns since a massacre at a Texas elementary school last week. 
He said the recent spate of horrific mass shootings must impel the nation to take action to prevent further massacres by passing gun restrictions. 
After meeting families mourning their slain loved ones in Buffalo and Uvalde, Biden said the message from them was clear: "Do something." 
"Nothing has been done," Biden said. "This time that can't be true. This time we must actually do something." 
He issued a call to reinstate a ban on assault weapons that he said had helped prevent horrific murders but expired in 2004. 
'We should reinstate the assault weapons ban," Biden said, seeking a new prohibition on the types of high-capacity weapons used in the Uvalde and Buffalo shootings. 
Biden said that in the 10 years the law was in place, mass shootings decreased. 
"After Republicans let the law expire in 2004, those weapons were allowed to be sold again. Mass shootings tripled," the President said. 
He said the weapons inflicted gruesome damage on their victims, particularly children, and he used very vivid language to describe the shootings and their aftermath. 
"The damage is so devastating, and in Uvalde, parents had to do DNA swabs to identify the remains of their children, 9 and 10 years old," he said. 
In the little more than a week since the Uvalde shooting, a string of additional mass shootings have unfolded in states across the country, including in Tulsa on Wednesday. That shooting left five dead, including the gunman. 
It's the second time that Biden has delivered an emotional evening speech at the White House on mass shootings, also speaking in the wake of the Robb Elementary School assault. Since then, however, Biden has only selectively waded into the debate over gun control, stopping short of endorsing any specific legislative action to prevent further carnage. 
However, he broke with that trend on Thursday. Biden said the age to purchase assault weapons must be raised from 18 to 21 if lawmakers cannot agree on an outright ban on those firearms. 
"We must at least raise the age to be able to purchase one to 21," the President said.
It was a good speech, with Biden laying out specific legislation that he wants. Nancy Pelosi will be in the House taking up all of these measures in the days ahead.

The problem of course is that the legislation will never get past Mitch McConnell and the GOP, and there isn't one Republican voter who will suddenly have a change of heart and want to punish the GOP for blocking every single bit of this.

Not only will voters not punish the GOP for this in November, they will most likely reward them with control of the House and Senate assuring no gun safety legislation is even considered.

And so "never again!" will be "until the next time it happens and Republicans are rewarded for it."

Just another day in Gunmerica.

Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

Proud Boys white supremacist domestic terrorists are increasingly taking over Republican party positions at the local and county level, and their biggest success so far is Miami/Dade County in Florida.

The concerted effort by the Proud Boys to join the leadership of the party — and, in some cases, run for local office — has destabilized and dramatically reshaped the Miami-Dade Republican Party that former Gov. Jeb Bush and others built into a powerhouse nearly four decades ago, transforming it from an archetype of the strait-laced establishment to an organization roiled by internal conflict as it wrestles with forces pulling it to the hard right. The conflict comes at a pivotal moment for Republicans nationally, as primary voters weigh whether to wrench the party from its extremist elements — or more fully embrace them.

“Yes, we have fringe elements,” said René García, the chairman of the approximately 125-member Republican committee in Miami-Dade County, who is also a county commissioner and former state senator. “Yes, we have different points of view in our party. That’s how we are. And my job as Republican chairman is to protect everyone’s First Amendment right, however wrong they may be.”

The Proud Boys spent nearly half a decade engaged in often violent protests across the country over issues such as the removal of Confederate statues and the unsubstantiated spread of Shariah law. After the Capitol attack, however, as Proud Boys were being investigated by law enforcement and charged with federal crimes, they lowered their profile. The group dissolved its national leadership and encouraged chapters to get involved in local issues, with the goal of amassing support in advance of this year’s midterm elections.

“The plan of attack if you want to make change is to get involved at the local level,” Jeremy Bertino, a prominent member of the North Carolina Proud Boys, told The New York Times last year in the midst of the shift.

What they intend to do with their power is unclear. Still, following a trend pushed by far-right figures like Stephen K. Bannon, Proud Boys started showing up at school board meetings to protest coronavirus mask mandates and the teaching of antiracist curriculum.

In California’s Central Valley, members of the group have intimidated protesters who did not want a church to buy an L.G.B.T.Q.-friendly theater in Fresno. A Proud Boy declared his candidacy for the Oregon Legislature. A former Proud Boy in Kansas lost a race for a Topeka City Council seat.

The Proud Boys’ encroachments into the Miami-Dade Republican Party are, by far, the group’s largest political success. The Fontainebleau incident was the latest to cause unrest within the party as a small but growing number of Proud Boys have deepened existing divisions and injected an unusual degree of aggression into routine dealings.

Such a rightward shift mirrors the evolution of state and national Republicans but is remarkable for Miami-Dade, Florida’s most populous county, which Democratic presidential candidates have won since 1992. Republicans vastly improved their showing in 2020, a swing that has soured Democrats’ prospects.

Chris Barcenas, a Republican committeeman and Proud Boy, said he started thinking about running for a committeeman seat about a year ago.

“Instead of sitting on the sidelines complaining about RINOs or whatever,” he said, referring to “Republicans in name only,” “I realized that in order to make changes, I had to be involved and be part of the process.”

Mr. Barcenas, 34, voluntarily testified a few months ago to the House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6 about his understanding of the Proud Boys’ role in the Capitol attack. He protested at the Capitol that day but did not go into the building and has not been charged with any crimes.

Gabriel Garcia, 37, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges from the Capitol attack, said the party was once the province of country-club Republicans.

“I know a lot of people on the committee way before me were supporting people like Jeb,” said Mr. Garcia, who lost a State House bid in 2020. “But when Trump won, pretty much everyone started falling in line
Again, these are January 6th domestic insurrectionist terrorists now taking over local GOP offices and purging the "RINOs" from the party. They are telling Cuban Americans that Democrats have abandoned them, all the way up to "Well if you don't want to end up like the Blacks, you'd better vote Republican."

It's working. Miami/Dade is going to be lost for a generation to the GOP if Democrats don't get their shit together and go after the actual January 6th terrorists running the GOP in the county.
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