Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Last Call For A Text(ing) Book Coverup

OK, now it's definitely a widespread Trump regime coverup of the January 6th text messages that entails deletion of evidence by the US Secret Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and now the Pentagon.

The Defense Department wiped the phones of top departing DOD and Army officials at the end of the Trump administration, deleting any texts from key witnesses to events surrounding the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, according to court filings
The acknowledgment that the phones from the Pentagon officials had been wiped was first revealed in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit American Oversight brought against the Defense Department and the Army. The watchdog group is seeking January 6 records from former acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller, former chief of staff Kash Patel, and former Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, among other prominent Pentagon officials -- having filed initial FOIA requests just a few days after the Capitol attack. 
Miller, Patel and McCarthy have all been viewed as crucial witnesses for understanding government's response to the January 6 Capitol assault and former President Donald Trump's reaction to the breach. All three were involved in the Defense Department's response to sending National Guard troops to the US Capitol as the riot was unfolding. There is no suggestion that the officials themselves erased the records. 
The government's assertion in the filings that the officials' text messages from that day were not preserved is the latest blow to the efforts to bring transparency to the events of January 6. It comes as the Department of Homeland Security is also under fire for the apparent loss of messages from the Secret Service that day. 
Miller declined to comment. Patel and McCarthy did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Defense Department did not immediately respond to CNN's request. The US Army Public Affairs media relations chief, Col. Cathy Wilkinson, said in a statement that, "It is our policy not to comment on ongoing litigation." 
American Oversight is now calling for a "cross-agency investigation" by the Justice Department to investigate destruction of the materials.
"It's just astounding to believe that the agency did not understand the importance of preserving its records -- particularly [with regards] to the top officials that might have captured: what they were doing, when they were doing it, why they were doing, it on that day," Heather Sawyer, American Oversight's executive director, told CNN

Like I said, these messages aren't lost. The warrants needed to find these texts have almost certainly been issued, and the forensic work to recover them is already underway, if not already done. A shitload of Trump regime officials need to be cooling their heels in federal prison.

I think a lot of people are going to be very surprised at just how big the list is going to be when the indictments start. Including me.

Plan Fails First Contact With OpFor

After nearly a week of wall-to-wall bad press, Senate Republicans are scrambling to reverse their filibuster of legislation to help military veterans suffering from health problems stemming from exposure to burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq, something so incomprehensibly petty and cruel that it got Jon Stewart off his famous "Both sides are garbage" stance in order to repeatedly blast Mitch and friends.

Senate Republicans are reversing course on a veterans health care bill, signaling they’ll now help it quickly move to President Joe Biden’s desk after weathering several days of intense criticism for delaying the legislation last week.

Republicans insist their decision to hold up the bill, which expands health care for veterans exposed to toxic substances while on active duty, was unrelated to the deal on party-line legislation that top Democrats struck last week. The GOP blocked the bill hours after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced an agreement on a health care, climate and tax package — angering Republicans who thought the Democrats-only plan would be much narrower.

Regardless of their reasoning, the GOP was quickly forced to play defense against both Democrats and veterans’ advocates who were caught off-guard by Republican delaying tactics after the party greenlit a nearly identical bill in June.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to respond to a question Monday about why the legislation was held up.

“It will pass this week,” he said.

Other Republicans in Senate leadership struck a similar tone. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) told POLITICO he would “expect it to pass” and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), McConnell’s No. 2, echoed that at “some point this is going to pass and it will pass big.”

Republicans say they blocked the bill because of concerns spearheaded by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) over what the retiring senator called a “budgetary gimmick” — language that he argued could allow certain funds to be used for programs unrelated to veterans’ health care. That language was in the bill when it initially passed the Senate in an 84-14 vote, before a technical snag forced the chamber to vote on it again.

“This stuff got drug out, but remember why it got drug out. When they passed it over here the first time, they did it wrong,“ Thune said, adding it was Democrats who “screwed up the first time.”

Schumer is expected to force another vote on the veterans bill this week, vowing Monday that he would bring it up “in the coming days.”

“We’re going to give Senate Republicans another chance to do the right thing,” he said.

The New York Democrat will likely give Republicans an off-ramp by granting Toomey a vote on his proposed amendment, which the Pennsylvania Republican and many of his colleagues say he’s been requesting for months.
All I have to say is that the filibuster and the subsequent widely-played roasting of the GOP by Stewart and veterans' groups must have tested very, very badly in red state polling, enough so that the Senate GOP didn't want to face weeks of August recess back home explaining why this bill wasn't law yet.
And in the last couple of weeks, the Democrats have beaten Mitch McConnell like a rented mule.

Republicans actually have a shame/human decency factor that does exist if enough of their military-age male base turns on them.  Who knew?

The Road To Gilead Goes Through Kentucky, Con't

After weeks of legal wrangling over the state's existing trigger law banning abortion in nearly all cases once Roe was overturned, a state appeals court judge has reinstated the ban, overruling a lower court injunction that temporarily blocked it until the case could be taken before the Kentucky Supreme Court. The order means GOP Attorney General Daniel Cameron can immediately begin enforcing the ban.


A Kentucky judge reinstituted the state’s near-total abortion ban Monday, reversing a lower court’s order from less than two weeks ago that temporarily allowed the procedures to continue in the state.

The decision by Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Larry E. Thompson means that abortions are again illegal in the state, unless the mother is at risk of death or serious permanent injury, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Health-care workers who provide abortion services can face up to five years in prison, though mothers are not subject to criminal liability.

The order came in response to a request by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) that the appellate court overturn a July 22 decision by Jefferson Circuit Judge Mitch Perry, who had sided with abortion providers.

Last month, Perry had granted an injunction preventing Kentucky’s abortion ban from taking effect after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June. Perry sided with two abortion clinics that said the bans were unconstitutional because they went against the rights to privacy and self-determination enshrined in the state constitution

In his ruling, Perry reasoned there was a “substantial likelihood” that the bans were unconstitutional in Kentucky and blocked the abortion restrictions from taking effect until a final decision on their constitutionality could be made by state courts.

But Thompson overruled Perry, on grounds that allowing abortions to proceed — even temporarily — is unfair because the procedures would be irreversible, should state courts later rule the abortion restrictions to be constitutional. “The Court emphasizes, however, that it expresses no opinion whatsoever as to the merits of the underlying dispute,” he added.

Cameron welcomed Thompson’s ruling. “I appreciate the court’s decision to allow Kentucky’s pro-life laws to take effect while we continue to vigorously defend the constitutionality of these important protections for women and unborn children,” Kentucky’s attorney general said.
So yes, in Kentucky you will bear your rapist's child, because anyone in the state that helps you to end that pregnancy faces five years in prison. Ohio's ban is in place, Indiana's ban is expected to be passed soon, so if you live in the Cincinnati area, you have no right to bodily autonomy unless you drive to Illinois or Pennsylvania.

Republicans like Cameron are careful to say that women will not face prosecution for abortions or suspected abortions through miscarriages. Kentucky doesn't have Texas-style civil bounty bills for ratting out women who do end an unwanted pregnancy.

The "yet" is something that has a palpable presence, and that will be coming soon.

The borders of the states where women are second-class citizens are firming up.

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